"Meetings don't have to be endless to be eternal." -Pres. James E. Faust

Alumni week has officially begun! Hear from your favorite alumni writers from April 20-27.

While we appreciate factual corrections, consider posting on the Board Comment Board, brought to the readers by popular request.

Posted on 04/28/2017 1:30 p.m. New Correction on: #89465 Will there ever come again a Board Writer as Great as Pa Grape. or has his ...
Question #89519 posted on 04/28/2017 1:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why oh why does almost every teenage boy I know spend 98% of their time staring at their phones? In seminary, school, church, everything. It drives me nuts. Does this happen everywhere?

-Annoyed

A:

Dear you,

I bet if you went out of your way to talk to them you could ameliorate the problem.

-The Entomophagist

PS: If you're going to exaggerate, you might as well go all the way and say something ridiculous like 110%.

A:

Dear Annoyed ~

I'm pretty sure I can say the same about the teenage girls I know. I don't think it's gender-specific. 

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear you,

Did you write this question using your phone?

-Sunday Night Banter

A:

Annoyed,

When people act annoyed at me or bothered by me I like to look at my phone instead, because it always loves me.  If people tell me I am being annoying by looking at my phone, I assume they are annoyed so I look at my phone more and ignore them.

Hey, I'm not going to try to make someone who doesn't like me enjoy my presence.  Life is short, my pal.  YOLO.

-Yog

A:

Dear Annoyed,

Because looking at your phone is easier than having to deal with reality.

-Sky Bones 

A:

Dear you,

I am neither a teenager nor a boy, but here are some reasons I look at my phone:

  • Most of my friends and family live far away, and it's easier to keep in touch with them via cell phone.
  • I have an anxiety disorder, and simple puzzle games help calm me down while still allowing me to participate in whatever's going on around me.
  • I have access to more information on a small, hand-held device than even the richest and most learned people in most other eras of human history. Why wouldn't I look at my phone?
  • If Donald Trump starts a nuclear war, I want enough of a heads-up to find the nearest bomb-shelter-like structure.
  • Frankly, I get bored really easily. Classes have always run too slowly for me. Quietly spending time on my phone is a less disruptive way to cope with that than whispering to my husband, and it's better than not attending class at all.
  • I'm one of those people who can never have any unread emails in her inbox. This has extended to a compulsion to view all notifications at all times. What if it's important? What if I get too many notifications and then I never follow up and then I've terribly offended someone or forgotten to pay a bill or didn't receive external validation from random Internet people as soon as it was immediately available?
  • I'm determined to finish Two Dots even though I still have over 500 levels to go. Don't download Two Dots. It will ruin your life.

-Zedability

A:

Dear Annoyed,

Phone technology is designed to give you a dopamine hit. There's always something new and interesting, or the possibility of something new and interesting, in stark contrast with boring real life.

Der Berliner

A:

Dear dear deer,

'Cause you spend 100% of your time watching them, apparently. 

Suerte,

--Ardilla Feroz


0 Corrections
Question #89518 posted on 04/28/2017 12:26 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I graduated from BYU and work full time on campus, and I'm looking for a place to live next fall. I would prefer to be close to campus (within walking distance if possible) but that's not a dealbreaker. I'm 23, a girl, and would love to live someplace with other people close to my age, but also with people who are in a similar place in their lives. I realize that others who are graduated and working might be a bit older than me and I'm good with that. I'm hoping for rent to be $320 or less, but I'm willing to look into all my options. Do any of you know of any good housing options for someone like me?

Thanks!
-My Name Here

A:

Dear Reader,

I KNOW OF THE PERFECT PLACE FOR YOU. It's where I live and it's amazing.

I'm not going to say where it is, exactly, because apparently there are still some rules in play on the Board that say we're not supposed to recommend specific complexes to live in.

But I'll say this: The complex I live in is a small girls' complex south of campus. (The boys in our ward live in houses and a couple small boys' complexes nearby.) The majority of the girls in the ward are between ages 21 and 25 and there are many girls who have graduated and are working full time. The same is true of the boys, but with a slightly wider age range (from 20 to 27). Rent depends on the apartment you live in (because of different owners) but $320 is the most expensive rate.

I CANNOT OVEREMPHASIZE HOW WONDERFUL MY APARTMENT COMPLEX AND WARD ARE. I honestly think it's the best ward at BYU. It is a safe place where people of all sorts can feel loved and included. Also Frère Rubik is in my ward so you could know two Board people if you move there. (Just sayin'.)

Please, please email me so that I can tell you the name of the complex and hook you up with some people that are selling their contracts. (vienna@theboard.byu.edu) We would love to have you in our ward, I'm sure!

Love,

Vienna

A:

Dear My ~

The houses south of Kiwanis Park fit your description about 8 years ago.

~ Dragon Lady


0 Corrections
Question #89517 posted on 04/28/2017 11:02 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What kind of watch strap would you say optimizes comfortability and long-lastingness?

I'm tired of velcro that wears out and stretch metal that pulls out hairs and buckles that wear out and crack their leather strap holes.

-Might go chain and pocketwatch in vest if I can find a good monocle

A:

Dear Susan,

I have found comfort in a leather/metal mix band. Allow me to explain: the majority of the band is leather, but the clasp is that such as you would have in a metal band. While it is resizable, it's also very durable because you only have to set the buckle size one time. See below:

IMG_5771.JPG

IMG_5772.JPG

IMG_5773.JPG

Virtually no hair pulling and very little wear on the leather. I'm not sure if these bands are available in the States, though. I got my watch last summer while I was visiting my husband's family in China. 

-Az


0 Corrections
Question #89512 posted on 04/28/2017 3:08 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I've been struggling to come up with creative/easy value project ideas to complete my personal progress. I was wondering if you could help me come up with some! :)
- Thanks very much, Delaney!

A:

Dear Doctor,

I heartily agree with Dragon Lady's suggestion to try to use things that you're already doing.

For one of my value projects (I think it was Choice and Accountability), I redecorated my room and painted sheet music on my wall. But, here are some off the cuff suggestions anyway:

  • Plant/take care of a garden (Faith)
  • Teach someone something you know how to do well. This can be broken down into ten weekly one hour sessions (Divine Nature)
  • Put together a book about you. The point would be to have something to look at when you're struggling with things. Have people write letters about you, put in awards you've received, things you've done, things you like about yourself. (Individual Worth)
  • Take an online/in-person course in something you're really interested in. If you've always wanted to make an app, learn how to code. (Knowledge)
  • Put together future plans/goals. If you have a college you want to attend, look at the course catalog and figure out what major/classes you'd want to take. Talk to people in all the fields you're interested in. Come up with a job you think you'd want to have and then a path to pursue it. (Choice and Accountability)
  • Ask your parents what you can do to help around the house. Commit to work on projects that they've maybe put off for too long. Trust me, they'll have something and they'll be grateful to have you help. (Good Works)
  • Research a social cause (homelessness, racial profiling, etc.) and write a paper or put together a presentation on the subject. Come up with practical things you will do as a result of your research. (Integrity)
  • Do those things that you researched for your Integrity project (Virtue)
Okay, you've got me really wanting to do these now and I'm not even in YW anymore. I'm definitely filing these away for later (in case I'm called into the YW).

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Thanks ~

First, I'd like you to rethink "easy" as one of your requirements. If you want to actually learn things out of your project (which should be the whole point), don't limit yourself to the easiest path. 

Second, look at some of the things you are already doing. Could any of them be used as a project? Are you taking violin lessons (Knowledge), volunteering anywhere (Good Works), or attending the temple regularly (Faith)? It's ok to use things you're already doing as a project. However, you can't count past time. Start today, make a game plan for how you are going to use that activity to better understand that value, then start counting time. Write in your journal along the way as you learn things.

Third, ideas, starting with ones that I am doing or have considered doing and ending with just ideas. Values at the end are just suggestions. Many could work with multiple values, depending on your focus in it.

  • Make a quilt (I did a Harry Potter quilt), learning new techniques. (Knowledge)
  • Attend the temple every week. (Faith or Integrity)
  • Focus on being completely reliable in one area. I will spend time replying to emails in a timely manner. (Integrity)
  • Ask people of things that they associate with you. Write about each in your journal, and if it is something you are proud to have associated with you or not. (Divine Nature/Individual Worth)
  • Actively get into your family history. Focus on adding stories, cleaning up duplicates, or finding temple names.
  • Pick a gospel topic that you do not understand. Study it diligently for several months. (Faith)
  • Watch 10 hours of General Conference with a specific value in mind. Write notes of what you learn about that value in each talk. (Watch all four general sessions plus the General Women's session to get 10 hours. Only do this for one value.)

Good luck finding projects that fit your needs! And serious kudos to you for working on your Personal Progress and actively seeking out ideas. You rock.

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear Delaney!,

See also Board Question #71130.

-Owlet


0 Corrections
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Question #89358 posted on 04/27/2017 11:30 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why is there an NFPA sticker right outside the new basketball annex? I've never seen one on the front of any other building on campus.

-SMQ

A:

Dear So Many Questions/So Much Quiche,

Ok. For those of you who haven't seen it, this is a picture of the entryway to the new annex to the Marriott Center:

nfpa rotated.jpg

(Strategically photographed so that only my legs are visible in the reflection.)

So, in general, the NFPA 704 rating system (otherwise known as the NFPA diamond) is used so that first responders can know the specific hazards of interacting with certain materials in case of an emergency. You can read up in more detail about the ins and outs of the system here and here

Now, in that first link, the NFPA notes that they aren't the ones who decide when the 704 is used or not; that falls under federal and/or state regulations and codes. I tried looking for the Utah fire code to see when they require it, but that search yielded no fruit, metaphorical or otherwise.

I wondered, perhaps, if the reason that the annex is the only building with a 704 on the outside is that it's the only building with significant enough hazards inside to warrant one. To that end, I went walking around what I call the "science corridor" (the ESC, NICB, Benson, and LSB) to see if I could find other diamonds. And, I did:

IMG_2352.JPG

IMG_2353.JPG

These were in the NICB, by the Chemical Stockroom. If you didn't follow the link before, here's what the numbers mean:

Yellow 3 - Contains a substance "capable of detonation or explosive decomposition but requires a strong initiating source, must be heated under confinement before initiation, reacts explosively with water, or will detonate if severely shocked."

Blue 3 - "Short exposure could cause serious temporary or moderate residual injury."

Red 4 - "Will rapidly or completely vaporize at normal atmospheric pressure and temperature, or is readily dispersed in air and will burn readily."

So, there are 704's elsewhere on campus—just not on the outside of buildings. My best guess as to why there's a discrepancy is that the NICB was built in 1971, whereas the annex was just finished earlier this year. I'm thinking that Utah fire codes or national codes changed during the interim, and I would guess that the requirement is something like "If you plan to store a hazard that's rated 3 or above, it has to be displayed prominently near the entrance to the building."

-Frère Rubik

P.S. I'm also guessing that the hazardous materials in question are super-intense cleaning products. I can't imagine what else would merit that rating inside of a basketball court.


0 Corrections
Question #89511 posted on 04/27/2017 10:06 p.m.
Q:

Dear The Board,

We all have pet peeves and people we hate, so could you please come up with your own nine levels of Hell (à la Dante's Inferno) and tell me who you're sticking in each one?

Nellie Bly

A:

Dear Nellie,

I try sooooo hard most of the time to be patient, non-judgey, and even-tempered, so I avoid giving voice to my pet peeves because I feel like it only exacerbates things. It's probably a bad idea to indulge myself here, but—hey, no one's perfect, right? So, happily, I will outline my own nine circles of hell for your delectation and delight.

  1. The people who run up Y mountain as I puff along at a measly 2mph; BYU parking police; quinoa-eaters
  2. Those who put the toilet paper on the roll so that it feeds out the bottom; users of the font Papyrus; unnecessary capitalizers
  3. Dog-earers of library books; people who spit gum on the sidewalk
  4. Slow pedestrians; groups of people who string out along the hallway so that no one can get past them; the person who bought the last kolache on Saturday, leaving none for me; those who drive too slowly on the freeway
  5. Whoever designed the HFAC; the creators of Candy Crush; Congress; people who hover in the left lane of a two-lane highway, making it impossible to pass
  6. The intersection of University Avenue and Center Street; professors who give finals that actually take the whole three-hour block
  7. Mitch McConnell 
  8. People who can't figure out the basic noun-pronoun agreement rules in English
  9. People who tell me to take a chill pill and stop worrying so much about stuff that doesn't affect me

Peevishly yours, &c.

Heidi Book

A:

Dear NB,

Like Heidi, I try really hard to be nice to everyone. I am going to ditch that attitude completely for this answer, and it is going to feel so good.

  1. Cucumbers and everyone associated with them.
  2. Assyria and all its inhabitants, for coming in and messing up a perfectly good game I had going as Venice.
  3. The creators of obnoxious pop-up ads.
  4. Anyone who writes a badly-organized scholarly article.
  5. The guy who keeps doing donuts in the parking lot every night, and basically anybody who drives a huge truck but doesn't use it to haul stuff.
  6. Anyone who has ever applied the label "easy open" to something that was not, in fact, easy to open.
  7. Users of logical fallacies.
  8. People who say "if you're poor, it's because you deserve it" and use that as an excuse to cut social programs.
  9. Donald Trump.

-yayfulness

A:

Dear Nessie,

1. People who spit on the ground. As punishment they shall be parched for all eternity, unable to gather enough saliva to lick a stamp, much less spit on anything.

2. Musicians who use siren noises in their songs. Fiery imps will prod them as they're forced to dance the Hokey Pokey ad infinitum.

3. People who touch the glass on a door to hold it open instead of using the handle. Verily, they will spend eternity wiping away an everlasting smudge.

