September 13th, 2008

Fish cells and fish mitosis

Setting is present-day, though I don't think that matters.

I need to find a good description of fish cells--their size, shape, chromosomes, parts, functions, etc. It would be good to know precisely how they differ from human cells as well. I also need to know if fish mitosis is any different from human mitosis.

My main character is a mermaid, and a big theme is kind of a scientific approach to how her two halves are different. I'm still figuring out exactly how I'm going to use this information, but I think a lot of that depends on what information I find. I think she's going to have the ability to transform either into wholly one or wholly the other, and I want to know what will happen to her cells when that happens or how I could describe the change biologically.

I've googled various combinations of fish cell, fish cells, fish mitosis but haven't yet turned up with anything specific or non-expert friendly. Maybe there is an ichtyologist here!

Medieval Al-Andalus and mystics/scholars

This has been bothering me but fiercely, and I hope someone here can help. About two months ago, I was researching medieval Spain under the Moors for an alternate history story idea, and somehow I managed to leap from something involving the brilliant muslim scholars (perhaps of Cordoba? I dunno) of the day to a group of people that my notes are calling "tasawr." All I have to go with is that they are supposed to be "scholars and mystics", and it's absurdly frustrating because now I have no idea where I found this information.

I've searched "tasawr", "tasawr mystic", "Islamic mystics scholars", "al-Andalus scholars", "Moorish scholarship", "Moorish mysticism", "sufis", "sufi mysticism", "sufi philosophy" and a few other derivations thereof. All I've discovered is that 'tasawr' in and of itself is probably some sort of alternate spelling, and it might be related to Sufism.

If you can help me find out what exactly it is, that would be stunningly amazing. If anyone can help me find how I found it, that would be even more awesome. At this point, I'm not sure the group's even contempory to the Caliphate at Cordoba, and I need a context. Unfortunately, I can't read Arabic or Spanish, so a number of my resources are automatically out.

Thanks for whatever turns up!


i am writing a short story in which one of the main characters is a contortionist in a circus. the setting is not present day, but the time frame isn't specified and is not set in stone. i'd say 1920's-1930's if i had to guess. i'd also say it will likely be set in america, but again, not set in stone. the character is a woman.

googling "contortionist" and "contortionism" turned up names for a few specific skills such as a "human knot" (a frontbending move). i'm looking for more specific skill names like that, movements i can familiarize myself with enough to describe. i have the basic categories but am searching for particulars.

i'm also wondering if there was any specific costume for female contortionists in the stated time period. googling the terms above turned up a wide variety of costumes, and image searching for "contortionist 1920's" turned up little.

thank you.

Sunset view in New York City

Where: Lower East Side (Orchard Street), New York City
When: late 1899, but relevant only as to the absence of too many buildings above 10 stories. More relevant: early November, at dusk.

From a four- or five-story tenement-style building in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, what would you see if you are watching the sunset on a clear evening in early November? Modern details are fine, I can erase the newer buildings in my head. Which direction southwest would the sun be? Over Jersey City or farther down?


Searched: sunset New York
Consulted: New York Google map and compass directions :)
microscopic - thingy...
  • pekover

Feminism/Sexual Freedom Link?

I've done some poking around on Google ("Sociology Feminism Sexuality" "Feminism Homosexuality", etc.), and found some stuff, but I'm really looking for an exception to the rule more than a clarification of what the rule is, so I'm hoping maybe you guys can help...

In general, it seems, there is a link between equality for women and equality for homosexuality.  That is, societies that treat women as people are more likely to treat homosexuals (or other people who do not conform to 'traditional' sexuality) as people.  I'm not saying there's total equity between the two groups, but there seems to be a link.  But I'm trying to write a society that has pretty much total equality for women, but is still quite sexually conservative.  Kinda a Sarah Palin society, maybe? 

Is anyone aware of any precedents for this?  If so, details would be appreciated...

Alternatively, can anyone offer any educated speculation on the likelihood of such a society existing?
  • shlafe

stables on a ranch

Hello, everybody!

I'm writing a story that takes place on a ranch in Wyoming.  They have about 30 horses.  I can't find any information on what the *inside* of the stables look like!  My critique group had a big debate on whether there would be a tack room.  How would the horses be set up?  What else would be inside that I'm missing?

Everything I've searched for has told me what the stables are made of and how to regulate the temperature, but there's nothing about the internal design.  So, if you know what the inside of a stable looks like, even if you're not in Wyoming, please help!!

Searched:  inside stables, horses, tack rooms, and other similar terms.


Edit:  Present day, sorry.  And they are working horses, not show horses.  Tthe responses so far have been GREAT.  Thank you SO MUCH.