March 26th, 2007

Changing from a medieval diet to a modern one

Only in a fantasy novel, but here goes.

I've got three adults from a fantasy version of the medieval period. They're all mercenaries who've recently returned from war and now, somewhat inexplicably, have money. Lucky for them, they aren't starving and have access to the medieval version of haute cuisine if they so desire.

I've got six kids from the modern world who got thrown into the fantasy world, and spend three years on a subsistence diet--whatever they can poach or forage.

Now, all nine are suddenly in modern America. Assuming the nice scientists who are taking care of them aren't complete morons, will any of the time travelers be allowed to eat, say, pizza? Will the sudden change in diet (not to mention the amount of grease, additives, and preservatives in American food) hurt them? Will they get sick? How sick? What symptoms? How would the scientists ease the transition from medieval-style fare to McDonald's? What about the transition to all-you-can-eat from almost starving?
Bobinet, Hungarian theatre, La Vie Parisienne, Párizsi élet

Resource time: medical details

I hope it's okay to post a resource instead of a question.

Here's a review of Body Trauma: A Writer's Guide to Wounds and Injuries, by David W. Page, MD (who also coauthored Code Blue-- A Writer's Guide to Hospitals).

It's divided into chapters by type of injury, and uses literary examples, and looks at the perspectives of both the victim and the medical professional. It sounds like it would be a great resource for a lot of people here, judging by the number of medical questions I see popping up.

Solicitation to commit suicide?

I have a question for all the legal-minded folks out there, I have a basic idea, but it's kind of shaky. I suppose I should start with a brief synopsis of the situation:

I have four girls, all minors, under the age of seventeen. Three of the girls, who have been involved in some not-so-nice activities that add up to what is essentially extreme hazing that the entire school participates in, believe that the fourth girl, we'll call her girl D, is about to go to the authorities and put a stop to all their fun. They have been harassing and intimidating girl D, and it all culminates when Girl D bolts to a rooftop, and the three girls all follow. Girl D jumps out of desperation, she was not even touched by the other three, but they had been harassing her with the belief (and for one, the hope) that suicide might be the result. I'll reiterate, they were present (within ten feet) when Girl D went over the edge, but never touched the girl. All any other witnesses would have seen would be the three girls chasing girl D.

What, conceivably, could they be charged with? And what would be the punishment? (my father seems to think that this walks a thin line, but would probably be a misdemeanor. But he says he'd have to look it up, and we live a lot further north than this story takes place, and he hasn't practiced law for years)

If no one was aware (or would testify) that the motive behind the harassment was suicide, what then?

This question relates a bit as well, I'm assuming that it is still within the right to practice religion/belief systems, even when the intent is to harm another by 'supernatural' means (i.e: hoodoo/vodun). Although I suppose it could count as harassment... Am I correct in this assumption?

The story takes place in the United States, in a city more-or-less modeled after New Orleans, Louisiana.

Thanks in advance!