October 6th, 2007

American military funerals and flags

I've looked on wikipedia's pages about military funerals and fneral honours, googled the same, and looked at things like the Veterans' Association details, but none of them tell me this:

Say the ex-military father of someone in the military had died, but was estranged from his child who therefore didn't know about the death in time to make the arrangements. Instead, a friend of the father arranged for military honours at the funeral (they're both well connected in order to do this).

Would it be plausible for someone, during the course of setting this up, to find out that the dead man is related to someone still in the military and thus pass the message on (assuming the person setting it up didn't know the son personally?)

Also, if there was no family at the service, would the flag still be presented, and if so, to whom? Like, the friend who set it up, for example, or could they specify someone?

Thank you!

Pericles official position and greek democracy

Setting: Ancient Athens Analogue
Googles Tried: "Pericles", "Pericles suzerain", "Ancient democracy", "Greek democracy"
Most relevant things I've found: the wikipedia pages on the athenian democracy, Pericles, Ephialtes, Cleisthenes and Solon and this page on Athenian democracy
Also this page on Ancient Indian democracy (not that relevant to this particular question, but still interesting :))

I'm writing a story set in a society with a democracy based somewhat on that of ancient Athens. I have a character who is the leader of this country, and afaict Pericles or Ephialtes would act as a good model to start from. Unfortunately, I am rather confused by what it meant to be "The Leader of Athens" given that Athenian democracy was all about short term appointments and consensus by large groups of random people.
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England's stately homes and outbuildings

One of my ongoing Harry Potter fanfics is set among the formerly derelict outbuildings on the Withers estate (Lord Stoddard Withers is one of JKR's chocolate frog card characters, in case you wonder how this family enters the picture.) I've placed the estate itself in SW England, unless someone suggests that it's an unsuitable location for breeding winged horses. The thing that I don't know is where I should locate this type of outbuildings (stables, carriage houses, owlery, granary and so on -- things that should be fairly close at hand, but not close enough to smell or become an eyesore) in relation to the mansion, the park, and the manor gates. This far I've researched the websites of relevant estates (taking www.stately-homes.com as a starting point) but any pictures usually depicts the mansion, and maps are irritatingly vague. I'm mainly hankering for your experiences of visiting places like this, and for suggestions for further searches.

American National anthem played at awards ceremony for non US personnel?

With the help of this esteemed community (and YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, and a host of many official sites) I have been able to ascertain what kind of award a non US ex-military personnel would receive after an act of valour which resulted in the rescue of the (injured) crew of a US military helicopter, under enemy action.

So far so good,now comes the Little Detail question that I cannot find the answer for: would the American National anthem be played in the award ceremony, even though the receiver of the award is British, not American? Would strike me as odd, but alas, I don't know and can't find the answer.

Does anyone know?

Skateboarding Tricks

I'm writing a story set in the modern day, and one of the characters just happens to be a skateboarder. He's about sixteen, has been skating since he was eleven, and is good enough to be considered impressive with it. What exactly can he do? And better yet, what are such things called?

I searched both skateboarding and street skateboarding on wikipedia and have gotten an entire history of how the sport developed, but no real handle on any terminology. Help, anyone?
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