QB is the Undergraduate Library’s anonymous question-answering service. Established in 1972 as part of the UGL’s reference services, QB has answered thousands of questions submitted by library patrons. You can still submit your questions the old-fashioned way: by filling out and depositing a question form on the physical Question Board (pictured above, and located on the lower-level of the UGL across from the media collection). Or, you can send your questions to QB online, if that’s your preference. Either way, QB will try to get to your questions ASAP (but please be patient, folks, as QB’s services are in high demand, and QB needs time to provide you with the quality, witty responses you’ve come to expect).
Not sure what kinds of questions to ask QB? Some awesome topics QB has tackled include how to kill an immortal, whether blondes have more fun, how to become a ninja, whether Santa Claus is real, why the Greek system is Greek, and many more answers as well.
Here’s a random sampling of some of our favorite questions from this past year (and some choice snippets of QB answers… click on the linked answers to read the full responses):
Question: If you have ever been on the Bardeen (Engineering) Quad, you may have noticed that the paths cutting across it are rather indirect. Why does the Engineering Quad have these swoopy, inefficient paths, while the Main Quad has direct, straight-line connections between its buildings?
Answer: …Looking back into campus history, QB notes that before the plan for the quad, the area was meant to be used as experimental horticulture grounds. Although that didn’t happen, in 1871 a plan for the area included curved (not straight) paths surrounded by gardens. The University, however, decided against it because of, among other things, the possibility that “rowdy boys” would be “incited to mischief by the opportunity presented.” QB usually sees students at their most studious and is amused to hear about the danger they may have posed to plant life in bygone years…
Question: I’m considering buying my girlfriend some jewelry and I am all about saving money. Can girls honestly tell the difference between real diamonds and cubic zirconium? What are the odds she will find out that the cubic zirconium is not real diamond if I tell her that it is a real diamond?
Answer: When it comes to love, Cheap, honesty really does tend to be the best policy. Chances are, you’re a college undergrad. Do you think your girlfriend doesn’t know you’re broke? If you really want to impress her, give her a gift from the heart. Short on ideas? Why not check out _The Idiot’s Guide to Making Great Gifts_, available here in the Undergrad Library.
Question: How do magnets work?
Answer: Throughout time, your question has been posed by scientists, scholars and–most recently–Juggalos. That’s right, Magnetic: Insane Clown Posse also asked this question in their song, “Miracles,” which first appeared on their 2009 album, “Bang! Pow! Boom!”. A video for the song was released in 2010, and the verse “I see miracles all around me / Stop and look around, it’s all astounding / Water, fire, air and dirt / F@$*ing magnets, how do they work?” drew quite a bit of attention, spawning an internet meme, a “Saturday Night Live” spoof and polarizing audiences worldwide. Regardless of the musical relevancy of “Miracles,” however, the question still remains: Magnets–how do they work?
So come along and drop QB a line today. You know you want to!