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

7201 SabresEdge8th Apr 2013 09:52:11 PM from the bookshelves
If it is a policeman who injured themselves, they might face administrative reprimand for unsafe use of their weapon (depending on just how badly they hurt themselves). That ricochet could have hit a fellow officer or a civilian.
Convinced that the Defensive War On Christmas comes under jus bellum iustum.
7202 MCE8th Apr 2013 11:54:50 PM from Elsewhere
Grin and tonic
peasant: First of all, to whom are you referring to?

The person in question is a (mostly) law abiding citizen, unfortunately his race/species caused a lot of death and destruction among the police and military personnel. Now, despite tensions having cooled, not all police/military are willing to live and let live, that and some of this species/race are still actively dangerous.

edited 8th Apr '13 11:59:16 PM by MCE

[up] So, you're asking about the person who got shot at and who then ricocheted the bullet to someone else, right?

I'd expect it would come down to how much control and intent to harm the person had. When the bullet bounced off him, did he deliberately intend for it to hit the other person? Did he have any control over it? If not, and generally speaking, it's the shooter who is ultimately responsible for where his/her bullet finally winds up.

Random questions of the day:

How obvious a reference would be if my character wore a T-shirt with the words "Baals of Steel" accompanied by a description that it featured "a cartoon of a roboticised clone army of a certain Lord of Destruction"?

And how well does it (indirectly?) illustrate the character as being into "retro" media?

edited 9th Apr '13 4:51:10 PM by peasant

7204 MCE10th Apr 2013 03:06:00 AM from Elsewhere
Grin and tonic
Thanks for the ricochet answers everyone. That goes some way to sorting the problem out.
I'll show you real magic.
What are some cases where a government of a developed country would allow a town to form its own militia?
7206 MarqFJA11th Apr 2013 07:06:13 AM from Saudi Arabia , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
Any idea on how to work out a relatively comprehensive list of current and "recent"note  political hot spots that could erupt into full-blown (civil) war given the right spark? note  I can only come up with the Arab-Israeli Conflict, the Balkan region, the divided Korea, the PRC vs ROC, Ireland vs Northern Irish unionists & UK, Pakistan vs India, and the Arab Spring countries at the moment.

edited 11th Apr '13 9:58:11 AM by MarqFJA

Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
7207 CrystalGlacia11th Apr 2013 07:17:32 AM from Cedarpointland
wait what
[up][up] What country is this taking place in? I know that in the US, if the town had a legitimate need for its own military force, the government would probably just station some people from that state's respective National Guard.
We've got a solve for that.
7208 Noaqiyeum11th Apr 2013 09:52:01 AM from Kcymaerxthaere , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
[up][up] Kashmir and Chechnya come to mind.
Quarantine Is Job #1
7209 ArsThaumaturgis11th Apr 2013 09:55:07 AM , Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
I'm currently working on a set of short stories — two written, two underway, likely four or five once all are done — and am finding myself somewhat unsure of what to do with them when they're done.

My other stories I've been submitting — without success thus far, I'll admit — to various online magazines, and I'm tempted to to the same with these. The problem is that while each tells its own story, they're connected, each a fragment of the shared main character's life. Magazines seem to generally not take multiple submissions, so I doubt that they'd be likely to entertain a submission of a set of stories, and I fear that having them be broken up by being published over various magazines, potentially our of order — let alone if only one or two are taken up at all — is likely to reduce the effect that they have.

I've had it suggested to me, as I recall, that I compile them into a book and try to publish that. The problem here is that there isn't really a single, overarching narrative for them. There is a particular relationship arc that runs through all of the stories, but as it stands I don't think that it's likely to support a book by itself and I don't want to work it into greater prominence and so greatly change the focus of the stories.

I do hope to see these published, so for now, at least, I'd rather not simply put them up on a website somewhere.

So... Does anyone have any suggestions for me on this?
7210 MarqFJA11th Apr 2013 09:59:29 AM from Saudi Arabia , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
Ninja'd my previous post.

[up][up] Noted. Any non-Kashmir-related reasons for a new Indo-Pakistani war?

edited 11th Apr '13 9:59:42 AM by MarqFJA

Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
7211 Night11th Apr 2013 10:12:20 AM from Jaburo , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
The future of warfare in UC.
They hate each other and always have? Also Japan/PRC.

edited 11th Apr '13 10:12:39 AM by Night

Nous restons ici.
7212 MarqFJA11th Apr 2013 01:39:04 PM from Saudi Arabia , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
Ah, yes, the grudges about the modern Japanese government's continuing refusal to officially apologize for the Imperial government's myriad crimes against humanity and whatnot. Reminds me of the Russo-Japanese dispute over the Kuril islands, too.

edited 11th Apr '13 1:39:29 PM by MarqFJA

Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
7213 Noaqiyeum11th Apr 2013 02:03:23 PM from Kcymaerxthaere , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
Tensions over nuclear weapons tests? India and Pakistan (and for that matter China) are nuclear powers.
Quarantine Is Job #1
7214 SabresEdge11th Apr 2013 03:12:13 PM from the bookshelves
The thing about nuclear-armed powers is that they typically don't go to war with each other, because it's far too dangerous for both sides. Even a fairly modest nuclear exchange (remember: one flies, they all fly) between Pakistan and India, given current estimates of their respective inventories, would mean a lot of dead Indians, and the Pakistani government ceasing to exist. One estimate I've read says that a full exchange between the two countries would cost India ten percent of its population, but would kill fifty percent of Pakistanis.

