December 30th, 2005

Preindustrial glasswork and gold knives

Ok. Fairly standard preindustrial fantasy type setting. Magic requires use of gold, silver, copper, or tin (but only one of those, each interferes with the others). Tech level has *some* flexibility, but is definitely no later than, say, late Renaissance or so.

1. The "standard" Imperial coinage is glass beads of particular shapes/colors/patterns. Magic has very little use in glasswork (except for more control over fire). With that kind of tech level, what (relatively precise) shapes of beads would be easy vs hard (balls, cylinders, cubes, ovals, etc)? What colors would be practical (that do not contain any of the above-mentioned metals)? How easy/practical would it be to make (relatively precise) swirls or other patterns in the glass? How easy would it be to etch precise patterns into the glass? Any general resources on preindustrial glassworking? ("local" coinage is still mostly bits o' metal, the Imperial coinage is mostly for Official Imperial Business, mages, and anyone trading over long distances)

2. The tools/implements used to work magic need to be made at least partly of the metal needed for a particular "element", and not contain any of the *other* metals. So, any tech-level-appropriate suggestions on making a practical, functional knife that contains at least some gold, but no copper, silver, or tin? (inlay vs alloy vs electroplating vs...--magic would be fairly useless for this, however) And, in general, (since Earth mages, the ones who need gold, tend not to be *spectacularly* wealthy, and gold is bloody expensive) what would be the most practical and inexpensive tech-level-appropriate way to have usable gold-containing ritual tools? (brazier, candle holders, and so forth)
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Cantonese street names

I'm writing a story set on a fictional island city-state where the official language is English, but where historically Cantonese was the main language, and where there are still a lot of Cantonese speakers. Sometimes I want to hit myself for ever thinking this was a good idea.

Today's problem:

I need some street names, but I have no idea how to come up with them. I've named some of the newer streets in English, which I think makes sense, but now I need names for streets that were around before the English came and weren't important enough to be renamed.

At the moment, I need a name for a street that has mostly businesses and minor government buildings on it, and a couple of names for residential streets.

So, how do I go about this? My Chinese is theoretical rather than practical, so even if there is a system you can describe to me I'm not sure I can use it competently.

I assume that because the island's official language is English now, Cantonese street names will be written in English transcription. I'd still like any name suggestions in characters if possible, so I can convert to the transcription I think is historically appropriate.

- - -

And as always, I'm on the lookout for resources that will help me name background characters. Online phone books, lists of graduating students, or anything that has a lot of Cantonese names (in characters) on it. If you know of anything, please give me a link.
  • Current Music: Nick Cave - Red Right Hand

New community for paper journallers.





I thought I'd let this community know about a new community I've joined called embodiment. It is a paper journal project for 2006, and is designed to motivate and inspire members to write something - even if it's just a sentence - every day. Visual entries are encouraged if that's your thing.

You can use the community for writing prompts, or post a scan of your journal when you feel like it. I joined because I am notorious for slacking off after a few weeks and could use the motivation to keep going!

If you're interested in joining, you need to get yourself a journal by Jan. 1. Membership will be closed for one full year on Jan. 1st.

Hopefully this finds some other writerheads who needed inspiration!


click here to join | click here to spectate

More about the community from its creatorCollapse )

(Posted with permission from ladybirdsleeps)

arrow wounds

-Setting is late Medieval-ish, and there is magic in this world, but for the sake of things let's assume there isn't. Medical knowledge (in relation to scientific fact versus old wife's tales) is fairly advanced.
So I have this character who's a knight, and he's shot by an arrow while in battle. It hits him on the right side of his lower abdomen (below the ribcage), and goes in maybe two inches at most. It miraculously does not hit any organs. This knight is then taken captive by the enemy and thrown into prison for four days and is not given any treatment for his wounds. Then he is rescued by his fellow soldiers and taken back to their camp, where he can finally get medical help.
Assuming the arrow wound (or any of his other injuries) doesn't get fatally infected or whatnot, about how long would it take for it to heal? How long before he would be able to sit up and/or ride a horse?

US army weapons in 2000 and wars 1996-8

Can anyone give me the names of some weapons, especially for more close range fighting (street-to-street) - pistols, revolvers, or any other standard weapons etc. that might have been issued to US soldiers around 1999 - 2000.

Also, what conflicts was the US involved with in 1996-8?

Everything I try seems to send me to info on the world wars, for some reason.

ETA: thanks - I have enough now.
I'll try to do better in future!

Bestsellers in the early '70s

I need to know which books (fiction or non-fiction) were bestsellers in the US in 1971 or '72.

A 1972 New York Times bestsellers list would be great, but I don't need precise information. If someone can just rattle off the titles of a few really popular books from the time, that should do me just as well.

Japanese Souvenirs

So, the year is 1986, and a man has just come back from Japan, bearing souvenirs for a five year old American boy and a ten year old British girl.

Money is not really an issue to said man (He's around five hundred years old. He's had a lot of time to accumulate money in interest).

So what would make good souvenirs from Japan for said children in 1986?

Amnesia...

Hallo -
I've been reading online about this, but can't find some specific information. I've got the definitions of the types of amnesia recognized by the medical community, and how a person might be afflicted - trauma, injury, etc.

However, what I'm trying to find is being very elusive. I'm giving the character this type of amnesia:
Retrograde amnesia. In some ways, this form of amnesia is the opposite of anterograde amnesia: the victim can recall events that occurred after a trauma, but cannot remember previously familiar information or the events preceding the trauma.

What I can't seem to find is - do victims of amnesia forget tasks? Will they forget how to drive a car, operate a computer, play a guitar? *if they knew how already*. Will they 'forget' things like television or the space shuttle or how what an ATM is?

The case studies i've found are *very* short and general, or filled with a lot of medical jargon. I'd like to read a sort of 'biography' of an amnesiac, to learn what things they could still do/recall and what they couldn't, beyond the description above.

Also, because of the not knowing, are amnesiacs generally fairly calm? Hysterical? Violent or moody?

Any help is appreciated!
Thank you.

Watery/airy names

I'm looking for some name suggestions for an air elemental (male) and a water elemental (female). I'd like things that are related to their elements, but not as "obvious" as something like Sky or Marina. Language of origin isn't a concern, and they don't necessarily have to mesh with each other.

I'm also checking baby name sites, but it seems like all of them have the same pool of 65 names, and 40 of those are variations on Caitlin. If you happen to know of any that have a better range, I'd love that information, too.

EDITED: Thanks for all the suggestions. Now I'm planning on going with "Kazewa" and some variation on "Morgan," and I've bookmarked behindthename and Alfabette Zoope for future reference.