Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ask Militant Ginger

It’s that time again! When I trawl the search engine keywords that have directed readers my way!

Who is the fittest ginger?

Do you mean the British definition of ‘fit’ – as in ‘attractive’, or the more pedestrian definition, of the ‘most athletic.’ Since ‘ginger’ is a British term, I’ll assume the former.

Well, it’s a pretty subjective question. At the moment, I think it’s worth arguing that Rupert Grint – who plays Ron Weasely in the Harry Potter movies – is probably the world’s number-one ginger sex-symbol. In a recent poll, over 60% of ladies voted for him.

Is Rupert Grint the world's sexiest ginger? 60% of women say 'I guess!'

In terms of women, there’s no doubt about it – Christina Hendricks, from Firefly and Mad Men – rocks the kasbar as the world’s hottest redhead.

She’s peaking all the Google search statistics at the moment - and is generally accepted as the most gorgeous thing on television – despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that she’s built with the kind of curves that the fashion industry fell out of love with back in the Mad Men-era of the 1960s.

I love her. She’s stunning.

Christina Hendricks... No witty caption required.

Did Stephenie Meyer contribute to California’s Proposition 8?

‘Proposition Hate’ is what many people call the referendum in California which reversed the Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriages.

The ‘sanctity of marriage’ crusade was largely sponsored by the Mormon church, who donated millions for advertising campaigns and lobbying to get the bill passed (including this family, who spent their life savings.)

[I'd just like to point out that not all Mormons feel this way, nor should they be thrown in with the lot who do - Editorial Bear]

The fact that Stephanie Meyer, author of the wildly popular Twilight series, is a devout Mormon has raised many questions about her feelings towards same-sex marriage. Many of Twilight's biggest fans are the sort of people who support marriage equality – and they’d be understandably upset if the author of their favorite books was part of a crusade against the values they passionately believe in.

Well, I haven’t found any evidence that Stephanie Meyer directly supported Proposition 8 – and nor did I find anything suggesting the church to which she ‘tithes’ 10% of her income gave any cash to the cause.

However, that church DID donate over $190,000 in ‘in-kind’ services to people lobbying to get Proposition 8 passed, which is pretty strong evidence to support the assumption that Stephanie Meyer is against same-sex marriage.

Her church was very vocal in their opposition to marriage equality – and she never stood up to vocalize any disagreement with that - so in this case, her silence is as incriminating as any financial paper trail.

Help! My BeerMachine always produces cloudy beer!

Yours and mine both, mate! Having spent many years brewing with the Beer Machine, I’ve yet to create a crisp, clear batch of beer yet (but it's still delicious.)

The Beer Machine - not as easy as it makes it sound, but delicious never the less

However, through years of brewing, I have found the following hints have definitely improved the clarity of the beer I’ve made:
  1. Thoroughly wash, disinfect and rinse your Beer Machine prior to making a new ‘batch.’ Totally disassemble the machine and scrub it to remove any and all traces of previous brews. Then, after reassembling the machine, fill it with a mild mix of bleach and very hot water and seal it. Test the seal by using a CO2 cartridge. Leave the bleach in the Beer Machine for at least twenty four hours, then rinse it thoroughly with cold water several times. This will kill any foreign bacteria that might be contaminating your beer.
  2. Keep it steady! During the initial five-day fermentation, silt and sediment will sink to the bottom of the Beer Machine. When your fermentation is complete (when air stops bubbling from the pressure relief valve on top of the Beer Machine) move it AS GENTLY AS POSSIBLE to the fridge. The more you shake the Beer Machine up, the more silt will be disturbed – and anybody who’s worked in a pub will tell you that once you’ve ‘clouded up’ a beer, it’s impossible to put right again.
  3. The cold-filtering period, when your Beer Machine sits in the fridge, is when it will get to its clearest. Make sure the fridge is cool enough (3 or 4 is a good setting) and leave it utterly undisturbed for a minimum of seven days (I recommend ten – three more than the instructions dictate.) Remember, any shift will swill up the sediment and cloud your beer. If you can keep it absolutely still, you can probably produce a fairly clear batch.
To produce a perfect brew, you have a couple of other options. One is a dedicated fridge – switch it off, with the door open, during the initial five-day ferment, so the Beer Machine can process the sugar into alcohol. Then, switch on the fridge and close the door. You’ll be able to start a dedicated cold filtration without moving the Beer Machine at all, meaning you won’t disturb the sediment.

The other alternative? Two fermentations. Run your Beer Machine as usual during the first fermentation – brewing the first batch of beer until the pressure relief valve stops bubbling.

Then, instead of moving the entire machine to the fridge, pour the fermented beer into a series of individual bottles – I recommend plastic, one-liter bottles, like Seltzer water comes in (it doesn’t look cool, but there is a method to my madness as I’ll explain.)

Once you’ve separated your beer into bottles, throw in two of these – carbonation tablets. These are basically sugar lumps, which give the dormant yeast contained in the beer a new source of food to chow down on.

Leave the bottled beer out in room temperature (70-77 degrees) for five days. Your beer will be going through a secondary fermentation, as evidenced by the plastic bottles swelling up. Your beer is basically carbonating itself, plus the alcohol content is increasing.

After five days, transfer the bottles to your fridge and let them chill for ten days. The sediment in the bottles will sink to the bottom – just like it proper ‘artisan’ style beer. After ten days, your beer should be dramatically clearer than using the Beer Machine, as well as delightfully fizzy and a lot stronger than normal.

Just remember to leave the ‘dregs’ in the bottom of the bottle when you pour it, otherwise you’ll dump the sediment into the glass.

Happy brewing!

Was Cameron the Terminator, from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a virgin?

Erm. What?

For those of you unfamiliar with Cameron, she was a character in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - a promising, but short-lived sci-fi series based on the hit movies.

In the show, Firefly alumni Summer Glau played Cameron - a sexy Terminator sent back in time to protect savior-of-the-world John Connor from robot assassins.

Summer Glau is a fan-boy favorite and the show featured plenty of implied nudity to prove that SkyNet, when they created Cameron, were working off some primo blueprints (the only improvement would have been to base her off Christina Hendricks.)

But although there was an implied relationship between John and Cameron in the series, let’s not surrender to fan-boy fantasy. In the TV series she was a robot. A killer robot. A killer robot sent back in time, designed by a self-aware computer virus that detested humanity!

While they did everything they could to make her blend in – by giving her a perky set of breasts and a tight, round rump, as revealed in the various implied nude scenes – it is very doubtful that they ‘completed’ the illusion.

And if that’s too vague an answer, I’ll clarify – underneath her panties, she was probably ‘equipped’ like an Action Man or Barbie Doll. She was a robot, for God’s sake!

Saving the future? Easy. Keeping your clothes on? Not so simple!

Then again, Editorial Bear is nudging my elbow to remind me that one of the terminator robots they ran across in the series was ‘equipped’ for duty – and had posed as a woman’s husband for several months (which implies they were intimate on more than one occasion.)

Given that nugget of information – and based on where the series had been taking John and Cameron’s relationship – I’m now wondering if Cameron did come with the ‘equipment’ necessary to consummate a relationship.

If so, I worry deeply about the mental health of the show’s writers and am now secretly pleased that it was canceled! Crikey – some people!


Occasional Professor Tom said...

As someone who spends more time thinking about this than any sane man has a right to, it is my conclusion that nearly all humanoid robots depicted in fiction are "fully functional".

Cases in point: V1046-R Mahoro, HMX-12 Multi, and Lt. Commander Data.

Roland Hulme said...

Tom, out of the twenty best comments left on this blog, you're responsible for at LEAST 16 of them - but that was by far THE BEST EVER!

Joanna Cake said...


But Rupert Grint? Rupert Grint!!! He's not even remotely attractive. If you want sexy ginger (that's with a hard g of course), you have to put up a picture of Damien Lewis! Consider yourself well and truly told off :P

Connecticut Yankee said...

Does Christina hendricks really count? Not that she's not totally smokin', but she's not a natural ginger. She's been dyeing her hair for years.