December 2nd, 2004

(no subject)

Anyone know anything about how one would place a bounty on someone? Can private citizens place bounties or just the government?

I'm very slowly developing a fantasy story where one of the characters has a bounty on his head, and I'd like to know how the real thing works. In my story, the character's nation of origin allows private citizens to place bounties on people provided they meet some strict criteria (i.e. can prove they have the money to pay both the hunter and the fees the government charges for placing a private bounty.) Is this close to how it works in real life? My understanding of real life is that the government offers bounties and not private citizens.

Thanks!
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West Germany and oral consumption of phallic symbols.

Hi all, just had a quick question to pitch your way. Do any of y'all know if there were hot dog carts in West Germany pre-fall of the Berlin Wall? I'd like for one of my characters to be munching on a hot dog while he walks around the American sector of the city, but I can change that to another sort of pedestrian snack-ish food if the hot dog is inappropriate. (Any suggestions on a change, if necessary?)

Thanks very much in advance!

Japanese universities?

Oh man, I love this place already. :D :D :D

Ok, I have some questions about Japanese universities, especially the ones in/around Tokyo.

1) Are they more or less modeled after Western universities? And if so, will the policies/procedures/organizational structure be similar?

1a) Do they allow you to delay your entry into the university? (It's 1am my time so I don't recall ATM what the correct term is. ^_^a) And if so, what are acceptable reasons?

2) How many universities are there in/around Tokyo, and which ones have more prestige? I'm thinking Tokyo University is supposed to be the with the most prestige, but I could be wrong.

3) How are scholarships/grants/loans handled?

ETA: Wheee~! Thanks for the answers so far. ^_^ FYI, the info is for some characters who live in Tokyo and are of college age, but one of them has an... uncertain financial status at the moment, and the other one I haven't decided if she's pursuing a graduate-level degree or not (assuming graduate-level programs are offered), but she had to postpone university, possibly up to one year, for family reasons.
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Virgin non-sacrifice

I'm looking for a reason for the "bad guys" in the story to need a female virgin, preferrably a reason that isn't the classic "virgin sacrifice." (It can be a dark reason and probably would be a ritual thing, but I'm looking for something a little more creative than a sacrifice. Also shouldn't involve literal blood as the character is a vampire. For those who know the fandom, I'm sorry if this sounds weird.)

This isn't a serious story, more of a parody almost, so it doesn't have to be extremely serious and can be something from another fandom which I'll credit in the notes. In fact something funny that the character might still not want to do would also work. I just want something a little different.
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Facial hair and crossdressing

I've asked a lot of people about this, and done my own research. I have a lot of different possibilities, but thought I'd put the question out here as well.

My story is based around 1835 in Missouri & New Orleans.

My MC is a very light skinned free 'woman of color' in New Orleans when the story starts. She is not FTM, but a butch woman who cannot live under her current circumstances. She escapes from an arranged 'protection agreement' with a wealthy white man, disguised as a white boy.

Eleven years or so later later, she has learned that she cannot survive under the constraints current society puts on women. So she continues to live as a man, and is now the leader of a gang of bank robbers.

Due to a series of circumstances, she finds herself suddenly having to live amongst townspeople 'disguised' as a woman.

So – here's my problem...

Facial hair –

When she's living as a man, the other men would get suspicious of her if she doesn't start shaving eventually. For a while, she could get away with being youthful. (She is around 27 for the main portion of the story) But also remember that she is a leader – their leader, so she can't depend too much on youthfulness. They must respect her.

BUT – if she starts shaving, then when she has to do her term 'disguised' as a woman, won't she have some facial stubble? I know that once women start shaving their legs, the hair grows back in a different consistency. I do not want her to appear to be a man in drag.

***Some have suggested that some women do have darker hair on their upper lips and such. And I realize that is true – but she is supposed to have an attractive face when living as a woman. I personally don't find that overly attractive and would prefer to not go that route.

***Another thought was to have her say she is part Indian, as there are certain Indian tribes where men don't grow facial hair. But then I run into the prejudicial problem of how would the men (in those times) accept the leadership of what is in their eyes a 'half-breed?'

***Some have suggested that, since bathing wasn't necessarily a big issue for people in those times, especially men on the run...that she use ashes or some such thing to sort of dye the hairs on her face to make them look darker. (I've also read of cranberry juice being used this way as well.)

Thanks for any help you can provide on this matter. I'm not planning on going into it in any great detail – but for the sake of realism, I believe it needs to be addressed.

And not to give away too much of the storyline - she will only have to endure the 'female disguise' for a few months at most.

Skiing Question

Does anyone here ski?

I'm writing a story, and I want it to take place on a ski trip. Now, aside from the details of skiing itself, I'm mostly concerned about rooming arrangements. I know the whole typical idea of folks gathering at the ski lodge at a resort, but is the ski lodge also where guests rooms are located? Also, how big are these rooms, typically (as in, how many people could comfortably stay in one)?

Technology Leading Up To...

This one will take a bit of explaining. The country in which my fantasy novels are set (Meridian) has just won a two-hundred years war with a supernatural race. One of the side-effects of this war is that they have had little to zero trade with other countries, and absolutely no trade with any country not on the same land mass as Meridian. With the war ending, trade has begun again.

In the first novel, the technology level of Meridian was around medieval-level. At the top of the second novel, which I'm working on now, there's mention that people are rushing out to buy oil lamps for their homes, and there's rumors that the other countries have projectile weapons that are more devistating than using a bow and arrow (namely, guns, but I'm thinking muskets. Nothing terribly advanced.) What other "technological advances" might the people of Meridian see that would work side-by-side with these? I've been wracking my brain this morning and have come up short. I really don't want to go over a technological level of 1850 or so, so no electricity, telephone, photography, etc.

One idea I did come up with was a steam ship, but I'm not sure what technology one needs to attain beforehand in order to invent or maintain something like that. There's only a span of two years between the end of the war and the current time, so there's not a lot of time for research and invention, especially at this technology level.

Any of your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Anything goes here: clothing, food, medicine, weapons, gadgets, etc. etc. Thanks in advance!
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A couple of smallish questions

Hi, all. Man, this is an idea whose time has long since come! Awesome all around.

Behind the lj-cut are questions on basic science, cameras, money, socialites, flight times, post-traumatic stress disorder, Eastern European names, and leather jackets.

I know, it's a lot.Collapse )

Female growth rate?

This is kinda long/complicated.

I've got a group of characters in a long-spanning series I write, ranging in (final) height from 4'11" to 5'9", most of them being between 5'3" and 5'6" When I start the series, the first five are all about to start the fifth grade, and I'm thinking they reach final height (or close to it) at about 18 years of age.

Now, I've looked at growth charts for females but I'm still quite confused at trying to figure out the rate of growth. They keep roughly the same ratios to each other through the series--the shortest of them stays the shortest and the tallest stays the tallest, even though the average ones might switch who's taller by an inch for a while. (One of the somewhat running jokes is that the tallest of them has been drinking coffee since she was eight, and anytime someone mentions it stunts her growth, she says something along the lines of "At my current height, I'll take my chances.")

Roughly what height would the tallest, the average, and the smallest be in 5th grade, in 8th grade, and in 12th grade? I think I can work around those three points, especially if I can get some information on when growth spurts happen.

Thanks in advance if you can help me.

(no subject)

Wow, I love this place and even if I'm not using all the details, I sure am learning and getting ideas.

Now, to the point.

I've been toying with the idea of writing a pirate story for a while. I've been fascinated with the story of Anne Bonny, but she wouldn't be the primary character in the story. In the short accounts that I have been able to find of her, it never mentions anything about the child she birthed while she was under her guise as a pirate. I know she was either pregnant or just gave birth to her second child at the time she disappeared. I was hoping that someone might have some information on her first child. Any thing from possible foster parents to if the child ever was named or had gender identified in the histories. The few books that I have been able to find have little to nothing about Anne Bonny herself, and the internet information that I've been able to find has been sketchy at best.

Please delete if the question is too general or not that small of a detail, etc.

Thanks :)

A good reason for a dictator...

I'm currently writing about characters living in a dictatorship, and I'm having some logical problems...

The president has forbidden communication with other countries and religion, and right now it seem like the only reason he did that was to make life hard for my charactes... does anybody have a good reason as to ban internet communication and other communication with other countries, books, music and movies from other countries and every single religion imaginable?

