May 27th, 2010

Sudden onset of pelvice inflammatory disease?

I just need a quick symptom check. I'm having a hard time finding anything on medical websites for laypeople (very vague on the more severe symptoms) and Google scholar (articles are too specific).

A woman with pelvic inflammatory disease could present with sudden onset abdominal pain, yes? I'd like it to mimic appendicitis-- very sudden with nausea, chills, fever, severe pain, etc. I found some articles talking about how they're sometimes confused for each other, but I didn't know if anyone had details beyond that.

Also, can anyone tell me roughly how long it would take from exposure to chlamydia to reach this point? Not finding much on that front either. Any range is fine, I just want to keep things accurate.

Thanks so much!
Spock's eyebrows

SOE Radio Transcripts and Training Schools

Setting: Occupied France, around about 1943, and UK, same time

I'm writing a historical AU with the basic premise that all the characters are working for the SOE during World War II. I've got a good deal of background-type stuff and a book that gives specifics about dates, weapons, techniques etc (Subversion and Sabotage by Ian Dear). My only issue is that there's a scene that requires secret radio communication and I have no idea how these things were worded.

If anyone could point me in the direction of some transcripts (which may be unlikely given, y'know, Secret Service, but still), or quote me a sample communication, I just need to get a feel for the sort of language and style used.

I've googled, in various combinations, 'soe', 'ww2', 'radio transcripts', but all I get are transcripts of proper radio programmes, or modern-day shows talking about the SOE.


ETA: I have since found a copy of Beaulieu: The Finishing School For Secret Agents by Cyril Cunningham, which I wholeheartedly reccommend if anyone embarking on a similar line of research stumbles across this question. It answers pretty much all my questions below and is very readable to boot.

I'm also having... fun trying to find out about the SOE training schools, like Beaulieu and Arisaig. I know what happened there and what they look like from the outside, as well as some shots of the interiors, but what I really need is some idea of pracitcal living arrangements.

For example:
Was the original furniture removed/covered up? If so, what did they replace it with?
I've heard that only the officers slept in the manor house but I'm not entirely clear where the would-be agents ended up. Stables? Temporary sheds? Servants quarters? Tents out on the grounds?
Would the servants have been kept on?

Have tried searching: 'living arrangements beaulieu soe', 'sleeping arrangements beaulieu soe', 'accomodation beaulieu soe', 'interiors beaulieu', 'bedrooms at beaulieu hampshire', 'dining room at beaulieu hampshire', 'accomodation soe finishing school' and read Beaulieu's website. All I can seem to find is very general information in the way of 'yes, there were SOE agents here. The End.'

Or if somebody could point me in the direction of a diary/biography (preferably heavy on the day-to-day details)/fictionalised-but-accurate account of someone undergoing SOE training, I would be very grateful. Book titles are also good (*fingers crossed my library has them*).

(Also, if anyone notices anything history!fail-y in this post, pleasepleaseplease point it out. I have this nagging feeling the SOE didn't actually call themselves that at the time, but I can't find out any more than that, so yes, any little things like that would be awesome.)

Thank you!

Climate change and agriculture: flooding out the farmers?

I'm trying to draw a map for one of my fictional worlds.

At the center of a map is a civilization that's under pressure from climate change. Originally, this civilization was situated around a Mediterranean-like sea. It began along the south shore of this sea, then spread. The idea is that those that live on the south shore see themselves as the "center" of the civilization--their genealogies are more glorious, their cities older, and so on. However, the south is in decline, in large part due to climate change, causing a lot of resentment towards the more prosperous north shore among these people. My original idea was that the south is becoming drier.

What I would really like to do instead, though, is to make the climate too wet. Just to be different. I'd like to flood some of the old cities, and make it difficult for them to farm in the areas that remain above water. I've read up on problems with tropical agriculture on Earth and so far have that increased rainfall would more quickly deplete the soil of nutrients and would force them to switch to crops that are not as productive. But this isn't quite as dire as I would like.

Would the soil become more acidic, like the soil in a lot of tropical areas on Earth, or is that acidity due to something besides just too much water?

And what could lead to this increase in wetness anyway? I have a vague idea of the weather pattern changing, forcing wet air that normally moved on to stop and dump there, but my understanding of is rather vague and I can't get a handle on it.

Ideas? Real-world examples to look at?

I've googled variations of climate change, increased precipitation, tropical agriculture, and so on.

ETA Thanks everyone! You've given me some neat ideas to consider.