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ER FAQ 5.00, Section 8: Finding Out More About "ER" (8/8)

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ER FAQ 5.00: Finding Out More About "ER"

MeMiceElfAnI Productions Copyright 1997-99 by Rose Cooper; content cannot
be used without expressed written permission of the author.

Last Updated: 11/27/98 by Rose "MotherFAQer" Cooper


 8.1  Are there any books about the show?

      Yes.  One is called "Behind the Scenes at ER", written by Janine
Pourroy and published by Ballantine Books in New York.  The cover price
is $15.00 (US).  It contains an episode guide to the first season of
the show as well as a wealth of information about the show's actors,
characters, writers, directors and locations.

      There's also a book called "The ER Companion", by Stephen
Spignisi.  The "ER Companion" is a very different book from "Behind the
Scenes at ER", and for that reason is a worthwhile addition to any ER
fan's library. You'll find very thorough reviews of all of the first
season episodes, including complete patient histories. There's also a
comprehensive glossary of terms and a quiz section at the back of the
book. My only complaint is that it only covers season 1 -- the picture
of Jeanie Boulet being included among the main cast on the books cover
is a bit of a con.  Worth having, but buy "Behind the Scenes at ER" first.
-(Thanks to Shea Bennett for the above review.)

      BasicBooks, a division of Harper Collins, has published
"The Medicine of ER", by Harlan Gibbs, M.D., and Alan Duncan Ross,
M.D.  This is a very interesting book about exactly what the title
says: a technical look at the medical procedures performed on the show,
written for a layman's vocabulary.  There's even an entire chapter on
"Love's Labor Lost".

      "The ER Files" is a book by John Binns and Mark Jones which became
available in the UK in December 1997. It is mainly a text book, with detailed
episode guides, separating each episode into character threads. It covers the
first three seasons, and is 260 pages long. In England it costs seven pounds.
-(Information courtesy Ed Griffiths)

      Another book new on the scene is titled "Bedside Manners: George Clooney
and ER", by Sam Keenlyside.  Vanessa Rey told me about this book, and
ironically just a short while after that, Phyl plopped it down on my lap
for a little [ahem] "light reading".  Published in 1998, it primarily
focuses on Clooney, but it has detailed (though, according to Phyl and the
[ahem] "light reading" that I did of it, some key info is missing) reviews
of ER episodes through season 3.  It also includes "the authorative ER
drinking game" [hmmm], pictures of Clooney and cast (a very cute one of
Clooney and Noah Wyle caught my eye), and a hilarious "Mad Magazine"
cartoon parody of "ER"; damn, that was funny.   I'd recommend it highly,
'cept Keenlyside sorta got some Alt.TV.ER Page info mixed-up in his
"ER Website Guide".  But since he gave these pages three stars, we forgive
-(Information courtesy Ed Griffiths)

*8.2  Where can I go on the Internet to learn more about "ER"?

      There is a newsgroup devoted to discussion of the show,
<>.  There is also a newsgroup especially for British
"ER" fans, called <>, and one for Italian fans,

      On April 30, 1998, a new group was born: <>,
which was developed for the posting and discussion of "ER"-related
fanfiction (see 8.5 for more information on fanfic).

     *And on October 5, 1998, Yet Another Bastid Chyld was added to the
"ER" Newsgroups Family: <>, for the "posting of images,
sound and video files concerned with ER and the actors from ER" (from the
control message sent by Tom Coates).

      If you can't find these newsgroups, bug the people in charge at
your site until they carry it; alternatively, you can also use DejaNews
<> to browse Usenet newsgroups.

      You can also subscribe to an "ER" mailing list, for the purpose
of discussing the show.  Send an e-mail message to:


with the text:

                subscribe ER-L [YourReal Name]

in the body of the message.

