August 16th, 2007

European mythological beasts

This is for an urban fantasy novel I'm writing. The setting is not relevant.

Are there any Celtic/ Irish/ Scottish/ Gallic mythological creatures that are supposed to hunt/eat/chase/terrorize humans?

I already know about the Wild hunt, kelpies, and phookas. I was wondering if there were other mythological creatures of that kind that are known to go after humans in a violent nature (I'm looking for more hardcore evil than just baby-snatching or mischievous pranking).

I have looked through several folklore reference books by Katherine Briggs, one long-winded omnibus of Irish mythology and done several extensive searches on Wiki and Pantheon.org. I would like more specific creatures to research. Any and all suggestions welcome.

Thanks so much for all your replies!

Cupping

I'm thinking of having a character get cupped for bronchitis. Google has provided plenty of information about how it's done (including some scary-looking photographs of the marks), but is there anyone here who has had cupping done for chest trouble who could tell me some particulars about how it actually feels--especially how and whether it relieves the symptoms or improves the sick person's general well-being?

ETA: Many thanks to everyone who commented--the descriptions of the experience were exactly what I needed!

*departs giggling at getting the "woo-woo" tag.
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Going missing in the UK

Main character is a 21 year old woman who has been living away from parents for a while. She moves out of the house she's in and changes her phone number, cutting off all contact with her parents.

They try to call her, get no answer, and show up at the house.

Where can they go from there? Can they ask the letting agency for a forwarding address? Would the woman be able to tell the agency not to pass on an address? I'm assuming that would come under some kind of data protection.

What would the police do - could the parents register her as a missing person, and if so, what would happen from there? Is there any way for the woman to prevent that?

I've sent an E-Mail to www.missingpeople.org.uk asking what would happen under these circumstances, and i've googled for info on data protection with regards to "parental rights".

British Army presence in 1960's Cyprus

Can anyone help me find out which regiments that were deployed in the British Army bases in Cyprus during the 1960's, or does anyone know where to find reading materials on the subject? As a sideline, I'm also interested in whether there were rules against commissioned officers fraternising with the locals. I'm hoping to trace the movements of a young officer, his Cyprus-born wife and their young child in the early seventies until late summer 1974. 

Have googled: www.army.mod.uk, Near East Command, British Cyprus forces, Dhekelia garrison, together with the relevant years (latter rather than former part of the decade), and in general read up on the British military forces in the region. Haven't got as far as the fraternising yet. 

Arabic translations

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for the Arabic translation of several short phrases - for my purposes, it's only important what they sound like, not what the spelling is.

The situation: My first-person narrator (who doesn't speak Arabic) is being addressed by an Arabic speaker, who is asking him:
"Is that you?"
"Who are you?"
and saying "I need to go home, my sisters are waiting for me."

I tried looking for a babelfish-like translator online that would give me at least an approximate version, but couldn't find one that offered Arabic.

Thank you!
Sylvia