August 15th, 2007

tv/ ob seestras

about doctor's and patient's rights

I'm not sure if this is a stupid question or not, and I wasn't really sure how to go about looking for this (because I mostly want opinions, not just what the government/law/statistics say, although that too would be helpful ;P) but...

Suppose a renowned doctor is performing a surgery upon a patient, and while doing the operation, discovers another problem that the patient has. If the problem wasn't life-or-death, but the doctor understood that the patient would obviously like it to be fixed, would he (legally and/or morally?) be able to just fix it, or would he have to wait until after the original surgery to ask the patient about it, schedule another surgery, etc etc?

Also, even if he/she's not legally allowed to, how likely would the doctor be to just do it anyway? Would his relationship to the patient or the patient's family be a factor in this? What about the severity of the problem - if it was a "big problem", even though not life-or-death, would that alter the doctor's decision? I guess that's probably more opinion or personal experience-related but... either way, I'd appreciate all input.

Thanks :)

On the surnames of orphans

How are surnames chosen for orphans (in orphanages, mainly) whose parentage is completely unknown? Do the caregivers at the orphanage simply give them a simple surname, or is there some sort of protocol?

Sorry if the question doesn't make much sense.

Previous searches: orphan+surname, orphanage+surname, wikipedia entries on Orphanages, adoption, and surnames.

ETA: Can't believe I forgot to put in the setting. Sorry 'bout that. The characters in question were in an American orphanage sometime around 1980.
SW: Yavin Sentry

Photoelectricty and Theoretical Physics type stuffs

Okay, so here's the deal. I'm writing a science fiction story (setting: some planet somewhere in the relative future) and I'm having issues with getting my science to not sound like fiction. I've done lots of preliminary research around google and wikipedia, but some of the things I need to know just involve asking someone who knows what they're talking about. So I have two excerpts here involving lasers and photoelectric stuff that I think I may have been making up too much of the science for. If anyone knowledgeable with such things, could take a read through them (ignoring the plot that is wrapped around the techno-babble) I would really appreciate it. The first one is pretty straightforward and I don't think there's much wrong with, but the second is much thicker with science that is likely made up and what I need the most help with. Thanks in advance!

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You can never go home, War

Source of military slang; physiological stages of starvation

Two unrelated questions for you guys:

(1) I know that the soldierly use of the word "wake-up" (as in, "______ days and a wakeup") to mean the final day in-country was common during the Vietnam war, but does anyone know if it actually originated there? Or is it plausible that American infantry soldiers in, say, the Korean war might have used it, too? I can't seem to find any sources that identify its source--only that it was used in Vietnam. (I don't currently have a subscription to the online OED, but somehow I doubt that particular usage is in there anyway.)

(2) Can anyone link me to, or even just give me, a good summary of the physiology behind starvation in humans? What I need is a point-by-point description of the basic stages of the process. It doesn't matter if it's technical or jargonistic; in fact that might be a plus, since I'll be using the info to write dialogue for a doctor. The important thing is that it be clear on the order of what happens when. (ETA: If it helps, the doctor in question is a thirty-something American in 1953.)

Thanks in advance for any help!

British General Culture and Society in the 1700s

Setting British Colonies in the Atlantic or just Britain in general I'm not picky aside from the time period.

I think it's okay that the story is barely even a fledgling idea and most of what I know is that I want it to be in the 1700s because I'm crazy like that. :)

Anyway, it's so vague a topic that Google provides a forest far too thick for my tastes so if you've specific sites to recommend or just suggestions on search-terms that's fine; or even better books! I'm a dinosaur for being only twenty and rather like ink on paper to be honest.

I found some lovely books on Amazon, but they were all about the culture that arose for the slaves on tobacco and sugar plantations. Interesting, and helpful, but now I need to know about the British Settlers themselves.

