"He's only mostly retired. See, there's a difference between being mostly retired and all retired."
Question #74701 posted on 10/23/2013 11:04 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How much weight can twizzlers hold? How much can they stretch before they break?
How far can they be thrown?



Dear Mecheng,

To answer your question, yayfulness, Marguerite St. Just, Stego Lily, Tootles, Owlet, and I met up to do SCIENCE!

What? That's the proper notation: SCIENCE!

Stego Lily brought, as she put it, "South Market's finest," which turned out to be cherry-flavored Pull 'N' Peel Twizzlers, and, for good measure, we decided to compare it to strawberry-flavored Red Vines. We're such overachievers.

MSJ brought her baby (read: her camera) and took pictures of the action. Everyone, please email her with marriage proposals and other such praise.

I did not bring my actual baby, but I did bring a force meter and 1000 grams worth of washers. The problem I didn't forsee, however, was that my cute little force meter could only read up to 1100 grams before it maxed out. I could only hope the licorice wouldn't be able to hold that much weight. I should have remembered Murphy's Law. Only when we pulled the Twizzlers apart so that it was only a single strand were we able to get a reading under 1100 grams:


How Much Weight Can Twizzlers Hold Before Breaking?
Single Strand
Weight (g)
Average 528
Std Dev 134

Thicker strands initially held more than 1100 grams, but we did notice that if we hung 1000 grams from the strand and then waited, the licorice would stretch out and eventually break. So in an effort to give you some comparison, we timed how long the licorice could hold 1000 grams until it broke.

Weighing Strands.jpg

We tried it with two-strand-thick and three-strand-thick pieces of Pull 'N' Peel, and also with the Red Vines:

How Long Can Licorice Hold a 1000 g Weight Before Breaking?
Double Strand
Triple Strand
Red Vines
Time (s) Time (s) Time (s)
2.3 10.47 6.98
4.33 10.12 7.26
2.3 11.94 6.7
Average 3.0 Average 10.84 Average 6.98
Std Dev 1.2 Std Dev 0.97 Std Dev 0.28

It's not too surprising that once you get to three strands, the Twizzlers totally whoops the Red Vines. Red Vines are hollow, while the Twizzlers are not, so it's easier for the Red Vines to develop a failure point.

We tried to do the same experiment with a full nine-strand piece of Twizzlers, but as far as we could tell, 1000 grams would never be enough weight to stretch and break it. You can't see it, but Stego Lily is making a face that impatiently asks, "Waiting is hard. Can I eat it yet?"

Will Never Break_edit.jpg 

Thankfully, the other parts of your question didn't require a force meter! Stego Lily and Tootles undertook the task of stretching the licorice, and we got these results:

Measuring Twizzlers.jpg

How Far Can Licorice Stretch Before Breaking?
Twizzlers Red Vines
Initial Length
Final Length
Initial Length
Final Length
5.875 9 3.125 5.25 6 0.75
5.875 11 5.125 5.5 6 0.5
6.0625 11 4.9375 5.625 6.5 0.875
  Average 4.40   Average 0.71
  Std Dev 1.10   Std Dev 0.19

Once again, the Twizzlers proves to be stronger than the Red Vines.

Last, we went out to a rather public parking lot on campus and threw licorice. If I'd been one of the passers-by, I'd have thought we were a)dumb college weirdos, b)freshman, or c)on some kind of BYU date. If only they'd stopped to learn the truth: this candy sacrifice was in the name of SCIENCE!

As we didn't have a very long tape measure, we measured the throwing distance by seeing how many parking spaces we could throw the licorice. Given that the average parking space is somewhere around 8 feet, I came up with these distances for licorice-throwing:

How Far Can Licorice Be Thrown By a Board Writer?
  yayfulness Maven Marguerite
St. Just
Owlet Stego Lily Tootles
Red Vines 56 56 48 52 30 64
Twizzlers 56 64 64 64 46 96

Twizzlers is the unmitigated champion in the throwing department. Of course, it helps that the Twizzlers were heavier than than Red Vines, so it did have an advantage there. Also, we discovered that one benefit of being lerpy (we're looking at you, Tootles) is you can throw things further than most other people.

And in conclusion, what's the best part about SCIENCE! you ask? Eating it, of course!

Eating Science_edit.jpg

--Maven, yayfulness, Maguerite St. Just, Stego Lily, Owlet, and Tootles (MYMSTO? MOMSTY? SMOMTY? STOMMY? Pick your favorite, or make up your own!)

P.S. – Happy Mole Day!

Question #74697 posted on 10/16/2013 3:22 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I work on campus in an office environment with a man who loves to pull pranks on other employees. He thrives off of it and as a result, is very good at it. My other coworkers and I are pooling our brains together to come up with a good prank for him. The problem is, his brain alone is better than all of ours put together so...do you have an ideas for us??

-Amateur Prankster


Dear Rosemary,

Recently my boss went to Brazil for a few weeks and when he came back, I'd glued (or taped, depending on the surface, because I don't hate him) googly eyes of different sizes to everything in his office. Including over his family pictures and on some statues -- even the one of Jesus, but that looked wrong (like Jesus was weirdly cross-eyed and totally creepy), so they got pulled off quickly. Googly eyes really make everything better. I'm actually surprised I didn't blog about this because it might be my favorite prank of the summer. Check these sweet photos out!


This is what gluing eyes to a plant while sitting at my desk looks like. My boss was gone for a few weeks, so I had a lot of time to glue while I was on phone calls. If you use a hot glue gun, let the glue cool just a bit before sticking it on the plant, otherwise it kills little circles in the leaf. Not that I know from experience...


With eyes, the plants are able to express the untold horrors of their office life.


He didn't notice these eyes for awhile. When he did, it was while he was on a conference call. They started him and he jumped back in surprise.


With some eyes, eyebrows and a mustache, the lamp is angered.


Family photos get a million times better (he left the eyes on all his office pictures).


Every time he offers someone his business card, he has to explain why there are eyes.


Googly-eyed statues are almost always a good idea. See how this tender moment in childhood development is improved by wide-eyed terror?

Now, take a drink, Board [non-alcoholic] Drinking Game* aficionados, because I'm going to reference the archives. Specifically some past pranks and technically you'll take seven drinks because I'm linking to seven past answers. I like Queen Alice's idea of not playing a prank, but mentioning one is coming or staring at him while he does mundane things like you expect something bad to happen. That would be unnerving and hilarious. This answer contains a few of my old favorites, mostly played on coworkers (specifically, my boss). If you want to be a little bit meaner, FCSM has some ideas for pretending to get someone in moral or legal trouble, letting them worry about it all weekend and then revealing it's a joke. I like The Prankster's idea of stealing light bulbs. I did that to my boss one day and while his one wall is a full window, it was still inconvenient. And I love the idea of using a live lobster. Perhaps under the desk? Granted, I don't know enough about lobsters to know if that would be a terrible idea. I super-love Olympus' idea of making a Plaster of Paris mold of your face and leaving it to stare at your boss creepily until he discovers it. It's less a prank than a startled moment, but maybe you can get a lot of use out of your head mold. I'd also modify Sky Bones' idea of taking other signs (restroom, janitor closed, no exit, whatever) and hanging those on his door, assuming he has a door. I also adore krebscout's idea of buying tubs of plastic soldiers and having every one else in the office take turns placing them randomly in and around his things. This could potentially go on for weeks. I have every intention of also doing this.

For Christmas one year we also stole my boss's lamp. He has an irrational love of that lamp (weirdly irrational), so we wrapped it up and put it in the white elephant game. When someone else opened it, he saw it was his lamp and completely flipped out and demanded it back. We told him he could only have it if he swapped for it fairly. Of course we gave him the lamp back and had a replacement gift because we aren't terrible. On that same vein, you could probably just steal something and then send ransom notes/pictures.

One time while I was gone, my coworkers collected all the fake plants in our department (which spanned two floors and apparently an ungodly amount of plastic greenery), stuck them on my desk, left a pith helmet on top of it all with a sign that said, "Jungle Cruise Director." Just to show them, I spent the day working in the small forest and actually loved it because it was hard for people to talk to me.

If you want to work with food, Chocomize makes custom chocolate bars. I put cayenne pepper in the one I gave my roommate (she knew it was in there because she loves cayenne pepper and claimed it tasted good on and in everything. Her nephews who decided to eat her chocolate did not know it was there). I'm also wishing I could think of a good way to use an ice cream potato (despite the recipe, I'd use banana for the butter and chocolate sauce as like gravy), because they are the ultimate in delicious food-that-looks-like-another-food, but my brain isn't processing anything other than how badly I want to eat it.

The Phantom Keystroker is one of the best prank things I've ever bought. Except I used in on a coworker with no sense of humor and he got mad and threw it away -- which makes him a Death Eater of office happiness.

I have always wanted to do the prank where you replace every item in someone's office with high quality pictures of those items. That one is super time-consuming, though, but I bet the end result is amazing.

Now, for more pranks I've saved away to maybe try some day we have:

Changing his Facebook status so only he can see his posts, then he'll wonder why no one comments on/likes them.

Making a soy sauce soda.

It's like making his desktop wallpaper a picture of the desktop with the icons hidden, but so much more. Oh, so, so much more. I did attempt this one, but it doesn't work on a computer with two screens -- or his computer with two screens. In any case, I ran into difficulties and had to abort the mission.

Use a script to eject the CD tray every two minutes. I would 100% do this if my boss hadn't learned to lock his computer now.

Make Internet Explorer (or I guess any icon) shut down the computer.

Create an exploding soda bottle.

I'm on the fence over how I feel about these, but you could do an air horn either under his chair or, if he has an office, behind his door.

This just seems mean, but you can make a Febreze Bomb.

I'm still trying to figure out a way to build a sharknado in my boss's office. The issue I'm running into is everything that I think could create the tornado shell would be too heavy to hang from his office ceiling -- probably with duct tape because he doesn't have anywhere to tie things. Any engineering types want to help me out?

-Marguerite St. Just

*Is that even a thing? Please let this be a thing!

Question #74637 posted on 10/13/2013 6:04 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Which current writers have you met face to face and what was your first impression of them? What about writers you haven't met?

-My Name Here


Dear cygnet,

Before my first Board party, I wanted to preserve my reader-perception of what the writers looked like. For some of the writers I knew would come, I drew pictures of what they (and their personal signatures) looked like in my head:



These are the writers I have met face-to-face:

  • serendipity: I actually sort of knew serendipity before I even started reading the Board. I got the impression that she's cute and smart and just a good person overall.
  • yayfulness: I was really nervous to meet him because he's always been one of my favorite writers. He actually wasn't scary at all, and he's easy to be around.
  • Tootles: Very tall and really expressive. He has a huge smile; I think he enjoys life.
  • Stego Lily: Friendly, fun, and good at playing along with my craziness.
  • Yog in Neverland: Also tall, and really funny. She talks a lot and has cool jewelry.
  • Marguerite St. Just: I didn't really get to interact with her, but she seemed nice. And also professional.
  • Anne, Certainly: She seemed fun, and she's nice—she thinks about other people. I wish I knew her better.
  • Maven: She's really pretty and easy to talk to; she's good at asking questions. Her baking is as good as legend.
  • The Entropy Ninja: I haven't talked to her much but I love how she is a fan of cool things.
  • Concealocanth: Again, I haven't really talked to her much, but she seems nice. Something made me think she would be older.
  • Tally M.: Kind of quiet, and also a fan of cool things.

My first impressions of 'nyms are represented in my mind with colors. Here are the writers I have not met: Ace (bright red), Squirrel (brown), Concorde (sky blue), The Audience (ruby red), Curious Physics Minor (orange), Laser Jock (yellow), Rating Pending (kind of like a...warm...black), Azriel (also black), Genuine Article (light green), Yellow (um, yellow), Gimgimno (emerald green).


Question #74372 posted on 09/25/2013 8:52 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

You guys rejected my application for the 2nd time? WHAT? And this is why I have yet to step foot at a single Y-Serve or ward service activity.

-Let the meek help themselves


Dear wha...?

I've thought about several ways to word this answer. At the risk of my words being taken badly, I have decided to be as simple and direct as possible. I do not mean to cause offense with anything I am about to write. However, you are an adult, and you deserve the plain and direct truth, whether you like it or not.

Basically, you applied for a job and didn't get it.

Here are some basic facts that you (and all prospective applicants) ought to know.

What The Board Is

  • The Board is a professional-style organization. While it is true that we are volunteers who provide a free service, we provide that free service on a level that is meant to be professional.
  • The Board is a time commitment. In order to be successful as a Board writer, it is necessary to sacrifice time on a consistent basis. This varies from person to person and from week to week, but it is a real and sizable commitment.
  • The Board requires a very specific skill set. Writers must be capable of finding information, verifying their information's accuracy, thoughtfully coming up with rational opinions, and expressing that information or those opinions in a clear, concise way to readers. Writers must also be capable of doing this under the influence of a deadline.
  • The Board is a leadership role. As Board writers, like it or not, we are leaders in our community. People look up to us and respect our opinions. We have the capacity to do a great deal of good, but we also have the capacity to do a great deal of harm. If our information or opinions are erroneous, offensive, or not well thought out, we have the very real capacity to change others' lives for the worse.
  • In short, the Board functions as an unpaid internship. It carries a great deal of responsibility and commitment. It requires specialized skills and dedication. It is the kind of thing that people can (and do) put on their resume. And writers and editors, like it or not, must judge all applicants to the Board on the same standard that we would judge applicants to a professional internship.

What The Board Is Not

  • The Board is not an open-access club.*
  • The Board is not a social event.
  • The Board is not a run-of-the-mill service organization.
  • The Board is not something that you, I, or anyone else is automatically entitled to be a part of.

Does all of this make sense?

I don't know why your application was rejected. I don't even know which applicant you are. I haven't been terribly involved in the behind-the-scenes work of the Board for the past few months, so there's a good chance that I barely even skimmed over your application. What I'm trying to say here is that this answer is completely impersonal; I'm addressing it not only to you but also to all past and future applicants, especially the ones we do not hire. You submitted your application to the Board; in essence, you applied to an internship. After duly considering your merits and drawbacks, the editors (with writer input) decided that your skills as demonstrated in your application did not match up with the Board's needs.

I understand that it's frustrating. However, please try to remember that it is not something meant to be taken personally. You applied to join a professional organization. Your application was rejected. This happens to literally everyone at some point or another. We don't keep stats on how many applicants get accepted and rejected, but I think it's safe to say we reject about 50% of all applications. About a quarter of the applicants we do accept never make it past the stage of being a probational writer.

I hope that you don't let this experience drive you away from the Board. We value you as a reader, and we certainly don't take any joy in rejecting applicants. I wish you all the best.


*I'm not aware of an official policy here, but this is my opinion. The way I see it, being a Board reader is the equivalent of being a club member. Being a Board writer is the equivalent of being a club officer. So when we reject applicants, we're not saying you can't be part of the club. We're saying we aren't selecting you as club leadership.

Question #74208 posted on 10/01/2013 3:46 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Could you please replicate an HFAC experiment to determine its accuracy?



Dear EizNCubed,

So, with the help of a few brave friends, I repeated the peanut butter experiment.

Introduction to our highly scientific experiment:


So, we didn't do this exactly the same way as HFAC. Our basic levels of the independent variable were: Milk (white) Water (colored red) and Stawberry-Kiwi Soda (green.) For each test, we downed one teaspoon of peanut butter and then a Dixie cup of the chosen mouthwash. Pictured here are our brave volunteers Quatro Quatro, Gonzo, and Violet.

We rated our post-drink peanut butter mouth on a 1-10 scale (1 being the least peanut butter residue, 10 being the most peanut butter residue)

Here we have our brave volunteers (myself excluded, as I am taking the picture. From left to right we have Quatro Quatro, my brother Gonzo, and Violet.)


All four of us did the test with water, milk, soda, and then water again (pretend that makes it more legitimate because of repeated trials or a control or something.) We used oyster crackers for purposes of palate cleansing.

Highly Scientific Data

  Anne Violet Primus Gonzo
Water 4 3.5 3 5
Milk 1 2 3 2
Soda 1 1* 5 6
Water (II) 1 4.5 6 5

*Violet noted that this measurement may be invalid.

So, computing our averages:

Water: 4

Milk: 2

Soda: 3.25 (including Violet) 4 (excluding Violet)

SO: Highly Scientific Conclusions

According to our highly legitimate measurements OF SCIENCE, you should stick to milk. Soda may or may not be a little better than water, but neither will beat the dairy. Gonzo made a comment about how it's probably because of the fat in the milk. Cool stuff.

Theoretically, that could have been the end, but you wanted HFAC. We're not them, but we can go beyond basic peanut butter.

Here's where we diverge. They did some experimentation with acid/base effects. We're going to look at some, uh, non-traditional ways to remove peanut butter through food combinations that even the bravest cupcake-war bakers would shrink away from.

Alternate Peanut Butter Lavages

Below, reader, you see a cup of olive oil, a cup of beef broth, a cup of Little Caesar's Crazy Sauce, and a carrot.


Quatro Quatro was our brave soul who took the olive oil route. 

Here's his reaction:


Quatro Quatro's reaction: "Wow...I...That was nasty."

I opted to go for the beef boullion, supposing that it would be less terrible than the marinara, which I foisted off upon my brother. This may have been a mistake, as that broth made me gag. That was NASTY.


Above: Anne, Certainly attempts to undo the damage of having crossed the streams.

Anne's reaction: DEATH. Do not attempt.

My dear brother Gonzo bravely took up the cup of marinara sauce. You can't see his expression right now, and that's really too bad for you. He's looking pretty smug about this.


Also: He got to my house wearing a suit. We put him in my denim jacket and a dishtowel to protect his nice clothes. Party on, Gonzo.


Gonzo's reaction: "Super ineffective." *a few seconds pass* "Bleh."

Pro tip: Do not try to drink marinara from Dixie cups. It doesn't really come out. Gonzo ended up using his peanut butter spoon to just scoop some of it up.

Finally, Violet took the carrot.


Violet's reaction: People actually eat these together.

In conclusion, I think we probably recommend sticking to milk. 



And also a few of our taste buds.

Party on,

~Anne, Certainly (with the help of her friends Violet, Gonzo, and Quatro Quatro)

Question #74189 posted on 09/14/2013 11:46 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If I got a tattoo that looked like a mixture between Zach Galifianakis and you, what would its facials look like, in detail?



Dear Cinnamon,

Literally the only thing I know about Zach Galifianakis is Pilgrim claims to look somewhat like him. Other than that, I have no idea who this person is.

Nevertheless, I have pictures of our attractive little faces magically combined with Zach's noggin using the wonders of science, technology, imagination and...Crayola. Mostly the last part, really.


As seen demonstrated in the faces of back row (from left to right): Tally, Yog (wearing Anne's mask -- Anne was taking the picture...with my phone for some reason... I lament I forgot my real camera because now I have to post cell phone pictures and that makes my heart sad), Conceal O'Canth, Yog's head floating in mid-air, Stego Lily and me. Front Row (also from left to right, just for consistency): Maven, Tootles (who, I kid you not, behind the mask is really just a half-circle with his name in hair. It's really weird when you try to find his eyes. That's also what makes his head so big.), and TEN (who, it could be argued, is really on the back row, but then that puts me on my own back row and makes everyone else the middle row and I didn't love that).

Yay and Owl.jpg

Also Yayfulness and Owlet showed up late, so here they are. If I wasn't so distraught over picture quality, I might have attempted to Photoshop them in on the above photo, but instead everyone can just add them to the photo with their minds. It's better that way. It's always better that way.


In the individual mask category, we have a majestic Conceal O'Canth. I am sure no one is surprised that she's a mermaid. We've tried to keep it a Board secret, but I guess it's out now.


And Owlet, I swear with all my heart, looks like a very pretty version of Gimgimno. It was like he was there with us and wearing lipstick (which is not all-together unusual).


The Tally-Zach mix is angry. Or intense. Perhaps brooding. One can never know the soul of a Tally-Zach. 


This is probably the most true-to-life mix. This picture is literally Yayfulness if he had facial hair. Behind that paper sack, his head is a giant circle of expressionlessness.


For some reason, Yog's masterpiece has tattoos. Does Zach have tattoos? I have no idea. Does Yog? Someone should really find out. Either way, they are there and they are artistic and I support that. Also, if you open the flap, it sings!


And me! And this is really just me if I had purple skin, flat hair (not all hair days are winners -- even for crayon drawings) and a beard. It's good to know that if the situation ever arose, I could totally rock a beard.

Being distracted by not having my real camera, I didn't think to take individual mask pictures, so I only have the ones other writers sent to me, if anyone happens to wonder why people are missing.

Love and kisses,

-Marguerite St. Just

Question #74176 posted on 09/13/2013 12:52 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have often wondered why God let his children live without the fullness of the gospel for nearly two centuries, let alone the other times of apostasy throughout the world's history. Of course, the fact that Christianity in some form or another was so prevalent during those centuries of course spread most of Christ's fundamental teachings throughout the world, surely in preparation for the last dispensation, but even today, the process of spreading the gospel to all the people of the world is stil in it's early stages.

But I have considered the idea that perhaps the fact that the population of the world is growing so fast may mean that, even in the handful of years this dispensation may last, a much larger percentage of humanity will live in this dispensation than one may suspect at first.

On this train of thought, I ask this question: with our best estimates, what percentage of the world's population up until today had died before 1830? And what about before 1930? 2000? And how would these numbers change if you factor in our estimates of the world population in 2030? 2050?

-Too lazy to number-crunch.


Dear Too,

I took PRB's statistics for world population and total living population, and came up with the equation ([total # people ever born]-[total population alive])/(total current world population).  This is what I will be using for the percentages I provide.

  • Before 1850: 93,754,639,098 ever lived, 1,265,000,000 alive; 86% of 2011 ever-borns already dead
  • Before 1950: 100,045,075,169 ever lived, 2,516,000,000 alive; 90.6% of 2011 ever-borns already dead
  • Before 2011: 107,602,707,791 ever lived, 6,987,000,000 alive; 93.5% of 2011 ever-borns already dead

I'm going to give you the 2050 numbers for the other data, since the difference between 2030 and 2050 wouldn't be large enough to be of use.

The Wikipedia article on world population states that "Current UN projections show a continued increase in population in the near future (but a steady decline in the population growth rate), with the global population expected to reach between 8.3 and 10.9 billion by 2050." To get an actual figure, we're going to use the projected birth and death rates from Wikipedia, simplifying to easy looking numbers, then multiplying by 1 million to get my figures.

Births are expected to remain constant at 134 million.  The math there will be 134*39=5226, which gives us 5.226 billion.  The projected mortality rate that I could find was listed on Wikipedia as 56 million to to 80 million in 2040, so the math we're going to do there is (56+80)/2=68 68 million for 29 years.  I am going to assume a constant of 80 million deaths per year for the next 10, since any other number I could come up with is going to be a poor attempt at matching the math behind the people who figure out these actual projections. (68*29)+(80*10)=2772, which gives us 2.772 billion.  To figure out the total living people, we take (current total living)+(all future births-all future deaths).  This makes our 2050 world population a total of 9.441 billion (9,441,000,000).

To get our total-ever-lived number, we take the 2011 number and add all our births up to 1950 to it.  This gives us a total of 112,828,707,791.  Now we can crunch those numbers you were (admittedly practically) too lazy to crunch.

When we re-run the years before with the 2050 numbers, we get:

  • Before 1850: 82% of 2050 ever-borns already dead
  • Before 1950: 86.4% of 2050 ever-borns already dead
  • Before 2011: 89.2% of 2050 ever-borns already dead
  • Before 2050: 91.6% of 2050 ever-borns already dead

While this math answers your actual question, it doesn't answer your implied question, which is "How many people lived during a time when they could not have the fullness of the gospel?"*  It also doesn't address your most important worry, that of whether our God is an unkind God or not, seeing as many of His children lived without the fullness of the gospel in their lives due to the Great Apostasy.  

Your concern for the people who missed out on the fullness of the gospel during the Great Apostasy, while well-meaning, is doctrinally incomplete.  The spirit world plays a large factor in this.  The tens of billions or so who died without the gospel are there, and the other tens of billions are busy teaching the gospel of Christ to them. The hope we have is that these teachings are well-received, and that the missionary success rate on the other side of the veil is much greater than it is here.

It's good to keep in mind, though, that while many people lived without that fullness, Heavenly Father sends His children to Earth at a time best for each one of them.  Many of those people set the groundwork for the gospel to be reintroduced and accepted in its fullness rather than in broken bits and pieces, and I'm sure that those like Martin Luther, Confucius (who gets such a bad rap due to racist jokes), Beethoven, George Washington, and others were fulfilled and happy to live in the time they did, to help prepare the world for the gospel again.  Even the average person helped, with worship and questions and raising children who were (in ideal situations) better off than their parents.  Just because the fullness of the gospel was not available to these people doesn't mean that the people of this time were not blessed, or that they did not have inspiration from the Lord.  

