July 19th, 2010

Fringe: Studious

On ship decommissioning

I'm currently researching for a story set in space and most of the characters are working in an equivalent of a Space Navy.

One of my characters is a captain in the Space Navy and as the story opens his ship is about to be decommissioned. I've already found the protocols about ship decommissioning via wiki and various anecdotes about ship decommissioning ceremonies but I'm finding it difficult researching what happens to the decommissioned ship's captain and crew.

For the purposes of this story I'm using the US Navy as my reference.

1.) Will the captain of the decommissioned ship move to another ship or will he be promoted?

2.) If the captain is given another command can he take his bridge crew with him? Or will they be assigned to other ships?

3.) Would it be possible for a sailor to be assigned (deployed?) to the ship on its last tour of duty before decommissioning and come in as a replacement to an officer in the bridge when the officer falls sick?

Thanks in advance!

Bullet Fragment Migration in the Spinal Canal

Setting: modern day America near a good hospital. Character A, a 30-something male in average-good shape with no prior health problems is shot in the front, injuring spleen, etc.. Character B, present at the shooting, is a doctor (so is A, if it's relavent) and is able to keep A alive until EMS arrives, and A goes to the hospital in relatively good shape for having been shot. Multiple bullet fragments cause internal damage requiring surgery to repair and remove the fragments. Most of that goes off without a hitch, and he spends 2-4 weeks in the hospital before being sent home (and put into witness protection with character B, again, if it's relevant). So far I'm good, and have been able to find the resources (mostly on here with the other GSW questions) to write this much.

The plan, however, is for one of the bullet fragments to have ended up in the spinal canal somewhere in the lumbar spin--only pressing against the spinal cord, not particularly injuring it. Character A might have some clumsiness or pain, more at first thanks to swelling, but compared to the pain and trouble recovering from major abdominal surgery, it's minimal, and he knows the fragment is in there, so it's not going to be a big deal up to this point. However, later in the story, (this is a pretty long-term plot, it takes place over a minimum of five years) the fragment starts to migrate, causing problems; pain, possible urinary and/or fecal incontinence, trouble walking, etc... depending on what vertebral space I end up using. Not so much enough to really disable the character, or if so, definitely not to a wheelchair-requiring level, but enough to be very annoying, frustrating, and be something both characters have to deal with in their daily lives.


Would they have left the fragment in there? The idea was that it would have been more of a risk to try and operate on such a delicate area than to leave it in there. Is this possible/accurate? ( Irelize that this is a very case-by-case sort of thing, but  just in general, would it be reasonably likely.)

If it's not really possible to generalize on the above question, what would be the criteria for removal/non-removal

Would they have done anything to immobilize the area to prevent migration? (Brace, pins, anything?)

How fast/much would the bullet migrate? Does it make sense for it to have stayed relatively put for at a very minimum of several months, and then start to migrate? Does it make sense for it to continue to migrate, probably affecting different sections of the spinal cord at different times throughout the years the story is set in?

How much of the damage would be caused by the actual presence/migration of the fragment versus the toxic effects of the lead/copper/aluminum that the bullet was made out of? (I've read that copper does cause toxic effects to surrounding spinal nerve tissue in this kind of situation, and I know lead causes brain issues when in the blood stream, but other than that, I haven't found much about this at all)

Googled: Bullet fragment in spine, toxic effects from bullet metals, spinal injury, and various similar terms and combinations

(this: http://www.spine-dr.com/site/surgery/surgery_mib.html was very helpful, and did answer many questions I had, just not these)

Question about Eagle Squadron member gaining UK citizenship (WW2)

Hi all, a first time questioner. I hope I have done my proper background checks! (I apologize if I use the term UK wrong as well)

I am writing an AU-fanfic about an a volunteer pilot from the United States fighting with the RAF. He is then injured and can no longer fight. I feel I have a relatively good grip on before and during his service, including rehabilitation, but my main concern has always been this - The pilot remains in the UK after he is put out of commission so to speak. He is handicapped enough that he can no longer fly a plane and given honourable discharge.

In my story he remains in the UK. However, could this have happened? 

If he was a pilot and served in the RAF during WW2, would he, when he was injured and discharged, have been been allowed to stay in the UK or applied for and gotten citizenship?

