November 23rd, 2005

pens

finding food in the wild, flesh wounds, and shoulder injuries! (i hope that covers it)

hello, i'm new. please be gentle.

i've run into two problems. one i knew was coming, and one inserted itself rather randomly. my characters are out in the middle of nowhere, and it's all trees and grass. incidentally, that's all that's left, period. but we won't get into that. my characters are city people. in general, they're not going to have a whole lot of extensive knowledge of how to survive in the 'wild'. so, for a few days, until i get to the solution i'm getting to, what would they be able to eat to survive? they're in what is basically north american countryside/forest. they're going to find some sort of berries later this evening, when i get back to them, but can anyone think of anything else? anything you yourself would recognize as edible, or any sort of fruit or vegetable that you know grows wild in any particular area? which part of the continent that may be doesn't really matter as, well, i've kind of obliterated the world as we know it. =)

the second problem is injuries, of two different types. one character has turned up with a large open cut on his face. it went about a day before he could clean it up in a river. is there anything - for example, a plant - that might help disinfect it or clean it up? (again, not stuff you would need to be some sort of certified naturopathic physician to know about, which is why google isn't helping me on these questions. i need to know what the average person knows). is it possible that, even without really sterile cleaning, it will eventually heal up (not without scarring, of course) and cause him no further harm? it is a big freakin' cut. it described itself to me as a 'gash'.

another character has injured her shoulder. she can't move it. they have fashioned a bit of a sling to keep it from getting jostled, as that hurts A LOT. she's not ever going to get any medical attention. would she likely lose any of the use of her arm? will it heal up on its' own and be good as new, or fifty percent so, or just a big old dangly nuisance forever? her elbow and hand are okay, it is definitely her shoulder which has been dislocated or separated.

thanks to all!

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Partial paralysis?

Hello everyone, I need to know if it's possible for someone to suffer from a neurological/genetic disorder (as opposed to paralysis from a spinal injury or whatever) that results in the inability to walk around, but not in the inability to talk or think clearly. This disorder may or may not be progressive, but the key thing is for it to limit the movements of a person's limbs without significantly affecting their speech or their cognitive functions (for now).

Does such a disorder exist? If it doesn't, could it exist? (That is to say, would it be possible for the parts of the brain that influence walking etc. to be affected, without affecting speech/cognition as well?)

I'm totally clueless about this sort of thing, so I'd appreciate any help.
Alpha

Abuse investigations in modern-day PA involving teenagers

I have a character, Dante, who is 17 and starts in a new, “fancy” high school in a fictional PA city. He’s a inner city kid, who got expelled from his old school due to skipping classes and getting into fights. Now, a year later, he’s starting grade 11 again and is being a very good boy. This is the result of him having moved in with a college professor he tried to mug, only to be taken in like a wet kitten, nursed back from pneumonia and then an arrangement having been made between the professor and Dante’s mother that there will be no charges or anything if Dante lets himself be “straightened out” – Goes back to school, stays away from gang thugs, stops delinquent stuff et cetera et cetera

Now, at school there is some trouble: he avoids most people, especially the girls. He has all of 2 or possibly 3 people he spends any time with at anything resembling regular intervals. He also often acts like he is sore, and sometimes has visible bruises.

This leads to a teacher reporting this to the counselor, there being a Talk with Dante, and an investigation being launched into the situation.

Now, what I need to know is: what sort of things would the councilor ask Dante? I know that pretty much despite his answers, there will still be an investigation, and the people who will be questioned would involve Dante, his mother, the professor, two of their common friends who are rather… err close and kind of impossible to keep out of it… who else? Dante’s teachers, classmates, the landlord…? Who does the investigating? The social services or the police, and which department? Would they be called somewhere or would the investigator come visit? Would the interviews be conducted one on one or would Dante allowed to be there?

So, yeah. Technical details. Philadelphia, fictional city of about 200.000 people, no county specified, modern day with the year being nonspecific.
pens

more 'what would you do/what would you know' type questions (first aid, surviving outdoors)

a few more specific questions, prompted by the wonderful answers to my first post ... i'm looking for your own personal knowledge and anything you can reasonably volunteer about that of your friends and family.

one - do you know basic first aid? have you ever been asked to or required to become certified for a job or volunteer position? if so, what was the position? and most importantly, how much of it do you think you really retained?

two - would you know how to start a fire without an accelerant (ie lighter fluid or matches)?

three - close your eyes and pretend you have been abandoned in the wilderness with no hope of rescue. how long before you would do the following things?

- eat recognizable food (berries or mushrooms, for example) that you were not sure were 'safe' (ie clean, digestable, not poisonous)
- eat plants or other things that did not immediately scream 'food' (thanks to someone whose name i should have noted for the distinction!), such as pine cones, tree bark, or acorns (if in fact they turn out to be safe ... i'm sort of jumping the gun before i get the specifics researched, because i need an example), if someone else claimed to know that it was edible
- eat bugs, fish, or wild animals (something like a squirrel or rabbit, should you somehow catch one), assuming you've made a fire and found a way to cook the meat (oh god, my vegetarian stomach is absolutely rolling ... writing this is not going to be fun!)

thanks again!

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