August 10th, 2010


Hotels & Traveling in England in early 1960's (with one question about undergarments)

Hello! Boy do I have a broad array of questions, so I hope I can be helped with some.

I'm writing a fanfiction set in very early 1960's (late 1962, to be exact), in England. The group is travelling around England and I wanted to know what they might encounter. (In case it helps, it's about The Beatles. I'm taking some liberties with the time line and possibly their popularity/available money (as in they won't be able to afford the best hotels--which I'm pretty sure they couldn't that early off--but I'm being careful and saying I'm taking liberties), but would like to keep at least most of it time period relevant.)

Main questions:

1. What would the moderately priced (possibly cheap) hotels be like? Would they have baths or showers? Would the baths and toilets be in separate rooms, or together to save space? Would they even have their own attached bathrooms/toilets, or would their be one at the end of the hall, for instance? Would the hotel provide shampoo/soap/etc like they do now?
ANYTHING else you can tell me about hotels in 1962 England would be helpful, even if it's not relevant to the questions above.

2. Once you were on a busy road (highway?), how easy would it have been to find a rest stop or some other place to go to the toilet, if one had to go? Would you be able to pull over to the side of the road to go, or were their "No Parking" rules as there are now, or possibly the traffic would be a steady flow and it would be unsafe to pull over? Keep in mind they're travelling long distances where I'd imagine it's nothing but open space for a long while (and they really, really have to pee).
Again, anything else you can tell me about road travelling in 1962 would be helpful too. Like how would the conditions of the roads be in different parts, what are some things they might see driving about north England, if anything were to happen how likely would they be able to get help, etc.

3. Not involving travelling, but undergarments. I talked to my dad about this, as he was alive (albeit young) in the 60's. He said most men would probably be wearing y-fronts because they were newer, and he sort of implied that boxers were an unpopular choice? So would most men (ages 18 to 25 ish) be wearing y-fronts? Would a few be wearing boxers, but might be laughed at/considered unfashionable? I know in the 60's they started making fun patterned undergarments, so my guess is that both would be acceptable?

Any information you guys have to offer about ANY of the aforementioned topics would be entirely helpful. (Also, do I tag my post or do mods? ETA: I went ahead and tagged. If they're not right, tell and I'll fix. :D) Thank you for your time and  sorry for the long questions!

I searched around for information about hotels in the 60's, but all that I could find was about modern hotels. I wasn't entirely sure how to search available toilets. Searches about undergarments generally wielded basic information and not about the popular choice. (I also looked on here, through all the tags I thought might be relevant, through a few years.) 

American High School Sports Schedule and Culture

I've tried googling various combinations of the words American, High School, Sports, Athletics, Schedule, Seasons, Culture, but so far haven't quite found what I'm looking for.

I'm working on a story on which a teenaged boy moves to a small fictional town in Vermont, where he starts at the local high school as a junior, in February.  (There's some flexibility there -- it could be late January, or into March, but the point is that it's not at the start of term, but it's early enough to justify the move.) 

I'd like to have him try out for a school sport he'd have a reasonable expectation would be a big deal  -- track and field is the first thing that comes to mind, but I don't really know a) what sports would be holding tryouts in that season, and b) whether they even bother holding tryouts for track.  Do they hold general try-outs?  Per-event?  Anyone-can-join-just-show-up-a-lot-and-we'll-find-you-a-place?

Second, are the students who go to tryouts obligated to be on the team if they make it?  How is the coach likely to announce who he wants on the team, and would that change if he suspected some of the students won't bother actually joining?    In this particular story, there are a bunch of guys who will go to try outs for various sports to show off the fact that they are athletic, and in good enough shape to compete with the jocks and come out looking good, but who aren't interested in joining the team.  I'd like to have the coach let them try out, even though he knows they probably won't join, because he'd like to give them the chance to change their minds.  Would that be possible, or are there codes of conduct that would get them in a lot of trouble?  A little trouble they could handle, but if this is the kind of thing that gets suspensions handed out right and left, it wouldn't mesh with the rest of the story.

Smoke Inhalation in a Child and Long-Term Effects

Setting: fantasy world, technology level roughly equivalent to the middle ages.

I am currently working on piece of writing in which one of my main characters was exposed to a fire within her home at a very young age. Her placement within the home spared her external burns, but she was exposed to a fair amount of smoke.

