July 7th, 2008

SK avatar

Green gas

I'm doing some worldbuilding for a potential story, and there are two planets in this one system that are covered with an atmosphere of toxic green gas. Kinda like Venus, but green. Searches for "green gas" yield only some kind of propellant. I need to figure out what kind of toxic gases might give a planet a green color. Thanks in advance!

Poem by George Seferis

Searched: (("george seferis" knee)) (("george seferis" scar)) (("george seferis" knee -wounded -injury))
+ all of the above in Greek

I'm trying to get out of having an obvious Odysseus connotation while still linking back to Greek poetry and I want to reference a poem, which I'm sure is by George Seferis, in which some random old man has a scar on his knee. It's definitely not the one about Penelope by Yiannis Ritsos - the reference is more subtle than that. I remember reading it a couple of years ago, and it's what gave me the idea for this piece, but I can't find the exact poem now.

Does anyone know what the poem is, or know where I can find a searchable collection of Seferis' poems? I have a paper copy, but only in English, so I could be missing out in translation.
Let me sleep

Ritalin without ADHD, and looking for search terms

Modern day. I have searched Ritalin on Wikipedia, but otherwise am drawing a blank.

My mom told me that back in the 60s and 70s, gifted children were given Ritalin for ADHD that they didn't have. I believe her; after all, they were still giving lobotomies back then, too. I just want to learn more about it because my character idea is what someone would be like today after going through that as a kid.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Edit to clarify: I'm looking for information about kids who were forced to take Ritalin (or really, any ADHD medication) when they didn't actually need it. And in retrospect, I think what I need is more the history than the effects and side effects.

The appearance of a badly healed leg

If a tibia or femur is fractured and badly healed, resulting in malunion or pseudarthrosis, does the leg look abnormal (e.g. bent in some way) with clothes on? I suppose that it would in any case be shorter than the other one, but are there other visible characteristics or symptoms?

I've googled, also using the image search, and wiki'd with search terms such as 'malunion', 'pseudarthrosis', 'false joint', 'badly healed bone fracture' and read some articles / websites on medicine and treating bone fractures before the 20th century (that's when the story takes place), but haven't found an answer. The photos I've seen have mostly been X-rays (except in the case of congenital pseudrthrosis, but that's not what I'm looking for), which don't tell what the leg with such a fracture would actually look like.

Thanks a lot in advance!

Birth certificate requirements

Okay, so in my novel, my character gives birth to the baby and puts a false father's name on the birth certificate. The novel takes place in Texas. I recently found out that if the parents are unmarried that the father has to sign paperwork agreeing that he is the father of the baby or have other proof submitted in order for the state to put his name on the birth certificate. My 'false' father is willing, but not able to back up the agreement with his identification and such.

My question is what state does my character need to give birth in for this not to be the case? Or what date does she need to give birth in Texas if this is a recent requirement.

I've tried researching this on the Texas government website (www.state.tx.us) and also googling USA birth certificate with various other keywords, such as requirement, father, proof.

Thanks in advance.
Beware of People

Old-fashioned firearms

I looked on wikipedia for information about this situation but I know so little about firearms that I don't even know what I'm looking at.

I started with "Weapons" then went to "Firearms" to "Rifle" to "Modern civilian use" to "AR-15". I'm thinking the civilian AR-15 might suit my purposes but I want to double check.

I also tried ask.com using "old fashioned rifles", "old fashioned weapons", "out of use military weapons", "out of use rifles", and "1950s rifles".

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Building stone houses

I want to find information on how to build a house of stone. Is it even possible to do it only in stone? I would like to find information such as how much stone I would need, how thick the walls should be and other important facts I probably know nothing about. I tried to google terms as building stone houses and building house in only stone. But I start to think I might need more specific terms to not end up finding books on amazon or pictures of nice stone building. This house is going to be build with magic but I'm trying to find out exactly what the magic needs to do.
Take your g*ddamn meds!

Resource: Mental Health Severity and Treatment

Several questions have been coming up on the subject, so I wanted to make a resource post on the subject. Please note this information is specific to modern Western psychiatric practice. I am not a professional in this field, but am well versed in many areas of psychology and psychiatry (I am a student in the Human Services field). Feel free to comment additional information and links.

