Injury-to-order: hand injury that would allow someone to use a knife but not a gun?

*dusts off LJ account*

Hi all! I need some help puzzling out an inconsistent canon injury for fic.

Setting: Modern-day (urban), character is in a street gang and may have limited access to medical care
Scenario: Man, late teens-early 20s has his fingers injured in a knife fight. The moment itself is a discretion shot, but he's shown in canon to have a thick scar spanning the back of his hand between the base and middle knuckles. He's able to make a fist and use a knife with some dexterity, but supposedly can't squeeze a trigger to use a gun. Most of my searches brought me either a tendon injury or having the digits cut off/reattached completely, but I think he has too much movement for the latter...? Have googled various combinations of "tendon injury", "tendon injury and gun recoil", "extensor tendon knife injury", but all I seem to find are emergency medicine instructionals and vague forum posts.

Can anyone think of an injury that would fit the bill?

He needs to not be able to squeeze a trigger (also, please tell me why -- would there be a problem with recoil, or would the pressure be too much?). Maybe a botched treatment/surgery is the way to go?

Thank you so much.

Musical analysis of the theme from Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons?

In the process of looking for something else altogether, I happened upon one of the most weirdly fascinating musical pieces I've heard in a long time: (Although this Anderson Supermarionation adventure is an iconic memory for a lot of Brits (and folks elsewhere who caught it in syndication), I'd heard of the show--as an influence on people as disparate as Gary Numan and the South Park gang--but was never personally exposed to it.)

What we have here is a vigorous John Barry espionage-a-go-go theme...given weird rhythmic feints and dodges and sour dissonances, foreshadowing Captain Scarlet's violent and darkly paranoiac atmosphere; it strikes me as somehow akin to the Doctor Who theme--a product of the same period--and the title track from Bowie's Station to Station.

So. I put it out to the more musically educated folks out in LJ-land: what's going on in this song, structurally, that would plunge it into the Uncanny Valley to a listener accustomed to Anglo-American rock and pop conventions?

"Captain Scarlet" + "theme song"+ "time signature."
"Captain Scarlet" + "theme song" + "review" (which yielded this:
"Captain Scarlet + "theme song" + "tritones".
"Captain Scarlet + "theme song" + "locrian mode".

Old West sunstroke

I am writing a fanfic for a Western fandom.  My character is a 30ish male, very strong and in good physical condition (to begin with). He is lost in desert conditions and is suffering from sunstroke (among other things) which has caused delirium and hallucinations.  He is also in a very weakened state due to insufficient food and water and being forced to do hard physical work for long hours every day.  His rescuers get him into shelter.  A doctor is summoned, but being a 19th-century frontier doctor, he's not necessarily much help.  What would the doctor and my character's friends do to help him?  Just give him water and try to keep him cool?  I know laudanum was used for all kinds of complaints in those days; in the absence of other drugs, would the doctor give him this?

TIA for any help!  

origin of a phrase

I'm writing a story set in 1870 in the United States. My character has traveled to Europe, but he's West Point trained and fought in the Civil War, and he's been a wagon master as well, taking trains out to the west coast. I need to know if I can have him say, "Okay, I'll bite."

I've tried the Urban Dictionary, Word Reference, Quora, and the Free Dictionary. They all give me the definition but not when it was first used.

Thanks very much.

'Passive' ways to break a bone/necessitate amputation

Setting: Vaguely medieval, realistic with no magic, technology wise, something like the Renaissance era. It is a short story (~2k words) that will be focusing on the MC's trauma, so the only important things about the setting that I can think of right now are that it is a monarchy, and the mainstream religion is polytheism, believing in a pantheon of god/esses.

Character: A 14-year-old princess-turned-queen due to the untimely death of her brother. She will have had physical training in horse-riding, but probably that's about it?

Content warning for physical abuse of a minorCollapse )

Spinal Cord Injury caused/complicated by previous broken vertebra.

