November 1st, 2009

eat some sushi get fat

Strains of HIV

Setting: Modern-day Portland, OR.
Searched: "testing for strains of HIV", "determining strains of HIV"

Background: Having previously worked as an HIV/AIDS health and sexuality peer educator (and having done an internship working with HIV-1 in a teaching hospital's lab), I'm fairly in the know about subjects related to HIV/AIDS. I know about transmission and types and all that good fun, so background information isn't necessary! I just left my Book O' Facts at home (no, I really do have one, it was given to me by my old job).

Character in question was infected with HIV, is being treated, etc. He's started to attend support group meetings (specifically, a social networking group for HIV+ men in the Portland Metro area), and has met someone he may be interested in dating.

I understand, of course, that just because two men (or two women, or a man and a woman, interchange at will) are both HIV+ does not in any way mean that they can have unprotected sex without repercussions. Because of the fact that more often than not, each person would be infected with a different strain of HIV, unprotected sex could result in a double HIV infection, which would be bad for obvious reasons.

Searching with Google-fu has given me a whole plethora of interesting but unhelpful information, so I thought I would put it to you: Is there any way to determine whether or not two people have the same strain of HIV? I'm doubting it, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.


Fishing tackle - rod and reel


Setting: 1990s suburban California, Bay Area, but the object in question is at least 20 years older in America. No alternative universe.
Research attempts: Googled variations of "antique/vintage/classic fishing tackle/rod/reel"

Unfortunately, I don't fish. What I know about fishing, Wikipedia told me. Here's the story: I want to create an item that would have sentimental value to its owner - an object that is part of the owner's childhood (in America in say, the 50s-60s) or relationship with his father, but an antique hunter/collector sees it as having great, if not monetary than historical, value.

(Incidentally, if anyone has a better suggestion as to what item that should be, I'd love to hear it!)

I decided on a fishing rod. I have 2 questions: 1) to fulfill the description of the item I gave up there, would the rod or the reel be a better choice? 2) What brand/make/model would you suggest? It can totally be something that was made pre-60s, as something that has been passed down in the family. I've definitely found a lot of brands, but I'm completely confused by all the choices. Would the rod/reel be American in make, or were foreign manufacturers even imported at the time?

Thank you for any light you may shed on the subject!

Quick question about tattoo artists

Okay, I've found articles on apprenticeships on bmezine, etc., but for some reason none of them have yet covered his tidbit:

Would a veteran tattoo artist allow a shop rat-turning-newbie apprentice to sit and observe while he worked on really elaborate pieces? (Assuming it's in a non-private area of the customer's body, that is.)

I don't know if there's a privacy / job-specific etiquette / rank issue here, or if observation is routine. If it makes a difference, the veteran artist wouldn't mind being watched, though he knows the apprentice is years away from doing similar work.

eta: thanks everybody!
Want Salt With That, Needs Salt

Damage to a parked car?

When: Modern day
Location: South of England in a busy city road.
Main character: A male in his early forties and is quite fit and healthy.

My main character is just about to get into his parked car, which is parked behind a parked minibus, which has people getting into it. He has his hand on the handle and is about to open the door, when his car is hit by another car, travelling about 90 miles an hour from behind. The car that hit his car was a Land Rover with a grill on the front which then sped off. My main character's car is a lime green classic model Volkswagen Beetle. The police and ambulance would be called.

I need to know a few things;

1. How far forward would my main character's car and the minibus travel after being hit? I know that it would shunt the minibus forward but I need to know by how much.

2. How much damage would it cause my main character's car or the minibus? What about the car that hit them? I'm guessing the grill on the front would absorb some of the impact but I'm not entirely sure.

3. Would there be any injuries to the people in the minibus? Or to my main character? As the car handle was sort of wrenched from his grasp, I was wondering if he would have any shoulder injuries.

4. Would my main character be breathalysed, even though he wasn't in the car or driving?

Searched: "impact damage" "cars" "crash" "volkswagen beetle" "parked car" "police procedure after accident"

ETA: As 90mph is too fast, if the driver was going about 60mph would that make a difference?
ETA2: I want my main character to be injured but not too much. Broken bones are fine. I'll have to slow the hitting car down more to about 30 - 40mph to make it more feasible.
ETA3: My main character isn't carrying anything in his hands. He had put his work stuff into the passenger side as he was heading off to work. He also has a loose grip on the handle so would his car get knocked out from under his hand?

Thank you to everyone who has replied.

Shift schedules of a junior corrections officer

Where and when: Upstate New York (Mohawk Correctional Facility, to be precise), 1990.

I have searched: Google with variants on "correction officer schedule New York" (which got me payroll information), "correction officer shift New York 1990" etc. Also looked around on the DOCS page for New York state.

What I need to know: My MC is dating a guy who just started working as a corrections officer for Mohawk Correctional Facility. He was assigned there after completing the training school program. Basically, when is the guy likely to be at work or not at work? I don't need tons of nitty gritty on the job itself or anything, just the sort of times he'd be on and off duty and how much that would change once he became more established in his career.
mus | like a bird in a cage

Civilian life in Jaffa? (Crusades)

When: 1191
Where: Jaffa, Palestine
Main character: A fifteen-year-old girl (background characters include an ill mother and three younger siblings)

My character is living in Jaffa when the Crusaders take it. What I want to know is, what effect would the occupation have on her and her family? Her father's a merchant, so I'm guessing that his business would be interupted; both of her older (half-)brothers are in Saladin's army, so if the Crusade army found that out, they might not be kindly disposed towards the family. Would they have any direct contact with the Crusaders? What restrictions, if any, would be placed on their movement?

Searched: Jaffa, Battle of Jaffa, Third Crusade, medieval life in jaffa
Read: Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World, A History of the Arab Peoples, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives