The Best of QB

You’ve all walked past the famous (and recently restyled) Question Board, affectionately known as QB, at some point. You may have marveled at QB’s magical powers of research and punnery. Now, as the leaves turn, the weather gets colder, and movie critic fingers tap out best-of lists, we’ve got a list of our own: the three best answers from Question Board, plus a surprise!

(Looking for the full text of these QB winners? Visit the QB archive!)

Let’s start with what QB is best known for. No, it’s not hilarious references. It’s using library resources! There are a few contenders for the best use of library resources, but last year, QB answered a question about the wide, weird world of jean shorts, and came out the other side with more knowledge than you can shake a sewing needle at. QB personally told the bloggers here at the UGL that this research is a particular point of pride for QB. Let’s take a look at the question, shall we?

Vintage photo of young women harvesting cabbage

These ladies are looking pretty suave in their jean shorts.

“Dear QB: Why do most women consider denim shorts (or ‘jorts’) on males to be unfashionable? Is this a psychological or neurological phenomenon? Also, are there any known health effects associated with wearing denim shorts?”

QB was able to answer this question with style galore, although without wearing a pair of jorts:

“Dear Fashion Forward:

QB was quite pleased to get your question. Not having legs, QB has never worn a pair of jorts, although QB suspects they may be quite comfortable. To start with, QB thought it might be wise to get some background information on denim in general…”

The fully-covered answer can be found here on the QB website. But QB isn’t just known for looking good while doing research; QB is also a pun machine. Let’s take a look at the answer to this burning question:

“Dear QB: There are so many squirrels on this campus – but where is all their poop?!”

QB’s answer began as such:

“Dear Scatman,
While squirrels may be ubiquitous on the UIUC campus, credible, scholarly information about their defecation habits is most definitely not. QB searched long and hard through the resources available in the University of Illinois library system and was unable to come up with even the faintest whiff of research on the subject…”

You can find the entire punfully entertaining answer revealed here. And if you’re looking for more squirrel info, QB has sent this squirrel to the reference librarians pretty often, and seems to find it funny.

In the land of the library there live many very proud nerds of all kinds. We here at the blog would like to give QB a shout-out for musically nerding it up while answering this question:

“Dear QB: Did the Obama’s political allies assassinate Tupac in order to prevent Tupac’s presidency?”

Sad cartoon character in headphones

We miss you, Tupac. (Image courtesy of kreezzalee on Flickr)

QB responds thusly:

“Dear Conspiracy Theorist,
QB applauds your keen eye in looking back at 1996… the year that saw the death of Tupac Shakur on September 13th…work your way through biographies of all the major players (the libraries here on campus have books on Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, and Suge Knight…”

Such research (found in its complete form here)! And presented in such beautiful style!

This brings us to our surprise: the podcast. Didn’t you know we have podcasts? You’ve been missing out! Hear all the voices of QB on iTunes here and subscribe to listen to QB’s magnificent answers. Don’t have iTunes? No problem—QB makes sure that there is always a podcast up and ready online, right above the text of QB’s answer. Our favorite (and one of QB’s as well) answers the age old question:

“Dear QB: How come you can’t keep your eyes open when you sneeze? Is your body protecting your eyes from popping out?”

Find the podcast here and listen to your heart’s content.

So there you have it: QB’s top three answers—and a magnificent podcast to boot. Visit QB on the lower level of the UGL anytime for more thoughtful answers, or check out QB on the UGL website.  If you’ve got your own questions, don’t be shy—ask QB! QB is ready and raring to answer your most pressing and random questions. Anything you’ve ever wondered about but were too confused or embarrassed to look up yourself – QB can handle it for you.

Got a research question? QB is a busy board answering all your trivia questions. Try the Undergraduate Library Research Desk on the upper level or use our Ask-A-Librarian service online!

Special thanks to guest blogger Zoe Weinstein.

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QB Gets a Facelift!

You may’ve noticed something different about the UGL. No, it’s not the rearranging of furniture to make way for the awesome Media Commons (more on that later, though). No, it’s not the new super-sweet online group reservation system. If you make your way to the lower level, tip your hat at the 41-year-old Question Board and QB’s fabulous new makeover!

The  board has forms and folders for you to submit your question old school style.

For the first time in about 10 years, the beloved QB has a great new look.

Old QB questions were hard to read and enjoy.

Old QB, looking a bit staid…


New questions are now presented in a colorful, eye-catching way.

And now, it’s all shiny and bright!
QB now features neat new graphics with such enticing questions as:

Fun images also accompany new questions.

  • What’s involved in requesting the services of an exorcist?
  • Do milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard?
  • What, exactly, is the story of pub food?
  • Are mushrooms healthy?

Want to know the answers? Check out QB’s website! But fear not—full questions and answers live on QB’s board, too, so you’ll have something to read in person, too! If extra reading isn’t your thing–but you’re still curious about these questions–you can also listen to the QB podcasts, available on the QB site or iTunes. Boom.

QB is re-energized and is waiting to answer your most pressing and random questions, so if you’ve ever wondered something but were too embarrassed to ask or too busy to look it up, QB will do it for you! QB knows no bounds. Stop by the lower level and check out the new digs!

Got a research question? QB is a busy board answering all your trivia questions. Try the Undergraduate Library Research Desk on the upper level or use our Ask-A-Librarian service online!

Special thanks to guest bloggers Chris Diaz and Zoe Weinstein.

No really, the new board is very pretty.

Go ahead. Ask QB!

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