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  1. #1
    Lieutenant Colonel SF_and_Coffee's Avatar
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    Arrow2 Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Since we seem to have veered off over into this area on several other threads of late, especially in the Pet Peeves thread (starting about here), I decided that maybe we should have a thread dedicated specifically to the scientific and technical questions that so often come up in fanfic writing. I know there's a general Fic Help thread, but this one is intended to be more specific in focus. Things like whether or not something is scientifically possible or medically feasible, for example, since both of those factors can easily affect the plausibility of a scene or even an entire story. Questions of historical or cultural plausibility would also fit here.

    Therefore, this is the place to ask questions about things you may want help with or feedback on, and get help from other writers or from GateWorlders with specific knowledge and expertise in such matters. If you're going to insert a passage from one of your own works, please take care to use Spoiler tags if it is very long, graphic, or may actually be a spoiler for your work.

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by SF_and_Coffee; April 20th, 2011 at 01:07 PM.

    (Yes, I'm female. Okay?)
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  2. #2
    First Lieutenant Feast of the Muse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Yay! I'm glad this is here. We are such geeeeeeeeks!!! Love love love.

  3. #3
    Dr Ellie Sattler Whytewytch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Great idea to start this, SF! I'll be back to get my geek on, I'm sure. ATM, I've just responded on FF Peeves and need more coffee (lol--SF_and_Coffee. Hooh, boy. It's gonna be a long day if I'm giggling over word usage and irony already) before RL snags me for the day.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    I'd like to start with a few things about building airplanes. While it takes years (and years) to develop a new airplane, it takes days to build one. Boeing can (and does) build a plane in 2 weeks.

    No branch of the military is in the business of building tech. That's done by private companies, under contract to the government. A lot of the maintenance is also done by the private company.

    By the time a rocket engine is attached to a rocket (historically; I don't know what they've done since 2005), it's been tested at least twice and will never be tested again.

    Seaboe

  5. #5
    Lieutenant Colonel SF_and_Coffee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Heh. My father worked for years for companies contracted to the DoD for precisely this purpose. Northrop-Grumman, General Electric... oh yeah, should mention that my dad was variously and at different points in his career, a manufacturing engineer and an aerospace engineer. Interesting lines of work, both of them. Perhaps not surprisingly, he's also the person responsible for having gotten me hooked on science fiction... when I was three years old.

    I really should get off this thread for the moment, as I have to attend to some business today related to his nursing home care. He's 81 now and has Alzheimer's. Wish me luck, I may need it.

    (Yes, I'm female. Okay?)
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  6. #6
    Major mathpiglet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    I'm not sure if this is the place for this question, but I'll give it a try.

    In the Atlantis episode Before I Sleep Janus simply calls a ZPM a power device. Does anyone know if there is an accepted Ancient term for this device? Or should I invent one?
    Calculus and Alcohol don't mix. Never drink and derive.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Quote Originally Posted by mathpiglet View Post
    I'm not sure if this is the place for this question, but I'll give it a try.

    In the Atlantis episode Before I Sleep Janus simply calls a ZPM a power device. Does anyone know if there is an accepted Ancient term for this device? Or should I invent one?
    Well since Janus was clearly speaking english in that episode (*cough* *cough* joke folks! ) why not?

    Jack never named it in Lost City (with the ancient knowledge in his head) and no one ever refered to it other than a 'power source' before they coined the ZPM name so, again, why not?

    (And if 'power source' is too bland how about somewthing more snazy like ... mmm...'Crystal Tower of POWER!?!?!' )
    [''... I laugh at your reality..''][ STARGATE FAN COMIC: 'Hallowed Turf' ] [-DeviantArt-] [ ".... and a seagull."]


  8. #8
    Lieutenant Colonel SF_and_Coffee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Heh. I'm running into the same problem with regard to sarcophagi. Does anyone happen to know if there is a canon word in Goa'uld for "sarcophagus", and if so, what it is?

    (Yes, I'm female. Okay?)
    Sum, ergo scribo...

    My own site ** FF.net * All That We Leave Behind * Symbiotica ** AO3

    now also appearing on DeviantArt
    Explore Colonel Frank Cromwell's odyssey after falling through the Stargate in Season Two's A Matter of Time, and follow Jack's search for him. Significant Tok'ra supporting characters and a human culture drawn from the annals of history. Book One of the series By Honor Bound.

  9. #9
    Major mathpiglet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Quote Originally Posted by Choo1701 View Post
    Well since Janus was clearly speaking english in that episode (*cough* *cough* joke folks! ) why not?

    Jack never named it in Lost City (with the ancient knowledge in his head) and no one ever refered to it other than a 'power source' before they coined the ZPM name so, again, why not?

    (And if 'power source' is too bland how about somewthing more snazy like ... mmm...'Crystal Tower of POWER!?!?!' )
    Thanks for a laugh! Yeah, power source is kind of bland, but Crystal Tower of Power is too over the top! For now I'm going with 'potentiam' which is the Latin word for power.
    Calculus and Alcohol don't mix. Never drink and derive.

  10. #10
    Major mathpiglet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Quote Originally Posted by SF_and_Coffee View Post
    Heh. I'm running into the same problem with regard to sarcophagi. Does anyone happen to know if there is a canon word in Goa'uld for "sarcophagus", and if so, what it is?
    Good question. I can't remember seeing it in any of the Goa'uld dictionaries on-line. Could you check some of the episodes in which a sarcophagus was featured.


    Possibilities: Revival Chamber, Place of Healing...
    Calculus and Alcohol don't mix. Never drink and derive.

  11. #11
    Lieutenant Colonel SF_and_Coffee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Quote Originally Posted by mathpiglet View Post
    Good question. I can't remember seeing it in any of the Goa'uld dictionaries on-line. Could you check some of the episodes in which a sarcophagus was featured.


    Possibilities: Revival Chamber, Place of Healing...
    I haven't found it in any of the dictionaries either. The two suggestions you give are very similar to what I'm thinking of using, especially "Revival Chamber" or perhaps "Healing Chamber", except that I would like to render it in Goa'uld. But I can't find words for "revival", "healing" or "chamber", either. Would it seem too weird if I just made up a Goa'uld-sounding compound word and said it meant that?

    (Yes, I'm female. Okay?)
    Sum, ergo scribo...

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Quote Originally Posted by SF_and_Coffee View Post
    Would it seem too weird if I just made up a Goa'uld-sounding compound word and said it meant that?
    well i think the writers did that for the show ssssoooo no not weird at all.
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  13. #13
    Major mathpiglet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Quote Originally Posted by SF_and_Coffee View Post
    I haven't found it in any of the dictionaries either. The two suggestions you give are very similar to what I'm thinking of using, especially "Revival Chamber" or perhaps "Healing Chamber", except that I would like to render it in Goa'uld. But I can't find words for "revival", "healing" or "chamber", either. Would it seem too weird if I just made up a Goa'uld-sounding compound word and said it meant that?
    Not at all. Just don't use any of the given words and it should work.
    Calculus and Alcohol don't mix. Never drink and derive.

  14. #14
    Lieutenant Colonel SF_and_Coffee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Yeah, I'm combing through this Goa'uld-English dictionary looking at all the different words and their elements, and trying to come up with something plausible. I may have to make up an entirely new set of syllables, although I was hoping to find some that seemed to indicate the basic concepts I need and simply string them together, since Goa'uld seems to be somewhat modular that way. Oh well.

    (Yes, I'm female. Okay?)
    Sum, ergo scribo...

    My own site ** FF.net * All That We Leave Behind * Symbiotica ** AO3

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  15. #15
    Major mathpiglet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Here are some words which might help:

    kal mah - sanctuary
    kelnoreem - more than just meditation, t also facilitates the healing process when a Jaffa is ill or injured.

