April 11th, 2007

arsenic poisoning via water

time frame: late 19th century
place: France

Does anyone know how long it would take for someone to die if they injested arsenic-contaminated water? I know that arsenic can be found in groundwater naturally, but when I googled I kept getting things like "long-term exposure" without any clear definition of what "long-term exposure" is. Weeks? Months? Years? Also, how long it would take for someone to start showing symptoms? In my story the arsenic-contaminated water is the only water source available and would be used for everything - drinking, cooking, etc.

Any help is appreciated. :)

Abuse injuries - specifically, being punched in the stomach

I've googled, looked on wikipedia, and even searched through the tags on this journal and can't find the answer I'm looking for.

Setting:(not that it matters for the question) Future Earth; there's a colony on the moon and space travel to and from is pretty common though humans are just now getting to Mars.

Problem: My character is a bio-engineered human woman in her late teen years (18 or therabouts) who is normal in every respect except for the fact that she can turn invisible. Unfortunately, she's also petite and is a target for her very large, very mean stepbrother who likes to kick her around. My question is this: what kind of physical reactions come with being punched in the stomach? Obviously pain is one, probably bruising and tenderness for a few days after, but is there anything else? Would she vomit if hit in the right spot? Would there be any internal organ damage if she was hit repeatedly or kicked repeatedly?

Thanks for your help!
  • Current Mood: cold

What is the "adam's apple" called in Chinese?

This is for a far future story. I don't want to use the term Adam's apple because this culture has a strong Chinese influence. What is the bump on the front of a man's throat called in Chinese? (Mandarin or Cantonese, either is fine)

I've googled "chinese dictionary", "chinese translation", "chinese anatomy dictionary", "anatomy chinese".

Thanks for your help.

(eta: I can't use links with Chinese characters since I don't have those fonts installed and I don't read Chinese. I'm looking for the literal translation, as "Adam's apple" refers to neither Adam nor an apple and is a strongly Western cultural term. Sorry that wasn't clear.)

(edited again: Thank you! Just what I needed to know!)

German first name statistics

Does anyone know if there's a site for finding first name statistics in Germany? I am not talking about baby name sites (edit: or other toplists), but a German equivalent of howmanyofme.com (US) or SCB namnsök (Sweden).

Ideally I'd like something to check the entire German population and whether the name is usally male or female, but if there are sites for seperate Bundesländer, or anything, I'll take what I can get. I'm not good enough in German to google this beyond "Deutsche vornamen", which doesn't help me, and German Wikipedia's Vorname is no help either.

Coin-operated fortune telling machines - Seattle-specific.

Moderator, please tell me if this post is not suited for this comm...

I have a modern-day story set in Seattle. Down along the Sound, in Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe is a coin-operated fortune telling machine, 'Estrella's Prophecies'. It's been literally almost two decades since i've been there and put a coin into the machine... Here's what i would really, really love...

If a Seattle resident could actually go to YOCS and put in a coin? Or a dollar - i have *no idea* how much it costs any more. And tell me what happens. Does Estrella move? Does her head bob, her hands wave? Does she have a spread of tarot cards laid out in front of her or something else?

And when you get your 'fortune' - what's on the card? Or is it printed on paper now? Does it have, say, lottery numbers as well as a 'fortune' or just words? What's it look like? Does the machine make noise, play music?

Any help at all - from someone who actually goes there or who has been there in the last couple of years, would be a great help. I called the shop to be sure the machine was actually there - long distance, heh - but couldn't keep the guy on the line for the time i needed to get all the answers.

I also googled that particular machine and other fortune telling machines but the information was slim and mostly about either 'they had a machine there as well as...' or places where you could buy them.


And if you *do* go and spend money on Estrella, i'd happily reimburse you.

Greek Translation

Simply put, I need the phrase "A beautiful creation" to be translated into Ancient Greek.
I tried various translators I found via google, and most of them gave me the following:

Μια όμορφη δημιουργία

Is that correct? I don't trust these things...
I also highly suspect that this is not Ancient Greek, but I am completely clueless.

To find out how to transcribe these characters, I used this wikipedia-article (german) and came up with this:

mia omorfi dimioyrgia

Please do not throw things at me.

Designing somewhat-plausible "bird men"

Honestly, I'm not sure *what* I would put into Google to get results for this.

See, I have a pet project: a fantasy setting. It has bird-people. I decided I wanted to make them more than "humans with big fluffy wings", and being a biology nerd I've been trying to figure out how they would be made to fly. I'm aware magic would probably still have to be involved somewhere, but it's fun playing with ideas about what they would look like, how to conserve weight, etc. So I have two questions:

1. The center of lift can't be at the shoulders- as someone at the NaNoWriMo boards commented, "they'd fly like kittens you picked up by the ruff." So if the wings attatched lower down, mid-back maybe (although I did decide this species is proportionally smaller than humans), where would the bulky muscles to power them be? Would they still be in the chest with a keeled sternum etc. like in actual birds?

2. Hollow bones are important in real birds, but I'm not entirely sure they'd work for a bipedal creature- the legs have to take pretty much all the weight, and while hollow bones are built to be at least somewhat strong, I'm not sure they'd work here. Do they sound plausible?

I hope that made sense. I'm not especially coherent sometimes when I'm brainstorming.
  • Current Mood: cheerful