November 29th, 2005

The time it takes to forget, or to break

I have no idea how helpful that subject is. Let me know if I should change it.

Time is not my strong suit. I have almost no sense of time, either short- or long-term. But I need to work up a timeline for my world. I know a world is huge, so I hesitated about posting to "little details" with this problem, but it's a fairly small part of the story, just so I have consistent numbers.

First, how long--in years, or in human generations--would it generally take a planet with snail-mail levels of communication to collectively forget a planetary war with aliens? I can shorten this time by having the aliens work to force them to forget (destroying evidence, quelling uprisings, that sort of thing), but I wonder how long it might take for entire populations to lose their memories of that war. This would be especially useful knowledge if I want my characters to come across a pocket of people uninfluenced by the aliens.

Second, this war cut off interstellar delivery, and they were left with only the machines already on the surface. I'd like for there to be cars. I want cars to be an extravagance, something only the rich would have, and even then they're practically falling apart. Only the police have good cars, and that's because the people in power hoarded things for their enforcers to be more efficient. How long would a car last, with upkeep? They could manufacture at least some sorts of replacement parts. I can add in fictional alloys, of course, to make them last longer, but again, I'd like some kind of base time to work with. I know that it's probably going to be an estimation anyway, because we haven't had cars for terribly long, and these would theoretically be better-made than the cars we have now. But I still want input.

Sorry if I rambled too much!
  • Current Mood: contemplative

Book reccomendations?

Looking for a good fun primer on Middle Eastern mythology and monster stories; Babylonian, Sumerian, Egyptian, (and their modern day equivalents) and stories from India. This is intended to be background reading for later productive works.. and if possible, be entertaining. Text book reading loses my interest all to easily. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

Need Info on Dissociative Identity Disorder (MPD)

Okay so I'm working with a character who at one time had four different personalities. Now, she's still loonier than a fruitcake, but she's repressed three of her personalities against their will. (She doesn't like them, it's complicated)

Now from what I've Googled, it would be impossible for her to "kill" her other selves off, right? Or am I misunderstanding what I've read?

godmothers in Wales

I know "mam fedydd" is the Welsh term for "godmother." How does this translate literally into English? How is it pronounced?

Did godparents exist in Welsh churches between, say, 600 and 1100? I'm pretty sure they did, but it doesn't hurt to double check. If so, does anyone happen to know the Medieval Welsh word for godmother (assuming it's still known)?

Update: Cross-posted this at dysgu_cymraeg and solved the pronunciation portion of my question. Thanks!

Quick Arabic question

Background: crazy immortal magical evil overlord with Arabic origins.

I want his Arabic (assumed) name to mean or refer to "Gabriel the Eternal", since an alias he's using is already a variant of the same in another language. I know the Arabic version of Gabriel would be Jibril, but does "Jibril Al Samad" make any kind of sense? I don't speak Arabic at all, and I've learned to be wary of online translators :S
  • Current Mood: puzzled

Civil War-era America and...dueling banjos?

So, I'm curious, since I'm definitely not a history buff, about the true nature of the relationship between slaveholders and slaves. What would the AVERAGE relationship between master and slave have been - more likely cruel, or more likely paternalistic? Would it be more accurate, if I wanted to portray a positive relationship, to make it more kindly but distant, or might a master have had an attachment to particular slaves (masters who were sleeping with slave women notwithstanding). How much of an appreciable difference would there be between their relationships with field slaves versus house slaves?

Unrelatedly, I have been trying to think of this term for about a week and I'm going crazy: what's it called when you show the same scene from two different points of view? (You know the kind I mean: John tells the story of his date with Jane and he was a perfect gentleman; Jane tells the story and he's a boor.) I asked a friend and she looked at me blankly and said, "I don't know...dueling banjos?"
  • Current Mood: busy

UCMJ action

Let's say you were a company commander. A Captain, to be precise, with your own fair share of experience in the infantry, heading a company of swordsmen (low-tech world that hasn't developed firearms yet, go!).

Now say, you have this private. You're fond of him, because he has a situation that is very close to home for you and you can empathize with him a bit. He trusts you because of this, so much so that while he cannot feel safe outside in the civilian world, he can feel safe in your company knowing that you are it's commanding officer.

A few of your other soldiers don't like this private very much, for the same reason you're fond of him, and they decide to jump him in an alley while they're off-duty. He is found in this alley in a dying state, and is immediately hospitalized under intensive care with 24-hour healing-mage surveillance (just in case).

He can name these soldiers, and you know it. In fact, you even suspect you know who they are already.

What would you, as the company commander, do that was within the limits of your power as the CC?