Little Details

A Fact-Checking Community for Writers

[ANON POST] Getting Into, and Out Of, the House of Lords (UK)
My novel is set in 1865. One of the characters is an earl, a member of the House of Lords. Of course he inherited the title from his father. But when he actually arrived in London to take his seat, was there a ceremony? They have ceremonies for everything. Surely he did not just show up and sit down.

Similarly, suppose they need to toss him out. (Essentially he is revealed as NOT the eldest son of his father; there is another heir.) What do they do to get him out? Is there a vote, a ceremony, a ripping of insignia off of his epaulettes?

Energetic googling has revealed that all this really became an issue in WW1, when legislation was actually passed delineating the where and the when. (Essentially if you were a German, you were out.) Also more recent legislation has passed (in the 90s) about peers being tossed out if they are convicted of major crimes and so on. But so far as I can determine, before 1900 nobody much cared. Could it really never have happened? Finding a case from which I could steal data would be fine.

Treatment/outcome for severe burns on an arctic voyage
Hello helpful ones!  I need some assistance in figuring out the most realistic scenario and side for a scene in my comic, and my google skills have failed me.  I need some information about what will happen when my character gets some really nasty burns and then sails on the arctic sea.

The character in question is about 17, very athletic, and extremely physically resilient.  No superhuman powers - he's just an unusually healthy person.  There's magic available to heal him perfectly and without side effects, but the nearest mages are two weeks away by boat.

The character is fighting a giant demon with firey blood, kind of like napalm but less sticky.  He stabs it from underneath and the blood spills over him, causing the injuries.  Because of the position he's in when this happens I'm thinking he'll be burned quite badly on the hands, feet, shoulders, back, and front of the thighs (places where the blood pooled most) with less severe damage to the top of his head, his arms, and his chest.  He manages to get back to the boat with the rest of the party before collapsing.

Question one:
Before being burned he's wearing several layers of thick fur over every part of his body.  The innermost shirt layer is made of a magical, indestructable pelts.  His pants are non-magical fur.  Will regular furs get stuck to his skin as they burn?  I know leather doesn't really burn easily, but it will definitely have holes charred through.  Also, what type of difference will there be in burns from direct scalding vs indirect heat (armored torso vs unarmored legs)?

Question two:
The team he's with has someone who knows how to treat burns, but their only medical supplies are herbal remedies for pain and fever.  What will first aid treatment look like in this scenario?  They are on a snowy island in the arctic ocean.  My sources said don't put ice on a burn but do put cool water on it.  Would putting freezing cold seawater on be helpful or harmful?

Last question:
My vague plan here was 2nd degree burns over about half his skin.  He needs to be alive for two weeks, at which point magical help arrives.  Is this plausable?  If so, what kind of shape would he be in at the end of those two weeks?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Search terms: burn treatment, second-degree burns prognosis, causes, ice water, sea water, side effects, complications, pain management, history, improvised bandage materials, burning leather, fur.  In various combinations.

police officer divisions and collar identification in 1870's London
elegant lady

Allright I have Googled my brains out for the answer to this and no luck. I've combed through about every website on the metropolitan police and the city of London police and came up with nothing

I know that around the 1870s the police of London had divisions the only one I'm recalling at the moment was H division which was centered in whitechapel. my questions.

1. Which division would a London officer with a German background have been most likely to serve in? In terms of areas of London with a high concentration of German immigrants and German speaking individuals.

2. I know that officers had their numbers and the letter of their division on their collars and this has been the most frustrating answer to hunt down, what in the sam hill did officers of the city of London have on their collars? I am not sure if they had their own letter for their division or if it was something like CLP or LP followed by their badge number or what

please help this is driving me crazy

Wealthy Family household staff 1920s
The story I am writing for this year's nanowrimo takes place inn the mid 1920's. The MC's family is wealthy and comes from "old money." What kind of household staff would they have? They live in a townouse if that helps. I have tried searching for Domestic employees in 1920s NYC, Household servants 1920s.
Thanks in advance!

