October 6th, 2008

German ex-POW staying in America post-1945

When: 1945-47
Where: United States

This is one of those plausibility/workability details. It has occurred to me to insert a secondary character in a book I'm writing who is a German prisoner of war who decided to stay in the U.S. after the end of World War II. I'm not sure if this is possible or if the applicable rules and conventions demanded his repatriation or prevented his migration. In addition, if it is possible, how he'd get from the South (where apparently most Axis POWs were interned) to my setting, Bakersfield, CA.

Searched: German POWS in America, German POW labor, Aliceville

Typical practices of an independent farmer in early 1960s Missouri

I'm working on a chapter in which an adolescent girl living on her family farm in early-'60s Missouri is mourning the death of her father and reminiscing about chores (and such) she used to watch him doing, or they used to do together. The farm was not small and was fairly profitable; was agriculturally mixed (grain and a small dairy herd); and her father would hire in seasonal workers. I also know that he was fairly old-fashioned, i.e. not averse to new methods and technologies but nonetheless happy to do many things after the manner of his Scottish immigrant ancestors.

One thing I particularly want to know: in that era and area, would an independent farmer normally fallow one of his main fields, or would he be more likely to rotate crops? Answers to that, and any other useful details for this subject, would be greatly appreciated. I've lived on and helped run several smallholds before, but not quite to that scale, not in the USA and not in that era :-)

paris, france: arrondissements!

i've googled both specific districts and general information, but i'm still a little lost. for one, i keep getting tourist information or extremely general information on landmarks and streets. wikipedia has the same problem.

i need a district in paris which a young, possibly illegal (in the sense of has not applied for any sort of legal residency) girl could live, without worrying too much about sticking out like a sore thumb.

she won't be attending school (she'll have finished high school in another country [US], and will speak high-level french), and she will be working as a waitress.

bonus points if this is a district likely to have a slightly-grungy café... i don't want the "bad part of town", but it needs to be likely that the owner will be both willing and able to hire her as an illegal worker. she'll be renting an apartment, and that, too, needs to be able to be 'under the table'. the cheaper, the better, even if the quality of living is not the best. i'm shooting for someplace she could (with the right connections) get a fake id.

i'm thinking it's likely that she's be living in the 5ème arrondissement, but then again, it seems to be primarily for students.

even more bonus points if you can give me an idea of the employees (manager/owner? how many waitresses? cook and dishwasher?) working for a small café in france. when i worked as a waitress, we had two waitresses, a manager/cashier, a dishwasher, and two guys on cooking/prep. would it be similar? would they bother to hire a busboy/girl, or just have the waitresses do the busing?

thanks ahead of time!

Force Required to Fatally Fracture Temple

Searched: Various combinations of "fatal fracture temple force", "temporal fracture force", and similar words.

Found: The closest I got was a page stating that a 100-g golf ball or stone striking the temple "with medium force" can be fatal.

Scenario: I want to kill a character with quick blunt force to the temple--I'm looking at about 80-100 grams striking the character's temple with no warning. The mass can be greater, but not drastically. It will be a man, Mediterranean descent, fairly healthy, in his forties to fifties. He's a minor character, and so I can kill him off in other ways (as long as he dies), but now I'm highly curious about this one.

How much force would be required to fatally fracture this man's temple?