If you want to read more about the Great Apostasy, I recommend this article on Eusebius, this article on how the Great Apostasy came about because of the people and not the Lord selfishly taking the gospel away, and this article on how the Lord prepared His people once again to receive the teachings they lost through disobedience.  Certain actions have long-lasting consequences, and it wasn't the Lord who decided to take those actions, it was the Christians and those who opposed the Christians.  The gospel became corrupted and confused, and the governments that came into place oppressed religious rights, meaning that even if the Church had never become corrupted, it would have been oppressed and nearly destroyed as different rulers disagreed with prophets and apostles who spoke revelation.  The Church, with the choices of the people, was bound to be destroyed and branches of it corrupted, without the networks and governments we have now.  

-Yog in Neverland

*The closest possible answer is 1 A.D.-1850 A.D.'s total births: 46,591,516,975, or 41% of the 2050 projected total.  However, this does not subtract those who were possibly visited by Christ after his death, or their next several generations' worth of descendants.  

Question #74004 posted on 09/03/2013 9:28 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So from time to time on tv or other forms of media there'll come an episode or story about a mad (or maybe in some cases just cruel) scientist who did experiments on their patients. Are there real life stories about this? It's been a while since I took a psych class so I only faintly remember learning about lobotomies and such, but I do remember that those seemed cruel and I know that at certain periods of time that metally ill patients were treated rather poorly. So, what real-life horrors stories of the past, or present, are there? And have there ever been cases of people in more modern time performing cruel experiments when the care should've been much different?

-Wondering where the stories came from


(Editor's note: Marguerite St. Just does a very thorough job below of outlining a number of actual experiments that can absolutely be classified as cruel and inhumane. It is worth noting that, even though the links provided don't show any particularly gruesome images, MSJ's descriptions, and the additional information found in the links, is certainly disturbing and graphic. Please consider this a content warning. Thanks.)

Dear Chervil,

My immediate thought, and I don't know why this was my immediate thought, was of Dr. Isaac Baker Brown, a 19th century English gynecologist, who performed clitoridectomies (for those who don't want to look that up -- and I don't blame you -- that's basically removing the clitoris) without the consent or knowledge of the patients. I mean, there are worse things that can happen (Tuskegee being a great example and my second thought before I saw Conceal O'Canth already mentioned it), but, the idea is still horrifying to me. This is, of course, a practice that is still performed all over the world, but Dr. Baker Brown was the specific person who came to mind.

I'm also familiar with the Monster Study which was performed at the University of Iowa in 1939 over the course of six months. The study involved placing 22 orphaned children in control and experimental groups; to one group they gave positive speech therapy, praising their speech, and to the other group, they gave negative speech therapy, belittling the children for every speech imperfection and telling them they were stutterers. Many of the normal-speaking orphan children who received negative therapy in the experiment suffered negative psychological effects and some retained speech problems for the rest of their lives.
There is also the oft-mentioned Stanford Prison Experiment. The study itself wasn't unethical (unless you count two of the researchers being part of the study as prison wardens - which is sketchy), but the results were rather troubling. It was even approved by a review board (the International Review Board has come a long way since then). The Stanford Prison Experiment design was to randomly assign volunteers (victims?) to the position of guard or prisoner in a mock prison where the guards' only "rules" were to "maintain law and order, avoid physical violence, and prevent prisoner escapes." Of course, the part about avoiding physical violence quickly turned into "use physical and psychological violence at all possible times" because humans are jerks that way. Prisoners were beaten, stripped naked for punishments, chained together, and, though they were told they could leave at any time, the peer pressure combined with high stress of the situation made most of the subjects feel they had no escape (five of the twelve "prisoners" had to be released early due to their horrible negative reactions to the experiment). There has to be a faster way to learn about human behavior; like reading Lord of the Flies.
We also have the Milgram Experiment which was done at Yale in 1961 to test obedience to authority figures. The experiment began three months after the start of the trial for German Nazi ward criminal Adolf Eichmann and hoped to answer the question "Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?" The setup involved having an experimenter, a teacher (always an unsuspecting volunteer) and a learner (always an actor). The teacher was to give the student four word pairs and test the learner on his or her ability to remember the pairs; for each answer wrong, the teacher was to give the learner an electric shock with the voltage increasing in 15-volt increments for each wrong answer. The teacher and learner could communicate but not see each other. Because that setup wasn't dramatic enough, before the learner went in the other room, he or she would first mention having a heart condition. If teachers wanted to stop shocking learners, it was the experimenter's job to prod them to continue the experiment saying it can't be stopped. The level of shock the teacher was willing to administer was considered a measure of obedience. The truly horrible part comes here: "The subjects believed that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual shocks. In reality, there were no shocks. After the confederate was separated from the subject, the confederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electro-shock generator, which played pre-recorded sounds for each shock level. After a number of voltage level increases, the actor started to bang on the wall that separated him from the subject. After several times banging on the wall and complaining about his heart condition, all responses by the learner would cease." Even though all that, they were told they were required to finish the experiment and keep shocking the learner...who was theoretically dead. Despite 84% of the participants saying they were glad to have done the experiment, I think I would have been beyond traumatized by the experience.
I don't know how terrible the Landis’ Facial Expressions Experiment was, but it is a tiny bit bizarre. The Purpose of the Landis experiment was to see if facial expressions were universal, so participants had black lines drawn on their faces (better to measure what those facial muscles were doing) and introduced to stimuli that would provoke a facial reaction like smelling ammonia, watching pornography and putting their hands into a bucket of frogs -- all normal things that I react to every day, really. The weird/cruel part came when they were asked to decapitate a live mouse. Most normal people, at least the ones I know, aren't terribly skilled a decapitating live rats (or, thankfully, anything, for that matter), so the participants who followed through with that instruction (I've read either two-thirds or a third of them), botched it. Terribly. Which definitely produced facial reactions. Those who were unwilling to decapitate the rat had to watch while Carney Landis decapitated the rat in front of them. Conclusion: Facial expressions differ even for the same stimuli. Sub-conclusion: Researchers can be totally nuts. Unintended conclusion: People will do nearly anything when asked by Science. Landis and Migram should have really teamed up.
Now for some truly horrifying experiments (is it bad that I'm organizing these by "not that bad" and "horrifying"? Maybe there's an experiment on desensitization I should be researching).
We'll start with Unit 731 in Japanese prisoner of war camps during WWII -- also known as the Asian Auschwitz. Thousands of men, women and children died from the experiments which studied vivisection (don't even worry, it was without anesthesia because vivisection alone isn't scary enough), organ and limb removal (sometimes they re-attached them! On the opposite side.), having limbs frozen (to study the effects of gangrene and rotting), injections of various diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea and exposure to anthrax, cholera, typhoid, dysentery and the plague. Humans were also used in testing for grenade effects, tied to stakes and targeted by chemical weapons, germ-releasing and explosive bombs. They were also starved to death, placed in high pressure chambers or centrifuges or hung upside down until death, frozen, burned, lethally x-rayed, injected with sea water, had air injected into their arteries, and prematurely buried alive. I don't even think Hollywood could touch the horrors of the Japanese POW camps in an hour-long TV show.
We can also look to the Aversion Project in South Africa in the 1970s and 80s where the government tried to cure homosexuality in some 900 people by forcing intense shock therapy, chemical castration, hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery. The results? It didn't work and Aubrey Levin, the doctor in charge, managed to hold on to his medical license until 2010 when he was charged with allegations of sexual abuse.
The last case I could recall off-hand were the experiments performed by Dr. Josef Mengele (a show I watched recently kept pronouncing it "Dr. Mangly." Without closed captioning, I'd have no idea what on earth was happening in that scene. It was weird.) in Auschwitz and nicknamed the Angel of Death or just Dr. Death. Actually, you could search anything under "Nazi Human Experimentation," as other doctors were involved, and pick your poison (as it were). Some of Dr. Mengele's horrific experiments focused on studying twins. The studies conducted on the twins consisted of blood transfusions from one twin to the other, chemical eye injections intended to turn eyes blue (they were unsurprisingly painful and could cause blindness), incestuous impregnation, isolation endurance, diseases given to one twin with the intent to kill and when the twin died, both were autopsied to observe differences, and various surgeries (without anesthesia) that included amputations, castration, sex changes and organ removal. Of the approximately 3,000 twins experiments on; only around 200 survived. He also liked to study others with deformities, including a family of seven dwarfs. Like the children, the dwarfs were subjected to frequent blood tests, but they also had regular tests on organ functions as well as doctors alternately pouring boiling and freezing water in their ears (for what purpose, I can't fathom. Two other dwarfs, not related to the family of seven were executed and their bodies were either boiled or dropped in a bath of acid to separate their flesh from their bones so they could study the bone structure. Dr. Mengele had no problems experimenting on other prisoners, especially children. 
There are also plenty of lists on human experimentation that list studies I hadn't thought of or even heard of:
Seven Absolutely Evil Medical Experiments, along with a few I mentioned, also lists the murders committed by William Burke and William Hare for the purpose of selling bodies to medical facilities for study; Dr. J. Marion Sims gynecological surgeries (without anesthesia, of course) on slaves and the Guatemalan Syphilis study where prisoners and mental asylum patients were purposely injected with syphilis.
Top 10 Evil Human Experiments adds to our list with Project 4.1 where the government studied residents of the Marshall Islands exposed to radioactive fallout after a nuclear test; Project MKULTRA which is a CIA mind control experiment where LSD (and other drugs) was administered to people without their knowledge; North Korean Experimentation which is similar to Unit 731 in that subjects were poisoned and suffocated in horrific ways, and the Soviets poison laboratory where poisons were developed to be tasteless, odorless and not detectable postmortem. Of course they tested it on people. Listverse wins for knowing about more horrifying studies than I do.

Listverse also has a Top 10 Unethical Psychological Experiments where we learn of Little Albert, a small child who was taught to be afraid of mice by hearing a startling noise any time a mouse was near him and David Reimer, a boy who had a botched circumcision so the doctor (with his parents approval) decided to make him a girl. The doctor believed that gender is determined by environmental factors. David, after all kinds of crazy gender identity issues, eventually became male again and committed suicide. They list a few more experiments on animals, but I'm ignoring those since you just care about people.

Top 10 Immoral and Unethical Psychological Experiments gives us the Third Wave Disaster which was a companion study to the Milgram Experiment and ended badly when the students being studied were out of control with aggressive behavior and The Tony LaMadrid Case where scientists convinced schizophrenia patients to give up their medications in hopes of studying why schizophrenics relapse. That study ended with the aforementioned Tony LaMadrid jumping off a building.


-Marguerite St. Just
posted on 09/03/2013 3:54 p.m.
Awesome answer Marguerite St. Just. Just one tiny correction. It's Institutional Review Board, not international. There's one for every institution that performs human subjects research (including BYU).
Question #73968 posted on 08/30/2013 12:46 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is there any way to get the mandolin tab for the song that plays in the background of the Mormon Channel video Kids and Christmas?



Dear You,

Well, there aren't any official transcriptions of the piece anywhere online, but it's a pretty simple melody, so I went ahead and tabbed it for you myself.* And here's a notated version, too, just for kicks. If you're dead set on having the harmony mandolin part and the background guitar part as well, feel free to email me and I'll see what I can do (but no guarantees). 


*Don't hate me if it's not perfect. I've never tabbed anything before. It sounded good when I played it. 

Question #73963 posted on 08/30/2013 7:46 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,,

Who would win in a fight between Edward Cullen and Wolverine?

-Concerned Husband


Dear you,

Well, you asked.

I'm going to disclaim off the top that my analysis below is based on prior knowledge and what I'm going to refer to as "Wikipedia Canon." That means that powers/skills/etc. will follow the most current information available from Wikipedia because Wikipedia is the best.

So. Let's do this.

Let's begin by giving a brief overview of each character and making some definitional calls in order to compare across universes.1

The Competitors:

Ladies and Gentlemen, in CORNER NUMBER ONE:




Strengths: Wolverine is not a guy to mess with. He's superhuman from the inside out - his skeleton is reinforced with near-indestructible adamantium and he has rapid regenerative healing. His senses are superhuman, as are his strength, speed, and stamina. His mind is also "highly resistant to telepathic assault and probing." He's also quite a lot older than he looks - he's been around and fighting for quite a while.

