December 15th, 2006

TATP bombs.

I've chosen triacetone triperoxide as the explosive of choice for the terrorists in my novel Stalingrad 99. It's the perfect combination of a) ease of manufacture, b) lack of detectability and c) extreme danger. It's also unstable enough to pose a danger to the bombers themselves, which is an integral part of my plot.

If anyone out there is a chemist, or has tips about home-brewing a batch of TATP, drop me a line. So far, I've been able to find information on TATP's base ingredients (e.g. drain cleaner, bleach, acetone), but not exact information about the ratios of each of these ingredients, or about the temperature that has to be maintained for TATP to be (relatively) stable. For example, if one of my characters was carrying a TATP bomb in a backpack or on a vehicle, how would they store the bomb so that it wouldn't go off ahead of schedule? TATP is, apparently, highly sensitive to both heat and shock.

I'm also interested in knowing any tell-tale signs that might indicate that a kitchen or a house is being used to make TATP. Would there be an acrid smell coming from the premises, for example?

Thanks in advance. If you feel uncomfortable about sharing your knowledge of explosives in a public forum, please email me privately at the_dystopian[at]

Oh, and -- I'm not asking these questions for any sinister purpose, I promise. *is vaguely embarrassed*
Red Sag
  • arabwel

guidance councelors in HS delaing with pregnant stufdents...

That question a little further down reminded me that i should get this stuff researched plenty on time..

So, my story is set in Tennessee, in a small town, modern day. one of my characters gets pregnant, and what I am trying to figure out is, how would her school's guidance counsellor deal with her after she goes to her? this character, who is just a few weeks over 18, got kicked out of her home but is now living with someone. (Not her boyfriend) I have no idea what the counsellor would do with the girl in question, and I dont really know how to google something like this...

any help, including search strings, appreciated...

Reporting a crime as a victim in England, 2006.

I've managed to find little bits about people's rights, but not what actually happens.

I have three characters, all grown men, who need to report that they were held against their will for varying lengths of time (on and off for a couple of months for one, just shy of 2 years for another), drugged, and sexually assaulted.

What I need to know:

Could they phone up and report it, and have a police officer come to their house to speak with them? Or would they have to come down to the station.

When they are speaking to the officer, either in their house or in the station, would they be allowed to stay together as long as they didn't interfere with eachother's statements? Failing that, could they have a friend sit in with them, rather than a lawyer?

When they have signed a statement, would they be allowed to simply go home, or would they have to wait around some more?

And finally - what "rank" (not certain that is the word) of police man would they talk to - for example, woudl he introduce himself as Officer Smith, Detective Smith, Inspector Smith?

Thank you.
flapjack joy

Depletion of Healthy Young Women?

My main character needs to use healthy young women for his cause, but I need some historical events that would lead to difficulties for him.
I have:

The witch trials: the type of girl he uses would almost certainly be suspected
The plague: I'm not keen on using this, as it isn't specific to women
The French Revolution:Female members of the aristocracy would be better fed than peasants and therefore be healthier
The wives of Henry VIII

Any other examples where a woman/women have been targeted and killed in any period in history, preferably in Europe, would be really helpful.
Time isn't an issue as he is pretty much immortal.
Fluffy Vulcan

When arsonists target fireworks factories...

The only place I've ever seen something like this happen is on Bugs Bunny, and I can't trust that kind of science.

I've got a pyromaniac who's set many fires before and knows what he's doing. What he doesn't know is that the warehouse he's burning down has a large supply of fourth-of-July firecrackers--the type that are sold to the general public.

So. What exactly will happen when the fire reaches these explosives? Will they actually go off in a pyrotechnic display? Will they turn the city block into a smoking crater?

As always, I appreciate the help!
one of those days

Notoriously expensive hard liquor

I am in need of a notoriously expensive, high-quality liquor. The kind of thing a reasonably well-off person known to enjoy scotch, whiskey, whisky, etc. might buy for a friend who happened to save his life, or something to that effect. I've googled a bit, but I'm having a hard time coming up with sites that'll give me reputations and prices. Being as I have no experience with alcohol expensive or otherwise, all help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Home-made dolls

I have a weird question.

How long does it take to make a plushie doll and/or a beanie baby doll by hand?

My character has all the time, money, and materials he needed, but I wonder how long does it take by using hands in average? I imagined it only takes 1-3 days for 1-3 dolls.

But for realism and accuracy sakes, what say you? My character is making little dragon dolls, if you're wondering and he's an amateur, so he uses his own imagination. He knows how to sew by hand though, but not the sewing machine.

ETA: I really appreciate your feedback on such a short notice everyone! Thanks for sharing your own experiences of doll-making with me, I'll be sure to base my character's doll-making experience on what you all had told me. :D

Yes, I forgotten to be specific about the 3 little dragon dolls he'll make. They're small and about 4-6 inches in length, slightly than his own hands. In my story, I tried to calculate how much time he could make 3 dolls just in time for Christmas and he only has 10 days. However, he has an advantage of time and money to make it before the date is due since he's really an old man long retired from work.
  • Current Mood

Amount of bail set in the US

I'm looking to find out what the average amount of bail set for a certain crime in the US of today. I'm finding this very difficult to research since the entire concept of bail is very strange to me. Some help with search keywords would be good, too. Anyway, I did google stuff like "amount of bail" and I mostly found out that bail is usually set within the discretion of the court, taking into consideration various factors. I also found the Bail Reform Act, but trying to weed through that is defeating me.

So, assuming the person is someone of good standing, no criminal record, first time offender, moderately wealthy (not terribly rich, but with a good and steady income), no fear of him skipping out, he doesn't even seem like someone who'd do such a thing at all, how high would the bail usually be for these crimes:

1) Breaking and Entering
2) Shoplifting
3) Assault and Battery
4) Drug Possession
5) Soliciting
6) Bigamy (don't know, do you go to jail for that and will there be bail?)
7) Murder (can you even get bail there?)

Thanks a lot!

consequences of being throttled

Short questions: If someone gets throttled to the point of being unconscious, what will happen after that?
Will he simply have an headache? Can the brain draw serious damage from the lack of oxygen? Does he have difficulties with speaking because the larynx got crushed?

Please excuse me if these questions are stupid. My knowledge about the human body is rather patchy.

Edit: Thank you very much for your useful information! ^_^

memory loss

I know nothing about medical stuff, so I come in the hope someone else will!

I am writing a story where one of the characters has been in a coma for a few weeks as the result of a car accident. Now I want to bring him out of the coma, but I also want him to suffer a degree of memory loss. Ideally he should not remember the last relationship he had (because this would throw a beautiful big cat among the pigeons).

How realistic is this, and what kind of memory loss could he have? And would it be possible for his memory to return at a later date, in case I wanted that to happen (which is a possibility)? Could he remember his family and a girlfriend from long ago but forget his last few years?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!