August 1st, 2010

type type type, homestuck, karkat, terezi, trolls
  • rmg

Boarding School Outbreak

Setting: Fantasy setting with (at this point) 1910s equivalent technology. This particular nation is a sort of combination of Taisho Japan, 19th century Britain, and some other stuff (a radical equality between the sexes sadly without historical precedent) that's not really relevant to this question about medicine.

Sometimes, being a writer is weird.

Like when you have to figure out the best way to kill somebody's kid. :V

My main character has sent her daughter to the most prestigious boarding school in her country-- basically, it's Eton for girls-- and I need the daughter to die at the age of 16 when suddenly there's an outbreak of some gross disease.

I'm not really sure what would be plausible at this point, though, since this is an expensive and extremely fancy school, not, like, Lowood from Jane Eyre where everyone is perpetually starving and freezing to death. It doesn't matter if it's an infectious disease or something from, say, tainted food, but it should make a large number of pupils sick and therefore cause a huge scandal, since that sort of thing isn't supposed to happen at a big fancy public school! It's the sort of thing that people might remember years later-- the infamous Shinkan College Epidemic of 1486!-- so I'm looking for an outbreak that might be somewhat improbable, but still very much possible.

As a bonus it'd be good to have something that would be fatal before the daughter can be sent home, but since this is the 1910s and there's cars and trains and stuff that's probably not possible.

I've googled variations on boarding school epidemic / boarding school outbreak / 1910s childhood disease / 1910s school epidemics and various other chopped-up combinations of 1910s, outbreaks, epidemics, diseases, etc., etc. This has helped me rule out a few things (smallpox inoculation was apparently common by this point), but not actually choose something. Read up a bit on Cowan Bridge (which inspired Lowood in Jane Eyre), but that was like 50-60 years off and the wrong class anyway. Also read up a bit on the Spanish influenza, but I want to get a handful of students sick, not kill off 3% of the world's entire population.

ETA: Thanks for all the responses! I've decided to ditch the scandal idea (since school epidemics were more common than I'd thought, anyway) and just go for Diphtheria, since the symptoms, level of contagiousness, timing, etc. all work best for what I need.

What do you call a yeoman that isn't a yeoman yet?

Searches: the tags on this comm, Google and Wikipedia for US Naval ratings, the rating of Yeoman in particular, offical US Navy website, Memory Alpha

I'm writing a Star Trek story revolving around Yeoman Janice Rand. I'm writing about her training before she offically gets the position as a yeoman and captain's yeoman in particular and I'm coming up against a brick wall.

How do you refer to people training to be yeomen? What is their rank/designation while training for this specific duty? Memory Alpha has no information, so I'm willing to play around with what's used today. For the purposes of fic she's going to train as a yeoman straight away, so modern training procedure and timescale isn't important. I just need to know how she would be addressed.

Could she be addressed as cadet, or is that a distinction made for people training to be officers?

Thank you very much to anyone who can help.
Beer, Methos

prayers to Hera during miscarriage

I'm looking for a structurally workable prayer that a pregnant person might say in fear that they were miscarrying, pleads to Hera, Demeter, Hestia, or Artemis.
By structurally workable, I do not necessarily mean written anywhere from 700 BCE to 200 BCE, but  something that would be believably said in fear in a culture where the religion resembles a mutated form of classical Greek religion. Poetry would be effective as well.
I've searched Theoi, and reviewed the Orphic Hymns, but I've run into a road block.
Blue Shirt Smirk

Discrimination Against Italian-Americans in WWII

Setting: My MMC is an airman in WWII who is captured by the Germans. I've read that the Germans treated their American POWs pretty well ...much better than the Japanese did, anyway. He's going to be  captured on the Eastern front, which was worse than the Western front, and I haven't decided on a specific Stalag for him to be imprisioned at, but I doubt that makes a difference. He's not going to be apart of anything like the Great Escape, so in that respect I should be fine.

My friend pointed out to me that there was an increase in discrimination against Italian-Americans during the war, though it wasn't as bad as the racism against the Japanese-Americans. How pronounced was this discrimination in the states and would his heritage make life in the POW camp more difficult? He's not a first generation American and he doesn't have an accent, so there isn't much marking him as an Italian other than his last name. 

Also, California was pretty anti-Japanese during the war. I don't know if this translates to anti-Italian sentiments as well. Would the close proximity of Oregon to California effect how pronounced the discrimination would be?

I've Google searched German Treatment of American POWs in WWII but haven't come up with anything specific to Italian-Americans and I've also searched for things along the lines of Italian-American Discrimination in the US only to come up with mafia references and "Italian stallions".