Weaknesses: It's been suggested that the best way to kill Wolverine (due to his rapid healing) is to cut off his head and separate it from his body. Carbonadium can slow his healing ability, as can the Murumasa blade. Huge amounts of poison can also have an affect. Finally, water seems to be be dangerous for Wolverine, who might be able to be killed by drowning (his skeleton is heavier than normal because of the adamantium.)

Now, there are some other things we could potentially count as "weaknesses" here but which I'm not going to. From what I glean on Wikipedia, Wolverine's most recent comic arc includes a few serious bummers for the clawed dude. Specifically, that his previous death-defying rapid healing was just that - the result of successful battles against Azrael (angel of death.) Recent events, however, have changed the status quo, and "the next time Wolverine sustains death-inducing injuries, he will remain dead, and his healing factor has apparently been slightly weakened."2  Anyway, as stated below, we're going to ignore these weaknesses for the sake of a "fair fight."

Now, let's meet the challenger in the opposite corner.

Edward Cullen



Strengths: Stephenie Meyer's vampires are incredibly fast, agile, and strong. Their tissue is incredibly hard (Meyer compares it to stone.) They have healing capabilities, though the time-frame is less rapid than Wolverine at his peak. He also does not need to breathe and is a capable swimmer. Edward is also a mind-reader and benefits from very rapid thought processes common to Meyer's vampires.

Weaknesses: Cullen's vampires are shown as being vulnerable to each other as well as to werewolves. Edward is consistently kept slightly below peak performance because he does not drink human blood. Cullen is also incredibly protective of his girlfriend/wife Bella and may make poor choices if he feels she is threatened. The section of his Wikipedia article entitled "Vampiric abilities and personal interests" also mentions that he "prefers indie rock to mainstream." Whether this is a weakness or strength will be left to the reader.3

The Rules:

  1. Both Stephenie Meyer and generations of Marvel writers have endowed these characters with "superhuman" strength, speed, agility, and senses. For simplicity's sake, we're going to assume that these are equal. Superhuman is superhuman. Essentially, Edward's capable (in terms of raw strength) of ripping off Wolverine's head and vice versa. Edward can break Wolverine's adamantium bones, and Wolverine's adamantium claws can cut Edward.
  2. Both characters will be assumed to be in their top normal state for the fight. Wolverine is assumed to have access to his full healing abilities, etc. Edward is assumed to be fed, etc.
  3. "Winning the fight" requires one character to be in a kill position relative to the other character.

The Fight(s):

Well, here we go. The face off of the sparkly vampire and the man in serious need of a manicure. This fight is actually not insanely unbalanced, so here are some different possible scenarios.

Episode 1: Edware Cullen and the Carbonadium Blade or Murumasa Katana or What Have You

So, Edward really only has two ways to bring Wolverine to a kill point: he can remove his head or drown him. Either of these will be easier if Wolverine can be somehow weakened. However, it's kind of difficult to weaken someone who near-instantly spontaneously heals any injury you inflict upon them. Fortunately for the sake of antagonists across the Marvel Universe, there exists a convenient material known as "Carbonadium," that is essentially Wolverine's Kryptonite. A katana called the "Murumasa" has a similar effect. Embed a piece of Carbonadium in him or get him with the Murumasa blade and his healing will be impaired, giving you an edge. Either of these weaknesses might let Edward get the advantage he'd need to decapitate Wolverine.

Episode 2: Wolverine and the Hey I've Got Your Wife

Edward Cullen is fawned over by girls worldwide in part because he is straight-up obsessed with his girlfriend (but it's totally not creepy because they are in love, guys.) He's incredibly dedicated and has shown himself willing to do pretty much anything (dying included) for Bella. Now, Bella's currently a vampire too, which would make abducting her a trick of itself, but if Wolverine could somehow lure her into a dangerous situation (say by using her human father as bait) and convince Edward that the only way to save her was to give himself up, he'd do it.

Episode 3: Edward Cullen and the Hydrophobic Gulo Gulo

If Edward could somehow bring this fight to the water, he'd have a clear advantage. He doesn't need to breathe and has a huge advantage over the adamantium-skeletoned Wolverine. In the water, this seems like a pretty one-way fight to me.

Episode 4: Wolverine and the Distrac - BLOOOOOODD!!!!

Edward Cullen is a vampire and is therefore pretty obsessed with blood. The obsession he has with Bella's blood is a major plot point. If Wolverine could find another person whose blood Edward was so attracted, it'd provide a pretty serious distraction in an already tough fight. 

Episode 5: Edward Cullen and the Tons of Poison

Wolverine heals quickly, but Wikipedia says that large amounts of poison can still affect him. If Edward could trick Wolverine into ingesting a large amount of poison (and keep in mind that a "large amount" of something like ricin would only need to be, say, a teaspoon shoved into his mouth or secreted in his cocoa,) he might be able to incapacitate him for long enough to win.

The Verdict:

So, who wins? Well, so far it depends on the situation. What about a straight on, on land, bare-knuckle, no-holds-barred, weaponless duel with no other characters and no distractions? Let's look at that one.

Episode 6: Wolverine, Edward Cullen and the Skill Against Skill Alone5

This one is tough. What we have here are two characters that are basically both written to be pretty undefeatable. They're both experienced fighters and neither would give up easily. However, I'll go ahead and call victory for Wolverine. Here are two disadvantages that could turn the tide against Edward.

  1. Wolverine's healing is faster. If Edward rips a chunk off of Wolverine, it'll pretty much instantly regenerate. If Wolverine returns the favor, Edward will keep fighting, but sans the body part (until he can go collect or reattach or whatever later.) For this reason, a long, drawn-out battle gives Wolverine an advantage of attrition.
  2. Edward's telepathy may be detrimental in this case - he's used to fighting with the knowledge of his opponent's thought processes (according to Meyer.) Because Wolverine's resistant to that, he loses an advantage he typically relies on. This could be a serious issue.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Looks like Wolverine's taking home the trophy. At least until a challenger arrives:

Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man



He's the hero Gotham needs, but not the one it deserves, or something.


The End.

~Anne, Certainly


I'll comment here that after looking at the Wikipedia article describing Wolverine's physical capabilities, the one describing Edward's was comparable pretty lame.

Which makes him somewhat more like most of the rest of us, for whom "death-inducing injuries" tend to leave us, well, dead.

Another possible weakness: displayed vulnerability to "avada kedavra" and a resultant phobia of bowling.4

Kill the spare.

No tricks, no weapons.

Question #73894 posted on 08/27/2013 8:34 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My husband and I have been dreaming of building a home for a long time. I was thinking that if we ever do, I would write scriptures inside the walls when they are being built. I'm not sure I can think of any good ones though. Are there any scriptures from the Bible or preferably the Book of Mormon that you would hide inside your home? (Is this a totally weird idea?) I was trying to think of stuff to write on the main floor, in the master bedroom and in my future kids' rooms and a guest room.

Ideas? Thoughts?



Dear Basil,

President Monson gave a talk called "Building Your Eternal Home" that has some wonderful scripture suggestions. Also it's one of my favorite President Monson talks, so I used it as my jumping off point and then added from there.


D&C 88:119 "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” (This can really go wherever you plan to gather frequently.)

Matthew 6:5-7, 9-13 “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray … , that they may be seen of men. …
“But thou, when thou prayest, … pray to thy Father which is in secret. …
“Use not vain repetitions. …
“After this manner … pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
“Give us this day our daily bread.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.”

Isaiah 58:6-11 “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? …
“To deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?”
The reward is then announced: “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.
“Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, “Here I am. …
“And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
“And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, … and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”

D&C 130:2 "And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy."

The Family: A Proclamation to the World "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." I know it's not a scripture, but it could also be nice for where ever your family plans to gather frequently.

Entry Way/Foyer:

Matthew 12:25 "Every … house divided against itself shall not stand.”

1 Nephi 3:7 “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.”

Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him."

James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."


3 John 1:4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."

Enos 1:27 "And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen."

Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

D&C 42:88 "And if thy brother or sister offend thee, thou shalt take him or her between him or her and thee alone; and if he or she confess thou shalt be reconciled."

D&C 108:7 "Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings."

Pantry/Laundry Room:

D&C 132:8 “Behold, mine house is a house of order, … and not a house of confusion.” C'mon, that's funny. Well, at least if you saw my pantry....


Matthew 7:24 "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock"

Helaman 5:12 "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

Hebrews 11:10 "For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

Isaiah 28:16 "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation..."

2 Corinthians 5:1 "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."


D&C 88:118 “Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith."

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come … learn of me … and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”


Ether 2:24-25 "For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the drains and the floods have I sent forth. And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?"

Porch/Garden Pathway:

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

Jeremiah 29:5 "Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them."

Any Room:

1 Corinthians 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

1 Kings 9:3 “I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.”

Joshua 24:15 "Choose you this day whom ye will serve ... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

3 Nephi 3:19-21 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal; But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

D&C 31:9 "... Govern your house in meekness, and be steadfast."

Proverbs 24:3 "Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established."

As for your kids' bedrooms, you should probably have this poster hanging up:



-Marguerite St. Just

Question #73890 posted on 08/25/2013 5:28 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Over the years, many composers have taken the text of various psalms in Psalms and put them to their own music. First, what are some notable compositions? And second, have all 150 psalms been put to music (disregarding the original music from David et. al.'s time)?

-Not the Song of Solomon


Dear Solomon,

To answer your second question: yes, all 150 psalms have been put to music. Many times over, in fact. The most basic settings of the psalms that have occurred over the years were in psalters, books containing some or all of the psalms put to a singable meter. Though some earlier psalters contained only the text of the psalms, many psalters contained melodies and even harmonizations. One of the most notable collections of psalms was the Genevan Psalter, a French-language psalter created under the supervision of John Calvin. The first English book published in the New World was a psalter, the Bay Psalm Book. More recently, the Psalter Hymnal of the Christian Reformed Church was published in the 20th century and contains musical settings of all 150 psalms. As far as arrangements by famous classical composers goes, the Wikipedia entry for "Psalms Set to Music" seems to cover most if not all of the psalms, and that's only a small sampling of the many arrangements out there.

Okay, now on to notable settings of psalms. The most popular psalm setting is probably "Joy to the World." The text, by Isaac Watts, was based on Psalm 98 and the musical arrangement was created by Lowell Mason. Other famous psalm settings include:

  • Miserere by Gregorio Allegri is a setting of Psalm 51. Cool story: it was performed only once a year, in the Vatican, and performing it elsewhere or even transcribing it was punishable by execution. When Mozart was 14, he visited Rome, heard the Miserere and transcribed it by memory back in his hotel room. The piece was published, the ban lifted, and instead of excommunicating him, the Pope congratulated Mozart. 
  • Beatus Vir by Antonio Vivaldi. This choral piece uses the text from Psalm 112.
  • Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns Haelt and Waer Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit by J.S. Bach both use a paraphrase of Psalm 124 as their text.
  • Psalm 42 by Felix Mendelssohn. This is absolutely gorgeous. Please go listen to it now.
  • Psalm 13 by Johannes Brahms. Hauntingly beautiful with a surprisingly jubilant ending. Listen to the Chamber Choir of Europe's recording.
  • Psalms 13, 18, 23, 116, 129 and 137 by Franz Liszt
  • Psalm 138 by Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Psalm 138 by Gustav Holst
  • Psalm 150 by Benjamin Britten. The orchestral part is really what makes this one for me. I mean..dang.
  • Psalms 121 and 150 by Zoltan Kodaly. I'm a sucker for Kodaly's choral works, what can I say? His Psalm 121 is especially lovely.
  • Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky uses Psalms 38, 39 and 150 and is pretty cool.
  • Tehillim by Steve Reich uses parts of Psalm 18, 19, 34, and 150. I listened to this piece for a music history class once and then completely forgot about it until now. Reich is pretty out there, so it isn't your standard choral psalm setting, but it's definitely worth a listen.
and a bit more recently...
  • "40" by U2 is based on Psalm 40
  • In live performance, snippets of Psalm 116 are often inserted into U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name."
  • "Tzama L'chol Nafshi" by Matisyahu uses text from Psalm 63
  • "Jerusalem" by Matisyahu is a setting of Psalm 137
  • The song "On the Willows" from the musical Godspell is based on Psalm 137


-Stego Lily

Question #73779 posted on 08/14/2013 5:10 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How long can I survive on baked potatoes and eggs?