4. Lobbyists. They shall treasure up their money, but it shall become slippery, like unto an eel. (Seriously, they're going to open their safety deposit boxes and electric eels will come pouring out.)

5. Litterers. Hell is a highway, stretching out infinitely far, lined with the cigarette butts of a billion angels.

6. Holocaust-deniers. Actually, they shall be mansplained to for all eternity.

7. Drunk drivers. DUIers (not to be confused with DIYers) shall be chained to a rock and have their livers eaten out over and over again.

8. Rapists. Rapists will be thrown into a bottomless pit of white-hot coals. (But they were asking for it when they showed up in Hell dressed like that.)

9. People who leave shopping carts in the parking lot. Well, I can't think of a punishment horrible enough for people like that. Use your imaginations.

-Genuine Article 


0 Corrections
Question #89497 posted on 04/27/2017 9:24 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Writers out of school/ graduated (especially those who are unmarried/ no kids): what gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment in life? Now that you are not working towards a degree, what are you working towards that leaves you feeling accomplished?

-Graduate

A:

Dear Graduate,

Working on my career goals is probably the biggest factor right now. My current job is very low-level and tedious, and the only way I get through it is by knowing that in 7 weeks I'll be moving to a position that better suits my long-term goals. Making even incremental progress in position and salary helps me feel accomplished and more intellectually and emotionally fulfilled.

I only graduated last December, so at the moment doing adult things also gives me a great deal of satisfaction. For instance, working on my monthly budget encourages me to set financial goals, and at the end of each month I find it very therapeutic to check whether I'm on track. Likewise, I'm looking for my first adult apartment, one that isn't designed for students and doesn't come furnished, which is a slightly terrifying process, but it's helping me feel like I'm progressing into the adult I want to be.

Also, to add some sap to this answer, my boyfriend Yossarian is wonderful and I'm grateful for him every day. Taking someone else into account when I consider my future makes my choices feel more important, and that too gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Love,

Luciana

A:

Dear Doctor,

At this point, doing things that I enjoy/find interesting is really what's fulfilling for me. I don't focus as much on long term accomplishments, rather small projects or activities that make me happy.

Part of the reason I've more or less adopted this mindset is because I've been dealing with depression, and it's a lot easier to think about what could make me a little bit happier right now. Fulfillment and accomplishment is on a micro, rather than a macro, scale.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Grad,

Well, I'm currently tenure-track faculty, so working towards tenure is a pretty big goal in my life right now. But even after that is done, I think I'll keep busy with research and various other personal projects (which is basically what I was doing before I got this job).

To be honest, it sounds like your issue may be external vs. internal motivation. If you're someone who does well working on a highly structured goal with well-defined sub-goals and a lot of external validation, then working towards a degree can be a very rewarding experience. You could look for another major goal to accomplish, such as running a marathon or getting a graduate degree (although I wouldn't advise going to grad school just to have something to do). However, I would recommend taking some time to look at what internally motivates you in life—what kind of person you want to be or what accomplishments you would find personally satisfying, even if they're not very showy—and looking for ways to work towards achievements in those areas.

Good luck!

- Katya

A:

Dear Graduate:

Congrats! I hit that milestone four years ago according to Facebook and its memory lane feature. No spouse, no kids, and highly externally motivated, so my career has plateaued and I'm writing this on my phone on little sleep.

I highly recommend the book Designing Your Life to help you answer these questions. All the prototypes look nothing like where I'm at now. Shoot me an email (portiaofbelmont at Gmail) if you'd like to discuss further and try some of the exercises.

---Portia

A:

Dear reader,

Hedonism.

 - Pi

A:

Hello Kitty,

I wish I knew the answer to that question, but I don't.

-M.O.D.A.Q.

A:

Grad,

Working toward my career. I know what I want to do for work now; it's just a matter of getting there. Mental health issues complicate life a bit.

Spending time on hobbies I like. I like crafts, vidya games, tv shows, trying delicious hot beverages, exploring the city. Just, you know, doin' cool stuff.

Being with my family. I'm spending a lot more time lately really getting to know my siblings, now that one is across the country in med school and one is a teenager with ~complicated teen feelings~. But it's rewarding to me to know what's going on in their lives and to connect with them.

Working on my mental health. I've learned a lot in the past year and have improved tremendously, thanks to therapy, but my mental health goals are still something that really motivate me. 

Spending time with my spouse-a-roo and pupperito. I like them.

Marzipan

A:
Dear halcyon days,

Something that has been in my head a lot this last year should give you an idea of how I feel more often than I'd like:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre   
The falcon cannot hear the falconer; 
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; 
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
Suerte,
 
--Ardilla Feroz

P.S. Excerpt from "The Second Coming" by W.B. Yeats.

0 Corrections
Posted on 04/27/2017 9:22 p.m. New Correction on: #89496 I've been feeling like I really need to drop added sugar from my diet. Now, I ...
Question #89506 posted on 04/27/2017 8:07 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I move my legs around a lot at night. It's not restless leg syndrome, I just was bored one night when I was younger and couldn't fall asleep, and started moving my legs against the sheets as exercise. Found out it helps me sleep sometimes, and haven't been able to break the habit.

The problem is, all that rubbing wears out my sheets. The last pair of sheets I bought we're obviously poor quality, because they lasted less than 4 months before tearing.

So my question is, what qualities do I need to look for in sheets to help them last longer against friction?

-Zwerg Zwei

A:

Dear Zwergified,

Maybe try the Purple brand. You may recognize the name or the mattresses from Facebook/YouTube ads with Mallory Everton from Studio C. They seem pretty great, and you can find more information here

Also, do you wear socks or long pants while you sleep? You could try supplementing those with some silky pajama bottoms, which (along with being divine) could help reduce the friction when your legs move. 

And finally, depending on how committed to this you are, you could stop washing your sheets, and eliminate the wear that comes with it. I saw it on an episode of some mildly-exploitative TLC series, and it turns out there is some merit to it. 

Suerte!

-Auto Surf


0 Corrections
Question #89490 posted on 04/27/2017 8:07 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If the great professor of knowledge (and ENG 351) The Humble Master is returning, will he please enlighten us on his theory of how Fraiser and the X-Men co-exist within the same universe?

Also, how come my dad never gets me anything for my birthday?

-son of yayfulness

A:

Dear HM,

Please, please, please let the connection be Professor X moonlighting as the head of the Seattle Opera Guild, Alistair Burke.

-Cognoscente

A:

Dear son of yayfulness

I've never really had such a theory, but I'm willing to invent one.

Here are links between the two franchises (not exhaustive, more off the top of my head. I don't have time to compare the sprawling cast lists of Frasier and the X-Men film franchise to catch every connection):

  • Rather significantly for this premise, Kesley Grammer played Frasier Crane and was Beast in X-Men: The Last Stand (a bad X-Men film, but I loved this casting so much). 
  • As Cognoscente noted, Patrick Stewart appeared in one of the funnier late-series episodes, The Doctor is Out, and was obviously Professor X in many X-Men films.  
  • Brian Cox was the villain in X-Men 2 and played Daphne's father.
  • Alan Cumming played Nightcrawler and a yoga instructor for Daphne and Niles.
  • Halle Berry played Storm and called in to Frasier's radio show on one episode

 

So clearly there is a fair amount of actor crossover between Frasier and the X-Men film franchise. So how can we get them into the same universe? I see two options:

1) During a battle, to incapacitate Beast, the mutant Mastermind has put him under an illusion where instead of an intellectual, blue-furred mutant he believes he is an intellectual psychiatrist. Once his teammates deal with Mastermind Beast will snap out of the illusion.

2) During the episode where Frasier found himself at a comic book convention he hit his head after seeing X-Men comic book covers and had a classic sitcom alternate world dream sequence where he was a superhero.

I hope those work.

-Humble Master


0 Corrections
Question #89510 posted on 04/27/2017 7:20 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Have any of the past writers left the Church (either completely or just going less active) and come back? What influenced your decision?

-Hopeful

A:

Dear Hopeful,

I describe part of my experience in Board Question #86446 where I very deliberately stopped going to church and following Church standards for a few months. The rest of that story is that my testimony has fluctuated from All In to Barely There many times over the course of my life. I'm not sure if that's normal or not, but that's what it's like for me. I'll have years of spiritual strength where I feel like I'm developing a good and ever-deepening relationship with God and I'll have years where I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and that it's not worth all the trouble. I like to think that I'm on a trend of overall improvement, but I can't always say that for certain. Based on my past experiences, it seems like I'll be sticking with it for the duration of my life, and I hope that my imperfect efforts are acceptable to the Lord.

As for my influences, the reason I decided to leave (as I mention in my response in the link above) was that I wanted to experience a world with fewer expectations and standards that I felt I couldn't live up to. I was jealous of my friends who seemed to be able to make whatever choice they wanted without feeling guilt or pain. I felt like that kind of life would make me happier than trying to live a set of standards that I believed but which felt unattainable and out of reach.

The thing that brought me back (again, discussed in my response above) is that I came to understand that the roots of my testimony are strong enough that I can't simply give up on this particular set of standards no matter how hard they may seem to be at the time. On a personal integrity level, I felt infinitely worse trying to ignore a set of beliefs and standards that I absolutely know are true than I did when I was trying and failing to live them. That realization brought me to a deeper understanding of the Lord's love for me and is the absolutely indestructible thread on which hangs the rest of my fluctuating testimony. The degree of my commitment grows and shrinks. My fervor for the gospel comes in fits and starts. And my devotion to the principles of the gospel is imperfect. But I simply cannot deny the existence of God, and I have an absolute knowledge of His love for me as well as of the restoration of His Church that I cannot ignore. For better or for worse, I will continue to struggle forward to whatever degree I am able with a hope that He will make me lie down in green pastures beside the still waters and restore my soul.

Best,

The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear you,

Yes. I identified as atheist on and off when I was younger (and am going anonymous for personal reasons). Do you want the influences for leaving or the influence for coming back?

What influenced me to leave: I was angry and lost. Mostly, I was angry at myself but it was easier to put that anger on God sometimes. Around this time I'd read a lot of anti-Church and anti-Christian literature. My testimony at that point had been so naive and untested that I didn't know how to deal with these questions, and I already felt so much religious shame, that it was so easy to leave.
 
What influenced me to come back: Feeling God's love in unlikely places, mostly through people I met through work or university that helped me find happiness. Even when I lashed out at God or couldn't feel Him anymore, He was there. He was always there. He brought people and opportunities into my life that brought me out of my darkest moments. So I went back and forth for a while, atheist one day, Christian the next, just building a relationship with God and seeing what felt right. Eventually, I came to realize that Mormonism really did make me happy. This is not the case for everyone who leaves: some people do feel happier outside of the church. But it gave, and still gives, my life purpose. I still don't understand all of it. Maybe that will come in time. But that's why I came back: it is how I best connect with God.
 
If you're going through this or considering it, you're not alone. It's easy to feel like you are, but you're not. At the end of the day, your relationship the Church as a structure doesn't matter nearly as much as your personal relationship with God. Start there, and do what you're comfortable with and what brings you fulfillment.

-a writer


0 Corrections
Question #89473 posted on 04/27/2017 6:20 p.m.
Q:

Dear what-if-you-were-single?

I've been going on dates with someone that I really enjoy spending time with them (and they seem to enjoy spending time with me). But I'm scared of dating/people/commitment/marriage. Everyone tells me to take things one step at a time: if I enjoyed the date, then I should go on one more date with them. And if that goes well, then I should go on one more date with them. And if that goes well, then I should go on one more date with them...
But eventually, I'll have to decide if I want to stop dating them or if I want to ONLY date them.

Questions:
1. How should I/do you decide to date someone exclusively/get married?*
2. What do you look for in a significant other?/Spouse?
3. What do you avoid in a sig other/spouse? Are they big enough turn-offs that you'd think about breaking up with them if you later found out they had these attributes?

--Member of a Provo YSA Ward

PS Yes, I have gone on many many first dates and I've been in multiple exclusive relationships in college.

PPS I'm also never sure about anything. I'm the person who seriously considers changing their major EVERY SINGLE DAY, deliberates for 15+ minutes before picking a flavor of ice cream, and thinks every human being is a really nice person and hates saying "no" (especially when asked on dates).

*and yes, I know I probably worry too much about marriage, considering that I am single.

A:

Dear Moapysaw,

 1. I used to wring my hands quite a bit about making the optimal decision. THE. RIGHT. CHOICE. And oh, the anxiety. But a wise friend once told me that the universe doesn't care what choice you make. Every choice has benefits and drawbacks. Just make the choice and deal with the consequences one way or the other. Of course you should be choosy and wise, especially about marriage. But if you know that you already know how to swim, sometimes you just have to dive in.

Or maybe you're scared because part of you doesn't really want to get married? That's a valid way to be, too, and a good question to ask yourself.

 2. After almost ten years of marriage, I would give others the following advice:

  • Marry someone who has a comparable energy level to you. Not far more active than you, not far less active. Physically, socially, creatively, and so on.
  • Marry someone only after you've been through some life crud together. You will both inevitably grow and change. Make sure that you can grow in parallel, complementary ways. 
  • Marry someone you can disagree with in an open, supportive way. This goes well with the one above (as life crud and change tend to come with growing pains). It's okay to be angry or sad at each other, but you shouldn't walk away from a disagreement feeling like the foundation of your relationship is unstable. You shouldn't feel like you need to keep anything secret from them.
  • Marry someone with whom you can be completely and unabashedly yourself. They should really get you, and vice versa.
  • Marry someone you can rely on. You should know that they always, always have your back. And vice versa.

Honestly, I'd recommend marrying Sauron if I wasn't so selfish.

