December 12th, 2009


traumatic brain injury (specific criteria)

I'm writing a story that involves a character dying from a head injury. The character received a few blows of blunt force trauma to the head, which I believe causes a focal brain injury(is that correct?). I was then planning on having the character be taken back to the hospital, where they would remain unconscious, and then die a few hours later. What treatments would the doctors give the patient? And what complications of the injury would cause her to die a few hours later? I was thinking some kind of hemorrhage or something, but I don't know if that would happen a few hours later or just immediately after the trauma. Any fatal complication will do; I just need her to die a few hours after the initial injury. Also, the patient is a young child. I don't know if that makes a difference or not.

Any feedback anyone can give me would be appreciated.

ETA: I tried to do a little bit of research on my own. Not sure how valid all the information is, but I read the wikipedia pages for traumatic brain injury, focal and diffuse brain injury, concussion, and skull fracture.

Threats to seals, 19th century

UK, early 19th century

I'm trying to find information on threats to seal populations such a hunting, culling by fisherman, around the British Isles in the early part of the 19th century.

Searching the web for such information is frustrating because it's all about modern fur seal hunting. I've found about two sentences that mention that there were threats so I'm hoping someone might know an actual web site or book that I can look at.


I need a disease!

(Yes, I did see someone asking a similar question, and that reminded me that I need to do this sooner rather than later!)

I need any diseases, either bacterial or viral, that have the following two qualities:

1) It is not tested for (or cannot be tested for) before an organ transplant.

2) It will kill someone before they are off the operating table (if the guy wakes up, he will take the donor's germ-controlling power, and won't die. She can speed up the incubation period so that's not an issue; it needs to be something that has ridiculously high fatality rate.)

It doesn't need to be just one; a combination of things would be good.

I'm not a medical person at all, so I don't really know where to start searching for this.

(Story/RP background: my germ-controlling mutant is trying to kill someone by having her own organs harvested for a transplant that the villain needs. She'd never survive getting close enough to him to infect him, and germs are one of his few vulnerabilities. The germs can be anything bacterial or viral - she has access to an entire anti-bio-terrorism research lab. They can order anything and claim it's for research. Also, money is not an obstacle. The germs recognize her as symbiotic, so they wouldn't destroy the transplant organ even after it's out of her system.)

She could also make something fast-acting by giving specific commands to the germs, so we can speed things up a bit.

Edited for clarity on topic 2 - see first set of comments for the reasoning.

Marriage in Victorian Britain

I'm not sure how to Google this, really. I've done a few searches on arranged marriage in the period, but I'm not coming across anything that can answer my specific question.

The scenario: Character A has been proposed to by character B; as B is stupid wealthy and prestigious (whereas A is under the care of well off relatives, but the family doesn't have the best reputation (yes, it's a little Pride & Prejudice, I know)) A's family readily agrees to the marriage. A is not interested in marrying B in the slightest.

Is it at all plausible for them to get married, despite A's wishes to the contrary? (This is set in 1876, if that makes any difference.) A is not the sort of person to publicly humiliate him or anything, but it's well known within the family that this is not what she wants.

Thanks for your help!

Medical conditions that cause shortness

Ashley is a teenager growing up in Oakland, California in the early 1990's. I would really like for her to be short, maybe 4'8"-ish (1.45 m), and for her parents to both be quite tall (closer to 6ft / 1.8m). I'm wondering if there is any medical condition that could cause this - a genetic mutation, or anything else - without impeding her intelligence or limb function. Ideally, she would just be a normal girl, but very short.

Googled: dwarfism, shortness, primordial dwarfism, achondroplasia, short people