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Finding Things Eludes Me

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XanderesqueMan



Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 6
Location: Maine
Finding Things Eludes Me  Reply with quote  

If people's opinions are anything to go by, I seem to be pretty good at making things up and writing pretty sentences about them (though some of these people seem to enjoy reality tv, so their judgement is suspect) but often finding infomation I need eludes me. Irony. It's a way of life.

I was wondering if anyone knew good research sites. In particular on the following topics (though anywhere I can find information on any topic is potentially useful and I welcome it.)

The radar capability and stats of the United States and other countries.

The location of military bases in Florida or in any area that borders on the Bermuda Triangle.

United States Airforce aircraft capabilities and response protocols to bogeys appearing on radar with failure to respond to attempts of radio contact.

Hypothetical information on Atlantis.

Detailed information on Jack the Ripper and his victims.

Detailed information on Vlad Tpes (allegedly Dracula) and his real life.

Police procedures, codes, etc.

FBI procedures, codes, etc.

Forensics tools and procedures.

Anthropomancy (the practice of divining the future by examining the entrails of human sacrifices.)

Collections of serial killer case studies (Don't worry, I'm writing about one not becoming one. Promise.)

How many people die per year.

Autopsy procedures.

Nanotechnology (hypothetically.)

Recorded paranormal incidences (preferably with at least some form of actual verification of the occurrence if not of what it was.)

Anyway, that ought to do it for now. Thanks for you patience. Admit it. Now you're wondering exactly what I'm working on. You know you are.

Cheers,
Ryan
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"Sometimes the guy quoting scripture is the villain of the peice. Sometimes the guy wearing the black hat is the hero. Your darkness defines your light."-Hush (Ashes to Ashes)

Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:02 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
chris
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
 Reply with quote  

Google


I ran: "How many people die each year." just as you typed it and got 11,800,000 responses. I opened the first one and had to scroll halfway down the page to get:

56,674,000 people die per year.

I would guess that the other questions will be answered as quickly, but relative to how much information you need.



Google.com

Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:42 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Freaky Mojo



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 176
Location: Tropic of Cancer-ish
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Google takes all on this one..

But also, a current atlas of the US shows all military bases, federal reserves, etc.

NACDL has FBI manuals and most military surplus stores sell military manuals and maps.

On Discover channel web site, they list the folks who research items such as Atlantis and if you're ambitious enough, give them a call or drop them a letter requesting an interview.
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There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits on the human capacity for intelligence, imagination and wonder.
-- Ronald Reagan

Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:05 am   View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
jaandlu



Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 4578
Location: Location, location, location.
 Reply with quote  

Coast to coast is a radio program that talks about just this kind of stuff. Become a streamlink member for a month and down load a bunch of shows then listen and watch the ideas fly. Oh yeah and Googles good too.


Ja[/url]
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Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:58 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
 Reply with quote  

I have nothing to add beyond using Google for the searches. I just wanted to say that if all that research is for the same story I am very interested in reading it when you're done. Jack the Ripper, nanotechnology, radar capability... this should be fun!
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Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:04 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
XanderesqueMan



Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 6
Location: Maine
No Time For Witty Titles Now  Reply with quote  

Quote:
56,674,000 people die per year.

I would guess that the other questions will be answered as quickly, but relative to how much information you need.


I've searched for this myself (using my trusty butler Jeeves) but the problem I quickly ran into was that on every other website I was finding a different answer to it and I was hoping I might be able to find some sort of real average which I could trust beyond what some average joe put up on his website and may not have a clue about (no offense to average joes-I happen to be one. Or a less than average joe depending on who you ask.)

I'll try Google and see if I can find a more consistent pattern of information to go with. I appreciate the suggestion.

With Jack the Ripper and Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) I have similar problems, different sources reporting different information. Some don't consider this fact true or that person a victim or that letter to have actually been from the victim. It's hard to plow through it all and really have any definitive answers. Especially as far as Vlad is concerned. Which is annoying since he is central my to novel Whisper in the Dark's plot.

Anthropomancy I've been trying to track down information on for several months with no luck. Every website says the same thing. It's called anthropomancy and this is what it is. But I already know that. Hence my looking for more information. If I die before getting published I'm pretty sure that it'll be because looking for that particular thing gave me an aneurism.

I've found it difficult to locate any real information on most of the subjects listed at all despite using multiple search engines (though I haven't tried Google and shall do so now since it seems to be so highly recommended.) Especially where forensics, autopsy, police and FBI procedures, radar capabilities, and other government or military type of information is concerned. Which is again annoying since they are all integral to plot and I would hope to be able to write about them realistically as opposed to blowing smoke up the reader's not so appropriate for public conversation areas.

Quote:
a current atlas of the US shows all military bases, federal reserves, etc.


Believe not I'm actually poor enough to not have an atlas. It may be a stupid question but would my local library probably have one?

Quote:
NACDL has FBI manuals and most military surplus stores sell military manuals and maps.


