March 3rd, 2012


Planetary orbits in the early 15th century

Can anyone recommend sites which would show the orbits of all planets for 1420 or thereabouts?  (ETA: Comets would be nice, too.)

I've tried Stellarium, Solstation, and Astronomy Workshop. Search terms like “orbits of the planets” “historical planetary orbits” and “planetary orbits fifteenth century” result in the history of the solar system or the history of astronomy - but I just want to know which constellations the planets were in. A specific search using 1420 as a term came up with something way beyond my comprehension.

I've got a fairy slow connection and don't want to shell out for software!

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

ETA 2: it's for a Shakespeare fanfic, so I don't want to make any astrological howlers - but then again, Shakespearean time is kind of fluid, so I've got a wide choice of dates to work with.


Blood loss and riding double?

Hello detailers!  I need some help figuring out if an idea for a scene is... well, plausible, at least.  If not completely possible.

Setting is a fictional world with approximately classical roman empire level of technology - no magic.  The scene takes place in a remote desert area with no access to doctors, etc.  The characters are a small man in his late forties and his teenaged son and daughter, all of whom are used to living in the area and in good physical condition.

The three characters are in a fight, and the dad is wounded (deep gash from a sword).  Also, one of their horses is killed.  He and daughter ride double as they escape.  A while later - length of time is unspecified - the dad is too weak to stand because of blood loss and acting irrationally.  They make it to their destination, and after a suitable recovery time Dad gets better.

So here's my questions:
1. How much blood does he lose? I'm thinking about a liter - would that produce the symptoms I'm looking for? It's important because this is a comic, I need to know how drippy we're going to get.

2. How long would it take to recover completely, assuming he had plenty of rest, water, and food?  How long until he could at least resume basic activities?

3. Is it reasonable to have two people on one horse over rough terrain?  They're both pretty small, and would be riding with a saddle and stirrups. No stirrups!  That'd be an anachronism ;) This is a fairly long trip, several days at least.

Search terms: hypovolemic shock, bleeding, blood loss symptoms, trauma injury, horse endurance

Thanks in advance for any help!

1970's Russian Physics

I am working on a background for a new RPG character. I have some flexibility in dates, but I am a bit confused and am trying to map everything out. My character is a female scientist who specializes in plasma physics. Her power armor is powered by a Tokamak Reactor. I would like her to have studied under or been mentored by Lev Artsimovich who is known as the Father of The Tokamak. I know he died in 1973. But I can't find much on his academic career or if he gave lectures. So here are my questions.

1) If she is born in 1952, would she have been able to study under or attend a lecture by him while in undergrad (or the Russian equivalent)?

2) If #1 is possible is it likely that she studied at Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences?

3) Where would she have studied for a PHD (or equivalent) in plasma physics and how long would it have taken?

Google searches: Plasma Physics; Russian physics education 1970; Lev Artsimovich