June 8th, 2006

Fluffy Vulcan

Martial Arts developed by the Roma?

I'm writing a fic in which my character knows some obscure martial arts. He's of Roma descent, and proud of it. Are there any weaponless combat systems which were developed by the Roma or other groups that would have been referred to as 'gypsy' not so long ago? I should point out that my character has grown up as a typical American, and has not had contact with his biological family since early childhood. He identifies with his heritage, but he doesn't know whether his family hailed originally from Hungary, Croatia, etc. He has learned other combat systems, but if there is one specifically created/developped by the Roma people, he would go out of his way to master it.

Usadojo.com came up empty.

Joker Smile

Orphanage regulations in England

How old must a child be before an orphanage will no longer house them [read - kick them out.] I googled this, but seem to be coming up with upper age limits for the parents looking to adopt, not the children. My character is a female who just turned 16, and is a habitual runaway.

Also, do orphanages in England have libraries open to the orphans/public?

*EDIT* 1. the Library thing is next door now - easy fix.
2. It's not an orphanage, it's a children's home - I get it.
3. I think she'll have been moved to a hostel.

Thanks for all the help.

Egyptian Tombs & Mortuary Priests/Offerings

Okay, I have a couple of questions about Egyptian tombs for you all!

1) This one, I admit, is just out of curiosity: I know that, in theory, mortuary priests were supposed to eternally keep the cult of the dead king alive by leaving offerings for him, saying prayers for him, et cetera. Now, obviously the 'eternal' bit didn't work out, or they'd still be at it to this day. So...does anyone know how long a king's mortuary priests would really keep at it, before they ran out of money/got bored/died out (and which of these is the correct option)?

2) Okay, this one is actually for the story: Apparently the mortuary priests were supposed to leave offerings of food and water for the dead king's soul to eat. Now where exactly would these offerings be left? (Dealing with a Valley of the Kings, totally-ripped-off-from-Tutankhamun tomb here) Would they just be left out in the open in the valley, in front of the tomb's entrance? Or was there some kind of altar or shrine?
When I visited the Metropolitan Museum in New York a year ago, there was a re-created Egyptian tomb that seemed to have some kind of small external shrine room with a small window that looked into a room with a statue of the deceased. Has anyone else seen this thing, and would that shrine be used for offerings? --I don't think the tomb was a KV tomb, but I'm willing to fudge a bit! ;)

3) And another one for the story: When visiting a tomb in the Valley of the Kings, how far inside could someone (*coughdeadking'smourninglovercough*) go? Would they just have to hang out in the valley beside the tomb entrance, or would they be able to enter, say, the outermost corridor or something?

Coach's instructions

I know they might be simple instructions, but I really want to know the authentic ways of a coach when instructing his players in practice sessions. (I am writing about imperatives now and decide to use them in sports field.)

Thank you!


ETA: It can be about any sports: soccer, basketball, athletic, etc.
[misc] arrow forward

Homosexuality and Judaism

It's quite hard to google or wiki this, because really, it depends on the denomination and/or the individual, though my wiki-fu has turned up plenty on rabbis in general.

I have a character who is a rabbi. He's a younger man, but not so young as to be unrealistic. I know that rabbis, again, depending on the denomination, can marry, but what I've been unable to locate is information on the acceptance of homosexuality amongst the Jewish clergy (for lack of a better word). For many, many plot purposes it would suit me better if he were partnered, rather than married. I know that certain Jewish denominations are more accepting of homosexuality than others, but what I want to know is does it apply to the rabbinical? Would older members of a synagogue be creeped out or offended, or would it be basically par for the course (again, differing between denominations)?

If I can clarify or word this better, please let me know; I realise this may be a bit vague. Thank you very much!
music, serious face

MOD POST: Moderation

Community posts have been put back on moderation. I may abitrarily take some posters off of moderation, because I like their usernames, they've complimented my hair, or whatever, but most of you are just going have to wait.

