July 15th, 2007

Life in the Khanate of Sibir

Okay, I will be forever and eternally grateful to anyone who can point me to any source that describes what average, every day life might have been like in the 14th century Khanate of Sibir, specifically in the area where Ekaterinburg, Russia is now. I have tried searching for Khanate of Sibir, Siberian/Siberia Khanate, Russian history 14th century, Ekaterinburg history, Sverdlovsk history, the White Horde, the Blue Horde, the Golden Horde, and although I can find a lot of information on the various Khans who ruled the area and various political dealings of the time, absolutely nothing about what the average Joe living then and there would go through and see.

Housing, jobs, things on the street, commerce, medicine, your ability to step outside without getting your head chopped off/freezing to death...anything! At this point I'm torn between just making something up based on what 14th century life was like elsewhere combined with Siberia's climate and what I know about the Khans or giving it up all together, but at this point it's sort of become a duty to write about this and write about it accurately. Thanks a lot in advance.

Heat conductivity: Metal Fire Escape on burning building

Hi! I tried ask.com and google, and wiki for this but all I got were derivative equations and unfortunately, my math and physics (lack of) skills are hurting me.

I've got a 4-story brick building. Fire broke out on the top floor and two people are trapped up there. There's a metal fire escape that goes clear to the ground. I have someone trying to climb up to get in to save them. He's got rubber-soled shoes, and he has two woolen blankets that he's saturated with water. No gloves or oxygen mask, though. The fire broke out on the west side of the building (it's about 30'x60' for the sake of argument--I googled the length of an average city block) and the character is climbing from the East.

About how high is he likely to get before the railings become too hot to touch or the slats begin to melt the rubber soles of his shoes? (or until the heat causes discomfort to the soles of his feet?)

The fire has been going on for about 45 minutes.
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Military Uniforms, circa 1802-1803

I've looked around in various memoirs from the period (as I have quite a few written by army officers) for any mention of dress and come up empty-handed - and all my searches on Google have given me information about modern usage which is not what I'm looking for. So, I turn, once again, to the fine people here for assistance.

Was it customary for officers of the British army to wear their dress uniforms at formal social events (like a ball) even during times of peace in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries? That is, an officer with an active commission - not one who has sold out or been retired. As my dates suggest, the scene for which this is important takes place during the Peace of Amiens, in London and so I'm unsure if the character would be wearing his red tunic or a black evening coat. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

ETA: Thanks for the comments everyone. I found my answer.