October 18th, 2008


Force Required to Fracture a Skull

My setting is equivalent to the late middle ages, with healing magic that includes the ability to ascertain the extent of damage in an injury... in this case, to determine whether or not a bone is broken. I want a character to get a skull fracture on the top of his head, just a minor linear fracture with no serious trauma to the brain. So I have a few questions regarding that.

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ETA: This community is awesomely helpful. Thank you to everyone who responded!
music, serious face

Asian architecture resource / historical personal dwellings

I found this while trying to find floor plans of a traditional Korean house, and I think it's awesome:

Asian Historical Architecture: A Photographic Survey

It has selections from many Asian countries, but its Japanese, Chinese, and Korean sections are the best. There's historical information, photographs of interiors and exteriors, and even floor plans for many of the buildings to give you an idea of how the pieces are related to each other.

While I'm here, does anyone know of any resources like this for other cultures and time periods? I've been looking for this type of detailed information on personal dwellings for inspiration for my worldbuilding. This one is an awesome find, but it doesn't have many houses outside of those three countries, and I'd really like more.

I've done various searches with "[culture]" "[time period]" and "floor plan" or "reconstruction," and I've found smatterings but nothing like the above yet. Except for Greece and Rome, which I am entirely good on, since I've got book-resources for those. :)

Newbie with a medical question...

Hey! I've been meaning to join this community for some time, but never had the need until now. Isn't that always the way? LOL! Anyway, for the medical folks (mostly optometry, I think), I'm working on making a character blind. I recall having a teacher in college who had a light bulb explode in her face, causing her to become blind. She saw a little bit of something, though I'm not sure to what extent. She had a seeing-eye dog and required an assistant for writing, reading non-Braille, etc. so she only stood in the classroom and lectured from memory.

This is the sort of damage I'm looking to inflict upon my character. Permanent damage to the eyes from a seriously tremendous flash of light. No permanent physical damage to skin tissue around the eyes or facial area, though I am willing to fudge on this a little.

I admittedly haven't done much research, but what I've done is mostly confusing because I do not comprehend medical jargon in the least, so I need it in layman's terms as much as possible. Throwing the medical jargon at me with definition, though, would be appreciated, for authenticity's sake.

The era in question would be roughly a Victorian-style setting, though technically the story is set in a fantasy world. Primitive in physical medical practitioning, but advanced in 'magical healing'.

If you have website links, those would be of GREAT help, but feel free to send me an email at wolfie.bagoas@gmail.com if your explanation is horribly long-winded. *grin*
Abby handcuffs Gibbs

US Police: Guns & bullets; materials on hand

Setting: Aroostook County, Maine made-up small town. My police sheriff is from Penobscot County - Bangor, ME to be specific
Era: Ghost town shut down in 1979, story is set in 2005ish


#1: So I need to know if my character can use ammo found in the ghost town to reload his weapons. Have police-issued weapons used the same caliber over the years? Would there be a problem using old ammo? If my guy couldn't get ammo from the empty police station, could he find something in a sporting goods store or some military service provider? 

#2: What sorts of supplies would my police sheriff have in the trunk of his squad car?

I'm having a devil of a time trying to research. I usually count on Wikipedia for my quick research tip and it's being unreliable for me right now. I am continuing my research as I post this, but I'm hoping someone might already have some insight to save me some time. (Afterall, I am supposed to be working on actually writing my portfolio right now....)

Thanks in advance.

  • natane

being on the run from the law!

Okay, here's the situation. It's not something I think I could google... too many details. Also, I suspect a lot of this depends on how much sensationalism the police department wants to have.

Two under-age children are missing (ten and seventeen).

The location they were known to be last is kind of off the beaten path - a private cabin a few miles back in privately-owned woods, and pretty far from civilization. The car which was brought to the cabin is now missing [because the children drove it away, but the police don't know that]. The cabin floor is covered with blood, which after about two weeks is discovered to be the parents' blood, and due to the quantity, they're assumed dead. No bodies are found. The family itself is missing for almost two weeks before they even find the cabin. So... these kids have a month's head start.

What is the likely response of the local law enforcement? This is in very rural Southeastern US, just in case it matters. How far will the "story" spread? What kinds of theories will the law enforcement have? What will be the extent of law enforcement knowledge - I'm assuming that a missing person's bulletin will be put out.

I'm specifically looking for what the search will look like from the point of view of the children, who will be two states away, with access to radio, newspapers, and occasional TV. Articles on the front page, or small sidebars? Specials on the nightly local news? Will there be a discussion of theories that the police have, or just raw information?