October 18th, 2007

marvel - phoenix love me and despair

New York City neighborhoods

I am looking for information about neighborhoods in NYC but I'm getting a lot of conflicting information on different sites I've found through google - one site says that a neighborhood is safe, another says it's not, and this country mouse is very confused. I'm looking for these things for my modern-day story:

1) A neighborhood where a struggling theater actor would live - not making much money and barely being able to make ends meet even with roomies.

2) A neighborhood where a successful theater actor would live - making good money, having a steady job, hopefully with other theater people nearby, with one roommate to share rent.

3) A neighborhood where a lawyer would live - he's from money but doesn't flaunt it, so a good neighborhood but nothing exceptionally upscale, hopefully something that might awe the person from #2 a little, no roommate.

Any help would be very appreciated!

ETA: THANK YOU ALL FOR THE HELP! :) I have my neighborhoods now.

How to start a lab fire

I've got a "mad scientist's" laboratory, circa 1875, and a character irate with said mad scientist who is going to be smashing vials and generally causing destruction in said lab. I need to know what sort of chemicals and devices he would have in the lab and what would happen if someone started trashing the place. The ideal situation would be for irate character to start a fire that is subsequently put out.

Since I am writing fantasy, I'm willing to be flexible about the exact date and the type of materials in the lab, and the character doing the smashing is supernaturally hardy, so don't worry about him being injured. The only thing that the lab absolutely has to have in it is a pile of handwritten notes, so there's plenty of flammable paper lying around.

ETA: I also need to know how to put out the chemical fires.

Unemployment in San Francisco, magic mushroom shelf life

I've tried searching numerous variations of unemployment, San Francisco, but all I can find is vast amounts of really technical, hard to understand information with unfamiliar terms. I was wondering if anyone knew of a website that can explain, in words that the average person can understand, the laws regarding unemployment payments in San Francisco. Or, if any of you had personally gone through a similar situation and could explain.

Here is the specific situation: I have a character who works at a family-owned retail store. He has been working there for about 2 years.

My questions: If he was fired, would he be able to collect unemployment? What about if he was let go? Or what if he quit? What is the ratio of unemployment payments to what he was originally making (for example, if he was making $10.50 an hour at the job, what kind of payments would he be receiving from unemployment if any)?


How long do pscylocibin mushrooms last if vacuum-packed and stored in a cool, dry place? If they were bad, would you be able to tell? What are the effects of mushrooms past the expiration date, and could one come to any harm?

I looked on Erowid and a couple other sites, and while they all have generous amounts of info on dosage, effects and so forth, they all answered every question except for the one I have!

Small Hick Towns, Blood-smeared time travelers from the 70's, and The Police (the law, not the band)

This one’s kinda doozy, so I’m putting it all under the cut. Quick overview so folks don’t plow through a whole rambly post and end up wasting their time:

-How to ‘build’ a town for a book to be set in
-What would a small hick-town police department be like? How many people? What would they do?
-How would said police handle a blood-soaked individual in hysterics...from the past?

I have tried the NaNo boards with these questions before, but at the time, my ideas were underdeveloped. Thanks in advanced and I apologize for the long read. Some situations just don’t come up in Google.

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Name meaning scout

I'm looking for a name that means scout in any language, or somehow related to the kind of investigation that soliders do before setting up camp, if that makes any sense.

I've found out using google that scout is a name, but I think that is too obvious, and I'm not a fan of Scott either.

Edited to add:
Are there any female names for scout/soldier that anyone found, since we're on this topic?
bat country

Skeletal weight and flight

Setting: In crackfic land, apparently
Googled: Bird bones, hollow bones, skeletal weight, bird anatomy, bat bones

Picture a human-ish sort of creature that's not exactly capable of flight—they have flying-squirrel-like wings that let them glide for short distances and float, rather than fall to the ground. They also have other, obvious adaptations that help them stay up in the air, like hollow bones and air sacs. My initial assumption was that this would make them weigh less than a human of equivalent size, but according to this site, a low skeletal weight doesn't necessarily mean that an organism weighs less. So I'm missing something here.

I guess what I'm asking is whether a normal person could easily pick up one of my flying-squirrel people and toss it around. Because if not, I'll have to re-write that scene.