3. Some of my red flags are implied in the above list (e.g., someone with a vastly different activity/energy level, someone who makes you feel small or shaken up when you disagree, someone with whom you can't be you). I would also be wary of anyone who isn't fully forthcoming with you (about financial stuff, past dating stuff, spiritual stuff, whatever) or who seems oblivious to your needs.

You can do this. If marriage is something you really want, you can make it happen.

Much love,
Waldorf (and Sauron) 
A:

Dear Member ~ 

The best advice I can give on who to marry is someone you can be absolutely comfortable with. Look for a best friend. Look for someone who you can cry on their shoulder. You want somebody who will sacrifice their own pleasures for you. 

Society tells us that we should marry someone who is super attractive. Or somebody who brings roses and chocolates out of the blue. Or somebody who will take extra time to do their hair and put on make up and look their best just for you. Those things are nice, but they are also superfulous. 

My favorite Mother's Day present? When my basement was being finished and all of our storage was in our family room. I was super pregnant and really just wanted a clean house again. While I was gone, yellow moved all of our storage out to the garage so that I could come home to a clean house. Way better than flowers or breakfast in bed, in my opinion. 

Yellow always has my best interests in mind. He does dishes every night, simply because he knows how much I hate doing them. When we discovered that I need significantly more sleep than he does in order to function as a normal human being, he started getting up with our (non-breastfeeding) kids at night. Even when our babies were breastfeeding, he would get up and change their diapers before waking me up to feed them. He encourages me to go to Girls' Nights.

Find a person to marry that builds you up. That you can confide in. That sacrifices just to make you happy. That does the things that aren't storybook romantic, but are real-life heart stoppers.

So really, don't go out dating worried about finding the perfect person that makes your heart do flip flops. Those are good things. But instead, focus on finding a best friend. Someone you want to be with, even in 10 years when metabolism slows and wrinkles stay past the smile. Because most of the time you spend in marriage isn't looking at a person, but being with a person.

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear but I am super single:

I'm kind of obsessed with the behavioral economics of marriage, and how assortative mating (people marrying those more similar to themselves) is contributing to rising income inequality. Marriage Markets was my favorite read on this topic. I'm also obsessed with the numbers game that is modern dating, and I can post a reading list over on the Board Board if anyone is interested. 

Because of the lens through which I view even my own love life (I mean maybe texting about Tverskian System I versus System II thinking is what passes for me being flirtatious), I don't know that my tastes, much less my decision-making processes, are anything but deeply quirky and purely anecdotal. True to assortative form, I've never dated a guy who had less than a college degree. All but one have been Caucasian, they have ranged from having lower to upper middle class backgrounds, and almost universally had professional careers in a STEM field. 

One way I'm like you though, I think it's safe to say that I have been hesitant to commit. I'm sure there could be vast dissertations compiled on that subject, but a few factors seem relevant:

  • My mother never completed her degree and died prematurely, and she left me with a sense that being self-supporting and not being "beholden" to a man were moral imperatives. 
  • Because of this life circumstance, I have a full-blown phobia of my own wedding.
  • The Recession ravaged my cohort, making our career trajectories less geographically stable and meaning a lot of my relationships have not been able to withstand these demands. 
  • None of these men were active LDS and thus we were not in a rush to the altar per se

My father put it best when he asked in all seriousness, "do you even want to get married, period?"

Because of the above-stated advantages to both economic and social stability and mobility, my answer is a resounding "yes." Especially in the United States, no other relationship arrangement comes close. 

So how do I go about making decisions? I don't think I'm particularly indecisive or a wallflower. However, I'm learning what being assertive means for me and about how some of my own attitudes (my more-brittle edge, my competing needs for ego differentiation/mutual support, my fears about living in a post-Trump landscape) are at least worth acknowledging even if they don't change. 

If marriage is a life goal for you, then I think it's positive to own up to that—women, especially, are sometimes painted as "desperate" by some for that desire. But, if you're still hemming and hawing over Graham Canyon versus Mint Chocolate Chip, I feel like having more experiences—declare a major, study abroad or get an internship, read a lot— will help you discover who you are and I think marriage is too important a decision to make lightly.

---Portia

A:

Dearest,

Those above me have some fantastic points, so I'm going to skip straight to the "avoid" section--because that section is the one I have the strongest thoughts on.  In Western culture, we teach some really unhealthy ideas about what a "good" romantic relationship is, and it can lead to heartache down the road and manipulative behaviors from you and whoever you choose to marry.

I'm coming from a very different mindset from LDS dating/relationship philosophy here, so keep that in mind--but I think it's still valuable information to have.  I am in an open relationship, not a monogamous one, though it's often monogamish. 

-AVOID: Jealousy from the other person that gets blamed on me. If someone is feeling jealous about the time I spend with someone else, and then blame it on me, I confront that in a comfortable, safe environment.  Why are you feeling jealous? Are you feeling neglected in some way? What needs or wants do you have that you are expecting me to fulfill? Are those acceptable things to need or want from me? Weighing out whether it's a feeling of unimportance, comparison between the other person and my partner, etc.  Jealousy comes not from without, but within, my friends.

-AVOID: Prying. If I say, "I don't want to share that right now," they better darn well back off.  They can say, "Ok, but can we talk about why later?" or something, but if I'm not comfortable letting someone use my phone and they push to use my phone, I'm talking to someone and I want to not share that conversation with my partner, etc, I want to be respected when I say no.

-AVOID: Boundary-pushing.  This ties in with above.  If someone pushes my boundaries when I have said "NO," I become a stubborn mule.  This had to be learned the hard way from being guilted and coerced into things by people for years and years.  If someone is not respecting your boundaries of where you don't want to be touched, what you do not want to share with them, or is repeatedly saying "please" or "Are you sure?" until you relent and say yes, RUN.  Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, just book it outta there. You are Joseph, and this person is Potiphar's Wife, and you do not deserve to have your standards and personal boundaries trampled by someone you're supposed to trust the most in the world.

-AVOID: Shaming tactics, guilting tactics, blaming tactics. We all do this to others--but you want someone who recognizes when they do and tries to correct.  You deserve to feel unashamed, guilt-free, and without blame from your partner.  Any shortcomings that you or your partner have that need to be addressed can be done from a place of compassion and collaboration better than they can be addressed from a place of shame. Whoever you are in a partnership with, you both are eternally growing, so you need to feel safe enough to mess up around your partner, be silly around your partner, be imperfect around your partner, without having them shame or blame you.

If you've found "the one" and they do these things--address it before you get married, please! Or as soon as you start noticing it.  Addressing these things has led to healthier, happier relationships for me every time I've done so. 

-Yog in Neverland


0 Corrections
Question #89509 posted on 04/27/2017 4:20 p.m.
Q:

Dear The Board,

If you could place two teleporters anywhere in the world, where would you put them and why? You can use them to instantaneously transport people and goods, but once they're in place they can't be moved.

As a follow-up question, do you think it would/should be within the rights of whichever country you place them in to regulate them TSA-style?

-Nellie Bly

A:

Hello Kitty,

Right now I would probably say between my apartment (or nearby) and my parent's house (or nearby). Long-term I would say between my closet and the inside of a bank vault, if I can restrict access to them, of course.

-M.O.D.A.Q.

A:

Dear Nellie,

This summer I am doing an internship in Vienna, Austria, so I would put one between Austria and where my boyfriend is working this summer so I can see him frequently as opposed to never.

-Adelaide

A:

Dear Sam,

There definitely needs to be one in northern China because that plane ride is a killer; I dread doing it with a babe in tow next time around. I feel like there should also be one near Disneyland or Disney World because, hello, Disney. Also any good beach. Also that means I need to have one near my house because obviously I want them at these locations to make travel easier for me. 

-Az

A:

Dear Nellie,

I'd put one in/near Singapore (103 degrees East longitude) and the other in/near Houston (95 degrees West longitude).

Currently, logistics between East Asia/India and the U. S./Atlantic Basin are slow & costly, creating a significant drag on trade and travel. This placement at major deep-water ports located at almost opposite sides of the world, with easy access to the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific basins, might be worth a percent or two of extra global GDP due to economic efficiencies and incremental trade.

Ideally we would have a continuously open, large portal (in the vertical plane and a mile or so in diameter would be great) to allow simultaneous deepwater navigation, pipelines, fiber optic, highways, fly-through air navigation, and so on. Even if the portal was small or not continuous, more like a Star Trek transporter, you could build infrastructure to launch stuff through the portal at speed (think containers on rails) in order to maximize mass traffic through. 

Economic benefits and incentives would be tremendous. Most traffic between the US and anywhere in China, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, etc. would be easier to route through the portal than to send ocean-borne. Europe to any of those destinations would probably also be better than existing trade routes. Similarly, airfare between the hemispheres would often be shortened by a trip through the portal. 

Of course, if you really did have a gigantic continuously open portal, barometric pressure differences would probably mean it had a howling gale running through it most of the time, but that's a small price to pay for economic progress. At least both sides are at sea level. You'd probably also violate conservation of momentum and create weird impacts on the earth's orbit/rotation over long timescales, but whatever.

I wouldn't want the portals to have much regulation, but fortunately I have chosen to place them in safe, modern, relatively laissez-faire jurisdictions where that probably would be as minimal as anywhere. (Initially I was going to put one somewhere in the vicinity of Hong Kong or the Pearl River Delta region, but that would be diplomatically knottier and short-change India.)

~Professor Kirke

A:

Dear Nellie ~

Does it have to be public? Because I have often longed for one between my house and my mom's. How awesome would it be to be able to have instant access to a babysitter, remove four hours of travel to go on our most regular vacations, and the best garden I have ever seen? 

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear NB,

I'd put one at the bottom of the ocean (inspiration from XKCD) and the other somewhere just above its surface, then hook up some sort of hydroelectric generator. Using the figures from the comic plus the equations provided here: 720 watts times 400,000 liters per second times 24 hours times 365 days divided by 1,000 for unit conversion comes out to just over 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours of energy produced per year. Which sounded awesome until I looked at the total US energy usage per year: ~13,000 kWh/year times ~320 million people equals a total US energy consumption rate of over 4 trillion kWh per year.

A wardrobe-sized portal isn't going to cut it. Let's make it bigger.

The Panama Canal can fit ships with a width of 161 feet. Since some of the other answers assume the portal would be large enough to fit shipping, I'm going to make that same assumption and adjust the math accordingly. We'll say the portal is a 161-foot square, which translates approximately to a 50-meter square, or 2,500 square meters. Based on math found at Explain XKCD, the original equation appears to assume a wardrobe volume of two square meters. If I'm doing my math right, the increase in size would increase water throughput from 400,000 liters per second to 500,000,000 liters per second. If I run the equation from the first paragraph a second time, that gives us an output of just over 3 trillion kilowatt-hours, enough to provide about three-quarters of the annual US energy consumption, or over 10% of the world's total energy consumption.

Sure, pesky little things like physics and reality might get in the way, but when has that ever stopped me?

-yayfulness


0 Corrections
Question #89487 posted on 04/27/2017 3:50 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have an in-law question, particularly for those of you (welcome back!) who have been married for a while.

Is there a gentle way to tell your spouse that they're being emotionally abused? My mother-in-law has called several times lately and started listing the ways my husband has failed as a son (and his faults range from forgetting to call one Sunday to refusing to spank our kids because we don't like the idea of physical punishments), and has done it in a way that he ends up apologizing to her. She's always been a little sensitive, but lately every interaction with her has been uncomfortable and had left him feeling like he's an awful son.

I'm not sure how to bring this up without being overly critical of his mom, who for a long time was the most important woman in his life, but it hurts me to see him so needlessly miserable. Any suggestions?

A:

Dear None,

In the months before I got married, my mother was very much like your mother-in-law. Every call that I had with her—whether just the two of us or with others—resulted in her critiques of me, my behavior, and my choices. It was, as you can probably guess, deeply unpleasant. I dreaded talking to her, and it got to the point that I always wanted to be with my fiance when she called, just so I could have some comfort and stability as I took an emotional beating.

My fiance constantly reminded me of the reality of the situation—that she didn't have the full story of why I was doing things the way I was, that I wasn't the kind of person she seemed to insinuate that I was. It helped for my fiance to tell me that my mom was out of line, because it became easy to see my mom's perspective as reality.

In my opinion, bringing up the fact that you've noticed his discomfort may help begin the situation. Additionally, mothers are not always right. Even after we've gotten married, my mom has critiqued choices that we've made. Both of you should remember that despite advice parents may give (and that you may seek out), it is ultimately your family—with your husband—that has the final say. He is not a bad son because he's not catering to his mother's unreasonable demands. Your family should almost always come first.

-A writer

A:

Dear no-name,

This question seriously could have come from me a few years ago. Much of it may sound like a reiteration from the above writer because her answer is pretty applicable to our situation.

My spouse grew up with parents that were verbally and emotionally abusive, to an extent that is astonishing to me, especially knowing them today. There were many swearings, much name-calling, she was told constantly that she was ungrateful, and they basically just all-around took out their personal crap on their kids until the kids were apologizing for things they hadn't even done. Much of this faded away over time, but there was/is still a large amount of emotional manipulation, mainly from my MIL, that I didn't fully realize until we were hitched. I came home to my wife crying after calls with her mom more times than I can remember, and the more it happened the more I realized how much of a pattern this was as opposed to coincidental one-offs. I began having serious talks with my wife about how her mother shouldn't be able to interfere in our marriage, and that if these calls were emotionally abusive that something had to give. It wasn't her fault, so it was gentle in that I obviously wasn't blaming anything on her, but it took some insistence to get her to realize that this relationship was not healthy and that something was very wrong there. This included having to pick out some specific instances. If the pattern of abuse is as deeply entrenched as it was in my wife, it can seem like you're trying to destroy their parent-child relationship, or that you're just being overly-critical. If talking to her yourself doesn't help, I sincerely recommend therapy or some other trusted third party who your spouse trusts that can validate what is really going on.