    That could be used.
    Calculus and Alcohol don't mix. Never drink and derive.

  16. #16
    Lieutenant Colonel SF_and_Coffee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    I was looking at those too. Problem with the elements of kel no reem, is that "kel" can refer to so many conflicting things... "no" and "reem" may be somewhat useful, and yes, I was thinking "sanctuary" as well.... something like "healing sanctuary" might work, but then I need to decide whether "kal" or "mah" is the operative portion to use...

    I'm leaning toward inventing a term "ta'el" to mean specifically "heal" or "healing" and then using "mah" as the putative term for "sanctuary"... we'll assume then that "kal mah" in the way Apophis used it meant "safe sanctuary" or "haven". That leaves "mah" free to serve as "sanctuary" in other compound words.

    This gives me two terms I need:

    ta'el mah - "healing sanctuary"; sarcophagus

    ta'el kesh - "healing device" -
    Spoiler:
    remember I didn't have Cadogan actually give Frank the word for the device he used to heal Ris' and Frank's injuries after the battle with the Jaffa?
    Now I have a word for it. I know that the ribbon device used as both a weapon and a personal shield generator by the Goa'uld is called a "kara kesh" and that the Tok'ra also use them (Jacob/Selmak had one and used it in Season 3's "Seth"), so I've decided that "kesh" = "device" and that "kara" = "many", indicating that the kara kesh is a multipurpose device. So a ta'el kesh, then, is a healing device.

    Yay, exolinguistics for the win.
    Last edited by SF_and_Coffee; April 22nd, 2011 at 11:07 AM.

    (Yes, I'm female. Okay?)
    Sum, ergo scribo...

    My own site ** FF.net * All That We Leave Behind * Symbiotica ** AO3

    now also appearing on DeviantArt
    Explore Colonel Frank Cromwell's odyssey after falling through the Stargate in Season Two's A Matter of Time, and follow Jack's search for him. Significant Tok'ra supporting characters and a human culture drawn from the annals of history. Book One of the series By Honor Bound.

  17. #17
    Major mathpiglet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    I haven't read that part yet!
    Calculus and Alcohol don't mix. Never drink and derive.

  18. #18
    Lieutenant Colonel SF_and_Coffee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Chapter Nine, and it's no big deal. You asked where the action was. That's where some of it is.

    I think maybe later today or tonight, I'll go back and edit that in.

    (Yes, I'm female. Okay?)
    Sum, ergo scribo...

    My own site ** FF.net * All That We Leave Behind * Symbiotica ** AO3

    now also appearing on DeviantArt
    Explore Colonel Frank Cromwell's odyssey after falling through the Stargate in Season Two's A Matter of Time, and follow Jack's search for him. Significant Tok'ra supporting characters and a human culture drawn from the annals of history. Book One of the series By Honor Bound.

  19. #19
    Captain WraithRichard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    If I may bring up a different (and also disturbing) subject, how often is a spontaneous abortion dangerous to the mother when she's into the second trimester?
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  20. #20
    Major General iiradned's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fanfic Helpdesk: Technical and Scientific Help for Writers

    Quote Originally Posted by WraithRichard View Post
    If I may bring up a different (and also disturbing) subject, how often is a spontaneous abortion dangerous to the mother when she's into the second trimester?
    Not a medical professional of any sort or female for that matter.

    My guess is that it would depend on any complications that the mother is experiencing during the pregnancy. In women with Pre-eclampsia (which is pregnancy induced high blood-pressure), if the mother has a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage the stress on the mother could trigger any of the events linked to high blood pressure like stroke, heart attack, cerebral hemorrhage.

    Or in the course of the miscarriage the uterus could not clot the severed blood vessels and the mother could die from blood loss.

    That's just two examples off the top of my head.
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