September 14th, 2008

Two completely different questions

1. I have a group of girls, ages 4-13, who are refugees and will have to hike for miles and MILES to get to safety. How many miles can I expect they'll be able to cover in a day, and how would the older girls best carry the younger ones when they get too tired to walk? (I'm thinking piggyback but wanted to check.)

2. I'm toying with a character (in a completely different story) who is, thanks to some kind of brain injury, utterly unable to sleep. Googling for this is difficult because I'm not after insomnia or apnea, but actual physical damage to the sleep center of the brain. I know Lawrence Block created a character (Evan Tanner) that this happened to, but I can't even find enough details to be certain that this is an actual legitimate situation, rather than Block taking creative license. (And then there's the Nancy Kress sf series.) Can anyone point me in some research directions?

ETA: looks like number 2 might be a non-starter. If you're interested, check out
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatal_familial_insomnia

MANY thanks. I love this community.

Bibliohomunculi / Professional Dominatrices

Setting: Massachusetts, circa 2005
Looked for: (1) "bibliohomunculus", "biliohumunculus", "bibliometry", "bibliometrics" etc.(2) "Professional dominatr/ice/ix", "dominatrix", "dominatrice", etc. etc.

1) A question for the librarians: I know that bibliohomunculi are a form of bibliometrics for studying trends and information in various literary fields. The problem is that I have no idea what a bibliohomunculus actually IS. I understand bibliometry, but I would like to know the actual complexities behind homunculi.

2) I have a character who's a part-time professional dominatrix. She's a college-student, making money on the side. No sex is involved, with shiny-boots and making submissive businessmen beg and be whipped are probably the highlight of the evening. Is this normal or stereotypical? I am knowledgable enough to write about D/s relationships and BDSM, but the professional side of dominatrices are alien to me. Such questions I need answered are: what are the laws on non-sexual 'prostitution' (for lack of a better word) in Massachusetts? Is it more of a business, with customers phoning up a central 'madam' and then she doles out jobs, like an escort service? Is it more often for these businesses to work out of a single location or do dommes meet their clients in hotels or a location of the client's choice? Any more info would be helpful on this.

Thanks in advance.

16th century terms of endearment? + Bonus question

Setting: November 1589: England (county of Huntington)--November 13th if anyone wants to be perfectly exact.

Search terms used: 16th century terms of endearment, affectionate 16th century names, 16th century nicknames

Question: What are some names that a mother would use when speaking to her very ill daughter, much like a mother in 21st century America might use "Sweetie" "Darling" or "Pumpkin"?

Bonus question: I want to find out everything I can about Robert Throckmorton, his wife, and six children. Google searches are only bringing up the Witches of Warboys pamphlet that I already have. Does anyone have any advice on how to better refine my search?

Thank you!
Tags: ,

Caller ID or something equivalent

Setting: the technological and societal equivalent of the Seattle area in Summer 1991.

Googled: caller ID widespread 90s, caller ID, caller ID widespread, caller ID in 1991 (among others)

Question: A ten year old girl and her brother are at home. Her brother is deaf, she can hear but she's not paying attention. The phone is ringing. I need him to know that the phone has rung and if possible, an idea of who would have called so he can give her the information. I know that there are lights that can be attached to ringing phones, but there was no caller ID until 1995 or so, right?

Thanks in advance.

--Neth

ETA: Durp, Answering machine. I'll use that. Thanks!