The Bow Tie Guy

16 YEARS ago stats professor William F. Christensen (BS ’94, MS ’95) shunned neckties and began wearing bow ties (except for at funerals). He’s since earned the nickname “Bow Tie Guy,” joining the thin but stalwart ranks of BYU bow-tied scholars.

25 BOW TIES are in Christensen’s collection, five of which are retired, having given years of “excessive service.” He buys new ones via eBay estate sales. “The best place to get bow ties is from dead guys,” he says.

10 PERCENT—“at least”—of Christensen’s students comment on his bow ties in class evaluations.

20 MINUTES is the time it takes to learn to knot a bow tie, he says. “But you might need a few practice sessions before you feel good about wearing one in public.”

Holy Grappling Hook, Batman!

17 UNIVERSITIES, including BYU, built devices to help soldiers scale vertical surfaces in an Air Force–sponsored competition. The BYU team turned to Batman movies and comics for inspiration.

3RD PLACE was awarded to the BYU team, whose grappling-hook gun uses either a traditional hook or a super-sticky epoxy anchor that binds to vertical walls.

30 FEET PER MINUTE is the speed at which the gun’s winch system can lift a person weighing up to 300 pounds—that’s faster than the Air Force’s current wall-scaling method. The teams had to ascend a 90-foot building.

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