January 20th, 2005

Victorian Questions

I'm researching for a rather epic story set in Victorian London – the year I'm aiming for is 1890 – and I've run up against a few questions. Hope someone out there can help me before I completely tie myself in knots!

1. How long would it take to travel from San Francisco (USA) to London (UK) in 1890? As this is before the Trans-Siberian railway was completed, I've ruled out taking a ship to Russia and then going overland through the Russian territories and Europe to reach England. That leaves (unless I'm missing something) crossing America via lots of small railroads and coaches and then taking a steamship. Any thoughts on how long this would take, would be welcomed with open arms.

2. Opium Dens. In London, were the opium dens kept separate to brothels? The villain will have a fondness for opium which I'm hoping to exploit, along with a weakness for prostitutes. Would be handy to have them both in the same place. Any info on male prostitutes would also come in handy.

3. Communication. In 1890, how would you get a message from San Francisco to Europe?

Thank-you very much!

In the dark...

First of all I just wanna say how very much I love this community. Really. I learn the most interesting things, even if I don't use them for fics. If I ever get on Jeopardy I'll be set.

I've been writing some Daredevil ficlets, and well I realized I don't know much about the everyday things a blind person would use to get by in the sighted world. Any ideas or urls would be great. When I google I must not be putting the right search words in because I get listings of schools for the blind and info on the campuses and the like, not the things they teach.

Thanks everyone!
  • Current Mood: working

Hi, I just found ya'll

I just found out about this community and I think it's a great idea. And just in time as I've got a question that someone might have an answer to.

Now, I looked this up on the internet, so I have a *small* idea. But I need *details*, lol

Does anyone know about passenger trains? Amtrack? Specifically in the Washington state area.

What I need to know is about the cars. Sleeping cars versus not.

How closely are the passengers watched? Are there doors? Any privacy? What if you got excited about the possibility of being caught doing something naughty? How likely would that be to happen.

thanks and glad to be here
  • Current Mood: contemplative

Depressing question, but...

How does anyone commit suicide in prison? I've heard of it happening, usually by hanging, I think. But how do they get whatever object they used to do it? Or do I have the wrong idea of what people are permitted in prisons? I'm talking about a violent offender, so I can't imagine they'd be allowed anything that could be used as a weapon in any case. (I did try google and got reports on prison suicides which didn't list methods). I don't need to detail everything, I just want a plausible idea for someone to refer to in passing.

(Thanks to everyone who answered all of my questions... I really appreciate it.)
  • Current Mood: curious
  • Current Music: Johnny Cash: I've Been Everywhere

The answer is probably really obvious, but I'll ask anyway.

You know those big, flat bags that artists have to carry their work around in? They tend to be large enough to lay a big piece of paper or canvas flat inside of it, might have a few pockets on the outside, but usually aren't much more complicated.

Do those things have an actual name beyond "big flat artist bag"? I'm fairly sure they do, but everything I come up with doesn't seem quite right.

(no subject)

I'm not sure how to phrase this question, but I think you guys will understand. :)

What are some traits of different ethnicities? I'm talking about how when you think of an Irish person, you think of red hair and freckles, or when you think of someone from Italy, you think dark, thick hair and tan skin. Of course, not everyone falls into these categories, I know, but just that average image, I guess. Height and body types would be great. I'm looking for mostly European countries, although I could do with just about anything right now.

Edit: You guys are amazing! As usual!

Mental Ward Admissions

I've got a character who, at the beginning of the story, voluntarily admits herself to the mental hospital. (Off-screen, but it'll affect our main character.) And I'm kind of curious how this would go in general, but I've also got a few specific questions.

For the record, all this would be happening in Colorado (and thus, America) . . . y'know, if it helps.


1 - Would they contact her husband to tell him where she is? Or is it up to her to call him later?

2 - Cell-phone--what would be done with it? If it started ringing once everything was done, would anyone be able to answer it? (I can't imagine she'd be allowed to keep it . . .)

3 - Her job (and, in fact, the entire government agency she headed) has recently ceased to exist--thus, I doubt she has health insurance. Would she be refused on this, or could an alternate payment method be devised?

4 - If she's brought up on criminal charges later (I don't know that she will be, mind--haven't planned that far) . . . how might that be handled?




Er . . . thank you in advance. :) ^^;

(no subject)

So what happens if you dip an arm in incredibly strong acid?

The sort that could be used for torture?

I'm guessing that a hell of a lot of nerve damage occurs.

We're looking at it being in there for a minute, probably, but I might alter that depending on effects.

Would the person be unable to use said arm for the rest of her life? I know it would be horribly ugly (she's gonna cover it up with a long sleeve and a glove), and I'm pretty sure her arm would be numb, but would there be other damage?

thanks.

(no subject)

Love this community, especially as I finally have questions to ask.

Basically the fanfic I'm working on focuses on the investigation of the death of a newborn infant abandoned at a church--the old baby-dumped-on-the-doorstep routine, except one that went very wrong, as the baby wasn't found in time.

So, two questions...Collapse )
  • Current Mood: curious
  • Current Music: Josh Groban - Vincent

Falling Injury/Death

Hello, everyone! I've contributed a few answers to this list here and there, performed my civic duty, and now hope that some of you can answer mine! I tried doing a little Google research, but most of the stuff I've found hasn't been helpful in answering my questions.

In my novel, a character is working at a construction site, doing roofing work, when he slips and falls almost three stories to the ground (bare soil, no vegetation). He dies soon after, before he can get to the hospital, but as I have it written he is still alive and awake a minute or two immediately after falling, and is coherent enough to talk a little. I'm wondering how feasible this situation really is.

Depending on how he lands, the condition of the soil (muddy, dry, etc.), what sort of injuries can this person expect to have? Spinal, neck, head, limb and pelvis injuries, I'm sure. What I really want to know is if it's possible for someone to make that fall and still be coherent enough to talk a little bit?

Also, if you have a major head injury such as with falling, can hallucinations and/or visual distortions occur?

I haven't had a broken bone in my entire life, or even so much as a concussion

*knocks on wood*

so I have no earthly idea what a person with these sorts of injuries would experience.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide! :)
  • Current Mood: curious
  • Current Music: Howard Stern Radio Show - 01.19.2005 commercial free - 56K WXRK NYC feed

Of necks and noses

This community owns. ^_^

Anyway, I have done some answers and now I have some questions:

1) You know how in the movies (and in books too), you'll often see someone sneak up behind somebody else, grab their head, twist it about, their neck snaps, and they die instantly? Is that possible? Just how strong would you have to be to pull that off?

2) How long does it take for a broken nose to heal? What would be the complications from one not healing properly?

Thanks! ^_^
  • Current Mood: chipper

North American Supernatural Wildlife Guide

. . . is what I actually tried running through Google, but I had absolutely no luck. Does anyone know of anything like it? Preferably a web site? I need to find/think up magical creatures one could find in various parts of the world--North America, England, and Japan, to be specific. I'm trying to figure out creatures that make sense; like, no kappa outside Japan, and no mountain dwarves in Kansas. The story (if it matters) is urban fantasy, where lead stories about shapeshifter gangs and captive griffins in zoos make CNN.

Thanks!