Dear Chippy,

Interesting question! For the sake of the question and research, I'm going to assume that you eat 10 eggs (50 oz each) and 8 medium/large potatoes (213 grams each or close to 4 pounds total) a day. It seems to be the most efficient combination and you would be consuming about 2,053 calories a day, assuming each egg is about 75 calories and each potato is about 163 and assuming that you're a healthy human who requires the standard amount of 2,000 calories a day. For the sake of simplicity I'm also going to assume that you don't use any toppings on your baked potato or egg besides salt and pepper. 

The first thing I uncovered as I researched the nutritional value of potatoes and eggs was that potatoes contain glycoalkaloids that can potentially kill you if you eat an enormous amount of them raw. However, the level of glycoalkaloids in 8 raw potatoes a day would not be enough to kill you, and since you're baking them, you're denaturing the compound and rendering them mostly non-lethal. As long as you cook both your eggs and potatoes thoroughly, you should avoid both poisoning and disease. So far, so good. 

After deciding that you would prepare your food properly, I went through and calculated how much of your daily value you would get from your diet. I looked up the essential vitamins and minerals and discovered that vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B4, B6, B12, C, D, E, K and the minerals magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and iron are on almost every survivalist's list. After doing the math, I found that for 10 eggs and 8 potatoes a day you would be severely deficient in B4 (roughly 0%) and that you would only be eating about a third of the daily recommended amount for vitamins E and K. You'd be a little closer to your daily value for vitamin D at about 75%. Now let's see if any of those deficiencies will limit your potential survival:

According to this source a vitamin B4 deficiency seems serious, but B4, or adenine makes up part of your DNA and is synthesized by the body. Being deficient in B4 seems to be very unusual and I'm going to do some more assuming and decide that you will be okay. 

Your body also makes vitamin K, so as long as you don't suffer any traumatic injuries after several years of being deficient (vitamin K helps your blood clot, so hemorrhaging is one of the effects of being deficient) I'm also going to say that this is not a deficiency that would threaten your survival. My research was showing me that eggs are high in vitamin K, but two large eggs have about .3 micrograms, and an adult male needs about 90 micrograms a day. You would actually be consuming most of your daily value from the potatoes at about 32%. 

A vitamin E deficiency can lead to potential blindness, but even people with diets low in vitamin E rarely show symptoms and those deficient rarely develop problems. Assuming you have at least fifteen minutes of sun exposure every day, your body will synthesize plenty of vitamin D and make up for your dietary deficiency. So technically, none of your deficiencies are life threatening. As long as you add plenty of salt (with iodine, although potatoes have a lot of iodine as well) to your food, you should also avoid deficiency problems there. 

So your deficiencies are all well and good, but what about the vitamins and minerals you would be over consuming? You would be ingesting too much of the following: vitamin B2 (at 420% of your daily value), vitamin B6 (at 240%), vitamin B12 (at 230%) and vitamin C (So yay, no scurvy, but at a whopping 384% of your daily value!) as well as phosphorus (253% of your daily value).

As it turns out, vitamin B2 is very water soluble and impossible to overdose on. Your body just eliminates the excess. A vitamin B6 overdose (especially over years) is very serious, but even at 240% of your DV, you'd be fine-- you're only consuming about 4.72 mg a day, and a low upper limit, established by this source, is 10 mg. There's no upper limit for B12, and no adverse effects exist from ingesting too much. My mom likes to caution me about vitamin C overdoses, but as it happens, your consumption would be nowhere near close enough to cause a major overdose (6,000+ mg a day), so you're fine there. As for phosphorus, you would be consuming about 1,772 mg, and this Livestrong article puts the upper limit at 4,000 mg. So even your over-consumption would not threaten your survival. 

In total, you would be consuming plenty of fats (125% DV), enough carbs (about 96% DV) and enough protein to sustain muscle growth (124%). 

For your additional interest, this article by Cecil Adams takes a look at a diet consisting of just potatoes and milk and discovered that you would be deficient in molybdenum. The good news is that eggs have about 3 micrograms each, and you would consume about 30 micrograms total, which is about 77% of your daily value. Eggs and milk are actually fairly similar nutritionally speaking, except for molybdenum, and in this type of diet, eggs would be a better choice than milk. 

I'm honestly really surprised by the results. The vitamins and minerals you would be deficient in would have few adverse effects, while the ones you overdose on would also have no effect. I'm no nutritionist and my math is rounded, but as far as I can tell you could potentially survive for a long time on baked potatoes and eggs, unless dietary boredom killed you off. With that being said, please don't take this as a go-ahead for a diet that consists of nothing but potatoes and eggs. Common sense and moderation in all things. 


Question #73776 posted on 08/14/2013 4:40 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

One of the things I love about BYU is that there are so many things the university provides for students. I'm sure you all already know, but the Media Lab in the library has high-powered computers with advanced video editing software. Cool! The circulation desk checks out iPads. Anyone can use certain parts of the athletic facilities.

My question is, what gems like this does BYU offer that we should try/might not know about yet? Which ones have you found useful?



Dear reader,

Normally "The 100 Hour Board" would be my first response, but I suppose you've figured that one out already. Here is a list of BYU-provided things I've tried or heard about, in no particular order. Some are more well-known than others, and some are only useful depending on your interests.

Library chat - on the right side of the library's website, click "Chat" under "Ask a Librarian" to have a lovely conversation about anything in the library
Media Center - on the fourth floor of the library there is a collection of movies available for three-day checkout; the Media Center can also convert your video tapes to DVDs; it also houses the Multimedia Lab where you can check out electronics equipment (camcorders, audio recorders, digital cameras, microphones) and, of course, they have sweet computers with great software
Classical Music Library - I've never used it, but Board Question #43951 gives details (and lists some other "best kept secrets" of BYU)
IT Training classes - learn everything from Microsoft Access to Photoshop to how to use a Mac; the library also offers some software classes, but I prefer the ones through IT
Women's Gym - see Board Question #66176 for location; it's good for girls who want a less crowded environment, but the selection of equipment isn't as great as the Student Fitness Center
Study Buddy program - practice your second language and help someone else learn English too; Board Question #42133 has a good description
BYU Writing Center - in 4026 JKB, writing tutors can help you with any kind of writing at any stage in the writing process (doesn't need to be school-related)
Counseling and Career Center - they have everything from general and pre-professional advisement to academic skills classes to career services (they can critique your resume for you, among many other things); perhaps most notably, the CCC also includes Counseling and Psychological Services and Stress Management & Biofeedback Services, which I've never tried but have been highly recommended right here at the Board
Women's Services & Resources - free nutrition consultations, support groups, and counseling centered around women's issues
Free personal trainer - interns at the Fitness Center can help you meet your exercise goals
Distribution Services Center - you can purchase Church distribution materials in the basement of the BYU Bookstore; it "offers a limited variety of temple clothing and garments"
BYU Info - call (801) 422-INFO to ask the BYU Operators any BYU-related question; they have special access to campus information
BYU Surplus - sells BYU surplus items, from furniture to electronics; send an email to surplus (at) byu.edu to get on the mailing list; more information here
Lost and Found Sale - get some used items for dirt cheap once a year around September; you can also get free used school supplies at the Lost & Found at various times during the school year (look in the boxes in front of the counter)
BYU Book Exchange - a Bookstore-run site that helps students connect with each other to buy and sell textbooks
University Accessibility Center - get tested for learning disabilities for free or at a reasonable price; also has helpful resources if you do have a disability
Borrow board games - check out up to three games at a time for three days from the WSC Info Desk (or, if you live in on-campus housing, you can check with your central building [where you can also borrow sports equipment, tools, and sometimes kitchen appliances, as well as buy stamps])
Harp room - a room with a harp in it in the HBLL; "If you go to the music desk on the fourth floor and ask nicely, they will let you go in and play it. There's also a huge library of harp music there." -yayfulness; thanks also to Tally M. for adding it to the list
Free bowling - every student receives one free game and shoe rental per school year at the WSC Games Center; there's also an arcade and great buffalo wings down there (or so I'm told)
Planetarium - Friday night shows are just $2 a person
BYU Textile Cleaning Services - offers dry cleaning at great prices
Free software - BYU provides a small selection of free programs; the Bookstore also offers software discounts but I'm not sure how competitive they are
Bookstore movie rentals - rent DVDs and Blu-rays for a dollar a night from the computer section on the third floor of the Bookstore; better selection than the Media Center, in my opinion
Viewing rooms - you can reserve a room in the HBLL to watch movies
Varsity Theater Dollar Movie nights - posters on the theater's front window give names, dates, and times; buy tickets at the WSC Info Desk
Great Works Card - if you're in the Honors program, you can get $2 tickets to some of BYU's performances (similar to the New Student Arts Card)
Free New York Times - there are stacks of these around campus that are depleted pretty quickly, but I can always find some in the Brimhall building
Bookstore Pack & Ship - according to the Universe, the Pack & Ship department in the Bookstore offers discounted shipping rates
Databases & Subject Guides - everyone knows about these now because they teach it in first-year writing, but I just want to emphasize that we are very priveleged to have access to some great scholarly journals and other online academic resources
International Cinema - admission is free to this theater (in the SWKT) that shows foreign and classic films
Music room in the Testing Center - listen to soft classical music as you take your test in a smaller, upper room of the building
Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum - (closed until Spring 2014) free admission, live animal shows for FHE, and more; the Museums of Paleontology and Art and Peoples and Cultures are also free admission
Cool classes - if you've ever wanted to learn scuba diving or Norwegian, BYU is the place to do it; check out Board Question #20477 and Board Question #71545 for some thoughts about Honors and unconventional courses  

Okay wow. I didn't realize how many there were when I started this, so I'm going to have to call that good before this goes overhours. I know I'm missing some, but hopefully a few are new and useful to you. Board Question #58515 also gives a good overview of BYU "freebies" and how to find more. The ones I've found most useful are the CCC and pretty much all the library.


Question #73752 posted on 08/14/2013 2:04 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What do you think would be the top 5 trending hashtags representing major events in each decade since 1900? For example, one for the 1930s could be #greatdepression. And that's 5 hashtags for each decade.

-The Anglophile


Dear Mahler,

This project took much longer than I expected, so I apologize. I'm hoping, however, that my thoroughness will make up for it.

I needed to select some standards for the hashtags so that I could narrow it down to the major five for each decade, since I could easily come up with more than that (for some decades: other decades I could barely get to five).

The first problem I ran into was that Twitter would never really have a decade-long trending hashtag. Major events rarely trend for very long on Twitter. Instead, we get things like, "#JustinWillAlwaysBeTheBest," "#sorrynotsorry," "#43MillionBeliebers," or "#MyFavoriteSongWillAlwaysBe." None of those are particularly noteworthy trends that reflect an entire decade. (You could argue that it really does reflect our decade, but that's not my point right now.)

So, the first priority was that the event needed to happen during the entire decade, multiple times during the decade, or make a significant impact on the world. 

The next priority was a focus on international issues, since the decade didn't just happen in the United States. However, United States was second after international issues. The problem I ran into was deciding between political events and pop culture. To be honest, pop culture would be more likely to trend on Twitter. I made an effort to include pop culture when I could, but since your example hashtag focused on the historical, I did the same.

Some hashtags are reflective of the standard Twitter hashtags, while others are simply descriptive. Yay for consistency (or the lack thereof)!

Let us begin!


#naturaldisaster — While containing just as many natural disasters as many other decades, 1900 - 1909 was filled with a number of notable disasters. Most remembered are the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1906 and the San Francisco earthquake in the same year.

#snapshot — The Brownie camera was invented in 1900 and made it more financially possible to take pictures. Instagram was on its way to existence.

#phonograph — This technological marvel (for the time) was in widespread popularity, making it possible to have dance parties in your home without hiring an orchestra!

#firstflight — The Wright Brothers made their flight at Kitty Hawk, the first truly verified "first flight." There were other claims, but most aviation historians don't put much stock in them.

#radioactive — No, not the Imagine Dragons song. Marie Curie greatly contributed to research into radioactivity and went on to win two Noble Prizes for her efforts.


#assassination — This decade held a handful of very notable assassinations, namely: Archduke Franz Ferdinand (essentially launching World War I), George I of Greece, and Nicholas II and his family.

#WWI — This is fairly self-explanatory. "The War To End All Wars" defined the decade and set the stage for the years to come.

#sinkingfeeling — The sinking of both the Titanic and the Lusitania left a total of nearly three thousand people dead in their respective crashes.

#cubism — Pablo Picasso, among others, helped to influence the art world to a whole new level. 

