November 12th, 2008

Random - Flowered Books

Baltimore Geography

I have a question regarding Baltimore neighborhoods.

My character is originally from Boston. His family is upper middle-class, father is a successful lawyer, mother is a social worker. Said character attended Dartmouth, his younger sisters both attended Loyola Maryland.

They live in a turn of the century to approx 1918 house with lots of hardwood, crown moulding, china fixtures, and the like. So nice, but not a McMansion. There would be very little recent construction in the neighborhood.

Where in Baltimore might a neighborhood such as this be located? I'd like for him to live in the city proper, not in the suburbs, but I understand if this is not feasible. It's important that they live in an actual separate house, not one of the row houses that are so distinctive to Baltimore.

I've considered Bolton Hill, Charles North, Guilford, Mount Washington, and Ten Hills.

Remember, the area needs to be established nice, not yuppy or as the result of recent gentrification.

My research consists mainly of combined with checking the average price of the houses sold versus the general description of the neighborhood based on the website.

Am I on base with the neighborhoods?

ETA: Two more quick questions!

Where would be a good place in Baltimore to go sledding?

Depending on which neighborhood is chosen for my story, I'll need to figure out the nearest good Catholic school in the area.
in a handful of dust

Victorian doctors - typical background and education

Ladies and gentlemen of the community:

I am writing a story about a young doctor in London at the turn of the 20th century - to be precise, the story is set in November, 1901. The character graduated in medicine from the University of London in the summer of 1900. I am trying to establish what would have been his most likely earlier education. Ie -

- is it more likely that he would have gone to a grammar school, or a public school?

I have searched for information about this on sites relating to 'Victorian medicine', 'history of medicine', and even the Royal College of Surgeons' website, but mostly what I have found are specific case-analyses of particularly famous Victorian doctors, giving their personal background and education. Most of these doctors, being the ones who did extraordinary things, are atypical, rather than typical. For example, I know that John Snow managed to put himself through medical school himself following a very lax education. But obviously, this was not the norm. My question, then, revolves around considerations such as: a) would it have been in any way seen as demeaning for the son of a fairly upper-class family to become a doctor, making it thus more likely that he would have been a grammar school boy? b) on the other hand, as medical school was expensive, is it not more likely that most doctors came from fairly well-off families?

Help, collective consciousness, please!
Captain Logic

Life for the Newly Blind

Setting: Fantasy world, but I want to start out with the real-world information and then figure out how to modify things for this setting. The technology level is roughly mid-to-late 20th century, though with irregularities. (For example: they have refrigerators, TVs, and microwaves, but no cars or computers.)

Character: My MC is a male in his late teens who is newly blind. He has absolutely 0% vision -- his eyes were completely removed, for reasons that tie in to the fantasy setting.

Question: In general, what would life for him be like? What general steps would the acclimation/relearning process take?

In specific -- how long would it take him to realistically be able to move around indoors confidently with no service animal? How long would it take for him to be able to navigate outdoors (again, without a service animal -- the setting, because of its nature, is a little hard to work one into)? How well would he ever be able to deal with going places outdoors (going somewhere familiar? Going somewhere unfamiliar? Going somewhere he's absolutely never been before?) What about eating? The setting has a mix of traditional Asian styles of eating (many Asian dishes are common, and chopsticks are a default for meals, but there are also Western-style foods available). Are there certain things that would be very difficult for him to eat? What things would be very easy for him?

What else should I be aware of? What other important information is there about adapting to life without vision?

Googled terms: "newly blind" human, acclimation, adaption, adaptation, blind, meals, in various combinations.
Bo head on
  • agdhani


I've googled stigmata, but only get information about wounds that resemble those of Christ at the crucifixion...and I've failed to come up with any good short ways to look up the question I have!

Does the term stigmata only refer to the event of someone mirroring the wounds of Christ? If an individual manifested the wounds of some other martyred saint, would that also be called stigmata or is there some other term for it?

Being that my story takes place in a fantasy world, where Christianity is not the religion, I could create a seperate word for this occurance in the language of the MC's race...but I'm not sure yet if I should or not. Any insight would be appreciated.
  • frohike

Resource - hisory of various antenatal tests

Found this while looking for first use/s of amniocentesis and CVS

This site has a history/timeline of development for things like amniocentesis, fetoscopy and chorionic villus sampling.
You can also follow the links to ultrasound (including non-obstetric uses), which also has it's developments in a few different countries.

I think there's a fair bit of useful info in there.

19th century/ 1800s England

Just going to throw this out as a hugely helpful resource for everyone...
If anyone needs information about England in the 1800s, an exceptionally great book is What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool. You can probably find it for around $14 and anyone from amazon to barnes and noble and borders should have it.

It covers very practical everyday things like what furniture was made out of, has an extensive glossary in the back for many terms of the era, breaks down money units in that time period in England, covers so many social customs including court, balls, country visits, and the like. They also break down food by social class and discuss the hierarchy of servants and what each type of servant's jobs were. Also, there is a section on the church, on money, law, clothing broken down by class, holidays, and even medicine like what generic maladies of the era were referred to.... and SO MUCH more!!!