August 10th, 2008

Train terminology

Item: 1943 steam locomotive troop train with corresponding rail cars

What is the proper term for the area between two passenger cars or carriages on a train? I'm thinking of the semi-enclosed, articulated walkway area that one passes through from one train car to the next.

Searched: train terminology, glossary train, passenger train terminology, between rail cars

Controversial/Misunderstood Illnesses

When: Present day
Where: New York and Denver
Searched: Combinations of disease+controversy+disorder+misunderstood; also browsed various medical categories at Wikipedia


My character needs a secret health issue along the lines of President Bartlet's multiple sclerosis from The West Wing.

Now, my guy is a fifty-ish white male who is not visibly sick. His job isn't physically demanding and he's in public view, but he's not exactly a celebrity. (Think politician/news anchor/talk show host. That kind of public view.) He's an opinionated, somewhat polarizing figure.

As for his health issue, he's know about it for between three and ten years, but he has kept the information secret because his disease is widely misunderstood or controversial. Physical and mental illnesses are both acceptable, but whatever it is, it's preferably not going to kill him or make him quit his job in the near future. He has money, so he can afford treatment to keep him up and running. For what it's worth, I've been contemplating HIV, but I thought I'd look for other options first.

Overall, I'm pretty flexible as long as there is some sort of controversy, stigma, or misconception relating to his health problem. It has to be something that will make people, particularly people in the media, talk, but not in an, "Oh, poor guy," kind of way.


Thanks for your help! If you need more information, ask away.