October 10th, 2008

Two Questions: Ultrasounds & Whaling (Not related)

Hi all--

ETA: Thanks guys! You're fantastic as usual. I think I have all I need unless somebody out there is a whaler/ultrasound technician, in which case I might marry you. At least until the story is done.


I have two questions which are for the same story but unrelated, so don't worry if you can't relate ultrasounds to whaling. :)

1) I recently posted a question about a character having a really gross wound diagnosed. Thanks to the helpful answers I got here, I decided that the doctors will use ultrasound to see how deep the wound goes. Has anyone here ever had a diagnostic ultrasound? Anything you can tell me about the procedure is helpful--most of the things I've been reading involve prenatal ultrasounds, and I don't know if the procedure is mostly the same. Also, is the person who operates an ultrasound a radiologist? Or called something else?

2)I'm looking for good terms that come from the whaling industry. I found this list here, but I was wondering if anyone knows any others. My character's strange physical ailment has specific terms in her community, and I'm using words from whaling. As you might imagine, that makes uncommon and un-obvious words like flensing and fusiform good candidates. Flipper-slapping, throat grooves, blowholes, and other words easy to decipher are a little too obvious. I've googled whaling terms and read what's come up, but maybe somebody knows something more colloquial or something.

Thanks!

Possible Hallucinogen

I'm looking to create a realistic-sounding fictional drug.

In my story, a drug called "lucy" has been rapidly gaining popularity for its effects, primarily something similar to lucid dreaming. The drug is taken before sleep and supposedly allows the user to be aware in their dreams.

Where it backfires is that it doesn't actually put you to sleep, but I'd like that to be something that isn't immediately apparent. Eventually, the lack of sleep and averse side-effects (as yet unknown) result in insanity.

I'm working on very sparse knowledge of drugs, but I think the type most like this would be hallucinogens. I was originally going to use for a base something like mushrooms, but I'd rather the tripping out be somewhat coherent. It will have some surreal qualities, but not the exaggerated kind you'd get from mushrooms or something similar.

Does this sound like a realistic drug, and also, would it make a difference what form it was in (liquid, powder, pill)?

Thank you in advance!