May 22nd, 2006

lady of sorrows

jailtime for "witch"-persecuting town?

story's set in the present, USA. we're in a completely fictional town of very backwards-thinking, close-minded, superstitious idiots. whatever leadership and/or law enforcement they have is this old guy, a sort of medicine man-ish character.

the town accuses a woman and her two daughters as witches, when mysterious deaths occur. (accdg to town lore, their family has always been composed of witches.) so, in the middle of the night, the entire town goes to the "witches'" cottage, with guns of all sorts and torches. they set fire to the cottage, burning one of the daughters alive. the other daughter gets shot as she tries to run away. mother manages to escape.

*any access they have to the "civilized" no-witch-hunting-in-2006 world is thorugh a couple of extremely wary medical missionaries. they didn't witness the event but just saw the aftermath (burnt house, dead bodies). can they do something about it? report it to someone maybe? so, if they do that, will the town pay for this crime? will they [the town] be persecuted? by whom? the police of the nearest "civilized" town? will the *entire* town be held accountable for the deaths?

and would there be a name for this crime?


United States dues to the United Nations.

I've looked everywhere for this information. It seems like the kind of thing one would be able to find easily, but apparently it's not.

So every member of the United Nations contributes a certain amount of money to it every year, right?

How does this amount go about getting approved in the United States? I know it has to go through Congress, but what committees would it go through? Who would decide, ultimately, whether or not to give the UN the money?

Arsenic poisoning

I've googled this for over a month if not more. I've looked in the school, public and local college library. And libraries out of  the city. I did get a writer's guide to poisons but all I got were the symptoms. So, hopefully somebody can answer.

Like I said, I have the symptoms to arsenic poisoning. My character is poisoned with it, a little over the space of about a week or two, with food. This is approximately 1579, in the Renaissance. If a doctor came, what illness would he think my character would have? I don't want it to be obvious he was poisoned because they don't find out until he's near dead. And is there anything that the doctor would suggest to treat the "sickness"? I'd like it to be a sickness back then, obviously. I think I looked up arsenic poisoning, symptoms and sicknesses and managed to find a bunch of anti-depressants and their side effects. Thanks if anybody could help me.

Stewie's Guide to Writing

How Many Subjects do US school students generally take?

Hello, I don't know if this is too broad or anything, but as an Australian, I don't have any experience with the US education system, and websites don't seem to be that much help.

Firstly, how many subjects do High school students usually take? Do they take less by the time they're Juniors or Seniors? Or does it remain the same all the way through?

Which subjects are considered compulsary? (At my school, only English, either maths or a science and religion- I went to a Catholic school- was considered compulsary in Grades Eleven and Twelve, otherwise you could do whatever.)

How do credits work? Do you get one credit per subject per year? Do you have to take a language the entire four years in High School (I wanted my character to give up on foreign languages by Junior year)?

The school my character is going to is a Private school in New York City, are private schools that much different than public schools in the US? Or are all New York schools generally the same?

Thanks in advance!

Rib and knee injury and use of crutches; head injury

My primary character has had his ribs bruised/broken (not sure which yet) and his knee dislocated (or at least badly twisted). I have the medical info on how to treat such injuries and the length of recovery, but could he use crutches with bruised or broken ribs? My guess would be that it would be painful to use a crutch on the injured side, but on the other side it might be doable.
Also, the event that caused the knee injury consists of an attacker slamming his knee (purposefully, knowing he has occasional knee trouble) while it was bent. The attacker is using as much of his body weight as possible to wrench the leg in order to hobble my primary character. Is this as a situation which would cause a dislocated knee or kneecap feasible?
One final thing: in desperation, the primary character slams his attacker's head against a cement wall with all his strength near the end of the fight, knowing if he doesn't end it with this move, he's going to lose. Both men are soldiers with considerable hand-to-hand training and are in the 6'/170lb range. I'm unsure of how severe an injury this would generate. My thought is that if the attacker doesn't have his skull fractured (I have yet to look up info on that injury), he'd have a mighty concussion and could be expected to be unconscious or at least largely immobile for at least a day or two. How feasible is this?
I hope I've done enough homework prior to asking these questions. Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

(Suggested Tags: injuries, knocking 'em out, broken ribs)
httyd--hiccup and toothless

pregnancy questions...


i have a character who is a practitioner of swords, and is very good, this is her main exercise, etc. Anyway, she gets pregnant. She discovers the pregnancy when she's about a month along, is going to keep the baby, and live happily ever after, blah blah blah.

So, my question is, can my charrie continue to practice swords for a time (though considerably less heavily than she usually does, obviously), or does she need to totally stop right away? (I don't know if she'll actually follow the rules anyway, but what would a doctor advise her?) And if she couldn't practice swords, what could she do to keep in shape instead of that throughout her pregnancy?

And secondly...

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So, back to the unsqueamish stuff...

And finally, is it genetically feasible for bad pregnancies resulting in the death of the mother to run in the family?

I'm not sure if these are very clear questions, so if you need any clarification, just ask.
zen cat
  • samtyr

Car Crash Injuries

Premise: Two friends (both male, mid-20's) are involved in a *serious* high-speed crash. The driver is only slightly less injured than the passenger but both arrive at the hospital unconscious, in critcal condition and are rushed into surgery.

Question: I want the passenger to end up w/vision & hearing loss (not sure just how bad yet) from the crash. What I need to know is just when the medical staff would notice a problem. I'm assuming that anything noticed at first would be written off as mostly due to the accident and surgery. Afterwards he is placed into a medically-induced coma and on a ventilator as well.

My main problem is that I can't quite determine the actual time frame. Any/all suggestions appreciated. Thanks in advance.
no parking

High school report cards

I'm normally a confused mess when it comes to the American education system, but Wiki can answer those questions mostly. The only thing I can't find on there, or through Yahoo!, is -

What does a report card look like?

Y'know, the ones that say "Joe Bloggs is an advanced musician but he does not play well with others" and stuff like that. How often do students get them? What are they most likely to say? Just how much do they mean to students/teachers/guardians?

Any help appreciated greatly.


suburban relocation from London

My character is a 26-year-old self-employed photographer who makes just enough money to afford a tiny, awful two-bedroom flat in Whitechapel, London. He is an American expatriate who's lived in London for four years, so he's familiar with the area, but he doesn't have a native's familiarity.

In one scene, he briefly considers relocating to a rural or suburban area somewhere in southern England (no more than an hour's drive from London, I'd say.) It needs to be a safe, welcoming environment with a lot of trees and/or open spaces. It also needs to be affordable. However, he'd prefer an area that isn't entirely in the middle of nowhere, since he's a twenty-something and will miss urban life. Closer to London is better, since he's got friends there.

So, which places fitting this description would occur first to a Londoner?