October 26th, 2006

  • caitak

Sound of a person walking

Google and Wiki aren't helping me here, I'm getting some interesting sites but nothing of any use, so once again I'm turning to you guys.

During a sinister sort of scene in an empty car park my female character hears the sound of someone approaching.

It's an older guy with a pronounced limp and a walking stick.

What sound does he make as he walks across the tarmac? (It's smooth flat tarmac, perfect for roller-skating on, not all gravelly like in some places).

I'm thinking there'd be a scuffing noise as he drags his foot, but what would the sound of his shoe and his stick make. His shoes are flat, probably rubber soled, and the stick also has a rubber tip on the end.

If I was at home I'd probably be able to figure it out myself... I think my Nan's stick makes a sort of light tap sound.

Any help is appreciated.

Moon and planet

Very difficult and strange question, today, sorry...
For a story that I'm writing, I would like to know what would happen to the Earth if a meteorite bigger than the Moon (a planetoid, then) came very close to the Earth (as close as the Moon). I guess the tides would get all messed up, probably creating tsunamis and such, but I'm sure there would also be something else. Would it disturb the volcanic activity of the Earth, creating earthquakes ? Would it move the Earth out of its orbit ? What would happen to the Moon ? If the planetoid came by very quickly, is it possible that the Moon would start orbiting around it, or at least, move from its own orbit ?
(in the rest of the story, the planetoid collides with the Moon)
When the collision happens, it will probably generate a lot of heat., Something like 4000 celsius degrees or even more. This is happening outside the Earth atmosphere, so will it have any consequences on the Earth ? Will the air get hotter ?
Now, imagining that, by chance, none of the pieces of the Moon crashes on Earth, what would happen to the tides ? To tidal forces ? Which consequences will the absence of the Moon have on the ocean and on the Earth ?
Second case, the Moon explodes. This explosion will certainly not happen in two or three seconds, it will be much longer. During and after the explosion phase, will the remains of the Moon go on on a Moon-like orbit (or close to it) ? After that, of course, many pieces will probably find another orbit around the Earth, a bit like the ring around Saturn. If a very big piece was bound to crash on the Earth, I guess it would take at least twenty hours or more before it enters the Earth atmosphere (and then, it would happen very quickly). 380'000 km to go, that's quite a long way, no ? So, even if the pieces of the Moon have the same speed or a bit less than the planetoid which collided with the Moon, it wouldn't happen all at once, am I right ?
Sorry, that's several very difficult questions, I'm really aware of that... So, it's there's a physicist or an astronome here, I would be glad for a bit of help !!! Thanks a lot !!!

Military Strategy

I'm looking for help with how military types would respond in a particular situation. Let's say a platoon crash lands in an unknown area with no communication to the outside world. They don't know if/when they'll be rescued nor if/what kind/how-many hostiles there are in the area, plus they'll need to locate food and water for survival. Which would be more important to them? Building a defensive position from an unknown enemy, going out and collecting intel, or getting out of the area entirely?

Any recomenditations for military strategy materials would be most appreciated.

Heart attack treatments


I'm currently writing a story in which the male lead suffers a heart attack. It's not going to be majorly explored as it's intended to be more a catalyst, but I would like some more (and coherent) information on the medical treatment he would recieve once he got into (a US) hospital than I have been able to find on google.

I've written him up as having a stay of intederminate length (not a big issue here) for a moderate heart attack and have given him a thrombylotic agent for clotting and also a TNI, a CK and Cardiac Biomarker tests. Is this overkill or do any of the tests render any of the others useless? Have I missed anything important out? Totally overkilled it?

Any advice you can give me would be great.

- Helen. :)

Vietnam-- food and the like

Hello again! You all are so incredibly smart. Thanks in advance.

I have a few questions about Vietnam circa 1850, mainly in the more coastal regions. Google and Wikipedia have not been too helpful.

- What are some traditional Vietnamese meals? Not really gourmet, which I seem to find a lot of, but just average stuff. What would they be made out of? Any particular details about such things?

- Does a Vietnamese restaurant differ a lot from a Western one? I.e., going in, getting seated, and ordering from a menu. Would it be different in the 1850's?

- What kinds of fruits are common in Vietnam, or are heavily imported?

- What were some common Vietnamese exports and imports at the time? Stuff that might be valuable in the trade market.

- I know that France attacked Vietnam around 1858 and conquered Vietnam in the 60's - 70's. But a few years prior to this, say, 1853, how much would you see French people (or any European people) in Vietnam? Did the French just sail up and get to conquering? Something tells me no, but I'm not super familiar with this part of history. As well, what ethnicities were semi-prominent in Vietnam besides Vietnamese people?

If you can't answer every question, that's quite all right. Thanks!