June 14th, 2006

Tony by Andie Tong

English Medieval, anyone...?

Richard the Lionheart went to the Crusades in 1189, came back in 1192 or something like that, right?

So... If around 1180 someone entered Henry II's service, could they through various kingly take overs have gone with Richard?

Basically I want to work out how someone could return from the Crusades around 1191 and have been away from home for over ten years...
D, The coolest mofo on the planet

Regarding deaf people with speech

I'm thinking deaf people can learn speech even if they're born deaf. Is this true? They end up with a sort of mumbled, slurred accent, because all they can really do is copy the lip motions and not the nuances, or is this typical of people who learned speech before going deaf at a young age and people born that way don't learn speech at all?

I'm thinking of having a character who's deaf, unsure whether I want her to have gone at a young age, or a bit older. I want her bilingual (German first, then English), though I don't know if she would have tried to learn English before or after going deaf. I'd assume it'd be possible for her to learn after, but her German accent would be very thick because she wouldn't know what the English words sounded like.

Also, lip-reading. What words can commonly be mis"heard" when lip-reading?

16th century England/Ireland

1. I'm looking for Irish insults for the English as well as English insults for the Irish people that could have been in use during the 16th century. Commonly held sterotypes concerning both during that era would be helpful as well.

2. Can anyone give me examples of any traditional Irish practices/beliefs/behaviors that would give an Englishman in the sixteenth century a "culture shock" and vice versa?

3. What about laws of modesty for the Irish holding on to tradtitional practices in the 16th century? Or hygiene? Did they use soaps, perfumes, oils...

4. Are there any rites and rituals for the dead according to traditional Irish beliefs? And how would these rites take place during a war, on the battlefield?

I'm doing some basic worldbuilding and it's been difficult to find answers to these questions and others. If anything, even a good website on traditional Irish Gaelic culture would help!
light side

First communion age in history

As far as I've been able to find out, in the seventeenth century there were various opinions as to what age was suitable for a child's first communion in the Roman Catholic church. The ranges I found went from 6 to 16, but I found no mention of what was the regional spread on it. I know the age later settled at 12 before being lowered at the beginning of the twentieth century.

My setting is the early seventeenth century (1623 to be exact), a village at the eastern edge of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, on the border of Transylvania, with possible influences of the Eastern Church, where communion is given even to infants. The boy's father is the local lord, but he has been estranged from the Church for the past few years after his wife's death, so there may be concerns for the wellbeing of the boy's soul.

How likely would it be for the boy to receive his First Communion at age 6? Age 7?
Digimon: Osamu summoning pet
  • ajora

Linguistic notations; blood chemistry

I'm writing an original novel and came across a snag in world-building.

I have an alien species with a physiology that's a mix of modern corvids and archaeopterices. The species is sentient, so obviously there will be modification in their cranial capacity and other minor details. Thing is, though, I want them to speak. I know some species of birds can mimic human speech, but I also want to know how one would write down clicks, whistles, cawing, and other non-human sounds. Also, in the mimicking of human speech, what processes are involved?

And the second half of this post: I heard somewhere that the iron in mammalian blood is what limits hair colors to the range it's at now (blond to red to brown to black). What element would be needed in blood to give these guys a blue/green/purple/black range of hair colors?

Thanks in advance :D!