      There are a number of World Wide Web sites devoted to "ER", and
more every day.  Here's a partial list:


  The Alt.TV.ER Page:
      ER FAQ <>
       by Rose "MotherFAQer" Cooper <>
      ER Reviews/Summaries <>
       by Lisa Albert <>
       (also includes medical commentary by Mike "phloem" Sugimoto)
  The ERuk FAQ:

  Stephan Suhocki's "Medspeak-The ER Dictionary":

To save space and avoid duplication of effort, all other ER links are now
listed on The Alt.TV.ER Links page <>.
This page includes links to ER Fan pages, Fanfiction, and the Internet
Movie Database (source for all kinds of info on the cast and crew).  If
you have a ER-based URL you'd like to be added to The Alt.TV.ER Links
page, please send it to me <>

 8.3  What's a "spoiler" and why does it upset some people?

      With so many TV shows featuring cliffhanger-type plots this spring,
this has become a hot topic in a lot of Usenet groups.  Basically, a
spoiler is any piece of information about an upcoming episode. It got that
name because for those people who like to go into each episode knowing
absolutely nothing but what happened in previous episodes, being told
certain bits of information can "spoil" their enjoyment of that episode.

      Spoiler information can range from things as major as the fact that a
character is going to die to something as relatively mundane as the fact
that a certain seldom-seen character is going to make a surprise
reappearance.  Because some people don't mind knowing stuff in advance,
it's okay to include spoilers in your posts, but there are a few basic
guidelines to follow to avoid ticking people off:

      1) Always insert the word "Spoiler" in your subject header,
         especially if you're following up to a thread that didn't
	        originally have spoilers in it;

      2) NEVER put an actual spoiler ("I can't believe Carter is going
	        to get hit by a train!", for instance) in your subject header.
	        (And that is an imaginary example, by the way.)  Even if you
	        were to leave Carter's name out in that particular example,
         the mere knowledge that *any* of the characters is going to get
      	  hit by a train constitutes a spoiler for most people. A good
      	  example of a spoiler-safe header is something like "What I heard
      	  about the season premiere - Spoiler.";

      3) Try very hard to include a lot of blank lines in a post before
         the spoiler information, so that some unfortunate soul whose
       	 newsreader won't allow him/her to scan subject headers, won't
       	 unwittingly stumble across a spoiler.

      So, you may be asking, do I have to keep doing this for every episode
in perpetuity? No. The generally accepted Usenet rule is that once an
episode airs, spoilers don't apply to it.

(Thanks to Alan Sepinwall <> for
supplying the above text.)

      4) In addition to the SPOILER category, Common Practice by the
         a.t.e. Old Hats says to please put some type of notation,
         category-wise, in your subject headers for the following types
         of posts:

         First suggested here by P.A. Behrer, the [TNT] category denotes
         discussion of episodes being shown on US TNT (syndicated cable),
         all of which will be reruns for a great majority of a.t.e'ers.
         While not strictly spoilers, discussions of long-past episodes
         tend to go over well-trod ground, which if not noted by the [TNT]
         category, might cause the more anal or easily aggravated amongst
         me...uh, grit teeth at Yet Another mentioning of the factoid
         that, Hey, Doug Has A Son, Kewl!

         [OT] (or [TAN]):
         Sooner or later, almost every long thread (related group of
         posts, generally under the same subject header) will "suffer" from
         topic-drift.  It's almost inevitable, and is often quite enjoyable.
         But if one knows one is *starting* a wholly-unrelated-to-ER post
         (i.e., "Why Rotties Are So Kewl!"), it is considered Good Manners
         to warn those of us who don't care to read wholly-unrelated-to-ER
         posts by including [OT] (Off-Topic) or [TAN] [Tangent] warnings in
         your subject line.  Those who revel in OT posts are then free to
         revel at will, which should be done unharassed by those who don't.
         The usually snarky currently has an excellent sample
         of OT-marked threads (though it is expected that once the off-season
         comes to a close, so will the majority of OT threads).

       8.31  Any other "Rules Of The Road" for unsuspecting newbies?

[ know, Road, as in Information Su--  Gak.  I loathe that term.]

Sure buddy, thar's *always* rules...

