April 19th, 2010


Donating blood in Japan

1) How common is it for Japanese people to give blood? What percentage of the population, for example?

2) What is the minimum age for giving blood in Japan?

3) I've discovered that different countries have different rules about time periods about donations. What is the minimum amount of time allowed between whole blood donations in Japan?

4) What incentives are Japanese people given to donate blood?

5) What sort of places would blood donations be taken in. For instance, here in the UK you get collections taking place at churches, nightclubs (during the day, of course), football stadiums and hotel conference rooms, among other places.

6) Is there any kind of donor card that has to be shown or personal donor number that has to be quoted in order for a repeat donor's record to be accessed?

Research: Wikipedia article on blood donation, google 'blood donation japan'. Found several sites in painful Engrish and the English language Japanese Red Cross site, none of which were helpful.

Chinese language assistance requested

I got my mother to help me on this, but her Chinese is about as old as I am, as she's lived in the States for over half her life now. Modern Chinese gives her troubles and she wasn't at all sure she was steering me on the right path with this. (Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond her control and mine, I didn't learn Chinese when I was little, hence my inability to do this for myself.)

I'm trying to work up a motto for a character, with the basic meaning "Art and sky have no borders". She got me to this point, with the help of the Chinese English Dictionary, but felt I should check with more current speakers/readers to make sure I have it correct.

yì shù hé tiān méi yŏ jìng jiè

Hopefully the Chinese script is coming thru.

Seasonal inn in Thrace, Ottoman Empire

It's about 1810 or 1820. Our Balkan baron has traveled to an inn at the top of a mountain pass somewhere in what used to be Thrace. In my writer's original text, the staff is described as annually vacating the place "when the first snow flies." Does this make economic sense? Or would at least some of them stick around doing maintenance? And where would the rest of them go?

Would it make a difference that there are bandit bands in the area, facilitated by the local populations' dislike of their Turkish overlords? Seems to me that abandoned buildings are an irresistible invitation for a band to break in and behave like pirates on shore leave. Even if they need to stay on good terms with their neighbors, said neighbors might not be certain WHICH band did the depredations . . .

Related: Is it plausible that the pass becomes impassible? The northern part of Thrace is southern Bulgaria, and there are Alps in the northern part of that country . . .

I have very little idea how to start on this. I'm willing to do research, but at this point my websearches have floundered uselessly, so I'm investing time in composing this query rather than continuing to flounder. Helpful suggestions on how to get info myself will be gratefully accepted. Not that I'm going to turn down prepackaged info, either!

I hope this query is nevertheless acceptable for this site.

Most kills by a female law enforcement officer

Setting: Modern day

What's the record for the most criminals killed by a female law enforcement officer in the United States? I'm working on a Silence of the Lambs/Hannibal fic and figured it would be best to find out just how many kills it takes to make it to Guinness - the six canonically specified don't seem like enough.

My Google-fu is weak on this, I'm sad to say, as the closest I've been able to find is the record for kills by a female sniper, which is a different kettle of fish entirely.
  • lolmac

housing, and visiting, a dangerous female prisoner

I’m trying to get a notion of the logistics and limitations involved in having a male protagonist make a sanctioned visit to a female prisoner in a California State prison. She’s probably a Level III inmate, serving multiple life sentences without parole for multiple counts of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and extortion. She’s been in prison for over 15 years, has a history of good behaviour and cooperation, but is not going to be freed in this lifetime.

The proposed visitor is not a law enforcement officer, but has a high level of official sanction. He is not related to her by blood or marriage. Setting is current day, real world.

I’ve spent a lot of time on various portions of the website for the California Department of Corrections, with side trips to Wikipedia and a few other locations.  I've answered a raft of questions, but haven't been able to resolve these.  I've never even been inside a jail, which limits me to the Hollywood version of prison visitation, in which I place no reliance.  I can't exactly drop in on the nearest women's prison and ask to see their visitors' room.

Here are the questions I haven’t been able to answer:
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Any and all help would be deeply appreciated!

Egyptian hieroglyph for Bakhu (Eastern Mountains)?

