April 6th, 2010


WW2 Allied armed forces attire, weekends abroad

I've tried to google this, but it's awkward to phrase properly and most information is about the actual experience, as opposed to every day regulations that became so common place to the men they hardly seem worth mentioning now in a context as traumatic as the war itself.

Basically, I'm writing a scene for a story set during WW2, May 1944, in the area of Aldbourne (dealing with the Airborne specifically). My question is, during weekends (assuming they've earned pass priveleges for the weekend), would the soldiers be required to wear something specific in public? Such as military uniform, or even more specifically, their Class A's? Also, would they be wearing their dogtags at this point? (I'm leaning towards yes, just because of the possibility of being blitzed while in England, but I can't find any concrete sources confirming the fact). Any and all details about weekend regulations and typical behavior would be most appreciated! Thanks everyone :)

"Madame du jour"

This really is a little detail, but as my google-fu fails me at confirming it, I turn to you knowledgeable folks.

During the era of absolutism, what would a minor mistress of the french king be called in polite, but maybe slightly salacious society? I don't mean the official royal mistress, but someone he might have "at the side" apart from that. I think I've heard "madame du jour" (lady of the day) in this context, but I'm not sure. Is that a common euphemism for "mistress"?

(For those who need more details: I need a way to describe the young lovers Luis XV had while Madame de Pompadour was still his official mistress by title, and his friend, but no longer shared his bed due to her declining health.)

Also, would an absolutist king parade his mistress around in court (have her hanging onto his arm or something like that), or would that  be seen as too much of an affront to the queen?

UK young offenders' institutions for females.

Setting: Early 2000s, England. Two girls, age 15/16-ish, are imprisoned for being involved in various antisocial activities - not together, they meet in the institution. Both of their sentences need to be fairly short, but it's rare for girls in the UK to be imprisoned in the first place, so they're not likely to get anything longterm unless they've killed someone. Neither of them has ever done anything resulting in a person being killed or seriously hurt, but one of them's been involved in some kind of property damage and requires psychiatric treatment for various reasons.

1. How long are prison sentences for young female offenders likely to be for varying degrees of crime? I can fudge this if necessary because it's not exactly a Real World setting and doesn't have to be entirely accurate, but I'd like to get at least a rough idea.

2. What is it actually like to be in an institution for female YOs?

I've found plenty of info on where they are and how they're structured by Googling variations on "young female offenders institute uk": for example, I found pages which say that they're usually just separate wings of an adult womens' prison, that there are usually only about four to six girls in one at once, and that they're kept in separate cells and don't have communal showers, but I've been unable to find anything which, say, explains what they do all day. Uniforms? Schooling? Contact with family? Interaction with each other?

EDIT: Comments have suggested that a secure childrens' home would work a lot better, since these two haven't done anything terribly severe. I agree, this would work better. So, anyone know much about what those are like?

Looking for 2-part poisons

I need a 2-part poison for a piece I'm working on - and no amount of searching is getting me ANYwhere.

I've searched: "2 part poison" "two part poison" "compound poison" - all I'm getting is either references to poisoning stories with "2 parts" or "compounds that are poisonous" - I know I've seen the concept in murder mysteries - anyone have any idea how to hunt for this?


EDIT Binary poison has been suggested and is giving me some good results ;>.

The real need here is for the two parts of the binary poison to be ingested at completely separate and unrelated times. The poisoner needs to be able to be completely in the clear - and if he gives one part now and someone else gives another part later (or regularly ingested drugs do the same thing), he can walk blameless.

EDIT 2 yum - I think I found a way to pull this off - tho it requires some sneakiness (and some ongoing meds :>) - not quite what I was thinking in terms of, but might work... :> Thanks everyone!