January 11th, 2005

(no subject)

If we're talking about a big multinational corporation, is the CEO the head honcho? In a company big enough to warrant having a COO and CEO, is the COO effectively second-in-command, or is more of a board-thing?

Also, how does corporate presidency and vice-presidency work, typically?

U.S. or Japanese business models are fine for this. Basically, I'm just wondering what the job title would be for someone who was "Number Two" in a big company.

Learning to fight...

Oookay. I have a character who's going to be learning a specific fighting style. Advice from other sources has made me decide on Krav Maga.*

I don't really have any specific questions, just a cry for generic help. If anyone knows of any links to websites, or can recommend any books that describe the fighting style and also how a person would realisticly progress through the training?

I've been searching for sites, with very little luck so far, and I'm going to be hitting my library tomorrow or Wednesday to hunt down any books that might be out there.

Many thanks!


* Editted to correct the name. Thanks! No wonder I wasn't having any luck on my searches... Heh.

Question about amnesiacs

If someone were to wander into a hospital (or police station) today with complete amnesia -- no idea who he was or what his life had been like -- and that person could not be identified, no family or friends could be located, etc., what would happen to him?

What governmental agencies would become involved, and what would they do? Would they assume he was a U.S. citizen? Would they give him a social security number? Would they simply kick him out onto the street to fend for himself?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Wondering...

Anyone, please?

One:
So you have a colony world, very much Earthlike in most of its conditions, temperate weather tending towards the cool and rainy (summer in England), water available, ground workable, about a hundred and fifty settlers with reasonable understanding of the mission they've undertaken, and technologically inclined. The colony is for non-profit, non-research purposes, it's actually there as a religious act, they want to live there, and have the resources to import most everything they need, most notably industrial products, from Earth. They just got there.

What do they do next?

I've read my Darkover, but really, suppose you land on a world you're familiar with, you know in general terms what you're going to find and have the resources to manage yourself. What's the next immediate steps in the process of colonization? What do they want to have up and running first, for once? I'm trying to make this viable but not perfectly realistic, so could use examples from other SF books for once.


Two:
What's the long-term effects of an oxygen-rich atmosphere and a longer night-shorter day cycle on the human physique?


Three:
On a completely unrelated note, the supernatural creature known as a 'Grant' - what does its appearance mean?


Thanks in advance!

cyberpunky questions (hacking + cracking, violence)

Okay, this for a science-fantasy/cyberpunk thriller kinda thing. (The same way I was asking about DNA for earlier)

Although the net in this works very differently, I want to keep a vague feeling of believability. So some questions, technology first.

1) Does anyone know any good sources on hacker and cracker culture. The protagonist does both (designing AI that let him crack even better as well, I'm trying to get a cracker who isn't seen as lame by hackers) so I'd like to get some of both disciplines. I'm already loving up the Jargon File but I was wondering if there were any other recommended ones.

2) I know there are sites like SamSpade in real life that are used for tracking down the origins of email addresses and IP addresses and the like, but do people have specific programs for this? Is there a name for them?

3) What are the side effects of keeping yourself up for days with caffeine, or general excess consumption of the stuff? Does guarana have the same side effects? Likewise Taurine?

4) There is a kind of program that generates flashing images (or sometimes sounds as well) that effects the mind (and I THINK possibly heart rate) to generate different sensations like euphoria or nausea. Does this have a name?

5) Likewise, does the practice of dropping frames into cinema that we can't see but the brain recognizes (like they did in the exorcist) have a technical name?


And now some violence stuff.

6) If someone's head is cut off, and hits a tiled floor, what kind of sound is it going to make? And how long will it be before the body falls over? (The cut has been made with a mono-edge)

7) What are the effects of someone's heart rate being slowed? And how long can it be stopped before the person suffers irreversible damage? The character has some cybernetic modifications so I have a bit of leeway with this but still.

8) I want a character to get his throat cut but not die. It's done from the front with a fairly uncontrolled slash, probably with either a shard of glass or metal... how long is he likely to have before passing out and how fast will he need medical attention to survive it? Again, sci-fi for the medical but they can't bring people back from the dead.

9) How loud (and how long) would something have to be to deafen someone?

Cheers in advance!

Concussions

About how long would a person need to be in the hospital for if she got a concussion (via a steel chair accidentally applied to her head/face)?

Any other injuries a doctor would look out for before releasing her?

First year organic chem?

Since I failed arithmetic in fourth grade, I have generally kept (and been kept) away from studying the sciences, which is why I have no clue about this.