Some questions about law

So this time my question is about law.

My story takes place in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, in a modern setting (I was planning to use the year 2013-2014)

First of all : for this question, I googled "missing person" "reporting for a missing person" and "elopment". I check the website about it but I'm not sure I find the answer I wanted. In my story, a 18 years-old girl left her home, where she lived with her mom to look for her dad. She is going to be gone for several months, she phoned home from time to time, only to left message on the answering machine, and she doesn't really say where she is (since the mom doesn't want her to find the dad). I haven't decided yet what she told her mother : I was considering that she could tell her mom that she is doing a summer camp or some kind, something like that. I wanted to be sure that in that case, the mom can't report her as a missing person, even though she doesn't know exactly where she is.

A different question : the dad is on the birth certificate, he was still married to the mom at the time of their daughter birth, and he sent money to the mother from time to time for her daughter. So from my google research ( 'parental rights' 'paternity', I checked the website among other things, and I asked for precisions here I know he is legally the dad and I gathered it would be hard for the mom to deprive him from his parental rights. But I would like to know if it was plausible for her to sue him for something parenting related : she resents him a lot, and because of that, could be petty to the point of... I don't know, sue him for not giving enough money while their daughter was growing up?

Last question for now : I searched about things related to law, and being an attorney ("becoming an attorney", "studying law") but I didn't find something satisfying when I tried to cross two things : one of my character is the CEO of a small advertising/marketing company, the other is a lawyer, they meet because the first one need an attorney, or because on of his clients need an attorney to settle something. I was considering the latter, because I would like their working relationship to be brief because the two are supposed to date. Would it be possible for the CEO to date his lawyer, or is there a rule to forbid an attorney and a client to date? I googled "personal relation attorney/client" but I mostly found stuffs about the US or France. Plus, I'm not sure I have a plausible reasons for the first one to need the second one. Why would the CEO need the attorney? I thought that the lawyer might be the one making a contract between the CEO and a client but I'm not sure that satisfying. So if you worked in those fields, I would be glad to hear your ideas!

I also considered that they could meet because of someone not work related, but because the CEO need a lawyer because his ex-wife went to sue him, but it implies that it is plausible for the ex-wife to sue him (as it was stated in a previous question)

Thanks for your answers, thanks for your time!

Foreign food in late 1930s USA, and eating in college
animals, tiger, nature
A couple of food-related questions. The setting is a fictional college in Connecticut, in the late 1930s: not Ivy League, but old enough.

A) What sort of foreign food would excite comment when eaten in 1930s upper-middle-class America? I mean food, not cuisine - ordinary fare in its original culture, but not something most Americans would eat, even in a posh restaurant. "Why would you even eat that?" is the kind of reaction I'm looking for.

I found an article which looks like it might answer my question exactly (Appetites Without Prejudice: U.S. Foreign Restaurants and the Globalization of American Food Between the Wars) but unfortunately my university doesn't have access. This food timeline was also helpful (and is a great resource for food history) and suggests that ethnic food only became mainstream around the 50s.

B) Where did people eat when on-campus? Were dining halls or cafeterias typical in 1930s American colleges? If yes, would it be very unusual for faculty and students to eat in the same place? And would people pay for the food, would it be included in tuition, or could they simply bring their own?

(This bit's less restrictive. Any info on colleges in the 40s or 50s or hell, old-fashioned colleges in the present day, is very welcome.)

Google searches: foreign food america 1930s, ethnic cuisine america 1930s, history of ethnic food america

Thanks in advance! You're amazing. Yes, you.

Education in the UK
Hello! So I've got a very specific question and I couldn't find a satisfying answer.

I search about English school system using google. I search using the words UK academic system, Comparison with the French system, applying to Uni. I looked both english and french websites.

From those infos, I understand how applying to Uni work but in my story, my character pass her A-levels, but doesn't apply for Uni for many reasons. During the following year, she got a kidney disease, stay at home for few months, and only after that, she's considering going to uni.

So I was wondering, does she have to pass the A-levels again? If she has to pass them again, does she have to be enrolled in a school, or can she do that at a "free-candidate"? (not sure it's the word). Also, I haven't decide yet what grades she got, and if she suceed the first time or not.

Not sure if it's relevant or not, but I choose the Uni of Sheffield for her, and she is supposed to study journalism. I gathered English would be one of her A-level subject, but what would be best for the other subjects? If you actually study journalism, I would also be glad to hear some feedback from your class, how it went, what kind of test you had...

And also, I found different websites, some saying there were only 3 subjects to choose, other than it was 4, even 5? Which one is it?

A different question, this time related to a different character of the same story : while he was at uni in the 90', he had some personal issues. I assumed it was possible, but I would like to be sure before I put something awfully wrong in my story : Admitting he dropped Uni in his second year (he studied law), could he go back and start over his second year the next year? I assumed that if you failed to pass a year, you can and have to do it again?

Using google I also searched for Uni fees, and again, I just want to be sure : do you have to pay Uni fees or not? From what I gathered, you have to pay a certain amount a year, but you only pay once you're done studying, and if you earn a certain amount of money every year. Is it for everyone and every course or not?

And finally (gosh that's a lot) one of my characters is running a small advertising company, mostly for locals ads, what kind of course would he had to follow? Something marketing related I assume but I checked the Sheffield uni website and I couldn't find something satisfying, so if you have suggestion, I would be glad to hear them!

Thanks for your answers and for your time, I hope I was clear in all my questions.

Regularly repeating solar eclipses
I am not really sure how to research this.

Is it possible for a planet to exist that would experience repeating total solar eclipses at regular intervals over one specific part of the planet? I'm not sure if I'm phrasing that right, so to use Earth as an example, what would have to change to allow for a total solar eclipse to occur over, say, Germany every 90 days? What other impact would these changes have on the planet?

[ANON POST] Hemophobia and Gardening
My character (setting is present day Japan) developed hemophobia (more especifically, vasovagal hemophobia, meaning she faints at the sight of blood) after car crash. According to my research, people with hemophobia avoid activities that might result in injury. Then again, I also read it might be different for every person. Attempts at treatment through cognitive-behavioral therapy are being made, with no success.

I imagine the character enjoying gardening, but I don't know if it'd be possible with their condition. I noted in my writing my character's always very careful performing any activities that might result in injury, rather than avoiding them altogether.

I googled hemophobia, gardening, hemophobia and outdoors and living with hemophobia.

Distinguishing fetal characteristics?
shady as fuck
Okay, bear with me, this is kinda weird: I need to know what sort of distinguishing features a fetus might have.

My story is set on Earth-as-we-kinda-know-it, in the New England area of the US, but at least... 50 years in the future (vague timing). In this future, the US has trended very right-wing and abortion has been outlawed, and my protagonist was prosecuted for teaching women how to perform their own chemical abortions. She did prison time and is now serving out her (very lengthy) parole sentence in a privatized "re-entry community," and as part of her parole, she is on work-release to a reproductive technology company that has developed and patented "ectogenesis," or the growing of human fetuses outside the body -- basically, human babies grown in mechanical wombs.

She has to come to the realization that one of the fetuses was grown from eggs she sold to the company to try and get some more money. I was originally going to have her see a common-to-her-family birthmark on one of the fetuses, but then I realized that I don't know when birthmarks actually appear -- at birth, or before, or after?

Could a fetus have a "birthmark" or some other hereditary, non-deforming, non-health-threatening condition that she could see? I'm sure part of my difficulty in answering this question is that our current fetal imaging technology just doesn't allow for this sort of thing.

