December 25th, 2006

Rape exam on a male?

My main character has had to report what is effectively a rape (fantasy setting, but this crime is considered equivilent, so anything that would apply to that applies to this.) And he's been sent for a medical exam.

My question is - would it be a male doctor because he's a man, and thus it's possibly less embarassing to be dealt with by a member of your own sex? Or would it be a female doctors because he was attacked by a man, and therefore being touched by a woman would be less scary for him?

The story is set in the North of England.
Floating nebulous glowy thing!

Vivaldi's Pietà, Teatro, and home (18th Cent. Venice)

(Apologies in advance for any misspellings of the names of these places. I have come across several variations for the spellings, so I'm using the ones I'm the most comfortable with. If, however, they are blatantly incorrect feel free to correct me.)

This is a rather long entry with many questions, so I've broken it up into smaller chunks.

My mad researching on the composer Vivaldi over the past five or six or whatever years is finally winding down, but I'm still left with at least one Very Big Issue that I need to get solved before I can write the final draft of my novel involving him.

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Thanks to those who actually read through all that!




*edit* As I wrote this, I came across this page that has some images of both the Pietà and the Teatro. The Pietà seems to be lacking in a wall, alas.

I found another image that also seems to dispel the wall thing.
owl

Second Language Acquisition

I'm hoping someone with experience learning or teaching a second spoken language might be able to help me out. About how long would it plausibly take a motivated young man (14) to achieve working proficiency in a second language? At the very least, I need him to easily understand conversations between native speakers that are going on around him; at best, it would be great if he could be easily understood. He's in an immersion environment, travelling on a ship full of native speakers and with someone who speaks his own language who's very invested in intensively teaching him. If it makes a difference, he's a native speaker of the equivalent of Arabic, learned to read the equivalent of French as a small child, and is currently trying to learn the equivalent of English.

Any estimations based on experience would be greatly appreciated!
toeses!

Piano players--simple songs and habits

One of my characters plays piano very well. He's been playing for over ten years and is very musically inclined etc. I, however, am not, and so I turn to you.

When he's trying to think about something he usually just sits down at the piano and plays something simple repetitively. Sometimes it's one note, other times it's a scale or a simple song. The problem is I don't know what songs he'd play. It would have to be something he'd know by memory (either by years of practice or because of simplicity) and something he'd be able to carry on a conversation while playing and not mangle it horribly. I was thinking Ode to Joy, Pachebel's Canon, assorted nursery rhymes and so on, but what others? He's very skilled, like I said, so I'm looking for something more complex than hot-cross buns.

On the other hand, what's something more challenging that he could play when he DOESN'T want to think and just wants to play instead? He does some of his own composition and will sometimes play that, but what already written stuff would he play? I know he loves playing Rhapsody in Blue, but that's really it.

Also, does anyone know of any odd habits a pianist is likely to develop? My MC plays a lot and he plays semi-professionally, if that helps.

(And the year is 1985-90, if that changes anything.)

THANKS IN ADVANCE
Do you have the answer?

Living without a rib or two

Is it possible to survive without one or two of your vertebro-sternal ribs, without any prosthetic to take their place? Or part of the breastbone, even?

Specifically, I need a way for a character's heart to be unprotected by any skeleton, but still covered with skin, etc, and still function reasonably normally in her chest. If this is not possible, I can fake it, but I'd like to know in advance whether such a part-removal can be survived in reality or if I'm gonna have to magick up an excuse for her to still be breathing. :)

EDIT: This is a deliberate surgical bone removal I'm talking about here, not a birth defect.