November 30th, 2008

Mythological item

I remember hearing of an item in [possibly Greek?] mythology which both hurts and heals - I have this sneaking suspicion that it was a spear?

As I remember, you can use it to hurt someone else, but you also can't use it to heal yourself. Thus a catch-22...

I've spent the past half an hour on Google, trying extremely long sets of search terms. The last one I tried was "item which both hurt and heal greek mythology -achilles -tantalus -pokemon -heel -amazon.com -"final fantasy"' if that gives you any ideas. Nothing found.

Please, little_details, don't fail me now! Someone out there must have heard of this...

Prosthetics and related treatment in 1985

Setting: Midwestern U.S.A., 1985
Character: 17 year old male, missing both arms and legs, cut off a little above the elbow and knee, respectively
Searched: "prosthetics in 1985", "Prosthetics", "adjusting to Prosthetics", "replacement limbs", "fake limbs", "physical therapy prosthetics"

I have a character from a not-quite apocalyptic setting (It's getting there, but there's a great deal of people trying to stop it, and civilization hasn't gone the way of the dodo, but things definitely aren't sunshine and roses), transported to very non-apocalyptic earth, circa 1985. The character in question lost his legs and arms 3 years ago, and got metal replacement in his home verse.

Those replacements functioned like real limbs, complete with working joints and some sensation, from pressure and vibration. However, when transported to N-A earth, those metal limbs were left behind. I want to figure out what level of replacement limbs would be available to him, how he would be treated in a hospital, what sort of physical therapy he'd go through, things like that.

My goal is to thoroughly frustrate this character, who is used to being treated like an adult, expected to pull his own weight, not have people react to his disabilities, being able set his own schedule, being almost fully mobile, etc.  So I'm looking for the clunkiest, inefficient prosthetics, and most irritating hospital experience available in 1985, basically.

Vietnam War questions

I have a few questions regarding Vietnam and the war, if they are too complex to just be answered outright, pointing me to some good books I could use for my researchwould be greatly appreciated.
1) What would you call a small search party?  I'm guessing a platoon is too large.  And who would most likely be the highest ranking officier in such a party?
2) Where there any regions that for the most part were pretty much unexplored, perhaps due to the area being too dense with foliage?  If so, were they named at all?
Thanks!

Zemirot for Chanukah

Place: eastern Poland (probably Volhynia)
Time: 1938

Can anyone suggest zemirot that would be appropriate for the Sabbath that falls during Chanukah? There's a zemirot database that suggests Al Hanissim, and obviously they would sing Maoz Tzur--aside from that, do the members of Little Details have any favorites for the season?

At least some of the singers would have a sense of foreboding based on recent events elsewhere in Europe, and that might influence their choice.

Searched: zemirot, Chanukah