December 7th, 2009


Symptoms of Victorian hysteria

I've been doing some searching for "symptoms of hysteria," "Victorian hysteria in women," and the like, and while I've seen multiple mentions of a list containing "75 pages of possible symptoms," I have yet to find any list of significant length that describes these symptoms. All I'm finding is the Wikipedia article and the articles that were copypasted to make the Wikipedia article. Help me out?

I want specifically symptoms as described in the Victorian (pre-Freud or co-current with his work) era, not the modern hysteria that a few rather sketchy self-diagnosis websites describe.
me, negative
  • kitryan

Sheriff uniforms, 40s and 50s

Trying to find out if a small- 2 to 6 person sheriff's department in a small town in Washington state in the late 40s or early 50s would always wear an official uniform. I'd like to have them wear regular clothes and have it not be too weird.
Searched Combination of: Sheriff, uniform, 40s, 50s, small town
What I found so far:
In uniform in CA, in 40s, 50s
indicates that in the 20s and 30s, when the dept. was smaller, they didn’t really wear uniforms, also, in the group pics with uniforms, there are some not in uniforms- possibly the guys in charge?
In uniform in the 50s
(I couldn't tell from the posting rules if I should tag this or if that would be confusing)
(it's also my 1st post, so please let me know if I've done anything wrong/less than optimally)

Thank you!
misc nerd
  • pisica

Worldbuilding the post-apocalypse society, but not in the blast zone

I'm worldbuilding a post-apocalyptic society, but the problem I'm having is that I'm figuring out how badly an area would be affected 40-60 years later when they aren’t actually in the blast zone. Say, if there's a nuclear strike on the east coast (circa now), how would California fare in the next two generations? (I *can* nuke LA as well, if necessary, but would very much prefer not to. I want the emphasis on society, not fallout.) Specifically, an area in central California – I'm working with Bakersfield and Fresno as the possible north/south end points.

Now, there's a bit of handwavey SF stuff going on that will affect this, but basically I'm trying to figure out a logical way that society would break down into smaller pieces and build itself up again within my desired timeframe. I want it to be just at the point where some local governments are banding together and the biggest one is asserting itself as the overarching government for that area. I can play with the variables all I want – there can be setbacks ranging from pandemics to famine years to the cities (including Bako and Fresno) destroying themselves in riots to looters coming out into the rural areas – but I need it to seem logical that at THIS time, everything is seemingly coming together. I can stretch it out to three generations if possible, but really don't want to go beyond that, as I want there to be at least a few survivors who remember the Old Days.

What I also want is for this geographical area to be as self-sustaining as possible (this is for essential plot reasons) – it doesn't have to be grandiose, but food and supplies and energy sources need to be available, fertility rates need to be at a suitable level, and they need some kind of transportation. (Horses? This is partly ranch country, after all.) How many people would be required to create this kind of society? How large an area can reasonably hold itself together in this manner? Oh, and I need guns, which means being able to make bullets after the existing stocks run out....

This is basically the iceberg – 90% of it will be underwater but I need to know it's there or I can't build the story on top of it. Any suggestions/advice gratefully accepted.

Where I've already looked: some homesteading and survivalist websites, but the emphasis there tends to be on what to stock up on now (I'll keep looking). Some useful sites I've found include Bombshock: and this post theorizing a nuclear attack on Washington DC: and this one on post-apocalyptic pandemics: and I think I might need to order the Paladin Press backstock....


Slightly rude words in the 1940s?

time: early 1940s, place: Somewhere in Europe (near the western front), though the person in question grew up in the US and went to college in England. The same character that 4 of my last 5 posts have been about (she's eating my brain!)
Not really sure how to search this, though I took a vague stab at "slang terms (1940s OR ww2 OR "world war 2")--can't tell levels of rudeness very well, however, and there wasn't much on relatively generic nasty names.

Our Heroine is from a wealthy family (and fairly proper/correct/prim), but she's a bastard (in the literal sense, basically no one but her mother knew who her father even was). So I don't think she'd use that as a pejorative term (if, for example, she ever meets her absentee father and wants to call him something rude)--it would be too sensitive of a subject for her.

But I have no idea what other words a relatively gently reared 25-year-old would *use* in the early '40s to indicate that someone was worthless/bad/morally corrupt/etc, or otherwise indicate extreme displeasure. Having her call someone a f***-head or a**hole or whatever just doesn't feel right at all--I don't think someone of her class and upbringing would speak like that.

(She's a surgeon, and also knows French and Latin, if that suggests anything in particular to anyone)