January 19th, 2010

Garak - I wouldn't do that...

Drug that gives the appearance of death

I've tried to research drugs like scopolamine and tetrodotoxin, but the thing is, I don't really need to identify the drug or even have it be something real/already discovered. Unfortunately, researching the realistic effects of a fictional drug is difficult.

I'm trying to figure out how to realistically portray a young person's reaction to waking up again after voluntarily taking a drug that will have put them in a near-death like state (lowered heart rate and breathing) for no longer than 24 hours. The set up is this: 13 year old character needs to be smuggled from one point to another, in a small coffin-like container, and is drugged to appear dead upon casual observation. They will then wake only when the drug wears off (that is, no one is waiting with an antidote on the other side). I'm guessing they would wake dehydrated, disoriented, maybe feeling ill?

Am I worrying too much, given the pseudo-science (aka basically Romeo and Juliet's drug) I'm already using? Or is there an obviously unrealistic way to write this kid's waking up that I should avoid?

If I haven't been detailed enough with my question, let me know too!

Gold: Tattoos, paints, other uses?

Setting: Fantasy. Some influence from western Medieval, but also from Tan Dynasty to Song Dynasty China (10th-14th century). The story is set in a city-within-a-city which forms the seat of the Empire; the Empress is effectively an absolute monarch. Magic exists, but is very much feared and frowned upon.

Outline of the magic system, in case it becomes relevant:

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Question: The Empress is obsessed with gold due to its apparently incorruptable status. I already have the following uses for it: Collapse ) These gives me chances to, so to speak, gild the Empress's world.

1) However, I'm wondering whether it's possible to create gold tattoos or -- even more preferable -- create some sort of gold implant into the body. I'm willing for this to either by in the design of some sort of microdermal implants or in terms of placing the gold permanently into a wound in the skin made by cutting or scarification. Is this possible? I've tried doing various searches, but there's nothing coming up that's really what I'm after.

2) What I have managed to find is that gold beads are used in some medical situations (apparently mostly on dogs? The results somewhat confused me) by being injected under the skin. How common is this? Are there dangers of migration or of just outright getting the injection wrong? The magic in the world means that there is a significantly decreased danger of infection and the like, as healing magic is available, but I'd be interested to know if the risks are still there.

3) Are there any other uses of gold that I've missed during my brainstorming and searches? This is a bit more general, to be honest.

Searches done:

Variations on "gold paint", "gold tattoos", "gold implants", "gold transdermal implants", "gold microdermal implants", "microdermal implants", "gold bead implants" and the like. Also searched some body modification websites and lists of body modifications that can be done. Also "gold ornamentions", "gold body ornaments", "body ornamentation".

For question three, I've also searched "gold", "uses of gold".

ETA: Let's try putting on all the tags this time.

TB sanatoriums, TB quarantine guidelines, &ct.

I've checked the tags but I've had yet to find a post whose information corresponds with what I need.

Setting: London, England, in the late 1880s to early 1890s

Problem: One of my characters has a recurring case of tuberculosis, and at some point attends a sanatorium to try and recover. I've attempted research on how treatments were conducted/what kinds of treatment there were pre-20th century (if there were any at all), and also just general guidelines on what should be done in a household when someone contracts TB -- but have either reached dead ends via scholarly journals I can't access, or simply I cannot find enough specific information elsewhere.

So! I would be much obliged if anyone could answer/link me to elusive info regarding any of the following:

i) What kind of treatments would have been standard at a tuberculosis sanatorium in 19th century England?
ii) Would the patients be allowed visitors? If so, what might the rules be?
iii) Would my character's SO -- who does not have TB -- have to quarantine himself for a period of time before going back to life as usual?
iv) Would things like bedding, clothes, etc, have to be gotten rid of to try and keep the disease from spreading?

I appreciate any and all help. My knowledge of TB is limited to Chopìn, and Satine from Moulin Rouge, hahaha. Also I hope I've done this right. If I haven't, please let me know.

Tamil term translation

Does anyone know how to say "home grown" in an Indian language that was spoken under British colonial rule? Tamil is my preference, but after coming up blank after more than an hour of Googling maybe I can't afford to be that fussy.

The dictionary sites found nothing. I did find sites to machine-translate the word into written Tamil, though the fact that it wasn't in the dictionary makes me worry that it is not a real word, but I can't get the transliteration sites to re-Romanize it since I don't have a Tamil keyboard and font. Cut and paste, for some reason, does not love me.

It's for a steampunk story, and it will be the name of a political movement, if that makes a difference.