January 5th, 2007

d/c b&w - ethia

Books with no female characters

Here's a weird one: I'm writing about an odd, sort of misogynistic culture, and I need a reading list for a high school/college student there, consisting of books in which there are no female characters. Can any of you think of any real books ("classic" or "literary" works are preferred—something you might conceivably read in school) in which there are no female characters, or if female characters do appear, their roles are minimal and confined to being wives/mothers? So, a war novel with all male characters where one of them occasionally writes home to his mother would be fine, but if the same book contains a scene where one of the guys, say, visits a brothel and sexes a prostitute, it won't work.

I've been wracking my brain and would really appreciate the help with what may be an impossible task. Thanks!
  • Current Music
    Nina Simone, "Sinnerman"
best hug ever

Building in Space

How would one go about building a Stanford Torus model? More specifically, would construction be done entirely in space or would the basic frame and such be done on Earth and then raised into space? (I'd guess the former, because from what I've read, they make space stations in space.) I'm placing the model in one of the five Lagrange Points--probably L1 (Earth-Moon) because its position makes it ideal for obtaining lunar materials.

The story is set about a century in the future, and the model would be predominantly experimental--housing only scientists. On that note, what kind of professions would be included in the building? What kind of scientists? Astrophysicists? (Really, I'm new at scifi, or sci period. Even basic information would be massively appreciated.)

Recovering from rape + guilt.

Eric was kept captive with two people he felt responsible for. All of them were badly mistreated, mentally and physically abused, and violated.

He feels that he's failed them. He thinks he should have been able to prevent himself from being attacked, and more importantly should have been able to shield the others.

He's basically... checked out. One of the men (Hugh) was his lover (They met in captivity, but fell in love) and he's trying to push him towards the guy who is taking care of them now (Liam) because he thinks Liam can protect Hugh where he couldn't. So now Hugh thinks Eric was only protecting him, and didn't love him.

But Eric has just gone blank. He's just quiet and staring, lost. He will respond if spoken to, but he's not "himself", he's kind of locked himself in his own mind to fret.

What can be done to help him? What sort of things could those around him (There is Liam, who he will take orders from and is dominant to him, his mate who is equal/submissive, and a much younger man who is lower in the order than him, plus a shrink who can be brought in.)

What do we do with him? I'm looking specifically for how a shrink would handle him, and what would be the best thing for Liam especially to do with him - Liam has some experience in working with survivors, though he's not usually as emotionally as involved he would have knowledge of what would help/harm.
rain, paper boats

Diseases as Symptoms of Vampirism or Vamp bites

Hello again!

So, other than the usual and obvious diseases such as tuberculosis (consumption), anemia, rabies, sensitivity to sunlight (I forgot the medical term for this), and haematodipsia, are there other diseases (or symptoms) that could be attributed to vampirism or vampire bites? What I mean is, if a person was bitten or is a vampire, what 'disease' or medical condition (or conditions) would doctors diagnose the person with? The above-mentioned ones are those I've read about, and I was wondering I missed anything.  

EDIT: Thanks for your help! It was very informative!
love-heart bunny, hug

Sheltered Life/cooking

A couple of questions about living in a fall-out shelter (and related living):

1) Would the diseases be the only ones they brought in? (I mean germ wise- bacteria, viruses, etc. Obviously they can still have bodily dysfunctions)

2)A passing army unit- if this shelter was publicly known to have been stripped by the government and converted by the town into a museum, the town being of little/no strategic value, upon seeing the door closed, would the soldiers just assume the 3 staffs and 5 volunteers just closed it on their way out to preserve local history or would they try to break through the 14 inch, 2-ton doors?

3) I assume for shelter living you want to reuse everything you can, since there's no garbage or recycling programs now. Say the cook had made turkey stock, and used vinegar to get as many minerals into the stock as possible:

a)Would this make the bones brittle?

b)Any suggestions for what modern people would do to reuse the bones?

Thank you in advance!

Addendum: This war isn't nuclear. They want to kill the government, but I have decided they aren't going to go for killing the planet (and it takes too long for the place to be useful for them).