Can someone give me an example of an issue likely to come up in a first year university organic chem class? I need just a general explanation of a problem (or the components of one) that's not particularly apparent to the unintiated, something likely to come up on a final exam. This will be mentioned in passing at the opening of a story, where two characters are studying for an exam.

Many thanks, and as always, historical clothing help always available.

Medee

Any WWII buffs out there?

Here's a rather odd question. As many know, Hitler was big on collecting various occult items during WWII (see the Indiana Jones movies). I remembering hearing somewhere that they had actually managed to find what was supposedly the Spear of Longinus (the spear of the Roman Soldier who stabbed Christ in the side, I believe). Does anybody know if there's any truth behind that statement or not?
  • Current Mood: curious
  • Current Music: Phantom of the Opera

(no subject)

Are there any records of one person hiding another in a house right under the other occupants' noses for multiple years?

I've got a character who just killed her best friend's abusive father and is now hiding said friend in her room, and I need to know if it's plausible for her to be able to do this until she's legal (she's about thirteen now) and can get a place of her own to hide said friend at. Her bedroom is in the back of the house, and her parents both work long hours, late at night, if that helps any.
  • Current Mood: curious
  • Current Music: Queen - The Invisible Man

(no subject)

Can anyone name me a few pressure groups who protest the use of WMDs - and how fanatical they are?
I'm looking, in particular, for one for which terrorism isn't that big a step away.

I'm pretty sure Greenpeace can get rather militant when they want to, but that's the only one I know of.
  • Current Mood: tired

Pre-industrial hair dyes; human population on a small island.

1. I have a character who has white hair, which gives her away as not being human. My question is: What kind of hair dye would be available and how long would it last? This is a pre-industrial society, so there are no bottles of Clairol. The color doesn't have to look convincing; she can look like a human who dyes their hair.

This is a fantasy universe, so I can invent plants, but I don't want it to be totally unrealistic.

2. I'm trying to write a story set on a reasonably small island. The people are completely isolated from the rest of the world and have been for a long time--they aren't even sure that the rest of the world still exists. Most of the society makes their living through fishing; they have pretty primitive, stone-age technology, and very few craftsmen. They don't even have currency, I think--they barter.

What would be the smallest realistic population size?

Actually, I'm trying to find a balance between a viable population and not--I want them to be straddling the edge. (The main character, a young woman, is one of the only ones her age, I think.) If it's necessary, to explain why the population is smaller than it was a few generations ago when it was definitely viable, there could have been an epidemic or a disaster like a flood.

oh fiddle dee-dee.

Have a couple obscure/vague questions.

1. Can someone gimme some info about mercenaries? I looked it up in the dictionary for a basic deffinition, and it pretty much just described it as being someone either out for monetarial gain, or a hired soldier for a foreign army. But that's not what I'm lookin for. Is someone who takes comissions from single clients to either steal, kill, run (illegal) deliveries, do other various dangerous stuff also considered a mercenary? Does this make sense? I.e. doing whatever's one can for money, with no check on morals.
I'd just like some clarification. This is not for an Earth setting, so don't let that limit you.

2. I'm really not sure how to go about asking this. Is there an actual schooling or category of self defense or martial art that's basically just impromptu fighting, using whatever's around you as a weapon, etc...? I've heard something about it in some... I dunno, movie or something. Basically I'm looking for resourcefulness, on-the-fly kind of stuff. If you got any knowledge of this kind of thing, just.. talk to me about it. Feed me information.
If there's no actual... category or name for this kind of thing, then just say "I have no idea wtf you're talking about, you're dumb" or something. I won't be offended, because quite frankly I've offended myself by describing my question so vaguely.

I hope I made some sense.
  • Current Music: FF7 - "It's Difficult To Stand On Both Feet"

Just one question.

This is going to drive me NUTS until I figure it out.

Okay. What I'm looking for is just a word - I remember reading a book a while back, I think it was actually a Mercedes Lackey book set in Victorian times, but I've also come across the concept elsewhere. Anyway, the character visits what's basically the forerunner to modern-day pharmacies, where medicenes are sold. I also remember seeing these in other stories, and the fact that medicenes AND poisons were sold here; it wasn't the idea of a herbalist or anything, because it wasn't tied to witchery. It was just poisons and medicene, flat out. There's a word for it, I know it, I just don't know what it is.

*grits teeth, frustrated* Anyone? Help?


EDIT: Thank you. Thank you all. *worships* xD I don't know why I couldn't think of that. Apothecary!