June 16th, 2010

Silver Dragon

Greasy spoon cafe, England, 1995, prices.

Greetings, all knowledgeable creatures.

It's summer, 1995. You're in a cafe that's in a suburban area, the sort of little shopping area that'll have an expensive little-mart type supermarket, a laundrette, a hairdresser (there's always a hairdresser) and this place. There's probably a public housing area to one side, a reasonable private housing area on the other, and nearby a government school with ghastly school dinners. The playgrounds have graffiti and there might just be dementors lurking in the under-road tunnel. Yes, she's writing Harry Potter fanfic again.

Anyway, the cafe. Hopefully by now they've worked out how to make (mediocre) cappuccinos. There are nylon net curtains on the window, and I've already worked out the name the poor hapless lass inside has. What I need to know is:

1) How much is a coffee? And would it be a cappuccino?
1a) Is that the same price as a cup of tea?

2) Would the menu be toasties, chips, and maybe that chocolate slice with caramel in the middle and biscuit base? or what else would there be? (Egg and chips. Bacon and chip. Spam and chips. Chips and chips!)

Searches done:
All the tagged entries in here for 1990s and for "food and drink". (Useful info for other things...)
+menu +1995 +england (in images to see if I could read them. Also 1994, 1996, "great britain", etc)
how much is a cup of coffee in england in 1995 (and 1994 and 1996 and great britain)
coffee in a cafe in england in 1995 (ditto)

As to the description of the area? I spent three years near the Ramsden Estate in Orpington, Kent, in the 1970s, and when we went there in 2000 the little shopping area in Eldred Drive was just the same...
  • igbc

Black eyes inflicted by women on men

I'm writing a scene in which a male character and a female character get into an argument, and the woman punches the man in the eye. I want him to have an ugly black eye the next day, but I need to know how realistic this is. The woman is 5' 8" tall and about 125 lbs. She is in good shape, but not particularly muscular, and probably doesn't work out. The man is 6' 1" and about 180 lbs. Is it realistic that she would have sufficient upper body strength for her punch to result in a very visible shiner?

I have googled my subject line and several variations of it, and got a lot of hits about domestic violence, abusive relationships, what men should do if they're being abused by their wives/girlfriends, etc., but nothing specific to what I'm looking for. Thanks to anyone who can help.
music, serious face

We have been spotlighted!

In case you're wondering why we have so many posts, we've been put in the LJ Spotlight again. This means that for a while, we are probably going to have more posts than normal.

Also, those of you who are new to the community: Please read the rules before posting and make sure that your post follows them! I feel bad rejecting so many posts, but it's your responsibility to follow the posting guidelines.

Teenage male insecurities

I'm a female writer struggling to portray as accurately as possible the teenage male experience. In particular, I'm interested in insecurities that a boy around the age of 16 would have in ~2008-2010. This has proven to be a difficult topic to get actual information on. I've searched online and found lots of stuff related to puberty insecurities, like spontaneous erections and awkward voice changes, but that isn't particularly helpful. I don't have any male friends in this age group, and I'd like to avoid asking men who are well past their teens because I understand that gender roles and expectations have changed slightly, even in the last ten years. I'm interested in the most recent information possible.

For plot reasons, my character needs to be humiliated by his peers. He is 16, white, lower to middle class, decidedly not popular at school but would very much like to occupy a higher rung on the social ladder. He is about to have his first sexual encounter. I'm toying with the idea that he could be humiliated about his performance during sex with the girl, or about his anatomy. So here's my question: Is it feasible, in the time period I'm interested in, that teenagers would ridicule a boy who is said to have a small penis or perform inadequately in bed? If not, what other things could cause a teenage boy a great amout of embarrassment and distress (in your experience or someone else's that you know of)?

Sorry if this question does not belong here, as it is not something that can be found through research. Thanks in advance. :)
DP Future

Stages of Severity in Mental Health Hospitals

This is occurring maybe around the early 2000's, so pretty recent, in a nondescript suburban town close to a big city. I've got a convicted serial killer who has been put into an insane asylum, but this is where I'm pretty confused on facts. Basically, my question goes like this.

  • What are the various stages of "Increasingly Severe insanity" or whatever you'd call it, in asylums. How do their freedoms gradually get taken away?
  • If the patient is continuing to rebel and be uncooperative, even continuing violent acts, what steps would be taken?
  • Would the patient even be allowed into an asylum, or would he go to a specialized prison?
  • Also, at what point would visiting rights no longer be permitted, and how are visits monitored?

