January 24th, 2008

War crime in World War II - individual punishment (U.S.)

Time period: World War II
Location: Southwest Pacific Theatre (the Army command of MacArthur)
Terms searched: "army+stockade+world war", "military justice + world war ii", "articles of war"

Problem: My antihero, an American soldier, has just shot and killed a Japanese sergeant who has been hiding with a family of collaborators. The family is also dead. Whether or not he, or the enemy, shot them, intentionally or not, is not readily apparent. The particular Japanese soldier is a fugitive assistant commandant of a prison camp and is documented to have been extremely abusive towards the civilian prisoners; thus, the commander of the division in charge of the area issued standing orders that this fellow be brought to justice one way or the other. The family with whom he was hiding was feeding and sheltering him. Whether or not they did so under duress is also not immediately apparent. When the GI's comrades come upon the scene, they disarm him. This incident took place in May or June 1945, before Japan surrendered, so a state of war still existed.

As I understand it, the penalty for murder during World War II for American servicemen, along with desertion and rape, was death by firing squad. I would like, however, to save my boy's life. The issue is the civilians, and how their deaths would be treated under military law at the time. (To the civilian authorities, these people were collaborators, and the adults would have been summarily executed by the guerrillas anyway.)

How would my guy be handled under the Articles of War at the time?
What would a stockade look like and how does it differ from a civilian jail, physically and in procedure?
If he is sentenced to time in the stockade for a long period of time (say, years), I assume he would be transferred to a location in the U.S.?

artists' models and women's clothes c. 1900

Could anyone direct me to any books, whether novels/studies/biographies, or on-line resources dealing with  artists' models in Paris at around the turn of the 20th century?  Details like how they were hired, payment rates, what kinds of body types would have been in demand, how posing for a school was regarded vs posing for an individual artist, differences in how male and female models were viewed, women artist s posing for one another etc. Thackeray's Paris Sketchbook, George Sand, Murger and <i>Trilby</i> are a bit too early for my purposes, as are lots of the Bohemian web resources,  which focus mostly on the 1850s and 60s , and most of the artist's biographies I've read have either minimised the model or regarded her as ethereal Muse. 

Also, any images of  artists' studios or art schools, particularly of models  posing, would be great.


On a related note, I'd be grateful for information on on-line costume resources which would give me a clearer idea of what working-class and middle-class women of the early 1900s would have worn. Would there have been significant differences between what was worn in Paris and London? I have a clothes-conscious female character who moves between the two.

Insect fornication!

Now that I've gotten all your attention with the subject line...

For purposes of a sci-fi story, I need to know how insects reproduce. And I don't mean that as in "there is one female queen in the hive and a bunch of male drones fertilize her" insect reproduction. I need the actual names of the parts involved, how they connect, what they do, et cetera, and then how and where the eggs grow and how they get out. The actual nasty nitty-gritty stuff. If insects acted like perverted teenage humans and were explaining to a virgin exactly how it's done, this is how they'd explain it.

I've looked at probably a couple dozen wikipedia pages on insects, reproduction, and eggs; I've searched on Google with various combinations of the terms insects, reproduction, reproduce, anatomy, eggs, laying eggs, genitalia, and even (to my eternal shame) locust porn. (A webmaster once said that someone reached her site while searching for "locust porn", so I thought it could be informative on anatomy... ah, never mind.)

Examples from any insects would be welcome (I know, for example, that dragonflies and bees have completely different ways of doing it, I just don't know WHAT ways), and photographs or diagrams would be good as well. Mating practices (like dancing to attract a mate, biting off the male's head, etc) would be appreciated, but aren't precisely what I'm looking for.

Thank you very much!

Inner and outer conflict over changing religions

Hi, everyone!

This one is sort of a strange request: it's rather hard to wiki.

I have a character who starts off without any religious direction and is a bit of a skeptic, but over the course of the story she goes through a number of strange and edifying experiences and becomes a very religious person in a particular belief.

(And it's a fantasy story in a different land with different beliefs, so it isn't a religion of our world.)

I myself have been one religion my whole life and I have found immeasurable fulfillment from it on many counts, so I'm rather lost on what it's like to 1. change from one religion to another, or 2. to take on a religion after you have been an agnostic or atheist for years.

And so, the question is, has anybody out there been in a circumstance like this? What did it feel like to be in that situation BEFORE you were completely comfortable with the idea of changing religions? What were you thinking during this time? Did you talk down the idea to others at first, but then later you started feeling differently?

Like I said, I don't know much about it. If it sounds like I'm speaking out of ignorance, I am :-P, and I apologize in advance if I am barking up the wrong tree.

Thanks, everyone!

------------- E. T. A. ---------------

My character's family is not religious, but she becomes friends with some truly religious people who are genuine and kind :-) But she is primarily around skeptics like her.

I've been reading everyone's responses and they are all WONderful! Thank you everyone for pouring out as much as you have about such an emotional topic! I really appreciate it!


------------- E. T. A. ---------------

Oh man, you guys have given me more answers in less than 10 hours than I've ever gotten on anything else I've posted here! I think I'll close this one off since I've got SO much feedback I need to catch up on! Once again, thanks so much for being open and giving me such a range of experiences to chew over. :-)

Methaqualone distribution and use in the early 1970s

Setting: United States, specifically New York City, between about 1970 and 1975 - primarily I'm dealing with the whole discotheque scene during that time.
Google terms: Quaalude, methaqualone, methaqualone addiction, quaalude sales in United States, quaalude schedule I drug, illicit disco drugs, and a few other combinations of these terms.

My main character in this story uses methaqualone (often called by Quaalude, one of its brand names.) This is sort of an important point, as he uses it occasionally as a recreational drug, and also gives one to another character later as a sleep aid (which, from what I understand, is what it was usually prescribed for.) I have quite a bit of information on the drug and its effects, but I can't find one fairly important detail.

How would one normally go about obtaining the drug during this time window? Was it mainly obtained by finding doctors who would write prescriptions for it (since I'm fairly sure that at this point it was still legal,) or was it mainly sold on the streets or at clubs by dealers, or was it a little of both? From what I understand virtually all of the drug used for recreation at this point in time came from prescription formulations, not clandestine labs. I'm just not sure about the distribution of it, or which method of obtaining it would make the most sense.

Also, any links to accounts of the drug's effects would be appreciated, just to help me get into this character's head (particularly relating specifically to its use at discotheques and similar clubs.) I'm really not finding many of those at all.

Thanks in advance!