Overstaying visa

I have a character who, for reasons that are way too complicated to explain without boring you all to tears, have overstayed her visa. The country she is from and the country she is currently in is not specified. It is fairly recent timewise, and although it's somewhat of an alternate universe I would be interested in information from bigger countries, like US and UK, just to figure out what an average proceeding looks like.

Anyway, she overstayed her visa, and now has to go back home to attend a funeral and take care of family stuff. I'm curious about the procedure when she gets to the airport. Anyone looking at her passport will be able to figure out that she is in the country illegally. Since she's leaving anyway, do they just let her get on the plane? Or will she be held by some sort of authorities for a while before being escorted to a plane to make sure she leaves the country?

Google tells me that she will have a hard time getting a new visa, which is understandable, but what I'm curious about is the actual process at the airport. Will she have to go in front of a judge to get legally deported? Will the people she was staying with get in trouble for letting her stay with them?

Thank you.


I have this assassin. To be brief, he's really good. I want to know where I'm wrong with the following. I've looked through wiki a bit, and I can't pick out what information is useful to me and what's going way too far into the subject because of all the scientific explanations that I feel are really explaining too much. I just need the basic "no that's not right" or "Yeah that's possible." Excruciating detail isn't necessary. I just need to know if my character is going to be knocked out or not based on general facts.


To protect himself from the hazards of people taking a possible disliking to him, he's gradually immunized(?) himself to a handful of common venoms/poisons that are used in attacks by the small-doses-every-21-days-or-so technique, such as what snake handlers would do. My question is, does this only work for certain venoms and poisons (ones that are ingested vs. ones that are injected), or can this also be used to protect oneself against the use of knock-out drugs (the ingested and/or injected sort) and that sort of thing?

That asked, I have a few more. How many things can one person immune himself to without it being ridiculous? What symptoms would someone have if they've been injected/have ingested it, but they're immune (sick stomach, a little dizziness, what)?
And how long does the immunity last? Due to being incapacitated for 4 years against his will, he of course doesn't have the opportunity to take those small doses, so would his acquired immunity wear off?

I always feel bad about asking so many questions because it makes me feel dumb and I always end up feeling like "aw, I should've known that," in the end, but right now I'm at a loss. Any help is appreciated. Thanks ahead of time!
BSG - adama n roslyn - phone
  • shinga

Population growth?

I figure this question may fall under 'population science', but I'm drawing a complete blank on how to search out the math of the specific question I have in mind (and I SUCK at maths and things myself). So here goes.

Let's say you have a group of about 1000 people.

Give them three hundred years.

Fifty of those years they are in a confined place and need to keep reproduction low.

But after that, they go wild.

But after the two hundred and fifty years they have been living normal lives, how would their numbers have increased/decreased in that time from the original 1000? On average, best guess...?

These are a people with good medical care, but living in harsh and unfamiliar conditions and things like new diseases with no cures are a good possibility. Changes in environment may cause deaths of the very young and very old in the original 1000. There is no birth control or anything like that.

Any ideas? Am I being way too particular about this? I mean, it's kind of an important plot point, so I don't want to just pull a guess out of my ass
winding road

Gas/Oil in Victorian times

Context: this society is obsessed with machines, mechanics, clockwork. This is Art. Mechanics are artists. Architects are artists. Opticians are artists. Clockmakers are artists. Automata are the height of Art. Painters practice a very different kind of art - they aren't artists. This society is run by artists - mechanics, astronomers, architects, etc. Think a Victorian sort of society, but cleaner, more mechanized, and even more obsessed with gadgets. They've developed electricity, and use it to power some machines, but using electricity is like cheating, although it is done. Think of the digital artist who traces from photos; it's a similar issue.

Question: does this society have fossil fuel at all? (You can answer this question even if you don't know anything about it - what would you believe, after reading the context?) How do they get it - how exactly is it extracted from the ground, modified, used? I've tried to find out how Victorians got their gas for gas lamps or whatever, and how it was extracted and refined, but I'm getting modern technologies, and that isn't helpful. It also doesn't make much sense to me - I have pretty much no idea how any of this works even today, and what I've been able to find hasn't made it much clearer. Anything you can tell me about fossil fuel in and around the Victorian era would be a great help.