November 25th, 2009


Book (or something else, but probably a book)

Searched: Various combinations of 'sport' 'book' and 'classic', but all were unsuccessful.

Setting: Modern-day USA.

I have two characters at the beginning of a relationship, and the moment that tips the scale from casual flirting to flirting with intent involves them bonding over something unexpected.

One characters is obsessed with sports (mainly baseball, but America football as well), and the other isn't, at all. My idea was to have them both be reading the same book, one that's about sport(s), but also 'good enough' that the non-sports-fan would be a fan of it as well.

Would anyone be able to suggest anything?

It doesn't have to be a book, but I think that would work best, as whatever it is ties in to the plot later as a present after a huge fight, so a book (preferably an old one) would suit that part of the plot better, but the bonding part is the most important, so something else might work instead.


blast radius of dynamite

This is probably an easy question to answer, but my googles of "blast radius of dynamite" and combinations of the above words have turned up either nothing (even wikipedia had not much more than chemical makeup and history of manufacture and use), or the blast radius of dynamite in any of a million and one games in which it appears, but no real life information.

I have four giant steam powered mechanical cats situated across the top of a stair going into a building. I can adjust their positions however is necessary to make the scene work. The cat's engines are still warming up, and the characters have placed sticks of dynamite in their mouths to blow them up, hopefully before they finish heating up and activate. Of course, at least one is to survive this, and attack the characters, because there'd be no point in throwing giant mechanical steam cats in a story if they weren't going to come to life and kill something. So I want to know how far apart I'd need to have them, for two sticks of dynamite in the mouth of one not to destroy the next one beside it, or trigger the next one's dynamite to go off.

Again, I can move them as far apart as need be.
Pride & Prejudice

Police Procedure, anyone?

Searched: Police procedures, sixties police procedures, police procedures homicide
Setting: 1960s Margate

Basically, I'm writing a fanfic crossover in which my MC wakes up one morning to find his own dead body next to him, despite the fact that, a few injuries aside, he appears to be perfectly fine (he'll later find out that he's impervious to X-Rays, and that electricity is a big no-no for him). The police arrive, arrest him and an ambulance carts the corpse off to hospital.

What I'm looking for is anything that would give me an idea as to how they would have dealt with what is a really rather odd homicide case. I've got the basics of post-arrest procedures that are followed by police in England today, but I can't find anything that gives me an idea as to how and when this has changed, and thus what would have been done 40-50 years ago. Would he have been interrogated immediately? Given a lawyer? Would a friend be allowed to bail him out, and how could strings be pulled by the lawyer (if allowed) to help with this?

Also, if there's anything I should bear in mind when drawing out some (admittedly sketchy) descriptions of 1960s Margate and London aside from the downright obvious, do let me know.
Dr Who flirting with Shakespeare

details on schooling


I have a few questions about the US educational system. I've found plenty of schools willing to enroll me and my non-existent children, and plenty talking about how excellent their curriculum is, but not these specific details. Most of them regard PE (physical Education) and RE (Religious Education) and Latin. Forgive my ignorance, I grew up in The Netherlands where I had to take PE, RE and narrowly missed having to take Latin in highschool (and regret all three - I wanted to do Latin!) and report cards.


1) I assume PE is mandatory in junior (and middle?) schools, is it also in high school?
2) I gather middle school is a relatively newer invention. Did they exist say...15 years ago? Common? Widespread?
3) Assuming a relatively smaller midwestern town, would all the pupils have the same PE teacher?
4) In high school, would PE be subdivided into different sports? Would different semesters/trimesters be focussed on specific sports?
5) for any teachers out does grading for PE work? I never could figure that out. I want the teacher in this piece of fiction give MMC1 a bad grade for not doing a summersault even though he can - he's distracted by the girls.
6) is PE single gender or mixed boys and girls?

1) Is there such a thing as RE, or does that fall under separation of church and state? (bit confused there, some sites claim its different, but then you end up with evolution being taught in biology class?)
2) What religions bar the major Christian denominations would be taught in RE in the US? (if its not taught at all, please ignore this question).
3) To what level would it be taught? How detailed?
4) Failing having RE present

1) Is Latin taught at all pre-college?
2) Is Latin taught in any colleges? Many? Rare?
3) Could a student in say, pre-law take a latin class?

Report cards...
1)What is considered an average grade? (I grew up on percentiles)..A C? A B? and how many subjects are taught as an average at junior school and high school?
2) If a child was failing a grade, what would that grade be? Would the teacher send a note home, call the parents, wait for parent/teacher evening, not do anything? Is remedial class common?
3) When does a child get held back?
4) conversely, when is a teenager recommended for a scholarship?
5) are athletic scholarships/Pe scholarships based on a generality or a subsection of Pe (Ie, swimming, football etc?)
6) How many recommendations or teachers would need to recommend a child for a scholarship? What is the procedure?

Sorry for the sheer amount, I want to write a fic for a friend who has had a rough year and I dont' want to sound all too 'unamerican' and unfortunately the show is firmly set in the US.