January 21st, 2005

Suicide question.

I have a (throwaway) character who is looking to commit suicide, but is pretty much a coward about it. He wants a relatively painless death, and bonus points if that death can conceivably look like an accident.

How would he go about doing this? I was thinking some combination or overdose of drugs, but it would have to be something easily obtainable. His age is not fixed in stone, but I was thinking mid-teens, so alcoholic mixes would require some tweaking to work into the story.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: To clarify, the story works better if the death were not of the flashy variety like jumping. I was thinking maybe a day or so before the body is discovered.

Also, the only place he would have any privacy is his room. And he would definitely want to expire in private.

ALS and AIDS

Okay, I've got a question (or several) for y'all:

I have a character with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease). I've done quite a bit of research already, but somehow I can't absorb the info when it's all clinical. So, some of the things I need to know are:

--What would be the first symptom to appear that would drive someone to seek medical treatment?
--How is ALS diagnosed?
--Would it be mistaken for something else at first, and if so how long would it take to correct the misdiagnosis?
--What is the progression of symptoms, and roughly how long would it take each to appear?
--How is a person with ALS treated at different stages? What kind of equipment/support is necessary?
--What is the eventual cause of death?

Also, I want to know what symptoms ALS and AIDS might have in common, whether a person with ALS could be mistaken for having AIDS, that sort of thing. EDIT: I don't mean mistaken medically, just by random observers.

If you can recommend books/websites on the subject, that's fine. I'm just looking for something that's informative without being overly technical.

Thanks in advance!

(no subject)

Okay, quick question: I've got a character who's been zapped in the head with an electrical spurt (energy spurt, it's kinda flexible), strong enough to knock him unconscious. I would prefer if he was unconscious for 1-2 days at most: so exactly would he be feeling once aware once he revived? What would the effects on the body be?
  • Current Mood: annoyed

Peace Corps/DWB work and aftermath

Some questions regarding programs like Peace Corps, or Doctors Without Borders:

1) About how long is a typical tour of duty on something like that? Would it be reasonable for someone to be out in the field for years, or do they restrict how long you can sign up for?

2) I know that when people who have done things like this come back they often go through culture shock. Is there anything the organizations due to help them acclimate again? How long does the culture shock last? What are typical symptoms? (eg things like being disgusted at how decadent their former life was in comparison to those who live in third world/war-torn conditions)

3) If someone really enjoyed the work and wanted to keep doing it, what are reasons that would force him to have to quit and go home? I'm looking for reasons within doing the job itself, not external reasons like a death in the family.

4) What kind of communication, if any, is typical with their friends and family back home? Is it just letters are email and phone calls also common?

5) Are they made to take vacations to go home, or would it be possible for someone to be out there to go as long as they wanted without a break?

Thank you!
  • Current Mood: curious

Child abuse, incest, and jailtime.

Where would I go to learn about the following?

-psychopathy
-the aftereffects of child abuse--physical, mental, sexual
-incest among siblings
-legal proceedings/sentences and so on for above and whether or not they'd be reduced for a female offender
-custody laws and the like

I really need some reliable sources, because I'm taking this seriously and want to get my facts straight and my story circumstances realistic.


I realize that the last two are probably going to be state-specific, so I'd need some sort of resource to compare/contrast different states to figure out where my story would best be set.

This is for background for a family wherein the older sister is in jail for abusing her younger siblings, and her twin brother gets custody. It's an urban fantasy, but the magic stuff doesn't apply to what I'm researching right now.

Thanks in advance for your help.

[x-posted to the Nanowrimo forums]

Questions about THE DEBBIL

Sorry, couldn't contain myself on the subject line.

I was wondering if anyone knew where I could find stories about people challenging the devil and winning; I've tried Google and Encyclopedia Mythica, but found nothing. Well, actually, I found a lot of links to stuff that doesn't help me, with the exception of a painting of Babinsky catching the Devil cheating, which I would print and tack up on my wall for inspiration if I had color ink. I do have "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" on my playlist, as well as "The Devil Went Back to Georgia," so no worries there. :-D

Secondly, I need suggestions for games/challenges that the Devil might be awful at, but a 24-year-old girl would/could kick ass with.
- Cards and board games are out, as are musical instruments. Too cliche.
- It would preferably involve travel and/or wandering through nature.

All I can think of is paintball, but since Satan could obviously use his "powers" to cheat at that, and it's also not a two-player game, I'm setting it aside for a moment.

Thanks, guys! :-)

EDIT: Thank you all so, so much! I think I know exactly where I'm going with this now, and all of the little tidbits gave me all kinds of ideas and stuff to look up. You all rock.
  • Current Mood: Stalled out. Bummer.
  • Current Music: Why, Charlie Daniels, of course!

Genetics, therapy, and laptops...

These seem unrelated, but they are, in a way.

Genetics: What's the genetics, roughly, of a blond and a redhead having a red headed child verses two blonds having a red headed child? I was told that blonds don't have brunettes or redheads because blond is purely recessive, but things may have changed/I could be grossly wrong. Also, how do eye colors work? I've heard that some blue and green eyed people do in fact have brown eyed children, but isn't it very rare?

Therapy: If an almost 11 year old girl went into psychological therapy for being witness to a murder, about how long would the therapy continue? Does it go on her decision, the descision of her parents, the therapist, or something else/a mixture? My idea was to have her go to a person specializing in juveniles, starting then and continuing until at least high school--further if she wished it to. Also, would it taper off as she became more stable? My idea was that it'd be weekly initially, then once a month for the first few years, then backing off to once every two or three months until it ended.

