May 10th, 2006

  • eelpot

Testing for STDs

The character I'm writing about is male, has been sexually active with several partners of both genders without protection and his parole officer tells him to get tested (long story) so I would like details of how a test is done. What is usually tested for? How are the tests done?

This might just be that I'm not good at googleing, but I can't seem to find any info on how a usual testing round for STDs is done... if anyone has anything, including some good search phrases, I would really appreciate it.

EDIT: I've got what I need now. Thank you so much to everyone who replied. Awesome answers & just what I needed!

Horses; travel

1) I have two characters making a journey on horseback. 
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Approximately how far could they get in a day?  (Preferably a miles/kilometer estimate.)

2)  How long/frequently would the horses have to stop to eat/drink/rest on a long distance trip like this?  At minimum?

3)  In an earlier scene, the male char. attempts to leave after a fight, but is unable to do so because of some horse-related difficulty which stalls him.  I was thinking that maybe the horse is hitched with a type of knot he doesn't know, and by the time he unties it they've settled the disagreement.  Is it plausible that someone could be a competent rider but not able to undo a fairly standard knot?  Are there any other solutions to this?

This takes place in a fantasy world, so I have some leeway, but I would like to make it believeable for readers familiar with riding.  If you need any other details, comment and I will try to provide them.  Thank you.

EDIT:  Thank you!  All three questions have been answered, but you're still welcome to post anything else you think might help, like (non-obvious) useful links or non-fic books about this.
Red Sag

broken cars & cheeating in poker

So... i need to get two of my characters stuck in a small town, and I figure that guy A's convertible getting messed up would do it. However, I have no iudea what precisely is the sort of a breakup that would make it so that they are stuck in thew town for over a month waiting for parts; the car is a snazzy conbvertible, one that I have not been too specific about, can be as new or as old as needed. And yes, I know jack about cars,and don't know how to google something like this.

The owner's friend, Guy B, I intend to get in trouble. Namely, by having him get caught cheating in poker. I have managed to google some methods of cheating, but they seem to be tailored towards classy casino cheating, not smoky dive sort of cheating. How could he cheat and get caught in a way that would not be out of place for a thirtysomething biker type?

Beard growth

All of my male friends are either clean-shaven or already had their face fuzz when I met them, and all Google will tell me is that the rate at which men's facial hair grows is unique to each of them. So. About how long would it take for a man to grow enough of a beard to significantly change his appearance? Not to make him unrecognizable to people he sees regularly, but enough so that someone who only knew him from pictures in the paper or on television wouldn't recognize him with the beard, glasses, and maybe a slightly different hair color?

Also, is there a particular reason that a man wouldn't want to use regular hair dye on his beard?

Law cases

First of all, let me say how wonderful this community is. You people all rock my socks. :)

So my question--couldn't find anything applicable on Wikipedia or Google or AJ. It's fairly simple: how long do lawyers keep cases on file? Forever? A certain number of years? Like, let's say that one of my characters had a lawyer draw up his will in 1940--would the record of it still be there sixty years later?


Convicting relatives by DNA

I've tried google, but apparently I'm not selecting the right buzzwords.

If CSI suspects me and tests my DNA, a 100% match means I did it, while a partial match means someone I'm related to did it. I'm looking for a table of percentages by relation. For example; 50% match would be either my parents or my kids, while a 25% match would be either my grandparents or grandkids. What would be the percentage for a sibling? A parent's sibling? A cousin? Second cousin? etc. Thanks for all help.
-- Dagonell