It took time, but my wife (who is very headstrong in most other ways) stopped apologizing as much for things she wasn't responsible for, and eventually started to stick up for herself to her mother. Initially it made things much worse, because narcissists don't much like being told that they are wrong, and this was going against years of conditioned behavior. There were some real blow ups, many times that she was told she was ungrateful to them for everything they had done for her, how she wasn't a bad mother to my wife, and more - all the classic guilt tactics. Over the course of many months, my MIL started to calm down and butt out of things a little bit. My wife's relationship with her suffered for a time, but they eventually rebuilt things under a different paradigm. This took a lot of work and effort on everyone's part. My wife has now done many months of therapy almost solely focusing on her relationships with her parents, and it has improved so many aspects of their relationship, not to mention ours as husband and wife. I used to not understand why we would fight sometimes, or why certain things became bigger deals than others, but once we started seeing how it was all tied to the conditioning she'd experienced since she could remember, it allowed us to realize that we could approach things in more constructive ways.

So after all that, a couple pieces of advice that may or may not apply to your situation. First, avoid the temptation to personally get involved. I wanted so badly at first to just take the phone, share some choice words with my MIL about her behavior, and then hang up. However, getting involved can make you look like the enemy, even if you're just wanting things to get better between everyone. Next, if you are reliant on your in-laws for any material support, attempt to eliminate that support. Cell phones, cable bills, random gifts of money, whatever it may be, if anything. To those criticizing their children to that extent, material gifts can quickly become more ammo for guilt trips. Lastly, give it time. It takes a lot of time and effort, depending on the level and length of abuse, to undo some of those mental paths. It's a hard fought battle but well worth it. Good luck to you.

-Another writer


0 Corrections
Question #89504 posted on 04/27/2017 10:42 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board moms and dads,

My baby is four months old. We've just begun trying to sleep train. At what point do you say enough is enough and go in to comfort your crying baby? I asked the pediatrician for advice and all he said was "That's totally up to you."

-Stressed first mom

A:

Dear Stressed ~

Your pediatrician is right. I hate to say that (because I would hate to hear that answer), but it's true. Every single person is going to give you a different answer. But every single person will do it differently with their kids. Even between Yellow and I, we would give different answers.

It was actually during the very first time that I let Dragon Baby cry without me in there to comfort her that Yellow taught me a very important lesson. We had tried to comfort her. I had tried to feed her. I had tried walking, rocking, shushing, singing, everything I could think of. She was still crying. I finally put her down and went into the family room (which was right next door), and sobbed into Yellow's shoulder as he remained unperturbed by the wails of our only child. I will paraphrase our conversation.

Me: How can you not be upset about this?
Yellow: Why are you so upset about this?
Me: Because our baby is crying! She is upset!
Yellow: And? Why does her emotion have to change your emotion?
Me: I am upset because I can't help her. I don't know what to do.
Yellow: She is overtired. She just really needs to sleep. Perhaps all of the things you are doing to help her are actually just overstimulating her and making it harder for her to go to sleep. Perhaps she just needs to be alone for a bit.
Me: But I can't just let her cry!
Yellow: Why not?
Me: Because... because... because you shouldn't just let your baby cry! That's not what you are supposed to do.
Yellow: So, are the Right Police going to come and cart you away?
Me: Huh?
Yellow: You're doing something you're not "supposed" to do. What are you afraid of? Is there some Right Police out there that dictate how you should parent, and if you don't do it the way you're supposed to, will they come for you?

This idea of the Right Police has lasted through our entire marriage. I often do things simply because for some reason or another I feel like I'm "supposed" to. I generally cannot give a good reason for why. At which point Yellow always pulls out the Right Police card, and I generally (not always) realize that perhaps I'm making things harder for myself than I need to.

I'm going to give you advice that I would have hated as a first-time mom. But now, almost 8 years later, I realize it's good advice. (But I would also probably hate it if someone gave it to me now, so take that for what it's worth.) Do what your gut says. If you feel like you should go comfort your baby, do it. If you feel like you're making it worse long term, then don't. As soon as you start parenting one way because someone else thinks it's right, you're going to lose. You're going to start living in fear of the Right Police. But let me assure you, so long as you are doing your best, no one is going to come cart you away for being a bad mom. You have to live with the consequences. So don't let someone else determine your consequences. Own it. Do what you feel is best, not only for your child, but for you.

Good luck! Sleep is a hard thing. But I promise, they learn to sleep eventually. Hold on. You can do it!

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear stressed,

The placeholder that I wrote as I was working on the meat of my response went like this: "Nothing you do in good conscience screws up your children. Also, everything you do will screw up your children." And I firmly believe it. Your decisions on this (and so many other things) will affect how your child turns out. You'll get some of them right and some of them wrong. But you're not going to do irreparable damage to your kid. Do what you think is best and adapt that as you go.

For example, I swore to never co-sleep with my kids. But then my son got sick last winter and ended up with a diagnosis of a not-super-serious-but-still-temporarily-debilitating chronic respiratory illness. He couldn't sleep for even an hour without waking up. So we plopped him in bed with us and he slept with us for a few months. Then, when he got to the point where he could sleep on his own we tried to move him to his crib. And he was not pleased. He screamed and cried if he even felt you thinking about walking out of the room. I spent many a long evening watching Avatar: The Last Airbender episodes in a rocking chair with my hand stuck through the slats of the crib resting on him so he'd know I was there. Then he'd wake up in the middle of the night and we'd plop him in bed rather than fight the good fight. But, at some point, it became harder to have him in bed with us than it was to get up with him, so we started getting up with him when he'd cry. We got him a padded mattress liner, a white noise machine, and then a humidifier. We backed off the immediate attention every time he woke up and slowly let him figure it out on his own. And we gradually coaxed him into a good sleeping habit; now he sleeps a 12-hour stretch every night with no problems.

The reason for this story is to illustrate that we were pretty much going with the flow the whole time. Whenever a situation became harder than we wanted it to be, we came up with what we thought a good solution might be and tried it out. If it didn't work, we tried something different. What we didn't do was follow a strict program that we stuck to without listening to our son. Sometimes his distress sounds felt to us like he was handling it on his own. Sometimes he seemed out of control and we went and got him. We try really hard not to pick him up in the middle of the night. But sometimes we still do if he's having a hard enough time. It can seem like small things like that will permanently shape sleep (or other) behavior, but I think that, especially at this age, their behavior is malleable enough that you can smooth over your mistakes without too much trouble. Again, you can't do this wrong if you pay attention to your child's needs and try to respond to them the best way you know how.

Best,

The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear Stressed,

When we sleep-trained G.I.R.L. (or rather, when I sleep-trained G.I.R.L.) I put an easy chair next to her crib and let her cry for five minutes. I sat there and timed it. Then I'd lean over her crib, give her a pat, and reassure her that I was right there. I did not, under any circumstances, pick her up. She cried for about an hour before falling asleep. Anyway, the next night I did the same thing, but with 10-minute intervals. Then the next night I moved out to the couch and would go into her room every 15-20 minutes. And that was it. After that third night she just put herself to sleep. I can't remember how old she was at the time, but I would guess she was at least six months old.

This method worked for me because to be entirely honest, I'm not bothered by children crying. I know my baby might be sad, or hungry, or angry, but the one thing they are not is dying. So I don't mind letting them cry.

-Genuine Article

A:

Dear schtressed,

One day we got sick of rocking Kid Insomniac to sleep for 1 hour every night and let him scream himself to sleep. He cried for maybe 45 minutes or so. The next nights he only cried for 20 minutes and 5 minutes, respectively. Since then he's generally gone to sleep without any fuss. That worked for us, but every baby is different. Basically do whatever you think is right (and works!) instead of what other people tell you.

-Inverse Insomniac

A:

Dear stressed first mom,

I think a lot of that depends on whether you HAVE to sleep train your baby (like, you and your husband both have to be up for work tomorrow morning or whatever) or not.  It also depends on whether or not you're breastfeeding. And actually, it depends on a lot of factors.  But you're the mom.  You know your baby.  Trust yourself and your instincts.

Sleep has been one of the hardest things for us.  My baby just cried and cried and cried if we even thought about sleep training (practically).  (And cried and cried and cried.)  I couldn't do it.  Admittedly I could have probably tried harder, but it went against every instinct in me to just let him cry when I was right there.  I'm not at all questioning your decision (or anyone's) to sleep train because I really do feel like you know your situation-- but if you don't want to sleep train, that's fine too.  Your baby will eventually sleep through the night no matter what you do.

- Lavish

A:

Dear you,

Baby Z is about eight months old and we still haven't really sleep trained her. Every night we put her in her Baby Merlin Magic Sleep Suit and bounce her to sleep in her bouncer, then transfer her to her crib. A couple of times, she's woken up during the transfer and I've successfully put her down and she's done the whole "put baby down while baby is drowsy and let baby fall asleep on her own" thing. But other times, we just have to put her back in the bouncer and start again.

We tried sleep training about two months ago, but within five minutes she had cried so hard that she was hyperventilating and it legitimately sounded like she was having a panic attack (something Dr. Occam and I are both familiar with). We didn't think it was good for her to get that upset that quickly, so we stopped sleep training and haven't really gotten around to trying it since. It helps that she falls asleep around 9:30 and we're both night owls, so we don't have a lot of motivation to do so.

We'll probably try sleep training again when she's too tall for her bouncer, which is getting to be pretty soon.

-Zedability


0 Corrections
Posted on 04/27/2017 10:41 a.m. New Correction on: #89386 If any of you went on Mandarin-speaking missions or have friends who did, that would be ...
Question #89507 posted on 04/27/2017 5:38 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I feel like this question has to have been asked before but I can't find it. I'm a single female in my late twenties and sometimes I feel incredibly horny. Like I want to make out (or more) with the first attractive man that I see. As an active member of the church I realize meaningless sex is off the table, and though a NCMO sounds appealing in theory I doubt it would actually feel all that fulfilling. Even when I'm in a relationship making out never feels like enough. When I'm feeling this overwhelmed I usually end up looking at porn. So what do I do when I feel these urges? Am I just unusually horny or do all single people feel this way sometimes?

-Embarrassed

A:

Dear Embarrassed,

As the person below me says, your libido is definitely not unusual!  And not unusual for active LDS single members, either.

My recommendation would be that when you feel your libido is unusually high, to do something high-energy that you like doing.  Exercise is awesome! Running is often recommended, maybe you have access to a swimming pool and love doing laps, or maybe you could try picking up vinyasa yoga (gives you time for some soul-connection as well as exercise).  Dance could be a good choice, as well, because it could give you a chance to feel connected to your body like yoga does with a little more movement, and could give you a way to express some of the frustration you're feeling.  

I don't want to tell you to wall off your libido, because then when you do get married, you could have a hard time reconnecting to it.  But it sounds like you're in a place where you're feeling embarrassment and shame around your libido, which could be potentially unhealthy for you as well!  You could also search out to see if there are any LDS-aware sex therapists near you that you could go talk to.  If you're in Utah, there are many sex therapists that are LDS and understand the value your faith holds for you, as well as the beliefs you likely hold.  A therapist specifically trained for these kinds of issues could be very helpful here--they'll have ideas for healthy ways for you to manage your libido as an active single member of the LDS faith.

-Yog in Neverland

A:

Dear embarrassed,

You are absolutely not alone. There's a whole spectrum of different levels of libido. Lots of girls and guys don't really care. And lots do. A LOT. You aren't anomalous, you're part of the human condition.

-Right there with ya


0 Corrections
Question #89435 posted on 04/27/2017 1:10 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Board babies?

-It is Alumni Week after all

A:

Dear why yes indeed,

Twist (formerly Kid Insomniac) is two and a half years old, which is nuts. He's super articulate and a polite, funny, wild kiddo.

Here he is climbing a ladder as Buzz Lightyear:

IMG_4232.JPG

Driving a school bus (his wildest dreams come true thanks to the Magic School Bus):

IMG_4249.JPG

Dead asleep on the chair:

IMG_4122.JPG

Driving up our phone bills with incessant calls to his buddies:

IMG_4256.JPG

 

And Seafarer is now 7 months old! He's mastered sitting up and smiling and is currently working on becoming a science activist:

IMG_4265.JPG

...and a Champion of the Pokémon League!

IMG_4113.JPG

IMG_4125.JPG

Basically he's adorable and smiley and the most well-mannered baby you'll ever meet.

IMG_4225.JPG

 

Thanks for asking! I love to share.

-Inverse Insomniac

A:

Coming

So as not to overwhelm everyone with a cuteness overload, I'll restrain myself to showing just one picture:

Kids.jpg

-Humble Master

P.S. Okay, and one video of my 2- and 4-year-olds reacting to the new Star Wars trailer.

A:

Hello Kitty,

It's me, M.O.D.A.Q.! You may be surprised to learn that yes, in fact, I had a kid.

A kidney stone. My first!

I know it's probably bad form to say that your children were accidents but this one definitely was a surprise. I fell into a lot of pain one day a few weeks ago and called a friend to take me to urgent care. They suspected it was a stone and tried to X-Ray me but I ended up throwing up from the pain and almost passing out. They gave me some drugs and my friend then took me to the ER. After several hours of waiting and an ultrasound (in which I asked the tech, "Boy or girl?") the doctor told me it was a big 'un. I went home with more drugs and passed the rock the next day. To anticipate your big questions: Is is a boy? Is it a girl? Is it gender non-conforming? I don't know! Name? Maximus. Picture? Well here you go:

For some reason my phone doesn't do a good job taking pictures of objects this size

On a more serious note, I am currently expecting my ninth nephew! I still have no nieces.

-M.O.D.A.Q.

