June 11th, 2007

Columbia University's Psychology Library

In these few flashback chapters I'm writing, my character works at Columbia University's Psychology Library as an assistant while attending school there circa year 1999.  I don't know of anyone, personally, that has attended this particular university and/or has been into that particular library so I figured I'd ask here first before looking to ask alumni and students from myspace and the like.

What I want to know is: how is the atmosphere in this particular library?  Is it your typical "quiet" library or does it have unique features you have never seen before in such an establishment?  I've only seen a small stock photo of it from the University's webpage and the provided floor plan so physical descriptions aren't necessary but any and all are welcomed and very appreciated.  Basically, what I am really looking forward is first-hand accounts about this library, preferably from the same year but I'll take what I can get. =)

Techniques used: Columbia's web page (as well as the specific webpage for the library itself), google ("columbia university psychology library"), google image search (same as the original google search), and wikipedia ("columbia university" and the sublink for libraries).  Any advice for search techniques are helpful, too.

Thank you in advance!

Morgue Question


So I'm going to write this story and I have no clue as to how to google this, so I thought I'd turn it over to you guys.  


ETA: litgoddess made a good point.  There wouldn't be an autopsy at all because though both parties died, the guy in question was only hit by the truck, so no suspicious death there.  I suppose now it's a moot question and I can just have the main character try to question the people (or person, small town again) who prepared the body for burial. 
  • Current Mood: cranky

New Orleans region descriptions

I am to be writing something set around New Orleans (probably towards the south east thereof--Lake Charles), and in the in the marshland to the south of Delacroix. Unfortunately, I've never even been NEAR Louisiana. If anyone lives there/has been there/is familiar with the region, could you maybe give me some guidelines on the scenery, weather, vibe and the like? I'm thinking it'll be set in winter (around early January); I think the weather there is quite similar to where I am, but I'd still like accounts. The more detailed the better! What it's like to live there, drive through there, what the bayou is like, how it feels at night, and so on.

I've done some heavy googling and wikipediaing, using "louisiana" "new orleans" "delacroix" and various things like "climate", "terrain", "demographics", etc, but what I really need is personal impressions, and those are difficult to google.

Middle names in Germany

I tried googling "middle name German" and variations with crap results, the wiki article on middle names is no help. The wiki article on German names mentions that parents may give their children a zweiter Vorname - "second given name" and says "it is common to use the Rufnamen of relatives, whom the parents want to honor". My questions are:

- Does the zweiter Vorname appear on the child's birth certificate?
- Do German parents use the middle name/zweiter Vorname when scolding the child, as an American parent might?

Just in case conventions have changed in the last 27 years or are different depending on area, the character was born in 1980 in North Rhine-Westphalia (some of you might remember him, I've asked questions about him before lol).
  • Current Mood: nervous

insurance question

I'd be really grateful if anyone could help me out with an insurance question: My story's main character runs a martial arts school in present-day California. He resists several extortion attempts by the local crime boss, and now the gangsters have made good on their threats of burning his school down. They commit that act in broad daylight with several witnesses present by driving by the school and throwing molotov cocktails through the windows. My character manages to keep the damage to a minimum, but he is still left with quite a bit of fire damage.
Now - what type of insurance would my business owner need to have in order for the insurance company to cover the damages and how would his insurance handle this obvious arson attempt?
Thank you in advance for any suggestions!! :)

EDIT: Thank you very much to the readers who have responded to this question! You have all given me some valuable insights and a few bases from which to look a little further into the different insurance types as well as arson investigation situations!
Thanks again! :)
  • Current Mood: curious