November 26th, 2007


Effects of being bedridden...

And now my first-person present POV comes around to bite me on the butt...

My character has been bedridden for nearly four months (not due to illness or injury -- this is related to the no-pain torture question I posted a few weeks ago).  What I'm looking for is how he would feel when standing up for the first time and what kind of mobility (if any) he would have.  Would he need to learn how to walk again?  Would he even be able to stand?

Other details that may be relevant -- he's severely underweight, but has been getting nourishment for the last couple of weeks; there are no hospitals nearby and no means of getting professional physical therapy, though the character with him has had some minimal medical training; I have a magical closet (well, not really, but I can come up with a reason to have just about anything in it that I need) that can provide any necessary supplies to get my character back on his feet.

I've done searches on long-term illness (pressure sores! *shudder*) and bedridden (apparently a band?).

ETA: One of my commentors mentioned that NASA ran experiments where they kept healthy people in bed for long periods of time, but searches for the topic only came up with information on designing beds for space.  Does anyone know what NASA's experiment might have been called?  Thanks!
Zuko - oh for the love of...

Vocal cords.

So...I've been researching this for a while, but I haven't been able to find anything about this particular question. It's a kinda morbid question, but I'm creating a mute character from a war-ridden area, so...anyway!

Is it possible to take an injury to the throat that damages the vocal cords enough to render the victim mute? More specifically, is it possible to have one's throat cut in such a way that you can survive the injury, but your vocal cords are severed or at least damaged enough that you can't speak? xD;

Also, even if the vocal cords are damaged enough to render speaking impossible, would one still be able to make any vocalizations at all? I know a debarked dog can still make some very faint noises, but I'm still not quite sure about this and just wanna get it right.

Thank you!

19th Century Coach Travel in the West Country

Search history - different combinations of railways, history, England, 1840s, Somerset, Portsmouth, Lymington, minor lines, major lines

Here's the situation:

One of my characters is the son of a lower peer (a baron). He's traveling from the Exmoor region to the Isle of Wight to spend several days visiting a friend. Then he travels back home, bringing two other people with him.

My question is how would they travel in this case if rail services weren't available to them at that time (the year is 1849)? I'm assuming that the shortest route is to take the steamer from Yarmouth to Lymington and then go on from there to Somerset, but from that point, I'm lost.

The results I got from my searches showed me that the only places being serviced by early railways were mostly industrial areas and not those found in the more outlying counties. The closest rail service I found in Hampshire connected Portsmouth to London.

If they're forced to travel such a long distance by coach, what kind would they use? Considering the ranks of two of the travelers (son of a baron, son of a baronet), I'm guessing that a stagecoach would be inappropriate.

Thanks in advance for your help.
The Phantom and Christine

Adoption through marriage

Setting: Quebec, Canada, approx. 1999
Terms: "adoption through marriage", "adoption via marriage", "second marriage adoption", "Quebec adoption laws" -- I'm having trouble thinking of specific terms; if anyone could help, that'd be great.


I'm writing a story right now where a woman divorces her husband and fights to retain sole custody of her two daughters. Later on she remarries another man, and here is where things get tricky. I think to get the point across I'll have to break this down into several questions:

a. When she marries this man, do her children retain their original surname or do they take on his? If the answer to that is "they keep their original names", then...

b. Would he be able to adopt the girls (giving them his surname), and if so, would their biological father be able to protest?

The idea that I had is that the stepfather attempts to adopt the girls (who are twelve and ten) but their birth father comes into the picture and basically says "no, I won't let you do that". I just want to know if this is possible.

Many thanks in advance. :)
rain, paper boats

Daimyo: Protocols on meeting with relatives


This is supposed to be for a Naruto fanfiction, but I wanted it grounded in something based on Japanese history.

I'm interested in the ways of life the daimyo have -- mostly protocols on how should one receive or treat them, or how they treat other people (of higher or lower or equal rank). For example, how is one receieved by the daimyo, if one is a blood relative? Do they still prostrate themselves on the floor and bow? 

One of my characters is the niece of the Fire Country daimyo (she is the daimyo's sister's only daughter) and her father is the daimyo of another country. However, her country no longer 'exists', with a significant chunk  conquered and absorbed by another country, while the rest were annexed by Fire Country. She's an orphan, as the rest of her family committed ritual suicide at the defeat. Right now, she is a refugee at Konoha.

I've googled  'Japanese court  daimyo', 'daimyo', 'samurai' and such, have gotten some useful links, but not on the protocols. Also looked at the previous little_detailsquestions on Japanese history. Any help would be greatly appreciated! 

Thank you! 

ETA: edited for clarity. ^_~

Police jurisdiction

I have a story based in the US, in Arkansas to be exact. I've searched in google under jurisdiction, but I couldn't seem to find the answers I needed.

I have a detective on a murder case. He is tracking down a killer that has run to another county to 'hide out' sorta speak. This puts him out of the detective's city limits/jurisdiction. When the detective tries to go after the killer, doesn't he have to get that county's law enforcement involved? Don't they normally take over while the detective and his team shadow?

Learning to drive in Japan

My character is a young man in his early twenties, born and raised in the outskirts of current-day Tokyo. He's reasonably well off, middle class, and it's money he's earnt himself.

- Would it be reasonable for him to only start taking driving lessons at that age?

- What would Japanese driving lessons entail? I'm learning from a private instructor for about an hour a week, on public roads, which is pretty standard in England - would he have a similar experience, or would he learn on some sort of track/course?

- Would he be able to gain experience as a secondary driver with someone who holds a license - ie, he could drive but only with that other person in the car as supervisor? If so, how old/experienced would that person need to be - could they have passed their own test fairly recently?

- I understand there are both written and physical driving tests; in the physical part, what should he expect? How long/convoluted would it be? And how badly could he drive yet still pass?

I've googled: 'driving' 'driving lessons' 'learn(ing) to drive' 'driving test' with both 'Japan' and 'Tokyo', which turned up various guides for foreigners applying for licenses, but none of the information I was looking for.

Thank you in advance ^.^