A:

Dear listener, 

Here's Cadet Keen in her Easter dress, hopefully rotated in the correct orientation 

20170416_103449.jpg

Here's the Cadet when she sliced her finger open pretty deep on a green bean can and handled the ER like a champ. She was happy as long as I held the gauze on for her

20170427_013250.jpg

Lastly, here she is playing with Canine Keen in the backyard on a perfect Spring evening 

20170410_193210.jpg

 

We've decided that we're going to keep her. 

- Commander Keen 

A:

Dear after all that we've been through,

Baby's first bath!

snek-bath.JPG

He's had an eventful year. He particularly did not enjoy our cross-country road trip. He expressed his displeasure by mauling several paper cups (every time I gave him water, really). I think he ultimately approved of the move though because we now live in a suitably humid climate. He remains the perfect, cuddly child, although he hasn't learned to sleep through the night yet and never will due to being nocturnal. He only poops and eats once per week and never makes noise other than that time he was having a real party tapping his temperature probe against the side of the cage while my husband and I were trying to sleep.

-Concealocanth

A:

Hi there,

Mrs. The Skipper and I just got to bring Baby The Skipper home from the hospital about a week ago after a short stay in the NICU (most expensive babysitters ever, but as qualified as they come). We think she is just the cutest! However, because of technical difficulties and an overabundance of digital caution you are just going to have to take my word for it.

Parentfully,

The Skipper

A:

Dear Susan,

I have one of these! Actually, last alumni week I had just found out that I was pregnant with this little guy. Seriously, his daddy and I think he's the cutest! We were blessed in that he never had that alien look to him even as a newborn. (Disclaimer: several of these pictures are sideways  I have no computer for the next little while, thus no way to fix them.)

IMG_5734.JPG

After a pretty exciting labor and delivery at a pace that was nearly unheard of, our Little Puff was born about two weeks early, much to my relief. We actually went home after only about 12 hours at the hospital; I'm thinking that next baby I'm going to stay at least overnight, though, because that was hard. 

Here is Little Puff in his coat at three weeks:

IMG_2276.JPG

This is him in his cute little blessing suit at nearly 2 months:

IMG_5735.JPG

And here he is posing for the cover of a harlequin romance novel (never mind the spitup all over his pants):IMG_4048.JPG

And, finally, here's Little Puff after getting his 4-month shots. 

IMG_5697.JPG

 

I love this little guy more than I thought possible!

-Az

A:

Dear It ~

Um, yes please. Except they're not babies anymore. But I'll take any opportunity to show off a little.

IMG_0929.jpg

Homer-0100.jpg

~ Dragon Lady (and Yellow)

A:

Dear it's what now?

From left to right, Baby Trending, Baby Pending and Baby Ascending. All old enough to take offense at being called babies.

IMG_5232_2.JPG

And for fun, here's a picture of an impromptu bring your daughters to work day I did last week. This is Babies Pending and Trending helping me look at parasite-infected neutrophils under a microscope (they actually did a pretty good job counting them). Shamelessly pushing them toward science/biology!

IMG_5308.JPG

- Rating Pending (who is willing to let any of the kids swap out their pseudonyms if they come up with something else that is thematically appropriate and works. Baby Pretending, Baby Attending (like if they become a doctor?) etc. Baby Ending might get vetoed however as there's a number of strong, negative implications there.)

A:

Dear It is,

Mavenboy & Mavengirl all dressed up for Easter:

Mavenkids.jpg

And, coming this fall, Mavenbaby #3! No pictures yet. You'll have to ask again next year.

--Maven

A:

Hello Alumni Week.

You want a baby? Well, okay.

--High Quality

 

A:

Dear all,

Look who joined us last month!

 DSC_0440.jpg

 2017-04-10 12.57.10.jpg

Boy-ahrairah was due a week or so ago, but he actually came a month early; I guess he didn't want to risk missing Alumni Week!

-Owlet & El-ahrairah

A:

Dear baby hunger,

Here are G.I.R.L and Boy-o. They are pals.

couch.jpg

G.I.R.L. is three and a half. She loves Daniel Tiger, swings, and going to the grocery store. She does not like spontaneous speech, which is why she's in speech therapy. It is fun times trying to get her to tell us why she's upset.

 8PUDvZKFZ0cVjJyfK6I0S8GioCt6nJqyqv2tlVDByKUpX92IB.jpg

Boy-o is coming up on being 7 months old. He has two little teeth and is crawling up a storm. He enjoys spitting up on people, the carpet, and everything we own. 


photo 1.JPG

Mostly they are good kids, and we like them, but sweet jeepery Moses are we tired.

-Genuine Article 

A:

Dear it is indeed,

I give you my three dudes at NHMU dino fest.  They are now 7, 2, and 6.

.jpg

- steen

A:

Dear babies,
 

DSC_0067.jpg


You thought they would look like muppets with big fiery eyes, didn't you?

With love,

Waldorf and Sauron 

A:

Dear reader,

Always!

Here's Girl with a Mustache last summer (3 yrs old):

Screenshot_20170420-233645.png

 

And, introducing Boy with a Mustache (9 months old):

11259-MMS-1492748928000-attachment1-Screenshot_20170420-232815.png

 

They are great and I like them. Here's another picture.

11258-MMS-1492748924000-attachment1-Screenshot_20170420-232804.png

 

-The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear you,

Dr. Occam and I are still current writers, but here's Baby Z:

IMG_2370.JPG

-Zedability 


0 Corrections
Question #89503 posted on 04/27/2017 12:08 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Hello, friends! If this hasn't already been asked, could we get a life update from the writers from days of yore?

-old timer

A:

Dear old,

It's been asked already. So...NO, search the archives! Bwahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa...

-Man, trolling readers still feels good


0 Corrections
Question #89502 posted on 04/27/2017 12:04 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Halloween pictures?

-Brian, Brian cryin'

A:

Dear Brian, Brian Cryin',

Yes, absolutely Halloween pictures. They'll just have to be of my kids though since I don't quite have time right now to edit out faces. 

IMG_1275.JPG

October 2016. Pretty straightforward, yes? Not pictured: me as General Organa and my husband as Han Solo.


IMG_9405.JPG

Bonus: October 2015. Kiki and Tombo. Aren't they adorable? Not pictured: me as Flutterbat. I killed it. I had fangs and everything.

-Sky Bones 

A:

Dear BBC,

I present to you: Bojack and Princess Carolyn.

You're seeing my full face here, but I think the face paint obscures me well enough. Those aren't my real eyebrows. Or whiskers. But that is my real hair.

IMG_3053.jpg IMG_3061.jpg

And a princess cat and skeleton knight. I just now realized that my daughter and I were both "princess cats" in a way:

IMG_3032.jpg

These are just the most recent. My favorite family costume, I think, was when our son was seven months old. He and Sauron were astronauts, and I was Hal 9000.

Thanks for asking,

Waldorf (and Bojack) 

A:

Dear Doctor,

We aren't as cute as Sky Bones' kids, but Spectre and I were also Kiki and Tombo this year.

 Kiki_LI.jpg

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Brian ~

Pokemon fever hit our house this year. Yellow and I went as Pokemon trainers (hat, backpack, sweater) and the kids went as their favorite pokemon. (Though, to be fair, Yellow 2.0 didn't really have a favorite. His just seemed appropriate because, Halloween. Also, he was supposed to be a garbage truck, but his costume failed miserably, so I had to make this one last minute.) 

Dragon Baby went as an Eevee.

IMG_0176.jpg

Niffler Baby chose a Butterfree.

IMG_0200.jpg

And Yellow 2.0 was perfectly satisfied as a Ghastly.

IMG_0186.jpg

~ Dragon Lady (and Yellow)

A:

Dear cryin',

Last year El-ahrairah and I went as Meg and Hercules from Disney's Hercules:

 Halloween2016_editeds.jpg

As I was three months pregnant at the time, we told people that our baby was representing as Pain and/or Panic. (The joke would have been better if we had been expecting twins...alas.)

-Owlet

A:

Dear Mort,

For a variety of reasons I can't include an actual picture, but my fifth grade team dressed up as Wizard of Oz characters and I was an eight months pregnant Dorothy. 

-Az

A:

Dear Halloween

Enjoy this sideways picture of my 2yo as Han Solo. I cannot for the life of me get it to go right-side up, but I think it's still cute.

IMG_0505.JPG

And here is young Han with Cleopatra, Spider-Man, and Superman.

 IMG_0529.JPG

-Humble Master

A:

Dear BBC,

I have probably said this somewhere before, but I never would have thought that family Halloween costumes would be a thing for us, let alone an increasingly elaborate thing. This year we were A League of Their Own. On the outskirts of town there's this fantastic little baseball diamond next to some cattle pastures so, naturally, we did a photo shoot. (Side note: If you can manage it, I recommend living in a town with quaint outskirts.)

league of their own 1.jpg

"And there's Marla Hooch! What a hitter!"

ALTO Ellia.jpg

"Pretty Dotty Henson . . ." 

IMG_0989 (1).JPG

"And there's her kid sister, Kit! What an arm!"

IMG_0973.JPG

"Stillwell. Angel. Have another chocolate bar."

 

 halloween harry potter.jpg

Our thing is that, if the kids dress up as what WE want them to be (for parties, pictures etc.), the kids can be whatever they want for trick-or-treating. So we have a Hermione, a Crookshanks, and, (surprising everyone because we were sure she'd be Ginny or another Hermione, Rita Skeeter). I was a bed-sheet turbaned Professor Quirrell. Good times were had by all. 

- Rating Pending (who has some other pretty great "There's no crying in baseball!" pictures, but can't show them because . . . as more time goes by the weirder the anonymity thing of the Board feels. But let's just go with it.)

A:

Hello,

Here is my sideways dog dressed as a pumpkin cannibal:

 2016-10-27 19.37.11.jpg

Marzipan

A:

Dear Bryan,

Here's my adorable son:

IMG_0876.jpg

~Professor Kirke


0 Corrections
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Question #89483 posted on 04/26/2017 11:39 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board Artists,

I need to commission a very specific piece of artwork, Because Reasons.

Could one (or many!) of you please draw me a guy named Jacques riding a moose while eating a hamburger?

You can use any style, any medium, and any level of quality. My city planning studio class (although most of the class doesn't know it yet) looks forward to seeing what you make!

-yayfulness

A:

Dear happynessness,

jacques.png

-Inverse Insomniac

PS - Why I put some Kirby Crackle in the bottom left I cannot tell you, but it just felt right for some reason.

A:

Dear yayfulness,

JacquesBaby.jpg

-El-ahrairah & Owlet

A:

Dear yay,

 20170425_122759.jpg

-Cognoscente

A:

Dear yayfulness,

jacques and moose_1.jpg

Earnestly,
Waldorf and Sauron 

A:

Dear yayfulness,

What, like, just for exposure? Art ain't free, pal.

- D.A.R.E.

A:

Dear yayfulness,

The man? Jacques Ibert, French composer of the mid-twentieth century.

The burger? One of the burgers of Bob's Burgers, the most delicious in all of cartoon history.

The moose? Franz S. Moose, distinguished and respected by all moosekind.

Together, these three companions traveled the width and breadth of southwestern Nova Scotia, as depicted in the award-winning miniseries Moosibergur.

We present to you tonight a screenshot from that miniseries, which has sadly been lost to the annals of history:

IbertMooseBurger.png

-Frère Rubik

A:

Dear yayfulness,

Your question phrasing "could you draw me" reads closer to "Could you draw a picture of me? I'm a guy named Jacques riding a moose while eating a hamburger" than a sentence construction of, for example, "Could you draw for me a picture of a hypothetical man named Jacques riding a moose while eating a hamburger."

Don't kill me,

The Messenger

A:

Dear yayfulness,

My wife is the artistic one, so she took this on:

liberte.png

~Professor Kirke


0 Corrections
Question #89501 posted on 04/26/2017 9:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How do international sellers (like those in China) make money from US customers, ESPECIALLY when the products they're selling are extremely cheap? For example, I bought an ipod case from eBay from a seller in China for only $2. That included shipping. Surely just shipping the item internationally would cost more than $2. I don't think this seller is planning on me buying a whole lot of ipod cases from them in the future, so how do these sellers make money when their product is priced so low, and when shipping costs are so high?

-The little gamut.

A:

Dear gamut,

Yayfulgirl works for a company that specializes in online sales through eBay. She tells me that in all likelihood, the international sellers you're referring to are selling the items as loss leaders - the more items you sell, the more your listings are prioritized by eBay's internal processes, so they sell a ton of small items at a loss in order to boost the prominence of their big-ticket item listings. Also, the extremely high volume of shipping from China to the United States makes the cost of moving a small object much lower than you might expect. In any case, it's a widespread strategy, so it must work well enough to keep them in business.

-yayfulness

A:

Dear lil',

In additions to the Yays' wisdoms, cost of living and resource exploitation probably factor in. Cost of living might be much less than in the States, meaning people don't need to get paid as much to survive. Resources, including materials, machinery, and the workers themselves, likely don't have as many regulations or protections on their use, so it's cheaper to use them. 

But I don't know the actual facts, so I'll keep the hypothetical qualifiers in there. 

Take care,

-AS


0 Corrections
Question #89494 posted on 04/26/2017 8:18 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Hello current and former writers! If you could talk to yourself from a year in the past, what would you say to yourself? What advice would you give? If you could talk to yourself from a year in the future, what would you say? What questions would you ask?

-M.O.D.A.Q.

P.S. Do not give yourself the ability to tell your past self how to communicate with another yourself a year prior to your past self. I fell down that rabbit hole last evening and it kept me up all night.

A:

Dear Doctor,

Advice for last year me: go to the doctor sooner rather than later. Both when you get mono and when the depression starts.

Questions for next year me: are you treating yourself better?