Resurrected my ancient Livejournal account to ask a question about spinal cord injuries...

This question concerns an adult male soldier who is basically human and resides in a setting very similar to modern day earth. Assume medical knowledge is roughly equivalent to present day, but a lot of technology and treatment is beyond this character's reach as he lives in a war zone in a country that regards its working class citizens as disposable. He is injured twice in the course of the war: the second injury leaves him permanently paraplegic. Is it possible for a previous injury to his spine to cause a weakness or instability that might make it more likely that his spinal cord would be severed following a second injury to his back? I have referred to Primary Surgery: volume 2, Trauma and the Red Cross publication "war surgery", and have googled "consequences of untreated sci", "untreated, unstable spinal fracture", "bone fragment sci", "projectile retained in sci". (The last two because I was running out of ideas).

It's currently integral to the plot for him to be injured twice, briefly hospitalised the first time and then permanently disabled the second time. I wanted the second injury to be connected to the first injury but I am beginning to wonder if it's actually possible. Do I just make him unlucky and give him two separate, unconnected injuries, or is what I want possible?

Canada - alcoholism / food poverty plausibility, and specific foods eaten

I'm writing a story about a girl whose father was a cop in Toronto until his alcoholism took over and caused him to lose his job. I'm trying to confirm that the setup as I've got it is plausible, and also figure out some details of what they would eat.

The story is set in the late 1990s (circa 1998), and the daughter is approximately 16 at this point. Her dad's been out of work for over a year, and the mother is not in the picture at all. It's just the two of them.

Is the following plausible?
- The father's found some way of getting enough money to get drunk as often as he can (pawned everything of value, at this point I'm not sure what he'd do for income as the daughter won't give him any money to drink with).
- The girl's hiding this from authorities as she doesn't want to be taken away from him (I presume that even at 16 she could be removed and sent to a group home of some kind if it's clear that she's not being taken care of).
- They've had to move to a low-income apartment, as he couldn't keep up with rent on the old place. The daughter's paying the rent at this point with what she earns from a part-time after-school job. (Does she need two jobs to make enough for this?)
- Whatever she has left from that goes to food for the two of them.

Which brings me to - what is she likely to be able to afford? Assuming that she does have kitchen tools and a kitchen to cook in, this is a girl who's going to find the cheapest food per serving. Searches I did ("cheapest foods in Canada" "cheapest foods to eat") turned up only prices from the USA but I did find this article - looks like things such as rice, dry beans, eggs, plain yogurt, frozen veggies, bananas? (Also, that's from 2013 - about 15 years after this story is set, so some of that may not be true, such as the kale. I don't think kale was a big thing in 1998 yet.) I can find a list of them but not any real sense of what she would actually be able to afford - for instance, is she barely getting enough to eat full meals, is she having to skip a meal here and there because she can't afford to eat it? Or does she have enough to eat comfortably, if a bit monotonous? (Do I have the freedom to choose from that range of possibilities, or would economic constraints make it tilt firmly one way or the other?)

My searches seem to indicate that she wouldn't be receiving any sort of free lunch at school so she'd have to pack something.

I searched for the cheapest grocery stores and came up with this list, though since I don't have her actual housing location sorted out, I'm not sure which she could get to... I'm planning on handwaving, though, and not specifying the store - the food she cooks and eats is going to come up in a few scenes, but they'll be set at her apartment so I don't have to specify which store or anything. It's mostly that I want to know how much I can have an observer pick up on her poverty struggles by the food she's eating/cooking, etc. Like, are they going to be noticing she's eating a lot of beans and rice, or only having fresh veggies once a week, or something like that, that the other person could notice?

Mostly I think I have ideas here, but I'm really guessing and going out on limbs about a lot of it, so would appreciate some eyes who know the landscape. I'm from the USA and while we ate almost exclusively homemade food to save on $$ while growing up, we always had enough money to not worry about having enough variety and healthy food to eat; I've also only been to Canada once or twice in my lifetime and don't think I was ever even in a grocery store there so I really have nothing to go on as far as personal experience.

