November 24th, 2006


Penguins climbing stairs... yes, really.

While I am fairly sure this is generally impossible due to the not having knees business, if penguins were to climb a set of wooden stairs, what would they sound like? Do their claws make any sort of distinct scraping sounds on hard surfaces? Do their feet flap like duck's do? I'm thinking it would sort of be a cross between a dog and a duck, but I could be totally off. My experience with penguins is various zoo and Sea World Penguin Encounters and more recently March of the Penguins and Happy Feet, so I don't really have a grasp on what they would sound like walking across anything that isn't snow or ice.

Or am I missing something and could they climb stairs? It doesn't really matter, they have driven a minivan to get to these stairs and they talk and whatnot, but maybe the stairs bit isn't as impossible as I think.
winding road

Body Decomposition

Scenario: middle-aged man hangs himself from a tree. Temperate location: think southern Ireland (ish).

Three years later, character finds him. How much is still attached to the rope? I know that within about a year he should be mostly decomposed, but I also know that tendons and such decompose much more slowly than tissues - so, realistically, how much are they able to hold? What is he going to look like? Is he going to be gruesome, or is he going to be a pile of bones on the ground?
Making you into a dream
  • curtana

Poly relationship terminology

Please forgive my ignorance :) In a poly relationship with two male partners and one female, what might the woman refer to her two partners as? 'Primary' and 'secondary' don't really work for this situation, as they are in a relatively equal, marriage-type relationship. I'm looking for a term or terms that could fill in the blanks in the sentence "This is my _______, Bill, and this is my ________, John." I could always go with 'husband' and 'other husband' or something like that, but I was wondering if there was another term that would be better. This is set in the not-too-distant-future UK, if that makes any difference.

ETA: Thanks to everyone who answered! I think I'm just going to go with "husbands", for the sake of general clarity.
  • mzdany

eloquent-sounding cursing

Hello :)
My current WIP is set in mystical world where pretty much everyone talks like the characters in Lord Of The Rings. One of my protagonists has a verbal altercation with another, and now I'm in need of an eloquent-sounding way of saying "Screw You!" As part of the upper-class society, I don't want him sounding crude, though.
Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

Edit: Wow, thank you very much for all those great suggestions and links! I'll definitely find something from all this! :)
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misc ✝ swept.

Makeshift Torches

A question about torches which would be greatly appreciated if someone could help me out. ^^

How effective is a makeshift torch without the use of gasoline or anything like that? ie. how long would it burn for? Would it burn effectively, or would the fire simply eat up the whole torch and the character's hand? (I'm looking at a torch made out of wood and with one end wrapped in, say, some sort of cloth.)

Thanks muchly! :)
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Teragramm Tara

San Francisco State University and environs, 2003

In my fic (which is set in 2003 San Francisco) I have a character withdrawing from San Francisco State University. The chapter is told from the POV of her ex, who's sort of stalking her. What are some landmark buildings (other than Stonestown) and what building would she be going into and coming out of, where she put in her withdrawal? By what route (again, with landmarks) would she and he go to Russian Hill? (I lived in SF in the 80s, but went to City College and lived in Nob Hill, so I was only familiar with places I went.) Thanks!