November 15th, 2008

Places to hide in a modern city

Someone needs a pre-arranged place in a busy city where they can dodge out of sight for a few minutes, or even less. They won't be staying there for any length of time,  but they need to be confident that the space won't be in use when they go in. It has to be somewhere they could have observed in advance as being suitable for this purpose. It can't be somewhere they would have to pay to enter.

This is normally the sort of thing I'm good at, but my mind's just going blank, and I can't think of the right words for the sort of place I'm almost-but-not-quite imagining. Possibly because I've used some of the obvious possibilities before. Also I'm a little loth to say "an abandoned/derelict wherever" (though I'm fine with saying a gate is always carelessly left unlocked)  because it's just a bit too convenient and  this is a large modern city, close to the centre, and there can't be that many derelict buildings standing around. It's morning so some space connected to a business that won't open until late could work, or somewhere in a car park...? (But are car parks usually further out of the centre of cities - forgive me, I don't drive, and am evidently experiencing a brain-outage.) 

I don't think there should be any parks or gardens nearby. Not big ones, anyway.

I really can't think Google will help me with this, though I did try things like "hiding places city" and image searches with  "yard, bins" which was obviously no use at all. I have consulted the less-useful-than-it-sounds book "Places To Hide."

Travel and sickness in 18th century England

I have a bunch of questions which are so blatantly about Pride and Prejudice I won't bother trying to hide it :D

1) I think I've answered this myself but if nothing else other people might like the links. The Bennets (3 members of a middle class family) are traveling from Hertfordshire to Derbyshire, 120 miles according to google maps. What method would they use (Post? This is after the book, so they have money) and how long would it take?
2) Where's a nice place to stop along the way to buy books? Northhampton seems promising, but I can't find much specific about what it was like in the 18th century apart from "large pretty market town with some parks"
3) What's a plausible illness for Anne De Bourgh to have and how would it be treated at the time?
It is apparently stable, debilitating, and chronic, and has been around for years.
It causes digestive problems.
She does not speak much and when she does it's in a "low voice" and only to people she knows (she may just be shy/unfriendly)
She has been unable to play the piano (though that may be an excuse for lack of talent :))
She is described as: sickly, cross, pale, thin, small
EDIT: I want her to have a long-term happy ending, so non-progressive/life threatening illnesesses if you can!
I personally like the idea of it having been around since at least late childhood (that would help explain the smallness, yes?)
searches done and answers foundCollapse )

Hindu prayers/mantras/meditations for muttering when troubled.

Can anyone tell me if there are any prayers or other short utterances which someone who was raised Hindu might use when worried or in danger, in the way a Roman Catholic might mutter a "Hail Mary," and some protestants might go through the "Our Father"?

It would be best for me if they were in Hindi, but some of the other languages from the north of India might also work. Ideally, I'd be looking for something to Durga in one of her many names, or, secondarily, to Kali. It could be unspecific, but it couldn't be specifically to a male figure.

I don't speak or read Hindi (or any of the other languages from India), so I would need them transliterated into the Roman alphabet.

I've done some online research and found some prayers, but because I don't actually know the religion, language, or culture, I have no idea if they would be remotely realistic to use in this way or not.

I'd be very grateful for any help. Thanks in advance.

Guilty But Mentally Ill: What happens to them?

I've been googling hard for a bit now, but the google train stopped at the GBMI sentence/verdict. What happens to criminals who plead GBMI, and who are sentenced with it? The character in question has childhood-onset schizophrenia (as far as I know, the most intense form of schizophrenia), is incompetent to stand trial at the time of his arrest, and has been off his medication for at least two years due to being a runaway. He's convicted of several counts of murder one and a couple counts of manslaughter--there's no way he's getting out of this.

The problem is, what is "this?" Is he sentenced and sent to prison, where he will likely receive little to no psychiatric care, and languish? Will he be sent to a state psychiatric ward, if such things still exist, and if so, does he stay there to the end of his sentence? Are GBMI criminals moved between prisons/wards like other, "regular" prisoners?

I'm sorry I have so many questions, it's just that it's been tough going trying to get this information. I even called the DA's office, to no avail. (This takes place in NY state, by the way. Write what you know, they say... blegh.)

Thank you in advance!

(x-posted on the nano plot realism subforum)

edit: I'm sorry for all the obnoxious bolding, I just thought it might make my post a little clearer for those who are skimming it.

edit the second: This takes place in the 21st century. Specifically, the arrest is made in 2005.