Monday, November 22, 2010

Question of the Day

Question of the day: How much crap can a newborn take before it shrivels up and dies?

This is something I’ve been pondering over the last 24 hours. I mean, the baby is born, drugged, kidnapped by a giant bird, then dropped thirty feet into what’s basically a hammock. Babies are fragile. I’m wondering if this is plausible, or if the kid would have snapped its neck by now.

I guess that’s what writing groups are for, eh?*

Also, I can’t figure out how one can make a two-page synopsis for an epic/high fantasy.** I mean, take Mistborn for example. Different plot lines, complex magic system, long book—did Sanderson do that in two pages? Or did he get away with five because he’d already been published?

Curse you, publishing standards.

Excerpt of the day:

The creature pulled away from her and her thicket, not coming close enough to hear or smell. Teague didn’t release her breathe until the clicking had faded. Even then she held still, hoping with everything she had the monster wouldn’t come back.
What kind of place is this? She wondered, clutching the infant to her breast.
Part of her didn’t want to know.

Weirs, chapter 3

*Or I could call a doctor, but I have a feeling the conversation would turn to Social Services knocking on my door.

**I consistently get the two confused.


  1. I read this post, but I don't think I quite understand it... >_>

  2. Babies are surprisingly tougher than you'd think. I mean, they had to survive in the caveman world. My psych class for infancy/early childhood pointed out they can survive a LOT.
    So yeah, food for thought.

  3. I'd be more concerned about the "drugged" part, than the falling 30 feet to land on (apparently) a soft surface.

    The joy of description, though, is that you can just say that the baby didn't snap his little neck. And I bet the audience will suspend its disbelief for you.

  4. The drugs could work as long as it's a low enough dose for a baby. The issue really is the fall. Remember how people aren't supposed to shake a baby? Yeah, they have zero neck control at that age and can't compensate for sudden movements. Their little brains smash up against their skulls and brain damage results. Babies can get that from falling from someone's arms, let alone 30 feet, even if it is a soft landing. Perhaps you can find a way to put him/her down a little more gently--more of a roll than a fall. Anyway, just one parent's opinion.

  5. Actually, babies can take a lot of physical punishment. Once of the reasons for this is that Human bones are incredibly soft during the first few years of life. When taking in to account baby-shaking, there's a common misconception that it's the brain impacting the inside of the skull that results in brain damage and death. This is largely a misrepresented cause of brain injury from shaking. What's actually happening is that, due to rapid movement, the spinal cord actually tears at the base of the brain. This is also usually the ultimate cause of death. Also, it should be highlighted that a sudden jerk from say, a fall, is mechanically different from repeated back-and-forth motion and is much less likely to result in serious energy. In addition, you have to take into account the dissipation of kinetic energy- landing in a hammock would allow for a lot of the kinetic energy to dissipate and be redirected. The biggest problem would be what happens to the energy that doesn't dissipate and instead gets directed in the opposite position (re: your baby would probably might be flung from the hammock like an underpowered slingshot.)

    Interesting baby fact of the day: Human babies have access to a physiological mechanism that allows them to *literally* burn fat at a highly-accelerated rate in order to generate heat.

    ... And now you know.

  6. So many typos. So little lulz.