June 28th, 2009

From The Rooftops They Were Watching

Chicago, present day.

My novel takes place in Chicago, and while I've done lots of hands-on research there, I'm missing two bits of information that the internet has been incredibly unhelpful with.

One, does anybody know where I can find pictures of, or has been in and can describe for me, the lobby of the Chicago Tribune building on Michigan Avenue? I'm not talking about Tribune Tower, but the building next to the river. I've seen the outside of it up close and personal but never been inside. I've searched the internet high and low and can't find ANYTHING. Surely someone has at least gone on a class trip and taken pictures?

Two, does anyone know the name of this piece of stained glass in the Richard H. Driehaus gallery at Navy Pier? Like an idiot, when I was there visiting, I failed to note the name of it, but thought I could look it up on the internet later. Ha! Google has been COMPLETELY unhelpful.

Thank you!
animal mikey
  • pisica

Cyanide: does the smell hang around?

So I know from my basic research that a) cyanide smells like almonds/bitter almonds and that b) not everyone can actually smell it. For the sake of the story, I'm going to assume that my main female character *can* smell it, and even if she personally doesn't recognize it, that the reader will be able to.

The question I need answered, which I cannot find an answer to, is:

Someone in a basement room, no windows, has died by ingesting cyanide. (It was in a glass vial which was cracked open, so the poison was exposed to the air before being ingested.) The body has since been removed from the room. Would there be any tell-tale smell remaining in the room? The time scale here is somewhere between 1-6 hours after the death. (The body was discovered and removed almost immediately afterwards, but the character does not go into the room right away.)

In the course of my Googling I found a site which mentioned that cyanide evaporates and disperses quickly, but given that this is a room with almost no air flow, I didn't want to extrapolate.

Sherlock is tired of your bullshit

Runaways and Foster Care in London

Setting: Now-ish. Probably '06 or '07
Research Done: went through comm tags like mad; googled British Foster Care, English Foster Care, Action for Children, National Children's Home, British Social Services, a few others I can't remember.

The deal:

Ideally, I want my main guy to be somewhat friendly with a group of teenage kids, probably between 13-16 or so. The way the scenario is drafted is the kids are all either run-aways, or in some sort of foster placement. How does placement and education work for these sorts of kids, and what would be the channels taken if they were picked up on the street, having run away/skipped school?

It's kind of a small one, but I get the feeling that if I fake it, it'll be horribly wrong.