Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Deficiency of dress or shelter

Despite there being no actual legal prohibition on public nudity in England or Scotland, the Naked Rambler has been imprisoned for most of the last six years.
One day I was walking and something happened." He had an epiphany: "I realised I was good. Being British, buried in our upbringing is that we're not good or have to watch ourselves – maybe it comes from religion, or school. I realised that at a fundamental level I'm good, we're all good, and you can trust that one part of yourself." This self-realisation led to Gough often choosing to be naked in public: if he was good, then his body was good. "The human body isn't offensive," he says. "If that's what we're saying, as human beings, then it's not rational." His former partner was "more conservative" and a visit from her parents proved calamitous. "One morning I came to breakfast naked and that was it, all over," Gough says flatly. "The thing was, her parents weren't even that bothered." The couple returned to Eastleigh together, but Gough went to live with his mother. He arrived back in England, he says, with an intense appreciation of what nakedness could offer, and questioning "things we're taught to believe are right". He visited a police station in Eastleigh and asked if it was illegal to walk naked in the streets. "They couldn't come up with an answer," he says.
In Scotland, breach of the peace is partly defined as "conduct which does, or could, cause the lieges [public] to be placed in a state of fear, alarm or annoyance". The prosecution has very rarely managed to rustle up witnesses to claim Gough's nakedness has had any of these effects on them. What is keeping him in prison is simply the theoretical idea that it could. "I do not believe that an ordinary, reasonable person would feel any of those things if they saw me [naked] in the street," Gough says. He believes that to achieve his stated aim – to leave HMP Perth and return to Eastleigh naked – "the law doesn't have to change, just the interpretation". Twice Scottish sheriffs found in Gough's favour that no crime had been committed, both in him being naked in public and being naked in court. "Both times the sheriffs were elderly females," notes Good, who represented Gough for more than three years (they parted company in 2010 so Gough could represent himself, making it harder for him to be excluded from the courtroom for being naked). "Stephen then chose to leave court naked and was arrested for being naked in public."

Friday, March 16, 2012

Weekend Mix: Fesenjan Cocktail

An experiment in Persian themed mixology. Make this for Nowruz!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Supporting Fox Domestication

The famous Russian experiment on domesticating foxes is in danger. Why isn't this on Kickstarter or something? The internet LOVES cute animals.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Creative ideas wanted

What's something cool to do with a metal letterpress plate? It has a great design and I was thinking of stamping it into candy or some such.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Weekend Bake: Pistachio Golden Raisin Cake with Lemon Syrup

I made this cake over the weekend as a dessert and was a little let down, as it is not very sweet. But as a breakfast bread or coffee cake, it is much more satisfying. I converted the recipe to accommodate the ingredients I had, but some suggested changes are noted below.

140G all purpose flour
10G Baking powder
2 Large beaten eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
150G  Sugar
2 tbspmilk or cream
2 lemons, juiced and zested
50G Golden raisins
75G Roughly chopped pistachios
75G Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 6 cup bundt pan. Beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
2. Mix in eggs and flour; add milk and lemon zest, raisins, and 65 g pistachios. Spoon into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, warm lemon juice and 75 g sugar in a pan until sugar is melted. Set aside.
4. When cake is done and still warm in the pan, pierce the cake all over with a skewer and pour the syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool and remove it from the pan. Scatter remaining nuts over the top.

I had salted nuts and rinsed them. In the future, I would only brush them and keep some of the salt, and also increase the raisins by fifty percent, for more of a salty and sweet contrast. The bundt pan worked well, but muffin tins would also be nice. And the lemon syrup soak needed more lemon juice, and maybe some cardamom pods to steep in it. I think I also should have only used 7 tbsp or so of butter!