November 15th, 2009

language barriers

Common British Nicknames (Family)

Hi! I'm looking for common nicknames that could be tossed around in a contemporary British household, particularly between siblings. What would an older sister call her younger brother? Or perhaps there is no general nickname for a little brother? (I don't need a nickname that is a spin-off from the actual brother's name. I've got one already.)

Honestly, I haven't got the slightest clue. I've googled things like "British nicknames", "British nicknames for siblings", "British nicknames for younger brothers". I usually just keep getting British nicknames for people from a specific place in England or nicknames for British army units.

I know that, for instance, my little brother calls me Tata, which is obviously not my name. But, we're Cuban, and in our culture, generally, the older sister is called Tata. Just a nickname like saying "Mum" or "Dad". I was wondering if perhaps the same thing existed for the Brits.

Thank you!

history is from europe

French names in Canada, modern day

I have a character who is mid 30s/40s, male, Canadian. The story is set in 2100-2150 or so. So, not-so-distant-future. He's from Quebec and his first language is French. I am very torn about what to name him!

I'd like his name and last name to signal his French background, if possible. I've sort of been in love with the Jean-Something construction, but:
1. I don't know which Jean-X names are/aren't currently in fashion in Canada and which you'd expect to find in someone 100 years in the future (probably whichever names sound horridly old fashioned now).
2. Since he's going to be referred to by his first name by the other characters, whichever name I pick I'd also need to know how French speakers would shorten it (if at all) and how English speakers would shorten it, assuming non Francophone Canadians or Americans.

My research has turned up that men named Jean-Pierre or Jean-Francois sometimes go by J-P/J-F but in that case I'd also like to know how that's pronounced. Would they introduce themselves as "JP Lastname"? Would French speakers pronounce the letters in French and English speakers in English?

Finally, failing the Jean-X thing, my backup option is Mischel. I've known a few Mischels in my time but none of them were Canadian so I don't know how popular the name is in Canada.

googled: canada boy names common, french boy names, jean (wiki)

Thank you for your help!
  • limina

Turning A Flute Into A Galton Whistle

Posting for a friend!

(Previous searches: Galton whistles, flute making and many variations thereof.)

The story is set in Europe in the middle ages, so something of the period would be awesome, but the story is flexible enough for a certain amount of handwaving to get the instrument I need.

My story requires a wind instrument that can play music both within and beyond human hearing. Does such an instrument exist? If not, would it be possible to modify or custom build some sort of flute or recorder that could do it? What would be the physical characteristics of the instrument? (I'm guessing longer and thinner than a regular flute.) Would it require special skill to play it? I know that if you blow hard enough into a regular flute or recorder, the sound will go up an octave. Perhaps a "Galton flute" could only be correctly played by somebody with immense lung-power? (This would actually be a major benefit, story-wise.)

Thank you in advance.

Depression era medical school

time: shortly before ww2 place: somewhere in the United States (not quite Real World, but functionally equivalent) search terms: depression era medical school, with and without appropriate quotes

Our Heroine is hired as an army surgeon (possibly technically a contract surgeon, depending on exact year, it hasn't been determined yet) some time in World War 2. (Yes, I know that female surgeons of that era would have been incredibly rare. She's atypical.) What I'm trying to figure out is:

1. How young could she plausibly be, if she started college at 17 and didn't have any delays in her education? (Money is Not an Issue, within reason, her family was very wealthy, and remained reasonably wealthy even during the Depression. Also, she's very smart and studied hard.)
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2. How much actual poking around in live humans would she likely have done by that point? I assume (possibly incorrectly) that she would have to be a resident or something equivalent, or at least an intern, before she could go and be a fully fledged surgeon, even for the Army.

Answers, appropriate research sites, or better search terms all appreciated.
(edited for clarity)

Edit: It looks like I need the rules for the British army, not the US, as the US wasn't hiring female surgeons except as contract workers, at the beginning of the war, and that's when the game will be set. (and, the way the character is shaping up, she wouldn't put up with being a second-class employee if she had another option)
  • areteus

Treatment for drug overdose

Setting: A galaxy far far away, quite a way into the future with human colonists on a distant world.

Searches tried: Looked up various pages on Mescaline and the physical and mental effects and side effects. Cross referenced with a little of own knowledge.

The situation: A character has just taken a dose of a more potent derivative of Mescaline in order to induce a vision quest style thing (there's more to it than that, but I don't see this being relevant to the problem so I'll keep it short). His girlfriend is a qualified Doctor (she's a research medic but can still practise medicine) who administered the drug and is, of course, aware that things are going wrong. My question is: How will she react in order to attempt to save his life?

The technology level of this setting is a little more futuristic than the modern world. They have slightly better medical tech (such as the ability to synthesise drugs) a little more knowledge about drug interactions on the human body and how to manipulate chemical structure to improve effects or reduce side effects (but not eliminate them completely and in some cases not at all due to that reducing the wanted effects) and a little better knowledge of pathology. However, they do not have any fancy 'star trek style' insta-heals or hyposprays or anything like that - I want medicine to be gritty and bloody and still involve things like needles in the arms and breaking the ribcage doing CPR.

Looking at this issue I have found all the symptoms of mescaline use (tachycardia, raised or lowered blood glucose, perspiration and nausea and so on...) but I think I need to get a medic's opinion on what she would do to diagnose and treat all these symptoms. I am assuming the following:

- she is under the impression that his current physical state is life threatening and he will die if she does nothing. This may or may not be the case but her triage tells her it is the case and she has to act now.
- They are in the middle of a forest, miles from anywhere. She could get help summoned quickly but she still has to act to stop him from dying now. Besides, what they are doing is 'slightly illegal' so she would prefer to do it without involving anyone of authority but will do so if it is essential.
- She is prepared for this eventuality, knowing what the drug was and that he intended to take it. This is an experiment he is conducting and she has come along specifically to prevent his stupidity from killing him. So, she can have a doctor's bag with any drugs or equipment in it that she thinks she would need.

So, what would a modern doctor do in this situation? I ask this so I can extrapolate some sci fi treatments to fit the setting.

What would be the most likely of the physical symptoms that are life threatening? Is it the tachycardia? Is it the effects on blood glucose (I notice that the effect changes dependent on dose - raised if low dose, lowered if high - so I am assuming low in this case but does it get as seriously low or high as it can in a Type I Diabetic to the point of risking death?) Or is there another effect I have not mentioned which may be the one that risks death? Bear in mind these symptoms can be greatly exaggerated as the drug is an untested, modified version.

Thanks in advance for any help with anything to do with this situation.