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Mo,

It might be something like:

Dear baby Auto,

A year ago: You're about to go to the hospital for the first time. It will be scary but it will be good. And, it's pretty cool you were able to wait until the summer to go because then you can spend a month doing nothing but puzzles and life goes on okay. But remember that there's more to life than that. It's scary but it will be good. Eventually. 

Six months ago: Yeah, Auto, this is what happens when you get surface-level treatment: you get surface-level results. And I know a mission still sounds like the cure, but it's not. You still need to figure out some things where you are before you can journey on. 

Six weeks ago: You should probably start exercising, so that all this energy doesn't make you a bit of a freak around people. (oops)  Good thing you can't afford to run away from embarrassment right now, because repentance/improvement is super real and it'll be fine eventually. Just, maybe, add some yoga or something into your routine. And maybe get a routine. (oops)

Questions for next year: Did you find your island? Have you been on it this whole time? Are you home? 

Take care,

-Auto

Take care,

-Auto Surf

A:

Dear Fred,

Advice for last-year me: don't be disappointed when you find out you're having a boy. He's better than any girl you ever dreamed of having! 

Questions for next-year me: was worrying about your husband's situation worth it? 

-Az

A:

Dear friend,

Advice for last-year me: You have vocal nodes and you are in denial about it. You probably should have gone to the doctor two months ago. Make the friggin' appointment. Also, here is the name and number of a therapist that you will click with. Call the clinic now instead of waiting until January so you can get help before your anxiety gets out of control. Also, when school gets out, you need to either encourage your husband to take the train to work or you need to buy a second car, because being trapped at home all day every day all summer is going to trash your mental health.

Questions for next-year me: should I move choir to after school or keep it before school? Is going off my medication a good or bad idea? Can you give me any investment tips or lottery numbers?

Peace,

-Stego Lily

A:

Dear M.O.D.A.Q,

"Lay off the fruit snacks, fatty," for both past and future.

No Dice

A:

Dear Mo,

Past Self: 

Dear Me,

Well, you got through the hardest part of your year, and things are going to look up from here on out (well, up through a year, at least). Summer is going to be... boring, but fine. The highlights will be where you get to do things with that one friend (she really is the best). Don't worry too much about what you've done to yourself with organizing your Fall schedule. It will be hard, but you can handle it. There will be lots of things that will be unexpected, but that's okay. You learn things from them, though mainly in retrospect.

Future Self:

Hey, how's it going? Just wanting to confirm something really fast: am I still alive, or did the first year of ACME straight-up kill me?

Uh-huh...wait, what? How is that even an answer? How do you not know?... oh... yeah, um, I'm not sure either in that case.

Okay, moving on, then. Anything going on relationship-wise? 

*Sigh* And just when I thought I couldn't be any more committed to my textbooks.

Well, good talk Future Me. Hope everything goes well for you.

~Anathema

A:

Dear M,

Past self: Don't go to China. Bad things will happen.  

Future self: Are you happy? What are you doing for the fall? Do you have plans to visit other countries? 

-Ms.O'Malley

A:

Dear Mo,

Advice for my past self: Drop everything and schedule a trip to San Luis Obispo NOW to find housing. You will thank me next fall when you don't have to live out of a hotel for your first month of school. Also, you will be tempted to buy a certain specific computer. No matter what else you do, do not buy it. It will give you nothing but headaches. And finally, get your act together and thank everyone who gave you a letter of recommendation immediately! Other than that, though, don't stress out too much. Your life is finally on the right track again.

Questions for my future self: So, did you get the housing internship with the county? And how is your thesis project going? Please tell me all of the things about the thesis that did not go smoothly so that I can avoid them.

-yayfulness

A:

Dear M.O.D.A.Q.,

I'd tell my past self about Brexit (lever up financially and short the pound!), the OPEC agreement (buy oil futures in mid-November!), Trump's election (neither of us is sure if any foreign betting markets are legally accessible in the US, but it would be worth finding out!), and Leicester City's win (ditto Trump comment). I'd also say your son is growing up to be super cool and his medical issues don't end up being significant to date. (Although you already pretty much knew this, maybe you can convince the wife more effectively.) 

I'd probably ask future self about similar concerns. Also, will there be hurricanes or other major catastrophes in my area? Will anything especially bad happen at the refinery that we could prevent by taking action now?

I honestly don't think I'd really want to talk about most personal decisions or their results: for the last year I don't have any major regrets, and I wouldn't want to accidentally mess with how well things have turned out.

~Professor Kirke

A:

Dear M.O.D.A.Q.,

Advice for last-year me: Save every penny you can; life circumstances change faster than you could imagine, and you will never be prepared. Also don't worry about being kind to the awful coworkers who treat you terribly.

Question for future me: What can I do in this new job to keep my head above water? Have you found any tips for managing all our sicknesses, and can I start using them now? 

-Ace

A:

Hello self-Kitty,

As I've been pondering this question I've planned out a long conversation with my past self (hereafter referred to as L). I'll share the highlights. Firstly I would have a frank conversation with L about fiscal responsibility and what constitutes smart spending decisions. I would also share with L some practical tips that would save us a bit of money and also increase our overall enjoyment. I would probably give L my completed senior thesis to save him a bit of hassle and potentially help him accomplish a bit more as he finishes up at BYU. Then the bulk of our conversation would be preparing L for beginning grad school, giving him advice and some suggestions that I think would help make the transition easier and let him be more successful and find a better research fit sooner. We'd probably also talk about mental illness and health and I'd give him some advice in that regard as well. I'd probably also tell him about how I recently had a realization about a girl I liked and while he wouldn't be able to ask her out because she's not in the same country as him at the moment, it would at least give him more time to think about it and consider if and how he might want to pursue a relationship with her. And then of course I would give him a printout of the 2017 March Madness bracket and some other ways for him to make some dinero.

My future self, who we'll call N, I'm sure would have plenty to say to me but mainly I'd ask him if and how I've learned to manage my depression and also if and how I started dating anyone (and whom).

-M.O.D.A.Q.

A:

Dear M.O.D.A.Q. ~

Past self: I know your 33rd birthday is coming up. I know you're looking forward to it, because two threes sounds like the ideal age, considering how threes follow you around so much. Clearly it's going to be your best year ever. And in many ways, it will be awesome. Don't mourn your friend moving too much. You'll keep your friendship, despite the distance. She doesn't drift away like all your other best friends have done. Unfortunately, there will be some of your hardest times this year, too. You are going to hit a period of darkness with no rhyme or reason. I promise, it will end. There will be light again. And that light will last. I know you won't believe it, but it's true. I promise. Just hang on a few months. Also, when you suspect hormones are involved, and your period is simultaneously out of whack, I would highly recommend going to the gynecologist sooner. She can help. Also, focus on yourself this year. You need it; you deserve it. I promise, it will make you a better wife, mother, and person. (Sorry, I can't promise your housekeeping skills will increase.) Do the things that you need to be sane, happy, and fulfilled. Yellow will fill in the gaps. 

Future self: What advice would you give me? How do you feel about the number of children that you have? (How many children do you have?) Do you regret any of the decisions I'm making right now? Any advice on how to build confidence in our kids? Does Yellow 2.0 ever grow out of his terrible twos? Please tell me that he skips the threenager stage. Please? Any amazing parenting tips you've learned that you'd like to pass my way?

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear me, past and present,

Don't bother with the chocolate shake at Culver's—get the raspberry. It's amazing.

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear Past Soulful,

You should really wait another three weeks before buying that ticket to Italy. I know a $300 ticket from Boston sounds like a great deal, but a $400 ticket from Salt Lake is even better. Also, don't ask Jonathan out. I know you really want to, but it would be much better to just become friends with him then consider asking him out. And when it is time to renew your housing contract, just spend the money and get your own place. You really shouldn't be doing this roommate thing anymore. 

Also, you really ought to run more and eat fewer cookies. 

Sincerely,
Present Soulful

Dear Future Soulful,

Are you dating anyone yet or are we still #perpetuallysingle? Should I just quit my job now or stick it out until other things fall into place? 

Also, how's North Korea's nuclear program doing these days? Did Le Pen win the French election leading to France's departure from the EU? Is the EU even still a thing? And just how good is The Last Jedi? Will is be anywhere as good as Rogue One?

Do you know the release date for The Doors of Stone yet?

Sincerely,
Present Soulful


0 Corrections
Question #89498 posted on 04/26/2017 8:18 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board Alumni,

Roll call?

-Lady Hermione

A:

Dear Lady Hermione,

Here and procrastinating as usual!

-yayfulness

A:

Dear L.H.,

"NOT HERE!" I yell in class for the tenth time in a row, desperate for a validating laugh that I will never hear.

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear Doctor,

Here!

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Lady,

Present! At least for today!

- Eirene

A:

Dear Kvothe, 

Hello.

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger 

A:

Dear Lady,

I'm here (but not) to stay.

-Genuine Article 

A:

Hello Lady,

 

-The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear friend,

Sup!

Peace,

-Stego Lily

A:

Dear Lady Hermione, 

Mostly lurking and then jumping in at random...which I guess was my MO when I was a writer, too. 

-Petra 

A:

Dear Lady

Present.

-Humble Master

A:

Dear Susan,

Yo.

-Az

A:

Dear Hermione, 

Here!

-Ms.O'Malley

A:

Dear LH,

Me!

-Divya

A:

Dear Lady ~

It's kind of amazing how far down I am in this list when this question is only 5 hours old. Huh.

Anyway, present and accounted for, ma'am!

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear Lady Hermione,

Here!

-Owlet

A:

Dearest,

I am! I am!

-Never(Yog)land

A:

Hi Germiona,

I'm here.

-Concealocanth

A:

Here!

Der Berliner

A:

Dear Lady Hermion,

Howdy!

I sure hope this helps. Please don't hate me. 

- Brutus

A:

Dear Hermione,

*waves*

- Katya

A:

Dear Hermione,

*makes finger pistols, clicks tongue and winks*

Yo.

- Rating Pending (who was neither the last, nor the first, but as usually is comfortably in the middle)

A:

Dear LH, 

Guess who's back, back again? (Hint: it is not the Real Slim Shady)

-Watts

A:

Dear Lady Hermione,

Today is April 24, the fifth day of alumni week, and I have only recommended therapy once so far. That has to be some kind of record for me. Still, I'm around.

- The Black Sheep

A:

Dear Lady Hermione,

It's good to be back on a temporary basis. I keep forgetting how stressful it sometimes is to finish up an answer within 100 hours!

--Maven

A:

Dear lady,

I'm here, I guess. Whatever.

-Cognoscente.

A:

Dear Anise,

Are any of us truly anywhere?

Hugs,

-MSJ

A:

Dear Lady Hermione,

I'm here-ish.  We were out of town last week and I have a super busy week this week plus I've had a sick kiddo, so... not the best timing.  But I am here! 

- Lavish

A:

Dear Levios-AH,

That is all.

Horatio

A:

Dear Minister,

Hi!

-Inverse Insomniac

A:

Dear person,

I'm passively here, as usual, to farm more thumbs up than CK with low-effort answers.

--Gimgimno

A:

-Uffish Thought, and possibly songs of inexperience and the rest

A:

Present!

-The Skipper

A:

Howdy!

~Professor Kirke

A:

Dear Gryffindor:

Haven't missed one yet. 

Kirke didn't even give me anything to respond to with a leftie feminist hot take. Work with me here!

---Portia


0 Corrections
Question #89499 posted on 04/26/2017 8:16 p.m.
Q:

Dear friends,

I'm an aspiring amateur chef. Could you please share one or more recipes you like? Thanks!

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear Trickster,

I'm trying to learn how to learn how to cook more things, too! Here's a family recipe for some really easy but really tasty pasta (which I call Pepper Spray pasta because the first time I tried to make it for myself I accidentally made homemade pepper spray and had all of my roommates coughing for half an hour):

Ingredients:

1 lb. Asparagus
1 lb. Penne Pasta
~5 Garlic Cloves
1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
2-3 Dashes of the Hot Sauce of Your Choice (optional)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 tbsp. Butter
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper (or maybe it's just 1/4 tsp Salt and Pepper? I'm reading this off of one of Mère Rubik's recipe index cards and she's has her own sort of shorthand that's a bit hard to decipher)
Parmesan Cheese (the kind that's shredded and you get in a bag, not the powdery stuff that some people claim is 90% sawdust)

Instructions:

1. Mince the garlic and chop up the asparagus into sections about an inch to an inch and a half long. Also maybe rinse of the asparagus. Probably rinse off the asparagus? I definitely remember rinsing asparagus the last time I made this, but again, the recipe isn't super detailed. In any case it's very therapeutic so you should probably just do it.

(PROTIP: To get the garlic out of its outer skin, crush the cloves with the flat of your knife. Works like a charm.)

(Also you probably already knew this if you've cooked asparagus before but you'll need to chop off the bottoms of the asparagus and throw them out because they'll be too tough to eat. It's pretty easy to feel around with your knife to tell where it transitions from tough to normal. Other places say it's pretty easy to just break the tough part off with your bare hands. Either way, it's a sad indictment of our violent society, so do whatever feels most natural.)

2. Cook the pasta like normal. Like it says on the bag. It's not high-maintenance. It's not asking for anything special. Just nine minutes in boiling water (possibly with a bit of salt) until it gets tender.

3. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper (and hot sauce, if you swing that way) to a pan and put it on medium-ish heat. Then add the asparagus and let it cook, stirring it around every once and a while to make sure it gets evenly cooked. You want to cook it all until the asparagus is "tender-crisp," which is a word Mère uses to mean "what you expect well-cooked asparagus to taste/feel like." If you've never eaten asparagus before, you're free from prejudice and therefore can decide for yourself when to stop cooking it.

