Comparison of Browing Hi Power Pistols 1970s and 2010s

I have a character who served in the British Armed forces in the 1970s who is looking, for the first time, at an armed forces issue pistol from the past five years - i.e., an unspecified moment between about 2010 and today (time travel is involved). I'm assuming it is a Browning Hi Power pistol - it could be a Glock 17 but a Browning seems more likely to be familiar to the character. What differences might the character notice? and would it be obvious to them how to engage the safety and disarm the gun.

I've found the Wikipedia Page for the Browning Hi Power but I'm not really familiar enough with the terminology to understand how that would translate into my character's observations.

What followed the death of a Chinese emperor

Setting: this is for a fanfic for a Chinese drama called Nirvana in Fire. The drama is set during the Northern and Southern dynasties for costuming etc purposes, but it's actual setting is a fantasy China, so the empire (Liang) borrows various bits of cultures and systems from different time periods. So time period doesn't have to be exact! If there's some good information from another period I could tweak I can work with that. Main religions / philosophies referenced on the show are Confucianism and Buddhism.

Okay! Long preamble :) so the scenarios is:
The emperor has just died. He has two sons who have been manouvering for succession. one is acknowledged crown prince but is widely viewed as incompetent, the other is competent and is also the adopted son of the empress. Both have factions within the court, or about equal influence, and neither is likely to concede.

Three main questions:

1.) what would happen immediately following the emperors death? How would it be announced, what would the funeral arrangements be, mourning customs for family/court/government/populace etc.

2.) what would happen to his consorts and concubines? The mother of the new emperor would become dowager empress, but what would happen to all the others? Would they remain in the inner palace, be turned out with a stipend, or what?

3.) how would the official succession/ ascension of the new emperor work, and what opportunities might there be to subvert it? Is there anything that could be used to delegitimise the crown prince, ie, sworn statement that the emperor changed his mind on his death bed? Would the crown prince automatically become emperor? What would the enthronement ceremony be like/ what else would need to take place to confirm his ascension? What would the roles of the other princes (his brothers) be?

Terms searched include: Chinese emperor funeral; Chinese emperor death rituals: chine enthronement; China widowed consorts; consorts after emperors death; succession China emperor etc.

Mostly finding either generic info on Chinese funerals or info about emperor puyi or the terracotta warriors.

Any help hugely appreciated!

a multitude of questions re: the 1920s

setting: Chicago, Illinois circa 1924 or 1925; the character in question was born in London, November of 1907

I have a character I created for a joint Call of Cthulhu/Mansions of Madness campaign; he's a rather precocious young man who was born in London and emigrated to Chicago with his family when he was very young. By precocious, I mean fluent in multiple languages by the age of 19 (which is approximately his age during the game timeframe), attending college beginning around 13 or 14. However, in building his backstory I ran into a few walls while doing research...

questions following the cutCollapse )

Marriage in 1859 New York City

The year is 1859, the place NYC. My character was seduced and abandoned by her wealthy suitor and thrown out of the house when her father realized the marriage he'd been counting on wasn't going to happen. (The suitor was of higher social standing, so the girl's family weren't able to insist the wedding take place.) And of course she's found herself pregnant. Another character who was in love with her asked her to marry him. At this point, she likes him well enough and agrees.

My question: can they be married by a justice of the peace? Would the JP be called a preacher or a reverend? The girl is Episcopalian and the man has no religion to speak of. It's imperative that the wedding take place immediately, so if there's a three day waiting period, that's not going to be good. I can have the officiant be friends with the male character and do him the favor of rushing it.

Searched: Mid-/1800s Civil War Era Marriage Proposals.

Wedding Customs Before the Civil War.

New York Marriage Licenses 1860.

Antebellum and Civil War Weddings.

The thing is, these expect the weddings to be elaborate occasions and not something rushed to protect the bride's reputation.

I also checked out the tags in this group (and found a very interesting one on crossdressing, which should come in handy down the line in this story.) but nothing addressed this particular topic.

Help, please?

Layout of the Louvre

The setting is the Louvre, Paris, 1911

I need a way from Location A to the Mona Lisa, by way of a staircase (either by using one or passing one).

I have two characters stealing the Mona Lisa, and I need a route for them to walk. At the moment I start them in front of the Denon Wing, room 77, at Liberty leading the People, and I want to move them to Denon Wing, room 6 to the Mona Lisa (E).

The thing is, though, I want them to hide near a stairwell at a certain point to escape a guard, but I think there are none on the direct route from location A to B. There is an elevator, but I don't know if there's a place to hide there.

I could have them start at a different painting/sculpture first, perhaps have them on the ground floor/second floor, but I would need to know which hung/stood in the way to the Mona Lisa in 1911. I'm having some trouble finding a list or an account.

I've never been in the Louvre, so I don't know if it's possible to hide behind a colum or somewhere else. That would be good, too, as long as it's big enough to hide two people.

I looked up the ground plans of the Louvre displaying the ground floor and first floor (where both the Mona Lisa and Liberty leading the People hang).

I found a list of paintings that hang in the Louvre on Wikipedia, but it doesn't always say when the painting came to the Louvre. Only when the painting is very well-known are there records of where the painting has been.

I tried the Interactive floor plans at the Louvre site but I can't make sense of it.

I used the terms in Google:
  - Louvre layout
  - paintings Louvre 1900
  - paintings in the Louvre
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Spliting up Africa and Modern Religions IN SPACE!

