November 5th, 2005

Psychological effects of being undercover

I'm looking for information on the psychological effects of being undercover, especially deep cover for extended periods of time. So far, I've mostly only been able to find links to courses and conferences. Also some movies, but that's not what I'm after.

I'm not interested in dramatisations, so much. What I'm looking for is first-hand accounts of what it's like to be under cover and how it affects the undercover agent's life. Also, medical papers on the subject. Does anybody here know of any articles published online that deal with this? Or books that I'm likely to find in a good library?
  • Current Mood: determined

Flutes

Here is a tiny wee technical question...

We have a dented flute. Slightly dented around the mouthpiece. How quickly could it be fixed, were the repairer to have no other obligations? Could it be done in 24 hours? I looked around instrument repair websites, which said flute repair could take between several days and four weeks... of course, these were places that seemed to have a decent amount of business flowing in, with pre-orders and all. If no one knows here, I may just write one of the places and ask. But if anyone here knows, that would be super, just super.

Cult of Bacchus

I've done some web-searching and I know some of the basic history behind Bacchanalia and the Cult of Bacchus. What I'm looking for is some details - any details - about the actual rituals.

For background, this is a Regency era romance novel(ette) in which the cult is revived by a group of bored country noblewomen in Suffolk. I need some details as to what their gatherings might involve. The most I've been able to glean from my Vivisimo searches is that there was a lot of frenzied dancing and often violence.
  • Current Mood: cranky
  • Current Music: Cousteau - Peculiarly You

Working in French museums

I'm writing a fanfic about a French History/Archaeology Professor. He's an expert on Mayan history and lives in Paris and I'm going to make him work for some museum. What kind of work would he do for the museum? Would he have an office?

The museum part is not very important to the story and it's there just so that he can get fired, so I only need a summary of things. Thanks in advance.

IRS field audits?

The situation: there is a wide network of businesses ranging from antiques trade to a media company, all ultimately owned by the same individual, though the actual ownership structure is rather byzantine. The individual is also a vampire, but that's not the point here.

I would assume the businesses' consolidated tax returns are equally byzantine, since the vampires are experts at blood-sucking and not about to submit to it meekly. All goes well for several decades, but then there's no avoiding the IRS and a field audit at their headquarters is called for.

What I don't know is what the actual field audit would look like to an employee. How many agents would be likely to conduct one on a fairly large company (let us say revenues of above $200 million)? Would they bring their own computers or ask the business owner to provide some? What would they look at - just the records, interviewing people, inspecting the premises? Would they want to be there at their office hours, or the business's? How would they dress - full business armor, business casual, jeans and a t-shirt?

I don't need the exact financial details of a tax audit - those are googlable, and not that much different from the Polish ones. But if someone could provide the cultural entourage, I'll be very grateful. It's a minor plot point in my NaNo project, but I was counting on it to provide comic relief.
  • Current Mood: curious

Latin help

If some kind soul could please translate the following sentences inot latin "She is Blood to me." And "I claim you has my own." I would be truly grateful. It's for my NaNo.

Thanks
  • Current Mood: hopeful
  • Current Music: I ran Flock of seagulls

Puzzle Boxes

Somewhat cross-posted to fanfic_research.

This is going to sound weird, but if anyone remembers the first episode of Xiaolin Showdown or the second season of Jackie Chan Adventures, does anyone remember the mystic puzzle boxes that appeared in both (to contain Wuya and the key to the demon portal, respectively)? The ones that the characters solved as if they were crosses between Rubik's Cubes and actual Japanese puzzle boxes?

Yes? Alright, good.

Now, does anyone know the name of that sort of puzzle box, or were those simply pulled out of thin air by the writers?

And if, by chance, they weren't, then where might I find information on such puzzles?