I've spent a lot of yahoo searching, and all I keep seeming to find is things on Shutter Island and mental health hospitals nearby. I don't think I know the correct terms to search for. I've been searching things like 'mental asylum uncooperative patients', 'asylum stages' and 'mental health hospitals procedures' and haven't really found anything. :)
EDIT: Ah, this is in the US. Apologies. XD My MC is at such an extreme level of insanity, that I assumed psychiatric help would be given first before he is sent to prison. 
making sense

Is Kylie Minogue well-known in the US?

Story setting: it's a Glee fanfic, so 2009/2010 in Lima, Ohio
Previous research: some people says she's famous, some she's not, it's pretty hard to find a consistent answer.

So pretty much my question is would 16/17 year old kids in the middle of Ohio have heard of Kylie Mingoue? Would a singing teacher (ie. Mr Schuester) know her music? Would someone very big on music (ie. Rachel or Kurt) know about her?

Thanks in advance!
hard candy

Difficulties with a Much Older/Handicapped Lover?

This takes place in the 2000's in the New England area.  It's pretty recent, taking place in a wealthy suburban neighborhood close to some city.  He owns a publishing company, so it wouldn't be too far in case he had a meeting at their offices or whatnot.  I've got a delicately balanced relationship between a couple. He is late sixties to early seventies, and she is in her early thirties. Part of it is their odd connection and the things they have in common.  He is also wheelchair-bound, and she gets turned on by it/has a fetish.
  • But I was wondering...what kind of problems could they have because of the age difference? Not just physically, but socially?  What kind of social problems would come up, particularly if they decide to have children?

  • How often would he be able to perform sexually, perhaps with the influence of viagra? I had thought he would have retained sensation in the groin area and upper thighs, but not much below that, thus not completely robbed of his sexuality.

  • He also has adult children from a previous marriage that ended in divorce; some of them are older than his new lover. How would they react, particularly if they were rather distant with him in their adulthood?

What kind of problems would naturally occur because of a combination of his age and disability?  So far I've tried different google searches relating to "gold digger" "handicapped" and multiple variations of those, but when I do find something, it's just a specific incidence with people gossiping on someone's blog.  Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Child abuse as related to a murder case

In modern day Georgia (US state, not the country), would ongoing child abuse count as a mitigating factor or self-defense if the child kills the abusive parent? The characters in question are a 16 year old upper middle class girl and her overbearing, pushy mother. The abuse is mostly emotional and verbal, with the mother mocking the child for anything less then perfection in anything she does, from academics to her cheer leading to the dance recitals that the mother makes the child do, constantly belittles her for not being attractive enough, etc. The rest of the family (the father who had nothing to do with the abuse, and the youngest child, abused in a similar way) would provide testimony to this fact. Would the charged be reduced? Would most juries find the defendant not guilty?

The only information I've really found out was a similar case happening, but I've only found out the details from the arrest, with no idea how the trial went. Everything else has been cases in which the parent murders the child while abusing them.
Horizons →

Realistic Poisoning - how, and effects?

First of all, you have no idea how happy I was to find this community. It'll be a lifesaver. *applauds the creator* I'm Red, I'll be around a lot. *waves*

Second, I have quite a strange scenario, so I'll bullet point it to make sure it's clear since I tend to ramble. This is for a Doctor Who fanfiction, but original characters almost 100%. Thus, it's a sci-fi, and the protagonist in question is a Time Lady, but I'll be going on the idea that they would react only a little better to poisoning, but otherwise in a manner befitting how they look age-wise as a humanoid. What I'm looking for, is a way which a character could be poisoned, how this type of poisoning would affect them, and how it would affect motor function:
  • She's a Time Lady, thus her ability to withstand poison is slightly better
  • It needs to be a poison which takes at least a day, maximum 2 or 3, to become obvious
  • It has to be subtly done, so that she isn't aware of having been poisoned - but happens while in police custody
  • It could be somewhat futuristic, given the circumstances
  • I'd need to know exactly how the poison affects functions - motor, chemical, etc
  • It needs to allow her to walk, but possibly knock her coordination, and nerves, considerably
  • It needs to be something you can't just sleep off, but that needs actual treatment
  • It needs to not be lethal, because the person is meant to be brought to justice by the poisoners
  • How could it be administered?
Thanks for your help, in advance.

edit: some further research, and the questions asked, have brought me to decide on two possibilities - diluted aspirin poisoning, with similar effects to that of ricin poisoning. Or a line I've recalled from an episode of Doctor Who about how if an alien race removed all the germs on the Doctor, they'd remove half the things that were keeping him alive. Ie, I might reorder this chapter of the story into the poisoning being accidental, caused not by a drugging but a removal of vital... stuff.