April 5th, 2010

Inuyasha and Koga

What crops would medieval Germans grow in a tropical rainforest climate?

I've had a plot bunny involving the interactions between two civilizations, one resembling the Holy Roman Empire, and one resembling the Khmer Empire. However, in the real world, the two civilizations never came into contact because they were too geographically separated. Therefore, in my fantasy world I'm moving the Germans to about where Thailand is IRL. This of course puts the Holy Roman Empire in a much hotter and wetter climate, necessitating further alterations, especially in the matter of crops. Some Googleing turned up an article on the effects of climate change in modern day Germany. This article suggested that wheat is not particularly heat tolerant, and would need to be replaced with millet or corn. However, this article also said that northern Germany would become much drier, with the land of Brandenburg eventually becoming a savanna. I would think that in a hot and wet rather than hot and dry climate rice would become the crop of choice. Growing corn is out of the question because my pseudo-Germans have no contact with my world's America-counterpart.

Since my Googleing also suggests that beer could be made from rice, and I know that rice bread is possible, I think it would be my pseudo-German's crop of choice.

Can someone with more knowledge of farming then I have offer any additions or corrections?

Heart Attack in Small E. Iowa town

My story takes place in the present - during the winter of 2009-10 - and is set in the small east Iowa town of Hopkinton - population 641.

Scenario: My main characters are in the process of interviewing an elderly woman in her home when she has a heart attack.

I did a search on heart attacks and CPR because I figured that both of my characters would need to know CPR due to the fact that their job is rather dangerous. But what else could they do? Hopkinton doesn’t have a hospital and when I did a Google search on the town, it said that the nearest hospital/medical center was the Regional Medical Center of NE Iowa, which is said to be a 25-bed acute care facility located in Manchester which is roughly fifteen miles from Hopkinton.

If they called, would the hospital send an ambulance or perhaps a helicopter? And would at least one of the characters (not a relative) be allowed to go with her? Or would they have to drive her to the hospital, calling ahead to let them know the situation and that they were on the way?

I’m not sure exactly what facilities the hospital in Manchester has, but St. Luke in Cedar Rapids is supposed to be one of the nation’s top heart hospitals (at least according to the site). Is it possible that the woman would be transferred there when she became stable?

Any help would be appreciated.

Police Procedure for Death on a Plane

Time/Location: 2005. New York.
Searched: Police procedure when a person dies on a plane, what happens when a person dies on a plane.

A woman is stabbed to death on an airplane going from London to NYC. She's murdered shortly before touchdown (maybe about 30 mins) and "discovered" immediately after (the killer, a stewardess, is the one to report it). The victim is a first class passenger and the murder is done in the lavatory.

I have little experience of flying and airports, no experience of murder, and my research provided me with little information, so I have several questions:
1) From my research I understand that after finding a dead person on an airplane, the body is moved to somewhere away from the passengers and that it can be put anywhere except the lavatory. Given that this is (quite obviously) a murder and there isn't long until touchdown, would they leave the body where they found it and just mark the toilet out of order?

2) They reach the airport and the police are already there. I know that they would want to question people but because she was first class and killed in first class, would they let the business class passengers go and just question the first class passengers?

3) Where do the passengers who have to stick around go? Do they wait on the blacktop? That area you go into straight after disembarking from the plane? A side room? Or would they be taken to the precinct for questioning?

4) Would the cops take prints and/or DNA from passengers for elimination, or would they only take them after coming up with a suspect? What about the airline staff?