January 9th, 2008

Legalities of electronic surveillance--New York City, Present Day

 I'm currently beta-ing a fic and I've hit an issue where I need to fact-check. 

Terms Googled: bugging legislation, wiretap legislation, tracking devices legislation

A felon has recently broken out of prison. An civillian recognizes the man. Said civillian has a talent for electronics and manages to slip a homing transmitter on the felon's car. He then calls the cops on his cell-phone and tells them how to find the escapee.

Assuming they catch the guy, could the homing device get the case tossed out of court on a technicality (invasion of privacy, illegal surveillance or some such)? And how likely is this? CAN a civillian legally plant such a device? (And if not, how much trouble could he be in?)

Thanks!

Cat Macros that anyone can understand

I have a scene in my story where a girl, who surfs the web a lot, is looking at cat macros/lolcats, and I want to describe one so that my marking supervisor, who presumably has not got the first clue what a cat macro is, will find it amusing.

Therefore it must fit these criteria:

1) A joke that is not solely a visual one, and that can be described in words.
2) A joke that does not rely on knowledge of cat macros to be amusing (ceiling cat, cheezburger, flavor, etc.)
3) A joke that is not one of the clichés of cat macro-dom, such as ceiling cat, cheezburger, etc., so that my protagonist can find it funny.

I have spent the last hour or so looking through cat macro sites (oh god), but this is surprisingly difficult to fulfil. I've been using my Dad, who is unfamiliar with them, to judge if they are funny to a n00b, but apparently they are not.

I googled 'lolcat' and 'cat macro', and looked on the image search for both of those, too. I'm in the UK and so is my character - my supervisor is from India. I don't think that matters too much though.

Any help?

(PS. Mods, I'm not sure if this is the right sort of question for Little_Details, but I can't think of a better place to ask. If it's not ok here, please let me know and I can delete it!)

Diseases or Injuries Effecting Leg Use

Okay, first, a little background:
Characters A and B are identical twin brothers. B goes away to a British Boarding School, and doesn't contact A while he's gone. After a bit of soul-searching, B decides to return to his brother in the USA. The main reason he decides to return is because he's gotten sick/hurt somehow. He's scared that something will happen to him while he's away, and wants to be with his brother.

My questions:
1.) Is there some sort of disease that would affect character B's legs, or put him in a wheelchair temporarily? I don't want it to be permanent, but I need him to be off his feet for a while, and maybe using a crutch for a while after. If there is such a disease, what are some other symptoms? How is it treated? How common is it? Basically, anything you know about it.
2.) If there is no disease that fits my criteria, would a car accident do it? If he hurt both legs/knees/feet or something, could he be put in a wheelchair/have limited mobility?
3.) Would someone in character B's condition be allowed to travel from Britain to the USA? Would he have to stick around for treatment instead?

I didn't really know what to Google. If you have some names of diseases/injuries or any other information that would help me, I can go from there.

Thank you all for your help in advance!