March 5th, 2007

College dorms and roommates

My character is at college in the US [Las Vegas to be specific, since I'm assuming he just ended up going to the nearest college] on scholarship - I'm English, so I'm a little unsure of the differences, and any google searches I get just get stories about reunions.

1. Does scholarship pay for housing? Or is there normally some kind of grant or loan that can be applied for?
2. How common is it for students to stay in dorms past their first year? I've heard of people staying on and off campus, and I just wanted to check staying on campus is feasible.
3. If they do stay on campus as a second year, how likely is it that their roommate would be a freshman?
4. How many people do actually move away to go to college? As said above, I'm assuming he stayed in the local area but went into dorms, and I'm not sure how likely it would be.

Edit: Uh, wow, thanks for all your responses :D

Diners in the '50s and Harvard Square

I have no idea what to Google for this one:

What would be the busiest hours at a diner in a midsize town in Indiana during the 1950s? I know vaguely – morning, lunchtime, dinnertime – but typically what hours specifically would these be? What would be the least-busy times?


Here's an area-specific question:

When were the pole-shaped pay-telephones in Harvard Square (the ones by the Pit) installed? I've tried Googling various combinations of "Harvard Square" "pit" "telephone", but most of what I turn up just says that the pay phones exist, nothing about when they arrived.

Gene therapy and genetic manipulation

I have something of a two-part question:

First, how realistic is it to have a hypothetical situation where one would need gene therapy in order to correct for the genetic coding of a neurotransmitter? (This is a science-fiction setting.) Assuming that the organism could survive without the neurotransmitter being produced, is it techinically (or hypothetically technically) possible to use gene therapy to activate its production during its adult life?

Also on the gene therapy line of thinking, how complicated (roughly, here) would it be to code for something like a neurotransmitter? Would multiple genes be involved? I would think that multiple genes would, by extension, make gene therapy more difficult to enact.

Flower-Woven Bracelets

I recently saw a movie (Tristan and Isolde, to be exact) where the main character made bracelets out of a handful of flowers. I did a google search and found nothing on the subject. The story I'm writing is set in the 1500s about a young impoverish woman who is hung for becoming pregnant with the child of a much higher class married man of court.

The detail I'm looking for is simply to allow the reader to draw conclusions about her personality and also help set the mood for the setting and time period.

My question is: Does anyone know what the bracelets were made of? What kind of flowers, how they were made, etc...?

I would be eternally grateful for any information.

Thanks!

Edit: Thanks so much for the information - all of the answers you guys gave were extremely helpful. Now I have plenty of flowers to choose from and some great ideas for search queries in the future. Thanks again!

Crossing borders-EEC - Cruise ship excursions

Crossing borders in Europe-EEC

I'm writing a story and one character has no passport or other ID.

What procedures are followed when crossing borders in the EEC. Are car boots/trunks, backs of trucks/lorries checked?
Are there areas between Italy and France that could be crossed without officials knowing? Have you heard of it?


On a cruise ship when you go on a shore excursion, do you need to show your passport? The character would have joined the cruise in another country.

Google searches have not been helpful for obvious reasons. I'm not trying to break the law or cause problems.