August 1st, 2006


Opening a door underwater, and related questions

I've tried to find this on Google without any luck.

In my story, a valley has been flooded completely (it's the result of a spell, so that part doesn't need to be terribly plausible), leaving a house underwater save for the loft.

Would it be possible to open the front door of the house despite the pressure of the water? To unlock it? If it makes any difference, the door is heavy and wooden.

Googling seems to suggest that the house might collapse, is this true? How long would it be safe for my characters to stay in the house? Again, if it makes adifference this is a considerably old house, mostly built from stone.

Is there anything else I need to consider?

Thankyou in advance for any help.
molotov grrl 2

broken back/back injury/british english

Hello everyone! This is my first post, and I haven't found it in my glance through the memories list.

So, I have a character who has the misfortunate of breaking his back. His spinal cord is fine, and his back is fixable, but it is broken nonetheless. I have many questions about this.

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Also, he broke his back by being beaten so badly. I'm not too concerned if this is even possible, as I would just say the guy punched him *so hard* it broke his back. But, would this make his healingd ifferent than if he broke it falling off a mountain or something?

Thanks a bunch! Here is an unrelated question about the same story:

I am Canadian and have lived in Scotland for four years. I have picked up a few phrases that are naturally coming out in a particular character- the only problem being that that character is very very hardcore London. I've managed to stop him saying "aye", but I am stuck at things like "nae bother" and "wee" (As in "we had a wee falling out"). "No bother" doesn't sound as right to me, so what would a working-class cockney say instead of "nae bother" or "wee"?

Thanks again!
Misc: Princess of Jazz, Disney: Tiana

Looking for a 1970s model/actress

I'm looking for a model, actress or other attractive woman who would have been featured prominantly in the public eye in the mid- to late-1970s. She should:

1. be blonde, skinny and fairly tall;

2. be famous enough to be well-known in Britain (actually, a British model/actress would be best, but I can use one of a different nationality if necessary);

3. not be known to have an especially scandalous life (at least in the early stages of her career) - so she'd be a suitable role-model for a "well-brought-up" young woman living in British suburbia in the time specified above. Dating rock-stars, etc. would be fine - I'm just not looking for Page Three girls.

I have a fairly major gap in my knowledge when it comes to the 1970s, so I'd really appreciate any suggestions!

Edit: Thank you all SO much for all the names you've provided! You've really given me a lot to work with!
  • eelpot

Falling from 1st floor while drugged

Two questions:

Is it plausible for a person passing out (from drugs) can fall over a rail without the one drugging him having the time or mind to catch him? The 'drugger' is supposed to be a professional, so I'm a bit worried I'm stretching it by allowing the 'drugee' to fall... Your opinion?

Another question along the same lines: is it possible/plausible to fall down one floor, hit a table (with bottles on it) and get away with it with nothing but some cuts from the broken glass?

I have little to none experience with drugging and falling, so all help as well as google phrases will be appreciated.
Red Sag

Short-term latex costume/armour storage?

So. For once I am writing fic involving the guy inside the monster suit, featured in my icon and these pictures (all perfectly worksafe unless you are afraid of scaring small children):

Now, the question: How would you store that sort of a costume when it is short-term, needs to get in and out of it on regular basis sort of a thing? I keep envisioning this stand-like thing that it gets draped over like "regular" armour - would this be plausible? (I am concerned with the armour bits, not the facial makeup or the claw stuff) If not, then what would be a more likely way to store the costume in such a situation?

I hope this question makes sense. If not, tell me and I will clarify. thanks in advance .)

The geography of Paris in 1897

Maybe someone with a good knowledge of Paris in 1897 can help me.
I need a quarter that was very poor in 1897, within walking distance of the Seine, and hopefully not too far away from the Latin Quarter (wherever that was). I don't speak a word of French, which makes research very cumbersome.

My POV character just witnessed a murder near the embankment of the Seine, and ran off. Now she finds herself in a very unsafe, poverty-stricken area. (At least that's the plan.)
Speaking of the Seine, was there a place at the Seine's embankment (or maybe a bridge?) that was particularly "popular" for suicides?

Thank you in advance.

Polynesian details

I've been scouring the Internet for information on traditional Polynesian culture, paticularly of Hawaiians, Tahitians, and Maori. A few facts still elude me:
(a) What is the correct way to approach and speak to a chief in his home? Also, how should you behave at a feast? (update) Still would like info on Hawaiian, Tahitian, or Maori etiquette!
(b) How did Hawaiians cook things like coconut pudding without ceramic or metal pots? Did they use coconut shells or wooden bowls? Or is coconut pudding a modern recipe? (update) Now I'm interested in Polynesian pottery. How common was it, and what did it look like? I'm just curious, since this doesn't play a huge role in my novel.
(c) What forms of lighting were used inside the home? Torches? Fires? Or did they have any sort of lamps? (update) I've decided on candlenut oil in stone lamps.
(d) Is it true that all names can be either masculine or feminine? Could there really be a boy named Puatea, "white flower"? (update) This isn't really that important, but I'm still curious....
(e) I've come across mentions of albino Maori in the 1800's or earlier. Korako, according to one site. Anybody know more? (update) Thanks for the info! I think I'm satisfied with this one for now.

Edited to add: This is for a fantasy novel with people based on Polynesians. My idea is that they're another branch of the Polynesian family tree. I'm ignorant about a lot of things, so I'm looking for people to enlighten me.
Thanks so much,
Fluffy Vulcan

Mental Institutions-Present Day NJ

OK. I'm writing a Batman fanfic where Batman has been unmasked and incarcerated in Arkham Asylum. I'm going with Gotham being in New Jersey as the DC Atlas has it. 

I'm really trying to get the little things correct (guess I'm in the right spot!) and to avoid the outdated and the illegal.

Background on how things got to this point (ie short synopsis of the 'prequel' to this work): Alfred was kidnapped. Batman went to rescue him and Alfred died in the attempt. Batman was arrested and unmasked. He was injured in the rescue attempt and hospitalized under heavy guard. During a violent nightmare, he attacked and injured a close friend who was trying to calm him down, and since then, he's been semi-catatonic. Although the DA's office ultimately decided not to press charges, based on his mental state, he was involuntarily commited.  


1) I don't want him doped to the gills. Beyond that, anything goes in terms of medications. What would be typical? I'm guessing at this point he'd be, at the very least, on sedatives and antidepressants.

2) What sort of restraints are typically in use in mental institutions, today? (I've seen Silence of the Lambs, but I'm just wondering what the other options are...)

3) What sort of disciplinary actions might be typical? If he refuses, for example, to participate in therapy sessions, or if they suspect he's planning an escape attempt.

4) Would he be in a cell 24x7? Or, like prison inmates, would he still get an hour a day in the exercise yard?

5) What, if any, privileges might be extended as a "reward" for good behavior? 

A naturalist's workbook

Chinese name for a cat

I have this character who's about eleven years old, half Chinese and half English, and not very original when it comes to names. His pet is a black cat, and I want its name to be "black" in Chinese.

According to Google, the word I'm looking for is hei. But then I found this, and it looks like there are plenty of words for "black".

So the question is, which one(s) would be appropriate to use for a cat's name?

(In case it matters, this is set A Long Long Time Ago, but canon never makes it clear when exactly did this character live.)