March 20th, 2009


Query concerning English slang.

Would a German who speaks English in the early 1940's know the word TV?  Seriously, I hate using slang if I'm not completely sure that it's proper for the era.  For some reason I'm under the impression that it started in the 50's, but I'm not sure, and no matter how I try, Google is failing me.  Badly.

Can I get a little help, please? :)

I tried things like "etymology of the word TV," "slang TV word," "history of the word TV," and pretty much any variation which I could think of apart from that.
The cursor mocks me.

How fast will a lethal dose of atropa belladonna kill you?

I've searched through several homeopathic sites as well as good old Wikipedia and still haven't found the answer to this question.

I have a character ("A") who is poisoned with a lethal dose of atropa belladonna, AKA deadly nightshade (opens in a new window). The poisoner is an amateur so he uses only enough to get him very sick but not dead. I was thinking he could dose A's red wine with the juice from the berries of the plant, which could mask the taste while delivering a near-lethal dose. He drinks the wine and eventually begins to convulse, which is one of the symptoms.

A is taken to a hospital where he is unknowingly followed by his poisoner ("T"). As A is treated, T slips larger doses of belladonna into his food and drink.

My question is this: once T doses A with a suitably lethal dose, how long does A's doctor have to save his life? A's doctor ("H") doesn't know what's causing his symptoms early on and can only treat the symptoms. What sort of timeline am I working with?

Also, if you have any other nitpicky things about my use of the poison, please pick away! Constructive criticism = good.
  • natane

Cell Phone Awesomeness

My rather technology-obsessed fourteen-year-old boy character gets his first cell phone. He's incredibly excited, of course... and spends a few days telling everyone about all the cool things he can do on it.

Besides the standard coolness of being able to take pictures and text friends and such, so far I have...
- updating his myspace/facebook
- playing hangman (yes, this does exist, I do it when I'm bored)

Any ideas? I've been searching for variations on texting, texts, text messaging + games, tricks, services. All I seem to be getting are various sites that take your number and sell you ringtones. He's not that into music so it wouldn't be the best.

I know there's a service called KGB that's now in the US that lets you get any question you want answered, but as their website tried to download something my computer identified as malware, I got off there pretty quick.


eta: It is not an iPhone, just a standard generic flip phone.
Stefan 2 made by TMomsen8

courtroom procedure for a child custody case

First of all, I'm glad I heard about this community because I'm always needing research help so hopefully I will find a lot of help here now and in the future:)

Now onto my inquiry...


Los Angeles, CA


March 2005


Leonardo DiCaprio and Gisele Bundchen have a small child together. She has had custody for 16 months then one day out of the blue she leaves her with Leo, only to try to come back roughly (haven't decided yet) six months later


What is the courtroom procedure for obtaining full legal custody? I've tried searching Yahoo, YA, Google with search terms like: "courtroom procedures for a child custody case", "trial procedures for a child custody case" and so on and I haven't been able to find anything on what actually takes place during a hearing. Please help
Jade Empire: Wu
  • bearit

Chinese Burial/Cremation Customs

Setting: a fantasy-like Ancient China. To be specific, I'm writing a fanfic for Jade Empire, if it helps clarify any.

I Googled around for "Chinese burial customs" and "Chinese funeral customs" and "Chinese cremation customs" and "multiple burials" and variations thereof. I'm not getting anything that can really help with what I need specifically.

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Thanks, everyone.
if only there were a numeric answer

Springtime emergencies in 1972 Boston

So I'm writing a story set in Boston in 1972, and I have a couple of questions! Very pleased to have found you folks.

1. I can Google up information on the current procedure for 911 calls pretty easily, but has it changed much over the last forty years? Would a guy coming home to find his house broken into, circa 1972, have called 911 and gone through pretty much the same question-and-answer spiel as a guy coming home to a burglary would in 2009? And if not, where on Earth would I go to find out what the procedure was?

2. Also, while I'm here-- Googling "Boston spring" gets me tourism sites, and "Boston spring 1972" mostly articles from academic journals, and the Red Sox 1972 season, which I already know about. What are some things that Boston natives especially associate with spring?

Thanks so much.