[Anon Post] Polish and Russian Food during/just after WWII

[Mod Note (7/15/17): Your mod would like to offer a blanket apology for taking so long to post anonymous questions lately. I promise to be more on top of this.]

I have a couple of characters whose history is that they were twins from an Ashkenazi family who started out in Poland, fled to Russia in the war to escape the Nazi occupation, and then returned briefly to Poland postwar. Then in 1946 a combination of human nastiness and Weird Magic Shit happened and they ended up in a kind of really shitty fairyland for unaging years.

One of them is a girl and after the Weird Shit happens one of her coping mechanisms becomes cooking; specifically, cooking the way she learned herself, from her own mother. Food and memory go hand in hand so much; cooking the things she remembers is a way of keeping hold of her humanity and her memories of having a family. What I need to know is what kind of food that would be. I've looked at Wikipedia's articles on Polish and Ashkenazi cuisine but those are both about modern food; I need to know what kind of things would have been available in the scarcer times of the war and its aftermath. The twins were fifteen in 1946, born in 1931, so the things my character would have learned to cook would have been heavily shaped by the lean times she lived in.

This is my first time here, so I hope that I have not made any goofs!

Criminally insane psych patients - how much outside contact is allowed?

Time/Place: A large American city on the west coast, in the mid-1990s
Search terms used: "mental health facility security", "criminally insane security measures", "psychiatric patient contact", "psychiatric patient letters", "can insanity defense patients send letters"

I'm currently working on a fanfiction story, set in a universe that is fairly comicbook-y. However, I want to keep the little details realistic where I can, since suspension of disbelief can only go so far.

Character A is a recently-arrested domestic terrorist who has been placed under high security in a psychiatric facility, on the grounds that he's both mentally unfit to stand trial and very physically dangerous (but intelligent and capable of being calm when he wants to). However, he has an accomplice, Character B, who the authorities don't know about and is still on the outside.

I'm trying to figure out a way for Character B to reach out to Character A while he's confined and help him plan his eventual escape, while still concealing B's identity from the police (Character A has usually been a solo operator and voluntarily cut off from society, so the police don't have reason to immediately think someone would help him). I had the idea of them possibly exchanging coded letters that use a popular science journal as a cipher (B could send A new issues periodically), but I don't know if that's something the facility staff would tolerate, or how closely they'd scrutinize any mail that came in or out.

Most of my online searching has turned up rules for ordinary mental health patients, or else just general discussion about the rights of the criminally insane. Since this isn't set in our exact United States, it doesn't need to follow exact rules or laws, but a solid outline of what kind of outside contact and correspondence is usually allowed for known-to-be-dangerous mental health patients would be helpful.

Edit: I should have clarified: the authorities do know B's identity, just not that she's helping A. She was present when he was captured (and briefly injured and hospitalized), but they let her go because they thought she was a bystander caught in the crossfire. If she continued to have open contact with him, though, especially visiting him in person, they'd probably get suspicious.

Police officer from Los Angeles working in Pasadena?

As part of a long fanfic series I've written over several years I want an LAPD officer to visit the home of someone who I've previously said lives in Pasedena. This isn't a search or anything, I just need her to visit the house and notice something.

What I've come up with as the reason for the visit is that there's been a jury-tampering case in Pasadena and the character's name has been mysteriously removed from a couple of lists of eligible jurors (There's an explanation for this - someone else rigging the system to keep the character from getting tied up in long trials, not related to the other jury-tampering - but it isn't important).

What I need is a plausible reason for an LAPD officer to be working in Pasadena and assigned to this case. I don't want the police officer to transfer to the Pasadena police department permanently - it isn't incredibly important, but it would be against the canon of this particular character. My original explanation for this was that the Pasadena PD wanted the jury-tampering investigated by outsiders who were not involved in any of the relevant trials, but that feels a bit weak. Another possibility is that the police officer is assigned to a task force investigating similar jury tampering in Los Angeles, Pasedena, and other cities in the area, but it feels like that would be the US Department of Justice, not local police departments.

Can anyone suggest a better reason?

Searches I've tried so far:

pasadena police officer working for LAPD
lateral officer pasadena
LAPD and Pasadena PD cooperation


later - it looks like this one isn't going to work - I think I'll have them meet on neutral ground instead. Thanks to everyone who commented.

Self-inflicted vs accidental stab wound

I have a relatively healthy 45 year old male in pretty good physical shape who stabs himself in the lower left abdomen with a butcher knife. He's not trying to kill himself, but the reason he does this is related to the supernatural. Therefore, no one can really tell the truth about why he did it since no one will believe them. His friend concocts a story that he was coming down the stairs and stumbled and fell on the knife. My question is would the medical personnel involved in patching him up be able to tell they (the guy and his friends) were lying?

Research terms: self inflicted stab wound, accidental vs self inflicted wound/injury

Everything that came up in my search was self-inflicted vs assault-inflicted stab wound. I couldn't find anything that detailed the characteristics of accidental stab wounds vs self-inflicted, except that someone who stabs himself in the gut usually moves his shirt aside before he does it. This guy will not be doing that; he stabs right through his shirt.

A couple of things that could muddy the waters: One of the friends who is there when this all goes down will have some red irritation marks on his wrists because he has spent the last 2-3 days handcuffed to a piece of furniture. Also, this is a Real Person Fic; the 45 year old had a heroin problem in the late '90s and overdosed in 2001. As far as anyone knows, he hasn't touched heroin since then, but because he's famous, the medical personnel would be able to find out this happened with a few simple Google searches. Would these factors make the doctors and nurses suspicious that something hinky went on here?

