July 22nd, 2008

Missing teenagers and mad scientists and real dolls, oh my!

So there is absolutely, positively no way to run a google search on this without setting off at least a dozen FBI warnings and possibly giving a few forensic pathologists and criminal profilers something to think about so here goes.

In a detective story setting, Neo-Noir (modern day tech, but more of a 1950's vibe. Think Batman. ..Less spandex.) Our perpetrator is a mad ex-scientist who snapped and is turning teenage girls into his own dolls and leaving them to be found so he can forever preserve their childish innocence. Think Real Dolls. ..But less spandex and Swedish pubic hair.

Here's where I need some people with chemistry/chemics know-how to help me out. Save for resin, what would be a good mixture of chemicals to either petrify a human/normal body or give them a petrified look/feel?

Sunlight Deprivation?

I'm looking for any and all articles regarding Sunlight Deprivation. I've googled and wiki'd and found some very helpful stuff, but most of what I'm finding is more about people who have nightjobs. This doesn't apply to what I need.

Basically, a group of people are put underground in a bunker, and have NO exposure to natural light for at least 6 months, possibly more. They have room to exercise and run around, so that's not a problem. But I need information about what the sunlight deprivation can do to them - mentally and physically. I have information on vitamin D deficiency, as well as Seasonal Affective Disorder, and even Solipsism Syndrome. I know their eyes would be VERY sensitive to sunlight after their time underground, and they would need therapy and slow exposure to build back up to normal exposure. But I want as much information on all possibilities as I can get. Information on studies of sunlight dep are even better.

Affordable Areas in Evanston, IL

Setting: Chicago area,
Time: Present day (mostly)
Items Searched: Evanston Neighborhoods, Evanston Affordable Neighborhoods, Evanston demographics.

I am currently working on a series of stories set in Chicago and surrounding cities and suburbs. A few of those stories take place in Evanston, a deceptively suburban-looking city immediately north of Chicago. They involve a character who grew up in one of the working class/lower middle class sections of Evanston. Here is the problem, though - while I keep hearing that Evanston has places like that, I haven't been able to find out where they actually were. Can anyone help me out with that?

Thanks in advance.
  • Current Mood: curious

how fast does gunpowder decompose on contact with air?

I asked a co-worker this and he said one thing, but I'm not sure he's quite right.

I want a character to be given a loaded flintlock pistol to defend herself with, she'll be shown how to cock and fire it, but it's already primed and loaded for her, and I want her to be able to carry it with her, in her pocket or something untill she needs it.

My co-worker says this isn't possible because the gunpowder would decompose too quickly and not ignite, but trying to google how fast it decomposes, all I'm getting is the speed it decomposes on ignition compared to other explosives. If this won't work, i can have her shown how to load and prime it, and tweak the scene where she uses it so she has time to do it.

Edit: awesome, you guys, I'm going to love telling Rene he was dead wrong! (he's one of those people, you know.)

15th century Burgundian nobility

Setting: Dijon, Burgundy (now France), 1476-77
Research: Wikipedia and Google give me the modern day town of Jussey, and including 'medieval' or 'history' in the search terms doesn't help much. I've read quite a bit about Charles the Bold's family tree, but that not helpful...

So. I'm trying to find out a bit more about a Burgundian nobleman, referred to as "Jussey", from a Mary Gentle novel. I don't think he's completely fictional. All I know of him from the novel is that he's fairly highly ranked in the army.

Was he a real person, or is there a real equivalent from that time period? What would be his title, and any chance of finding out his name?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give!