I've tried searching for "British Culture in the 1700s", "The Atlantic Colonies in 1700" and "Historical British Culture"+"1700" but, again, that turns up either far too many (often contradictory) sites on google (and one rather interesting one about a Con somewhere in Texas set in that era) and on Amazon it only gave me the books about the Slave culture.

I did get several hundred historical fiction novels but I've read those before and they're often filled with anachronisms.

I know it's disturbingly vague and I'm certain that makes it all the harder so my apologies on that.

Thanks so very much in advance.

Temperature in a cave?

My story has a deep cave on cliffs facing the sea (in a Great-Britain like clime). I have been in shallow caves, and noted that however hot outside, the walls seemed cool. In one scene, the is a storm (with snow) outside. My questions are this: How cold (or warm) would the cave be, how far from the mouth to have significant protection from the weather? Does the temperature change as you get deeper? Is it damp? I found some general information on the web about underground temperatures, but was hoping for more of a sense of what it feels like to be in one, and how deep until underground temps apply.

Has anyone ever lit a fire in a cave? Does the heat stay put or disperse, or does it get really smoky?

As you can tell, I don't have a lot of experience in caves at all. If you are a cave person--I'd love to hear your experience! Thanks!
New Spock

Permanent Records

I always hear about a person's permanent record, but what exactly does this 'record' contain?  If my characters were to break into a school to find these, where would they most likely be located and what kinds of things will it contain?  If they contain things like detention or suspensions, would they give the cause of the detention/suspension or just that the student had had one?  Also, if the student had transferred from a private school to a public school, would the information follow them and how far back would the records go?  Would a prestigious private school monitor its student more closely than a public school?  Any and all help will be very much appreciated.

ETA:  The story is set in a suburban high school, present day America.  I googled for some of this and read stuff on yahoo answers, but nothing could tell me that much detail about permanent records. 
  • Current Mood

Braxton-Hicks and Korean transcriptions

Two questions. Present day, present time, normal world:

If a woman is having painful/uncomfortable Braxton-Hicks contractions, what's a plausible way for her partner to ease them? (ETA: "ease" doesn't mean "stop" here, but "make temporarily better", or, at worst, "distract from".)

My research has turned up plenty of advice for what she can do for herself, but the only partner-type advice starts with "Try massage oils," and I'm looking for something more spontaneous - as in, no planning, all he has is a couch and some pillows and his hands. Thoughts?

Also: I have audio of song in Korean that I need transcribed. Not translated, just the original sounds of the Korean written down in whatever way is officially correct for romanizing Korean sounds. I don't think that really falls under this community's purview, but I don't know where else to start. Can anyone help with this, or perhaps point me to a community or website that could?

Thank you!
music, serious face

MOD POST: Rule reminder

Okay, a lot of people are forgetting these two rules:
2. If it's relevant, state where your story is set. No more questions assuming that America is the entire world, okay? Time and place are usually important.

3. At least do a basic web search before posting, and include a brief explanation of the types of searches you've tried. For example, "I've googled 'ancient egypt', cats, ancient egypt + cats + mummies, and various combinations and synonyms."
Right now it feels like the posts that follow both of these rules are outnumbered by the posts that don't, and that's just kind of annoying.
Porcupine Tree

Number One Observatory Circle floor plans.

Evening ladies and gentlemen :D

I'm looking for some information on Number One Observatory Circle. Otherwise known as the official Residence of the Vice President. Something like a floor plan, or a general idea of its layout. It's for a scene I'm writing, where three intruders are about to attack the Vice President and his wife, after taking out their Secret Service protection. I need it to be fairly authentic.

EDIT: I've already tried searching through Google and Wikipedia. I've gotten a rough idea of the layout of the grounds.

Edit the Second Search terms I've used on Google and Wikipedia are "Number One Observatory Circle", "Vice President Official Residence", "Floor Plan", "The Observatory", and other permutations. Wikipedia HAS given me a list of the different rooms on the different floors, though.

Help is muchly appreciated!!!