December 28th, 2008

World War One, American soldiers

I have several questions; I'll try to lay them out neatly.

I have a decent number of WWI books; I've combed through and have a ridiculous number of links bookmarked, I've searched every combination of "WWI", "American", "soliders", "trenches", etc. that I can think of, and still the problem is this: most of the American-related information I'm finding is more along the lines of troop movements, battles and outcomes, policies, formation of the AEF, that kind of thing.

It's driving me batty, as my characters are American, and fascinating at it is, I can't exactly use the reams of available information about deployment and procedures of British/French/Canadian troops to answer the questions I have.
Gets kind of long, a cut's probably bestCollapse )

I think that's it, and sorry about the length - just trying to be as specific as I can. Thank you in advance for any help you can give!

Ostracism in tribal societies

A friend and I are working on a novel that is set in an imaginary semi-fantasy universe, but we're finding that she needs some real details for her main character's story.

I am looking for the names of tribal societies (not religions or classical societies, thanks, we've got lots on that) that perform ostracism, particularly ostracism that leads to death. Our scenario is that her main character has committed a murder and has been ostracised by the townsfolk, entirely to force her to seek her death at the hands of my character, though she is not suicidal. We need her to be "dead" to the people in her town so that she will do what she's supposed to and go die already, and we both know that there are tribes that practise this, but neither of us can find them. For plot purposes, this is actually broadly similar to the banishment of Ayla in Clan Of The Cave Bear, but I'm not taking Auel's work as a good source of fact without confirmation; in any event, it doesn't really work since the character in our work goes back to her town to kick ass and take names, and Ayla goes on to become self-sufficient.

I've looked at "ostracism africa tribes anthropology" and various combinations thereof on Google; the best I came up with was social class discrimination about homosexuals, which isn't likely going to work for our purposes. The main other thing that came up was shunning of a leader to force them to change their decisions, but I need more than that. I also need more than an abstract; most of the things that came up were not the actual article but an unlinked abstract. Wikipedia is even less helpful, providing a lot of information about Classical Athens and religious shunning, but being shockingly short on external links or even internal, relevant links that might let me get outside Wiki into real scholarship. We've both done offline research as well, in both books and course notes, but for some reason I'm not able to chase down the niggling thought that I know this. I am not helped by the fact that because I did my Master's in Anthropology overseas, I haven't got any of the books I used (so, no indices) and I never wrote specifically on ostracism, so I don't have anything in my notes that I can find. And, surprise surprise, the books I know well aren't readily available in the US. There is no anthropology tag on this comm, nor anything that looked relevant to this search, but I looked at that list as well.

Wiki did turn up that Aborigines perform this sort of ostracism, and I've passed that on to my friend; I know she's chasing that down, but I wanted to ask if anyone here knows what the heck I'm talking about, and please suggest tribes. They don't need to be African, I just did most of my in-depth research on African tribes (primarily the Nuer and the Dinka, and the Azande) so I feel like that must be what I'm thinking of.


Queen Victoria and Wales

Hello everyone,

I'm looking for information about Queen Victoria's attitude towards Wales and the Welsh, whether it was positive, negative, or whatever. Google-fu is failing, as "Victoria attitude to Wales," "Victoria attitude to Welsh," "Victoria Wales," etc. is bringing up results either for Vicky's son, or a Welsh society in Victoria B.C. (I currently am in the middle of nowhere for the holidays and thus have no access to a library; I can't wait to get back to civilization!)

If someone might be able to point me in the correct direction, that would be great and muchly appreciated.

If it helps, it's for a Torchwood fic.

Thank you!

'Celtic' words....

This may or may not be answerable, though i would hope it can be. :)

I have 'Dun na h-Eoin' translated as 'tower of birds', with an approximate English pronunciation as 'doon na hey win'. It's cited as a 'Celtic' origin word.

If this name fell out of common use, and four or five generations of people rarely used it, how would it become contracted or changed?

I'm having trouble coming up with anything that sounds plausible. Basically, i'd like a character to say 'you're from (this way)?' and the other character say 'it was (this way) in my day'.


And thank you. Also posting to multilingual, just in case.

how to kill a mermaid

time: now
settings: modern day America and an imaginary kingdom

googled term: mermaids, mermaid myth, mermaid mythology, killing mermaids

I'm needing your help for a script I'm writing. In the plot, the main character accidentally jumps between this world and another otherworldly sphere inhabited by scary cannibalistic mermaid-like creatures who have to feed on humans to stay young. Although the characters aren't exactly mermaids (which means I have lots of room to get creative aka make stuff up), I've based a lot of their traits on Japanese mermaid and Celtic faerie myths.

I need to know if there's any specific way to kill a mermaid, like silver bullets killing werewolves. It can be from any culture's incarnation of a mermaid or a similar sea monster. Thanks!


I'm working on a series of short stories involving a character that I've had for a while now. Her names Sakura, she's Japanese and has low melanin. I know melanin is what causes people to have eye color, skin color and hair color. When I started writing her I used that as the reasons she had grayish eyes, pale skin and grey patches of hair. However as I got older a friend of mine pointed out that really I needed a better reason. I wanted to stick with using low melanin as the reason for her odd coloring. In my search for a medical reasoning for this I came across ocular and oculocutaneous albinism. My three questions are one as albinism is hereditary does that mean that its impossible for neither parent nor grandparent to show signs of albinism when the child does and two I decided to use oculocutaneous albinism type 4 as the form of albinism she has but I haven't found any site that has the signs of oculocutaneous albinism type 4. I would use oculocutaneous albinism tpye 1a but oculocutaneous albinism type 4 is more common in Japanese people than oculocutaneous albinism type 1a is.

So in short my questions are:
Is it impossible for neither parent nor grandparent to show signs of albinism when the child has?
What are the symptoms of oculocutaneous albinism type 4?
Would it really matter if I used oculocutaneous albinism type 1a instead of oculocutaneous albinism type 4 even though type 4 is more common in people of Japanese decent?