#igottafever — And it's not Beiber fever. The Spanish influenza epidemic (which I used as a plot point in a short story I wrote in seventh grade) killed millions worldwide.


#YOLO — Sorry, Millennials, the Roaring Twenties had this attitude before you did. 

#dryspell — Prohibition went into effect with the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution, outlawing the sale, production, and transportation of alcohol. This ban lasted through the entire decade, leading to the rise of organized crime and people like Al Capone.

#monkeybusiness — The "Scopes Monkey Trial," as it was so called, brought the debate between creationism and evolutionism to the forefront of American minds and whether or not either should be taught in school.

#lostgeneration — The hipsters of the twenties, the term was typically used to describe those who had been through World War I and struggled to find themselves in the aftermath, particularly American artists, poets, and writers living in Europe. The Fitzgeralds, Ernest Hemingway, and John Dos Passos were among the most notable of the "Lost Generation."

#womansuffrage — This had become a major international issue during this decade, especially as women gained rights during 1920 in the United States and 1928 in the United Kingdom.


#greatdepression — An economic downturn never affects just one country, and the Great Depression was no exception. As you noted, this impacted the entire decade, and was an obvious choice for this set of five.

#nazism — The rise of Nazism took place during this decade, cementing the inevitability of the forthcoming war. Kristallnacht, a devastating attack on the Jewish populations of Germany and Austria, took place in November of 1938, sending thousands of Jews to concentration camps.

#dustbowl — The "Dirty Thirties," as it was so called, was a series of violent dust storms in the prairie lands of the United States and Canada. A combination of extreme drought and lack of crop rotation had a crippling effect on not just the the region, but the entire country.

#hollywood — The decade of the thirties was often referred to as its Golden Age. Hollywood took advantage of people's disenchantment with reality and provided an escape from the problems of the Great Depression.

#wartime — Taking a step back from America, we find that there were actually quite a few wars going on during this decade. The Second Sino-Japanese War (beginning in 1937) was a huge deal, and the Spanish Civil War found the country in a dictatorship. Additionally, there was a war between Colombia and Peru going on, as well as a war between Bolivia and Paraguay. Oh, and the Chinese Civil War.


#WWII — Like World War I, I feel the choice of this hashtag is fairly self-explanatory. The war pulled the United States out of the Great Depression, and led to the generation of baby boomers. 

#decolonization — Within this decade, Iceland declared itself independent from Denmark, India and Pakistan from Great Britain, Indonesia from the Netherlands, Syria and Lebanon from France, and Burma from Britain as well. 

#swing — This was the era of swing, at least for the first half of the decade.

#atomic — The dropping of bombs on Japan would change the tide of the war, as well as the world.

#crackthecode — Navajo code talkers, the Enigma cipher: the forties was a time for code making and code breaking, assisted by the advent of computer technology.


#Koreanwar — Tensions between North and South Korea led to intervention by the United Nations. The impact of this war is still notable today, especially in the difference between the two countries.

#TV — The television really took off during this decade, and by the end of it, nearly every American household had a television set. It also meant that 3D movies attempted to lure consumers out of their homes and back into the theaters.

#DNA — The double-helix structure was discovered (mostly) by Watson and Crick. It's hard to imagine a world today without this discovery.

#Sputnik — The space race began with the Russian satellite launch.

#rockandroll — This was the time that rock and roll really took off. Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Johnny Cash are names still remembered today for their impact on popular music. 


#makelovenotwar — This phrase epitomizes the counterculture and anti-war movement of the sixties. Plus, it sounds like an actual trending hashtag!

#civilrights — A movement that peaked in the sixties, it shook up countries all across the world. African countries, Canada, the United States, Ireland, Germany, and France all found themselves rethinking the rights of minority populations.

#planecrash — At least seven extremely deadly plane crashes happened throughout the entire decade, crashing on nearly every continent. Definitely meets the international requirement.

#spacerace — Following JFK's challenge to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, it was a competition with the Soviet Union. One that America won.

#beatlemania — According to yayfulness, I can't have the sixties without the Beatles. So, instead of Bieber fever, we get Beatlemania. And people still remember the Beatles. Only time will tell if they remember the Biebs as well.


#stagflation — While it wasn't as significant of an economic downturn as the Great Depression, the combination of increased inflation and unemployment rates let to a distressing economic state in the United States. 

#oilcrisis — Occurring twice in the decade, it sparked an interest in developing alternate fuels after the realization that the possibility of running out of fuel became more clear.

#coldwar — Even though this began well before the seventies, I needed to include it in some decade, and this was just the decade I put it in. Not to mention all of the movies it inspired (War Games is delightfully cheesy), this defined American foreign relations for years.

#discofever — Think of the seventies, and you think of disco fever. The Bee Gees, Village People, and ABBA all found themselves amidst the popular music.

#videogames — Ever played Space Invaders? Pong? Snake? Breakout? Oregon Trail? You've played games from the seventies. Don't tell me video games didn't have an impact.


#justsayno — Nancy Reagan's pet project's slogan is reflective of the war on drugs that America began to attempt to fight. It's still going on now.

#crash — Multiple plane crashes, the crash of the Challenger, the Exxon Valdez incident, and the Chernobyl disaster filled the decade with memorable heartaches.

#MTV — Music videos took off, majorly impacting the industry. Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Whitney Houston (among others) helped establish the new format and bring about a genre of music that would become classic.

#irancontra — This was a political event that shook up the eighties, providing a wave of controversy that would have ignited the Twittersphere. 

#VHS — The debate between Betamax and VHS would have an impact into the future years as VHS eventually won out.


#dotcom — The internet boom in the nineties would lead to the bubble bursting in the next decade. Regardless, the impact that it had affected the internet and the culture for years to come.

#prayers4 — Followed by either "Rwanda" or "Columbine," as both events were tragic and called for the sympathies of the world (or country). Both of them helped to create changes in how to handle genocide and school shootings.

#billandmonica — The Monica Lewinsky scandal could hardly be ignored in the Twittersphere. While this one may not have had as many lasting effects, it still is a significant part of the nineties for many Americans.

#eurounion — The only truly political event on this list, the formation of the European Union has shown its influence to today, since it still exists. The merits of which are, of course, debatable.

#RIPPrincessDi — Dubbed "The People's Princess," her death was met with an enormous public reaction. 


#florida — The controversy over the presidential race between Al Gore and George Bush would inflame the nation as people heatedly discussed their opinions on the matter.

#twintowers — The events of 9/11 would bring a nation together as it kickstarted a discourse on terrorism and the course of action to take against it.

#harrypotter — As I'm personally a child of the Harry Potter generation, I had to include this. The books, movies, and surrounding magic will live on in the hearts of those who grew up reading about the adventures of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Not to mention all of the children who will be raised with the same stories.

#waronterror — Since the events of 9/11, the War on Terror has been used to describe efforts in Iran, Iraq, and Afganistan, as well as new regulations concerning flight.

#outsourced — Jobs really began to be relocated to other locations around the world, especially India. Not only were these simply factory jobs, but tech industry jobs began to relocate as well.

Honorable mention:

#Hindenburg — Crashed in the 1930s

#doctorwho — Started in the 1960s, on the same day as the JFK assassination. 

#startrek — Also started in the 1960s. You didn't know I was a Trekkie?

#psychedelic — Number one word to describe the 1960s.

#chomsky — Little bit of linguistic favoritism here. Really started to discuss theories in the 1970s.

#starwars — First episode appeared in the 1970s. Don't tell me it hasn't made an impact on pop culture.

#stampede — There were 29 human stampedes in the 1990s. 

Shout out to Wikipedia's decade pages for providing me with concise summaries of the decades from which I could select my hashtags!

-Tally M.


Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why was Ma Bell allowed to be a monopoly for so long, like, from around 1877 until 1984?



Dear Al,

As a little bit of background, just being a monopoly isn't actually illegal. It does get you more scrutiny from the government, and there are certain things you can't do as a monopoly, but as long as you didn't do anything wrong to become a monopoly and you don't abuse your power, you're legal.

At first, AT&T had a monopoly simply because it was the only company that could make telephones; it had patents that didn't expire until 1893. By that point they already had a huge lead over their competitors who entered the market. They also refused to allow their competitors to connect to their network, which meant that competitors' customers could only call other people on the same network, but not anyone who used AT&T (which was most of the phone customers).

In 1913 the government sued AT&T under antitrust laws, and AT&T settled in what's known as the Kingsbury Commitment. Essentially the government would allow them to remain a monopoly, in return for AT&T giving up their control of Western Union and allowing other telephone companies to connect to their long-distance network. AT&T also promised to refrain from acquiring the remaining independent telephone companies. (Without the Kingsbury Commitment, many people expected that the government would have taken over AT&T.)

The Willis–Graham Act of 1921 allowed AT&T (and other telephone companies, but mostly AT&T) to continue acquiring other telephone companies subject to the approval of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). It effectively declared telephone companies to be natural monopolies, and stated that "there is nothing to be gained by local competition in the telephone industry." The idea was that with a single company operating the whole network, customers would get better service and the system would operate more efficiently, compared to a hodge-podge of hundreds or thousands of companies that didn't interconnect. (For another example of a single organization in charge of something, think of the U.S. Postal Service, which is solely responsible for delivering mail. Fedex and UPS can do packages, but they can't use customers' mailboxes.)

The Communications Act of 1934 established the FCC and put them in charge of telephone companies, instead of the ICC. A case study I found states that under the Act, "AT&T was essentially granted immunity from antitrust suits with the goal of providing universal service."

Things started to go against AT&T in 1949, when the government again sued them for antitrust violations, leading to the consent decree of 1956 (which you can see a reprint of in page 107 of this PDF of Western Electric and the Bell System, edited by Albert B. Iardella). This decree limited them to telephone service and kept them out of the computer industry. Several more lawsuits forced AT&T to start allowing some equipment and accessories on their network made by third parties. Then in 1974 MCI filed an antitrust lawsuit against AT&T, the government joined in, and by 1982 AT&T agreed to the breakup of its local telephone service into regional companies (each of which was still considered a natural monopoly). It continued to exist to sell other services (like long distance and equipment), and the conditions of the 1956 consent decree were lifted, allowing it to enter the computer market. In 1984, the terms of the agreement took effect and AT&T was split up.

The short version: AT&T was allowed by the government largely because the government felt like having one large company in charge of service would be better for everyone than having a hodge-podge of incompatible competitors.

If you're interested in more history, the case study I mentioned has some good information, and this site has a good outline as well. Finally, that PDF I referenced is an entire book published internally in 1964 by Western Electric (a subsidiary of AT&T), and includes a good bit of history of the two companies.

—Laser Jock

Question #73566 posted on 08/08/2013 2:58 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My wife and I are both tall people, and we both spread in our sleep. This turns even a king-sized bed into a battleground for the covers, pretty much nightly. We decided to forget sharing a bed in favor of two smaller beds (like Leave it to Beaver or the Flintstones) and figure if we can't make other bedroom-y activities work, we can push our mattresses together like they do on cruise ships. Last week when we were at my parents' house for Sunday dinner, the subject came up. My mom freaked and told us that we would lose all sorts of chances to be close to each other.

Now my wife and I are perfectly capable of going against either or both of my parents, especially on things like this, which is none of their business at the end of the day. However, my mom's reaction makes me wonder if perhaps there is some merit to her opinion. Are there any studies on this topic? What do YOU think?

-Fred Flintstone, who is just looking for a good night's sleep


Dear Fred,

Personally, I think you can still get many of the benefits of sleeping in the same bed while having separate beds, if you sleep in the same room (as Genuine Article pointed out). You can still wind down from the day, have pillow talk, and even cuddle (though one of you would have to go to the other bed once you were ready for sleep). I suppose if either of you started feeling like you were lacking in intimacy you might want to consider going back to a single bed, but I wouldn't be alarmed at a couple who chose to sleep separately.

As far as research, I had a hard time finding much about your exact situation, although there are a number of studies that examine the dynamics of sleeping together. The most thorough was by Jenny Hislop (2007). It's pretty readable, so I'd suggest that you check it out. Its abstract states its conclusions:

The paper contends that the management of tensions inherent in the sleeping relationship plays a key role in framing the couple identity over time, as well as reinforcing the gendered roles, power relationships and inequalities which underpin everyday life.

However, I will say that I didn't find this conclusion to be strongly supported by the research cited in the paper. Instead, I saw it as more of an attempt to answer the question of why so many people choose to sleep in the same bed despite the difficulties that doing so often causes.

