June 7th, 2006

alkanphel

Question about bullets, and a stunt.

What would be a better metal to make armor-piercing bullets from? Tungsten? Depleted uranium? Or something else? Would it be feasible to have them be diamond-tipped?

Onto the stunt; do any of you think it would be possible for someone to jump over a car on a dirt bike? Mind you, the guy who’s going to try and do this stunt had a lot of experience riding.
Wonder Woman 1

Popular (teen) Music

You know how Blue Moon plays in the background in the movie An American Werewolf in London? Nicely ironic, yes? I'm looking for a song that will serve a similar purpose, but something more current - preferably a hit within the last five years.

The character is a teenage girl walking home after a date. It's winter, there's snow on the ground, a full moon in the sky. She's singing to herself while she walks. She's about to be attacked by...well, it's not a werewolf, but everyone's going to think it is.

What song is she humming?
claire cupcake

Liberal Christian denominations?

Wikipedia and other sources aren't really giving simple answers to this question, though I've looked, so I figured I could ask here.

What denominations of Christianity are generally considered "liberal"? As in, my character is very involved in a church group that fully supports gay marriage and other topics viewed as Liberal Christianity. But I'm not sure what denomination that could be called.

Are all Quakers? I think I've heard something like that. Are there other specific Christian denominations that would fit in this category?

Thank you!
lil bludd soliciting

Saxitoxin (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning) amounts

I was looking for a substance I could inject into a character to render him paralysed and possibly dead, and I've found Saxitoxin (STX), which is the chemical responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning. Wikipedia says the LCt50 (measure of lethality within 50% of the population) is 5 mg x min / m3. What I need to know (I am so not a math/science major) is how to figure out how much of this stuff is necessary to put down two guys weighing 195 and 150 pounds, respectively. Basically I need to know if I can fit the required amount in a syringe-like device (which I've made up because it has to be small enough to fit in a cigarette packet and plastic or at least non-metal-detectable). Maybe I'm going for too much detail and I should just say, "Okay, he's using STX in the syringe-thing, and boom." But I'd at least like to ballpark it and see if I'm way off base.

The Wikipedia entry on Saxitoxin is here, in case my transcription of the formula is wrong/confusing.

Thank you in advance for fielding my crazy question. And apologies to those viewing medical_geeks because I'll be crossposting this there.
music, serious face

Draping a sari

I'm trying to research less ubiquitous styles of sari-draping, and I'm becoming frustrated (okay, I'm already frustrated) by how hard it is to find pages that dedicate more than a passing paragraph to them.

What I particularly want is diagrams. I have pictures, and enough information for my purposes on what's worn where and by whom, but trying to figure out just how these are put on is kinda hard. Does anyone have any webpages? Or hell, book recommendations? I'd prefer not to have to spend money, but I'm desperate.

I came across this book while searching and am considering it, but the drawings are rather crude, and if there's something as comprehensive that's prettier, I'd like to know.

Note: It's easy to find information and diagrams on this style, so I don't want that. Anything else is what I'm looking for.

Edit: The Wikipedia article has a link to instructions on how to drape a fishtail and Vijanayagara-era sari that I managed to miss, so I've got those covered too.

Edit 2: To add bolding.
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monaboyd

British higher education system.

So I'm sure this has been asked a thousand times before, but I'm gonna make it 1001...with (hopefully) something of a twist.

1) When someone in the UK graduates university, do they earn a "degree" or do they call it something else? If someone were to graduate, say, with a specialization in the area of theatre/drama/etc, would the degree indicate as much, or would it just be a general arts certificate?

2) Let's say this person graduates and then chooses to continue their education. Is there a British equivalent to the US graduate student program? Specifically, what would this person have to do (in Scotland actually, if it makes a difference) to be considered qualified to be a lecturer if they wanted to stay in the country?

3) On a slightly different note, let's say that this person graduated from a UK university but decided that they wanted to attend a school in the US to further pursue their education. Could they just pick up and move and go into a masters/Ph.D program with little or no fuss?
monaboyd

Security within the White House and among the "first family"

I'd Google this, but I'm not altogether doing so wouldn't get me arrested or at least red flagged. Big Brother and all that.

1) Basically, the story is about a president's college age son. Would he be given pretty much free reign within the building? Or would he have to have an escort (say, a Secret Service agent or some other type of guard)? Presumably, if he walked into the west wing and wanted to go into the oval office to speak to his dad, no one would really think twice about it, would they?

2) This character will also be attending a college that is as-yet unknown, but far enough away that he has to live on/near campus. Would this be a nightmare, as far as security is concerned? This president has three kids, two of which are adult sons, one of which is a daughter in high school. Would there be Secret Service agents hovering over all three of them constantly throughout this president's term, or only during events the president actually attended? How likely is it that this college kid (okay, Matt, I'm thinking his name is) could choose his own roommate? Would this security group, if they're involved, grill this person endlessly and require five thousand kinds of identification and a sworn oath of allegiance?

3) Are there any legal issues involved with tabloids and scandalous/unseemly stories regarding the presidential family? I remember Chelsea, of course, but all they ever talked about was who she was dating and everything. What about pictures of an, uh, sensitive nature? Since they are tabloids, I'm thinking the same open season rules apply the same as every other celebrity, but you never know. Would one of the aforementioned Secret Service agents harass any would-be paparazzo into submission if, contingent with question 2 of course, they were actually around?

4) And finally, the question that made me avoid Google: Near the end of the story, Matt is attending a campaign rally for the second term and some nutjob makes an attempt on the president's life. However, said nutjob is not a particularly good aim so Matt ends up taking it instead. The family is rounded up and hauled to a local hospital while presumably the campaign site turns into an apocalyptic wonderland of snipers. Especially given what's just happened, would security just lock down a section of the hospital while the president and first lady are waiting for their son to get out of surgery, or what? This one's got me stumped.

Yes, I'm full of questions tonight. Thanks in advance for any help you can give!