September 17th, 2012

duck

UK specific: Mussorgsky title and environmental impact Aga

This is for the same fic that takes place in London in January 2007. The first question the place matters, but the time doesn't. The second one is very time dependent.

Although I think these are more what you might call immersive cultural questions than purely factual one, I still looked up what I could on Wikipedia, Amazon.uk, various newspaper archives, and the correct person on the agacentral.com forum.

Question 1: Does it pass the Britpick test for me to have a joke based on Mussorgsky's A Night on Bald Mountain using that name? Wikipedia says the preferred title in the UK is A Night on the Bare Mountain, but Amazon.uk has it about half and half, since it has recordings from more than one country. As an American looking in, it appears the Bald Mountain version of the name isn't unknown or terribly obscure, but input from real people would be appreciated. If it makes any difference, the one making the joke would probably really only be be familiar with the work from Fantasia where it looks like is is always credited as Bald Mountain.

Question 2: In January 2007, was there much awareness that running a standard Aga or Aga type gas cooker is basically the equivalent of burning down a Brazilian rain forest every week? I'm specifically referring to the traditional kind that is more or less never turned off, not one of the newer ones with fittings to make it more environmentally friendly, or any that burn solid fuel. I found plenty of articles from 2008 and later on the subject, but canon requires I find something from January 2007 or earlier and I'm not sure the timeline will cooperate with me. I did find a fairly tepid column in The Guardian from November 2006, but the person asking about Aga inefficiency seems a lot more concerned than the supposedly green person's response so I don't know. I'm actually leaning toward giving my character a Rayburn Heatranger, which I understand is not quite as horribly inefficient because it does more, but within the context of the scene, Aga information would still be very useful.

Thanks!

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Girl Genius, Beast, Chewie
  • khilari

Spinning question

Does anyone know how many skeins of silk someone reasonably skilled could spin in a night? Or wool, since I don't think there's much of a difference.

I can't remember what search terms I used - I'd been searching for a while before thinking of this community and I didn't keep a record. Um, "spinning silk" definitely. Probably something about speed of spinning. "Handspinning". Sorry, if that's not good enough I'll have to do all my searching again so I know where I've been.

ETA: On a spinning wheel, not a drop spindle.

ETA2: Thanks, everyone. I'm going to go with her spinning finer wool than she's used to rather than silk - I had no idea how unusual spinning silk would be in the setting. I'd never used a site like this before and I'm amazed at how informative this has been.
Gentle Rose

"Whites only" performances in WWII New York, especially for soldiers?

Setting: details needed for an anecdote taking place in New York City during WWII (though the actual fic is set in the present day, and someone else is telling this story - it's a Captain America/Avengers fanfic)
Searched: Googled various combinations and permutations of "racial discrimination in theaters/performances in 1940s New York".

At this point (mid-WWII), while people have read and heard about the Howling Commandos, there isn't that much video footage or photographs going around, so most people haven't seen them yet. I'm looking specifically of some kind of really upscale, highly-coveted show or restaurant of some kind that would invite Captain America for typical "you're our hero (and hey, great publicity!)" reasons, and invite the Howling Commandos along with him. Steve initially accepts because of how awesome the invite is. But at the last minute, he finds out the establishment is "whites only", and not all of his team would be allowed in, so he passes the seats/tickets along to an all-white unit. But in an attempt to spare anyone embarrassment, Steve is really vague about why he's turning it down. Because he himself is white, this makes his his refusal seem completely random and out of the blue. Are there any good theaters, concert halls, restaurants, ect., that could fit this sort of scenario?

And of the places that might be high-brow and whites only, are there any in particular that might be considered as very conducive to assassination attempts? This entire thing becomes urban legend/apocryphal story fuel when the team 'sent' in his place become victims of what was meant to be an assassination attempt of Captain America on 'home soil'. (To the general public, it looks like Captain America knew about the plot and thwarted it.)

ETA: This is an MCU/Movieverse fic, for clarification. ^_^