February 25th, 2010

Colby smile

Time period for complete sex reassignment surgery

 Assuming money is no object, how long would it take a person to transition completely from male to female?

(Note: I'm using the pronouns hir and zie here, since I'm not sure of the proper etiquette when referring to a pre-op transwoman. No offense meant, and feel free to point out terms that might be appropriate.)

I have a character in hir early thirties in present-day LA who is transitioning from male to female. Zie has completed the mandatory six months of counselling and has started hormones; my question is, how long would zie reasonably expect to take with regards to surgery? (For the purposes of my fic, I'm having hir undergo facial feminization, tracheal shaves, breast implants, labiaplasty, vaginoplasty and butt augmentation.) 

For reference, zie's tall and broad- 5'11 and built like a linebacker. (Come to think of it, zie actually did play football in college.)

Zie's independently wealthy and very concerned with passing, as zie works in law enforcement. Would it be plausible for hir to take six months off work and have all the surgeries done at one shot rather than spreading them out over a year or two? Ideally, I'd like hir to be able to present as physically feminine as possible in the least amount of time, as it's critical to hir safety to be able to pass, at least outwardly. I have other characters helping with the emotional/cultural stuff; it's the physical changes I'm not sure of.

I have searched several online transition resources, but since all of them have the surgeries spread out for various RL reasons I haven't been able to find what I'm looking for. 

Thanks in advance for your help! 

ETA: I've found, to my chagrin, that just because you don't intend on hurting anyone doesn't mean you don't end up doing so anyway. I'm not sure if my post can be edited to change the pronouns, but as it stands, my apologies. I know better now.

Effect of hypersaline water upon burn wounds

Setting: Ancient Israel

Google Searches: "salt/saltwater/hypersaline water on burns", "salt in wounds", "Dead Sea health effects/burn wounds", "Dead Sea swimming cuts/wounds/burn wounds"

I'm writing a story about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah through the eyes of the last Sodomite to die. It's important to my plot that this character survive the initial destruction of the city with his six-year-old daughter. (They both die soon afterwards from their injuries, fulfilling Moses' statement that all of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were "overthrown".) I believe that the best way for these two characters to escape is by running into the Dead Sea. It's not perfect, but it'll have to do.

My question is about the physical effects of this decision. Both characters are suffering from burn wounds, and clearly they would experience pain from jumping into a giant lake of salt. How bad would this pain be; specifically, would it be bad enough to prevent them from staying within the hypothetical safety of the Dead Sea?

Also, some of the websites I've visited suggest that saltwater makes cuts heal faster and prevents infection, while other websites suggest the opposite. Would saltwater have healing or antibacterial effects upon burns?

Thank you very much for your help!

Two way locators?

It is a crucial part of my story that the characters have two- way locator devices. By this I mean, one locator points like a compass to the other, and vice versa. The story takes place in the present day, maybe two or three years in the future from now. I would really like to buy a device that works in this manner so I can test its limitations for myself, but I havent been able to find it through searching because I dont know what name this device would be called.

I found child locators that are close to what I'm looking for, but they only work one way, ie mom can use it to findchild, but child cant use it to find mom. Also, these work at too small of a distance (600 feet) to be useful. Is there anything like this that works in a scope of a mile or two? Like maybe one of those high power walkie talkies? Preferably something that doesnt use GPS, because my searches for personal GPS show that there doesnt seem to be a way to tune a GPS to look for other GPS, it just tells you where you are but not your friends location.

Search terms used: GPS locator, child locator, people locator, GPS tracker, GPS child tracker

Overcast Night Sky

I'm currently in the process of working on a fantasy novel set on a fairly typical earth-like planet. In terms of meteorology, there's nothing particularly unusual going on.

My question is this: What does an overcast night sky look like while out in the country?

I ask because I'm not certain whether my own experience is typical, or an effect of where I've always lived. I've never been out in the country; I've always lived near rather large cities. During a cloudy night, I've noticed that the sky is considerably lighter than, say, a clear night. Light enough to be able to see fairly well without an external light source, actually.

Is this apparent brightness a true meteorological phenomenon that occurs regardless of location, or is it just due to the city lights bouncing off the lower cloud layer?

Would the sky seem just as 'bright' if someone were out in the middle of nowhere without lights to contaminate the experience? Logically it would seem that it should be darker, since any light from the stars and the moon would be blocked.

I've searched for variations on 'night sky city', 'night sky country', 'night weather phenomenon' and so on without much luck. It makes me wonder if this is an incredibly obvious answer, or just something that isn't thought about too much. I'm betting on the lighting being involved, but I'd rather know for sure before I write this particular scene.

Thank you in advance for any help you can give this city girl.