The paper goes on to talk about a few things I found interesting. For instance, it points out that, "Incompatibility in sleep behaviour and preferences may thus become a major source of tension over the life course of the couple relationship." It also cites a study that found that 49% of respondents complained about being woken up in the night by their partner. According to that same study, only 7% of couples under age 55 sleep apart.

So why do couples still sleep together? It pretty much boils down to that fact that they don't want to sleep apart, because that would seem weird. It's just not the cultural expectation. Expanding on that idea, Hislop writes:

Our data suggests that couples are prepared to deprioritise their own sleep needs to ensure the maintenance of shared sleeping arrangements and as a symbol of the depth of their loyalty to the relationship. Sleeping together is considered central to the health and well-being of the relationship; a morally right "thing to do"; part of the marriage contract; and a behavioural pattern passed down from parent to child over the generations. While recognising that sleeping together may represent a compromise in terms of comfort and sleep quality, participants highlight the "normality" of sharing a bed.

I feel like this is probably the biggest reason why your mom reacted the way she did. Many people see sleeping together is a symbol of commitment to the relationship, while sleeping apart is associated with a rocky marriage.

Hislop also expands a bit on the kinds of things that couples find valuable about sharing a bed:

Couples speak of the comfort, warmth, familiarity and pleasure of having a partner beside them. For them, the bed becomes a site not merely for sexual intimacy, but for bonding and companionship through cuddles, hugs, and simply "messing about." The intimate space of the double bed provides opportunities not only for physical interaction but for conversation; a chance to chat and catch up on the day's activities; a chance to plan; a chance to discuss sensitive issues. According to the Sleep Council survey (2002), 89% of couples felt that sharing a bed was essential to keeping their love alive, with 58% of couples confessing to revealing their most "intimate secrets" to one another during pillow talk. Sharing a bed is thus not only part of the routine and sexual identity of a relationship; it is "a significant part of keeping you together."

Again (and unfortunately), the paper didn't really try to substantiate any benefits of sleeping together; rather, it explored the participants' own reasons for sharing a bed, and I don't think any of the participants in this particular study slept apart anyway. So this paper doesn't really provide evidence of why you should do the same; it just helps explain why most other people choose to sleep together. (That may be helpful anyway; at least it will help explain others' reactions to your plan.)

I found a second paper that reviewed research about marital quality and sleep quality and how they affect each other (Troxel, 2007). Interestingly, this paper also pointed out that despite couples having objectively worse sleep when together compared to alone (more time in stage 4, less in REM), "participants reported being less satisfied with their sleep on nights spent without their spouse."

Finally, they also found that treatment of sleeping disorders (like snoring and sleep apnea) was correlated with improvements in marital quality in a number of studies. I don't know if thrashing around a lot counts as a sleeping disorder, but if so, then getting it "treated" (possibly by choosing separate beds) might help your marriage!

—Laser Jock 

Hislop, Jenny (2007). A Bed of Roses or a Bed of Thorns? Negotiating the Couple Relationship Through SleepSociological Research Online, 12(5)2. doi: 10.5153/sro.1621

Troxel, Wendy M.; Robles, Theodore F.; Hall, Martica; Buysse, Daniel J. (2007). Marital quality and the marital bed: Examining the covariation between relationship quality and sleep. Sleep medicine reviews, 11(5) 389–404. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2007.05.002

Question #73436 posted on 07/23/2013 8:22 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My whole life I never particularly cared for either hot sauce or avocados. (Felt meh about hot sauce unless it was really hot and outright did not like avocado). Then, pretty much out of nowhere in the last 1.5 years, I developed a love and pretty frequent craving for both (not necessarily at the same time). I found myself putting hot sauce on everything and my mouth would water at the sight of a sliced avocado.

What could cause this reversal of tastes? Aside from being pregnant, which I am not. Nor did I serve a mission somewhere Latin where they eat a lot of both. Has this ever happened to you?

-Spicy guacamole


Dear Spicy guacamole, 

What could cause this reversal of tastes?

These kinds of taste changes, however drastic they may be, are completely normal! While solid scientific studies that might answer why our tastes change are lacking, most people acknowledge that they do change, especially as we get older. One theory claims that our taste buds renew faster than our skin cells which allows them to change more frequently, while another theory states that our mental perception of taste changes as we age. This study, done at the University London College theorizes that the more we are exposed to something, the more likely we are to accept it and like it. Therefore, the older we get the more we begin to like foods we disliked before. 

This paper, by Jane Wardle and Lucy Cooke entitled "One man's meat is another man's poison" discusses possible reasons that we form likes and dislikes at a young age in regards to food. Your original dislike of avocados or hot sauce could have been the result of you observing people who didn't like them when you were young, according to this study, or you could have lacked early exposure that might have helped you enjoy these foods from a young age. 

If those theories weren't enough, chemical or hormonal changes in your body can lead to new or unusual cravings and the type of food that is craved is often unique to each individual. 

Has this ever happened to you?

I spent most of my life disliking strawberries a lot. I don't know why, because I really wanted to like them-they seemed like such cheerful, healthy berries and everyone would give me the weirdest looks when I professed my dislike. It seemed that no matter how many times I tried them, I simply hated them. This past summer though, I've developed an insane craving for strawberries. I want them all the time, and just like you and avocado, my mouth waters when I see fresh strawberries. It's really weird because it feels like it came out of nowhere, but my guess is that overtime my sensitivity to tartness (the reason I used to dislike strawberries) has declined and I taste more of their sweetness. 



Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the median age for a MARRIED woman to have her first child here in the US?

-Trying to get my mom off my back


Dear Trying,

I did some looking and didn't find the statistics you wanted listed anywhere, unfortunately. However, I did find a very complete study from 2006–2010 done by the CDC, the National Study of Family Growth (NSFG), and the raw data from the study is available for download. So I downloaded the data and started crunching.

There was a huge amount of data collected from each person, and there were 12,279 female respondents. I filtered the dataset to include only women who were married at the beginning of their first pregnancy, and who reported their age at the time of their first live birth. (I also excluded women whose first birth was premarital, to try to catch cases where a woman was married at the beginning of her first pregnancy, but who then miscarried, got a divorce, and had their first live birth out of wedlock. However, apparently no women in the study did that.)

I ended up with 2020 respondents. Here's a histogram to give you an idea of the distribution:


Interestingly, there appears to be a bimodal distribution (two well-defined peaks of about the same height), around ages 22 and 27.

Here's a plot showing what percentage of women had had their first baby by a particular age:


(For instance, if you look at age 20, and then look over to the y-axis, roughly 10% of these women had had their first baby by age 20.)

The median age was 26.3 years old. The first quartile (age by which 25% of the respondents had their first baby) was 22.6 years old, and the third quartile (75% of respondents) was 30.0. 

Although religious information was collected as part of the survey, LDS/Mormon was not one of the choices, so there's no clear way to look at only respondents in those categories. However, I would expect that LDS women would be somewhat younger than the above data. I tried including only women who met the above criteria plus considered themselves very religious and attended church at least once a week (754 respondents), and the numbers got slightly younger, but not much. (The median was 26.0, the 1st quartile was 22.5, and the third quartile was 29.1.)

If you look only at women who met all of the above criteria (including religion, etc.) and also had at least a bachelor's degree, we're down to 300 respondents, and the ages skew older: the median was 28.3, the first quartile was 26.1, and the third quartile was 30.6.

And backing up to the original criteria, and then including only women who received at least a bachelor's degree (but without any requirements as to their religiosity), the bimodal distribution disappears. So I'd hazard a guess that the two peaks you see in the graph above are due to education level affecting timing of children.

And just in case any men are wondering, here's a graph for you, showing ages of men at their partner's first birth, who were married by the time of the birth (there was no data for men to indicate if they were married at the beginning of the pregnancy), including 1874 respondents:


The median age was 26.0, first quartile 23.0, third quartile 30.0. The men's ages at time of birth were given in whole numbers, instead of fractional years like the women, which is why these are all integers. Interestingly, it appears that these ages are essentially the same as for women, although the overall distribution has a somewhat different shape.

—Laser Jock

Question #73362 posted on 07/19/2013 10:58 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Lets say that you were scuba diving in the ocean and a massive 300 ft tall and 10 ft wide air bubble was released from a cave below you. When the bubble reached you would you free fall 300 ft through the bubble and potentially die when you hit the water at the bottom?



Dear Shark,

You would die in so many ways, but I don't think any of them would be from smacking into the bottom of a 300' tall bubble.

Let's say that you are peacefully swimming at a depth of 100 feet, when suddenly from below, a giant bubble inexplicably bursts forth from the ocean floor. Maybe it's a giant bubble of natural gas with sinister connections to the Deepwater Horizon spill that has finally worked its way out of the sea floor. Or perhaps it's a mythical kraken belching after eating a couple of navies.

In any case, according to my cursory understanding of liquid dynamics and bubble physics, a bubble as large as 300'x10' (which would be more like a vaguely spheroid 55'x55', really) couldn't exist for long in the ocean. Gas bubbles rising to the surface of water don't have it easy. Water is heavy, and to rise to the surface, a bubble must push all of the water in the water column above it out of the way. Really, the heavier water above the bubble moves around the bubble and then sinks below it because of gravity, but it amounts to the same thing: the energy required to move the water out of the way of the path of the bubble has to come from the pressure within the bubble.

To add to our hypothetical bubble's difficulties, as it nears the surface, it tends to expand as the downward pressure on it decreases. A bubble that contains 1 liter of gas at about 100 feet will contain 4 liters of gas when it hits the surface of the ocean. This all means, simply, that a bubble will have to move increasingly large amounts of water out of the way as it nears the surface. Every time the bubble's diameter doubles, it has to move eight times as much water out of the way to reach the surface. This problem is solved in nature by breaking up large amounts of gas into small bubbles so that they are free to rise to the surface without outputting much energy. That's unsatisfactory for our hypothetical situation, though, because we want to actually encounter a giant underwater bubble in order to attempt to fall through it.

So how do we create a large bubble that has enough internal pressure to withstand the forces trying to rip it apart? Nuclear weapons are the answer to this and so many of the world's problems. The deepest nuclear explosion, Operation Wigwam (seriously, who names these things?), happened 2000 feet down, suspended over the 16,000 feet deep ocean floor. The explosion initially created a bubble with a maximum radius of 376 feet, which is more than big enough for our purposes. Hooray! However, the bubble oscillates in size, shrinking and breaking up as a trend, and by the time it reaches the surface of the ocean, it's an incredibly fine, if enormous, geyser of foam. Also, if you're swimming in the path of the bubble, that means you're well within the 7000' radius required to rupture and destroy submarines. I may not be an expert on human physiology, but let's just say that I'm pretty sure we're a lot easier to explode than a Soviet submarine. And if you're close enough to the bubble for it to be large enough in diameter to contain a human, you're probably vaporized by the blast. That's rather unfortunate. If we try for a shallower blast like the Bikini Atoll test (190' depth) to try to get a large bubble to exist at only 100' of ocean depth, we will probably succeed in making the bubble, but not in, you know, surviving. Being only 90 feet away from the center of a nuclear blast is bad for health, I assume.

You would die from

  • Exploding, but if you survived that,
  • Being boiled alive from the scalding water rushing outward from the blast, but if you survived that,
  • Decompression sickness from reaching the ocean surface at ludicrous speeds, but if you survived that,
  • Radiation poisoning, but if you survived that,
  • Violating the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty of 1996 if the UN decides to use deadly force against you, but if you survived that,

Overall, bad situation. Would not recommend.


Further reading/citations: Wikipedia's entry on Underwater explosions, OPERATION WIGWAM Scientific Director's Summary Report (Take a peek. It has a lot of exclamation points and it's very 1950's "Hooray, we're exploding things with nuclear weapons!") and Wikipedia's entry on the Bikini atoll atomic experiments.

Question #73218 posted on 07/05/2013 1:58 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is it generally a good idea to use different passwords for different accounts or to use the same one or two passwords universally? What do you do?



Dear You,

It's a terrible idea to reuse passwords. It's becoming increasingly common for people to attack websites and grab their stored passwords. Typically, once they have those, it's fairly easy to retrieve 90% or more of the original passwords. At that point they can then try using the same username/password combinations to log into other sites (especially high-reward sites like banks, shopping sites, and so on). The moral of the story? Never, ever reuse passwords, because if you do, a single leak may mean multiple accounts get compromised.

