February 15th, 2011


Terminology for filing an internal complaint; how to address a medical intern

Search terms: "internal complaint procedure hospital", "internal complaint
procedure 1950s" (1960s, 1970s); "filed an internal complaint"+hospital

Setting - an American mental hospital, 1959-70 (still deciding on the
exact year). A new intern has just collapsed and temporarily lost
consciousness (only for about 3-5 minutes). The cause is
supernatural, but when the head nurse arrives on the scene, she
suspects him of having taken drugs from the pharmacy, though she does
not openly say so.

He says "it must have been something I ate, or
maybe this stuffy room," and I want her to snidely ask "are you
making an official internal complaint about this Institution's
ventilation?" I'm not sure, however, if that's the correct phrasing
for the setting. Googling variants on "internal complaint procedure"
mostly brings up post-1990 references. Any suggestions for what the
most officious terminology would have been pre-1980s or earlier?
Bonus points if someone knows the name of a particular form for
hospital staff registering complaints.

Also, would the title "Psychological Intern" be accurate for someone
holding an internship in a state mental hospital? How would he be
addressed by the other staff? By the patients?

Wild magic, anyone?

Does anyone know any sites or books I can read about magic that isn't controlled or defined by nature and ritual, but by the will, intent, and knowledge of the caster?

The setting resembles pseudo-Europe but only vaguely seeing how it's a (... slashy?) re-telling of Sleeping Beauty.

Magic in this story is an everyday thing that everyone has a little use of, even small children. It's also something that doesn't necessarily require great skill for great results.

For example, if a powerful wizard gathered the ingredients to make bread and then magically combined them to make a loaf, it would still taste like bread, could even be good if the wizard had a basic knowledge of baking, but a good baker with a basic knowledge of magic would make amazing bread because they already knew how to make good bread and knows what needs to happen to make great bread. See? (For simplicity's sake, let's assume both wizard and baker had the same amount of will to make their bread)

I tried light Google-fu and hardcore Wiki-fu with the phrase different magic types, and the information was really helpful, but it only explained what the magic does, not how it works. (though wild magic is apparently a series? idek.)

Also, does anyone know any tips/sites/general things-to-think-about when it comes to creating a working magic system?
fallen angel

Volume of Oxygen used by athlete versus non-athlete

Question: Would an athlete use more or less oxygen than a non-athlete while at rest?

Scenario: Two girls are floating underwater. They are hostages, and the bad guys have place scuba tanks on them to keep them alive. They're tied down and unconscious. The basic difference between the two girls is that one is an athlete and the other is not.

Research: I've talked to a family doctor and done a google search. All we can figure out is that the athlete will use the oxygen more efficiently while doing exercise but not while unconscious.

So, help!

Tony Ziva McGee - danger

Basic question about spinal injuries

I thought that this would be a simple five minute Google to find information on, but apparently I was wrong.

Setting: modern day small-town emergency room
Character: 28 year old male, healthy pre-injury

He was in the basement of a house that collapsed, and was hit across his lower back by a falling beam. He was pulled out of the house with no spinal stabilization, because it was the only way to save his life. The doctor knows all of this, and he has no sensation or motor below the T12 vertebrae.

What isn't known, at the time of the scene I'm writing, is whether the injury is complete, incomplete, or nothing more than extreme swelling pressing on the nerves, because it's a small-town hospital and they're waiting for the radiologist to get back to them about the films they shot.

All I need to know is: what position would he be in on the bed when his brother comes to see him? I'm pretty sure that just sitting there with his head elevated is out, but other than that, I'm stumped. Would he be flat on his back? On his stomach? Reverse Trendelenburg? Turned on his side and propped up? Would he be strapped in? Would he have a collar or some sort of back brace?

I've Google searched a whole bunch of combinations of all the following terms:
spinal trauma, severed spinal cord, spinal cord injury, spinal precautions, spinal bed, hospital bed, trendelenburg, stabilize spine in hospital, suspected spinal injury, position, temporary vs permanent paralysis

Thanks in advance, everyone.

Theft in Japan

Where: Japan
When: Present times

I write for a fandom where a key element is the theft of property, specifically works of art. I'm mainly interested in knowing what the statute of limitations would be for theft. Maybe also what the possible sentence(s) would be, and what the consequences would be for knowledge of the thefts and not reporting to the police. I've googled "Japan statute of limitations (with and without the word theft)", "Japan theft laws", and "Japan theft sentence". The closest I could find was information on the now-abolished statute of limitations for homicide.

Holdovers from the past in weapons or fighting

I'm working on a Batman story involving Cassandra Cain. For anyone not aware of her, she was trained to be a fighter (or more accurately, an assassin) by reading body language as if it were an actual language, but in order to do this, her father kept her from learning to speak or read. She later (magically) learned to speak English, but had difficulty learning to read and write.

I currently have one character helping Cassie with a reading lesson. When Cassie can't understand the function of a silent E at the end of a word (which would have been pronounced in Middle English) her teacher brings it around to the only thing Cassie really knows: fighting.

Unfortunately, not having been trained by Batman, I don't have a comprehensive knowledge of martial arts and weaponry, so I have no idea what the equivalent of a silent E would be. I'm sure in some fighting style, there must be a movement that once had meaning but is now retained only because it's tradition, even if something else might be more effective. Or there might be some kind of weapon that incorporates features of an earlier form that are no longer necessary, possibly a weapon that was developed from some kind of tool. Considering the nature of the character, any era and any place in the world would be an acceptable source.

I've read wikipedia's section on weapons until I was cross-eyed, but I haven't found what I need. I haven't googled because I can't think of appropriate search terms, so any suggestions there would also be appreciated.

  • oh_meow

Julius Caesar Scrabble Challenge

This is an odd one, but there must be some kind of Scrabble/word puzzle genius here who can help me. I've tried to do this myself and it fried my brain. I need to plan out how to arrange Scrabble tiles so that it's a legitimate game of Scrabble, only using the tiles that come in one set, and preferably arranged in a way that but with Julius Caesar themed words. You will get a thanks in the project (go to my journal if you want to see details). I guess it's probably easier to reply in a picture than text for this one.

These words are essential:

et tu brute
veni vidi vici

Here's some others you can use to fill in:

friends romans countrymen ears
kai su technon (or texnon if you like)
gallia est divisa in partes tres
de bello

some latin words you can use as fillers:

hic haec hoc
bellum bellum bella
res rem rei rerum
interfecit, occidit, conficit, exanimat (they all mean kill, bloodthirsty lot the romans)