Setting: Fandom tangental, but the only relevant part is that it's just like our world until the late 1990's, where the whole world is united basically overnight into a largely peacful magical kingdom. From there I'm taking a sci-fi route and throwing people onto multiple generation/colony ships and sending them out into the universe, never to return.

So, I have two questions. I don't need exact answers for either (and I expect there aren't any) but I don't know enough to be comfortable making the judgement calls, and I can't find quite what I'm looking for on Google.

1) When spliting Sub-Saharan Africa into two broad groups, is it 'okay' to group the 'east' and 'south' parts as one, and the 'west' and 'central' parts as the other? I primarily want similar/related cultures grouped together as much as possible. Geography isn't necessarily a concern.

2) Are there any reasons any major modern religions can/can't continue to be practiced when humans leave earth permanently? Specifically, will/can Islam make the transition into space? I don't know much about Islam, but I know one of the requirements is a pilgrimage Mecca at least once. Can 'proper' Muslims leave the solar system permanently?

I've tried searches off and on for cultural and liguistic groups in africa, hoping to get a best fit, but the results I find are all too specific with dozens, if not hundreds, of distinct little groups all over and no way for me to tell which ones are most similar to each other without exhausive, and otherwise uneccesary, reasearch. I got the east/west/south/central divides from looking at political divisions of the African continent, and population density maps show a big blob in the west-central region and another along the south-east edge, so that seems reasonable but I have no idea if there's any larger cultural issues with that grouping.

I've also done various searches for permutations of islam/muslims in (outer) space, but all I can seem to find is the answer to how to do the daily prayers from the space station, and that Muslims are forbidden from applying to go to Mars, at least at this point and mostly because it's tantamount to suicide which is also forbidden. I've even added 'worldbuiliding' to the searches, but apparently no one else has considered writing about Muslims in space. I didn't even get any results talking about Dune!

All I need for these is a reasonably solid place to extrapolate from. Informed opinions are welcome, as are links to resources that might have more pertinent information. The story itself is 'sufficiently far in the future' that I have plenty on wiggle room, but Africa is large enough and diverse enough to warrant multiple colonies, and a colony full of Muslim Arabs will likely turn out quite a bit different than the same colony full of non-Muslim Arabs, and I don't want to write them in/out arbitrarily.


How to Research in a Pre-Google Setting

Setting: late 1960s early 1970s - small town in America

My character is trying to research and follow a clue/ lead in something they are investigating. They just have three letters and nothing else to go on - not much of an idea what it is - but this is all they got so they are going to try. Might be an acronym for a business, or an organization - that's all they know.

I'm stumped as to what resources they would be able to use to try to find anything out. They are currently based in a small town in the South West that probably doesn't have a great library. I'm not even sure where one would start looking in a library. Newspapers? Business listings? Stock reports?

They also have resources - or favors they can call in from more populated locations - so presumably someone else in a less crappy town or city is also looking - but where or what at I'm still not sure.

I was a kid in the pre-internet days so I remember card catalogs and microfiche but have no idea how research works when its not just "find a book on kentucky" or "when did a president die?"

I tried googling 'resources in libraries in the 1960's" 'research pre google' - I mainly find history of libraries - and data storage but no idea where someone would go for information or what they would even try to look for.

Everyday carry for a sculptor

Setting is modern-day London.

I have a character in her early 30s who's a working sculptor, mostly in clay (I think - any thoughts about that welcomed - I haven't done all the research on this part yet), and I am trying to figure out what she carries around with her on a daily basis, related to her artistic practice.

For plot purposes she needs to do a lot of sketching, so I would definitely like thoughts on sketchbooks (would she carry more than one? in different sizes?) and pencils or charcoal or whatever she'd likely have. She's primarily interested in sculpting/sketching bodies, and really likes drawing hands, so I was thinking larger notebooks or else she'd be drawing hands in miniature.

I'm also interested in hand cream or equivalent, and for this one I'd not only like to know what she'd use on a daily basis, but something that *doesn't* work well, because someone has to give her a tube of hand cream that's expensive but completely inappropriate.

Anything else she might just keep in her bag (any particular type of bag) on a regular basis?

I've done some Googling, but knowing what sketchbooks etc. are available for purchase doesn't tell me which ones are used and which are just poncey (are Moleskines too hipster...?).


How to address a UKBF officer?

I'm writing a detective story with an international cast of policemen, but I'm stuck at a scene, where a German DI ("Kriminalkommissar") meets an English customs officer. I take it that Customs in the UK are now called UKBF. I searched Wikipedia and concerning the ranks of UKBF officers and how to address them, but wasn't that successful. What I found, is this:

So, here are my questions:
- Is this table of ranks "state of the art"?
- If so, is a Border Force Higher Officer the equivalent of a Detective/Police Inspector?
- How do I address him/her formally?

The scenario is that a German police officer cooperates with a British DI, and then they need the help of Customs. And now I'm at a loss how the British DI would introduce his UKBF colleague to the German one, because of these very long rank names.
The three of them meet for the first time in person when meeting with the UKBF officer, and at first, no-one is quite happy about having to deal with this case and everything is quite formal, so they introduce themselves with their rank and last name. So what would the DI say? "This is Border Force Higher Officer Jones" or "Please meet Higher Officer Jones from the UKBF"? And how to address Mr./Mrs. Jones directly?

Any advice would be welcome.