October 12th, 2006

misc ✝ swept.

Russian Culture Detail

So, since the key words "Russian culture" and "close friends" haven't yielded quite the right results through Google, I'm hoping someone can help me out here.

How common is it for someone in Russia to refer to a very close friend as "sister" or "brother"? I know that in Asian cultures, this occurs far more often than not, but I'm not clear if the same thing happens in Russian culture.

Context is a letter being written to someone else. The letter is most likely written during the 1970's-1980's (maybe a bit earlier, but definitely around the Cold War era), and it's been found by a journalist in present day. The letter is addressed to "my brother", and I need to know if it can be safely assumed that the two people really are siblings, or if there's a possibility that they're just close friends.

(It'll also be really helpful if someone can let me know that, if they can be just friends, exactly how close would they have to be for terms like "brother" and "sister" to be used?)

Thanks in advance!
Bruce/Tim: Detectives.
  • thete1

Incest Taboo -- Ancient Egypt

Basically, I was curious about what people could tell me -- and where people could point me for further research -- about the subject line. *points*

Was there, in fact, an incest taboo in place for the non-noble/royal classes during the era of the Pharaohs? What went into that? How serious a taboo was it? Would someone from one class be better able to "get away" with transgressing the taboo than someone from a different social class? What kind of penalties were there?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Old West Saloon Sources?


I'm working on a book dealing with an Old West saloon, circa 1870 in the wild part of Texas. Aside from HBO's Deadwood (which I love!), can anyone suggest good sources - online, book or movie - for information on saloons and cathouses of the era?

What I need:

- Layout and construction (floor plans would be wonderful!)

- Prices and goods

- Hows and wheres of operation (Where was the beer kept? How did they store and serve it? etc.)

- Supplies needed and necessary maintenance (candles? oil? repairs?)

- Typical fixtures (piano, mirror, mugs, tubs, tables, lamps, beds, outhouse, sure - but what else?)

- General staff needed (owner, bouncer(s), saloon girl(s), bartender, card dealer(s), cook(s), housekeeper(s), doc-on-call... am I missing anyone?)

- Overall routine, aside from the usual (serve customers, cook grub, provide baths, offer private space for "transactions," break up fights, make sure saloon doesn't get destroyed, etc.)

- Slang terms (it would be wonderful if I could find a source of Old West colloquialisms... especially ones dealing with saloons and cathouses)

Any and all help would be appreciated.

Stop! Yoda-Time!

Diagnosing cardiac arrest / fibrillation

I've read up a lot about this, but somehow I can't seem to get the details straight and I don't want to fall for the Hollywood trap and just go "OMG heart stopped, break out the defi!!!".

My question is, can you tell a person is in imminent danger of going into cardiac arrest just by feeling their pulse? In my scenario, the two characters have no advanced medical equipment at their disposal other than a stethoscope and a defibrillator which isn't there just yet (don't ask...). Anyway, Person B already is very weak and about to go into cardiac arrest. How would that manifest itself in the pulse? Would it be very very slow? Very irregular? No longer detectable, but the heart's still going? Would Person B be unconscious by then?

Once that happens, how long until the heart completely gives out? When would you start actually using a defibrillator, when would CPR be in order? I've read that even when you're using an AED (automated external defi) you still need to perform CPR between shocks. Also, realistically, how much time do you have after the first detection of fibrillation until there's permanent damage to be expected in the victim?

And while I'm at it, what on earth is the measuring unit they use for the defi? You know, when they set it to 250... 360... whatever. Is it volt? Somehow all the texts I've read assume you know that... Sorry, I'm kinda stupid in that aspect ;_;.
  • oldby21

WWI battles and trench warfare in 1918

I've tried Googling every variation of the theme, and Wikipedia isn't helping much either, though it did at least let me narrow it down to Battle of Amiens. Basically I'm writing a story from the perspective of a German soldier in battle on November 11, 1918. I want it to be as realistic (re: locale and time) as possible. So far this is the closest I've been able to come to a battle fought near the end, but even still it's way too soon: Wiki lists the major combat lasting only from August 8th-11th.

Question 1: Do you know of any major (or even close to major) battles that took place at the very end of the war? Or shoud I just pick any random spot on the northeastern French/German border and be done with it?

Question 2: This same article points to this particular battle as more or less the final one for trench warfare, as after that the Germans went on the defensive and were constantly moving. I'm not doubting the validity of that, but would it be safe to say that trenches were still built out of necessity, but maybe they just weren't as elaborate as they'd been through the rest of the war?

As always, thanks for any help you can offer!
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Tasty as a Cupcake

Artificial Gravity

Hello again, all. I have a brief question about artificial gravity:

If artificial gravity is being created through rotation, where will the gravity be the strongest? At the centre, or the furthest point away from the centre, on the outer edge?

Thank you all kindly in advance!

EDITED TO ADD: THANK YOU! I got exactly the short, simple answers I was hoping for. As I am just about hopeless in math and physics, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. :D