March 27th, 2009

Price of Animal Blood

Setting: Modern-day, greater Chicago area.

My character just got turned into a vampire, and I'm trying to figure out how much it's going to cost him to buy animal blood. I figured he'd go to a local butcher shop or slaughterhouse. I can only find prices for medical-grade animal blood, which is rather expensive and I suspect has been processed in various ways that would make it a poor choice for a hungry vampire.

Since I can't find any information on prices, I'm starting to wonder if I need the price of bribing some slaughter-dude rather than the price of the blood. I'd accept that as something he might reasonably have to do. I'd also be interested in knowing if blood from different types of animals would have different prices, if it's available for purchase.

Googling various combinations of blood, animal, cow, chicago, chicago area, cost, price, chicken, butcher, and slaughterhouse.

Bringing someone back to life

Setting: Year 5,000,000,023 on 'New Earth'

I'm aware that the setting probably looks a little odd, but this is a fic set in the Doctor Who universe. The series of fics I'm planning out hinges partially on something that will happen at the hospital seen on 'New Earth'. Now, I know that the episode of this name says that every disease can be cured, so I've been running on the assumption that it's possible they could bring someone back to life as well. So the questions I have are:

1. Does this sound too implausible or, considering the fandom, is it alright to hand-wave this a bit, as I only plan on referencing the actual resurrection process?

2. The character I'm going to be resurrecting has been dead for a little over a week. Knowing this, would I be right in assuming that tests would be done to make sure that this character's body is functioning correctly, including tests to see if they can feel pain again?

I ran searches on Google using various combinations of 'pain', 'resurrection', 'science fiction', and all the synonyms Dictionary.com has for 'resurrection, but everything I found was related to the Christian idea of 'The Resurrection'.

Forgetting how to read/write? Or how to speak...

Okay, re my subject line....is this possible? Say you have a boy who is eight. The year is 1773. He is educated in that he knows how to read and write and do simple math, knows a little bit about astronomy.

By the time he is ten, he is not only no longer being schooled at all, but he has no other people around him at all - he is completely alone.

Would he forget how to write? How to read? Or would those skills still be there, albeit very rusty?


Related, would he forget a lot of words, or lose the ability to speak clearly altogether? Say he speaks to himself from time time - would he simply lose the habit? Or would he lose the knowledge of how to form words altogether?

I've really found nothing on google that wasn't about brain damage or a from-birth issue, so I'm either not hitting on the right words to use, or there's just not much out there.

Thanks!

ETA: I was so unclear - sheesh! I meant to say - six or seven years later, would he...etc. *rolls eyes*.

Loan Sharks - looking for realistic, non-clichéd behavior.

Hi everyone.

I am in the middle of writing a short story set in near-future NYC, and my main characters are helping out a friend who got on the wrong side of a loan shark. I know nothing about loan sharks other than what I've seen in clichéd movies and TV shows, and the Wiki page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loan_shark). I want this to come across as realistic, and not trite, but I know nothing about what clichés are deserved, and which are just hollywood exaggerations, etc.

In this kind of a situation, I am out of the "write what you know" league, and firmly adrift in the sea of "do your research". But my question is, other than tracking down a loan shark and shadowing him for a week, how can I find out some of the realities of behavior of the seedier side of this type?

Wiki has a nice little page about the history of loan sharking, and it helps clarify a few of the stereotypes, but I'm interested in a little bit more detail.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. (I posted this to sfandfwriters, and got redirected here.)


Thanks,
Matt

Comprehension of Modern French by Middle French Speaker, and Effects of Severe Eyestrain

Setting: Modern day America, but the character in question is from France in 1502. 
Searched: terms relating to Middle French.  Have found lots of interesting information, but not really what I'm looking for.  Also various terms relating to eyes and scriptoria.

Through a series of unusual and complicated circumstances, my character, a Benedictine monk from sixteenth-century France, has found himself stranded in the twenty-first century.  He is very intelligent and good with languages, and is fluent in Middle French, Early Modern English, and Latin.  The English and the Latin I can handle.  My question is, how comprehensible would he find modern French?  Could he figure out what things meant with some small effort, or is it more like the difference between Old English and Modern, where the two are virtually different languages? 

Question Two: This same character has worked in a scriptorium for the last eight years, copying and translating manuscripts in poor lighting conditions.  If he was slightly nearsighted when he started (sometime in his early teens--he doesn't know how old he is), how bad would his eyes be now after eight years of constantly straining them?

Shots and Chasers

I'm not even properly sure how to word this into a complete sentence, it's so random.

I'm looking for a shot/chaser combination, specifically the shot and a chaser that may go with it. It doesn't have to be in any sort of context, as I'm just going for something that sounds really good.

ETA: The reason I'm looking for shot/chaser, is for the title. For some reason, I decided to do a series of fics where the titles in and of themselves have little to nothing to do with the fic, but are used as more metaphors for the overall tone of the story.

TIA
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Demon/Devil/Dragon Tail

I know there is a special word for the type of triangle-tipped tail that devils, dragons, and demons are so often portrayed with. I just can't remember it! I want a hoity-toity character to use it, but I can't find the word anywhere on the internet. It's not "forked," or "spiked." It's something fancy sounding, if I remember correctly.

Searched: Google and Wikipedia

Terms: Tail, spiked tail, Devil tail, demon tail, dragon tail, demon anatomy, devil physical attributes (with various quotation marks, + signs, etc)

Any help is appreciated.

ETA: I'm pretty sure it wasn't "spade tipped." But thank you!
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Body shots; WW2 colleges (unrelated)

1) If someone were to attempt body shots with champagne, would you be able to feel the bubbles on your skin?

2) What would college have been like in Depression America during WW2 (pre-American involvement, 1930-1941, anyway)? I know quite a few if not most of the schools weren't coed, which I can find on specific schools' Wikipedia pages, but I was wondering more like length of time spent and majors. Was it 4 year programs like today or were they shorter? Did you go to college to continue a general education in various fields or did you major in something specific? Would there have been gen ed requirements? (ETA: I've decided I'm thinking Yale.)

Thanks for any and all info provided! :)