Posts from 6th April 2006

Apr 06

Merlin sees vast alcohol stream

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 287 views

There is a type of headline which cannot help but draw you in. It is the type which is utterly incoherent. What on Earth could a story entitled “Merlin sees vast alcohol stream” be about? Perhaps it is an arts story about a new best selling book in which the Wizard Merlin discovers a stream of alcohol and defeats Mordred with it (who would not be defeated by a river of alcohol?).

But when I tell you it is a BBC science and nature story, what do you think it is about. Merlin – as magician – does not really fit in science and nature. Except of course in the “all science is magic to people not technologically advanced enough” bollocks way. But wait, a Merlin is a kind of bird of prey. Maybe a bird has found a secret stream of alcohol somewhere in the Scottish highlands (it would explain a LOT). But no, it is not that. Which can only mean one thing. Merlin is a name for some sort of project or instrument. And indeed that proves to be the case.

Merlin is network of radio telescopes which has, as the story suggests, detected a stream of alcohol in space. Not just any old stream though. A stream which lasts 288 million miles: which is some optic run. Unfortunately it is alcohol in its gaseous form, but hey, it is in space so I don’t guess I was going to lie with my gob open and have this glugging into my gullet (I know, I know there is more to alcohol that bouzin’).

Anyway here is the intriguingly titled story about Merlin, his eyes, and the magical stream of alcohol.

Potter Delay Crisis

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 346 views

Unfortunately our Edinburgh correspondant is unable to confirm or deny the dread paper shortage which has hit Scotland’s capital, or indeed the effect it may have on its various scribes. However one hopes to see Ian Rankin, Alexander Macall Smith and J.K.Rowling fighting bare knuckle over the last A4 Oxford pad in Ryman’s sometime late this week.

One assumes this 45 minute delay in the next Potter book means that it will be released at 12:45 am rather than the standard midnight.

(Thought: the book would be finished quicker if she stopped presenting the Radio One Singles Chart with Joel.)

The Rules Of Ruin: 1: Mixing Drinks

Pumpkin Publog5 comments • 6,030 views

The Rules Of Ruin Is An Occasional Item To Help You Get Very, Very Drunk In The Guise Of A Warning About Things Which Will Get You Very Very Drunk

Everyone knows that mixing drinks will get you more drunk than staying on one brew. The same people also probably learned the little tune about mixing drinks on their Grandmothers knee:

Beer And Wine, Next Day Fine
Wine And Beer, The Next Day You Will Pay Dear

Or something like that. Anyway, the Rules Of Ruin has no truck with such nonsense. You can drink what you like and you will probably end up drunk. That much is axiomatic. No, what the Rules Of Ruin wants to tell you today follows on directly from yesterdays item regarding Rum flavoured beer. Basically, mixing drinks in the glass before you drink it.

REPEAT AFTER ME: I am not Tom Cruise in Cocktail. The only time two different alcoholic drinks should be mixed is under the supervision of a professional or at least a book of how to make cocktails. Even then, the toll has been pre-paid on the autoroute to ruin (Rouen?) and someone is going to put their foot down.

In particular, nasty and unpleasant drinks (cheap white wine, Noilly Prat, Cassis) are never improved by being mixed with each other. As I discovered last week, vinegary white wine mixed with cassis still tastes foul in an overly sweet blackcurrent flavoured vinegar way. At least have the dignity to keep them separate before they reach your stomach.

And anyway, Bryan Brown was way cooler.