September 25th, 2008

learn me a book

1985-1987 children's shows after school/cable selections?

Time: series spans Early fall 1985 - summer 1987
Location: US, West Coast (I am leaning towards the Seattle area)

Searched: 1985 children's television -special, 1985 children's afterschool television -special, 1985 afterschool television -special, 1985 afterschool television, 1980s children's telelvision

What shows would a 9 going on 10 and a 7 going on 8 year old girl watch after getting home from school (they would arrive at home at about 3 pm or so)? I know what kind of shows they would want to watch (trust me, I know my 80s nostalgia for shows--it is truly outrageous), but have no idea of the times they would show. Wikipedia offers what the main networks had in a line up and Saturday morning lineups (you can see all sorts of lineups here: ), but nothing for afterschool that kids would watch. I don't remember much of it because in 1985 the only damn thing I consistantly watched was Sesame Street, My Little Pony, and Mr. Rogers. (Also, I was 5.) Also, since they have cable, what would they watch on things like Disney and Nickelodeon?

I wouldn't care so much but I'm writing the meet book for an American Girl Historical of the 1980s and I want the stuff done right. Thanks in advance!

Etymology or time frame of phrase TMI

Googled: "TMI," "too much information," "Duran Duran TMI," "etymology of TMI"

Setting: N/A

I'm writing an article about "personal oversharing" and thought it might be interesting to mention the origins of the expression TMI. Research has turned up the notion that it may have originated in the US military -- how this happened would be helpful if any of you happen to know this -- but I'm also interested in when it cropped up in present-day lingo. Duran Duran put out a single with the title "Too Much Information" in 1993, which suggests that it may have been in the vernacular at that point. Anyone have a general sense or might be able to point me in the right direction?

Thank you so much for your help in advance.

Non-lethal knife fighting and bullet deflection

 Setting: Present Day, but with some supernatural creatures (mostly werewolves and vampires)

I have a character that really doesn't want to kill anybody but gets attacked a lot, almost on a daily basis. 

I want to give her a knife but is there any non-lethal ways of fighting with one? I've searched and all I've found are sites that either say how to kill someone quickly or that if you don't want to kill anybody you shouldn't use a knife. When she is faced with supernatural creatures this isn't as much of an issue because they would be less likely to get seriously injured, but how would she go around fighting regular humans?

And is it physically possible to deflect bullets with a knife? The knife would be made of some super-strong material that wouldn't break. Would it be more plausible using a short sword? It can't be to big though, I want her to be able to hide it on her person. 

Where would you want to hide a knife on the body if you want easy access, but no restrictions to your movements? I was thinking somewhere around the waist but I'm not sure... She would wear regular clothes, as she doesn't want to stand out, but they would tend to be more on the baggy side.

Right, it probably would help to say that my character isn't exactly human. She has super human strength, speed and reflexes, plus she can heal really fast (think 'healing factor' like Wolverine), so she doesn't have to worry too much about getting injured herself. My reasons for giving her the knife is because she is going to be forced to wear one by her 'boss', because he wants her to be armed all the time.

  • caitak

UK Police Serial Killer Unit - Ranks & Roles of Staff

When: Present day (plus/minus about two years).
Where: Scotland, specifically Glasgow.
What I've searched: "uk police ranks" (which produced a fairly useful Wikipedia article), "police roles in special unit" (and assorted combinations of jobs/roles/unit/task force), "serial killer unit" (which got me a fair amount of news articles), also the Strathclyde Police website and the police websites linked at the end of several UK police Wikipedia articles (various police websites from around the country, information about uniforms, etc.) I've also asked around on a couple of writing forums, without much success.

The questions:
My story features a special unit which is set up to work on unsolved and potential serial killer cases. It's based in Glasgow and is part of some sort of government thing. As far as I can tell there's no such unit in real life, rather these things are set up when a serial killer is suspected, so I'm working with a bit of creative license here.

There'll be a fair few staff members on this team/working with the computers/in labs, but the story focuses on four or five of the main players. And this is where I'm running into difficulties.

What rank is the team leader likely to be?
I've got a regular detective (who's basically bottom of the pile as far as the main characters go, fairly recently promoted). And I've looked at the ranks on the various websites but I'm not sure exactly what rank her boss is, a person who is involved in the investigation but is the one who reports back to higher ups, delegates tasks, etc.

What non-police staff are likely to be involved in this team?
So far all I have is some sort of computer expert/technical person. But I'm seriously stumped as to who else might be involved in an investigation into serial killers, all I'm coming up with aside from the computer person is some sort of serial killer expert, but I'm sure they'd have a proper job title. All I'm looking for is suggestions, once I know what I'm looking for I'm sure I'll be able to Google it :D

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions.