June 30th, 2008

Are Japanese police officers allowed to wear wedding rings?

I've Googled every combination of "japan", "police", "jewelry/ring/wedding ring/married" that I can think of, but all I'm finding are news articles about jewelry thefts and weddings. I know that in America, officers are allowed to wear wedding bands, but I've found that Japan tends to be stricter about uniforms in general, so I want to be sure.

The setting is modern-day Japan, somewhere in Tokyo (the exact city isn't specified).

The question: would a male officer be allowed to wear a wedding ring? (He's just a regular officer who works at a koban, not a sergeant or of high rank.) If so, are there any restrictions on the ring -- does it have to be a plain band, or can there be a stone on it?

eta: The ring does canonically have a stone. I can't get around this bit, sorry. :)

Thanks! :DDD
Stolen from Qweerdo Hyperbole and a Half

The "Boot Girls" of Weimar Berlin

During the Weimar Era of Berlin, there was a class of prostitutes called "Boot Girls" who were essentially freelance dominatrixes, and the color of their boots advertized their specialities.

What I've found so far is that the usual colors were Black, Green, Blue or Gold. However, no one says what they stood for. One source said that the color of the laces sent a message as well, but says nothing about what that message might be.

I've read "Voluptuous Panic" and the biography of Anita Berber by Mel Gordon, as well as Ian Buruma's essay in "Glitter and Doom."

I've checked wikipedia, I've googled "Weimar Berlin Boot Girl," "Boot code," "Boot Girls color code."

Does anyone know of a source that actually details the meaning of the color code?

ETA: Just checked JSTOR per a suggestion. Still not having much luck.

ETA 2: I just received an email from the author of Voluptuous Panic. He gave me two primary sources, which should prove entertaining to track down, and a couple of photos, but did not explain in detail. Thomas von Rheine, MASSAGE-INSTITUTE [1932] (vol 1) and
STIEFELMÄDCHEN [1932] (vol 2).

Snake weights

I need to know how big a snake of a certain weight would be. I've already googled 'snake weights', 'snakes+weight', 'python+weight', and looked at the Wikipedia pages for various different species of snake and a couple of snake websites. All of them had info on how long the snakes were, but none of them had anything on how heavy they were.

I'm writing a story in which one of the characters is a shapeshifter, and one of the things she can turn into is a snake. The one solid rule about her is that whatever else she manages to do, she can never change her mass. She weighs about 60kg (about 130 pounds), so roughly how big is the snake going to be?

Getting into an apartment building

Setting: New York City / city resembling New York

Searched: "buzzer in apartment buildings," "apartment building security," "intercom in apartment building," and several variations thereof. Mostly what comes up is advertisements or advice for tenants.


As someone who has never lived in an apartment complex and has never known anyone who did (raised upper middle class in rural South Carolina), I really have no idea about any of this. I have a group of characters who are members of a barbershop quartet that has been hired to serenade a woman who lives on the fourth floor of an apartment building. I basically need to know the following:

- Would they be able to get in if she was not expecting them?
- What would they say to get in?
- How would the doorman/whoever respond? Or would he?

Thank you.

  • natane

Dog Bites

I've googled this every different way, but all I can seem to find is medical and legal advice on what to do after someone's bitten. It's a hard thing to try to google-phrase, so...
I have a character who gets bitten on the forearm by a wolf (which I'm assuming would be the same as a large dog in thus case). It's a violent bite, but it's on the outer side of his arm (defensive wound). The character is a ten-year-old boy, and there's no medical care nearby.
The wolf is then hit over the head with a fireplace poker (not sure if this matters, but just in case), causing it to let go.
What I need to know is... (and this is kinda long, I apologize)
1. How much is he going to bleed? Life-threateningly? I know it would change depending on the veins damaged. I'm assuming none of the major arteries in his arm are severed.
2. How long will it take for the bleeding to stop? His arm is bandaged with a torn-up shirt. Will he bleed through? Will it be necessary to bandage again?
3. Is it theoretically sound for him to fall unconscious just a few minutes after being bitten? Would it then be possible that he stays unconcious, due to blood loss and such, for several hours?
4. How long would it take for an infection to set in, in hours, from when he's bitten? Nothing specific. Nothing life-threatening, either, just something that will cause him to have a fever.
5. Scarring... will it probably be a good idea to put stitches in? If so, what if stitches aren't put in? Will the scarring be worse? Will the scar be recognizable as a dog bite, or could you pass it off as some sort of other injury?
6. What kind of permanant mobility control is he likely to lose, if any? It's a deep bite, but I'm unsure as to whether it's more of a ripping motion or just a puncture. Will it be likely that the muscle(s) in his arm are damaged, and will this cause any problems with the use of the arm?

I'm sorry it's this long. I almost wish I'd been bitten by a dog, then I'd know some of this.
And later.... post-traumatic stress disorder, with specific questions!

type I diabetes during the Great Depression

It's 1939, in Baltimore, Maryland, and my character has Type I diabetes. He's in his early 20s, athletic, and manages his diet as well as he can. He works as an exercise rider at Pimlico, so he's also making money. Not outstanding money, but he's not starving either, which is good because, well, he has to eat right!

I've Googled for various permutations of "great depression" +/- heath care +/- diabetes treatment with various levels of success, so I have a general idea of what diabetes treatment was like back then. I've also read up on George Woolf, but he was a moneymaking jockey and could afford treatments!

Is it possible that he can afford insulin? I can't find anything on how much insulin cost back then, but I assume it was expensive, since it was a relatively new medical breakthrough.

If he can't afford insulin, is there any way he can keep from, uh, dying? Thanks for the rapid responses; obv. I should have read more carefully. Obviously he's dead meat unless he can get insulin. I'm working on a rough estimate of how much money he makes per day; how rich would he have to be to afford insulin? Or are there other ways he could come by the stuff?

I hope that's enough info. Please let me know if you need anything else!

ETA: Edited for clarity, since I realized that I specified his diabetes only in the subject.