September 24th, 2010

  • kchasm

Odd Things People Do While in (Medical) Shock

 Setting: Modern day, but there's a forest with a cottage and it isn't really important. And there are non-human things--it's complicated; please read on.

Okay, first off: I write a story on an imageboard wherein plot developments are caused by the voting of the Anonymous. That's significant. It means I can't edit posts.

So at one point, the protagonist stabs a girl in the back of the neck. That's as specific as I get--he stabs her, then yanks the knife out of her neck.

I described the reaction of the stabbee as: turning around slowly and stiffly, then bringing her hand to the back of her neck and saying, "you--you shouldn't have done that", at which point the protagonist finished her off from the front.

Now, the stabee is a non-human character, and will, despite the extensive damage incurred, eventually regenerate. The protagonist didn't know this, and still doesn't know this. However, an Anonymous reader has called bull on this, claiming that the stabee's reaction should have been a dead giveaway, and that my protagonist (a homicide detective, albeit one in a relatively peaceful city) "should have a fair idea that anyone [whose] first response to [getting] stabbed is 'You shouldn't have done that' is not human".

I was about to respond that the odd behavior was due to something like (the medical) shock, but then I realized that everything I knew about shock came from CSI, an old detective novel I couldn't remember the name of, and a Christopher McQuarrie movie--not exactly to the best sources to get evidence .


Does the evidence back me up? Does shock make people do odd things? I know the Austrian empress Elisabeth of Bavaria got stabbed in the heart, and then went about her business like everything was normal, eventually bleeding out on a steamship, but that's only one case, and I'm not sure if it's close enough to what I've got happening in the story. It doesn't help, either, that "shock" has a variety of terms, and that the word itself can be used figuratively, making searching the net a bit painful.

EDIT: Hooray! Thanks for your help--I wasn't sure I could express what I was looking for, but you guys provided exactly what I needed! I am totally, totally in your debt(s).

English possibly Regency or earlier law concerning child betrothals


Long time lurker with a desperate question here.

I spouted off a factoid to my beta who (bless her!) is questioning where I found it. Only I don't remember! I'm hoping you kind people can either tell me I'm remembering this wrong, or point me toward the right direction.

I'm looking to see if there is a specifically stated English (probably contract) law from between (I believe) early 1700 to 1800s, prohibiting parents from pre-birth betrothing their unborn children. I think this sought to prevent parents from making unfulfillable contracts or multiple contracts to different parties and then going back on the deal. I cannot remember if I read this in a book or an historical blog, or if I'm confusing this with something else entirely.

Google is failing me because I fear I'm using too broad search terms and I can't remember the exact time period: have googled using these terms or variants of English 1700s/Regency/Victorian child laws, 1700s/Victorian/Regency (and Regency) betrothal laws, breach of promise suits, Victorian betrothal law. My beta has been wiki'ing and googling using the term: child marriage, English child marriage, Victorian (or Regency or 1700s) child marriage and finding nothing exact either. We either get child labour laws, contemporary child marriage cases, or adult Victorian breach of promise suits etc.

For anyone does want the context of our project, we're working on a fic that features two characters (late Victorian English) betrothed presumably from birth (or at an extremely early age) by their parents (the characters are first cousins and only a year or two apart in age). The fact was not to prove or disprove anything in the story. It just popped up during research and my beta wants me to prove it.

Thanks in advance for anything you might find!
marcus 2013

The Great Hummus Shortage

dreamerjules suggested I try this here.

Some time in the eighties or nineties (don't know the exact date) a factory in (I think) one of the Scandenavian countries had some sort of fire or explosion, halting pretty much all industrial production of hummus outside the Middle East. As a result there was a global hummus shortage for several months.

Can anyone find me the details of this - exactly when and where it happened etc.? It doesn't seem to be googleable easily.

Many thanks! Looking through the comments here, it looks like this was either wild exaggeration by the person who told me, or an incident remembered wrongly. In either case it isn't going to be much use for my story! Many thanks anyway.
Nomad - Ivy

Longest practical distance to bull's eye with a medieval-style shortbow?

Setting is contemporary but it might as well not be, as my characters are working with homemade medieval-style bows (long for men, short for women) and arrows.

I have searched: medieval shortbow; what's the longest distance you can shoot accurately with a shortbow (and various permutations thereof); target archery women primitive; and various other searches relating to boy or women archers and homemade bows, a frustrating number of which gave answers relating to the distance of the longbow rather than the short bow. I also tried Maid Marian archery in case the Robin Hood angle yielded any more information, and looked at the article on Squidoo about Legolas's archery in the LotR films. All very interesting but not what I need.

What I want to know: assuming that the archer is a young woman weighing about 130 lbs. and standing about 5'8", who has been practicing regularly with a bow since childhood and is renowned for her archery skills, and that she is armed only with a homemade (though well crafted) shortbow and arrows and shooting outdoors -- what would make for a really impressive shot into the bull's eye, distance-wise?

And to narrow it down even further, would forty paces to the bull's eye be either too long to be likely, or too short to be impressive, using this kind of bow? Would thirty or fifty be better?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
Ranma, Ranma-onna, water
  • kirinin

Modern-Day Japanese endearments from a father-figure to his ward

I searched google for a bit under 'Japanese endearments', and I read the little_details post here in hopes of getting my answer; also a post on Japanese endearments on a blog here and another one here.  I also raided a few translators.  However, I think my question might be a little too specific to be found in such a manner.

What is an affectionate way of referring to a male child in one's care in modern-day Japan?

I know that the Japanese have adopted the English words 'darling' and 'sweetheart', or something that sounds vaguely like them, but this seems more romantic than affectionate, and I worry I'm giving off a creepy vibe if I use either.  Would a father-figure-type ever use anata to refer to anyone other than a romantic beloved?  Is my only recourse to drop (like an anvil!) the idea that he's using the kid's name suffix-free?  

I would appreciate any help you can give!  Please respond with Romanji; I can't read kanji.

Thank you!