Random Questions Thread:

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Hello, fellow writers! Got any question that you can't find answer from Google or Wikipedia, but you don't think it needs a separate thread for? You came to the right place!

Don't be shy, and just ask away. The nice folks here, writers and non-writers, experts and non-experts, will do their best to help you.

The folder below contains links for special interest threads, mostly at OTC, but also from Yack Fest and Troper Coven.

    Special Interest Threads 

Also take a look at Useful Notes on various topics. They can be pretty useful.

Now, bring on the questions, baby!

edited 16th Feb '15 12:47:26 PM by dRoy

6826 Madrugada19th Feb 2013 02:47:39 PM , Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Wish I could help you out,peasant, but I have no information on that, barring old Agatha Christie novels, where the police are as convenient or distant as the plot requires.

edited 19th Feb '13 2:48:04 PM by Madrugada

...if you donít love youíre dead, and if you do, theyíll kill you for it.
6827 MorwenEdhelwen19th Feb 2013 05:59:25 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
Can someone answer my question?
The road goes ever on. -Tolkien
6828 MarqFJA19th Feb 2013 06:01:19 PM from Saudi Arabia , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
@Morwen: Flirting would be one. Making sexually suggestive/vulgar comments is another.
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
6829 Noaqiyeum20th Feb 2013 09:15:41 AM from Kcymaerxthaere , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
Are sneezing and other reflexes suppressed during sleep paralysis?
Insert witty title here
Emyd's mother is a researcher for a prestigious magical academy. She has been living in a magically underdeveloped world for years, doing research there. He returns to said world after having been gone for about ten years. He wants to learn magic at the academy BUT I need a reason for him to stay at the magically underdeveloped world.

If it helps, by the time of Emyd's arrival, things had become UNSTABLE in said world. He know he can't do much to protect his mother, though.

edited 20th Feb '13 12:36:53 PM by risingdreamer

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker
6831 fishsicles20th Feb 2013 05:29:50 PM from Down The Curtain , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
An Ex-Troper
Back with more death-by-airlock questions; if someone were knocked unconscious with a heavy object before being Thrown Out the Airlock, would the wound look like anything other than a typical bruise? If so, how? (The body, on a tether to fool the failsafe, is not found for several hours.)
Not nearly a good enough singer for the Choir Invisible, and the Basement Room With A Synth Invisible is much less prestigious.
6832 Masterofchaos20th Feb 2013 06:26:27 PM , Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
Social Justice Idol
If they were hit with a heavy object, most likely, their head would be split open. (and it would probably will be worse when they hit the ground after getting thrown out.)
6833 fishsicles20th Feb 2013 08:36:09 PM from Down The Curtain , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
An Ex-Troper
Well, it is less "hitting the ground" and more "floating around the outside of the Generation Ship for a few hours".

Under the assumption it does split the victim's head, I assume an open wound in a hard vacuum would have unfortunate results?
Not nearly a good enough singer for the Choir Invisible, and the Basement Room With A Synth Invisible is much less prestigious.
Shadowed Philosopher
It would probably split the scalp and bleed like the dickens, and blood would get all over wherever it happened to be outside. Other than that, though, there's no need to assume that the wound would be anything special.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
6835 Noaqiyeum21st Feb 2013 07:37:04 AM from Kcymaerxthaere , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
I think an open wound in hard vacuum would cause the victim to quickly bleed out. Bodily fluids would evaporate or vaporise as well. The corpse would probably dehydrate.
Shadowed Philosopher
I don't think you'd ordinarily bleed out from a scalp wound; they bleed a lot, but aren't directly connected to any major arteries/veins. The pressure differential of hard vacuum shouldn't affect that; however, it's also true that in vacuum there'd be no oxygen to trigger blood clotting. Of course, the victim would die of asphyxiation and their heart would stop within a few minutes, and I don't think without blood flow that a single wound not connected to a major artery actually could keep bleeding for hours.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
From the consensus here, I think it is reasonable to conclude that the realities of the scenario is sufficiently "not well understood" by the average person that it would be safe for you to take some artistic liberties to what works best for you so long as it's described adequately convincingly.

