Any good sources on 1800s-ish merchant ship life?

My story's set in a broad-AU (Earth with magic), and I'd like to get the "feel" right (and maybe steal some ideas of events that can happen to Our Heroine...)

So, does anyone know of any good sources, fictional or factual, contemporary or (at least mildly well-researched) modern, for what it might be like for my character, a navigator's apprentice (more or less) on a smallish British merchant vessel in the 1800s, give or take half a century? If there's nothing that specific, anything about any small to medium merchant vessel or the like from about that era, or anything about being a navigator on any vessel from about that era, would be helpful. Specifically military stuff would be less than entirely useful if it doesn't cover navigation much, but privateer or pirate stuff might be helpful.

In terms of non-contemporary fiction, it doesn't need to be super, super, super accurate, just not, eg, Pirates of the Caribbean-level flights of fancy.

Bonus points if it's free. Super super bonus points if it's on Librivox (or some other legal free audio-book source), so I can listen to it in the car.

Searches: poked about a bit randomly with search terms like "1800 British merchant ship", also looked at the Wikipedia page for "nautical fiction". Kinda wasn't sure how to approach this.

edit to clarify: I'm aiming for anything set/about between ~1750 and ~1850, but preferably towards the center of that range. So, no steam ships.

Colombo in the 1930s

I have two British gentlemen who find themselves with time to kill in Colombo in the early-to-mid 1930s. One of them has been to Sri Lanka* before, the other hasn't. Gentleman A decides to show Gentleman B "the sights". What are "the sights"?

Research: I looked at tourist sites so I know what the must-sees are today. But I don't want my characters to stumble into something that wasn't open to the public back then or go somewhere that wasn't considered interesting or worth seeing then.

*I know they would have called it Ceylon

Presentation of PTSD


My story/headcanon, is set in the UK in modern times. I have a 43 year old male character that has been through a few traumatic events and has developed delayed onset PTSD.

My questions are mostly to do with how it would present.

For background, the original trauma was that he was given a drug that paralysed his muscles and therefore stopped him being able to move or breathe unaided, while his son was being threatened. He was conscious the whole time until he was taken to hospital and sedated. His best friend and four year old son were with him at the time. His knee was disclocated as well, if this is relevant. I have come to the conclusion that his triggers would likely be difficulty breathing and being restrained or unable to move.
Later on he is poisoned in an unrelated incident, and 6months later still, the man who first paralysed him, beats him up quite badly. It is after this incident that he develops the PTSD.

The questions I have are mostly related to the flashbacks he would experience.

1) is it reasonable that his flashbacks would make him freeze up and hyperventilate? If so, would his son(or a friend/member of the public) be able to get him to move somewhere safe or is he going to be stuck where he is until it passes? (His son is five at onset but this question is relevant for the rest of his life as his son is often the one that's with him when it happens)

2) How will he come out of them? Is it a gradual thing where he starts to move and talk again haltingly, or is it something that he will 'snap out' of?

3) What will he be like afterwards? Is is reasonable that if he has a flashback in a supermarket, he will be able to pay for the shopping and drive his son home without incident? Or is it a case of forcing himself to do things even though he still feels out of sorts. Will he be physically tired after the flashback?

4) Is it likely that in his old age, aging processes and illness will bring the flashbacks back even if he gets control of it as a younger man, because his general health (arthritis and illness related breathing problems), would be triggering in itself?

He does have a good friend that supports him, especially when his son is only young. This friend was also around during the trauma so knows what it is that happened. He does eventually seek professional help when the PTSD symptoms start to appear but its not straight away. His son is very loving and looks after him as well as he can when he needs it, as well as in old age.

I feel like I have read every article on the internet about flashbacks and still couldn't find a definitive answer on these questions even after a month of research.

Thank you for reading this and if there are any further details that are needed, please let me know and I will answer any questions.

How to refer to Yale University School of Art?

Quick question. I have a minor character who has an MFA from the Yale University School of Art, but in spite of trawling their website and a few others, I haven't been able to figure out whether she'd refer to it as Yale University School of Art, or as Yale School of Art, or the Yale School of Art, or something else.

The line is literally, 'I have an MFA in sculpture from....'

I'd like to get this right. If anyone knows, please tell me!

Also, belated thanks to everyone who responded to my question about a skin condition for my local drug dealer.

What are some common Russian mistakes in English? (+ Russian slang, naming, and swearing help)

Fandom/Setting: Teen Wolf/MCU (namely Daredevil and the Black Widow)

I need to know:

1.) Common and distinctive English mistakes made by native Russian speakers
2.) A Russian name that in some way connects to "Deucalion"
3.) The kind of Russian swearwords you shout when you stub your toe or realize you've lost
4.) Russian diminutives relating to spiders and wolves

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Plausibility/details check redux: how can I turn ~100 people into zombies with no one noticing

As per , with a new approach. Mostly a check of the ol' disbelief suspenders, at this point.