This isn't a scenario either country wants, but it does leave Pakistan feeling very insecure. Remember that in 2002, Pakistan did provoke a border conflict with India over Kargil. Although the conflict was defused, things were very tense for a few days.

Given that, all-out wars are unlikely. More limited wars, with both sides watching the other like a hawk, are possible, but again, it's hugely risky.

edited 11th Apr '13 3:19:23 PM by SabresEdge

Convinced that the Defensive War On Christmas comes under jus bellum iustum.
7215 DeMarquis11th Apr 2013 05:17:37 PM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
@d Roy: I cant think of a single one. Militas generally arent called up except in states of emergency anyway.

@Marq FJA: There's also Zaire/Rwanda?Burundi, Iran vs. Saudi Arabia in Iraq, Turkey vs. Kurdish held Iraq, the Caucasus region (Azerbajan, etc.), anywhere along the African Sahel, Columbia vs. Venezuala, and of course, the kick-off to WWIII: Russia, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, and India vs. China.

@Ars Thauma: Sounds like maybe something like Amazon would work for you? An ebook doesnt have to be structured the same way as a traditional book (because the economics of printing no longer apply) so you could actually sell each short story for a nickel if you wanted to, or offer a bundled set for a few bucks, whatever you wanted to do.

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong
I'll show you real magic.
@Crystal Garcia - It is a nation, in a constructed world, based on US and UK.

Come to think of it, I can't really think of any reason; if there are any need, any sane government would just station more soldiers there.
7217 CrystalGlacia11th Apr 2013 09:35:35 PM from Cedarpointland
wait what
It might be more plausible in a developing nation, or pre-WWII developed nation or other similar setting where higher governmental authorities have less influence over that particular population than now.
We've got a solve for that.
I'll show you real magic.
Probably. I should keep that in mind. Thanks.
7219 ArsThaumaturgis12th Apr 2013 07:10:49 AM , Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
@ De Marquis: Hmm... That might be worth considering, thank you. ^_^
7220 KillerClowns12th Apr 2013 07:56:26 AM from the Midwest , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
Try Indivisible! It's awesome.
How long would it take two skilled butchers to process a large boar?
7221 montmorencey12th Apr 2013 08:23:48 AM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
If you are standing on a deck sort of thing and there is an explosion taking place in the building behind/beneath you, and you get a couple of seconds' worth of warning - does it make sense to jump into a giant (metal) water tank?

Or is this a Hollywood-only thing?
Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
I'll show you real magic.
Hmm...while I am not very knowledgeable in this field, I think that the shockwave carried through metal and water alone would be more than enough to inflict fatal blunt trauma to any living thing inside it.
7223 LastHussar12th Apr 2013 12:49:11 PM from the place is here.
The time is now,
Clowns, I'm not being funny- have you asked a butcher?
Do the job in front of you.
7224 SabresEdge12th Apr 2013 01:56:49 PM from the bookshelves
@montmorencey: I think that might qualify as a "least bad" option. That said, a water tank is a small target to hit, high-speed impact with water can be fatal (see: Soft Water and how it applies in reality), and chances are good that if you can already see the fireball and haven't been perforated by shrapnel/thrown by the blast wave, you're safer where you are. Remember, blast travels at the speed of sound, and it is attenuated pretty quickly due to the inverse square law.
Convinced that the Defensive War On Christmas comes under jus bellum iustum.
7225 montmorencey12th Apr 2013 02:01:02 PM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
Hm. My research has shown that the pressure wave is a real issue in an underwater explosion and that, if I had the choice between being in an underwater explosion and one on dry land, I should probably pick the one on dry land - but I can't find anything about experiencing an explosion on land inside a body of water. Air, however, absorbs pressure (which is why it is better to be in an explosion on land than an underwater explosion, apparently), so the pressure wave hitting the water tank might not be strong enough to kill/seriously injure a person.

It would be about 30 meters to the side and 15 meters beneath the point of the explosion, my character jumping off the deck/balcony/plateau thingy he's standing on with a wall or two between him and the explodium.

[up] The water tank in question is quite big. It's a steampunk sort of environment. He jumps very shortly before the explosion takes place, after being tipped off about it.

edited 12th Apr '13 2:03:36 PM by montmorencey

Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.

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