March 1st, 2009

out of the mouth of babes

When: current day (any time on the last 20 years)

Where: U.S./Canada (could be U.K. or Australia, but let's keep things simple

Terms searched: none (no idea what to look for, and it's
                      personal experience/opinion anyway

Scenario:


     Single mother Ann, 35, has just been invited out for a
casual dinner - the closest she's had to a date in at least
two years.

     Also invited is daughter Bonnie.  Bonnie is scary
precocious in a good way: chronologically ten, she's
intellectually and (in many ways) socially fifteen.  She's
not a wise-ass, a show-off, or cruel, but is quite capable
of making incisive comments, including on subjects that
would make people squirm if it came from a real fifteen-
year-old. (It's something her mother doesn't encourage,
but prefers to moderate rather than try and ban.)

     What I'm looking for is ideas for things she might say -
and not just the squirmy kind - or do that would cause a
reasonable adult to have to rapidly recalibrate how they're
going to deal with her.

asphyxiation and live burial info

Searched: The 'buried alive' tag here, yahoo, google 'live burial', 'oxygen deprivation', 'asphyxiation', 'smothering','symptoms of hypoxia' etc.

Setting: Undecided

I have found some info concerning these two topics on this live journal but I also found some info while searching on yahoo and google but nearly all the info that I've found contradicts each other.

So:

1) Could a coffin be completely buried without buckling or collapsing? If it were buried less than six feet deep? If the dirt were shoveled on by hand and therefore more slowly than on mythbusters?

2) How much would/could the depth that the coffin was buried affect the length on time it took the person inside to suffocate? Would my character survive longer if he were buried under less dirt?

Lets say my guy is successfully buried and the coffin is holding up underneath the weight of the dirt.

3) Taking into consideration that my guy is not completely without oxygen but just receiving a very low amount of oxygen, about how long would he be awake and:

coherent? 1-2 mins or less? more?

delirious? 1-2 mins or less? more?

4) Overall about how long would it take for him to die?

5) Would he have time to think? Be frightened? Sad? Remember things?

St. Petersburg in 1812

When: 1812, during Napoleon's invasion of Russia
Where: St. Petersburg

Terms searched: St. Petersburg 1812, Napoleon's Invasion of Russia, (I have found books, but they are all very expensive!)

Scenario: A minor British nobleman, (son of a Duke), is attatched to the Embassy in Russia, and living there with his wife and children, (two daughters, eleven and sixteen. There are also some sons, but they're all safely off at school). During the Invasion:

1. Was there panic in the city, or were people reasonably sure that, even though Napoleon had taken Moscow, he couldn't get to St. Petersburg?

2. Would the father of the family be considered irresponsible if he didn't get his wife and children, out of the city? Or would it be considered the safest place possible?

3. Would there still be entertainments being held, (Balls, etc.) or would everyone be staying in their own houses, worrying?

Thank you!