May 8th, 2005

Perpetual Calendar resource

For those who are writing about things in the past, and need to know days of the week for certain dates, there is a Perpetual Calendar available online. You can view a month in the past, or an entire year. This only works for the Gregorian Calendar, though.

Note: The first year recorded by this calendar is 1583, the first full year of the Gregorian calendar. 1753 was the first full year in which the U.S. (then a British colony) began using the Gregorian calendar.
  • Current Mood: tired

French Food

I asked this at multilingual, but I was hoping someone here could help, too.

What are some French foods whose names, if taken literally, mean something else? (English examples would be "bubble and squeak", or "pig in a blanket".) People have kindly suggested "pets de nonnes" and "negre en chemise", but some more would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

EDIT: I have plenty now. Thank you all so much for being so prompt and informative!

Military ranks

I'm currently working on a fanfic where many of the characters are soldiers. The military in this fandom is organized into "army units" of 12500 men, divided into subunits of 100, 25 and 5 soldiers. Also I suspect the army unit itself is divided into three (the commanding general always seems to have two captains/co-commanders) but I don't know if that's canon.

Anyway, all these units have pseudo-Japanese names, but I don't want to confuse my readers with those. So, what I want to know is:

- What are the best analogies in a "generic" modern military for the units I've described above, and for the officers in charge of them? I'm guessing the five-man unit would be called a squad and the guy in charge a corporal, but beyond that I have very little clue.

- What *are* the commonly used ranks and how many soldiers will a guy of a given rank normally have under him?

It should probably be noted that this is infantry we're talking about... I understand the rank structure can be very different if you're talking airforce or special forces, and in the Navy they don't even *call* them the same things.

a coma, waking up, and physical therapy

Let's say you're -- hypothetically -- in a coma of sorts for a Very. Long. Time. If you've been well-cared for and such, how much physical therapy might you need upon reentering the world of the mobile? Do you suppose you would be able to move at least marginally when you first woke up, or would it be absolutely impossible?
  • Current Music: The Killers - Midnight Show

Widespread destruction

This is one of those questions which I just don't know where to start with the Google-bashing... entering the obvious terms gives me video gaming sites.

How do you wipe out a continent?
Okay. Bit of backstory. A great war, about 200 years from now. Ish. One of the sides unleashes a weapon that'll make large areas of the planet uninhabitable for unprotected humans for something like 600 years (longer is better). The effect can spill over into other areas a bit, I guess. Without resorting to nuclear weaponry, what sort of forces could produce this effect? Am I just going to have to resort to pure technobabble?

Thanks! ^_^