July 31st, 2006

i r smexy, amber!pic

Declared Dead after Absence

H'okay. Here's the deal.

I have a character who's gone missing, no one knows where she is, etc. She's missing for about seventeen months before she resurfaces.

If a Missing Persons report is filed after she goes missing, when is it likely that she'd be officially declared dead by the police? Would it be within those seventeen months, or would it be later? Or would they do that at all?

Thanks in advance for the help!

ETA: The time and place are the Kansas/Missouri area, in the present. Since I seem to have forgotten to add that little detail...

Dead body falling. Left or right?

I don't even know where to start looking for something like this, so let me just set up the scenario for you:

Guy gets knocked off his feet and ends up on his hands and knees, then guy gets his entire heart blasted out by some kind of energy beam. I'm thinking his body would slump, but I'm not too sure which direction their body would go.

Also, about how long does it take for someone to die once their heart is gone? I'm a little fuzzy on that.

Privately Owned Villas on Marettimo

I have a young, very wealthy couple interested in buying/building a villa in Marettimo for a story I'm writing. From what I've read about the Egadi islands, they're quite unspoilt and not as commerically "touristy" as other parts of Italy. How likely is it that my couple (not native to Italy) would be able to buy a villa there? I want them to be somewhere that's a little different, a little less known, but I don't want to make it entirely implausible if there are few opportunites for the rich to build/ buy homes there.

Thanks in advance!

How do you drink from a wild coconut?

(edited to add) Thanks so much for the wonderful info, everybody! I've finished that coconut-drinking scene.

I'm writing a novel where a character has to drink from a wild coconut. I can find plenty of websites about cracking open store-bought coconuts with hammers and poking holes in coconuts with ice picks. But what if you were on a tropical island and had no tools? How would you drink from a coconut lying on the sand?
Extra questions:
Is the liquid inside coconuts usually called "milk", or is that inaccurate?
Would a fallen ripe coconut have enough milk to drink, or would you have to climb the palm tree and pick a green one?
What's the difference between a rind, husk, and shell? How many layers would you have to remove from a wild coconut?
Thanks so much!
P.S. I'll try to post in the intro thread soon.
Teller of tales

Seeking treatment for dislocated shoulder

I have a character who's dislocated her shoulder. She had it popped back in and immobilized immediately by an untrained colleague and everything seems fine (she's been injured like this before and knows what 'not fine' feels like), but she still wants a professional opinion. It will be a few hours before she's able to seek one out, but when she does she'll be in a city where there are plenty of medical facilities to choose from. For a non-emergency injury like this, what's going to be her likely destination?

EDIT: Looks like ER is gonna be what I end up going with. Thanks, all!

Vintage Cameras

Okay, I have a character who is into vintage motion picture cameras. They know everything about them. I am wondering if anyone can help me, I have searched over and over and have yet to find what I am looking for. So here is my question;

Does anyone know of a site that gives information on Kalimar 83 Super 8 cameras? Or do you yourself have any more information that you could give me? Around what time was this camera used? What was it used for mainly? Are they valuable of can they be found anywhere?

I simply cannot find anything about this type of camera on google, or any other search site. Any help would be lovely.
jamie benn

Child protective services intake procedures

The scenario:

Normal earth, Virginia Beach, 1987

Two children, ages 4 and 8 are found in an apartment, having gone without adult supervision for almost a week.  The younger has a serious upper respiratory infection and should be in the hospital.  The older seems to have some pretty severe emotional/anger issues.

When children are taken into the system, are they fingerprinted for future identification?  

With such different needs, and the older one needing placing a week before the younger is out of the hospital, I am saying they were put in seperate foster homes for the short term.

Assuming the lowest possible competency in his case-worker (filling out fictional visit-reports when he doesn't have time to actually make the visits, for like 3 months, etc.), and a foster family that leaves the state (without permission to take the kid) then later decides they can't afford to feed him and dump him in a church in Florida, could the 4 yr old end up in another state's system with an incorrect name, or none at all?  (he's stopped speaking for a while in all this mess)