August 14th, 2010

Of Legend

Whip It Good?

I have a character, who at the age of fourteen was given ten lashes with a single-flagellum whip. At the time, he was underweight and underfed, though not yet to the point of malnurishment. The person administering the whipping is as close to an officer of the law as you're going to get in that particular part of town, and has a great deal of experience doing that sort of thing. I have two questions:

1) The immediate aftermath. He does have someone who can help him walk home, but would that actually be "helping him walk home" or "sort of carrying him home"? If he is trying to walk, would he be bent over, or hold himself stiffly upright? Would he be in danger of going into shock?

2) Recovery. My character has no access to doctors or medicine, but is living in a place where he can get alcohol, clean water, and clean rags to use as bandage substitutes. Is that going to be enough to realistically have him pull through without an infection?

3) Twenty-five years later: He's now living with his girlfriend in modern-day New York. How noticable are the scars going to be? Would they be visible? Would you be able to pick them out by touch? 
black widow

Dying of fear

I'm re-writing a crime novel set in Japan, where in the killer is a supernatural being. Which brings me to my question: what is the medical name for dying of fear? I have completely forgotten and typing in "dying of fear" in Google only gets you Thanatophobia - fear of dying. So after going through ten pages when the closest hit was "Dying of fear, Please Help, do I have an STD?", which as you probably guess was not helpful at all, I gave up my search.

So if somebody knows the name, could describe it a little and maybe point me in the direction of a pair of good articles, I'd really be grateful.

Also, because I know that the question was raised in the first version - is there any way you could chemically induce similar reactions by injecting it in victims?

Really grateful for any kind of help.


Brain Tumors In Teens

Hi All!
I'm looking for a specific type of brain tumor for my female, 18-year-old, Caucasian character in present-day United States. I need her to be able to go to high school, but she, of curse, can miss for operations/tests/radiation/chemo. It's okay if she loses her hair/is sick during attempts to eradicate the cancer, but I need her to have been afflicted beginning sometime in her childhood and for the tumor to ultimately be fatal during her 18th year. My plotline also demands that blindness be, if not a certain side effect, then at least a risk.
I've read countless articles and even skimmed through a few books, plus Wikipedia and lots of teen-based sites about common cancers...
Google searches:
"Brain Tumors"
"Brain Tumors" teens
"Brain Tumors" teens blindness
"Cancer" teens
Wikipedia articles:
Brain Tumors
The scientific jargon and differing information is pretty confusing...I don't need much medical stuff in the book; I just need a plausible type of cancer so I can research it and portray it correctly.
Thanks so much for your advance! :)


How good are children's telescopes?

Setting: present day, unspecified location
Previous research: googling, but I seem to come across mostly ebay auctions and really good telescope photos. Not what I'm looking for.

My MC is a young child whose parents bought him a telescope for Christmas, presumably of the kind you buy in Toys 'R' Us for children and not something particularly powerful. He's looking at a strange light (which happens to be an alien spaceship) through it. How well would he see this light? Would he figure out it's a spaceship, or would he be just able to see the light more up-close? It's a silly fic I'm writing so it doesn't need to be extremely accurate, and I can work with the plot either way, but I'd like this to be at least feasible. What if he were looking through a slightly bit better, but still domestic, telescope? Thank you!