I've searched "food poverty in Canada" (and got lots of statistics) and variations, among the other searches I mentioned above. Again, the trouble I'm having is mostly that it's not really possible to get a real sense for what's plausible without knowing what she'd be paying for rent, the prices of all the foods she's buying, what she'd be earning… all of which is far too complex and overwhelming for me to search for one little story. I'm thinking someone's personal experience would be far more helpful than trying to look up all those specific details and doing a bunch of number crunching (plus I probably would miss some important detail or something).

Any confirmation (or contradiction, if it needs it!) of my assumptions/setup would be welcomed. (Hopefully I tagged correctly.)

Hospital procedures & injury to order

Hello everyone,

I need help with two medical-related scenarios. The setting for both is California, 2018.


Character: 17-year-old male, recovering addict

Scenario: He's brought to the ER with a broken wrist resulting from a fight. It's not a bad fracture and doesn't require surgery. He lets the doctor/ER staff know immediately that he's a recovering addict.

Question: In regards to pain management, would they ask him to choose whether or not he wants any opioids? Or would they ask his parents once they get there? Or would they make the decision?

Search terms I tried: various combination of keywords such as "underage", "recovering addict", "pain management", "pain medication", "hospital", "broken bone". All I seem to find is more general information on addiction and pain meds. (Which was still useful, but doesn't answer my question.)


Character: 18-year-old male, athletic, no pre-exhisting conditions

Injury to order: I need him to get hurt while playing basketball. Ideally, the injury would keep him away from the basketball field for about 6-8 weeks but he would still be able to go to school. It needs to be bad enough that college scouts would get worried about re-injury and could possibly reconsider offering him an athletic scholarship, but not so bad as to be career-ending or to keep him from playing for longer than two months. I'm thinking a broken bone or a bad sprain. I know ankles and knees are quite vulnerable in basketball, but I'm worried about recovery time.

Thank you all in advance.

Need an injury that serious but not deadly for a trapped character

Setting: Urban (? It’s see in essentially our world) Fantasy —> there’s magically healing via potions but they’re not super effective I’m mostly using it as a way to avoid writing hospitals every time a character gets injured 

Relevant Character: Male, Late 20s in good shape.

The Plot Point: What I need to happen is that one of my main characters (henceforth known as MC) gets injured and then trapped in a small room (actually what’s basically a pocket dimension my characters have been using for storage) for a period of time. The injury is the reason he’s in the room (he went in their voluntarily to avoid slowing the group down) and him being trapped is my action point for the next segment of plot so the two factors are crucial but I’m flexible/trying to figure out the details.

Detailed questions:

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Collapsing the great hall of a medieval castle

Setting: A version of Medieval Europe with fantasy elements; the great hall of a castle under attack.

Search terms: building collapse disaster, medieval roof collapse, roof collapse warning signs, how to collapse a roof, goodrich castle reconstruction

Hi. I'm writing a story that is part time travel, part fantasy elements. Currently working on a scene where a castle has been attacked and taken by an invading force.
I've used the floor plans of Goodrich castle for a reference, and the entire fight takes place in the great hall - dimensions of about 20 m by 9 m, not certain what the ceiling height is.

My scene protagonist, a bowman turned blacksmith, is facing off against a fighter with superhuman strength and ability to shrug off wounds that should be mortal. Unable to take him out by conventional means, my protagonist intends to collapse the roof on them both.

I'm looking for a way to intentionally cause this roof collapse, in a way that can be set up beforehand in the space of a couple hours and triggered at a distance, by targeting or weakening the structural elements of the building. So far, most of what I've found have been examples of historic building collapse after an earthquake or poor building.

Is there a way to do this without involving gunpowder?
And can someone tell me what the stages of the roof collapse would look like from the inside?

Hope I get the tags working right. And the format. This is my first time posting here. Thanks everyone!