      -First Rule Of Usenet: read the FAQ for the group you're on.
       Obviously, since you're here, you've passed this one.  You are to
       be commended: not everybody does this, not even Old Weather-Beaten
       Grizzled Usenet Vets.

      -Second Rule Of Usenet: after you've read the FAQ, lurk (read without
       posting) awhile.  The amount of lurk time isn't set-in-stone
       (neither are these rules, but there are, of course, consequences
       for breaking them, as you'll no doubt find out).  The important
       thing to remember is, Every Question Has Been Asked Before.  Just
       about, anyway.  And usually, by certain someones that haven't
       followed the First Rule. Give it time, you'll get an answer.  The
       other big reason for lurking awhile is, you get the "feel" of the
       newsgroup, the ebb and tide of its regulars, which helps you to
       discern between playful banter and downright seriousness.  This is
       not an easy thing to pick up, even for Old Weather-Beaten Grizzled
       Usenet Vets, but it can be done a bit more easily by watching how
       other Old Weather-Beaten Grizzled Usenet Vets respond.  Try it,
       you'll see.

      -Third Rule Of Usenet: you've read the FAQ.  You've lurked.  What to
       do now?  Go to Disneyland...uh, I mean, try lurking a little bit
       longer.  Just a little bit.  You're allllllmost ready.

      -Fourth Rule Of Usenet: okay, so you say you're ready.  Go for it.
       But remember this, if you don't remember any of the other Rules:
       DON'T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY.  It is a virtual certainty that
       Old Weather-Beaten Grizzled Usenet Vets, won't.
       (and, by the way, Rule 4a: don't use all-caps.  That's called
       "shouting". Old Weather-Beaten Grizzled Usenet Vets tend to react
       strongly to that.  Sensitive "ears" and all).
       (and, since we're here, Rule 4b: Context Matters.  Any thread--that
       is, multiple posts on the same theme and subject line--is only as
       good as the posts it contains.  And on Usenet, it is unwise to assume
       that the reader has read a thread from the very beginning.  It's
       important, then, to quote some part of what you're responding to,
       in your response; otherwise, it's likely that no one will have any
       idea what you're talking about.  Unfortunately, the opposite
       tendency some folks have, to include *everything* in a response, is
       just as bad, if not worse.  It's one of the things that has earned
       generic AOLers--deserving or not--the wrath of Old Weather-Beaten
       Grizzled Usenet Vets.  How to find the best balance is something that
       can't quite be covered in a FAQ, sad to say).
       (wait, there's one more--Rule 4c: Thems Pretty Pictures--But...
       "I have this kewel nude picture of Donald Anspaugh that I *know*
       everybody will want to see," I hear you saying; "can I post it here?"
       Short answer: "no, thank you."
       Long answer: a.t.e (as well as a.t.e.creative and probably u.t.m.e
       and i.t.e) are non-binary groups.  Posting binaries to non-binary
       groups is a no-no, and is generally unwelcomed by readers and
       newsadmins alike.  There are quite a few ER web pages out there;
       surely, one of the page owners would be delighted to include your
       image on their page if you ask them.  Even if not, there are
       plenty of *.binaries newsgroups; please post your image there, and
       provide a "pointer" post here.  The hoardes of fans who
       are dying to see Anspaugh butt nekkid, will be ever grateful).

      -Fifth Rule Of Usenet: Old Weather-Beaten Grizzled Usenet Vets got
       that way, generally, because they were once young fresh net.newbies
       like yourself. And, as such, they likely experienced all the
       flammage, derision, ridicule, and, eventually, acceptance, that
       you'll experience in your Travels Around Usenet. Things go a *lot*
       smoother if you just follow the guideposts that were created with
       you in mind (wasn't that nice of Them?) and kept in places aptly
       named, like news.announce.newusers (new Usenet user FAQs),
       news.newusers.questions (guess), and, on the web, "How to make the best
       use of Usenet News" <>,
       just to name three [Thanks Rebecca]. Go forth, read and be merry, for
       you are on your way to becoming an Old Weather-Beaten Grizzled
       Usenet Vet. Easy, eh?

