June 27th, 2007


Choosing clothing while blind

Situation: I have a seventeen year old girl, who has some light perception (she can tell the difference between light/dark but not much else), but no vision beyond that due to a car accident. She's been blind for about twelve years and is well used to coping.

However, being sighted myself, I've no idea how she would go about choosing clothing to wear, how she would tell what colour anything was, or if anything matched.

Up until now, in the story, she's had her father, younger brother and housekeeper to help her out, but she's going to be moving out.

I remember seeing something when I was in middle school (back in the dark ages before electricity when dinosaurs roamed the earth...) about how their closets were organised to have shirts on one side, pants on the other.

But how would the colours be separated? Are there methods she can use to ensure that her clothing matches when she puts it on? She's going to be living completely independently, and not have a support system set up just yet. So; she's going to have to choose her clothes herself and I'd rather she didn't have to wear neutral or boring colours.

Also, anything else anyone can tell me about living with very limited/without sight would be appreciated.

Setting: In the very near future, Britain/Venezuela. (Actually in a space ship but she was a Brit living in Venezuela.)

Digging a Hole in Massachusetts

Does anyone know from firsthand experience what the soil is like in Massachusetts somewhere between, say, Lexington and Salem?

I'm writing a historical fantasy and I have a character digging a hole on a farm, and he would definitely notice what the soil is like -- whether it's sandy or clay-ey or filled with lots of rocks. Any specific details you could offer me would be terrific.

It's like that

Autoimmune disease

Hello guys!

I'm writing an AU story and there is a certain race of people who have characteristics like stereotypical vampires: needing blood, faster regeneration skills, sharp teeth etc.

However I want this to be due to a disease. So I was wondering if it is possible to theoretically have some sort of autoimmune disease (perhaps a mutation of one already existing) that will render the person in constant need of blood transfusions. The consequences of not doing so would be their body turning on themselves and being 'eaten' from the inside out.

I've tried: anemia, sickle-cell anemia, thalassemia and general searches on autoimmune diseases.

Thanks guys!

Amnesia and smoking

I has a question. Okay, I lie. I has two questions. :)

Scenario: I have a character, Person A. Person A is a smoker, about 1-2 packs a day. He began smoking ~5 years ago, maybe more.
Person A gets a good bonk upside the head and consequently suffers from retrograde amnesia, and has problems recalling the previous 6-7 years of his life.

So now I have two questions:
1) Is 6-7 years reasonable, if the character not only suffers from the physical trauma of being bonked on the head, but also mental/emotional trauma prior to the experience? I'm going for the kind of mental/emotional trauma that makes people "lock" away their memories of the event, such as that in dissociative amnesia. The character would keep procedural memory, but lose episodic memory. So in other words the cause of the amnesia is more psychological than physical, but the bonk on the head acts as a catalyst.
2) He started smoking 5 years ago, and he cannot recall anything from the past 6 years. If no one tells him that he was a smoker, would he automatically begin smoking again? I know he would certainly feel the symptoms of withdrawal, but would he attribute his irritability to the frustration accompanying amnesia, or would he somehow intuitively know that he was a smoker?
I guess another way to phrase my second question would be: would smoking be filed under episodic or procedural memory? I mean, yes, it's procedural, but you also have to be conciously aware of the need to smoke. Solved!

Search terms: I've Googled various combinations of "amnesia/retrograde amnesia/memory loss" and "smoking/smokers/tobacco/cigarettes", alone and in combination. I've also read through all the posts in this community regarding both amnesia and smoking, which were helpful in answering other questions, but unfortunately this smoking+amnesia thing remains unanswered.

Thanks in advance! :)

Guns in the 1800s

Setting: Black Hills (of South Dakota and Wyoming, natch)
Period: 1860's or 70's.

I need to know what kind of gun can blow someone's head off, if possible, or at least physically stop or knock a man backwards. They are intended to be used against vampires who regenerate rather quickly (and often ignore pain).

I'm aware that guns in America underwent some innovations during the Civil War, but I haven't narrowed down the exact year for the story to be set, and I don't know the proper terminology to Google this ... I kind of don't want to Google "how to blow a guy's head off" ... so any hints in the right direction will be welcome too! C'mon, gunnish people, help me out!

Books to be burned!

I need a very long list of books that your stereotypical fundamentalist Christians would burn. So far I've got...

the Torah
the Koran
the Tao te Ching
the Analects
the Upanishads
the Tripitaka
the Satanic Bible
the Principia Discordia
the Book of the Subgenius
the Da Vinci Code
Angels and Demons
the Harry Potter books
the LotR series.

I need a lot more. Any suggestions?

I tried a few google searches, nothing useful came up. If you know where a decent list is, let me know. Otherwise, opinions is all I can go on!