But how can you possibly remember a different password for every single site? You probably have dozens of accounts (maybe even hundreds). The best way to go is with a password safe / password manager. (I recommend LastPass). A password manager is a program that keeps an encrypted database of your passwords, and then allows you to decrypt the database by typing in a master password. Typically it integrates with your browsers and will sync your passwords across different computers. Once you unlock it, you can visit a site's login page and it will fill in your information for you (although you can tweak the settings if you want). (I would not recommend the built-in "remember this password" feature in browsers, though; it tends to be insecure, not to mention more limited.)

Since you don't have to remember the passwords, it's no problem to just generate a different, completely random password for each account. And that makes things even stronger: a password like B"wP|@(Yz,4?pE~48rUZioT<Qn%fe4 is not going to be guessed, ever.

If you're reaching your limit of complexity, you can stop here. Congratulations! Switching to a password manager and generating random passwords for all of your accounts will make you way, way more resistant to people cracking your passwords. But if not, there is one more step you can do.

That is to generate a strong master password for your password manager. But how? My favorite way is to use dice to select from a list of words, to build a random passphrase. (This is similar to the XKCD comic that Zedability refers to in Board Question #71178). This system is commonly called diceware. The idea is that you start with a list of words, roll 5 dice (or 1 die 5 times, it doesn't matter), and look up the word on the list that corresponds with the 5 dice rolls.

For instance, you might roll 16655, which corresponds to "clause" on the standard list. Write that word down on a slip of paper, and then roll 5 more times to pick the next word. Keep going until you have enough words. Six words isn't bad, seven is good, and eight is quite strong. Diceware is strong even if an attacker knows you used this technique and the particular word list you used. (For more questions about how to use diceware, and its security, see the page I linked to above.)

Carry the paper in your wallet, with your other valuable pieces of paper; after the first day or so you should have it memorized, but you'll still have it there in case you forget. (If you're prone to forgetting or won't be using your password manager every day, it wouldn't hurt to write your password down somewhere else, too; if you forget it, you won't be able to get in any other way.)

See also Board Question #59568 for general information on how passwords are stored. And if you want a fascinating look at techniques used in password cracking (and why passwords you pick are probably very vulnerable to pattern-based guessing), see Ars Technica's fantastic article.

—Laser Jock

Question #73164 posted on 07/01/2013 12:58 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is there some relation between length of answer and selection as Editor's Choice? What's the average length of a Board answer? What's the average length of an Editor's choice? How long is the shortest Editor's Choice? The Longest?

-My Name Here, Ph.D., Time waster extraordinaire.


Dear TWE,

First, the actual averages/lengths for Editor's Choice (EC) and non-Editor's Choice (non-EC) answers, excluding punctuation, HTML, and URLs:

  • Average answer length (including EC): 756 characters.
  • Average EC answer length: 3,412.
  • Shortest EC (22 characters): Board Question #46985. (Squirrel pointed out that Board Question #47554 is also a contender: if you don't count the numbers, it has only 13 characters.)
  • Longest EC (66,019 characters): Board Question #71118.

Now, you asked if there was some relation between length of answer and selection as Editor's Choice. Based on the averages I reported you would probably guess that the answer is yes, but let's explore that a little bit more to be sure.

First of all, here's a graph showing what percent of answers had a given number of characters (EC and non-EC are considered separately). The black stars indicate non-EC, while the blue pluses indicate EC. (I also fitted curves to the data.)


Each star or plus includes a range of 165 characters (the first is 0 to 165, the second is 166 to 300, etc.). In other words, looking at the first two stars, roughly 19% of non-EC answers have 0-165 characters, and another 20% have 166-300 characters, and so on. One of the most striking features of this graph is that the EC answers have a much longer "tail": a much larger fraction of them are longer answers. (And it keeps going off to the right, too; I just chose 10,000 arbitrarily to cut off the outliers and keep the interesting stuff from being compressed too much.)

To make it easier to compare features of the two, here's another graph with both data sets scaled to be roughly the same height.


It's a bit easier to compare the locations of the peaks, now; the most common length for EC answers is around 875 characters, while non-EC answers peak around 150 characters.

Now, the final question: given length, what percentage of responses are EC? (Keep in mind that overall, only 3.8% of all answers have been marked Editor's Choice.)


Note that I extended the x-axis to 20,000 characters (past that point there wasn't enough data to draw conclusions), and I also widened out the character counts represented by each star: each star is 1320 characters wide (e.g., 0-1320, 1321-2640, etc.). Why did I widen them out? Mainly because with narrower bins, I was getting lots of points that were 0% and lots that were 100%, and it's easier to see what's going on if you get things averaged out a little more.

Anyway, I would say there's plenty of evidence that longer responses become progressively more likely to be marked Editor's Choice. Fun question!

—Laser Jock

Question #73090 posted on 06/30/2013 11:10 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is there another park besides Rock Canyon that would be the one Leibniz refers to in Board Question #12755? If there is one, will you tell me where it is?

(There is that small private park/plot of sod up there, but trees and houses block the view, so I doubt it's that one.)

Do any current writers have any further thoughts on good places in or near Utah Valley to watch a sunset from? (Distance is not an issue...the intensity of a hike, if one is called for to reach said spot, might be).

-Sunsets are my Favorite


Dear Sunsets,

To answer this question, Concealocanth, Yog in Neverland, Tootles and I went on a grand adventure through the hills of Provo. We used Leibniz's exceedingly vague description and this map of all the parks in Provo as our guide. It was a perilous adventure: Tootles drives like unto a rollercoaster, the map turned out to be absolute rubbish, and we nearly ran out of gas, in which case we would have been stranded up in the Indian streets for all time. Fortunately for you, dear reader, we survived and can now share the bounties of our knowledge with you.

After much exploration, we were unable to find the park that Leibniz may have been describing. Judging by the map, it could be the Sherwood Hills Park or the Timpanogos-Kiwanis Bounous park. However, these two parks seem to exist in an alternate dimension inaccessible to Board Writers. So we instead present to you our findings, which hopefully will be of use to you:

First: A vacant lot with a beautiful view! 


This would be a lovely place to watch a sunset, provided you found a nice piece of sagebrush to sit on. Note also the lovely typo on the sign.


If I'm remembering correctly, this is at the intersection of 1200 E and 2620 N. Probably.

Next, the church on Mojave lane, up in the Indian Hills neighborhood. This is the ideal sun-set watching locale, with a gorgeous view of the valley.



It also has some incredibly soft, definitely overwatered grass. Here Yog is testing it with her incredible grass-sampling skills.


Seriously, though, look at the indents it leaves when you step in it. That's some crazy stuff.


So, we were unable to locate your mystery park. But you now have a map with all the parks in Provo on it; hopefully, you'll have better luck than I in locating it! 

As for other places to watch the sunset, I would recommend the Bonneville Shoreline Trail just above the Orem City Cemetery. Follow it up to the water tower, and then find somewhere to sit down. It's a fantastic view. The Provo Temple and Squaw Peak are also both excellent sunset-watching sites.


-Stego Lily


Dear 100 Hour Board,

Do you know what the official divorce rate is amongst members of the LDS church? I have heard what seem like absurd numbers (2%) but I've also heard 50%, the same as the national average. This is all hearsay though, and I'm not sure if there is any official number out there.

-Happily Married


Dear Happily Married,

The numbers you get depend on how you count, which is part of why you hear so much debate about it. Note that nearly all of these statistics are based on data that is 30 or more years old.

Short Version

  • It appears that overall, the number of Mormons who have ever been married who have ever had a divorce is about 24%, which is not statistically different from the national average of 26%. (Note that this is not the same as the "divorce rate," which would be all divorces divided by all marriages in a given year, and which is skewed because of serial divorcers.)
  • However, Mormons who marry within their faith have much better odds than those who do not (at the 5-year mark, 13% vs. 40%).
  • And those who marry in the temple also have better odds than average, though it's not clear exactly how big the difference is. (One study said about 6%, but that may not be reliable.)
  • Finally, keep in mind that "People committed to a religious lifestyle who graduate college either before or during marriage, who have no children prior to marriage and who do not live together before marriage have about a 15 percent chance of divorce." (source) So other factors besides being Mormon or being married in the temple also have very strong effects on chance of divorce.

Longer Version

Based on a survey of 7,446 LDS adults in 1981, 14.3% of LDS men and 18.8% of LDS women who had ever married had ever divorced (Heaton & Goodman, 1985). Dr. Tim Heaton, a professor of sociology at BYU and author on the 1985 paper just cited (which used the 1981 data) pointed out some potential issues with studies such as the one done in 1981, which don't match up with other studies that have been done (which have found higher rates):

Divorce may be underestimated in Church-sponsored studies, which may have some difficulty locating single or less active members. Perhaps divorced members who were raised on the idea that failure in the home is the only real failure may be reluctant to admit to a failed marriage when the Church sponsors the surveys. (Heaton, 1992)

The methodology of the 1981 study also included having the bishops of those who didn't respond attempt to give responses based on their personal knowledge and Church records, which may not have included more recent information about divorces. (As Heaton also points out, though, there are also difficulties in other methods of identifying members of the LDS church, or any other church.)

What else is out there, then? Several studies have been done based on numbers from the 1988 National Survey of Families and Households. One found that the likelihood of a divorce by the 5-year mark where both spouses were Mormon was 13%, significantly different from any other religion studied (Lehrer & Chiswick, 1993). On the other hand, if only one spouse was Mormon, the probability went up to 40% at the 5-year mark (which was among the highest rates of any mixed-religion marriage). Unfortunately, the Church's Newsroom seems to have misunderstood the study and claims that the 13% figure only applies to those sealed in the temple, which is not what the study says.

One often-cited study from the 1980s done by Dr. Daniel K. Judd, professor of ancient scripture at BYU, claimed that 6% of LDS members who marry in the temple ever undergo a divorce (Lobdell, 2000). Unfortunately, I can't find the actual study published anywhere; the only source anyone gives is his interview with the Los Angeles Times. Facing questions about his methods, he appears to have clarified that he was in fact talking about civil divorces, not just so-called "temple divorces," which must receive First Presidency approval and are thus much harder to get. Specifically, he said that the numbers were 5.4% for men and 6.5% for women.

The moral of the story? Marry another member, in the temple, during or after completing college and before having kids, and stay strong in the gospel. Not surprising, perhaps, but still good advice.

—Laser Jock

Heaton, TB. (1992). Demographics of the contemporary Mormon family. Dialogue, 25, 19–34.

Heaton, TB., & Goodman, KL. (1985). Religion and family formation. Review of Religious Research, 26, 343–359.

Lehrer, EL & Chiswick, CU. (1993). Religion as a Determinant of Marital StabilityDemography, 30(3), 385–404.

Lobdell, W. (2000). "Holy matrimony: In era of divorce, Mormon Temple weddings are built to last," Los Angeles Times, 8 April 2000.

Question #73074 posted on 06/24/2013 12:22 a.m.

Dear Genuine Article,

Is there a story behind the rubber lobster? If so, will you share it?



Dear circumlocution,

Well, as most of you know, I used to be roommates with Uffish Thought. And at some point in our friendship she told me that as a two-year-old child she had a toy lobster, which she carried around and used as her wand of terror (meaning she'd point it at people and scream until they screamed back). Knowing this, I decided it would be fun to buy her a rubber lobster for her birthday one year. I searched online and found a few listings for rubber lobsters, but they were only available in pairs of two, or cases of something like 37—I couldn't find just one for sale. So I bought a pair, presented Uffish with one, and kept one for myself. They're kind of like bizarro friendship bracelets when you think about it.

Anyway, my lobster (Lobstee) lives in my purse and goes pretty much wherever I go, and let me tell you, he comes in handy in a pinch (Ha! Pinch!). For one thing he's the perfect toy for distracting distraught children, being chewable, bendable, bumpy, wiggly, and washable. For another, Lobstee enjoys having his picture taken while I do not, so he often stands in for me in pictures. Speaking of which, here are some highlights from the past year or so:

Here's Lobstee taking the Tillamook Cheese Factory tour:


Taking in a play at West Yellowstone:


Enjoying an ice cream cone at Miner's Landing:


Visiting his friends at the Seattle Aquarium:


And, most recently, hanging at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland waiting for a They Might Be Giants concert to start:


And that is the story behind why I own a rubber lobster that I carry around with me most everywhere I go.

-Genuine Article

P.S. Funny thing—by complete coincidence my older sister used to keep a rubber shark in her purse, so sometimes when people ask me why I carry around a lobster I tell them it's something of a family tradition.