Time: now-ish. Probably either right before Christmas, or right before Spring Break. Location: ideally, western Colorado, though I can move them if I *have* to.

First, how my zombies work.Collapse )

But I'm trying to form the first zombie hive, back when only... maybe a few thousand people in the world are infected, and there have been a single-digit number of actual cases of zombieism.

So, I need a situation where:
1. ~100-120 people are in a relatively confined area.
2. One of them dies, at a time/in a situation where the rest of them can't get away easily, but are at least mostly still alive, though I'll need at least a few to be on the verge of dying.
3. Once we have ~100 zombies, I need them to be able to walk away from said confined area, *without* anyone being able to be *sure* that they did so (after death) for at least a month. This is the part that's proving tricky.

My prevailing thought at this point is to use some sort of camp or wilderness retreat or the like in a remote, backwoods bit of Colorado. That could easily be remote enough for my purposes, and there would be plenty of time between death and when anyone would be checking up on them for them to arrange things such that it looks like they could have, eg, been buried in an avalanche, or died in a fire, or something. The question now is how, exactly, to kill them. I want a majority to die of something other than (though it can be something at least exacerbated by) acute zombie mauling, and I need at least 10 or so to die without zombie mauling as a significant factor. Bonus if it leaves at least some relatively "pretty" (ie alive-looking) corpses.

Main ideas:
1. Food poisoning. Someone brings a popular foodstuff, that happens to be tainted with botulism or listeria or something. Everyone or nearly everyone ate some, they're all sick and barely mobile, the infected person (there's probably at most 2 or 3 zombie-infected people in the group, and if it's more than 1, they're probably dating or family) dies, then bites several others, some of whom also die. The rest are then easy meat for the zombie pack.

2. Flat out poison poisoning. Someone wants to kill the group, or wants to kill someone in the group and doesn't care about collateral damage, or is suicidal and wants to "share". They poison something communal (like the water supply), and from there it goes like 1.

3. Infection. Someone has some really nasty contagious disease (aside from zombieism), it passes around, and as per 1 and 2 from there.

4. Blizzard. A bad blizzard wipes out both their communication, and some crucial element of their supply of heat, food, and/or water, and basically traps them in the camp. They're miserable and weakened, and huddled in their cabins/tents, waiting for the roads to clear or whatever. One person dies in his sleep, and bites all his cabin-mates before they can subdue him. Some or all of them subsequently die of their wounds/their weakened state (maybe throw in some carbon monoxide here), a pack forms, and they get bitey on whoever's left.

5. Avalanche. Kind of like 4, but moreso, and on fast forward. Part (or all?) of the camp is buried in the fringes of an avalanche. One group of 10+, including the infected person, is buried alive. One dies, gets bitey, the rest asphyxiate (?), and when the rest of the camp digs them out (hoping they're still alive), you've got a pack ready and waiting. Munch, kill, oh no what have we done.

Of these, or any other ideas you have, what seems least implausible or unlikely? Any suggestions for refinements or improvements? Any other thoughts?

I don't mind unlikely, as long as it's not actively implausible, or at least not so implausible that it breaks anyone's disbelief suspenders.

Questions About Mexican-American Surnames and Family Experiences

Hey guys,

I have a Mexican-American MC and am trying to determine aspects of her family background (such as when/under what circumstances her family first came to America). I was thinking anywhere between the early half of the 20th century up to right before WW2 when the Bracero program was established, but had some questions and wanted to make sure the background I was thinking of using was historically accurate/mostly plausible. I also had a question about shortening last names.

More under the cut.Collapse )

If anyone has websites/anecdotes with more information/corrections to anything I've written, I'd be very grateful!

Research: Bracero Archive, Wikipedia, Google with search terms 'Mexican-American discrimination/avoiding deportation', and 'history of Mexican-American immigration in the US.', Mexican surnames, shortening Mexican surnames in America

Names in Ukrainian - James

Hullo! I'm hoping for some clarification. I have a character named James. He has a Ukrainian neighbor that he's known all his life. She calls him James or very occasionally the appropriate diminutive.

Google translate says 'James' is 'Dzheyms'

Wikipedia and a couple of origins of names sites say 'James' is 'Yakiv'.

Which is correct? And what would be the equivalent of the diminutive (Jimmy, Jamie) in Ukrainian of the correct translation?

Thank you!

Sites checked: