November 1st, 2007

Regarding Cemetery Customs

So I've just started my novel for NaNoWriMo, and I've found that I don't know the whole funeral process.

In the present-day United States, once a coffin has been put into the ground, and the people at the graveside ceremony have left, do the...I suppose gravediggers, immediately go to fill in the grave, or do they wait until the mourners are out of sight?

I've googled "after funerals," "graveyard tradition," and "cemetery routines," but am not seeing it. I was wondering if any of you could help me?

Spanish translation question

Yep. NaNo.

So I did a few translation sites and dictionary sites and things keep coming up differently, because we all know how much the internet's translation abilities suck.

What's the common Spanish word for "cud"? Something that would be in use in a small town in Venezuela, Valera to be exact. The only consist word I get when I search is "rumiar," which would be nice if I needed a verb. But I don't. I've got the only known animal to be killed by a meteor which happens to be a cow and in a discussion on cud I'd like to use the word. Simple question, I know, but it's giving me a runaround like no other.
  • Current Mood: working

voting minister out of position

Attn all peeps who know such things...

ETA: Answered, thanks to all
I need to know if it's possible for a church congretation to vote their minister out of office. The situation I'd like to set up is a minister who moves to Chicago after his church that he served for at least 15 years four years *apparently they are limited to a max of 5 years in one place* voted him out of office. As in, people wanting control took over. Is the bishop the only one that can ask him to leave? I guess I can always have him step away from the ministry if he feels such a movement coming against him, but I'd like for him to be booted out. Is this possible?

I've tried googling "voted out in methodist church" and "methodist ordination" and I'm not finding what I need (mostly getting stuff about the methodist position on a controversial issue that isn't related to what I need). Help please!

vehicles in the 1400's

Setting: 1448 in Wallachia (now part of Romania), a young prince is returning home after several years away.
Question: what mode of transportation (or vehicles) were used excluding boats, carts or horses. I need something that would take him from the boat to the castle.
Google Searches: vehicles in the 1400's, 1400's transportation, 1400's (yes I was desperate).

Help!
  • Current Mood: aggravated
  • Current Music: Mythbusters

Streets in San Bernardino, CA, Where There's Lots of Whoredom & Male Hustlin' Going On...

:-)

Timeframe: Turn of the 21st Century
Issue: I need an area in San Bernardino, CA, known for being either a gay cruise area, or an actual place to pick up young male hustlers. My story is about an older male hustler trying to score his big break, since he's getting 'old' (19 yrs old) and there's younger boys hustlin' that are getting more and more of his 'business'. I would prefer it to be in the downtown area, maybe even close to the universities there.
Research: I've already looked at Google Maps and zoomed in pretty close, so I'm fairly familiar with the streets and the lay-out of the city. I've used wikipedia to read up on San Bernardino, CA, as well as the various bus/mass-transit routes that pass through the city. I've googled "San Bernardino Male Prostitution" and other permeatations that deal with sex crimes, drug crimes, male prostitutes, and San Bernardino. Nothing really stands out as a place I can focus on (ie. no one or two streets or areas are named over and over again). I've a friend that lived in San Bernardino for a couple years, but he was a traveling Dj, didn't get out much in the city, and did far too much ecstacy around that time to have trustworthy memory. ;-)

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!

~Gabe

How small is a "small town"?

Hello. First post. :-)

I have a query, and I'm kind of at a loss on how to frame it. I've Googled "small towns," which is far too broad a category to give me what I want, and the population of specific towns, which also works out weirdly -- I've also e-mailed friends of mine who live in what they call small towns, but haven't gotten back much in the way of answers.

How large a population does a "small town" have to have before it is plausible for a resident to not know everybody in it? For a kid, mid-teens, to see someone they don't know and not immediately assume "stranger!" Or to know people on sight, but not necessarily know their names? (I'm from New York and beyond clueless -- I do not know my neighbor two houses down.)

(Setting: I have a town that needs to be fairly isolated, enough to not be invaded very much at all, yet large enough to maintain a healthy gene pool. It's a fantasy story but I'd like to keep the fantastic to a minimum. Timeframe: Industrial Revolutionish? Residents know horseless vehicles exist but might very well have never seen one. They fish.)

ETA: Well I hate to say "my question is answered" in boldface, since I'm perfectly happy to get as many more comments and insights and tangents as you're willing to give me. But -- so much thanks to all of you. You've all given me much food for thought, even if I didn't specifically comment back. (And so quickly!) Especially the personal experiences -- can't really Google those.

Destruction of Earth by Sun

This isn't for me exactly, but a friend who's writing a story, but I feel the need to help her use accurate science if she's going to be doing sci-fi. Currently she has our earth going supernova and destroying the planet, which is noticed by NASA due to an increase in solar flares. I don't know tons of astronomy, but I know that our sun doesn't have the mass to go supernova. What predictable destructive things could it do which are more plausible? 

I've googled about supernovas a lot. Also destruction+of+earth+by+sun. 

But I would love it if someone more knowlegable than I could help me out with the science here. I find sci fi stories where the science is well thought out vastly preferable to those where it isn't. 

Thanks so much!

Exclamation in Mandarin

Situation: two men are being held prisoner and are being interrogated. At one point, one of the men is shot in the head right in front of the other prisoner. The other prisoner shouts out something akin to "Oh my God!" or something similar.

What would be an appropriate exclamation to use here in Mandarin? I understand that it doesn't necessarily need to be a word-for-word match to the English, but what would an actual Mandarin speaker cry out in this instance? (Feel free to include hanzi and/or tones in the reply.)

Also (not as critical, but I'm also curious), how would one say, "Please don't kill me" when begging for their life?

Card Games; Affectionate nicknames for Grandmother/Aunt/Great Aunt

My first post; it's a two-parter, and help would be appreciated. (NaNo. Big surprise.)

Part 1
Setting is eastern North Carolina, although the setting isn't too relevant.

I'm looking for a card game that:
-is fairly complicated
-can be played by two people, and adding more people wouldn't affect gameplay
-is considered fairly intellectual or sophisticated
-would be a challenge to cheat on, but not impossible (cheating methods would also be appreciated...)
-doesn't have an embarrassing/childish name

The number of decks needed don't matter.

My original thought was Bridge, but I was told it wouldn't work with just two people. My stepdad suggested Canasta, but I don't know anything about it.

I checked Wikipedia's card games list, but Jiminy Cricket is it ever epic. And I'm not sure how to Google this, as there are a lot of points to cover.

Part 2
I need an affectionate nickname for a Grandmother, Aunt, or Great Aunt. Something along the lines of "Nana," but preferably from a European language. I know this is vague, but I looked through all, oh, seven languages on Babelfish and the best I could come up with was "Nonna," which it says is grandmother in Italian.

As a note, the exact meaning doesn't have to be one of the three, as long as it's generally an older/elder(ly) woman that one is rather close to. Taken care of, thanks!

Thanks in advance. :3

Popular carraige styles in 1900s

Googled: horse carriages 1900s, carriage style 1900s, carriage type 1900s upper class, popular carriages 1900s

Minor detail, but that's what this is about, yes?

What would be a sensible type of carriage for a upper class woman to take out in the "slums"? The riders (sans driver) consist of two women in their early 20s and their escort, Seattle Area, in the year 1907.

Thanks!