January 16th, 2009

Project: Apocalypse

Non-mainstream music tastes in the 1990s

Setting: Small-town Western Washington, USA, circa 1993.

Search attempts: Extensive Wiki-spelunking branching from the "1980s in music" and "1990s in music" pages as well as some googling around for sound clips, but it's more of a matter of opinion, so it's hard to research without primary sources.

I have a white, working-class fifteen-year-old boy living smack in the middle of Nirvana Country -- and, despite what one would expect of a teenage boy in early-90s Washington, he never gets into the whole grunge thing. This is presenting a bit of a problem, as I haven't been able to figure out what sort of music he would listen to. There's a big gap in my own musical expertise between 1980 and 1998, so most of my first instincts would be either outdated or anachronistic for him.

The character is very Christian but not enough to feel the need to listen to religious music -- mostly it manifests as avoiding anything atheist, anti-religious, or overtly sexual or drug-themed. He generally likes uptempo, energetic, earworm-inducing music (his dancing along like a dork is actually plot-relevant), though if he were going to get his teen angst on he would opt for "morose ballad" before "angry guitar-smashing." He also leans toward a less polished sound, though, so anything too commercialized would probably not agree with him.

Was a significant amount of music that might match this produced in the eighties to early nineties? And if so, would it have been possible for this character to get his hands on it (or hear of it at all) without a great investment of money and effort? It's actually preferable if his taste in music turns out to be weird, lame, and/or a little unmanly, because it's going to be a minor point of insecurity for him.

Thanks in advance!

ETA: Man, you guys are amazing. Thank you so much! :D
  • lyorn

Night photography

I have a very specific question, and all the pages I found by looking for combinations of "photography, bad light, night, documentary" are either tutorials focusing on artistic pictures with relatively simple equipment, or too technical for me to apply the info to the situation in my story:Collapse )

I had to make a major plot point out of a thing I know nothing about...

ETA: The opinions about what is possible, especially at 200 m (650 ft) diverge a lot. Let's say I reduce the distance to 100 m (50m?) and/or the lighting from "night" to "after sunset"? I want it to be difficult (grainy black-and-white, individual faces not recognizable and fancy darkroom work are fine) but not freaky or impossible without magic.
Gaiman: Boring and full of trivia

Orthopaedic leg brace

I have a character who, for plot reasons, needs to be wearing some kind of leg brace. It has to either fully or partially restrict knee movement in one leg (I'm thinking her right leg, but it doesn't really matter) and make it difficult for her to walk normally. I'd prefer it if she were able to move quickly under duress, even if this might cause her some injury - it just needs to be possible.

I don't know how much of this matters, but for reference, she's female, in her late teens (17-19), of Asian descent, and living in midwest America. She was adopted from China as an infant. I need her to have been wearing the brace from the time she was a relatively young child.

What I need to know is what might have caused this - injury, disease, birth defect, - if she can be expected to be wearing a leg brace for life, or for how long, what times she might be able to take it off and for how long, what physical effects wearing it might have on her, what it would look like, if she would need to walk with a cane, what medical attention she might require pertaining to it (medications, regular checkups, anything like that), and what kinds of things she wouldn't be able to do while wearing it.

I checked the wiki article for orthopaedic braces, Googled combinations of "orthopaedic leg brace", "injury", "birth defect", "disease", "effects", "limitations", and so on. I didn't turn up much of anything useful, but links are definitely appreciated.

behavior during and recurrence of dissociative fugue

This story is set in present day North America.

I have read parts of the DSM IV entry on dissociative fugue. I say parts because Google Books wouldn't let me see the whole thing and there's nowhere else online that the it's easily available in the complete form. Not that I found anyway. I've also looked at the Wiki article on fugue states and an article on dissociative fugue on Merck's website.

I have two questions.

I think, based on my reading, that the answer to this first one is yes, but I wanted to double check. Is it possible for fugue states to recur periodically over a number of years? Specifically, my character experiences fugue states that generally last for two days to a week. They recur about every three to eight months and are usually triggered by a moderate stress event but were initially triggered by a very traumatic stress event that occurred about fifteen years before the start of my story. Realistic?

Second, would it be reasonable to portray someone in a fugue state acting in a sexual way that's contrary to their general nature?

(Apologies to the mods for the improper formatting first time out. I think I've included all the necessary parts this time.)

sex on the couch

Hello there, new member. Got directed here by the lovely fanficrants.
This community, my friends, is a GODSEND. :D

The obligatory background: I'm writing/drawing a psuedo-rpf comic, wherein the protagonists are a humanoid and a Martian. At one point they have sex on the couch in the New York apartment where the story is set.
My query is, as at least one of the aliens could be considered superhuman, would the force or the motion of the sex be enough to move the couch? Or does it depend on the position?
If you don't understand what I mean by this, I refer you to "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" (this is not rpf for that movie, but the movie is where I got a few of the concepts from), a movie in which similar circumstances happen when a super-strength superhero tops a human in sex and manages to break the double bed and nearly send it through the bedroom wall. Because a couch is smaller and lighter than a double bed and thus by all rights wouldn't require as much force to do so, would alien-humanoid sex on the couch be enough to do a similar thing to the couch? Or would it not work, because in this case the stronger of the two is the one on the bottom?
I've searched for "couch", "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" and "friction of couch" on Wikipedia, and "friction of couch" on Google. It didn't really help matters.

Thank you in advance, and I hope my first post stuck to the rules. First post siesta time. :D

ETA: Thank you all for your advice. This has been a big help to me! :D  
elegant lady

Cork accent and speech patterns, inflections

Hello all! So here is my situation :)

I have two characters from Cork, Ireland, a brother and sister. Both come from a middle class background, largely urban and the year is 1888. Without resorting to gross exaggeration, God forbid, I'm trying to get an idea of how to write their dialogue so that they sound authentically Cork without going overboard, like ;)

The younger brother I am thinking would be fond of the latest slang and use it often. The sister is a little more prim so she would speak more carefully and mostly refrain from slang but certain words and her manner of speaking would still tag her as a Cork resident.

So far what I have found is a Cork dictionary of slang and local words http://www.corkslang.com/ and browsed a couple of Cork forums and watched a Youtube video that interviewed a couple of Cork gents back in the 1960's. Are there any other good resources out there I may be overlooking, reading material from the time period, auditory examples, etc. that I can use or certain ways of speaking or phrasing to keep in mind when writing? Thanks in advance!