Edit, for the new to LiveJournal crowd: This means that posts will have to be approved before they appear on the community.
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Famous Ancient Poisoner / Poison Patron Deity

just wondering if anyone know of some Ancient Grecian/ Roman :
- famous poisoner, or
- a medicine man known to extensively use poison in treating people, or
- a deity specifically/ widely associated with poison

I went googling and wiki-ing awhile ago, but at this point I only found Locusta (Nero era) for the Poisoner,
for the deity, Asclepius is interesting, but he's more god of -general- medicine rather than poison, as far as I can understand..

thank you in advance : )

Skin Cancer Education in Australia

This one's for the Australian readers

What education (not just school education) did you recieve about skin cancer as a child/young teenager? More the cancer itself than the prevention, but obviously it will likely be in that context. I'm writing about a 14 year old boy - reasonably intelligent but definitely not the type to be reading encyclopedias.

Thank you!

Homeless in Mexico, Building Heights, Beatings, and Distances

1. I'm writing a novel [partially] set along the American-Mexican border by California (it takes place in Tijuana and San Diego, if it matters), and two characters of mine meet a homeless man in San Diego (near the border).

He's of Hispanic background, probably an illegal immigrant, and he has the IQ of a nine-year-old. What I'm wondering is:

I. I want him to be startled to see the two characters (they have wings), but not freak out. Would a nine-year-old be able to act like that? Or would he have to have some kind of metal illness? If so, then what? Would schizophrenia work, or would that make him more likely to freak out?

II. Would a man such as this be able to speak both English and Spanish, or just one or the other? Considering his background, which do you think is more likely?


2. Two of my characters take a tumble from a building in San Diego. It's an oldish building (made out of brick), and they fall from about the third or fourth floor up. What I'm wondering is:

I. How high is this (in metres or feet, please)?

II. They land in a garbage bin (full of bags of trash) to break their fall. Would they sustain any serious injuries from a fall that high and that type of landing? One is already unconcious when they fall; would the other be knocked unconcious as well? If so, after how long would she revive?


3. One of my characters is badly beaten when he is eight years old (enough to make him black out from a blow to the head). What I'm wondering is:

I. Would he sustain any injuries (broken bones, etc) from such a beating?

II. After how long would he wake up after being unconcious?


4. How far away are these cities from the American-Mexican border?

I. San Diego

II. Tijuana


Any help at all would be appretiated. THANKS!
httyd--hiccup and toothless

nicotine gum

totally random question...google and wiki-ed, but found no information...

Is is possible to blow a bubble when chewing nicotine gum?

EDIT: Thanks, folks! That was all I needed to know!
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[dc] the wonder of flight

Pretty South Dakota wildflower... is what?

I'm writing a character who has a weed/wildflower garden, and I have one particular flower in mind for him to grow-- but I have no idea what it's called, and I can't find anything quite like it in our wildflower books at home, not even the ones specific to midwestern United States. Does anyone know what it is?

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EDIT: Okay, thank you all! I'm pretty sure now that it is some sort of bindweed. Thanks for the help. ^_^

learning a new language FAST.

Surprisingly, Guiness World Records didn't give me ANYTHING. Nor did google or Wiki.

What's the shortest amount of time someone has ever learned a new language while living among it day in and day out for x amount of time? A (secondary) character is going to be living among this society he's new to for a while, but he doesn't speak their language. However, he'll be interacting with them quite a bit while he's there (my main character speaks both languages fine, so translation isn't an issue), and I'd like him to learn it as quickly as possible (and he wants to as well I might add). I just wanted to a good idea of what jaw-dropping, "wow fast" would be for learning a foreign language through day-to-day interaction with it, not necessarily by sitting down and having someone TEACH it to him for a couple hours a day.

I could make up a timeframe, but I didn't want it to be completely unbelievable (as opposed to really impressive), as I only know this language, and the only classes I took I was terrible at. If it helps, this character is a very dedicated, fast learner.

Thank you ahead of time!