May 18th, 2008

Black Kitty

Latin translation help, please.

When: 1980-90's
Where: Britain (the fantasy universe of Harry Potter)
Research: searched for translations at the University of Notre Dame's online Latin-English Dictionary

I'm looking for a possible Latin translation for a mirror that depicts enemies/danger. Ideally, I'd prefer the translation to be something like "Danger-mirror/Danger Mirror".

The online dictionary gives the following as possible words for danger:

n infestus -a -um act. [aggressive , hostile, dangerous]; pass. [infested, beset, unsafe]. Adv. infeste, [in a hostile manner].

n periculum (periclum) -i n. [a trial , proof, test, attempt; danger, peril, hazard]; at law, [a trial, action, suit]; hence, [a legal record or register].

And speculum as a translation for mirror.

Would Periculum Speculum work? Infestus Speculum?

Loss of power to a city

Setting: USA (fictional city, with a population of probably 2-3 million)
Time Period: Contemporary (technically next year)

Okay, so basically, I'm wondering just what it would take to cause an entire city to lose power for a matter of days. So far, the city's main (only, if that's even remotely plausible?) power plant has been destroyed. Would that be enough, or are there other steps that would need to be taken before the blackout could last a few days? In addition, what public buildings and services would be likely to have their own back up generators?

In addition what effects might there be other than the obvious electronics not working? Just any odds and ends that might not seem immediately obvious.

Many thanks to anyone who can help.

google terms:
USA backup power generators
long term blackout
northeast blackout 2003
Boston city backup generators
New York city backup generators
public services backup generators
cell phone black out

(relatively) non-lethal bullets

I've been playing with the idea of a cyperpunkesque wuxia sort of setting, and I came up with the concept of someone shooting non-lethal bullets to primarily hit pressure points, as opposed to kill. (Which, uh, is kind of ridiculous and not really plausible as far as laws of physics and logic and all that go, but the genre gives a little leeway for the illogical.)

I've mostly been thinking of using rubber ones, but there seem to be a significant amount of cases of those puncturing/causing serious injury/killing etc. I've looked up "rubber bullets" in Wikipedia and Google, along with "rubber bullets impact", "rubber bullets force", "rubber bullets injuries", "handguns rubber bullets" and "pistols rubber bullets". Also tried plastic.

All shooting would be done from a fair distance, through pistols or handguns. I do understand that using guns and bullets of any kind pretty much means there's a high chance of somebody being killed, but I'm looking for something that if used properly would only, for the most part, cause superficial damage. It's a futuristic setting, so even a material that couldn't be used in modern times but would be feasible in a few hundred years would be cool. Would anybody have any suggestions? Should I stick to rubber?