(Side note: Mère Rubik doesn't use a separate pan to cook the sauce; once the pasta is done cooking, she throws it into a colander and then makes the sauce directly in the still-hot pasta pot. That's all fine and dandy, since she's an old pro and knows her oven/stove really well, but when I tried to do it, the garlic burned almost immediately, as did the red pepper flakes, which is what made the "pepper spray" I mentioned earlier. Do whatever feels most prudent.)

4. Once the sauce/asparagus is done, add it to the pasta (either by dumping it out of the pan into the pot or by scooping it up from the bottom of the pot over the noodles, depending on how you chose to make the sauce above). Stir things around to ensure even coating. While it's still hot/warm, dump about half of a bag of Parmesan cheese over it and stir that around as well.

That's it! It makes for a simple pasta with a little bit of kick, which is super tasty. We usually eat it with some nice baguettes/french bread and then have strawberries and ice cream for dessert.

Good luck!

-Frère Rubik

A:

Dear EA,

Avocado Mac and Cheese. It is so delicious. You are welcome.

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces dry elbow macaroni
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh avocado chunks, for garnish, if desired
Steps:
1. Cook the pasta al dente
2. While that's happening, make the avo sauce by blending the garlic, avocados, lime juice, and cilantro.
3. Make the cheese sauce by putting the butter in a small saucepan and heating it over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in flour to create a paste. Whisk in milk until smooth. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce starts to thicken. Add in Pepper Jack cheese and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is creamy.
4. Put the cooked macaroni into a bowl, and stir in the avocado sauce until it's completely coated. Then stir in the cheese sauce until that's coated. 
5. Serve hot
 
-Ace

 

A:

Dear Doctor,

Black Bean Burgers

These are something we have probably once a month or so. They're easy to make, you can freeze the extras, and they're delicious.

  • 2 cans seasoned black beans (unseasoned is fine, too)
  • 1 cup garlic and herb bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • seasonings to taste
Smash black beans relatively thoroughly (there can still be visible bean pieces) in a bowl. Mix in egg and bread crumbs. Add any other seasonings you'd like. Form into patty shapes and place on cooking-spray-sprayed cookie sheet. These won't shrink when cooked, so only make them as big as the buns you're using. Bake for about eight minutes at 350 degrees, then take them out and flip them and bake for another eight minutes or so.

Other recipes I like:

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Cream Cheese and Herb Stuffed Chicken

One Minute Peanut Butter Cake

90 Second Nutella Cake

Pear and Cheddar Breakfast Quesadillas

Goat Cheese, Turkey, and Egg Cups (these are surprisingly good)

Ham and Swiss Sliders (great party food that we've had at multiple Board parties)

BBQ Ranch Chicken Sandwiches

Chicken Taco Salad

Pastasanga (Baked Ziti, but we prefer calling it this)

-Tally M.

A:

Dear El,

Ramen noodles:

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil

Carefully drop in Ramen noodles. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally (except you know that's not going to happen because you'll be back in your living room, watching netflix)

Take off heat and add in flavoring packet. 

Enjoy!

A:

Dear El-ahrairah,

Today's theme is, apparently, chicken. I've made all of these recipes multiple times and I love them all.

Enjoy!

--Maven

A:

Dear El,

My wife and I keep a list of our favorite recipes that we've tried. Here are the last five we've added.

Pork Chops with Roasted Pears and Butternut Squash with Honey-Vanilla Sauce

2 Bosc pears (peeled, seeded, and quartered)
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 medium onion, sliced
4 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. sage
1 tsp. vanilla
4 pork chops
Bleu cheese crumbles

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Toss pears, squash, and onion with 2 Tbsp. of oil; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to baking sheet and roast until crisp-tender, about 15 minutes.

Whisk together honey, butter, sage, and vanilla. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining oil in a saute pan. Season chops with salt and pepper, and brown both sides. Transfer them to the baking sheet.

Roast everything until pork is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Garnish chops with bleu cheese crumbles. Serve with rice.
 

Balsamic Butter Penne with Asparagus

Optional: Add cubed chicken cooked with garlic and salt

1 bunch asparagus
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 pound penne
4 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. Put the asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer until 3 tablespoons remain. Stir in the brown sugar. Remove from the heat.

Drain the pasta and toss with the butter, vinegar, asparagus, Parmesan, and the remaining salt. Serve with additional Parmesan.
 

Chicken Tikka Masala

2 Tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp paprika
1 heaping Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp curry powder

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook and stir onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook and stir just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir cumin, salt, ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and turmeric into the onion mixture; fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Stir tomato sauce into the onion and spice mixture, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer sauce for 10 minutes, then mix in cream, paprika, and sugar. Bring sauce back to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until sauce is thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat vegetable oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Stir chicken into the hot oil, sprinkle with curry powder, and sear chicken until lightly browned but still pink inside, about 3 minutes; stir often.

Transfer chicken and any pan juices into the sauce. Simmer chicken in sauce until no longer pink, about 30 minutes; adjust salt and sugar to taste.
 

Spicy Shrimp Spaghetti

1 bunch fresh basil
Long pasta
1 lemon
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
10 ounces shrimp

Chop basil. Season shrimp with salt. Quarter and de-seed lemon.

Start cooking pasta.

In a large pan, heat 2 Tbps olive oil on medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs and toast, stirring occasionally (2-4 minutes or until golden brown). Transfer to plate and season with salt immediately.

Add crushed garlic and a little olive oil to pan and cook for a few minutes. Add tomato paste and red pepper flakes (to taste), and cook 1-2 minutes or until paste is dark red.

Add seasoned shrimp, and cook until shrimp are opaque and cooked through.

Add cooked pasta, basil, juice from 2 lemon wedges, and 1/2 a cup of the pasta cooking water. Cook for 2-3 minutes, adding more pasta water to reach desired consistency.

Top with breadcrumbs and more basil. Garnish with remaining lemon wedges.
 

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

1 butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1/2 box elbow macaroni (about 2.5 cups dry)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 oz.  cream cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup onions, sliced thinly
1 apple, chopped or grated
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Lightly coat squash halves with oil on both sides. Place squash, flesh side down, on prepared baking sheet. Add 1 cup water to baking sheet. Bake squash until tender, about 45 minutes. Scoop flesh from squash and puree until you have 1 cup.

Heat butter in a skillet over low heat. When melted, add onions and let caramelize for at least 30 minutes for the best flavor. Keep heat on low/low-medium.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pan over low heat. Add butternut squash, chicken broth, evaporated milk, and cream cheese. When combined, add in salt.

Add onions and apples to the pasta. Stir to combine, and add a tablespoon more broth or milk if needed.

Just before serving, mix in cheese and stir until melted. Top each serving with bacon.

NOTE: Because there's very little butter, it can "dry out" quickly, especially once off the heat. Add a tablespoon of water, milk, or broth if you need to get it back to its original creaminess.
 
Best,
 
The Man with a Mustache
A:

Dear moi,

Jalapeno White Mac n Cheese

  1. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a pot. 
  2. Mix in 4 tablespoons flour. 
  3. Slowly mix in milk until it's as creamy as you want it. 
  4. Mix in 8 ounces of white cheddar. 
  5. Shred half or a whole jalapeno. If you're worried about this, know that half will just give it enough flavor to be interesting without making it spicy. If you have it, mix in some diced ham as well.
  6. OR mix in 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. I tried this the first time and it was alright, but I liked step 5 better.
  7. Add to a whole box of cooked shell pasta. 
  8. Eat. Or be eaten. It's a cruel world.

Burger tip: If you want to make burgers without a grill, don't use the stove—use the broiler.

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear El,

Here's the best recipe I've made lately.

  1. Take some frozen chicken.
  2. Stick it in a crock pot.
  3. Add a can of black and/or pinto beans.
  4. Pour in a ton of salsa.
  5. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.
  6. Cook it for a few hours.
  7. Also cook some rice.
  8. Put it all on a tortilla.
  9. Be satisfied that you (yayfulness) have cooked something without destroying it.
  10. Eat!

-yayfulness

A:

Dear Rabbit Stew,

Four quick and easy ideas:

1) For the best, creamiest scrambled eggs take a pot (a POT not a frying man) and, before turning on any heat whatsoever, crack however many eggs into you would like into it. Add a hunk of butter, like a tablespoon for every two eggs or so, but really just a hunk of butter (it can be cold if you don't have it at room temperature). Now put it on a medium high heat and start stirring with a wooden spoon, spatula, whatever. And keep stirring. Don't stop stirring. When the eggs start to thicken (4-5 minutes), start taking the pot off the heat and stir some more, then put it back on for another 20 seconds. When it looks still slightly undercooked, take it off the heat. Stir a bit longer. The residual heat of the pot and the other eggs will cook everything. Add salt and pepper. That's it. No milk, no cheese. Just absurdly creamy eggs.

2) Homemade pita is ridiculously easy and fun to make. I've used the New York Times recipe four times now and it works every time to get good-tasting bread with nice big pockets. Far better than the dry, crumbly pita you get in stores. The best part is having a super hot cast iron skillet or just a cookie sheet in a blazing (475-500 degree) oven, tossing your rolled flatbread in and watching them puff up in the 2 minutes before you flip them. They also freeze well, so we have a couple bags in our freezer at any given time. 

3) Less a recipe and more like a suggestion to make your desserts fancier. Replace the vanilla in your cakes, frostings, etc. with the equivalent amount of almond extract (which you can get right next to the vanilla at the grocery store). You can also add additional almond extract to a vanilla containing recipe but be careful you don't throw off the liquid too much. That's it. You've just radically changed/improved your dessert effortlessly. This works really well with buttercream (i.e. normal) cake frosting. I've also had a lot of luck with artificial rum flavoring into buttercream frosting. Suddenly everything tastes different from the standard sugar-flour-egg cake combination in a very delicious way. Give it a shot.

4) Cook your bacon in the oven. More consistent and crispy every time. 

- Rating Pending (who is going to fit one more easy suggestion in at the end here: baked potato bar, but use cottage cheese and peas instead of, or along with, sour cream and shredded cheese. Use your oven-cooked crispy bacon to crumble on top too. Good stuff.)

A:

Dear,

Blue Apron's Shakshuka from a few months back was great. I've made it a few times, now. Don't worry about the pea shoots. They're not essential. 

Although it's not a fancy meal, this song here taught me to dramatically improve my breakfasts. (I have further improved on his recipe by adding a slice of muenster, and by using toasted English muffins instead of bread.) It's from 19:25 to 22:15. The rest may be worth watching too--I have enjoyed at least 3 of Alex Horne's songs--but I haven't watched the whole thing, and I won't swear there aren't swears.

And from a full decade ago (shock!) two that remain close to my heart. Happy cooking!

-Uffish Thought


0 Corrections
Question #89500 posted on 04/26/2017 8:15 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Finals is killing my brain. Can you share with me a movie you feel like everyone should watch sometime in their life?

-dead poets society

A:

Dear Farewell Mr. Bunting,

A Town Called Panic.

-Frère Rubik

A:

Dear yes,

Expiration Date. It's a great quirky independent movie that not enough people know about.

Yours, &c.

Heidi Book

A:

Dear Bope,

While You Were Sleeping. Good quotable lines, and sweetest, pre-hype Sandra Bullock role. 

Good luck and don't die during finals. Das not gud

-Auto Surf

A:

Dear Nuwanda,

Belle - Inspired by a true story, a mixed-race woman raised in an aristocratic family in 1780s England struggles to find her place in society while her uncle, the Lord Chief Justice, must make an important ruling on a case involving slavery. The film came out in 2013, but it was a bit of a sleeper and it's well worth your time if you like costume dramas or films about social issues.

- Katya

A:

Dear DPS,

A Beautiful Mind. For maximum effect you have to watch it without knowing anything about it beforehand, because it is SO GOOD, and not knowing anything about the ending until you see it makes it THAT MUCH BETTER.

-Alta

A:

Dear poet,

I very rarely encounter a movie that I'm willing to re-watch multiple times because I love it so much. The three that come to mind for me right now are as follows:

The Prestige

I consider the movie to be a better overall story than the somewhat odd and disappointing novel of the same name that was the source of the movie's overall plot. Phenomenal story telling and directing by Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight, Memento, Inception, etc.). I won't say too much to avoid spoilers in case you haven't seen it, but there is no detail out of place in this movie. The deeper you look, the more you find that the movie has been explaining itself to you the entire time.

Gattaca

I love this movie for reasons I don't understand. It's a great underdog story coupled with a futuristic plot coupled with a commentary on the ethics of genetic engineering of humans. I get a hankering for this movie every few years and I never get sick of it.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

A beautiful Chinese film about a (too) optimistic master fighter who only wants peace. Do yourself a favor and watch it with subtitles instead of dubbing (apply to all foreign films) to get the beauty and quality of the language itself along with the excellent story.

Best,

The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear dps,

How has nobody said The Sandlot yet.  The Sandlot is the only correct answer to this question.

No Dice

A:

Dear society,

Power Rangers is all you need in life right now.

-Ms.O'Malley

A:

Dear Poet,

Harold and Maude. Do yourself a favor and don't read the plot beforehand, or Google it, or do anything but rent it on Amazon to watch.

If you've already seen that, I'd recommend Samsara, but mostly so you can end up in an hour-long fight with your friends who you watch it with over whether a movie with NO WORDS was too heavy-handed and judgmental.  Not that I've done that or anything.

-Yog in Neverland

A:

Dear you,

I watched Phoenix for a German class, and it is fantastic. It's not your typical Holocaust film, but it does a very good job of exploring the issue with how we often have unrealistic or unhealthy expectations for survivors of trauma. It also does a good job of confronting the issue of how the friends and even relatives of Jewish people in Europe could have betrayed them. It's also subtle, beautifully paced, and full of good music.

