January 7th, 2008

a question for our Non-American members - thanks!

i'm working a fic where the characters are fae/god-like, ancient beings with magical powers, and i've been naming the main group of guys after important powerful kings from around the world; Peter, Alexander, and Ramses so far (basically all of 'the Great's). i'm not basing the characters off the real people, but they were named after them to increase their powers. many ancient beliefs/folklore say the whole reason the second, the third, etc. were started was so the power of the previous one was passed down; the old gives power to the new.

so my question, it's more your opinion really, who was the greatest king/emperor/ruler of your country?

look at the three i already have as examples: who improved the kingdom the most economically, socially, politically; who expanded it, created the empire; protected it, rescued it from the enemies.

i'm looking for three more, and geography doesn't matter. i'd like to know which British king, which from what i've seen so far would be Edward III. actually, i'm hoping for some Middle Eastern a/o Asian ones; it would really help with the storyline. i'm sorry, but i don't want which American president simply because the youngest guy is older than America.

all i find searching is either US-pov of history or generalized info-laden timelines. i would really like your opinions instead.

thanks for all the help!

When it's necessary to identify a body?

I need to know when it's necessary for a body to be identified (ETA - by a process in which a relative is called in to look at the body and say 'yes, this is x.'). I assume there are many cases when it's NOT necessary -- when someone dies in the hospital, for example. But what if two adults die in a fire in their own home? (And what if the bodies are all burnt up and would not be able to be identified just by sight? ETA - In the case of the story in question, their two small children are also at home at the time of the fire, but are rescued. Both cars registered to them are in the driveway.)

ETA - In the US. Sorry!

San Francisco Fog & Sea Smell

This is more a personal experience type of question, though I did try googling "San Francisco fog" and "San Francisco fog maps" to find the answer.

How far away would you smell the harbor on a particularly foggy night in San Francisco? The character has lived there for several years, and spends most of her nights outdoors. The time-frame is contemporary.

The sentence I'm trying to complete is Sometimes, I imagine I can smell it on/at LANDMARK, ??? miles away.

Thank you in advance!

Harrods at Christmas

Okay, story set modern dayish (Dec 2000) in London. My characters are standing in front of Harrods in Knightsbridge and about to go in. Neither of them has ever been there before (or been in a department store, period). What's going to catch their eyes? What do the Christmas decorations look like?
I've found images of the front of Harrods and a store layout, but neither one really answers that. They'd be coming in at street level, and any entrance will work.

I've googled Harrods, Harrod's, and British landmarks, and they've been helpful, but I still need that perspective from someone who's been there.

German Translation/Checking Assistance

One of my pet hates is random or mangled foreign languages in stories. Oh, it bugs me so much.

But now God has laid his judgement upon me and I find myself needing to use some phrases of German in a fic. My Eng/Ger dictionary and online translation tools all disagree on what to use in some instances. I've done my best but would like to be sure it's realistic and not some horrible German version of Engrish.

Are there any German speakers on this list that can help me avoid being next week's ranted about badficcer? Or point me in a suitable direction as Googling has failed and I am desperate.

It's not huge chunks of text, just short phrases. The context *is* a sex scene, but it's not dirty talk XD

**UPDATE: I trawled the archives here while waiting for the moderation queue to pass and found a link to the "multilingual" community on LJ, and a lovely person on there has helped me out. THANK YOU for your offers of help though and I suspect that this issue will come up again with the characters I write so I am bookmarking this post for future reference.
  • Current Mood: frustrated

Typewriter ribbons in 1930s Northeastern USA

It was the kind of day that makes you want to stay in bed, but that's February in Boston* for you. February 1932, specifically. This was the fateful day that Harriet, an academic researching Handwavy Paranormal Conspiracy Stuff, was struck by brilliance.

But first, she needs supplies.

How much does she pay for a standard typewriter ribbon? A specific price would be ideal, but even an order of magnitude would be useful. (5 cents? 50 cents? $5?)

Where does she buy it from? The drugstore? A stationery store?

How "inky" is it? (Modern ribbons will still leave a bit of ink on your fingers if you handle them, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the ribbons of 70 years ago may have been inkier.)

And, finally, what sort of branding does it have on the tin? (Name, colour, design, etc.)


*The story actually takes place in Arkham, but I figure Boston is the closest approximation.

Personal Effects of a 1925 Private Investigator

So I've got the ghost of a PI from the 1920s kicking around. And instead of the first point about him needing clarification being the slang or the culture, it's what he was carrying when he died. Go figure.

Basically, I just need a rough overview of objects and clothing he would have had on him in day-to-day life, assuming he's not leaving anything behind because he's following someone. I've tried some Googling, but this is the sort of thing that comes out of a history book more often than Google, and history is one of my worse subjects.

The character in question was born in 1892, lives in a Nameless City on the east coast of the US, has had a middle-class education and upbringing, but is probably in the earning bracket of lower-middle class these days. Of particular interest is any ID he might be carrying. Pictures of clothing or objects would be very helpful.

London Working Class Neighborhoods and Writing Etiquette

A bit of help if you please my friends, two very minor historical details that are driving me insane. I have browsed through historical letter archives, a very nicely detailed map of Charles Dickens-era London and several Wikipedia articles about areas of London and thus far have come up empty-handed.

My setting is roughly mid 1800's and obviously London and my questions are:

1) What would have been a good working-class neighborhood in London in that time period where a German woman could run a boarding house?

2) How would a young Victorian gentleman of roughly 30 or so properly address a polite but warm letter to a older woman not related to him by blood? Think like an adopted mother type scenario. They are both middle class and the man is reasonably well-educated

thank you in advance
  • Current Mood: content