August 20th, 2008

searching for a book title

I'm sorry if this is off-topic for this lj, but I really can't think of anywhere else to go. I read a certain YA novel a long time ago, and in the way of 'you only remember it later' I think I may need to cite it as an inspiration in my short story, if not having to rewrite the whole story to avoid any plagarism claims, no matter how inadvertent. Problem is, I can't remember the exact title. I've searched Amazon (I'm sure I remember coming across it there once) google, and even wikipedia, but I don't have specific enough details to get any sort of result. I tried my approximation of the title, and various combinations of 'ya novel' 'summer camp' 'parents paid' and 'hitman'. Most of which came up with no result whatsoever. I can't even get a result dated before 1990.

It was a young adult novel published in the early to mid 1980's. Five so-called problem teens are sent to a summer camp specialising in discipline cases, and are sent off on an weekend hike alone. Eventually, they find out that their 'guide' is actually a novice hitman, and all of their parents have paid several thousand dollars to make sure they never come home again. I think it was called 'the killing of group ???' or something similar.

Again, if this is out of the range of questions allowed, I apologise and feel free to delete. If someone can suggest another place to search online, I'll gratefully take all suggestions.

Physical illnesses causing vivid hallucinations

The character: 23-year-old punk singer from London
The time: 1976
The issue: This character needs to have a brief but very vivid (almost LSD-trip-esque) hallucination as the result of being ill. I need to know: what is the most common illness that causes hallucinations?
The searches: common causes of hallucination, causes of hallucination, hallucinations caused by physical illness, etc.
The results: Nothing that told me which the most COMMON is. The best result I came up with was: "The physical disorders that can cause hallucinations include thyroid and parathyroid disease, adrenal disease, Wilson’s disease, beriberi, electrolyte imbalance, and porphyria. Serious infections such as meningitis, encephalitis, or febrile illness may precipitate hallucinations" (http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/163/5/781). I then looked into these different illnesses, but I still couldn't figure out which would be the most realistic. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Great as always, folks! Thanks!

Hospitalization and drug testing

Character: Female journalist in late-20s
Time: 1990s or early 2000s, not sure
Location: New York City, Alternate Universe, vampires, werewolves, psychics etc. are known, if not normal
The issue: So I've assessed from web searches that the police don't get involved if you fail a drug test, but some other issues have been pointed out below, so here's a summary of what's going on:

Melinda is a journalist with an anxiety disorder (there's a scifi/fantasy twist, but it's probably not relevant to this discussion) and she's been on an effective medication (A) for years. She's investigating some shady dealings between a government agency and a pharmaceutical company. Her informant in the pharma company warns her that if the company learns what she's doing they will find her and inject her with a drug (B) that effectively opens her completely to the power of suggestion--they can tell her to kill herself and she will. The informant gives her an antagonist drug (C) that she has to take every day so that if she's injected with B she'll be able to resist.

The problem is that C also inhibits A from working, so her anxiety starts to return. Her anxiety kills her appetite so she's getting hypoglycemic. To make matters worse, an idiot co-worker, trying to help her lighten up slips some mild sedative (D: possibly a small amount of ketamine) into her coffee. The feelings brought on by D make her think she's been drugged with B, so she takes a double dose of C, which completely counteracts A and causes her to have something like a PTSD episode.

Disoriented she claims she's been poisoned before passing out (from low blood sugar) and that's why she's taken to the hospital. When she comes to, she is terrified of the doctors (major plot point later, related to the PTSD thing) and runs away.

So, would hospitalization and a drug test be warranted by her claims of beign poisoned and behavior? The fainting is really irrelevant, I just needed her to be brought in unconscious. I went with PCP as a false positive from ketamine because it seemed to explain her behavior as well as some chest pains she was having (I read PCP can cause sudden heart failure days after a single use).

Does any of this make any sense? My knowledge of medicine is limited to TV shows and there are too many factors here to search for.

Parts of a barge and deckhand duties

The vessel I'm seeking information on is a modern day dry cargo barge on the Mississippi

Correct terms would be most welcome.

When they get to a dock and take on or leave cargo, what is the name of the section holding the cargo? (Individual containers and the entire flat or barge or whatever it's called that the containers are on.)

How are those sections lashed to the rest of the barge. I think it's by cables, but I can't find a schematic for how it works. Do those cables run below deck, above? How often do they have to tighten or check them?

I'd also love any other information that can give this color. The MC will be a deckhand, so his job duties and the tools/machines he uses would be of great interest. Also: living quarters.

Thank you in advance.