August 2nd, 2008

Wall-E Treads On M-O

Moving from one school system to a school system in another country

The year is 2002. I have a thirteen-year-old Japanese girl who lives in New York City. We know from canon that she moved from Tokyo to New York shortly before 9/11.

The thing is that, by moving from Japan to the United States, she's entering a completely new school system with a completely different calendar. The Japanese school calendar runs through April-March; most schools in New York run through September-June. What's the procedure in this case? If she started attending sixth grade on April 2001 in Tokyo and then moved to the US in September - what class would she attend? Sixth grade? Seventh?

I'll be very grateful to any insight on the subject. It confuses me terribly.
ringo, adorable, mo

Poison absorbed through skin/Poisoned dress

I'm looking for a poison that is readily absorbed (or plausibly capable of being absorbed) through the skin. I need to kill a character this way, namely through the wearing of a poisoned dress. I know the reality of poisoned clothing is iffy at best, but I would love to find a way to make it happen because it would be so beautiful and perfect for my ending. I'm open to any poison, plant, chemical, venom, whatever, as long as it would be available at the end of the 19th century. My specific setting is Newport, Rhode Island, c. 1895 or so, just for reference. The person obtaining the poison is a member of royalty, so she'd have access to pretty much anything, no matter the cost or the rarity. I also don't really care how long the poison takes to cause symptoms, although it can't be more than a few days, if that.

I'm mostly concerned with pinpointing a possible poison so that I can portray believable symptoms. I also need for another character to be able to touch the character wearing the poisoned dress without absorbing so much that he dies himself. He can be affected and even become moderately ill, but I need him in functioning order. I would also prefer that the symptoms not be too horrifying, but I can work around that.

I've Googled variations of "poisons absorbed through skin", "poisons readily absorbed through skin", read the Wikipedia entry on poisons and the entries on arsenic, cyanide, cadmium, and mercury, and Googled for the symptoms of all those terms as well. I've also gone over the entries under the "poisons" and "poisoning" tags. Thanks in advance for providing me with the means to an intense conclusion.
SS Card

Pre-modern treatments for sugar diabetes

My google-fu has failed. I am looking for herbal or other standard treatments to manage type 1 (probably weren't any of note) or type 2 diabetes that pre-date the use of injectable insulin. I have come across the details of sanitariums in America using a diet controlled method, but I am more interested in how Asian and European cultures handled this before more modern methods developed. (Or did they? The death rates were rather high...)

Thank you!