July 21st, 2008

Apocalyptic names

Hello everyone! Here's my query for the group: I'm trying to write a story, set roughly in modern days although there may be flashbacks to earlier times involved. The main characters are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse: Famine, Death, War, and Pestilence. In my story, they're female. I want them to come to Earth during major parts of the story. Since one can't exactly go around proclaiming their name as 'Famine' or 'War' without getting some unwanted attention, I'm trying to find alternate names they could use while mingling with humans. So far, I've googled unusual child names, old fashioned names, gods of famine, and other variations thereof, checked wikipedia, and looked up various child and god name sites for names.
Does anyone know of names that may be appropriate? I'd prefer to keep them old fashioned and hinting in some way as to the nature of the women in question - they're smart enough to hide it but proud enough to want to hint at it at least. 'Famine' and 'Pestilence' are giving me the hardest times, as there don't seem to be that many goddesses of either or names with those as meanings. Opposites work too for this, I just seem to be hitting a brick wall.
Thanks for any help in advance!

ETA: Thanks so much! You've all given me some really great ideas! :)

First Haircut in Europe.

So I know that in the late 19th/early 20th century, a boy's first haircut was an occasion that was marked by celebration and tradition in much of the U.S. and parts of Western Europe.

I need to know if it would be reasonable that a fuss was made over first haircut in early-to-mid twentieth century, specifially WWII/postwar era, in a very traditional, upper-class, Catholic household in western Germany. If not, would the boy's older relatives have remembered a time when it was celebrated?

I've tried googling variations and combinations of first haircut, ritual, history, tradition, initiation, Germany, more specific locations in Germany, 1940s, 20th century, etc. Most of what I get is either non-specific as to time and place, or modern mothers cooing over their sons. Or it refers to the Jewish Upsherin ceremony, which makes me even more hesitant about what would have been done by non-Jews in the period around WWII.

Help? Thanks.

ETA: Got what I needed - the answer is "no." Thanks to everyone who helped!

Lifeguard life

A question for anyone who has had a lifeguarding job, especially in a municipal pool setting: are there any restrictions on lifeguards eating/drinking while on the job? (I'm not thinking while they're on the lifeguard stand--aside from maybe water or something. I was about to write my character grabbing a quick sandwich for lunch and then started wondering if that would work or not.

Also, any general info you might have about the secret life of a lifeguard, I'd be very grateful.