Would the US pilots in the RAF in WW2 have been given some form of pension from the UK government? Would they have paid for his rehabilitation, or would the USAF and the US government have done that? I could find little information on this, but if he left the US to fight for another country then maybe not?

I found information that US citizens who fight in the military of a different country ran the risk of losing their US citizenship. Could this have happened during WW2? If my character lost his US citizenship could he have been given or applied for a new one in the UK?

Basically, I just want to make sure that he was indeed allowed to stay in the UK after his service in the RAF, and that I'm not writing about someone who's about to get kicked out into no man's land for lack of a citizenship.

I've searched around the internet for information on what might have happened to the members of the Eagle Squadron, and other Squadrons of pilots who came from the USA to fight for Britain during WW2. If any of them remained in the UK at all.

My search terms have been "eagle squadron", "eagle squadron survivors", "united kingdom+royal air force+ww2", "American veterans+british citizens", and combinations thereof - WW2+USAF+british citizenship, "naturalization", "honorable discharge WW2", "honorable discharge WW2 RAF" etc, as well as gone through the relevant tags in this community. I've gotten results on what happened while the pilots were in action, but not much on what happened after.

Thank you for any help!

Art Authentication

Setting: Modern Day (2009-2010) France

An authenticator is being called in overseas to assist in the authentication of a very old piece of art, dating from the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, when said authenticator is intercepted by an art theif and tricked into assisting the thief.

Question: Under what circumstances would a museum have to call in an authenticator who lives out of the country, and how would his/her buisiness there be handled? 

Previous searches: My search terms on google included: art authenticators, authentication, and I read extensively on the Louvre (the museum in question) and came up with some helpful information, but nothing about what I am looking for specifically. 

EDIT:  Thank you very much for your information.  I think I know what 'm going to do now. 
dead like me normal people

Bracken visible in May

I have what I thought was quite a simple question. I'm writing a story set in the UK some time in the relatively recent unspecified past (between around 500-1000 ACE). My characters are in a forest in the south of England, up towards the midlands. I want them to be able to find lost horses by following a trail of broken plant life, and I thought of bracken. Will fresh bracken be growing in May?

I have read the Wiki page, which confirmed that it is deciduous, but unfortunately because it's so widespread (and also poisonous) I can't find any information about when fresh shoots are visible in the UK, though I did find out that it's one of the earliest appearing plants.

I searched 'bracken fern', 'bracken fern in April' 'bracken fern in May' and 'bracken fern spring'

Abortion and its effect on the woman at least a few days or a week after

When: Present time

Where: I haven't decided on the exact country or place but the main main setting of my story is in a strict, prestigious Catholic school.

I want to know how abortion affects the woman. The abortion, by the way, wasn't medical or surgical or performed in a hospital or a proper environment. It was one of those illegal and unsafe abortions (back-alley abortion) that was performed by a self-taught 'doctor.'  The woman, or girl, if you may, is only fourteen years old. I know that that type of abortion can cause hemorrhaging or infection or even death afterwards, especially for someone as young as that girl, but assuming that the abortion was (pardon me) successful: what effects or complications would arise on that girl? Oh yeah, the girl was eleven weeks pregnant when she got the abortion.

Google has helped me with getting most of my facts straight but I just can't get a sufficient amount of information for this particular question. I read about a dozen or so articles somewhat concerning this question but I forgot where and the titles of the articles (Our internet history was cleared up a few days ago too). Wikipedia... was no help to me at all. Shocking, I know.

I'm sorry if I offended anyone with this post. If this is inappropriate or if this has violated a community rule or anything, please inform me so that I can hide this behind a cut.

Injuries caused by electrocution

Hello! I have a character in the present day who needs to be knocked out via a super-powered human's bolt of electricity.

Google searches of "electrocution," "electric shock," and "electric burn" have told me that a bolt to the head can cause unconsciousness, but I haven't found much on whether or not there would be a resulting skin burn and how bad that burn might be. Like, if the bolt hit the scalp, would hair be burned off? I feel okay ignoring the "clothes catching on fire" scenario, but would the character's senses/cognition be severely affected for an extended period?

Thanks in advance for any information!