I have tried searching on:
"when do birthmarks appear" <-- talks about at birth or after
"fetus mole" <-- not helpful
"fetus distinguishing features" <-- brings up a lot on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
"fetus freckles"

Resource on post-apocalyptic society
L/V B&amp;W outside River Styx
I thought the community would enjoy this resource:

Apparently the maintainer is preparing for a post-EMP (or other apocalyptic cataclysm) society. But the resources he's gathering (Civil War era medical manuals, non-electronic meteorology etc.) collate a lot of info for someone researching how humans might cope in various scenarios (including, I would think, fantasy/alternate universe stories).

Have fun.

Translation help wanted: English to German and English to Russian
academic terms translated; science snark
Hello all,

I am looking for someone who can translate a few lines from English into German, and two other lines from English into Russian. Some of the German is spoken in a medical context within the story, but there isn't any obscure jargon used or anything like that. The scenes in question are set in the late 40s, the 50s, and the early 60s, and I'd be happy to provide whatever additional context you need to make sure the translations are accurate, just ask in comments or get in touch with me via PM.

I only need a few lines translated, so hopefully this shouldn't take too much of your time. I have pasted the lines in question under a cut:

Read more...Collapse )

I'd really appreciate any help anyone may be able to provide, and of course I'll give you full credit in the fic's header.

Wearing armor in the cold
SGA atlantis postcard
Say you're stuck out in the snow in very cold conditions (20-30*s F). You're wearing chain mail, some sort of breastplate, a tabard, a thin cloak, gloves, what looks like boxers and an undershirt, and not a whole lot else. (This is fanfic, for a very non-historically accurate fandom, so I don't have much control over the character's outfit.) You're going to be walking about five miles. Is it better to go out with the chain mail/breastplate on, or remove it and just wear the cloth items? On the one hand I feel like the armor's wind protection would be valuable, but on the other hand I keep imagining that scene with the kid licking the pole from A Christmas Story. I do need him to survive the trek (although a little hypothermia is fine). Thoughts?

Terms searched: variations on "wearing armor/chainmail in the cold"
. This site was somewhat helpful but doesn't discuss what happens when you don't have proper underthings.

Accessibility of past medical records for an undercover cop
I've trawled for answers to this, but it's all a bit situation-specific - would appreciate any help!

The main character I'm writing about was a cop who while deep undercover shot some people, was shot himself and woke up in a psychiatric hospital. This happened around 1993 in Texas. As he was undercover at the time, his police record is still in 2014 at least partially redacted, but I was wondering specifically about how someone would go about trying to access his medical records nowadays.

Essentially the main character in 2014 is suffering from a breakdown after a severe physical injury and his friend is trying to help him, and wants to get hold of his records to 1) know where to start on how to help him - his friend is uncommunicative and 2) be able to give a full background to any new healthcare team he can get him.

So my questions are:
- Would main character's medical history be recorded separately to the police file, and if so, where? What body controls these records?
- Would they be accessible to the patient alone? Who else could access them?
- Would it be likely for main character to have a physical copy of his own medical records?

Thank you!

Time between arrest and eventual sentencing *without* a trial in New York state
TV - Lost
Hello all! I'm writing a piece set in modern-day NYC involving a character who is arrested and eventually sent to a maximum-security mental hospital for a variety of crimes, including kidnapping and the murder of a police detective. (He's not actually guilty or insane -- it's a whole possession situation -- but of course no one believes that.) Everything I'm finding on Google is about criminal trials, but in this case there isn't one because he's declared not competent, etc. So my question is: approximately how long would it take from the arrest to his arriving at the hospital, accounting for a few weeks spent in a regular hospital because of injuries sustained during the interrogation (read: exorcism) and before? I'm assuming it would be somewhat speedy because of the high-profile nature of the case and because of the overwhelming evidence, but maybe I'm just judging by the always-accurate Law & Order. Just looking for a general-ish time frame. Thanks in advance!

