July 2nd, 2006


Grocery Store Evacuation

I'm just looking for a realism vote on this. Now, I have two MC's; a guy and a girl. The girl is a cashier at a major-chain grocery store, and the guy works in produce at the same store. The girl goes for her break, and while she's up in the women's change room (there is a lunch room, and a guy's change room across the hall), the compressor blows up. The compressor is in the same relative area of the girl. This isn't a serious explosion, no fire or anything; however, it starts letting off toxic fumes. Three people in the lunch room are close to passing out, the store manager in her office almost DOES pass out, and at that point, she sounds the alarm and makes everyone get out of the store.

Back to the girl MC in the changeroom. She's listening to headphones, and her music is pretty loud. She doesn't hear the call to get out of the store, and is starting to succumb to the fumes. The guy MC, knowing that she went on her break, goes up to look for her, and helps her out of the store.

This has happened to my grocery store, so I know it's real enough to happen. But my story isn't actiony in that sense, more of a twisted romance story about real life. The poll? PLEASE; vote yes or no, realistic or too much?
glasses thief

On theoretical elk, gaits and general plausibility

Howdy, all. I'm considering a fairly minor detail in a very loosely historical late-medieval fantasy setting at present. (Think the general area of the UK around the 1450's, if you're keen on a little more context.)

We've got a non-human race running around, and said race traditionally gets around on elk. (Yes, I'm aware that about the biggest ungulate around at that time is probably going to be a red deer. I'm marking off the elk presence to some slight magic or another.) After lots of poking around, I'm confident that animals like reindeer can be ridden [see neat photographic evidence here], but I'm curious about a couple of things.

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Thanks very much for your time, even if you're just readin' this. ;D

Urban Legends/Myths

Okay -

So, pretty much anywhere you go in the US that has electrica/telephone cables strung along the telephone poles ... you'll find sneakers thrown so they loop over the cables that cross intersections.

Is there any urban legends/myths/folk tales about why people do this or what they mean?


ETA:Thanks everybody! It looks like the general, but by no means universal, meaning is related to gang territorial markers or drug availibility. With a few bullying behaviors, sexual escapades and military freedom options thrown in.

Which is great, actually, because that means I can use it to mean whatever I want in my 'near-future-supernatural-cop-story'.
PotC {always dignity}

19th century building site

Does anyone know what a 19th century building site could look like? What atmosphere was there? What kind of people were needed there? How people could get work there?

And one more thing, could you recommend any some good book or movie that shows life of late 19th century lower/working classes?

Thanks a lot in advance!
Gaga - Telephone

Children of schizophrenics

In my latest attempt at a novel, the main male character's mother suffered from schizophrenia to the extent that she hung herself while said character, at five years old, watched. Obviously this experience in and of itself has caused some residual effects, but my real questions are as follows:

-With a severely schizophrenic mother and a presumably normal father, what are the chances that the child would eventually suffer from schizophrenia?
-In such a case, is it possible that the child would have some mildly psychotic symptoms, but not be affected enough to warrant a diagnosis of schizophrenia?

Casting molten copper in a methane/ammonia atmosphere?

Ok, so I've got a planet with an atmosphere comprised mostly of methane, ammonia, carbon dioxide and water vapor. There's a copper refinery on this planet. The smelting is done in a pressurized, oxygenated environment, but the molten copper is cast and cooled in the open.

Are there going to be any weird chemical effects caused by the exotic atmosphere?

New York Political Jobs, 1900ish

I'm looking for jobs that a young, working class labor/political organizer might have in New York City, circa 1900. Possibly something at City Hall, but I'm thinking that given the political machine of the time, that might not be feasible. I'd like the job to be related to local organizing, ward politics, trustbusting, etc. Basically, I need a political job that wouldn't totally rob someone of their principles and accountability.

Thanks for any help!

Drugs to calm an overactive mind.

I am looking for a drug that would have the same effect on my character as the infamous cocaine solution has on Sherlock Holmes. Something that would numb an overactive mind, a mind that, without clear focus, tends to "go wild", so to speak, and give the thinker a lot of trouble, and no chance to breathe. I am looking for something more legal than cocaine (or heroin, for that matter), and something that doesn't need to be injected. Marijuana isn't possible as the character concerned doesn't smoke (he's a bit of a bigot there) and the smell would be too much of a giveaway. Also, something not too illegal. I think, after a day of googling, that DXM, or Dextromethorphan, might be something to look for, or morphine, maybe, an opiate not as strong as heroin... but am not sure enough to start writing about it. He has been using the drug for nearly a year now, if this is important.

Edit: The Setting is todays Los Angeles, our hero (not) is very intelligent, but just dropped out of college for various reasons, and lives with his aunt and uncle, who are fairly well-to-do, but far from rich.