December 28th, 2005

Roman mythology

Hi, all. :D

I've tried various searches on this, but I just can't find the *perfect* answer, so I'm wondering what all of you know about it --

Roman mythology. But not just general mythology - what I mean is, mythology set in Rome, that comes specifically from Rome, if you know what I mean. For my story, it needs to be related to magic somehow. So, basically: Magic mythology set in Rome. LOL. I talk in circles.

Do you know of any? I'd really appreciate any and all help you can give me. Even if you could just hint to some half-remembered story, that'd give me somewhere to start researching!

ETA: I apologise for how vague this question was. What I meant was, has anyone ever heard of any myths relating to any sort of wizard- or druid-type figure that had lived in Rome? I'm looking for something really obscure, something that isn't available by just opening a Roman mythology book or surfing a mythology website. That was what I meant by 'half-remembered' story. I have searched, and have been researching this particular matter for weeks, in fact, but I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. I wasn't very optimistic to begin with, but I had sort of hoped that because there are so many members in this community, that one of you may have heard that one perfectly obscure reference. Nevermind.

Thanks anyway. :D And a very happy holidays to you (belated, I know).
Poshcat

Distinctive physical characteristics/mannerisms?

I'm looking for some characteristics, either physical traits, habits, or mannerisms, to set a character apart. He's a big, gruff, no-nonsense, ex-military fellow. I don't want to fall into the old cigar-chomping, crew cut cliches, but I'll be darned if I can think of anything fresh. I'm guessing with all your vast collective experience you've met one or two quirky personalities with something particularly distinctive about them. Giles cleans his glasses. Sherlock Holmes has his pipe and hat. What can be my guy's thing that sets him apart?

Thank you as always! ::toasts you with left-over eggnog::

American schools. And schoolboys.

I'm writing a story set in (and around) an American high school, and I need to ask some basic questions.

1) How is the year split up? (As in -- holidays, terms, exams, sports events?)
2) It seems that "jocks" are popular. Are there any particular rituals/social customs/modes of behavior that are expected of them?
3) What are some common weekend or holiday activities for a financially well-off American teenager?
4) What is considered a normal social life for the average American student? When would s/he start dating, engaging in sexual behavior etc.? When would the average student's virginity be lost? (Or rather, when would a student expect to lose his/her virginity?)
5) Just how serious would it be for a "jock" to be suddenly exposed as gay?
6) Or anyone else, for that matter?
7) Are the social circles of popular students as exclusive as American TV shows make them out to be? Could someone belonging to one of these circles invite a less popular -- if not downright unpopular -- person into their circle? How successful would such an inclusion be?
8) Do high school students generally wear uniforms, or is it left up to the state/school?

That's all. :) If anyone thinks that there are also other things I should know, please feel free to volunteer information.

Edited to add: I have enough information now, thanks! I really appreciate everyone who's cared to answer my questions.
Snakeling: Minoan snake goddess

Studying herpetology in South Africa

I have been googling South African universities all afternoon, but I haven't found all of what I need.

Is there a South African university with a particularly renowned herpetology program? I assume that my character would study zoology as an undergrad and only specialise in herpetology in postgrad studies.

What is the average course load for a first year science student in South African universities, most likely Cape Town? I estimated a good 30 hours/week, but I didn't study in the Anglo-Saxon university system, and I don't really understand how it works.
Bemused by Glimmergirl

Broken cellphone question

In the US, if someone's cellphone has been destroyed, (crushed), what message would someone hear when they phoned the number?
Or would they just get a continuous dial tone, or an engaged tone?

ETA: Thanks all - that's most helpful.