oxfordtweed: (Jumper Fucker - Watson)
I have learned that you can, with a reasonable amount of patience, use a stethoscope to listen to the goings on in another room.


After listening to my neighbours scream at one another for the last three hours, I got curious as to what they're screaming about. Turns out, he cheated on her. Twice. But that's not what I wanted to talk about. I want to talk about how this can be useful for someone who might be writing the sort of character who would use a stethoscope to listen in on somebody (I can think of several just off the top of my head).



  • I wasn't able to hear everything, and had to really strain to hear a lot of what was going on. They kept moving around, and I was able to hear that more than I was able to hear their voices.

  • I had to take my clock down off the wall. Even though it's really quiet, it still managed to drown everything out.

  • EVERYTHING makes a sound. If you move your fingers, you will hear the joints bending. You can hear your own clothes rustling when you shift. You can hear your own breathing. All of this drowns out what's going on with whomever you're listening in on.

  • You really have to press the bits into your ears. It sort of hurts after a while, and you can hear your own pulse from your hand. Again, every single tiny little move is amplified, so you have to be really still.

  • Listening from one interior room to another interior room is easier than listening to someone who is standing outside. Even if there's not a lot going on out there, there are fewer surfaces for voices to bounce off of. This makes them very quiet.

  • If using a dual-headed stethoscope, the flat bit gives louder results, but the sound is slightly muffled. The concave bit is clearer, but much quieter.

  • It doesn't take long at all for your fingers to begin to hurt from holding that thing up against the wall tightly enough to hear everything.

  • Should the person on the other side of the wall happen to hit that wall with something, you may feel as though your eardrums have exploded.

More notes

Mar. 23rd, 2011 06:57 am
oxfordtweed: (Facepalm - Hilary)
Still going through my notes, putting them all into neat, easy-to-read-and-navigate notebooks. Basically, I'm killing time until I'm able activate my copy of MSOffice, because I type too quickly for Gdocs, and OpenOffice is crap.

Of course, this is the main problem with writing science fiction with the goal of keeping it science fact in a fiction setting.

RR8 Active X Delta, -02°6257a, 8.47

1BVY = 934DE
860

AVG Ls - 60 - BVL -> 153 EL


What? I've got some sort of coordinates for... something. And then a few conversions. I don't know what I was trying to locate or what I was trying to convert.


Damnit, Zed. Show your work!

More notes

Mar. 23rd, 2011 06:57 am
oxfordtweed: (Facepalm - Hilary)
Still going through my notes, putting them all into neat, easy-to-read-and-navigate notebooks. Basically, I'm killing time until I'm able activate my copy of MSOffice, because I type too quickly for Gdocs, and OpenOffice is crap.

Of course, this is the main problem with writing science fiction with the goal of keeping it science fact in a fiction setting.

RR8 Active X Delta, -02°6257a, 8.47

1BVY = 934DE
860

AVG Ls - 60 - BVL -> 153 EL


What? I've got some sort of coordinates for... something. And then a few conversions. I don't know what I was trying to locate or what I was trying to convert.


Damnit, Zed. Show your work!

uhm...

Mar. 21st, 2011 12:32 pm
oxfordtweed: (H2G2 - Betelgeuse)
I'm going through my notes right now, trying to organise them beyond a massive stack of pages, and I came across something that looks like this:

HD 175758
18'58"06.53
-30*49'30.1
531.8ly
163.132

122


Once upon a time, something about this particular star in the constellation Sagittarius was important to me. I cannot, for the life of me, remember why. I know it has something to do with Perfectly Safe. And if I wrote this down, it means that I've sent someone to this star system.

What the hell was this star system supposed to be? D:

uhm...

Mar. 21st, 2011 12:32 pm
oxfordtweed: (H2G2 - Betelgeuse)
I'm going through my notes right now, trying to organise them beyond a massive stack of pages, and I came across something that looks like this:

HD 175758
18'58"06.53
-30*49'30.1
531.8ly
163.132

122


Once upon a time, sometihng about this particular star in the constellation Sagittarius was important to me. I cannot, for the life of me, remember why. I know it has something to do with Perfectly Safe. And if I wrote this down, it means that I've sent someone to this star system.

