June 19th, 2010

ad; namesake

Rugby league in America.

I'm writing a bit of a story about rugby in the States. I'm from Australia where the sport is pretty much a way of life for most people and seeing as it's only just become a professional sport in USA, I figured I could use that as a basis of a fic.

I've done some research around (mostly forums and what articles I could find) about how rugby is viewed in America at the moment. I've mostly found things written by people who have played both and have given me some pretty good insight and fixed up some assumptions (that gridiron is just as brutal even with the padding).

But what I specifically want to know is what general Americans think of the sport. Most of what I've managed to find are arguments about how manly one is comparatively to the other, and that's not what I'm after. I've also asked a couple of online friends from USA about it, but they know absolutely zero on the subject.

So, if you wouldn't mind, just letting me know:

- How popular is it over there? (I know that it's been growing in popular in the last 40yrs, and that it's becoming recognised professionally - but would your average person know what rugby is and what it entails?)

- What are your impressions? (brutal? needlessly violent? awesome?)

- Other thoughts?

Or, alternatively, if you don't know anything about rugby and watched this, what would you think of it?

SPN - Sam and Dean. Us against the World

Epilepsy Meds and other stuff

I have the hardest time researching this. I get so many different answers that I get the feeling I should just make up something and call it good. I would love to hear about any personal experiences with this.

So, my main character is 17. Just diagnosed with Epilepsy.

Would it be a fast diagnosis? Or many many tests? I read where it took like 5 seizures and months to determine the diagnosis. That just seems to long, to me.

And medicines. Is there a more common type? Dose range?

He still has seizures every once and awhile, a couple times were during very high stress occasions. Would that be cause to up the medication?

Payment. He gets kicked out of the house and has no money, no job, goes to an unfamiliar city, and like a 3 month supply of meds. Would taking fewer help to make them last longer? even if it increases his seizures? Could he get more meds? Easily? He has no medical coverage. (I am kinda looking for a way for him to NOT get any more medication, I just don't want for him to look like an idiot for not getting obvious help).

And lastly, going cold-turkey on his meds. Been taking them for about 8 months with good success. How often would his seizures end up being? Every other day too unbelievable? Could it be even worse?

Big thanks to anyone who can help with even one of those things.

This takes place in the USA (West Coast).

Also, to anyone who has seizures, grand mal, do you know before you are going to have them, odd sensations? And about how long does it take you to recover after? Any talking possible? Out of commission for hours? Half a day?
Again, research has given me just about everything on the spectrum!
Awesome help so far, you guys! :)
jackdaw on hun milk

Road construction: provision for ox/bullock carts

Place: Europe
Time: Roman Empire
Terms searched: ox, bullock and variants with "cart" "wagon" and "transport", and "Great Trunk Road", "Grand Trunk Road". Result: a lot of information on oxen on farms and the route of the Grand Trunk Road.
Books searched: my extensive collection dealing with the Roman army and Roman roads. Result: information on the construction of the paved road and the road network of the Roman Empire.

I have come across two references - one in Rudyard Kipling's "Kim" (which I originally discarded because I didn't think it would be relevant to Europe) and one in Dornford Yates' "Jonah & Co" (France, 1920s) - relating to soft tracks being constructed alongside paved roads for slow-moving ox-carts to use without holding up faster traffic. The more I think about it, the more logical and sensible it sounds, because it would be kinder to the hooves of cattle, as well as the fact that such carts could be mind-numbingly slow.

What I do know about Roman roads, apart from the manner of construction of the paved part, is that there was extensive space to the side of them, promarily to safeguard against ambush. In addition, though carts might get bogged down, the wheels of the time on roads made with paving stones for long distances would jolt unbearably. Given that baggage trains were ox drawn, and that above all nothing should interfere with Roman soldiers marching along the roads or couriers riding along them, it seems logical that the Romans would have done the same - but logic is not enough. Has anyone come across any suggestion that the Romans did have this sort of provision for slow-moving carts?
prisma awesomeness, doodle, characters

Medication/Involuntary Commitment to a Mental Hospital

I have a character who's going to be committed to a mental hospital against his will, and I'm pretty curious about a few things. He has post traumatic stress disorder (flashbacks and panic attacks are the main symptoms he has), and probably one other anxiety disorder (I haven't figured that out yet, but PTSD is a for sure thing).

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little red in the woods

Wolf senses (specifically, sight)

So...I'll admit I have a feeling what answer I'm going to get, but I'd like to be thorough, and frankly my head is all achey so I figure help would probably be worth a shot.

I'm writing a werewolf story.  I've been playing around with the idea of color blindness.  After all, it's been commonly thought that dogs are color blind, wolves are related to dogs, you get the idea.  But before deciding whether or not to even begin plotting that idea, I wanted to find out whether it was true.  After all, I don't want to fall into a Did Not Do The Research trap like smelling fear.