15th century facial injuries and ensuing scars
young hannibal chilling by a tree
This is for a story that I may never finish, so I'm not sure if it's even worth the hassle of pursuing, but here goes.

cut for talk of facial injuries via arrow and (successful) period medical proceduresCollapse )

Sugar in human body
This probably goes waaaay into the territory of "stupid question", but in a bit of dialogue I'm writing, an extremely pedantic character needs to make mention of how much sugar is in the (average) human body, preferably in terms of grams (or milligrams or whatever) per kilogram of body mass.

I've tried googling various things like "amount of sugar in human body", "composition of human body", etc, but can only find 1) information about blood sugar levels, 2) articles telling me not to eat sugar and 3) the percentages of the human body composed of different elements, which doesn't help me because sugar isn't elemental.

From the blood sugar results, I have found the useful information that the normal (healthy) mean blood sugar level is 100 mg/dL; a quick google search tells me that a 70 kg person has about 5.5 L (55 dL) of blood. This suggests a total of 5500 mg of sugar in the blood, or 78.57 mg of blood sugar / kg of body mass.

So what I need to know (I'm sure I'm displaying my ignorance of anatomy/biology here), are there other, non-blood, tissues in the human body which contain measurable levels of sugar that might increase this ratio? (For the sake of simplicity, let's ignore any sugar in bodily waste and/or undigested food.)

Pyres in the ground?
I'm trying to determine the logistics (if it is even possible) for an ancient culture to burn a body within a hole in the ground. As I understand it, ancient pyres/cremation left more of the body afterwards then modern cremation techniques provide. Given my fictional culture's issues with death (and the taboos around it) I'm already have them burning the deceased. It occurred to me that if it's possible for them to dig a whole, build a pyre within it, and burn the body there, they would then be able to cover it over without having to collect the ashes and remains for disposal.

I've been looking up ancient cremation techniques in a variety of cultures, the technicalities of funeral pyres (how long it takes to burn a body etc), and trying to find 'burning in the ground' (and varieties there of), but so far have found no information that tells me if this technique is even possible.

If anyone can point me in a direction, give me links, or has any helpful information, I'd appreciate it!

[ANON POST] Keeping British Overseas Territory Citizenship after Leaving
Modern Day, NZ and UK.

I have a character, Spanish, born in La Linea, in Cadiz, who has lived in Gibraltar from 10 years old to 18 and a couple of years before that, because her mother works there and I assume that crossing the borders two times per day (long queues depending on the day, some tension in the spanish side of the border some days...) is too much of a bother.

I’ve searched “losing BOTC citizen status” “losing BOTC citizenship” “losing BOTC passport” and some other variations to no avail. I’ve gathered it’s hard enough to get the citizenship on the first place, and Gibraltar must be a great place to live because people apparently doesn’t leave.

I know that for example five years of residence in the UK or a British Overseas territory gives you citizenship. One of the conditions of it (for BOTC, anyway) is that you intend to live there permanently. My character is a bit of a nomad. Since getting the passport, she’s been living on Gibraltar (for two-three years), Spain, Ireland, the States and Canada, and she’s moving to New Zeland. I don’t think it’s relevant, but she moves that much because of work (the company is not based on Gibraltar).

She can lost her Gibraltarean citizenship because she is not a permanent resident anymore, or the government doesn’t keep track of that?

Royal Flying Corps, officers' mess meals
I'd like to know what sort of thing the flying officers would have eaten for their mid-day meal - and what they would have called that meal. I've had no problem with breakfast or dinner, but at midday in the middle of an offensive?

Researched -

A H Cobby - High Adventure
Alan Clark - Aces High
Ian Mackersey - No Empty Chairs
Peter Hart - Somme Success
Molkentin - Fire in the Sky

Also I've watched a heap of DVDs, which are quite rightly about the battles, and Googled combinations of the most obvious search terms such as those in the subject line. I am resisting re-reading Biggles, becuase if I start doing that, I'll never stop.

ETA for a couple of typos and to add: My characters are a rich Australian and a working-class Midlander; their airfield is on the Somme :(