My questions are as follows:

How would moderate smoke inhalation in a young child (8 mos. to a year of age) be treated given the level of medical knowledge one might find in the middle ages?

As an adult, could this character suffer any lingering long-term effects from this event? ie. shortness of breath, susceptibility to pulmonary issues, etc.

I have Googled 'smoke inhalation,' 'medieval medicine,' 'smoke inhalation in infants,' 'long-term effects of smoke inhalation,' and various combinations of the above words. I have also referenced the 'medicine: burns and smoke inhalation' tag within the community.

I have found plenty of information on the symptoms and complications of smoke inhalation, as well as methods of treatment, but none of those treatments seem to translate well to a world in which the wonders of modern medicine are unknown. Now I do have a bit of wiggle-room in regards to treatment, given that the character that rescues her has some medical knowledge beyond that of the rest of society, but he obviously does not have access to pure oxygen, etc.

There also seems to be remarkably little information on the long-term effects of smoke inhalation, save for a few references to a subway fire in which some of the victims continued to have problems a couple of years after the incident... but there were no details. I don't know if the lack of information is because once a victim recovers, they don't have many issues.. or if my Google-fu is failing me.

Thank you for any help you can offer!
{Character} Anakin § Aurebesh

SS-TV requirements, ranks and accomodation

I am writing a story set around the World War II, probably in Germany itself, but this point is still open. One of the characters is a young man, from a good German family, who despite not being exactly a hardcore Nazi joins the SS-Totenkopfverbände — the branch of the SS destined to guard the concentration camps.

I need to know what were the minimum age and height requirements for joining the SS-TV. I confess I kept only searching for "ss-totenkopfverbände +age requirement". By the way, was there anything regarding the guard's weight?

This German guy, in my mind, would be very young — around 20 years old, maybe 21. What's the highest rank he would reach in the branch at that age? How would he get there? Would his family be of any influence?

I also tried to search a bit on the guards' accomodation in the camps, but I couldn't find much. Would there be any way to get this character to have his own chambers in a believable way? It would be a vital point for my plot.

I am sorry I'm coming here with so little research.

Thanks in advance!

Types of Fairies

Ok so I'm not sure where I went wrong with my previous post- so I'm trying again.

I'm currently in the process of writing a fnatasy story about a frost fairy. I've only written 2 paragraphs so far so don't as such know where it's going. I can tell you that basically frost fairies are responsible for creating frost in witner. It's how they make their living. Basically whats going to happen is that the humans have come up with a way of stopping frost being created. The frost fairies of course want to stop this, so decide that they need to send a spokesfairy to communicate with the humans.

I've started by introducing Callie the frost fairy, but I need to explain what makes her different to other fairies. I've decided to do that by explaining the differrent types of fairies there are. But I've googled "types of fairies" and it just comes up with sprites, elves, pixies etc. But I need more detail than that. My idea is to have four main types of fairies, Fire, water, air, and earth. But these 4 are then further broke down into types for example a frost fairy is a water fairy. But I can't think of anymore examples. Could you suggest where I could find out, or maybe suggest some for me?

(To the moderators= if this is not detailed enough, please say. I've read your rules, and think I've stuck to them!)

9th Century Russia

Setting: My main character hails from 9th Century Russia and later moves to 9th Century London, and then 9th Century North America (around where Maryland is now). He is immortal; at present day he is living in New Jersey.

Search Summary: 1. I looked in the Russian section of my school's World History text book. They didn't have anything except the revolution. 2. I read a "History of Russia" article on Wikipedia. They mostly had things about pagans and christians fighting. 3. I tried asking on Yahoo! Answers and got the same results.

Question: What did locals call the area? How often did it snow? How big were towns? What were some examples of laws and formal punishments? How did men meet/woo women? 

My character is living all by his lonesome, kinda far away from anybody else. I want to know how he would provide for himself in that environment, what would be a regular meal for him. Where would he meet other people and what would be the proper way to conduct himself? Would there be a certain ettiquette for courting a woman? What would his clothing and home look like? etc

EDIT: Everyone seems to need more on the time and location, so I looked at several maps and did some math, and have come to a conclusion concerning these two details. My character was born 1168 years ago (842 AD). Twenty years later (1148 years ago; 862 AD) he is living somewhere between present-day Perm and Nizhnevartovsk. He reaches London in 865 AD and stays there for two years.

Thank you everyone for all the links and information and book titles, etc so far. I'm sure they will be very helpful, I just hope my brain can take it all in!