January 23rd, 2007

Slit throats

Hello all!

I have a scenario in a story I need to work out. But there is a part concerning a slit throat that I'm not sure of. Here is the basic scenario:

A prisoner decides to kill and switch places with a guy who has a somewhat favored position in court but people know little about him. The court guy, however, has a very lyrical, pretty speaking voice. The prisoner (possessing a nice enough but not amazing voice) does not realize that he overlooked it until after the man is dead. He starts getting desperate, as guards are nearby. In desperation, he takes a blade and slits his own throat. He's a thief and murderer, so he knows how to slit throats. It's not a deep cut though-- only enough to look like it could be serious. The idea would be to claim the prisoner attacked him and cut him, damaging his vocal chords. The guy would pretend to have it affect him more than it actually does. His voice would "get better" over time by returning to his normal sound, but to everyone else it would look like he had permanent damage.

So my question is...

How deep would a cut need to be to look fairly serious but not hurt his throat permanantly?
To affect his vocal chords, where on his throat should the cut be?
How much would a cut like that bleed?
What would be the immediate effects?
Would such a cut need stitches?
How long would it take to heal?
How would a person immediatly sound, as in 15 seconds after cutting? Would this cause blood to spurt or anything?

Thank you all!

Rare Genetic Disorder

Okay, I've exhausted all possible variations of "rare genetic disorder/birth defect that causes child to self destruct" imaginable.

A long time ago, a friend told me about the only genetic disorder she'd consider aborting a child for, though I can't remember the name of the disorder or who it was who told me about it.

If memory serves, the child is born self-destructive (or even self-cannibalizing) and has to be restrained from hurting itself until it inevitably dies.

Now my question: Is there really such a disorder, and if so, what is it called?

music, serious face

MOD POST: new posting format update

Since there was such an outcry about the form idea, I've ditched it. It's just not worth it.

However, all of your posts from now on will still be required to have information on the setting and the type of web searches you've tried - if relevant. The setting thing has been a rule for a while, but I'm going to start enforcing it.

Collapse )

I'll be rejecting posts that come up in the moderation queue if they don't include this info. If someone already off of moderation forgets to include it, they'll be put back on. There will be no deleting of posts, and if your post is rejected you're welcome to resubmit an edited version.

As with the last time, I'm leaving comments open and will be waiting a couple of days before putting the new rules into effect.
snow woman

Plane use in Zeppelin world

In a world where Zeppelins are still in use, will this world also be using airplanes during world war II and would there be any development re: jet planes?

This world is parallel to ours, except for the jarring fact they use Zeppelins.

Thanks in advance.

(Yes, it is indeed the parallel Earth in Doctor Who's post-Doomsday)
DW - Dalek poetry

French Aristocracy in the 1870s

Setting: Victorian Paris, France (or more specifically, the Parisian aristocracy in the 1870s)
Searches and sources tried: A lot of combinations of Victorian, 19th century, aristocracy, upper class, jobs, masks, French, nobility, and other similar searches. I’ve also tried looking through quite a few Victorian sites and Wikipedia, and while I’ve found quite a bit of useful information, I still have some questions:

1. If a member of the aristocracy/nobility was to insist on wearing a mask all the time, how would the rest of the aristocracy react to him? What kind of reason could he give for the mask that everyone would accept, or at least that would keep the suspicion down?

2. An aristocrat does architectural designing and music composing. Considering he’s upper class, and not upper-middle, would this be an actual job, or would it be more of a ‘free-lance’ or a hobby?

3. Someone’s pretending to be nobility, but really isn’t. He’s incredibly resourceful, and is able to forge pretty much anything he’d need. So what would he need, and how long would it be before someone found out? (The longer, the better, so anything to help prolong things a bit…) Are there any major consequences if anyone finds out, or would he just lose his social position?

4. How easily could lower classes mix in with the higher classes? Did upper-middle class people ever socialize with those in the upper class? If so, for what reasons or occasions would it happen?

Fluffy Vulcan

Realistic Police Reactions--Present-day (New Jersey, if it matters)

I've crossposted this question to <lj_user=ask_a_cop>. I'm hoping that someone there or here might be able to help me. I'm writing a fanfic and trying to come up with a believable reaction. 

Here's the basic scenario: 

Rioting in the city. Driveby shootings, arson, looting, anarchy. A former police officer with a talent for strategy and thinking on his feet came up with a plan to get things under control. Many officers followed this man because, although he was no longer a police officer, his reputation preceded him and the 'top brass' really didn't have a better idea.

Things went horribly wrong and 28 officers died, either on the scene or in hospital. (It wasn't really something he could have predicted--more like he chose to turn left instead of right, with fatal consequences.)

The former cop suffered a breakdown and underwent therapy. Now, over two years later, he encounters several officers who were with him at the time of the rioting. He tries to apologize.

I'm trying to figure out how the officers might react at this point. They did know some of the casualties. Now, while I realize that different people react in different ways, I'm fairly sure it would be unrealistic for them to pat the former cop on the back and say 'it's ok. We know you didn't mean it.' But is it likely that he'd be roundly condemned? (I'm really hoping that there are words I can put into an officer's mouth which WILL be comforting, and WON'T have real police shaking their heads and saying 'no way any cop would say that.')


how happy is the blameless vestal&#39;s lot

sons of disowned heirs

Sons of disowned heirs--would they be in line for earldoms or not? 

This story is set in the Regency, although, to be fair, the son was disowned in Georgian times for running off with his step-mother (they were the same age or thereabouts). They, in turn, have a son. A very complicated family history, I assure you! I did try to google this, but without much luck.

Thanks in advance!


italy in the summertime

I have a story set roughly in 1994 in Italy. It's summertime-- probably mid July-- in a family villa and vineyard outside of Florence. What I need to know is how long daylight lasts. I rememeber visiting Ireland in May and because of the higher latitude, it was like full daylight until 10 or 10:30 at night. Is it like this in Italy, too? I want the characters out when it's definitely dark. Thanks!

Taverns Pirates Would Hang Out In

Hi -- long time answerer, first time questioner...

I'm looking for visual reference for the kind of taverns you would expect pirates in the classical Age of Piracy to hang out in. I've found tons of pictures related to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and the movie, but I'm looking for other images of picturesque seaport taverns of the period, preferably Caribbean. I recognize that this is vague, but if I were capable of being much more specific I probably would have found what I'm looking for by now.

I really do mean visual reference here; we need to do some stage backdrops and decor for a party at an SF con.


(Obligatory "I've searched" notes: I've done Google Image and web searches on strings like [tavern tortuga], [tavern pirate], [pirate tavern], and [tavern martinique] to no good effect except finding the references mentioned above and a lot of shots from video games. I'm convinced there are other piratey taverns out there and I just don't know how to find them.)