April 13th, 2008

Fatal gun wounds from behind.

Setting: 1920's Chicago, noir gangster battles with guns. And a few vampires.

Most "immortal" creatures are only so until you kill them (i.e., injure them in such a way they can't heal). This deals with one of those, a vampire to be specific. So, I got the idea of inflicting a horrible brain injury with a gun, to assassinate one of my characters. The idea is that the murderer would sneak up behind him stealthily, while the vampire was off-guard, place the gun at the top of his neck or somewhere, and kill him with a single shot.

I searched for "fatal brain injury gun", "spinal injury fatal", "fatal brain injury", "brain stem damage", and "brain stem damage gun".

I speculate that a brain stem injury would be most fatal, as that controls the most basic functions required for life. But I also know that if the gun is aimed wrong, it might just paralyze him and not kill him. The murderer is a trained government agent, so I assume he'd know just where to shoot.

So... there two basic things I need to know.

1) If shooting from behind, at point blank range, what precise locations can someone shoot to kill in one shot?

2) In the 1920's, what guns would I have to choose from? I'm thinking for a stealthy killing, one would use a .22 or .48 pistol. A tommy gun blasting off the back of my guy's head would also be acceptable, but I'm not sure how much force those fired with or if they'd take a longer time to shoot than a pistol, thus making them less stealthy.

Suggestions?

parks/green spaces and gay cruising spots in London

Setting: London, UK

Time period: It's a sort of a fantasy cross-over, so it's sort of a jumble- I have the geography of modern-day London in a world that is more or less feudal, with 18th-century technology. (And also magic, but that's not really important).

Googled: London parks, London park, London park history.

I am looking for a park or green space in London that was historically (or is, currently) used as a cruising or meet-up space for gay men, to meet covertly (especially in the days when it was illegal). I would also like this park to be in a rough or poor part of town, where perhaps other crimes are also likely to happen. Lots of trees or bushes would be great.

I searched London parks, London park, London park history etc on Google, and looked at the list on Wikipedia, but couldn't figure out if these were in poor areas and/or were gay cruising sites. Since most of the websites were for the parks themselves and wanted people to come visit them, I don't think they'd advertise those particular points. I also found a good list of gay cruising spots in London, but can't get a feel for how rough or dangerous these spots are, especially since the site is talking up places that are safer.

Bonus points if the park has a name easily translated into another language (for instance, a place like Green Park or Primrose Hill or something would be super easy, but I don't think I'll be using either of those). It's not a biggie as they could just use the English name, and worse comes to worse I just don't mention the name of it, but I'd like it have it there if I could.

Also, I know there are some cherry blossoms in London, are they planted in parks in large numbers, so you could have an area with loads of cherry blossoms, or along the paths?

Thanks everyone!

Edited to add: I did find lists of these places, but I don't really know which one to pick not being too familiar with London's geography. I'm basically looking for a Londoner's perspective, if that's possible- I know there's a lot of you on here! ;-)
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dish/liquid soap toxicity

How likely is it that the average liquid or dish soap will be toxic if swallowed? I know the vast majority of bar soaps are made not to be, and that heavy-duty or antibacterial liquid soap are likely to be, but I'm not sure about the run-of-the-mill ones, and google search throws up all sort of digressions (an oddly high amount of nature living-relayted stuff, notably).

(For the record, it's for a BDSM scene, so I need to know if it's possible for my character to find one she can use safely)

Oh dammit, I might as well ask while I'm at it.

And are any compound found in such soaps likely to become toxic if mixed with urine?