October 25th, 2009


Cathedral Visibility in Rouen, France

Help me out, little_detailsers! I'm writing a scene set in the Cimitière Monumentale in Rouen. I found some photos of it (I think it's the right cemetery), and there appears to be a cathedral spire visible from the cemetery. Is this the Cathedrale Notre-Dame, or another church? (I guess the third option is that there are multiple spires visible from the cemetery.)

I tried to find all the photographic evidence I could (and Google Streetview is a fantastic help), but unfortunately it's not the sort of thing one can really google.


Newly Ocuring Deafness in a Doctor

This is set in modern day America.

How would a newly deaf doctor start to deal? He's not in research, but not particuarily hands on unless he has to be, however he does have to communicate effectively with a few other doctors. He has the pretty much ultimate job security of his boss having a sort of father-son (and possibly more) thing for him, so he won't have any danger of losing his job, unless he really isn't able to do it, or be going to be able to do it in the foreseeable future.

He would obviously have to get training in communication, but would he have to go to  a school to do so? What would he learn? He obviously wouldn't go and come back knowing perfectly how to lip-read and sign, but how much *would* he learn? How long would it take for the guy to get something of a handle on how to communicate? The person in question is pretty intelligent. It wouldn't be implausible for his boss to know some ASL, or at least have some experience communicating with the Deaf, but the person himself isn't American, so it's not at all likely that he would know ASL before this.

Obviously there would still be a learning curve after he got the initial training and started to be able to communicate somewhat effectively, going back to work, and learning how to communicate with his boss and coworkers and especially patients.

Mostly, just what would the initial rehabilitation and occupational therapy process be like, and what would the continuation of that process be once the character gets at least partially back to work?

I personally am starting to lose some hearing, enough that conversations are often hard to follow, so I understand a good bit about the frustration and issues the character is going to go through, but the actual process of learning how to function when suddenly completely deaf is what I don't know much about.

Research: Googled things like "newly deaf", "deaf getting back to work", "deaf learning to communicate" but I mostly just got stuff on Deaf rights, and deaf children.

EDIT: The character in question is not a candidate for cochlear implants or hearing aides. He doesn't have to do patient examinations for his job, he just has to be able to communicate with his co-workers and patients to talk to them about treatment/illnesses/etc...

(no subject)

Looking for some information on the history of the MBTA (Boston), most notably:

the "A"line
the original extension/run of the Orange line
the original North Station
abandoned tracks still visible, whether underground or aboveground
abandoned stations

So, far, I've managed to find some photos, and know about the abandoned tracks visible from the Boylston T stop. I'm aware of the old entrance to Arlington in the Public Gardens (now filled in), and while I do know something about the 'A' line, I'm looking for more in depth, if possible. Also, a friend linked me this information via Wikipedia.

Any other information would be most helpful. Thank you.
[a] girl: guitar

Non-damaging sleeping pill overdose?

Scene: Early 2008, set primarily in New York but the specific scene takes place on an international flight to Europe.

Situation: I have a character who is painfully afraid of flying, as such has sedatives from the doctor. Due to his nervous state in airports and on flights, one time he gets distracted and confused and ends up taking more pills than he should (doubling or tripling up on the dose).

I don't want to cause any damage here, I basically want him to react negatively enough for his friends to know he overdosed and for it to freak them all out, but not to cause any real damage and if possible, I'd rather not disrupt the flight/make the rest of the passengers on the flight realize there's something wrong.

I've read quite a bit through various googlings of 'mild sleeping pill overdose' and 'sleeping pill overdose +no damage" and originally I was thinking his breathing would slow down (not dangerously so, though) and he'd be hard to wake until they'd worn off, but now I don't know if that's possible.

So basically, would he be able to take an amount of pills that would make him react in the way above, or in another way that would make it obvious to those sat next to him he wasn't right, yet not alert everyone on the plane?

Then, what would be the reaction to this from the cabin crew? Knowing he was still breathing and that he hadn't taken many pills will they continue the flight as normal? Will he have to seek medical attention when he lands? I'm assuming so, even if it's just to double check there was no damage.

Google wasn't an awful lot of help because there wasn't much about people who accidentally took an extra dose of their medication rather than intentional suicides, and I read this [warning: discusses actual suicide, may be triggering] on here, but again, it's more on the suicide side of things, though it confirmed that my character would likely do no damage through a dose double up.

Thanks for any help.

Coral jewelry and baking poison.

Well, I've gone to Wikipedia and Google for this with absolutely no luck, and the same for any encyclopedias I had on hand. Which is strange, because it strikes me as something that should be commonly known (except for me, of course).

1) Is coral jewelry waterproof? I know common sense dictates that it would be, but I know that some kinds of jewelry treatment can cause a material to be more susceptible to water damage, so I want to make sure. Answered!

2) Do cyanide and arsenic maintain the same potency as poisons at high temperatures? Or in context: if cyanide or arsenic was added to a food product (say, bread dough, or ground beef) prior to cooking/baking, would that food continue to be poisonous after it was done? Would the amount of poison affect this? The temperature used for cooking? Answered!

Any help is appreciated, thanks!
dim vanities

Ecological steam power

Basically, my question is pretty much what the subject line says. Is there any way to have steam power using eco-friendly resources? My setting is a fantasy world with a modern-ish society partially influenced by Ancient Rome, but with steampunk-style technology (combined with low-key magic).

I've searched Google and Wikipedia for "ecological steam power" and "steam power". Unfortunately, my knowledge about this sort of thing is quite limited, so I haven't been able to draw any sensible conclusions myself.

Thanks in advance!
not very bright

Roommates in the 1920s

My story is set in 1920s London, and I'd really like for two of my characters to be roommates, but I want to make sure that this is a plausible arrangement. I've googled many variations of 'living arrangements 1920s' but that sort of search tends to bring up apartment/flat searches for buildings from the 20s instead. (And Flapper House actually takes you to a Japanese Country Western Bar. I love you Google, but that's not helpful)

My characters are in their early twenties, single independent women...and because this is a wish-fulfillment comedy they're both fairly well off. I'm assuming by this point in history a flat would be more likely than a house, but that doesn't matter much to the story. I'm just concerned about whether or not this is a likely arrangement so I can get my characters into the city and away from their family's country manors.