December 1st, 2005

Preindustrial glass "coins"

Due to the magic system, my world needs "official" coinage that is not (and does not contain) gold, silver, copper, or tin. I have decided on specially-designed glass coins/beads/something.
Given basically-medievalesque technology (this is flexible, but it *is* preindustrial, and probably the only help magic will be is making hotter fires with less fuel), which is likelier: thick coin shapes, beads, smooth round marbles, smooth glass lumps, or something else? Also, what coloring agents/patterns would likely be relatively cheap vs relatively expensive (for different denominations of coins--excluding the aforementioned metals, of course)
Factors to consider: ease of counterfeiting (ideally only a fairly large/complex operation should be able to produce the coins with any real efficiency), durability (don't want your money shattering), ease/price of manufacture for a dedicated facility (if it's too expensive to make, they'd just use gems or something instead), and the ability to make clearly distinct, repeatable patterns/colors/types.
I won't need to actually "see" the manufacturing, I mostly need to know if Our Heroine will be paying for her room with brown discs, or blue beads, or catseye-swirl marbles...
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Demon of...carrying out people's darkest wishes?

Hmm, so I've found a few possibilities for this but nothing I really like.

I am trying to think of or learn about some sort of demon/spirit/supernatural creature that would carry out the darkest desire in a character's heart. My character is going to think "I really wish s/he were dead" like you do sometimes when you're angry/jealous, but he won't really mean it. So, what I need is some sort of demonic, etc. force that would read those thoughts and carry them out for him.

Is that clear? I did find a demon that incites men to murder, which I could always use in a pinch, but my character wasn't there when the murder happened, so I actually need it to be an outside force.

The Taste of Poison

This might not wind up ever being actually used in anything published since I'm awful about finishing anything I write, but I've got a nonhuman character who is, by nature, completely immune to toxins, and I was struck by the idea of having him occasionally season his food and drink with various poisons. The problem is, google is worse than useless on this front- all I've been able to find is "all poisonous plants are bitter" and "not all poisonous plants are bitter". I've basically given up on discovering any REAL information that way.

I can handle fungi fairly well thanks to my copy of Arora's Mushrooms Demystified, and there's always the cyanide/almond relation, but I'd like a few more options. Does anyone know anything about the taste of anything poisonous, or at least know where I can find some decent information? Also.. don't be hesitant to mention something even if it IS bitter. I've decided that the character in question doesn't particularly dislike most bitter tastes, so it's more of an issue of having correct information than of wanting to rule out a large category of sources.

(...er, damn. I thought I'd actually joined this community, but it looks like I accidentally friended it instead and since membership isn't required for responses I never noticed that I didn't have posting access. Going to go fix that now. And add back in my subject header which LJ apparantly ate.)

Archetypes

I've searched google and wikipedia until my head has hurt. I'm wondering if anyone has any good recomendations for Archetypes found in stories. It's for a Supernatural fic and they've talked about Archetypes in interviews and I want my OCs to be able to fit into the Archetypes. Any help would be appreciated.

paralysis and sex

Thanks so much for all your responses to my last question!

On a completely different tack (since writing classes dictate that I always have more than one story going at one time)...what sort of, if any, sex lives are the paralyzed likely to lead (either paraplegic or quadraplegic, I haven't worked out the details)? I don't really need graphic details, just a "yes they can/no they can't/they can do X but not Y" etc. Would there be an appreciable difference if one had been not just paralyzed but, say, a bit mangled or disfigured in an accident? (Assuming, of course, one had a willing partner, I just wanted to know the likelihood of things still being in working order.)

shortwave radio

A not-very-rich kid is a shortwave radio hobbyist and wants to take one in a car on a cross-country trip. Feasible? How much do radio batteries cost, for instance, and how often would they be replaced if the radio is listened to constantly? Any other lovely details?
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Company outing ideas

Could use some help here... in one of my stories a character organises the company day and in order to find the exactly right, coolest thing to do she digs through a truckload of common company-day activities. I know what they're going to end up doing, but I need a lot of things she considers and dismisses. I'm all Googled out - all I'm finding is minigolf and barbequeing. What are some typical, active ways a smallish company would do for a company outing? I don't mean the kind where you bring family, and I'm looking specifically for what an American company would do. Any help much appreciated.