Laptops: What kind of laptops were around in 1994? I know they were not as sleek or powered as today's, but could a laptop run a basic database program such as a client list and do basic word documents? The person I want to have this would have a desktop for a lot of her work, but would use this in meetings to take notes and pull up client information (she's in a service organization and could afford to have one).

Thanks for any help! I appreciate it.

(no subject)

So... Two questions, both revolving in basically the same time period and area. Think Sherlock Holmes. Same place, same time. This was originally a fanfic, but it jumped into original.

1. Was there anything like a sanatorium or hospice in that time frame? The characters are two children with permanent disabilities. The girl had polio that left her with a useless arm and a useless leg. The boy is mute due to several mental retardation. I need them to be somewhere that isn't with their parents and is, nonetheless, with other disabled/seriously ill children.

2. I need a bitter-tasting medicine/herb/anything at all. It should be able to be ground up and placed in food. The symptoms should be subtle. Noticeable by a doctor, but not specific enough to be told instantly by symptoms alone. Does that make sense? I can clarify, if need be.
  • Current Mood: curious

(no subject)

I'm a member here for two days now and I already had so much fun. You're great!


So, my question: I need the common fat contents of milk in percent in Australia. I know it changes a bit from country to country. In Germany it's 1,5%, 3%...but there is no 0,5% or 2%.

Thanks!

(no subject)

Hello again everybody! I'm really starting to love this site ^_^

My question of the day is -- What is the life of a forest ranger like?

I'm talking about the ones who live out in the wildlife refuge in a cabin all by their lonesome and walk the land every once in awhile to check for poachers and intruders.

For it to work as a job for my character I need to know how often he'd have to interact with society, and whether or not many people would be physically checking up on him on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.

In short anything and everything is a big help!
  • Current Mood: curious

(no subject)

I'm not sure if I'm just bad at bullshitting information on robotics, or my brain is simply dead from the amount I've already had to bullshit, but I could use some help.

I need some kind of instrument that a doctor might use when doing a routine maintenance check on an intelligent robot. One that looks sharp (whether it actually is sharp is immaterial; the scene works fine either way).

If background helps, I'm working on a Megaman X fic. The robots in this setting are humanoid. They're fully capable of thinking, making decisions, and feeling emotions, so their systems are pretty sophisticated and whatever work is done during a standard tuneup would probably reflect that. They pretty much look and act and behave like humans with cool blaster arms and heavy armor and crap like that. I've got Lifesaver (the chief medic) doing a routine check on Axl (spunky rookie), and I just want him to pull out something that's going to make Axl squirm.

Thanks in advance~
  • Current Mood: curious

Coming-of-age in Japan.

Two major questions, each comprising a slew of minor ones.

1) When is a child 'of age' in Japan? Are there different ages where someone is legally an adult for different things, or does it vary? Is that age also the age up until which a parent/guardian is required to provide care? If not, what is? Is there no such age?

[I want to know so I know how old Character A has to be before his father can kick him out, in case it helps.]

2) How is school funded in Japan? Is it the case that there are 'public' and 'private' schools? If there are public schools, how far does funding go? Do pupils have to pay college/university tuition, as in the US, or not, as in France? Does it vary, and if so, what effects it?

[Basically, I want to know how much Character A's education would be effected by his family's money, assuming that grades are not an issue.]
  • Current Mood: curious

(no subject)

This is kind of a broad inquiry, but I'm looking for words that could be used for names in interesting languages...Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Latin, Spanish...anything, really.

I need a name that describes somebody who is known for using their fists to fight, and is hellish (demon-blooded, demonic, you get the picture.) and a bit of a spitfire personality...Words that can parallel to that (such as strength, bravery, courage, hell, demon, fire, fiery, anger, hostility, etc. Use your imagination =p) are preferred, although I'm open to most anything that maybe just sounds cool. XD

Thank you in advance!
  • Current Mood: blank
  • Current Music: Tool - 46 & 2

Obscure Compound... somethingorother

I have a group/society of characters that rename themselves goofy "super hero" like names, I guess you'd call it, but there is some rhyme and reason to it. It generally follows the rule of adjective + noun, but the combination gives it a new meaning, but isn't a "compound word". For example, a Dark Horse is someone who unexpectedly succeeds, and White Lightning is a term for illegally made booze (and he's a drunkard in the story, hee). More examples would be Night Owl, Blue Moon, Lone Wolf, ect. There are a lot of color and animal (and colored animals...) names, so I'm trying to avoid those.

Suggestions would be peachy, but just knowing the term for words like that would allow me to search for more, if there is a term. I feel like there ought to be, but I can't think of it. =P

Edit: To prevent comment spam, I'll just edit it here. Thanks a lot for the suggestions so far. ^^ There are some really good ones I'm going to use. You guys rock.

Rome

I've never been to Rome or anywhere in Italy, and neither has Peter in the book I'm writing. Here's the thing. I need Peter to get some fairly long, though interesting, letters from his friend who is living in Rome for the summer (and only one summer) during 1992-ish.

Do you guys have any stories/experiences that you'd be willing to share with me, and for me to adapt a bit for my book? Those little details that make things real would be most appreciated. Colors, lights, impressions, etc. I need to do some research, but I don't want it to feel too inauthentic and/or straight from a guide book, so I figured people who had been to Rome might know best.

Also, I have specific questions for those who might have a lot of knowledge on this front--such as, where specifically in Rome might a moderately well-paid employee of the United Nations choose to live?

Thank you.
  • Current Mood: hopeful
  • Current Music: A Passing Feeling ~ Elliot Smith