Basically, I want to know if there's something about accidental vs self-inflicted stab wounds that would give away their lie.
  • Current Mood: curious

hiding places in/around american hospitals

When: Modern day, realistic
Where: Non-specified major American city

Characters A and B are nurses in a large hospital. Character A has to hide a small, physical object (a jump drive about the size of a lipstick) quickly in or around the hospital where they work, and she decides to entrust it to Character B, but she does not have time to meet him in person for the transfer, or even to contact him to tell him to look for it. She needs to be reasonably sure that it will reach him relatively quickly and not be intercepted by someone else (staff, patient, police, etc.). I need him to get/find it days to weeks after she hides/sends it, and while there can exist the possibility that someone else would have come across it before he gets to it, I need her to be sure that what she's doing is safe. I thought about some sort of internal mail system, but (a) that's not going to cause the delay I need, and (b) I think she would consider that too risky re: interception. I thought about her hiding it in some sort of machine/monitor in a patient's room, but I think (a) that does not seem very safe, and she has to think it's safe, and (b) there's only a small chance that he'll come across it quickly.

I went through the usa: health care and hospitals tag in this community, and did Internet searches on variations of hospital hiding places, hospital internal mail, hospital internal mailboxes, hospital nurse communication, hiding something in a hospital, etc., and there's nothing even close to what I'm looking for. (Most of the results are about either email or person-to-person verbal communication.)

I very much appreciate your help.

A deceased tenant's property

Hello! I need some information for a mystery novel. It's set in Europe, modern time, but it's an AU, so I only need to be convincing, without any specifics related to a particular country.

The question is: who takes charge of the property of a deceased tenant if the house he rented is a part of a big commercial residential complex? It's more or less clear what a landlord of a single apartment does in this case (and the process is almost the same in different countries). When I google "deceased tenant's property", I get a lot of instructions for individual landlords. But what about a large housing corporation? Who, among the staff, will take care of all the formalities, notify the dead man's relatives, store his property, etc? Will it be one person, or will different people take care of different stages of the process? Will they be in contact with the relatives directly, or will they need lawyers? On the whole, how will everything be organized in a big company?

Finding what (if any) stars are BETWEEN two given stars.

I'm writing a story set about five hundred years into the future. If a specific date is needed then let's say it starts on March 20th, 2549. The means of FTL I'm using in the story requires plotting between your target stars and the pilots would need to take into consideration any significant gravity effects on the route. The problem I'm running into is that I can't seem to find a way to figure out which stars have other stars between them.

I did a number of searches for everything from "Stellar Cartography" to "3d star maps" to "stellar navigation" (this last one mostly provided info on using the stars to navigate on the ocean's surface). I've found some things, like this, that list the nearest stars and have a general plot of the nearest ones but the way that these maps are laid out I really can't tell which stars are between which. I found Nasa's "Eyes on the Solar System" program (which is really cool looking but not really all that usable), this list of 3d star maps, and this stellar database (which is really useful for other things but can't tell me which star routes have navigational hazards).

For reference, the seven stars that humans would be traveling between most often would be Sol, Proxima Centauri, Epsilon Eridani, Tau Ceti, Wolf 1061, Fomalhaut, and Wolf 922. There would be other stars in the story but those are the most important ones, and the most important trip in the story would be a longer one that leads some 500 light years away via multiple jumps. Is there an easy place to find this kind of information?

[Anon Post] WWII-era Bar Fights, European Theater

I run a blog on tumblr as Bucky Barnes, and I'm often asked to tell stories from the 'good old days,' and bar fights have come up a couple times. Given that it's Marvel-universe, I'm not super concerned with getting every little detail right, but I would prefer to use historically correct information when possible. I ran some searches in google on bar fights during the war (1940s bar fight, pub fight, WWII bar fight), but there's a video someone made of WWII as a bar fight that makes it pretty difficult to find historically relevant articles. I did find some interesting stuff about women in America stepping in the fill the shoes of absent male bartenders during the war, but I'm more interested in things closer to the eastern front. So what I'd like to know is information in the following veins: how often did bar fights occur with soldiers on leave in Europe? How severe were sanctions for such fights? Were they common? Were they typically between same-country same-branch military members, or would it be likelier to happen between military and civilians, or different military members from allied countries?

I know there's probably not a ton of data on this, but even just a good impression of what happened in a few specific occasions would be helpful. This isn't a super pressing research topic--it's mostly to sate my own curiosity and keep from tiny misinformations in my writing, so unless it strikes your fancy, please don't feel the need to go out of your way for this issue.

[Anon Post] Arabic and Polish Profanity Translation

Hello! I am working on a novel where the main character is interacting with Sudanese refugees. The men are speaking very casually but when the situation becomes more "heated," a few insults are thrown. I would like to find a proper translation for a word like "prick" or some similar word in Arabic that would be used as an insult that men might say to other men.

I would also like a translation of "mild" Polish profanity. I want something not-so-serious, more of a joking thing young boys might say to each other.

If there's anyone who speaks Arabic that would be incredible because I have a few Arabic-speaking characters and I would love to be more specific with what words the characters might pronounce differently when they're speaking English, i.e. what words they might skip over, alter, say differently than a native English speaker.

I have googled translations of Arabic and seen "shanbora," but I would like to make sure that really means "prick"! YouSwear says it means "dick," but not sure how reliable that is and if it's really used in a slang-profanity way.

For the Polish one, I've got "krasnoludek," which google says means "troll" so I'm hoping that will work.

This is tripping me up so much in the story. You have no idea how much this would help me!