-Zedability

A:

Dear friend,

Life is Beautiful and Labyrinth. For vastly different reasons.

-Van Goff who is DONE WITH FINALS AHAHAHA FIGHT ME HUMAN DEVELOPMENT YOU'RE DONE! DONE!

A:

Dear Dead Poets Society,

My Neighbor Totoro.

-Sky Bones 

A:

Dear Perdita X,

I love the movie Little Big Soldier. Netflix used to have it at one point, but I'm not sure if it's still available. Watch it in Chinese; its better that way. there are probably others, but I'm too tired to think. 

-Azriel


0 Corrections
Question #89386 posted on 04/26/2017 8:06 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If any of you went on Mandarin-speaking missions or have friends who did, that would be especially helpful.

I'm leaving on a mission to Taiwan at the end of May, and I'm wondering how best to prepare before entering the MTC. Specifically, I want to know how to prepare to learn Mandarin. I think I should try to learn pronunciations and Pinyin, but do any of you have more specific advice or resources?

-Light Yagami

A:

Dear Gami,

I emailed a friend who is currently serving in Taiwan, and here's what he said: 

"Mandarin is hard. But if you can learn to read pinyin before, you'll already be steps ahead! Don't worry about the language. The MTC does a great job preparing you (as long as you work hard), and the Taiwan missions right now have some of the most amazing language learning materials I've ever seen. I've been here about a year, but before I left I used an online chart with all the different (57 maybe?) sounds in Chinese, tones included. There were audio clips attached that you could practice along with. Also, have fun with it. When you're practicing the sounds and tones out loud in your apartment or wherever, yell them out. Louder the better."

And I just want to echo what Ardilla says below: culture is key to language mastery. Don't forget to work on both of them. 

Also, as you're learning and working and serving, don't forget to be where you are. There will be plenty of time to worry about plenty of things, but only limited time to be wherever you are. 

Take care,

-Auto Surf

A:

Dear xuesheng,

Everyone here has pretty well addressed the language aspect, but don't forget language is always accompanied by history and culture. Take a little time--even just an hour or two--to find out about Taiwan while you still have such ready access to things such as Wikipedia and CultureGrams. I think you will be a better-informed and better-prepared missionary for it.

Suerte,

--Ardilla Feroz

A:

Dear Constable Visit,

As it so happens, I did not serve a mission, but I know Mandarin and Taiwan. 

The BYU bookstore sells a Chinese language study edition of The Book of Mormon. I believe I got mine for something around $30. That in add to this audio recording (although incomplete) will get you started with at least Book of Mormon language. As for learning proper pronunciation and day-to-day vocabulary, Chinese Link  is a decent resource. (FYI Taiwan uses traditional characters and a different pinyin system.)

The majority of the population practices a blend of Taoism, Confusionism, and Buddhism. Basically Ancestor worship is a big deal! From my experience with the Taiwanese saints, most of them initially found interest in the Church because of our teachings in caring for our dead/eternal families. 

You should also know that there's a pretty large Philippine population there. Taiwan can be pretty prejudiced towards them and they are often seen as second-class. Most of them work as maids or nannies. We had a Phillipino sister in my branch, though, and she was seriously the kindest, most generous person! I don't rember if her husband was dead or a non-member, but either way it couldn't have been easy for her to come to church alone with her three kids. 

Also you should know that "Mormon" sounds like 魔門 which translates as "evil gate" or "evil door," so you should also be prepared for explains that we are not, in fact, devil worshippers and the BoM is not about worshipping the devil. 

I seriously love Taiwan so much! Best wishes to you on your assigned mission there; I don't believe you will find a more loving people anywhere in the world!

-Az

(P.S. Have fun with the traffic "laws" there and be careful on the streets. If you imagine yourself to be playing a live version of Mario Kart it's a little less scary. Kind of.)


1 Correction
Question #89491 posted on 04/26/2017 4:35 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is it time for the Jedi to end?

-No, no, (*inhales*), no.

A:

Dear no,

You'd better believe it. As an institution, the Jedi have completely failed.

Just look at the Jedi of the Prequel Trilogy. They may have originated as a mystical sect, but they functioned as a state-sanctioned paramilitary organization. They were tasked with handling diplomatic negotiations on behalf of the state. Once war broke out, they acted as front-line generals and special forces operatives. They literally kidnapped children for indoctrination. In the real world, we call that a war crime and we call the people who do that terrorists.

Even though they paid lip service to the Force, their real guidance was a massive body of dogma. My preferred analogy is with the Pharisees of the New Testament - they were so focused on the law that they had completely lost sight of the entity that created their philosophy in the first place. They prohibited contact with family members or the formation of relationships outside of their organization. In the real world, we call that a cult.

That's not to say that the individual Jedi were bad or evil. They were raised and trapped in a self-perpetuating structure that blinded them to its own flaws, and the Prequel Trilogy is (or at least should be) the story of how that structure finally collapsed under its own weight. The story of Anakin Skywalker is (or at least should be) a case study in how the Jedi structure could destroy a life and fail those it was supposed to protect.

The Jedi and the Sith could not bring balance to the Force because the Jedi and the Sith were the imbalance in the Force.

By the time of the Original Trilogy, of course, the Jedi Order was all but erased from both existence and memory. Luke Skywalker received a few hours' training from Obi-Wan in A New Hope. Yoda gave him at best a week or two's training in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Perhaps there was more that we didn't see in the films, but it seems clear that the newly established Jedi were heirs to a fragmented and largely forgotten philosophy. And from the story of The Force Awakens, it seems equally clear that however the new Jedi were organized, their order collapsed almost immediately.

I'm sure The Last Jedi will fill in a lot of these gaps, but based purely on what we already know, it seems clear to me that the Jedi have failed. If balance is to be restored to the Force, it will have to be done through the creation of something new and different.

-yayfulness

A:

Dear No

My 4yo is very concerned about which Jedi is going to end. He's asked me a good two dozen times since I showed him the trailer.

-Humble Master

A:

Dear no,

I'm just going to point out that we are 8 movies into this thing, so probably. But I imagine earth's many Jedi will forge on nonetheless. 

~Professor Kirke

A:

Dear No No,

Umm yes? Absolutely? 

Here's the thing, the Light Side and the Dark Side both have to exist. You have to have opposing forces for there to be balance. The Sith continually destroy themselves because they have never learned the temperance, peace, or patience of the Light Side. The Jedi always end up destroyed by removing themselves from emotions, connections, and passion, instead building to a point of overwhelming pride and arrogance.

True balance in the Force has to come from both sides. You have to find the happy medium, or else it will inevitably fail. 

-Watts

A:

Dear Nooo,

The Jedi are the worst.

The prequel trilogy is all about revealing the good guys as the bad guys all along, on every level. The Republic turns into the Empire, the Clones become Stormtroopers, Palpatine is unmasked as Sidious, Anakin becomes Vader, Jar Jar becomes a tool of Palpatine, etc.

The Jedi Order are villains on equal footing with Palpatine.

Qui-Gon Jinn is willing to cross any ethical boundary to manipulate, lie, cheat, and steal, to recruit a powerful new child soldier. He puts a child in a pod race — a deadly blood sport — to get free engine repairs. He relies on quantitative midichlorian lab results rather than ethical values or the will of the Force to justify his selection of Anakin. Jinn essentially condones slavery, not just making Anakin a slave of the Jedi Order, but also abandoning Shmi and eagerly accepting Jar Jar's "life debt."

Remember how Palpatine tells Anakin that the Jedi Council were plotting to overthrow the republic? He's 100% telling the truth.

The Jedi send Anakin to spy on Palpatine and then literally walk into his office to carry out a coup. Mace Windu never intended to make an arrest; he's there as an assassin. Windu claims he's there with the authority of the Senate; Palpatine says "I am the Senate." And Windu knows knows Palpatine is right, admitting to Anakin that Palpatine "has control of the courts and the Senate" so he is "too dangerous to be left alive." Palpatine fights back in self defense, and Anakin offers to help Windu actually make an arrest. Windu refuses and tries to murder Palpatine, who lies defenseless on the floor.

Anakin, of course, disarms Windu to defend Palpatine. This was absolutely the right thing to do — legally, ethically, morally. And then Palpatine throws Windu out the window, which seems a bit out of line but, honestly, are we supposed to believe that will kill a Jedi? (George Lucas and Samuel L. Jackson both think he survived.)

With the Jedi Order revealed as traitors — which they demonstrably are by any standard — Order 66 is set into motion to eliminate the Jedi Order to prevent greater casualties. If Palpatine was too dangerous to leave alive because he had the support of the courts and the Senate, then the Jedi were doubly so, as they were willing to disregard the courts and Senate entirely. They attempted to assassinate the chancellor of the Republic with neither a warrant nor a trial.

What about the younglings? If Darth Vader actually killed them (which can be disputed) remember that these were actually trained and armed superhuman child soldiers, brainwashed by the Jedi. Leaving them alive would be incredibly dangerous; one young padawan alone killed six clone troopers singlehandedly. The Jedi dragged these children into the war in the first place; they were as responsible as Vader for the death of the younglings.

Sure, Palpatine pulled a few strings and crossed some lines to get into office, and he's an evil Sith, yadda yadda. But he transforms the republic through the legislative process and the consent of the governed systems ("I will make it legal"). And the most obviously illegal parts of the plan to start the civil war were carried out by former Jedi — Sifo Dyas orders a clone army, Count Dooku (who left the Jedi Order and Republic because of their corruption) leads the secessionist movement. Some of the worst dudes in the galaxy are Jedi alumni, just trying to do best they can with the woefully inadequate system of values given to them by the Jedi Order. If Anakin had enrolled in a high school ethics course instead of battling robots every day with Obi-Wan Kenobi, do you think he still would have ended up as Darth Vader?

As Palpatine says, "All who gain power are afraid to lose it. Even the Jedi." The Jedi erect a facade of stoicism and selflessness, but they serve neither law nor democracy. Their only goal is to consolidate the power of the Jedi Order, and they will trample over anything that stands in their way.

Luke has apparently spent some time studying the history of the Jedi Order. He did not like what he discovered.

Love,

Sauron (and Waldorf)

A:

Dear People,

YEEESH. One trailer and suddenly everybody's turned into Revenge of the Sith Anakin Skywalker, to which I respond: "WELL THEN YOU ARE LOST!"

Also, I have the high ground, so don't try it. And you know what I mean by "it." Don't try it.

Here's a theory that literally just jumped into my head: suppose that actually the good Jedi/evil Sith paradigm we've grown accustomed to over seven movies actually isn't flawed. No, I don't think that this is necessarily good (I mean, Jedi cut themselves off from all emotion, and that's not very healthy), but let's suppose that the series remains consistent in this way. Why would Luke say that it's time for the Jedi to be done-so, then?

Well, consider Yoda's timeless maxim that fear is the path to the Dark Side by way of anger, hate, and suffering. When Ben done went and burned down the Jedi temple, I'd reckon that Luke may have jumped straight into the "anger" part of that process, and things may have just gone downhill from there. Perhaps when Rey arrives he agrees to train her out of some nagging sense of responsibility but is increasingly bitter about the hand he's been dealt by the Force. Perhaps something happens to push him past the tipping point and fully into the Dark Side of the Force and the rest of the sequel trilogy is about Rey and Kylo Ren teaming up to stop him (because, even though we don't know Snoke's power level, evil Luke would be a force to be reckoned with).

"But Luke would never turn evil!" you protest, to which I say "Hmmm? HMMMMMMM?"

I rest my case.

-Frère Rubik actually isn't super convinced that his theory is correct but does think that it's kind of neat-o


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Posted on 04/26/2017 4:35 p.m. New Correction on: #89496 I've been feeling like I really need to drop added sugar from my diet. Now, I ...
Question #89432 posted on 04/26/2017 4:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can we see another cool church-related map? Maybe meeting-house density or member density?

-Yayfulfan

A:

Dear Yayfulfan,

First the bad news: This question (actually, this reunion week in general) comes at the worst possible time for me to really dig into any major projects, since it lands square in the middle of several projects that I am getting graded on and/or paid for. Unfortunately, I can't spare the hours that it would take to put together the sort of map that you're hoping for. This is disappointing, since I'd been looking forward to the thought ever since I got accepted to grad school and regained access to ArcGIS.

But there is good news!

Good news, part one: My beloved Board child and fellow GIS user Inverse Insomniac is going to make the map you asked for!

Good news, part two: I still check my Board email (yayfulness(at)theboard.byu.edu) on a regular basis. My most spectacular mapping projects took a lot longer than 100 hours to complete, so if you email me around the beginning of 2018 with a request, odds are good that I'll have something publishable by the time alumni week rolls around. (Or email me now! You'll just have to wait a year for your answer and thoroughly break Optimistic's record.)

Good news, part three: Since I can't do much else for you, here's a picture of my cat looking like a doofus to at least partly make up for it.

cat for board.jpg

Seriously, though, I'm sorry that I can't give you what you asked for. Hopefully next year things will work out a bit better for both of us.

Regretfully,

-yayfulness

A:

Dear Phandalin,

Here's a map that compares LDS membership to membership in all religions in Utah. As you can see, San Juan, Grand, and Summit counties have the lowest proportion of Mormons in the state, but also have the lowest levels of religious adherence in general. Duschesne, Sanpete, Beaver, Wayne, and Garfield counties have a relatively high ratio of Mormons to all religious people, while Tooele county has a relatively low ratio of Mormons to all religious people. This didn't quite turn out to be as interesting as I expected. I'll have to do some further digging into LDS-related data for next year. It's kind of frustrating because the Church doesn't release location data for meetinghouses or ward boundaries or anything, so you have to find other sources.

Utah_Religion.png

-Inverse Insomniac


0 Corrections