October 24th, 2005

Chinese words in Firefly

Another question (and thanks for all the very useful information people gave me on the last one). I'm doing a cross-over, never written in the FFverse. Are writers settling on a standard way to represent the Chinese words and phrases? I've gone to sites which list the ones used in the episode, and they have phonetic forms. Are writers using the phonetic forms?

e.g. Ta ma duh!

things that can go wrong with cars

What is something that could go wrong with a car that would cause it to suddenly just stop working, on the middle of a highway, and that a reasonably car-savvy person would not be able to just fix with the tools available in the car? (I.e., not a blown-out tire, because she could just change it herself.) But also something that would be very easy and quick to fix if you did have the right tools/parts?

Ideally, it would be something that could plausibly still exist in an all-electric-powered car (not a gas/electric hybrid). For example, I was thinking of having the fuel injectors fail, but an electric car wouldn't have fuel injectors, right?

As you can see I know very little about cars so any help would be appreciated.

The Sibyl of Cumae

This question is directed at those of you familiar with Classical (Greek/Roman) literature. I would like to know which original sources specific aspects of the story of the Sibyl of Cumae originated in. The particular points that I am most concerned with are as follows: 1) Sibyl's involvement with Apollo 2) Sibyl in a hanging cage stating, "I want to die" 3) Sibyl's sale of her prophecies to the last Roman king. I'm familiar with the basic story, but I'm having difficulty remembering which parts came from the Aeneid versus the Satyricon versus other sources I'm failing to recall. Thanks in advance to anyone who can provide relevant information.

Military salutations

I'll be darned if I can find this anywhere.

In the US, if someone in the military retires and enters the corporate world, would he still be addressed as, let's say, "Major Smith"? Or would he revert back to plain old Mr. Smith?

Thanks as always!