September 25th, 2013

Fast growing tall trees

I'm writing a sci-fi story about kids bred in enclosed underground environments, raised by robots without any access to outside society. A couple of them grow a tree from fruit seeds taken from their food, via artificial bright lighting in a garden. The tree should be taller than it is wide, with branches sturdy enough for a young kid to climb, and ideally should start flowering within a couple years or less. It should also be able to eventually reach at least ~10 metres (~40 feet) within 15 years.

What kind of trees might fit that description (if any), or something close to it? I've been looking up various common fruit trees like those for apples and pears, but they seem to take pretty long to mature, or are really sprawling.

In summary, is there a tree that:
- bears edible fruit
- is climbable by kids
- starts flowering within a year or two
- eventually reach a height of 10+ metres after 15 years

Any help would be appreciated, thanks! (If no such tree exists, then I'll just embrace the opportunities of the genre and make something up.)

A doctor's career in the UK (1920s through 1940s)

I'm writing a story set in England that includes several doctors and medical students as characters. The older character would have started her medical training in 1926 or so, while the younger ones are still in medical school in 1940.

I've done a fair amount of searching for "doctor training interwar" and the like, but though I can find information about the situation in the UK today, I know that things have changed a fair bit over time. What I am hoping to find is a simple timeline giving the various stages of a doctor's career, along with some idea about how this varies according to specialisation. The questions in my mind include:

How many years in medical school, and did this vary depending on whether you started as an undergraduate or after your undergrad degree?
What responsibilities might a medical student have during WWII? I get the impression from canon that they were allowed to do more than they are today, but I'm not sure how much more.
How many years as a houseman (which seems to be the term in use at the time)?
What then? Could you become a GP straight off or was there further training?
What if you were becoming a surgeon?
At what point in one's career would/could one become an FRCS?

Any additional detail about medical training in this period would be very welcome, as would information/resources about the experiences of female doctors.

(For those who are curious, my main character canonically was a house surgeon specialising in neurosurgery, aspired to a post as assistant to a chest surgeon, was passed over, and when the novel opens in 1937 she has become a GP instead but also does a rotation in a local cottage hospital and considers herself a "general surgeon". The author was a nurse during these years so I presume the career path was possible but I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the structure of it.)