November 13th, 2009


Cell phone reception in airport x-ray scanner

Setting: Washington state, USA, current time. Basically last week.

What would happen to a cell phone's reception while the phone is going through an x-ray machine at an airport security checkpoint? Would the x-rays interfere with or block the signal, or would it work normally? If someone tried to leave a voicemail message (if, for example, the call got through but was not answered because the phone was in the scanner), would the resulting message be affected? Alternately, would the construction of the x-ray machine itself (I assume there's lots of lead and other metals involved) block the signal?

My ideal situation is that the protagonist, on his way out of the country, gets a call from his boss, who is trying to give him important information about sudden changes in their plan. I want the phone to ring, either in the x-ray scanner or just before going in, but either the phone's reception is cut off, or the message is garbled - the end result of the scenario should be that the necessary information doesn't get to the protagonist right away (but he knows that his boss tried to call him). Is this a reasonable scenario?

I've Googled various combinations of: cell phone reception in airport security x-ray scanner, are cell phones affected by x rays, do x rays affect cell phone reception, et cetera; I've also asked some technologically-savvy relatives, who weren't sure.

Thanks in advance!
Garak - I wouldn't do that...

Anti-gay Bullying in Japanese high schools?

Believe it or not, this is a very hard thing to google for! I've tried all manner of combinations of "gay/homosexual"+"Japan/Japanese"+"school"+"bullying/harassment/teasing/etc." i.e. "Homosexuality in Japanese schools", "Gay bullying school japan", "harassment in Japanese school", etc. etc. but I keep turning up blanks (or links for yaoi manga, *sigh*).

Basically, I know that affectionate interaction between boys in high school is not unusual and there are plenty of common behaviors that in the US would raise red flags which don't even turn a head in Japan. But say someone started a malicious rumor or KNEW that a kid was gay. What sorts of things would bullies do to that kid? What would they say? How would they go about bullying a kid they knew was gay? Once it got out that a kid was gay, how would other students as a whole react to them? Avoidance? Would they just ignore it? Subtle teasing or non-so-subtle? What about teachers? Would they defend the gay kid, ignore it, join in?

I was hoping to find actual stories/accounts of personal experiences, but my google-fu has failed me. I looked back through the tags of the community too, but didn't find anything applicable.

(Just out of curiosity (as I haven't actually done the google research for this), what sorts of things have you seen/heard in/about other countries? UK? China? Italy? Anywhere else?)

Thanks so much! Love this comm. :)

Understanding English over the ages

Title's not great, but I need to explain what I mean. I'm writing a (crack) fic where King Arthur is resurrected about once every hundred years up to the 2020's -ish. Assuming he starts off in England in about 1000AD speaking Old English, at what point will he stop being able to understand spoken English? Please note that each time he is resurrected he doesn't have time to pick up any of the language, as he invariably dies within about a day.

The fic is for the Merlin BBC series, if that makes a difference (let's face it, Arthurian legend is not generally great on historical accuracy).

I've been through the posts on this comm, but I don't really know how to search for the answer. Thanks in advance.

ETA: Thank you everyone! And while all the discussion of Welsh etc. is very interesting, I'm going with Arthur speaking English (KNIGHTS IN SAXON TIMES is all I'm saying...).