      -Sixth Rule Of Usenet: Don't Feed The Trolls.  Eh, what's a Troll?, I
       hear you asking. the stuff in Rules Two to Five first,
       then come back.  We'll chat.

 8.4  Where can I chat online with others about "ER"?

      Shea Bennett recently started a Web-based BBS with multiple
topics, called "Cook County, the ER Message Center", located at
<>.  I've had some experience with
Web-based BBS's (good and bad), and I wish him luck with this.

      People gather on Thursday nights on IRC on the channel #ER to
discuss, joke about, and just chat about ER.

      IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. The simplest way to see if you
can get onto IRC is to type IRC at the command prompt of your service
provider.  If your system already has IRC installed the program should
start to load and connect you.

      At any time, 24hrs a day, 365 days a year, there can be thousands
of users on IRC at any given time. There also channels for discussing just
about anything you can imagine. (And a few things you probably can't.) :)

      For example, #xf for X-Files Chat, #riskybus for playing Jeopardy,

      If your system does not have IRC installed, you have 3 options:

      1. See if someone else on your system has it compiled and get a copy
         from them.

      2. Ask your system admin. to compile or add to your system
         for you. (I hope you have a very nice admin.)

      3. Compile the program yourself. This can be very daunting
         for the novice user, and I suggest either option 1, or getting
         help from your system admin.

      There is also supposed to be telnet interfaces connections to IRC,
but they are rare and extremely slow.

      If you plan on compiling IRC yourself, you can get a copy of the
source from ftp at (I think)

      If you already have IRC on your system (lucky you!), then after
loading IRC, you will be presented with a command prompt.


/join #ER             [to join the #ER channel]
/leave #ER            [to leave the #ER channel]
/part #ER             [same as above]
/bye                  [to quit IRC]
anything              [to say something public on your channel
                       eg. 'Hello everyone!' Note there is NO '/']
/msg Bill             [to send a private message to Bill, or whoever
                      you wish - just substitute their nick for Bill]
/nick JCarter         [change YOUR nickname to 'JCarter' or whatever you
/who #ER              [to list who's on the #ER channel]

      If you want to more about IRC, I suggest getting the IRC FAQ.
It is much more informative than my simple instructions.

 8.5  Is there any "ER" fan fiction out there?

      Yes, quite a bit.  And, as of April 30, 1998, there is a place on
Usenet specifically for it: <>, the newsgroup for posting
and discussing "ER"-related fan fiction ("fanfic").  Following is the charter
of <>:

Appropriate topics for include: "ER"-related fanfic
("ER" characters and general storyline) and discussion of "ER"-related
fanfic., unlike some *.creative newsgroups before it,
would welcome "ER"-related fanfic itself, as well as discussion of that
fanfic.  Topics not appropriate include: discussion specific to the series
itself (should be posted to or as applicable),
spam, binaries, or other posts not involving "ER"-related fanfic.

The general Alt.TV.ER FAQ, with links to "ER"-related fanfic websites can
be found at <>; may have its
own specific FAQ created at a later time.

      In addition, there are a few ER fanfic webpages cropping up out
there; many are now listed on The Alt.TV.ER Links page
<> (Note: this is neither an
endorsement nor a denouncement of fan fiction.  You be the judge...)

*8.6  Thanks!

      Many thanks are due to the following people for their help and

        Scott "FAQer Emeritus" Hollifield
      [it goes without saying that I couldn't have done this without
       Scott's guidance.  Though, since I said it, maybe it doesn't.
       Go without, that is.  Hmmm...]
        Lisa Albert       
      [Stepping into Scott's sizeable reviews-shoes couldn't have been easy,
       and your summaries have made it much easier for me to do the FAQ.]
        Mike Sugimoto     
      [Thanks for picking up where James Siy left off, and for making me
       laugh so daggone hard.  I share your trepidation, Mike, but hopefully
       the ER PTB won't be using too many goats this season...]
       *Phyl Behrer       
      [Your OldER advice and tales have been tremendous, and I'm sure I'll get
       over that Chicago Bulls shrine.  And oh yeah: thanks for all the fish.]

