November 11th, 2008

A Christmas Question for Canadians

I've done some research into Christmas cakes and Canada and really I'm just looking to for confirmation that it is right, or if it's not, what is wrong. Although it's only a short ficlet (less than 500 words!) I really want to get it right and don't entirely trust generic internet sites!

From what I can gather, Canadians do have a Christmas cake, and it is a fruitcake similar to the British one that can be glazed or iced. However, is this true for all of Canada, or is it regional? The Stargate: Atlantis character is from Canada, but could be from pretty much any area of the country (though probably not Quebec!), so if it is regional moving his family to that region is no major problem, canon-wise.

I hope this is okay to ask, seeing as I'm really looking for confirmation of research, but I have made errors before by relying on solely on net research!

EDIT: I've decided to give the character (McKay) a British grandmother who came over as a war bride (as suggested by atdelphi), and not mention where in Canada they live. That should will cover any cultural problems. Thanks everyone!

(Am I the only one that all this of cake and other sweets has made hungry?! *g*)

Slimy Black Sushi

Googled: Sea Urchin reproductive organs, rare sushi+sea urchin, black slimy sushi

Hi all. This one comes from a story my mom has told me many times. She once asked a sushi chef to bring her "something she had never had before," and he brought her a piece of sushi that was black and shiny like an oil slick, and slightly green. It wiggled like jello, and was on a bed of rice wrapped in nori, like Uni usually comes.

She said it tasted like it looked and smelled very pungent (not in a good way). She barely managed to swallow it, and the chef could only tell her its Japanese name. Later, she asked all her Japanese friends what it was in English. Only one of them could tell her about it; supposedly it is an incredibly rare piece of sushi, very expensive in Japan and almost unavailable in America. The translation of the name, as my mom remembers it, was "Sea Urchin's Reproductive Organs." I've looked that up and only gotten various results for Uni.

I want to use it in a story, but cannot find the Japanese name anywhere. My mom can't remember it, and no sushi chef she has described it to has been able to tell her what it was. Any help would be appreciated.

ETA: What my mom ate was definitely not uni. At least not good, fresh, yellow uni. That's why this is confusing - uni is Sea Urchin gonads. But apparently is not the same thing as whatever it this stuff was.

Textbook graffiti

Back in middle school, we had classroom sets of textbooks, and the science ones in particular gathered a lot of graffiti.

I'm wondering if any of you can tell me--whether you have middle school-aged children, are a teacher, or ARE in middle school yourself--if a specific type of book graffiti is still popular.

On the first page (or usually inside the front cover), you'd see, for example, "Turn to page 189." Then you'd flip to 189, and would see "Turn to page 64." Flip to page 64 and see "Turn to page 83" and on and on until you get to a lame insult or a doodle of genetalia or something.

Do they still play this joke, or did that go out with MC Hammer pants?

Edited to add: Thanks a lot, you guys! You've been a huge help! <^^>
  • Current Mood: curious

Plant-based poison

Researched: The Deadly Doses (Book). Google: What does opium smell like.

I'm writing a Batman fanfic. Essentially, I'm having Batman and Nightwing run a gauntlet through Arkham Asylum. First attack is coming from Poison Ivy. I need her to use something plant-based to slow, weaken, or otherwise incapacitate them. My parameters are:

1) It can be administered either via inhalation (getting them into an enclosed space is feasible), injection (darts, thorns) or skin/membrane absorption. Basically any method but ingestion.

2) There should be some immediate warnings that something isn't right. (I.E. if an inhaled poison has a characteristic odor, that would be enough for them to don breathing masks--but the spores/gas etc might still cause dizziness or blurred vision.)

3) Our heroes need to be able to do something to stave off the deadlier effects. I want them down but not out. In other words, curare would work a little too well.

Assume that Batman has antibiotics, over-the-counter meds, and maybe some prescription-strength painkillers and anti-nauseants in his utility belt. The inmates are all out of their cells, the staff nowhere to be found, and the asylum infirmary too far from their current position. I definitely don't want something that would require them to be on life-support machinery, in need of CPR, etc.

Any thoughts?

Belarusian/Russian names

I already tried google, browsing through the tags of this community, and checking some sites that list Belarusian/Russian names, but with no real luck so far.

I'm working on this fic that takes place in modern Belarus, with characters born and grown up there. What I need to know is if the equivalent of the following names exists in Belarusian/Russian or not:

- Robert (Bob)
- Brian
- Frank

I found 'Burian' once, which should be the equivalent of Brian, but I'm not 100% sure about it. If anyone confirms/denies it, I'll really be grateful. Plus, if there is no real translation of them, could you perhaps point me towards names that are at least phonetically similar?

Thank you everyone. :)