January 9th, 2007

Neologism or Nomenclature.

I'm desperately trying to remember the single word that means "the willingness to do whatever it takes." May not even have been English.

Is there even such a word?

EDIT FOR USAGE CLARIFICATION: The image I have in my head is of the lead character in Prison Break smacking his face into the bars of his cell until it bled so he could get his cellmate put in 'the hole'. This was to further a much larger scheme.

EDIT MARK II: Upon further thought, I think I may actually have meant to say "person with no taboos in their psyche." They'd have no distasteful response to any action if it furthered their aims.
  • Current Music: None.

Man with high-pitched voice

What terms are there to describe the voice of a man who speaks in a higher pitch of voice for his sex?

The specific man is referred to as having a "contralto" voice, but I use that term over and over.

He is a fairly masculine man, but has a high voice. Few people think the voice is feminine because of how he speaks (his speech is very somber). I am just at a loss for how to describe this.

Cannons- making one, and making another one *work*

For once, I actually think I pretty much know everything I need (at least for my first question!), so I can actually use this comm for its proper purpose- i.e. checking the details. I have been using these two sites as a resource- they seem to be fantastically useful, but there's a few things I want to make sure...

Apologies in advance for the tl;dr-ness!

Here's the scenario, first of all. I have a group of approximately-Napoleonic (fantasy setting ;-) ) soldiers, stuck on a smallish but inhabited island. Although the locals themselves have never bothered with black-powder weapons, there are a number of cannons left on the island from previous military occupations.

Quick note: both cannons are/will be garrison cannons: they're part of the island's defenses.

Cannon #1
One of my characters is going to melt down some of these cannons, and (with the assistance of some of the locals) make them into a much bigger one, probably a 36-pounder. (I was toying with the idea of something like the Jaivana or the Tzar Cannon, but they're just too big.)

Here are the things I would like to check.Collapse )


Cannon #2
Cannon #2 is something I'm a bit more worried about not getting right. It's a multiple shot cannon, similar to the Nagin Cannon (which I can only find mention of here, annoyingly): i.e. three smallish cannons connected together and firing simultaneously.

I'm much less sure what I'm doing with this one!Collapse )

Thanks in advance, and sorry for the barrage (heh) of questions!

ETA: The Ribauldequin seems like it might be a good starting point for cannon #2- anyone know anything about these? Wikipedia is lacking...
  • Current Mood: curious
  • Current Music: REM - Imitation of Life

Gunshot Wound and Not Being Able to Play Sports

My character is your typical high school jock. He gets shot. I need this injury to prevent him from playing sports--more specifically, basketball--ever again, though he still needs to be able to walk (a permanent limp would be okay). So, where should this wound be on his person, what type of injury is it and how long would it take before he's able to walk again? I would prefer it if he's back up on his feet in about one to two months.

Thank you!

Surgically-Induced Blindness

I guess I'll pony up the second blindness-related question of the day.

I have a character who is about to be rendered totally blind via surgery. Won't this be fun for him!

Cut for . . . well . . . eyeball squick.Collapse )

I am completely grossed out by my own question, and so sorry I've basically doomed myself to seeing grody pictures of eyeballs, but damn, I need to know where the guy's scars are going to be!

Streets of Syracuse

I asked a question similar to this abou two months ago, and now I'm doing more research:

What I need is kind of the main street in Syracuse, New York. Not necessarily the street in the middle of town or whatever, but the street everyobdy knows, the street everything's on. For example, maybe as Broadway is to New York, and Michigan Avenue is to Chicago, and University and Grand are to Des Moines. Also if this helps any, when I asked a similar question about Albany, the general consensus was Center Street.

Help? Thanks!

Police, guidance counselors, and gift shops

These are various unrelated questions for a variety of things I'm working on. Everything's set in the American South.

1) If a police officer is transferred to a new precinct, how is she introduced to her new partner? Is there an official meeting or orientation or do they just start working? This is set in a deliberately fictionalized police station, so examples from fictional shows are okay.

2) What would a public school guidance counselor do for an adult student who graduated high school a few years before, who now wants to apply to college? He's a family friend of the student, so if this is beyond the normal duties of a guidance counselor, consider that he's doing it as a favor. (I was homeschooled and never had a guidance counselor, so I basically need step-by-step info on what they do.)

3) What's it like owning one of those little touristy gift shops on the Gulf coast? I have a good idea of what they sell, but not how they operate. Are the start-up costs high or low? How many employees do they need, and what do they make? Is it plausible for the shop to be run by a family?

ETA: Modern-day setting.

Types of rehab faclities?

I have this story in mind involving a character that is an alcoholic and one that is an anorectic, both males and between the ages of 16-19, in modern times, and from the united states.

my question is, are there any types of rehab facilities that would house both these types of cases? or a more general type of facility that these youths could go to? 

Edit: i'm thinking a place where these two characters will be there for a few months or so...and the characters could also be sent away to another state, or say a neighboring country ex: Canada??

the help is very much appreciated!

Medical plausibility check (cancer diagnosis)

I'm writing a plot at the moment that involves a character being diagnosed with a form of cancer. My idea is that the doctors find a tumor in his lung first and think it's lung cancer in an early stage, but then discover that it's actually pancreatic cancer that has metastasized. Is this a plausible progression?

Also, how would the medical team figure out that it's pancreatic cancer and not lung cancer? Would it be plausible for the oncologist to look at the patient's recent symptoms, determine that some of them probably aren't the result of lung cancer, and then look for another explanation?

Decomposition of a human body and its clothing

I'm plotting a new story which is going to start with a body being found in a (relatively shallow) limestone cave. But I'm having trouble tracking down a couple of details.

Specifically, the body, when found, will have been in the cave for about 40-70 years. My research indicates that it will, by that point, be a skeleton. My problems here are twofold: first, I can't seem to find out what effect being in a limestone cave will have on the bones - limestone caves tend to be damp, so will the bones be rotting? Or beginning to turn into stalactite-like things? Or something else? Secondly, the person who finds the body/skeleton is a professional archaeologist - will it be immediately evident to her that this body is not 100s/1000s of years old? Or will she have to wait for the results of the forensic tests? (I haven't set an exact timeline yet, but she'll probably be finding the corpse in the 1980s.)

The other thing I can't seem to find much about is the corpse's clothes. Will they have vanished completely? (The outer clothing, at least, will probably have been made of wool. Not sure about the underwear yet.) Or will there still be fragments of cloth to find? And if so, how big will they be?

I feel completely stupid for not being able to find this information for myself. Help with search terms and/or links would be greatly appreciated.