        Tirya (Stretcher-Bearer)
      [...for founding the "MDI!!!B" and "PTR!!!B", and...]
        Peanut (Patch-Bearer)
      [...for making the "Malik Did It!!!Brigade" parody page, located
       at <>
       My thanks to both of you for turning a frustration into
       a great bit o' humor.]

      [ Adopted Son, for being a tireless advocate of the ER FAQ]

        Michelle Hiley   
        P.A. Behrer      
        Katy Lindemann   
        Marny Helfrich   
        Peanut Baxley    
      [...for collaborating with me on "101 Reasons Why You Should Read
       The ER FAQ".  That was a much-needed laugh, guys.  Thanks muchly.]

        Stephanie Abba   
        Arman Afagh      
        Dana Akanova     
        Sameer Bakhda    
        Bettina Ball     
        Ken Basinger     
        Mary Battershell 
        Alan Bayer                 Some Top Secret Installation... :)
        Shea Bennett     
        Jorgen Blasta    
        [Sorry dear; umlauts just don't translate well into text :]
        Mark Brighty               101355.1266@CompuServe.COM
        Jennifer Burt    
        Evan Bynum                 bynum@CS.ColoState.EDU
        Victor Chan      
        Dave Chapman     
        Joe Clark        
        Kristen Clute    
        Tom Coates       
        Cain Cochrane    
        Shlomi Codish    
        S. Coulibaly     
        Elizabeth Crotty 
        Talitha Cumi               <>
        John Dybala                jdybala@holly.ColoState.EDU
        Jim Elek         
        Mathew Englander 
        Ben Espe         
        Tim Evans        
        Martin Feldkircher
        Brent Fogel      
        David Frazer     
        Michael James Gebis
        Moritz Gmeiner   
        Ed Griffiths     
        Kathy Graydon    
        G. A. Hartl      
        Victoria Hannan  
        Simo S. Heiskanen
        Stephen Hollis   
        Barbara Hlavin   
          (aka "Ceon Ramon")
        Freddy Ishizuka  
        Cindy Jacobson   
        Heath James      
        David Jenks, MD  
        Jiaquing Bao     
        Amy Heather Johnson
        Barb Johnson               21329BJ@MSU.EDU
        Peter C. Jones   
        Connie Krantman  
        William Kucharski
        Daniel Lander    
        C.J. Lehr, EMT-D 
        Loic Le Rou      
        Mariane L'Veil'  
        Christy Linders  
        Roger O. Longenbach, CRT
        Paul S. Manson   
        Nadine Maraldo   
        Robert Means     
        James Meek       
        Antonello Migliorini
        Tinita Mitchell  
        Michelle Morrison
        Milena Mulinacci 
        Adam Newman      
        Brian Nixon      
        Darren Parker    
        Nikki Purvis     
        Cristina Walstad Pulido
        Michael Rack     
        Tanya Reece      
        Ana Beatriz dos Anjos Ribeiro Rodrigues
        Angel Salguero   
        Claire Sanford   
        Jeff Sass        
        Alan Sepinwall   
        Scott Drone-Silvers
        Bill Skeen       
        Pete Smith       
        Brian Soriano    
        John Stuart      
        Shannon Patrick Sullivan
        Miyuki Takahashi 
        John Oliver Sy Tanbonliong
        Susan Taylor     
        Brooks Teeter              103707.103@CompuServe.COM
        Mark VandeKamp   
        Tammy Winn       
        Judy Zeitler      anyone I might have overlooked.

If you see your address in the above list and it needs correcting
or updating, email me <>

Rose "MotherFAQer" Cooper,
Keeper Of The Mostly New And Somewhat Improved ER FAQ
EMAIL:    ICQ: 7760005

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