April 17th, 2012

Cell (mobile) phone GPS tracking and data retrieval - damaged phone/SIM card

First, I have been following this comm for years, and only realized today when I tried to post this question that I'd never joined. So, I'm new, sort-of. Hopefully I'm doing this right - it seems really disjointed and I'm totally at a loss...

I'm working on a Person of Interest fic - the show takes place in NYC and the main protagonists have an extensive communications network using cell phones, computers, access to all of the various cameras that law enforcement and government have placed around the city, etc.. In my fic, one of the protagonists is on the run from bad guys and has to keep them from finding the other one (usually in constant contact by cell phone). He doesn't have a lot of time to do it, so he takes out the phone's SIM card and smashes both it and the phone with his boot heel.

My questions are: 1. Can the bad guys (CIA, so they have access to data forensics) get information from the SIM card or is it too badly damaged?

2. Can the other protagonist (back at their base where he has access to his computers, the city's network, etc.) access the phone's GPS tracking or cell tower pinging and at least find out the last location his friend contacted him from?

I've already searched and found out what kind of information is on a phone's SIM card (including texts, phone contacts, and the last number dialed and when), but just don't know if it would be too badly damaged.

On the second question, I've searched for 'can you track someone's phone if the phone is damaged?' and 'does cell phone gps tracking work if the phone is damaged?' and found lots of sites about GPS tracking, but none that specifically address damage to the phone. Tried 'can police track a mobile phone with no sim card?' too. Apparently if it's still pinging off towers, it could be done. Would the CIA plugging the SIM card into whatever reader they use to search it possibly allow the protagonist to access the GPS/location info?

I'm basically trying to find a way he can rescue his friend without the CIA finding their base of operations, and I just don't know enough about the technology... Help?

Transgenderism in pre-colonial times.

I'm in the planning stages of a story that takes place in an Earth analogue world with the main setting being a small nation similar to pre-colonial midwestern America. The majority of the characters are of a native tribal culture, and my protagonist is, for all intents and purposes, a transgender man. His people (an as-of-yet-unnamed tribe, referred to hence as the People) subscribe to a belief that a daughter, under certain rare and specific conditions, was meant to be a son and as such, they raise the daughter as a boy. In most cases, the individual ends up as something like a two-spirit: accepting of their physically female form while still adopting traditionally male roles. However, my protag has grown up fully identifying as a boy / man. The People are accepting of this since it's their tradition in the first place, so that isn't at all my problem. My issue is purely a physical one, dealing with the character's body. So here is my question for the community:

Is it at all possible to "condition" breasts to grow in small or not at all? For instance, if the individual's chest is bound consistently beginning before puberty and all throughout, similar to the concept of foot-binding? I've tried Google-searching using key-phrases like "how to prevent breasts from growing" or "how to make breasts small" but all I got were links to breast-reduction surgery and YahooAnswers questions from young teenage girls fretting about how big their busts will be after puberty.

Pardon me if the question seems stupid or elementary. In my defense, I am a transgender man myself and I bind my breasts using an undershirt binder, so I tend to just pretend my chest isn't there most of the time. As such, I'm aware that constant binding could be damaging to the ribcage and chest cavity, particularly the lungs, but those things are not what concern me at the moment. I just want to know if it would (theoretically or otherwise) be possible to condition a person's breasts in such a manner as described above. If what I have in mind is usable, then I'll focus on longterm health risks and whatnot.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: Just to clarify, this isn't the character doing it to himself. It'd be his parents or a medicine man. The community views this character as a man, and as such, would want him presented as one. The character himself doesn't regard his female body as particularly undesirable in any way. In fact, he's indifferent to it. He isn't the only person in his village who was raised this way.

EDIT 2: I think that the notion of breast ironing is closest to what I'm looking for in this case. I'd never heard of it before. Thanks to everyone who offered ideas and information!

Beginning of bipolar manic/hypomanic episode

For someone with bipolar disorder (in my story: ~16/17 year old male who also experienced symptoms in childhood, if that helps), how long does it take for a manic/hypomanic episode to set in? How does one knows if they are becoming manic or hypomanic?

From those I've seen with bipolar disorder, they say that they can feel an episode coming on, but I've never heard or asked about specific details regarding this before. Also, when I recently did a speech on bipolar disorder, all of the research articles I read from NIMH and various university databases only told me how long the manic episode would last once it set in, but not how long it took for it to begin. Thanks, any help would be appreciated! Even general information about writing bipolar disorder would help greatly, since I know it can be easily misunderstood.