November 1st, 2011

differences between human and animal bones?

so! like many others, I am attempting NaNoWriMo this year! without getting into the details, my universe is pretty close to ours socially, a little set back technologically, and still polytheistic in a pretty Greco-Roman way.

There is a scene in a temple/shrine where one of my characters basically notices that supposed animal bones are actually human bones. my problem is sort of two-fold. the fact that these are human bones can't be super obvious, because someone else probably would have noticed, right? But! the characters won't be able to handle the bones or be super close to them at this point (I'm sort of thinking they might have to break in later to get a better look at them, one character being sort of "okay, that looks human" and another character being like "have you lost your mind")

It's not that I haven't found information like this, but its either too simple - humans have chins! - or way way wayyyyyy above my head. I'm hoping someone here can dumb it down for me to write about, even though one of my characters would be a kind of doctor-in-training and therefore pretty knowledgeable about what they're seeing. based on what I've read, I'm assuming a fairly "easy" indicator would be cortical bone thickness, animal being quite a bit thicker than what you would see in a human, less porous, greater density? although that would be more difficult to tell if the human who was killed was a child, yes? I'm having trouble figuring out what would be possible and believable in this situation!

General Questions: Modern day Boston setting/Highschool

I'm writing a story about a high school student in Boston, and I just had a few general questions about Boston and going to school there.

In Boston, are the high schools like middle school, then high school (grades 9-12) or junior high then high school (grades 10-12)?

I want to set it at a real life school. The main character is going to transfer there in 10th grade. I want it to be mostly a normal school with lots of different ethnicities and lots of extra curriculars. Her guardians would have researched it, so it should have a good reputation. I'd also like it to be kind of in downtown Boston or at least within walking distance of public transit. Any suggestions? Once I get a name, I can Google it.

Speaking of public transit, Google tells me there is Subway and buses. Does everyone take the subway? is it as popular as the subway systems of DC and NYC? Also is it considered safe for like teenagers to take it on their own?

Would it be feasible for kids in Boston to take field trips to Salem? What is the view on the witches and the Salem Witch trials? (One of my characters is going to be a practicing witch.)

I know there is a heavy Irish presence, and also Italian. Is there any strong Greek presence in Boston? My main character has Greek roots she's trying to avoid. But if there were a Greek presence it would make sense for ehr guardians to allow her to be there.

And finally, is there any general Boston slang or restaurants I should know or anything I should include to make it seem like I know Boston?

Titanium jewelry and men's wedding rings

Hello, everyone. I need some information on jewelry, specifically price.

The story is set in modern-day. A ring has been stolen - it's hand-crafted, one of a kind and was commissioned by a wealthy client.

I want to describe a fairly expensive men's wedding band. I was picturing a gold titanium band with a fairly sizeable ruby. However when I did an internet price check I had trouble finding a reliable price range for something like this. Everything article on the metal I turn up seems to indicate that high-quality titanium (rubies aside) is fairly expensive, but every example of a titanium band I find on the internet is ridiculously cheap. I'm inclined to believe that online jewelry stores aren't really selling very high priced titanium, but that still leaves me with no real idea of what wikipedia means by expensive. I'd appreciate any kind of window that could be provided, price-wise. And if there's a suggestion for something that might suit better than titanium, by all means, please let me know.

My goal is to have a ring that is a) expensive enough that the client would have had to be fairly wealthy to afford it at all b) valuable enough that the shop owner is frantic about it being stolen and c) valuable enough that threats of a lawsuit won't seem ridiculously over the top.

Search terms used:

Google: titanium rings, titanium jewelry, men's titanium rings, price of titanium jewelry, titanium wedding bands, how expensive is titanium jewelry, men's wedding bands titanium prices

Wikipedia: Titanium, titanium jewelry, titanium rings

I have also looked at Sotheby's auction site and while I found a great deal of ruby jewelry, most of it was ether gold or platinum. Would the prices be comparable?

I also searched the community tags for terms like "jewelry, rings, wedding" etc and found this page which is proving extremely helpful for pricing the ruby.

ETA: Thanks to everyone who answered. That was exactly what I needed!

Bridal Carry Usefulness

When would a "Bridal Carry" be used over other methods for carrying a person?

That is, when would it be preferred in a rescue situation to carry someone using a Bridal Carry (warning TVtropes) a la princess style over other methods like the Fireman's carry or Over the shoulder carry? (Tvtropes warning)

I can find some stuff on why Bridal Carry is a bad idea, although nothing that is actually authoritative. I also can't find any information on whether Bridal Carry can be actually useful in any situation (other than for romantic overtones). I did find this bit via Google cache but the method describes...more of a caveman/over the shoulder carry, I think, instead of the traditional Bridal Carry.

Search terms: "Bridal carry", "Princess carry", "Bridal Carry use", "Bridal Carry rescue"