What is NACDL? I'm not sure I can afford dinner so even a surplus store is out of the question. As soon as I find that pesky job thing I've been looking for-for over a year- (small area, no one's hiring me, and because no one's hiring me I don't have the money to travel anywhere else to possibly be hired and continue to be in less of a position to be hired by people in the immediate area either) I'll look into that. Thank you. I appreciate the suggestion.

Quote:
On Discover channel web site, they list the folks who research items such as Atlantis and if you're ambitious enough, give them a call or drop them a letter requesting an interview.


That's a good idea and something I can do despite my monetary deficiency, so I doubly appreciate it.

Quote:
Coast to coast is a radio program that talks about just this kind of stuff. Become a streamlink member for a month and down load a bunch of shows then listen and watch the ideas fly.


I was hoping not but I looked around and I have to pay to do that, huh? It doesn't seem all that expensive but as I've (unfortunately) had to say to a few ideas already I'm far too monetarily inhibited to afford it at this point in time. Thanks for the suggestion anyway. When I do get a job, I'll be sure to check out Coast to Coast.

Quote:
I have nothing to add beyond using Google for the searches. I just wanted to say that if all that research is for the same story I am very interested in reading it when you're done. Jack the Ripper, nanotechnology, radar capability... this should be fun!


Not all. It's split among a few stories I'm currently working on (I always have multiple things going on account of my mind won't stop creating things while I'm still writing.) Jack the Ripper is in relation to "Jack" and "Whisper in the Dark." Vlad is (as mentioned) in relation to "Whisper in the Dark." The radar, aircraft, military bases, military procedures, nanotechnology (though this applies to other work of mine as well, including "Nowhere Man") and Atlantis stuff is in relation to "Lesser Gods." How many people die a day is in relation to "The Saved." And the other information is just in general information that I could use for most of my work since they are often elements that come into play (though the autopsy and forensics stuff is currently for "Whisper in the Dark" and "Post Mortem.")

Thanks all. Feel free to throw in more feedback if you think of anything. I really appreciate it.

Cheers,
Ryan
_________________
"Sometimes the guy quoting scripture is the villain of the peice. Sometimes the guy wearing the black hat is the hero. Your darkness defines your light."-Hush (Ashes to Ashes)

Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:42 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Goudron



Joined: 03 Aug 2004
Posts: 2570
Location: near Cleveland OH
 Reply with quote  

Check the references post that could use pinning too.
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Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:00 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Freaky Mojo



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 176
Location: Tropic of Cancer-ish
 Reply with quote  

For free stuff.....

Head for the library (yes, they have atlases and TONS of other reference manuals) and any of your local historical societies can help with free information) if you are courtious, they will often request copies of documents from OTHER historical societies.


If you want facts - and find facts that conflict, you need to choose those "facts" you believe and just go with it. (pick the ones that best represent how you want them to align with your story)

Military info - contact your local veteran's association, they usually have a public affairs person who can point you to free information. (but don't be suprised if they answer with something like "Lemme give you Smitty's number, he once worked for this crazy ass top who used to tell stories about.... " (ya get what ya pay for!)
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There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits on the human capacity for intelligence, imagination and wonder.
-- Ronald Reagan

Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:15 am   View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
chris
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
 Reply with quote  

Don't over-think it, X. If you can't find the number, then other people will have a problem finding it. Get only as much as you need to tell the story. It doesn't matter if 54,600,000 people die a day, or 53,600,000 people die a day, unless that difference will change your story.

Don't stop your writing because you're over-thinking stuff. Most people don't know shit either. The ones who do will take great joy in writing to tell you you got something wrong. Don't deprive them of that joy.



I have some pretty obscure mythological characters in my new book. I found information on them in only four or five sites on the internet, and all of those contradicted one another -- so you know what that means? License to make shit up. I portrayed these figures the way I thought would be cool, and so now I'm the sixth source that contradicts the others.


For things like Anthromancy, go as far as you can go, then make the rest up. There just may not be that much out there about it. I think the Aztecs were the only culture I remember practicing that, and they don't know a lot about the details of their rituals beyond the artifacts used to perform them. If you're pretty good at making shit up, then make shit up.

There are a bunch of books about Vlad the Impaler. Seems to me that In Search of Dracula by Raymond T. McNally is pretty good, and a Dream of Dracula, by McNally and Florescu is a follow-up. Again, fudge what you can't find. Most of the info on Vlad is anecdotal anyway. Maybe read this new novel The Historian, which the woman was supposed to have researched for ten years. If she already did the research, you're off the hook.

Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:53 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
chris
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
 Reply with quote  

Goudron wrote:
Check the references post that could use pinning too.


I don't know how do do that. Write ken if you want it done.

Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 6:03 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
sgt_steve



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 5197
Location: Michissippi
 Reply with quote  

Remember, you're probably not looking this stuff up for academic reasearch. For most purposes, a 'good enough' answer is, well, good enough.

Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 6:17 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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