First, you need to decide just how screwed up your character is. The Global Assessment of Functioning and its counterpart for children, Children's Global Assessment Scale, assign a score from 1-100 based on the overall state of the patient. The two scales are mostly similar, but the latter adjusts for issues specific to children and adolescents. This PDF gives a detailed description of GAF. Keep in mind this does not indicate any specific disorder, but simply rates the symptoms according to how severe they are. A well-managed case of Bipolar Disorder can easily have a GAF score in the 70s and 80s, whereas anxiety can drop somebody very far down the scale.

Also keep these benchmarks in mind:

Anyone with a GAF lower than 80 can realistically expect to benefit from psychotherapy, although such is not strictly necessary.
A GAF of 70 or lower should at least seek the advice of some medical professional as to options, although again is probably not necessary.
A GAF of 60 or lower generally indicates therapy, often for the purpose of observation and ensuring that symptoms do not become more severe.
A persistent GAF of 50 or lower is grounds according to the Social Security Administration and other bodies for determining disability due to mental illness. It can also be grounds if the 51-60 band is the best one can achieve with all services available.
A GAF of 30 or lower requires some form of direct supervision by a professional on a consistent basis, which may include anything from a psychiatric care facility, group home, or in-home care with a family caretaker that has professional and para-professional assistance. If one is committed they won't be getting out of a care facility until they reach a GAF of at least 31.
A GAF of 20 or lower is considered acute emergency, and will likely be handled in a hospital, even if that point is only reached in transience. These standards mention of failure to maintain minimal personal hygiene means failure to use a toilet, among other things.

Medication is conceivable anywhere from 80 on down, although at 60 or lower medication is customary, and at 50 or lower is completely indicated.

For those looking for information on what drugs might be prescribed for specific diagnoses, the Texas Medication Algorithm Project provides sample medication paths for several common psychiatric disorders. Generally speaking they are reliable and used in the field, although many options aren't listed due to them being newer than the charts, or easily contraindicated under certain common circumstances (mostly physical). The site features information on Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Schizophrenia (Schizoaffective Disorder is a combination of Bipolar and Schizophrenia, so you can likely infer from the two separate charts reasonable courses of action). Forms of anxiety are not listed on this site, but as a general rule, benzodiazepines and SSRIs are first-line treatment.

Crazymeds is a great resource for anecdotal information on almost every medication in the psychiatric pharmacopoeia. Really, if you want to know what a drug can do to a person, this is where to look. You'll get your answer with a minimum of bull. The site is also great for finding side effects du jour for all of these medications, so if you need a drug to misbehave, you're in the right place.

Chain of custody for a child who's just lost her mother

I've tried googling this, and nada. Terms used: transfer of custody parent death california, california laws custody parent death, california adoption law

Location: Present-day California, LA to be exact.

I've got a couple, A and B, who had a child together after a one-night stand, B only found out about the child after A's death when the child was a year old. A had no other surviving relatives- the child either goes to B or foster care.

Now, my question is about the exact chain of custody for the child. I'm assuming that, after the death of the mother, she would temporarily be placed in the care of Child Services. Assuming her father is willing and able to take immediate custody of her when he finds out, what would be the approximate time frame before she is released to him? Would Child Services do any kind of background check, or would his name on the child's birth certificate be enough? If not, what kind of tests/paperwork would they have for him, and would him being in a same-sex relationship have any bearing on his eligibilty? (I'm talking unofficially here; I know Cali is one of the most liberal US states, but how likely is it that someone would throw a wrench in the works based on sexuality?)

Thanks in advance for all your help- it's much appreciated.

USS Makin Island and similar craft layouts

Googled: ship plans, ship schematics, LHD-8, LHD schematics, LHD plans and more
Time/Date: The day after tomorrow

Before we start, yes, I know this is impossible. I know I'm not going to get what I want. But I hope someone can give me at least some rough info.

I'm writing a book set on board a WASP-class amphibious assault ship (or somewhat similar, mainly due to its being tip-top-secret). The only problem is I have no idea how an aircraft carrier is set out by deck. I don't need things exact (nor do I want it exact because that would just get in the way), but the book demands some sort of map. Basically, I need a rough guide of what one would find on the two decks underneath the landing-deck, and what are on each deck of the conning tower up to the bridge.

I don't need it exact, because I can make that up, but a deck-by-deck plan of what one would find and the rough equipment there would help.