July 20th, 2009


High School Football

The story I'm writing involves two schools with a considerable rivalry. They're both in a moderately sized American town, and one is the large public school in the town, the other is a small, exclusive private school.

If both schools play football in the same division/league/term-I-don't-know, would it be guaranteed they'd play each other during the season, or would that depend on how they played against other teams?


EDIT: What if the schools are the same size?

Tracing a Sat or Cell Phone

Time: Present day.

My MC is trapped in South America (Brazil/Venezuelan border) without a phone, passport, luggage, etc.  Her family knows she's missing but don't know the circumstances or where she is.

At one point, the MC tries to make contact with her family. I haven't decided on a method yet. Could be a cell phone she finds or a Sat phone or maybe even email. The only requirement is the contact is ultimately unsuccessful. It lets the family know that she's alive, but it doesn't reveal where she is.  She doesn't get the chance to say and they can't trace it. There don't even find out where in the world she is.

The police haven't been called, so there is no one in place to trace any calls, but the brother is a computer programmer and would be capable of tracing something if necessary. (except the plot requires he fail ).

I know email can be traced unless it's origin is intentionally hidden, which is not the case here. Same with a cell phone, though I don't know how it would work with a foreign cell phone. (Maybe it's a throwaway, if there's a foreign equivalent.). I've been leaning toward a Sat phone, but I haven't been able to find much on the ease or not of tracing one.

Perhaps she uses the cell or sat phone of a tourist. Would that trace back to the home country of the owner rather than the current location?

Any one have any ideas for the best method of contact given these restrictions?


How taboo was the subject of sex in 1930s Britain - how would it have been talked about?

I have an upper-class English character set in 1930s London. The story has got to the point where sex is being talked about between himself and his lover.

What I need to know is, what terms might such a character use to illustrate that he is talking specifically about sexual intercourse? Would the word 'sex' be mentioned? What euphemisms might he employ?

It would also be useful to know just how much sex was discussed in those days. I've read some literature and watched several films from that era, but what I've read and seen seem to imply that no-one ever talked about it, there was no sex before marriage, and everyone slept in a single bed. What was the reality? Would two gentlemen friends, for example, talk at all to each other about their experiences - or would that be considered completely inappropriate?

If you have information on the subject of homosexuality, that would be great too, though I think that subject has been covered already.

Search terms:
I've searched Google for '1930s British slang sex', '1930s British euphemisms sex', '1930s British synonyms sex', '1930s British slang intercourse', '1930s British slang making love'

Sites offering examples of some 1930s American slang terms, and sites explaining current British slang, but nothing detailing 1930s British slang.  Wikisaurus was helpful in producing some examples of what I think I'm looking for, but it didn't tell me whether the phrases were likely to be used by an upperclass Englishman from the 30s or not.

Many thanks!
Avengers: Hawkeye

Ambulance layout/gurneys

This is for a story set in modern day America. I've google a bunch of terms and read thorough descriptions of ambulances but I'm still not sure what the answer is; I hope you can help!

My question is this: Could an ambulance hold two gurneys, or would two people have to be sent in two ambulances?

I'm leaning towards the latter, but I'd just like to know if there are any circumstances where it would happen.

microscopic - thingy...

Professional Equestrians

Setting: Modern Day, California or larger US area

Terms Searched: professional equestrian contracts; professional riding, professional riders, etc. working with horses; etc.

I'm looking for information on how being a professional show rider works. I'm writing in the world of eventing, but if there's no specific information available for that, I'd be happy to hear about show jumping, dressage, etc.

I'd like to know where the money comes from for professional riders. I know they have some sponsorships - does anyone know what proportion of their income would come from this? Otherwise, I assume they are hired by the owners of the horses (I know some riders own their own, but my characters don't have a lot of capital, so I'd rather not have them need that level of investment). Do riders get a portion of the prize money? Is this all? Are ALL riders also the trainers, and therefore making money from training fees?

What I'm hoping is possible - character A runs an eventing stable, has several top-level eventers, but doesn't have the nerve/insanity to show them at the top levels himself. I'd like him to hire character B to ride the horses under A's supervision, and show the horses, but I'd like it to be a part-time thing for B, with him also working for some other owners. If this is possible, how would B be paid? How much time would B need with the horses before he knew them well enough to event them effectively? Is it realistic to have A riding the horses in training and just handing them to B for showing (A has the ability to do the cross-country courses, but he doesn't push quite hard enough to be a top level competitor - does this make sense?).?

Thanks for any help.
  • shlafe

Not in Kansas anymore

This is for the non-American folks on the list.

If I said to you, "You're not in Kansas anymore," would you know what I was talking about?  Where do you live?  And how old are you?
Is there a non-American equivalent?

All I came up with on my searches were movie and pop culture references.  :)

Thank you!

EDIT:  WOW, thanks, everybody!  I definitely got the information I needed.

I didn't put what it was from in my post, of course, but most of you know it's a deriviation of what Dorothy says in The Wizard of Oz when she walks out of her house after it landed in Munchkinland.