June 17th, 2007


Chills during pregnancy and drawing on sportscasts

Two completely unrelated questions here.

First: I need a situation in which a pregnant woman would get chills, or just feel unusually cold.

Searching for "pregnancy + chills" turned up a lot about urinary tract infections, but it looks as though by the time the chills set in, the infection is Very Serious (and comes with a host of other symptoms).

What I need is a condition where she would be cold enough to gripe about it (the character is a complainer), insist on turning up the thermostat, etcetera; but she wouldn't have any reason to believe it's a symptom of something more serious until later on.

It doesn't need to be directly related to the pregnancy, so long as it would affect the fetus (which I imagine any sickness in a pregnant woman would do to some extent).

So can you suggest any conditions? Details (on symptoms, effects, and concerns specific to the fetus) would be great, but I can certainly take the names of the conditions to Google once I have some.

Second question: You know how, in sportscasts, the announcers will use a machine that lets them put lines on the screen, so they can circle the ball and so on?

What's that machine called?


Questions about Jewish beliefs

I'm trying to write a short story about an Orthodox Jewish family living in California. Only, I'm not Jewish. I've been researching the religion, but there are a few aspects that I can't find information on.

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One of the family members kills another man and covers it up for years. How can he ask for God's forgiveness, in a manner of speaking? I've searched for Jewish penances, but I've only found information about smaller sins and--not surprisingly--nothing about murder. (Except for creepy anti-semitic sites that talk about Jewish Ritual Murder...)

I know that some Christians believe that they will be forgiven for all their sins, including murder, and that they will still be accepted into heaven. Would a Jewish man simply accept that he no longer has a place in the after life, or is there still hope that he will be forgiven?

Either insight or search suggestions would be helpful. Thank you!
Edit: Wow, thank you! A lot of the comments are really helpful. It's evident that I have a lot more research to do. Thanks for getting me on the right track!

Travelling long distances + Eating dead people

Hey there ^^ I've a couple of questions for a novel I'm planning.

The novel is set over Eastern Europe, specifically the Balkan peninsula (though I've not decided how much of it to use) and it's set in the future, a couple of centuries after a large scale war and release of a disease to which only a fraction of people were immune to. There is effectively no collective society. And here are my questions ^^

1) How long would it take to travel long distances on foot? I searched for hiking times, and found that most people can hike 8-10 miles a day, or more if they are very fit, but I have no idea how that applies over very long periods of time, for examble travelling around 200 miles. Could people keep that continous pace, so that a journey of 20 days would be a reasonable figure?

The characters will all be used to travelling long distances, as it's an integral part of their lives, but they'll be fairly malnurished, and I'm not sure what effect that would have. Their diet is mostly meat, and low on carbs. Also, effects of things like terrain and weather would be good to know. The book is set over many years, so it's no problem if it'll take them ages.

Occasionally they'll be able to use a car, and I can obviously just decide how fast they go and work it out from that XD But I don't drive, and so I don't know if terrain/weather would have much effect on speed.

2) Because there's not much food, and living in an anarchy, the characters have very little sense of sentimentality, they'll kill and eat anything they find, be it cattle or something we'd consider as a pet animal. I don't really want them to be canibals though, and it would be nice if there was a good reason for them not eating fresh corpses. They really wouldn't have any sense of it being morally wrong or anything, but I can't find any evidence of there being bad effects to health from eating people (on the contrary, it's apparently good for you o_o) so any plausable excuse not to eat dead people would be appreciated ^_^ Oh, and how long after death would decomposition become evident? Cause that would definately put them off.

Thanks! ^^

EDIT: Wow, thanks everyone! There are some really awesome replies here, they've helped me out no end. I'm also glad for the concrit of some ideas, that's really helpful. Better to hear it while I'm still in the planning stage XD But yes, again, thank you, this really has been incrediably helpful! :B
Lion Oh Boy

Seeking South African Insiders for current-day novel

I don't even know where to begin. (Okay, google, but the Internets is too vast).

My novel has decided that my main characters are Italians from South Africa. The setting is modern day (2001+). These characters would have a wealth of background knowledge of South Africa that I have no access to (I'm reasonably good with post-Apartheid history), but what I need is the inside scoop. This is largely about making it real and not falling into the trap of cliche.

If at all possible, I need contact to South Africans (or somebody who has first hand knowledge of SA) who could help me with the details regarding an Italian/white middle-class family between about 1990 and 2001+. Mostly, I'm interested in school/university stuff, but just a "common sense" or "sanity check" person would be fabulous.

Am willing to proofread in return, send copies of the finished book (yes, it's pretty likely to get picked up by a publisher) and add dedication/thank you section.

Please, help?
30r drunk

tracing evidence to owner

i'm having trouble figuring out how this would work.
i have a character whose bag was left at a crime scene (possible drowning death of a minor, she did not witness it, only found the body and due to several reasons, was not involved in reporting the death) and discovered by police. in order to have several memories recalled, her bag must be traced back to her. however, there is no identification in the bag, only a blanket and clothes, plus some food items. also, the bag was rained on, if that makes any difference.
i've tried googling things like tracing evidence, tracking evidence, etc, but nothing really particular is coming up.
anyone with knowledge of police procedures, etc. have any idea how the bag can be tracked back to her?

eta: thanks for all the help. i'm still trying to decide just what i will use for tracing purposes, but you all contributed lots of great ideas! :D

Asperger's & transsexuality

Hello everybody. I've already poked around fairly extensively on the Web (Wikipedia, Google searches) and looked at some books from the library, but unfortunately I haven't been able to find anything relating both topics -- in all the searches I've done, various combinations of Asperger/autism/related terms and transsexuality/gender dysphoria/related terms haven't come up with anything. And the first question sort of falls into the realm of those "little details" that don't have a solid-fact answer, but rather a "well, the way I see it..." sort of answer. In any case, if anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear.

With that said. I'm here for help on a story I'm writing in which the main character is a FtM transsexual, and has Asperger's syndrome. I have no trouble portraying the trans aspect, as I am trans myself; however, I don't have AS. What I'm wondering is this -- does anybody have any idea how the "lack of understanding of social communication & norms/emotional cues" part of AS would impact the character's experience of gender dysphoria?

On a second note, another question, this time more specifically about Asperger's -- I've done a fair deal of research, as I said, and from what I gather people with Asperger's have difficulty grasping sarcasm/humour/etc. Would a person with AS be completely unlikely to utilize sarcasm in his/her own speech?<-- *grins* Answered pretty unanimously! Looks like I was completely off on this one, which is actually nice to know. Thanks to everyone who responded!

Thanks in advance for any help!