June 19th, 2007

Sibling incest, birth defects, genetic counseling

Okay, there's really no way to ask such bizarre questions without you guys wondering what in the name of all that's holy I'm up to, so I'll just admit it: I have a story setting/universe/continuity/whatever you want to call it that involves a brother/sister pair in an incestuous relationship. At one point, they consider having a child. They're not stupid, so it's safe to assume that the whole risk of birth defects thing is something they'd at least be aware of and be concerned about. They'd probably attempt to research and see just how bad it is in order to evaluate how safe it is for them to go through with it. Of course, to know what they find out, I'd have to know the answer to that myself, and that's where things get frustrating.

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Hydrogen cyanide and explosions

I'm completely in the dark here, I'm afraid. I made the assumption that hydrogen cyanide (lethal gas, like they use in executions) is combustible, first of all. I tried googling it, and I'm fairly certain that I'm in the clear there, but if someone could confirm this for me, that would be great.

Now, my main question is how would such an explosion work? I can find news stories about natural gas explosions, and essays about hydrogen bombs, and I don't remember what all keywords I've used. This takes place in a mysterious, abandoned airport in the middle of nowhere. There is power, and the kitchen in the restaurant has an open-fire stove.

Please don't ask why there's hydrogen cyanide. He's part of the cast.

What happens when the gas hits the fire? Immediate explosion seems more like something that would happen in an action movie with Steven Seagal. I'm thinking the gas would act as a kind of wick rather than actually explode, but I'm hoping I'm wrong. As a backup plan, I thought about having the gas be in the oven, and then the heat makes it explode, but I'm not entirely sure how sound that is, either.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Crap! Thanks to lt260 for reminding me. Would the sprinklers coming on kill the fire, or make it worse?

What if demonstrated

From time to time we get those questions about post fall of civilization and how the world would change.
Here we have an example of someone working through some of those details to come up with a plausible scenario.
The article touches on some of the facts and variables he took into account.

Looking for the title of a Japanese folk tale about demons in a monastery

There's a story I want to refer to, and I think it's Japanese, but I can't remember the title. I've tried googling 'Japanese folk tale' along with various keywords from the plot, but no luck.

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Most of all I need to know the title, but if anyone knows of an online version somewhere that would also be useful.

Looking for a disease

So, we have a 32 years old white male, a scientist/doctor (something along this line; researcher, probably). I want him to have some long-term, quite serious illness, but one which would still allow him to maintain a relatively normal life - meaning, no longer terms of hospitalization required. Frequent medical checks and taking a s***load of medicines, that's not an issue.

I'd like to have him to deal with fatigue, weakness, various pains, probably fever (y'know, pretty things ^^). My first choice was some type of cancer, leukemia perhaps, but my researches (Wiki, Google; cancer, leukemia, treatment) had somewhat confusing outcomes, regarding the actual treatment.

Basically, provide me with the name of a disease which fits the requirements, so I can research it. Pretty please?


EDIT: Okay guys, thank you!! XD I have quite an array of maladies now to choose from. You're awesome. ^__^

Victorian birthday celebrations

For a historical fiction project, I am looking for information on Victorian practices involving the celebration of birthdays — and preferably in the 1850-1865 span of years, if it makes a difference. [Edit: Also, preferably about customs in England of the time, but knowing about anywhere would also be helpful, as I'm flexible on country of origin for this particular instance.]

I've run Google ragged with: "victorian birthdays," "birthing days +victorian," "victorian celebrations," (and hunting narrower within those results), "victorian celebration observations," "19th century birthday," and just plain old "birthday traditions" looking for a hint of Victorian anywhere in the midst of it. It seems like there ought to be something out there, and maybe I've just been totally missing the mark with my searches. Any hints in that direction would be just as appreciated!

I'm primarily interested in the celebrations an upper middle class family might hold (if any at all), but information on how any of the class divisions might celebrate, or how birthdays were regarded by Victorian society at all, would be wildly appreciated.

My thanks in advance for your attention and time!

Edit: Question sufficiently answered for the project, and thank you all so much for the excellent help and information!