edited 21st Feb '13 10:39:28 AM by peasant

6838 LoniJay22nd Feb 2013 04:50:12 AM from Australia , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Kind of late, but - I'm a vet student, and yeah, veterinarians do post-mortems and stuff to find out how animals died.
Be not afraid...
Dapper Gentleman
This is more of a legal or logistical question than an in-universe detail, but:

I've never gone into any great detail here on Writers' Block about the novel I'm currently writing (except for using a character from it in one of the CDT's). This is largely because I fully intend to submit it for publication once it's done, and I'm not certain about the legal issues. Obviously, publishers would much prefer if I hadn't actually put parts of the novel up online prior to submitting it to them, but is discussion of things such as title, premise, characters, plot, and themes a generally acceptable practice? I've never had fiction published in a fully professional (read: commercial) manner, so I'm a bit uncertain about matters of etiquette and protocol such as this one.

Incidentally, part of the reason I ask is that I intend to start doing a 30-day writing meme on my Tumblr, and doing so would entail fairly intensive discussion of my current projects.
"And every life is a special story of its own." —The Stargazer, Mass Effect 3
6840 CrystalGlacia22nd Feb 2013 07:30:43 PM from Cedarpointland
blop
I'm pretty sure you can talk about it, but not actually include text beyond small quotes.
"SILVER-HAIRED DREAMBOAT IS BEST HUSBANDO"
Dapper Gentleman
Ah. That's pretty much what I suspected. The only actual quote I've posted is in the "Favorite lines from your own writing" thread, and even that will probably be modified a little in future drafts. Well then, without further ado, I'll start that writing meme on my Tumblr! And probably post my concept in Post your Concept, while I'm at it.

I think this was one of those times in which I'm pretty sure I understand something, but needed to hear it from someone else to be completely validated. So many thanks.
"And every life is a special story of its own." —The Stargazer, Mass Effect 3
6842 TheMuse23rd Feb 2013 05:44:32 PM , Relationship Status: Browsing the selection
Okay, so exposure to tabacco smoke and other harmful fumes can cause cancer, correct? If one was exposed to chemical fumes at a young age, would it be likely for them to develop cancer at a later point? (like several years?)
6843 Noaqiyeum23rd Feb 2013 06:55:41 PM from Kcymaerxthaere , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
[up] Yes, that's quite plausible.

Bump for this question, since it's not clear whether I'll have to do my own research or if it was just overlooked. :P

edited 23rd Feb '13 6:57:03 PM by Noaqiyeum

6844 KillerClowns24th Feb 2013 08:21:13 AM from the Midwest , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
Not as singularly broad-minded as a turnip
What would be the name for a phobia regarding pregnancy and pregnant women in general?
6845 SeptimusHeap24th Feb 2013 08:24:52 AM from Zurich, Switzerland , Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
Tokophobia is fear of pregnancy. Not sure what your requested phobia would be named.
6846 KillerClowns24th Feb 2013 08:26:41 AM from the Midwest , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
Not as singularly broad-minded as a turnip
[up]Looking it up, that actually fits well enough. Thanks!
6847 GAP24th Feb 2013 10:28:27 AM , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
Formerly G.G.
What would be a good deconstruction of Equivalent Exchange? Or what points can I use to show that Equivalent Exchange is not an absolute law?
"Hmm, I can't see anyone to kill time on..."
6848 Noaqiyeum24th Feb 2013 10:39:04 AM from Kcymaerxthaere , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
What do you mean by that?
6849 GAP24th Feb 2013 10:46:28 AM , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
Formerly G.G.
I mean what would be a good way to say that you don't always get everything or equal to thing that you sacrifice?
"Hmm, I can't see anyone to kill time on..."
6850 TeraChimera24th Feb 2013 12:29:03 PM from somewhere out there
Cool Celtic Composition
Ask who or what defines what "equal" is. Or claim that worth, and therefore equality of worth, is relative. You would probably have a pound of gold rather than a loaf of bread, but for a starving man, it would be the other way around.
"The Uncertainty Principle isn't about uncertainty and it isn't a principle; other than that, it's perfectly named." — David Van Baak

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