December 14th, 2011

Howling Moon

Emotional Abuse and Child Services?

In my story, Zeke, a modern-day 21-year-old guy from Ontario (Canada), seeks psychiatric help for depression. During the sessions it was discovered that he also suffers from anxiety disorders and that his father is emotionally and verbally abusive toward his mother and his younger siblings. The father also becomes physically aggressive during those outbursts, but he never hit the kids or his wife. The psychiatrist reports the abuse to child services, who then makes Zeke's father undergo psychiatric help himself. During this entire time Zeke's father is not separated from his wife or his kids.

Is this a believable scenario? I know a psychiatrist is required to report suspected domestic abuse, but does emotional and verbal abuse count as domestic abuse? Also, is it possible for child services to keep a family together, including the abusive member?

I know each country and even different States have different laws regarding child services and psychiatric responsiblities. I tried searching "ontario psychiatrist report abuse" and "psychiatrist obligation report abuse". The results I got were either advice for physical abuse or reserach papers. Ontario Children's Aid Society gives info on signs of emotional abuse but no info on what warrants the removal of children from a home.

I hope I made my questions clear. Your assistance is much appreciated. Thanks!
music, serious face

[ANON POST] Looking for a terminal disease

I'm currently writing a short story taking place in a small seaside town in central Europe; it's happening sometime in the last decade. One of the main two characters is Nicholas, age 22, who has been suffering from some kind of terminal disease.

The problem is that I don't even know where to start looking; when I constructed Nicholas, I only knew that he was a dying man. I would appreciate if you could at least point me in the right direction.

so, I'm looking for this: a disease that can be cured, but couldn't be in this particular case. Nicholas has been ill for 3 years now, and a year ago the doctors send him home to die in peace. the important thing, plot-wise, is that his doctors couldn't really predict when is he going to die, just that this disease will soon kill him. Nicholas is still able to walk, although he is physicaly very weak; his brain, however, wasn't affected. his state also isn't critical enough to require everyday professional medical attention. (The disease doesn't need to match this exact descriptions; small changes would be acceptable.)

I'll appreciate any help you can give me, and that includes pointing me in the right direction. I've spent quite some time browsing medical books and the internet, but I'm feeling very lost indeed, since I don't really know what I'm looking for.
music, serious face

[ANON POST] Encrypting computer files in a way that challenges experts

Setting: Slightly near future Earth -- contemporary for all practical purposes.

I'm looking for a way to hide and encrypt something on a flash drive. Someone who has expert knowledge is going to explain in simple terms how it was done and how they broke the encryption. (I know writing it is my responsibility! I just don't know where to start here.) Ideally it should be a way it would take a person with pretty advanced knowledge to figure out.

To explain more: The drive looks like it contains something relatively innocuous like pictures or text (I don't care which) but really it contains someone's top secret text and pictures. I'm very flexible as to how this happens, but I have no idea how it could happen myself. (I do remember a Law and Order SVU episode where someone encoded some text as a tiny part of a picture, which is the general sort of thing I'm looking for. But it's not an SVU fanfic so I'm nervous about using their material unless this a real thing, plus I can't remember how it was explained on the show.)

One of the problems is that someone who isn't as much of an expert already failed to notice the secret files because they weren't looking very hard. So ideally I don't want something that would be totally obvious to any person with basic computer security knowledge. (Though I guess I could make the first person totally incompetent if all else fails...)

I'm not actually asking anyone to tell me the details of how to do practically do this! I just want to be able to say something slightly better than "He sat at the computer for a long time and then suddenly said 'Hey, there's something else on here!'"

I really don't know what to Google. I tried "hiding files on a computer" but it got me ordinary Windows stuff and commercial programs that don't sound like quite what I'm looking for. Similar results with "file encryption."

Thanks in advance for any help.

Drive-In Movie Theaters in the US in the 1960s

Hello! My story is set in New York in 1962. (Uh, yes, it is X-Men First Class fanfiction.)

Anyway, I'm just looking for a little information on what seeing a movie at a drive-in in the 60s would have been like. I've done a lot of searches for drive-ins, drive-ins 60s, drive in theatres, history of movies, etc. I also checked the movies tag on this comm. "Drive-in movie memories" just turns up a movie with that title. I've found a lot of photos of drive-ins and information about when they peaked in popularity (1958, apparently). I also found a database of all US drive-ins, including ones that have since been demolished.

But what I can't seem to find, and what I'm really wondering, is stuff like, would there be previews before the movies? When did that start happening? I know in the early days of films there were newsreels before movies. When did that stop?

I'd love any personal recollections from those who saw movies in the US in the 60s (especially at drive-ins, but I'm not sure how different films projected there would be from films projected at movie theaters) or sources that I wasn't able to turn up. Thank you!