I can't find any, and right now, my only solution is to ignore the problem and hope that the ones reading doesn't notice :P
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California Radio Stations

First of all-what a great idea for a community! I've had questions for my fics before with no idea of where to go for answers. This is wonderful.

Second-my quesion. What radio stations in the LA area would play light rock? Around here (Illinois) that's basically Britney Spears, Nsync, that kind of music. Would really appreciate the help. Thanks!
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Any experts on Scottish tartans?

Hullo, all! What a great idea for a community!! :D

I'm trying to figure out whether McGonagall (or MacGonagall?) was a real clan, and if so, whether it had a tartan of its own or was beholden to another clan whose tartan it would use. So far the only references I've been able to find (outside Harry Potter fandom, which is what I'm writing for, but which is absolutely silent on this matter) is to the dubious poet William McGonagall, and I can't find anything about his having a family tartan, only using other peoples'. None of the big commercial sites that sell tartan fabric and clothing have been of any help. And I can't get to a library right now, I need an online reference. Help?

Taking blood

Right. My villian needs to obtain blood from a child character. He's got his syringe, but the poor dear has no idea what to do.

So. I'm pretty sure the best vein to take from is the visible one on the inside of your elbow, but is it a simple case of 'jab in needle, wait for plastic tub thing to fill up, pull needle back out'?

If the needle was simply pulled out quickly, would there be much bleeding?
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Talking about cars

I need two men who've never met before to start talking to each other because of their mutual admiration of an automobile. One owns it, the other wishes he could buy it. What kind of car would a thirtysomething man of some means have, and what aspects of the car would the two of them talk about?

I'm looking for real car love here, so nothing like a Humvee or a trashy flashy sportscar. Something that a true car enthusiast would appreciate (possibly a classic car, of some kind?)

Thanks!

ETA: (Based on good questions I got in return) for now his budget isn't set in stone, so "of means" can be as much or as little money as we need it to be. This would need to be a car that he'd feel comfortable driving around town, though.
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I need the bloody truth!

Would a modern-day vampire be suspect to HIV/AIDS through feeding? Would HIV/AIDS even really matter to a vampire, since their blood supply is regularly replenished?* Has this idea been used before?

Any and all insight into this matter is much appreciated. Thanks.

(Great comm, btw. This sort of thing is really useful/nifty/cool/other adjectives to that effect.)

*ETA: What I mean by this is that the HIV virus attacks the helper T-cells, which are red white blood cells that "warn" the immune system of disease. If the vampires are constantly ingesting new blood, then wouldn't they get more T-cells each time? More than the virus would be able to keep up with? I'm a little fuzzy here, too.

ETA Numero Dos: It might just be me, but I find it wicked hard to wrap my brain around the "they're dead, so they have no immune system" idea. I mean, they have a (somewhat) functioning circulatory system and those two are, like, whoa!intertwined. I am, admittedly, somewhat new to the vampire mythology. (And a little bit overwhelmed.) I'm rather liking the idea of vampirism as a disease, but the thought of them as carriers and infecting their victims seems kind of neat, too.

Latin and Poetry

My first question! Be gentle. ;)

I'm writing a piece of poetry that requires mentioning of a plant, but the Latin name must be used. I'm not sure how to handle this!

The original line: "Hughes had his daffodils, and all I have is the music to 'Blue in Green.'"

The Latin name for my daffodil is Narcissus pseudonarcissus, but I'm talking about multiple daffodils, and therefore the Latin would change to pseudonarcissodes. However, would this still apply to a scientific name? Is the original singular name the correct form, even if the noun is supposed to be in the plural form?

Thanks in advance!

Special brownie points if you know what my line is referring to!
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(no subject)

Is there any sort of established procedure (particularly in France but any country will do if you've got it, really) that the government would follow in dealing with people who just pop up out of nowhere--amnesia victims, perhaps, or people who have been hiding out in the wilderness for a generation or two? (...or time travelers. *cough*) Could they get birth certificates and passports, et cetera? If there is no such procedure, what seems logical?
Also, are there any groups in modern-day France that reject technological advances (like the Amish, but more hardcore and xenophobic if possible)? If not, anyone have a good excuse for a 21st century boy to have a complete mastery of pre-industrial technology and speak fluent Latin but be amazed by processed food?