February 8th, 2009

Some questions to people in the aviation industry

Under what circumstances may a plane fly empty? this article for example mentions planes flying empty to preserve "landing slots". Are there any other circumstances under which a plane would fly empty? For instance, would an airline fly empty if it has a crew shortage for a particular flight? Or, assuming that a certain airline has flights between city pairs (X and Y) and (X and Z) with cities Y and Z being relatively close to one another; would it be plausible for an airline to fly empty between Y and Z for some reason? Any other known reasons for planes to fly empty?

Also, speaking of "landing slots" mentioned in the article, what I don't understand is-- why would british airways fly all the way from Heathrow to New-York or Los-Angeles just to preserve a landing slot, instead of (provided they have to fly empty), flying somewhere like Cardiff, for example.
Tags:

Science of the (Near) Future

I'm writing an urban fantasy story set about eighteen years in the future. My main character is more or less a scientist in a niche fantasy field, but unlike his peers, he also has an interest in "real world" science. I'd like to have him mention some recent discoveries to a friend, but I have no idea what those would be in the future.

Does anyone know what are some issues or theories in biology or chemistry that are in the theoretical stages now but might be coming to fruition in twenty years? I don't want to distract from the fantasy world or really rub it in that this is the future, so I don't want it to be cloning a human or curing cancer or anything to do with climate change. If I were writing it in the present, for instance, I might choose something like the invention of a synthetic chromosome or the research into enzymes that might convert any blood type to type O. Something that would more likely be featured in scholarly journals or science magazines rather than mainstream newspapers.

I've tried Googling various permutations of "science," "biology," "chemistry," "future," "twenty years from now"/"twenty years in the future," "nascent," "research," "infancy," "early stage," "theoretical," etc. However, not being very knowledgeable when it comes to science, it seems like I'd have better luck getting a few suggestions of specific things that I could then research further.

Legends, myths, fairy tales of the Virgin Islands

Hi!

I'm (desperately) looking for fairy-tales, myths or legends that were widely known on the Virgin Islands (Saint Croix, specifically) during the mid-1700s. Amazingly, I haven't found any...


Terms (unsuccessfully) googled so far:
Saint Croix, Virgin Islands, fairy-tale(s), legend(s), myths 18th century, 1700s, folklore (in various combinations).

Any help would be highly appreciated!

gunshot wound that fits certain criteria

Setting: Present day; Miami, USA

Okay guys. I've looked into how you treat a gunshot wound, but most of it's first aid and articles like this one tell me to get the victim to a hospital which isn't an option in this case. And I'm afraid I don't have the medical background to make heads or tales of the more in depth pages that get into the meat of it. And Google isn't very helpful when it comes to creating wounds to order.

Questions:

Cut for length and unpleasantnessCollapse )

STALKER?

I have a female 16 - 17 year old character who at some point in my story begins to become a stalker to one of my male characters. I have attempted to research the stages leading up to being a full fleged stalker (The "I want to kill you and keep you in my closet and LOVE you forever" type.) Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find anything. What sort of mental illnesses accompany something like this? (She has light telekenetic abilities as well. Could this be a possible cause, due to the mental stress?) Also, could these traits be unnoticed by the victim for a great deal of time? (6 months to a year.)

Also, the character she becomes obsessed with ends up in a romantic relationship with her brother at some point in the story. Could this be a cause of a psycotic break of some sort? Would she try to "replace" him somehow, or would she try to take him back?

leg injuries ending sports career

setting: modern Europe
I need an injury that would basically end a teenage boy's tennis career - something that would stop them playing, but still be able to walk around to some degree, even with a cane. I was initially thinking a leg injury from a car crash - being hit by a car as opposed to being in the car, although that can be flexible.
How long would it take him to be able to walk again, how long would he stay in hospital, all little details like that.

I've searched for "leg injuries tennis" "leg injuries stopping tennis" "leg injuries hit by a car ending sports careers" but I get mostly stories about tennis leg or American football players.

Attempts to get on Internet from Intranet and error messages.

Setting: Presumably modern day, with modern equipment, like standard desktop computer with a stripped down version of a Windows OS.

So my character is trapped an area that he was kidnapped to as some sort of social experiment. As part of the experiment, all of the subjects have a computer that can only access a forum to communicate with one another on a local intranet. The character in question wants to attempt to break through the intranet to get onto the internet. How would he go about attempting this? (Namely, what things would he type in where.) What sort of error messages would he encounter when he failed? (As he will fail.)

Search strings: intranet to internet, intranet error code, computer error code intranet, accessing internet via intranet

(I'm also fairly computer illiterate so if someone good with computers notices I'm using terms wrong or things just don't work like that to begin with, do let me know.)