My Googling was...less than optimal, results-wise.  I started with 'wolves color blind'.  I skimmed Wiki and Yahoo Answers, but unsurprisingly nothing good came up.  I found one site that seemed fairly on the up-and-up that said, "Although little research has been done into a Wolf's ability to see color, it is believed that they may be partially color blind. Wolves have only red and blue photo receptors in their eyes, unlike humans, who have red, green, and blue photo receptors. Tests on domestic canines show that they may not be able to distinguish yellow from green or orange from red. Tests on Wolves, where red, blue, yellow, and green dyes were put onto clean snow, show that they often detect the red and yellow stains. This could be because they associate these colors with blood and urine and have little interest in the other colors. There is no conclusive evidence regarding the color vision abilities of Wolves, however. It is my personal belief that Wolves can see all of the colors, but only take an interest in those that might benefit them in some way."

This was the most helpful result, and I still felt dissatisfied.  The thing I most took away was "no conclusive evidence," given that while it offers a test result (yellow and red yes, everything else who the hell knows) it offers no citation of this study, and seeing 'wolves' capitalized for no apparent reason, the fuzziness of the word "often," and the addendum about "my personal belief" makes me hesitant to trust this source and leave it at that.

So I shifted tactics and tried 'canines color blind'.  Dog Time tells me, "To put it in very basic terms, the canine color field consists mostly of yellows, blues, and violets."  The Straight Dope mostly agrees ("The dogs had no difficulty distinguishing colors at the opposite ends of the visible spectrum, such as red and blue, and they proved to be demons with blues in general, quickly learning to differentiate blue from violet. But they bombed at other colors, confusing greenish-yellow, orange, and red").  While I suppose this may be a relief in terms of reassuring me of the power of Google (or perhaps that's the meds I just took kicking in), it doesn't really help with wolves, which is what I'm interested in.

So, can anyone offer me a reliable-looking source (a straight citation would be nice, but even just something a little more...helpfulish), or something?  Hell, even personal experience might be worth something, I dunno ("I once saw a wolf wearing purple and orange, with green eye shadow - trust me, they're color blind as all hell").  Or should I just go ahead and handwave that if werewolves are frequently portrayed as having wolf senses as a human, they can have human senses as a wolf?
nowhere 1997 1

dreadlocks on fire!

Setting: USA, possibly New Jersey.

My question is: how do dreadlocks burn? A character in the story has extremely long dreads and somehow they catch fire — maybe from a decorative, scented candle or something similar. Hijinks ensue. But I need to know how long it takes for them to burn to correctly time the running-and-shouting sequence that happens between the dreads catching fire and their wearer obtaining water. Do the dreads stay in any form — that is to say, are they burnt down to thin, charred threads of dead hair — or do they just crumble up into nothing like regular, un-dreadlocked hair? More information on hair burning in general might help with this, too.
(The character finds water before the fire reaches the scalp, so information on scalp burns isn't really necessary.)
This is my Sleepy Icon

U.S. Army Regulations / Foster Parenting & Adoption, Child Protection & Social Services

I am writing a story in which my main character joined the army so that they would pay for his medical school. I'm afraid that my knowledge of the military is mostly superficial, and I'm more well versed in Canadian rather than American military protocols so, I have quite a few questions. (The story takes place in the current era, or perhaps because of some of the medical technology, in the not-too distant future, some time between 2015-2030.)

I have read the information on the US Army info site, most of which is pertaining to people with a HS diploma/GED. I've also read linked websites regarding advanced enlistment rank for people who have obtained a post-secondary degree, none mentions Master's programs or Post-Grad (ie. Med School). I've searched variations on "US Army Ranks" "US army doctor" "Join the army doctor" and most refer to information about medical waivers and examinations upon joining the army. I've found this on the US medical corps, as well as finding and downloading the relevant eligibility requirements, but reading it is proving extremely difficult and I can't seem to find the details I need.
Collapse )Not pertaining to the US Army, but also discussing the same story... Once again, I haven't been able to find information on American institutions rather than Canadian ones. I know that they are mostly state-run, but my story takes place in a fictional city that I have intentionally not placed in any specific state, so I need details that aren't necessarily specific to one state. General information / regulations upheld across varying states are best. I've google searched and looked on wikepedia, but I seem to be getting general information or sites/journals talking about children needing adoption, as opposed to the specific details i need.

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gerard way: happy thoughts

NYC's Hudson River

 Are there any locations on the Manhattan side of the River that have a beach, or at least an area where a person can walk into the river, like a shoreline as opposed to its usual cliffs? I've already searched "hudson river beach", "hudson river manhattan beach", "hudson river shore", and the like. Obviously, this one is New York city/Manhattan specific.