September 7th, 2006

httyd--hiccup and toothless
  • nebulia

dishonorable burial rituals:

I don't know if I dreamed this or read it in a fantasy or if it's actually real. So I'll ask kind of a backwards question:

Is there a culture that deals with the dishonored/criminal/disliked dead in this fashion: burning them and spreading their ashes by wind, so that essentially they are forced to wander the earth forever, unable to find peace?

Or did I imagine this culture existed?
Red Sag
  • arabwel

Russian endearments?

I have tried googling but no luck.... I need some emndearments in Russian. they are said by a guy in his mid-twenties to a girl he is interested in and has a v. protective attitide towartds -t hisngs like little one, sweetie, honey, dear, darling and so on - whatever the equivalents of those are?

Second. I know that in russian, there are many suffixes used to make a name into an endearment. what sort of a suffix would the guy be likey to use for the girl, when the girl's name is Ara?

yes i am researching for flagitious self-insert fluff *blusgh*

Growth Plate Fractures

I researched this through Google and Wikipedia both as well as and NIAMS (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases) but the information provided isn't quite what I need. the NIAMS articles do confirm that a growth plate fracture can occur with a gunshot wound and that it is fairly uncommon but it isn't specific enough regarding other details.

This is the situation about which I am writing:

The character, who is almost but not quite sixteen, has a history of malnutrition, illness, and abuse which has already affected the growth plate in one leg and caused it to be shorter than the other as well as quite painful. When she's accidentally shot by police, the old injury is noticed and her guardian has the decision of either leaving it alone or allowing the surgeons to make repairs. What I need to know:

- can an old growth plate injury be treated at all if it has not been previously?

- what would the most likely course of treatment involve if it's not a fresh fracture?

- if they were going to attempt lengthening the shortened limb, how would they do it (the bone affected is the tibia and the knee)?

- what's the prognosis for such an injury, how long are we looking at for recovery time, and what would be the post surgical therapy for it?

I found A LOT about long term therapy and treatment of fresh fractures but nothing about repairing old injuries.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Speed of language aquisition in children/Chinese affectionate diminuatives for kids

So, we all know children learn languages a *lot* faster than adults. But I haven't been able to find anything anywhere about how long it would take a child to pick up a language totally different from his native language--just that they do it faster than adults.

In the story I'm working on, there are two little boys, both around the age of eight or nine. One is a native Chinese speaker with no English, the other is a native English speaker with no Chinese. They meet fighting off bullies and end up becoming friends, and end up teaching each other how to speak in their respective languages (...with lots of misunderstanding and fights in the interim, but naturally picking up the bad words first). They're living in an English-speaking area, so the Chinese kid would learn English faster, but the Chinese kid's mom only speaks Chinese, so when they are at that house, which they are most of the time, they only speak Chinese--so there's almost full-emersion going on with both of them. When they're alone, though, they speak a mix of Chinese and English depending on the comprehension-level and/or "don't wanna speak that stupid language no more!" level of the person speaking.

Background over, question one: roughly how long would it take for the native English speaking kid to have an intermediate-level/lower-advanced grasp of spoken Chinese (for an eight year old, so it's not the same amount of vocab or grammar as an adult)? I'm thinking hearing it and using it every day, the kid would be speaking pretty well after four or five months, but I have no idea.

Question two: What are affectionate diminuatives for children in Chinese? In English, we use nicknames and often add a "-y" sound to the end of names, in Japanese they add "-chan", and in Russian you've got "-ska" and "skaya" thing, but what would you say in Chinese? "Xiao [insert kid's name here]"?

Thank you!
  • fydyan

Putnam competition - who judges?

I now know far more about the Putnam exam then I ever really needed to, but still have been unable to discover this one thing: Who judges the Putnam exam? And have I been unable to find out because the identities of the judges are normally kept secret, or is it just that no one thinks it's important to mention?

Oodles of gratitude to anyone who can help with this!
  • ij22

Slow-acting poisons

I'm looking for slow-acting poisons that can easily be slipped into food or could be rubbed on an object that someone could touch and infect themselves with. The posion would have to gradually display it's affects over the period of a few weeks, causing clumsiness (disorientation), exhaustion, ect.

Anyone know of any?

Tokyo Locations

I have a question about Tokyo districts, and was directed here...

In my fiction, there's a dance club. It's in an old warehouse built in the 1950s / 60s over an old warehouse that was destroyed in the firebombing of Tokyo during WWII.

I've been searching through Google and Wikipedia and gotten so far and no farther. So here are a few questions about this:

1) Is it realistic to have a dance club in Sumida-ku? Koto-ku looks possible as well, but I was able to find more info on Sumida. (I also found a general statement that the worst damage during the war was to the east of the Imperial Palace.)

I see a Sumida-ku tango club listed online (in English), but that's it. This is more a pop music / top 40s-ish club.

2) When was major rebuilding done in whatever neighborhoods fit #1? I know about construction for the 1960 Olympics, but am not sure if it would have extended throughout over Tokyo. (I've looked on Mid-Tokyo Maps, which only discusses residential reconstruction.) Is is appropriate to say that major rebuilding was done in the early / mid / late 1960s? Or are the 1950s a better bet?

3) If someone was looking for municipal records about this location, would the records note that the building had replaced a building built in the 1920s / 30s (after the great earthquake)?

These are listed in order of importance; I'm hoping that they're not too obscure.