May 14th, 2009

1970s University Culture

Setting: early 1970s [1970-1974], West Virginia, North-central area, at a rather large University

Backstory: The main characters are two gay males, one the scion of a rather wealthy family [in-state] (I haven't quite figured out what they're rich from yet) and the other is an orphan from NYC. They're not flamboyant or anything like that.

Questions: What I need are, really, some ideas of how the campus life would be in the 70s. Not the gay subculture-just the general student body.
Like general attitudes, policies, dorm life, anything else you can think of.

Research Done: wikipedia'd the pages for the real-life basis of the city/University. And these websites: and

Graveyard happenings

My story is present-day. It takes place in a university town where there isn't very much to do so even the non-goth kids hang out at the big graveyard in town so they can drink, carouse, whatever. (I think this is Ripon, WI, but haven't decided for sure yet.)

What are some things you've done or heard of people doing in graveyards for fun? I know all about headstone rubbings and stuff, but I'm wondering especially about college-type fun that's had in graveyards.

The Day Dream - Yachts in the 1790s

I'm writing a fic that takes place in 1794 and involves Sir Percy Blakeney's yacht, the Day Dream. I've searched all over for yachts in the 1790s, searching on google and wiki, and even searching all over Regency and Georgian sites--but I can't find anything on the actual ships, just on the culture and the Royal Yacht Club.

What I need is:

1. Schematics for the yacht, because I really get confused when ships are just described in words.

2. When the heck did ships start having galleys? I've tried searching this and only get a history of the galley ship, not of the galley (as in kitchen) ON a ship.

3. How big would the Day Dream be, and how much crew would she have? I'm assuming she wouldn't have any guns, since she's a pleasure-cruiser.

4. Could she hold enough supplies &c. for seven passengers and then crew? And we know that she's sufficient for crossing the Channel, but what about longer journeys? I'm aware that yachts weren't really made for longer journeys, but secrecy (the seven passengers are the LXG) means they can't really commission a larger ship.

Edit: One of my sailing friends suggested that the Day Dream was probably a two-masted schooner, gaff rigged. After searching to try and find an image reference, I found the Lynx. Do you think using the Lynx as a basis for the Day Dream is historically accurate?

derelict ships

Time and place -- Klondike Gold Rush, 1898. I've googled some, but I'm not sure what terms to use -- I've googled a lot about the Klondike in the last few months, and gotten a lot of useful information, but I haven't run across this sort of thing except for a few fuzzy pictures. I also have a fair amount of printed research material on that Gold Rush, but it doesn't get specific enough about what I need on this particular subject.

A lot of the ships used to transport the argonauts up the west coast from Seattle to the panhandle of Alaska on their way to the Klondike were boats that were not terribly seaworthy, to put it politely. Some of them never made it out of Puget Sound, and more sank along the way.

What I need to be able to do is describe what a ship like that would look like from the point of view of a naïve young person who is sailing north on one (and, no, it will not make it to Skagway in one piece). The kinds of things she'd notice about it, at first and as she slowly realizes what a mess she's gotten herself into. And what it would be like to be on a boat like that when it actually sinks. In what order does what happen and so forth. Technical details.

Any suggestions?
Sheryl Nome

Japanese word for 'peahen'

Situation: Y is having an argument with his sword, which is rather vain, reflected in the fact that part of its name translates to 'peacock'. As the argument escalates, Y ends up calling his sword a peahen, sending it into a sulk. He later says it again, in order to call out as little of his sword's power as possible.

What I want to know is if there is a distinction between 'peacock' and 'peahen' in Japanese. If so, what is it in romaji?

Searched: several online dictionaries/translation sites. Those that gave a result in romaji didn't recognise 'peahen' as a valid word in English.

Indian deities in merchandising?

Our world, present day:

You know how figures from Greek and Roman mythology show up in advertising, and various commercial uses? (Venus brand razors, Hermes as florist mascot, etcetera.)

Does anyone have examples of this happening with Indian deities? (That's "from India", not "Native American".) I can't think of any offhand, but of course I don't know every Indian deity (nor every advertising campaign).

I'd be interested in examples from anywhere in the world, though it would be best if they're in English (I can also muddle through French if necessary), or if there's an English translation/explanation available.