July 28th, 2010


19th century pistol bullet/ballistics question

Setting: Anachronism stew. Closest real life equivalent is early 1800s urban France.

Terms searched: flintlock pistol bullet, flintlock bullet, flattened bullet, removing bullets, 1800s bullet, also looked through the Wikipedia page on flintlocks, flipped through the questions tagged "firearms" on the little_details community and read a very fascinating commentary on the Kennedy assassination.

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Neurotoxic Reaction in Teenagers

Setting: This specific story is set in the universe of 'The Hunger Games' (post-apoctalyptic North America).  The 'arena' in question is a large area of jungle/rainforest which is close to a mixture of the Amazon and Yucatan Peninsula.


Okay, my specific scenario is that a thirteen year old boy has been bitten by a snake with neurotoxic venom.  I read an article here about neurotoxic venom specifically and this wikipedia article on snake venom in general, but I cannot find what I need specifically.  My search terms were 'neurotoxic venom' 'neurotoxic venom reaction time' and 'neurotoxin reaction in children'. 

I need to know how long it would be until he began feeling the effects of the venom.  He has been bitten on his hand by the thumb (he thought the snake was dead, so he and his ally thought it would be smart to poke it with a stick).  I'm wondering how long it would be before he slipped into a coma or died.  Or even reaction times between symptoms.  Anything, really, that can help me. 

Thank you in advance.
BMW Motorbike

Credit Cards: Purchases and PINS

First let me say this happens to be a wonderful community! I've been able to learn some things just by going through answered questions. That being said, I've been running into a little unknown territory that I need answers to.

Having never used a credit card (yes, you may gasp, but keep reading) I need some help for my original story when one of my characters uses said credit card. So I've been able to get information about credit cards (who issues them, interest rates, purchase limits) but I still have questions on actually using a card in the store.

Searches I've done on Google so far have been:
"PIN stored on credit card" brought up this Wiki article
"what information is stored on a credit card" How Stuff Works article
"no swipe cards" Wiki article
"making a purchase with a credit card"
"using a credit card"
"who can use a credit card" WikiHow article
"in-store purchase with a credit card"

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EDIT: I just decided to check this while on my break at workplace and... wow! When I get time I will respond to each one but I wanted to send out a quick thanks to everyone for these wonderful replies. One person mentioned how hotels required billing address -- something I never thought of which will bring another dimension into the story! Yes, I am basing my information mostly on USA since that's what I know best, but the information from other locations will let me give it variety. Again, thank you!