April 26th, 2006


Apartment after a fire - what's it like?

Short question: what's it like to be in an apartment where there was recently a fire?

Long: I am still toying with the severity of the fire, amount of damage, etc. Hopefully it will still be liveable - ie, there's a roof - but fairly well destroyed in all other aspects, though I don't want the inhabitant to lose ALL his possesions. I had an idea that if the fire started in the kitchen, most of what was destroyed first wouldn't have been terribly important.

The fire was arson, and either intended to kill the inhabitant or to cover up the traces of a search for some secret object (this depends on whether I decide to have the villians realise he's out of town, or not). (Don't ask me why they'd start it in the kitchen - to make it look less suspicious, perhaps. People are forever burning their kitchens down.)

I'm wanting to know specifics about how it might look, smell, feel, etc. a week or so after the fire, and maybe the names of some of the repair/recovery processes that are done. (Inhabitant has "connections," shall we say, and no need to go through the private sector - for that reason I can't just have him hire a cleaning service.)

Thank you.

quick question about Stanford med school

My usual Stanfordite is not online and I don't even know how to begin Googling for something like this, so I've got a quick question for any Stanford med students out there (or ex-med students).

Is there a specific room or something in/around the med school that might have bodies or body parts in it that the students could enter fairly freely? I remember my cousin's girlfriend (she was a med student) once took my cousin into this room to freak him out, but I can't remember what the room was called or its specific purpose. Does it have a name? What is its actual purpose? Apparently there wasn't anything particularly gory in it that time my cousin went in, so I guess its contents can shift.
ffvii; wutai

Names and culture of New Orleans; NO's Occult Content

Okay, I'm writing an alternate-earth piece set in pre-Katrina New Orleans (there are exactly two settings: the New Orleans of October 2003 and and the New Orleans of January 2004). Problem is, I've never been. I've been looking at French names for NPCs and other characters. But looking at all these lists, I have ZERO context. I can't guess which names would be popular, and which wouldn't.

So people who live in/grew up in and moved away from/have been to New Orleans, can you give me just a few popular adult first names you remember? Cajun and Creole names are more than welcome, too. Here's to hoping I don't screw it up. Of course, growing up in a place with, like, NO flavour at all, what am I expecting?.


1. Can you think of any good books to read that could help me get a feel for NO's history? Can you think of books that would help elucidate NO's 'personality'-- fiction or non-fiction are equally okay.

Hell, (accurate!!) movies, too. I just want to get myself a feel for this city.

2. I know New Orleans has its own brand of voodoo (hoodoo/New Orleans VooDoo), but is Santeria (which, yes, is remarkably similar to 'real' Voudoun, but it's NOT THE SAME) common there?

3. Would you be shocked out of your pants to find demonologists, or Roman Catholic angelologists?

Sick of high school

Hello, I'm on haitus from my work whilst my mom transfers files between computers- until then, I'll be jotting stuff down.

Here in Washington, I participate in a program called "Running Start" where I can take college classes (tuition and fees paid for by the high school) and earn college credits, which also count towards my high school credits. If I do it right, I get my AA at the same time as my Diploma.

My question here is, does running start exist in any other state than Washington? Are there any programs similar to running start in other states? If not, then are there any career tech programs my character could participate in? Most of this story happens in a parallel world, but, my character has been kidnapped from earth.
marvel - purple barton

Loa/Orisha names in Vodun/Santeria

To preface this, I should say I'm writing a cyberpunk novel, and trying to name (almost codename, after a fashion) a character.

Who, exactly, is the wife of Papa Legba? I've searched, but I've gotten conflicting reports. Some of my sources say it's Aziyan, some say Erzulie (with Agwe and Ogoun, replacing Damballa), one even says Maman Brigitte. Are any of these right, some of them, none of them?

If Eshu has a wife, that would also work.

ETA: Papa Legba Atibon is the specific aspect of Legba I'm talking about. Also, it bears repeating that I'm not using any actual Vodun or themes thereof (past the fact that Legba's a gatekeeper of sorts) in my work.

Experiencing Prejudice

I've googled, asked around, incorporated my own thoughts on the subject and the usual prior research stuff.
Now I turn here.

Main Deal:

I've a question regarding people and encountering prejudice [based on race, sexuality, missing body part, which-whover]. My basic interest is finding out what a person thinks and//or feels when they initially suspect someone else is prejudice against them. Not really dealing with prejudice day to day, though that plays into it, but more so when you encounter someone for the first time or two and get the ?!? over your head.

If there's clarification needed about what I'm asking, just say so.

Thanks Much :)

Be Seeing You.

P.S., Added
I think this is the best help I've gotten thus far from just about anywhere.

Britain to America

I'm writing a story about a 15 year old girl who moves from Britain (Manchester) to the US (New York). I have a few questions. 
I have limited knowledge of American school system, which is presenting a problem. Here in Britain, we leave school at 16, but I've heard that in the US, it's different. Could anyone give me a description of the school system, especially in relation to 15 year olds, and what people are encouraged to do after school? 
Also, could anyone tell me any areas in New York that are   
a). Where working class, single parent families might live  
b). Where upper class, quite posh people might live.   

And one last thing, for an American who has knowledge of Britain; How would an American describe the Mancunian (Manchester) accent on first encountering it? Would they say it was scruffy, posh, strange, common or what?  
Thanks a lot!  
Lauren x 

(Edit- I've got the school system pretty much down, but I really need to know the areas in New York thing, and also, I have a new question- Do all people in the US think that British people are really posh?)

(Edit 2- Thanks to everyone for their help, I'm sorted now.)

Business Broker?

 What do you call someone who buys failing companies and salvages them specifically for resale? I keep thinking "Business Broker" but somehow that doesn't seem quite right.

Anyone know if there's a specific name for this profession?

Thanks so much!