August 17th, 2008


Sloppy oriental character name

Hello, people, sorry to bother y'all, this one is driving me insane.
I have a character who roughly approximates to a geisha in a kind-of fantasy mish-mash of as many oriental cultures as seem like a good idea at the time. Yes, he's a RP character, don't worry, he won't be gracing anybody's shelves anytime soon.
Anyway. The question:

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code names for secret projects

Where: U.S.S.R

When: post World War II

Googled: [Soviet codenames "secret project"]

As far as I know, in the U.S. code names for secret projects are (with exceptions) two words, generated by a central agency (N.S.A. ??) from independent lists of adjectives and nouns, then eyeballed to make sure they aren't inadvertently obscene or come too close to the project's purpose. Results like "Elegant Broomstick" or "Rubicund Hamster" are acceptable.

Does anyone know how this worked in the U.S.S.R? The project in question could be civilian or military or a joint effort.

Palladium Metalworking (and Swords)

Date: 1790s-esque Alternative Universe
Search terms: "Palladium working," "work hardening palladium," "cold working palladium," "palladium swords," "palladium phosphorous" and more!

One for the experts here. I'm writing a fantasy book for an RPG. Technology and culture-wise it's the 1790s, with a few fantastical trappings. However, one of the big differences I wanted was that iron and steel are rarely used; instead, platinum was common and found itself utilised for average metalwork (swords, cutlery, clothing etc.)

Platinum, however, has a terribly high melting point and isn't particularly strong. Instead, I'm wondering about palladium. Its melting point is rather high, but I know that in China they needed temperatures near that in order to refine the phosphorous heavy ores they dug up.

My questions are therefore: is palladium able to be made into swords or weapons using late-18th century technology? Is palladium useable as a weapon (for instance as a rapier, sabre or katana)? And if neither of these are possible, which metal element could possibly do the job and replace iron or steel?
  • natane

Boats & Legalities

Googled various combos of: boat, sinking, shipwreck, 1900s, 1890s, france, england, 20th century, timeline...
Then: adoption, late 1800s, england, britain, citizenship
Checked Wikipedia, but it was absolutely no help.

Cut for longness. Ships in the late 1800s, early 1900s. Adoptions/citizenship/orphans in the same time period.

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Thanks in advance, 'cause I know someone here will know the answers... more later on the same situation, but I'll wait a few days till I get some advice on this particular quandry.

Edit: it seems this will be a bit more difficult of a plot twist to neogotiate than I though. Thanks for those who could help.