June 17th, 2006


Japanese country bumpkins

The setting: Kyoto, Japan, late Tokugawa/early Meiji era

I'm looking for something that would mark a person as a peasant or a farmer's son, as opposed to someone more cosmopolitan/educated (i.e. someone from a respectable samurai family).
It could be anything, really...a certain superstition or belief, a preference for a certain type of food/drink, anything. (An accent probably wouldn't work because a) hard to translate and b) speech patterns are already dictated by the fandom)

(If all else fails, I may just go for observance of a harvest festival or something, but I'm hoping someone might have more knowledgeable/detailed/interesting suggestions. Heck, if anyone knows what might mark someone as a country bumpkin in modern Japan, tell me; it might be applicable for back then too.)
Lyssa: Giomanach
  • hskinn


I have google-fu'ed, and I've cruised wikipedia, but I can't find a good description of what woad paste might smell like as it is applied to the body. Would any of you know, or at least know where to look? Thanks!

ETA: Thank you for all your input!
Regular Bart

The implications of a gunshot to the chest

So I have this guy. 30 years old, around 5'9", very healthy and fit. This guy takes a bullet for someone else and it hits him in the chest. While this gunshot could have been lethal, the guy survives and makes a full recovery, eventually.

If I want the gunshot to be almost lethal, where should the bullet hit? And what would be the fastest time for recovery, assuming he gets good treatment and there are no complications? This happens in a city, so there's access to hospitals.

Four years down the road, would he still have anything to remind him of the gunshot other than a nasty scar? Chest pains or anything like that?
  • caitak

A language question...

I was going to start this post by saying the I had an odd request, but upon joining this community I can see that it's probably not that bad ;)

I'm hoping that you people can help me out, I'm looking for the phrase "Do you understand/speak [x-language]?" in several different languages. But spelled out phonetically.

You see, this is a fantasy story and the person is reading phrases from our world off a sheet, obviously she's not a native speaker of any of the languages so she's reading them phonetically (perhaps mispronouncing some words).

Hope you can help,



Thanks so much for all of those. This should do me for a while.

I wasn't expecting a response so soon.

Hopefully I'll be able to do my bit and help out around here in the future.

US Police question

Am I glad that someone linked me to this community!

Wikipedia has nothing on the subject that I could find. Google was more helpful, but I can't find the answer to my specific question.

It's quite simple. Is it remotely plausible for someone to be a homicide detective with some experience at age 27? I know the NYPD won't hire anyone under the age of 21 (and training, of course, takes 1.5 years, besides the time spent climbing ranks), but I can't tell if that's universal for all USA police departments.

If it helps, this is a modern day setting; the character graduated high school at age 17, and, if we need to, we can assume she was the best, the brightest, had the best luck, and tons of favoritism from her supervisors.
smoking Tommy

Knee Replacement Surgery

I have googled and wikipedia-ed and to no avail! *shaky-fist*

I have a character who had a fairly bad motorbike crash about 16 years ago. He skidded on black ice while going fairly fast, his bike spun off the road and he wrapped his left leg round a tree. There was a lot of damage; he broke his femur and pretty much shattered his kneecap, there was bad ligament damage, plus he's had a couple of operations on it in the interim because he redamaged the ligaments about 5 years ago. As a result of this, he has now developed osteoarthritis in his left knee.

I eventually want him to get a total knee replacement. The thing is, when he broke his femur it was a comminuted fracture, bits everywhere, not pretty.

I've looked at lots of medical sites and they all seem to assume that the patient who needs the knee joint replaced has healthy sound bones (other than at the actual knee joint itself) since they hammer the artificial joint into the femur. What I'm wondering is whether my guy would be able to get this operation, or would his femur simply be too weak to deal with it? If so, what would his alternatives be?

Thank you oodles much in advance!