The mountains that hold up the sky on the Eastern horizon are called the Bakhu, as opposed to the Western Manu. I'm having not much luck trying to find the hieroglyphics for the Bakhu though, and I'm wondering if that's because it would just be an alternate pronunciation for Djew/Akhet, which is 'mountain' and 'horizon' or if it should be modified with the hieroglyph for the East? When I try image-searches on 'Bakhu', I only end up the Djew hieroglyph, sometimes modified with a sun-disk nestled in the valley, which I think is a way to define it more specifically as Akhet rather than Djew. Is there anyone who can help me out here?

Names for Egyptian characters

Alright, I'm at my wits end here.

I've got a story idea that might go nowhere, but I'm working on it anyway. It takes place primarily in modern day New York City (I might move it to Washington DC, which I am more familiar with, but I believe NYC has a larger collection of Egyptian artifacts..?) but there's flashbacks to the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt.

Several of the characters are, in fact, mummies. I need to come up with both ancient Egyptian and modern-day Arabic names for them. I like my names to be symbolism-heavy, but I don't know if that's culturally accurate for ancient Egyptians or not (I know they believed that names have power, but I don't know if they gave symbolic names). Even if it isn't, I know that they've both changed their names over the centuries - they have original names, but they also have names they use. In truth, their original names can mean anything, but I need them to have symbolic use-names.

One character was an architect, the other a scribe; both were in direct line to the throne though separated by a number of degrees (cousins to the royal line). They are brothers; the architect is older, the scribe is younger.

The architect has a name he uses in the modern day that should mean, essentially "No-name" or "Nameless." If there is an Arabic equivalent of this that wouldn't sound too terribly obvious to a native speaker (ie, not like having an American who is literally named "no-name", but instead something analogous to the name "Nemo."), I'd like to know it as well. "Wanderer" or "Lost-one" also work equally well.

Both of the scribe's names should mean 'snake'. They should be slightly sinister, but not overtly so; ie, his Egyptian name shouldn't be something like Apep (which would make any person even remotely interested in Egyptian mythology go "Wait what?") and his Arabic name shouldn't be an overt reference to, say, the serpent in the garden of Eden; but neither should he be named for a protector goddess or something.

... hopefully that all made sense.

Things that I've searched for via Google and Wikipedia: English-to-ancient Egyptian dictionaries via Google, ancient Egyptian language, ancient Egyptian names, Arabic names, Arabic to English dictionary, word for 'snake' in ancient Egyptian, 'snake' in Ancient Egyptian, and various combination thereof.

... did this even make sense? Man I think I TL;DR'd again.
brain slug

minor GSW w/ recoverable bullet

Setting: contemporary (UK). I've read back through the "medicine: injuries: gunshot wounds" tag and got some tips but not quite the right answer for the situation my story is requiring as I flesh it out:

I need a character to go down with a gunshot wound that is minor enough that he's not completely out of action for any longer than 27 days (the shorter the better), and yet at least one bullet or identifiable fragment of same is recovered from his injury. He'd have been hit at some distance (at least 5 feet, not more than 50 -- IE not point-blank by any means) by a 9mm round fired by someone who is not the world's best shot. My preference would be for the minimum possible damage that would still mandate a trip to A&E (which one would think would be automatic, but the character has his reasons to be leery of the idea).

  • Would I be in the right neighborhood of "inconvenient but not especially serious on a scale of GSWs" to picture a hit to the shoulder area that's well missed the artery? And so far as recovering the bullet -- stopped internally by bone? Would that break something, depending upon the range? And would front or back entry be more plausible for the bullet retention?

  • Would digging out the bullet and patching him up involve full-on put-him-under surgery, or just painkillers and long-bladed forceps? (His mates have brought him in, so this has some bearing on whether he's immediately available to Assist The Police With Their Enquiries or the first version of events comes out through another party...)

  • And what about shock? Some time has elapsed between the injury and the arrival at hospital because, um, he's a werewolf and had to wait for the moon to set... Might this actually be more of a reason to keep him for observation than the actual GSW?

  • As mentioned, he really needs to not still be in hospital for the next full moon, but other than that the story allows for some degree of wiggle room so far as a range between "I'MPERFECTLYFINETHANKYOUVERYMUCH" to "I'm off work with my arm in a sling but I can still walk the dog", or whatever; what would the aftereffects of this degree of an injury be within the first month? (and longer-term might also be useful, it's not within the purview of this storyline but if there was a followup...)

Once again, I worship at this comm's feet, my Muse has a real knack for serving me up these "...Oh, I'm sure you can fill that in properly when you get to it" pickles...