April 2nd, 2009

Do you google?

Animal Mauling, NY Hospitals in the 1980s

Finally broke down and joined up to ask a couple of questions that my (relatively weak) Google-fu has failed to answer concerning a fanfic I've been working on. I've done some backtracking through the old posts here as well as some prodding about on Wikipedia, but I'm just not finding the details I need.

Setting is late '80s (specifically 1988 to 1989) New York, character in question is a Latino male in his late teens from a lower class background. Also, story is set in a world  were giant alien robots exist and are on Earth in a semi-public way, but most humans (including the afore-mentioned teen) do not have access to any superscience.

First off, let's begin with wounding! Character was badly mauled by a robotic condor, mainly cutting and slashing wounds, which resulted in him undergoing surgery and then being hospitalized. I have in mind that he's had at least his leg slashed open,  to a degree that he'll walking with at least a limp, and was further mauled to a point that he'd have been put in a critical condition. (Suggestions on what other kinds of injuries come from animal maulings are welcome!)

Storywise, he's passing off the injuries as being the result of a nasty wipe-out on motorcycle. He's had visits from the police several times during his stay at the hospital, on the suspicions that it's gang related given the nature of his injuries. Would they accept that it was a "motorcycle accident" or will they be more likely to assume it's a lie? I do not want him to end up in custody, but I'm interested in possibly using police survelliance as an excuse for him having closely watched for an extended period of time.

There are also a few points on his stay in the hospital and his release. As written, I've got him spending at least a few weeks at Mt. Sinai and I need to know if this would be unusual for someone like him to be there.  I also need something about how long it'd take for him to resume normal activities and what kinds of aftercare he'd be expected to follow. I'm especially interested with when it'd be alright for him have sex, since I'm planning for there to be a point in the story where there'll be at least a romantically intimate encounter for him.  And on a minor note, is it standard practice for recently released patients to be wheeled out of a hospital in a wheelchair or would he be able to walk out on crutches?

The final bit of information I'm needing is if an older same-sex partner would be allowed to handle the paperwork and other things, like picking up perscripitons, for our injured character. I'm willing to have the partner claim to be either a social worker or relative, but I'm planning on there being some rather obivious hints that they're actually a gay couple. Again, I'd love to have further details on how the hospital staff might react to this as well.

Thanks in advance for any and all info you wonderful folks can provide!

Searches done have included: "car wrecks", "car accidents", "animal maulings", "recovery", "hospital release", "resuming normal activites after ____"

Birth certificates, declaration of paternity

Hi. Wow, I just love the idea of this site.

Time: 2003-2009 (I don't think I could go back any further)
Location: California, U.S.--birth could be amended to Arizona, nevada or another relatively nearby state.

I was working under the impression that a mother could put down a "father's" name on a child's birth certificate and that that person would be considered the legal father of the child unless it was contested and otherwise proven. But I stumbled across some possible contradictory info that made me wonder....
If the "father" and mother are not married do the rules change? Does the father have to sign a declaration of paternity to be listed or is it optional? I'm just wondering if it's possible in this day and age for the mother to just put anyone down or have the rules tightened?
I understand unmarried fathers are encouraged to sign Declarations of Paternity, and that it is indeed and option, but is that signed declaration *mandatory* in order to be listed as the father on a birth certificate? And if so, does anyone know of a state in which it is not?

For the purpose of the story the "father" is not biologically the father, but it will never be contested or even widely known.
I really hope this works.

Searched: "California birth certificates", "declaration of paternity"
(results were mostly centered around child support and ordering certificate copies)

Thank you.


WWII/Cold War era anesthetic for keeping children quiet

Hi, so I know that during WWII, in many books and films and I am pretty sure in real history as well, when people had to hide or cross borders without being detected, they would give babies some kind of medicine to knock them out for long enough that they wouldn't cry and give the others away. Also, in the film Exodus about the struggle for Israeli independance, at one point many kids are given some kind of shot to make them sleep while others carry them away from their home which is about to be attacked.

I am trying to write an early Cold War-era (late 1940's) story in which a family from a Soviet republic -- actually a fictional one but I am basing it a lot on Poland -- is trying to get to the west. There's a father and mother, both in their early thirties, who have a few month old baby. There's also a 60-ish year-old grandma, but she's kind of irrelevant for the question. I am thinking that the father, who was with the Resistance during the war, would have some experience with whatever this anesthetic is to make his baby sleep through their border crossing, or if he didn't he'd certainly know someone who did. I'm looking for something that could potentially kill the baby if administered wrongly. Of course, the father won't tell the others that this is a risk, and the baby will actually be fine, but the mother will be troubled by this whole scenario and once they are safely in France she will do some research and discover that there actually was this risk, and the story will basically be about the conversation that the couple have once the mother finds out that her husband put the life of their child at risk and didn't even consult with her.

So, basically, I would like to know what kind of anesthetic it would be, and how would I find out what a safe dose would be and an unsafe dose, or the specifics, whether it's more based on chance or the individual's body. I really don't know how to research this right. I looked up chloroform on Wikipedia but all I learned was that it is only administered through breathing it and besides the use in the films of people slapping a rag with chloroform on someone's face isn't really realistic. I looked through their list of anesthetics at Wikipedia but there didn't seem to be this specific info. I also looked in the tag medicine: drugs here at little details, but those posts were mostly about treatment of illegal drug addiction and overdose, which isn't what I'm looking for.

Thank you so much!

Large Hadron Collider

Hello there, everyone! My character, Apis, would like to know what kind of security he will likely encounter when attempting to take control of the Large Hadron Collider on the border of France and Switzerland. Normal, human security, as opposed to the ancient beings that're trying to stop him, anyways.
Erik and noir

Couple questions about UK cars and drug scene

Oh wow, is this the first time I've posted here? That's bizarre.

Alright, so, these are really little details. Basically, I'm making a noir-type modern day mystery comic thing, that happens to be in London. The location isn't important to the story, but since I know it's in London, and I'd like people to go 'Ohh yeaaah that makes sense' if they ask, I'm trying to get the details right. And since it's a comic as well, there can be a lot of unspoken details.
Now I've been to London, but since I don't live there, most of my stuff comes from research.

The main character has a car, that is important to the story. From his financial and... All around status, it really should be some kind of used-but-kinda-reliable car. However, again, I live in America, and the cars were hella different when I was in London. I've googled various combination of 'old cars', 'london', 'used cars', etc, but most of what I get is people trying to sell me things, which isn't really what I want. Personal information would be loved, really.

Second up, the main character lives with a drug dealer (and by cumulative effect and having an addictive personality, is somewhat of a druggie). I've done plenty of research in drugs and their effects, etc, but am having a pretty hard time finding social information about that kind of thing (Short of watching movies), and even harder finding out if there's some different quirks to the Britain drug scene then American (Which is where I find any information about). Different slang words or customs specifically would be great.

Third off, like I said, the main character is supposed to be played off as a not-quite-completely-addicted druggie. He's already a heavy smoker, which I reason would make it easier to be convinced to try something more, especially being something of a depressed guy. Besides marijuana, is there something he could stick in hand-rolled cigarettes? I'm also curious (going with the above question) if certain drugs are more popular in the UK then the US.
(The last two I've done a lot of blanket searches on, but most information comes up from the US, or in poll results. Specifically I've been using search terms like 'Uk/Britian, drug scene, cigarettes, drugs, hand-rolled, slang' and... A bunch of other stuff not off the top of my head.)

I hope I got the tags right. I probably should've done more research, but what I'm really looking for is... Well first-hand accounts or interviews or something. Not the statistics I keep getting.