What the hell was this star system supposed to be? D:

Only me

Mar. 7th, 2011 09:24 pm
oxfordtweed: Bernard Black looking angrily at some papers, with a speech bubble with the text 'What? What does that mean?' (What does that mean? - Bernard)
I'm up to a naked shower scene in the latest instalment of Sex is Boring. One in which I would have to describe John's shoulder scar.

Based off of what I already know about such things, I realised I'd have to do a bit of research into it, since his scar is always described quite inaccurately in fic (standard description tends to be that of an exit wound from a very large round that had required extensive skin grafting, which would be fine and dandy if not for the fact that this description tends to be coupled with memories/deductions of the bullet being dug out, thereby leaving no exit wound).

After looking at countless photographs and reading accounts of surgeons, physio therapists, and victims dealing with GSW to the shoulder, I found that I had been put off writing the shower scene. Well, put off isn't quite accurate. I'm bored by the shower scene now, and found the photographs and blog entries far more interesting than the reason I needed to do the research in the first place.

Whoops?
oxfordtweed: (Read a Book - Bacchus)
I do a lot of odd research, but there are some places I find invaluable for their very specific collections of information. Others are quite diverse, but may only give you a general idea.

Here's a list of places I have bookmarked, some of which I visit almost daily:


  • Cab fare! Gives you an estimated fare and route to expect. Combine this with...

  • Google Maps, particularly Street View, and there's no reason whatsoever for location!fail. Even if Street View may not be exactly up to date, it still gives you a good idea of what the area looks like.

  • There's also a very high-quality map of Great Britain, which outlines all of the counties. It's a couple years old, but I doubt anything's changed too terribly dramatically since 2009.

  • Speaking of Great Britain, my not-British friends may find this video helpful. It explains the differences between the UK, Great Britain, England, the Commonwealth, and more.

  • On the subject of maps, how about a Map of the Sky? Has information on distance, right ascension, declination, composition, alternative names, and everything else on more celestial bodies than the mind can comprehend. If you're really detail-oriented, you can use this information to...

  • calculate the distances between celestial bodies. First, you'll need to get a bit more info on triangulation. I spent about two days doing it by hand in a notebook during Nano, before I found these sites. They have saved me hours of tedious maths.

  • The Law in the United Kingdom category on Wikipedia has come in amazingly useful for four different fandoms over the last three years. I think every fandom person on my F-list should find this one helpful, since you all come from one of two, both which are about solving insane mysteries somewhere in England.

  • Similarly, you may want to familiarise yourself with UK police ranks, should you be writing for a fandom which would involve them. Especially if you are quite familiar with American police structure. It's very different.

  • Speaking of which, get your British slang right. You really don't want to embarrass yourself by calling a condom a 'rubber.'

  • Need to display a telephone number? Use one of these. The don't belong to anybody.

  • You may also want to familiarise yourself with London postal districts. They can make that cab fare thing in the first link so much easier.

  • One for the Sherlock fandom in particular, although still useful for other areas, is this collection of first-hand reports from drug users.

  • Another one the Sherlock fandom may find helpful is AVEN - the Asexual Visibility and Education Network.

  • There are also a few places I go for general searching. Yahoo!Answers can have some really obscure questions with some great answers. Great for simple questions.

  • [livejournal.com profile] little_details is probably the best place to go for research. If they don't have what you're looking for, you can post a question, and someone will know the answer. This is great for those questions that have multiple parts, or are just so strange, you don't even know where to start.

  • Perhaps surprisingly, TVTropes can be terribly helpful as well.

  • And, of course, we can't forget Wikipedia in general. BE WARNED: these last two links have a reputation for sucking away entire hours of a person's life. Click at your own risk.



And, when all else fails, Google.
oxfordtweed: Nicholas Angel wearing aviator sunglasses and sneering at the camera (Nicholas - Aviators)
This week, I've had to look up:


Volvo Paint Colours

Availability of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 Estate in the US

Early Child Development

Chicken Life Cycles

Duck Life Cycles

2005 Palaeontological Discoveries


All for one story. Any guesses what it's about?

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Richard Book is Innocent

November 2012

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