Anarchist Alcohol: Ginger Ale!

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Alcohol, Anarchism / Voluntaryism | Posted on 18-05-2014

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PREFACE: This is a crappy incomplete draft that is poorly thrown together, but… meh… Clicking “Publish” anyways. Enjoy!

Holy mind-blowing wow! This batch of ginger ale has turned out simply spectacular!

But what does ginger ale have to do with alcohol? Or anarchism? Well, one question at a time…

Alcoholic Ginger Ale

Scroll down for the tl;dr that explains it in less than 5 seconds.

Making alcoholic ginger ale is much easier than you’d probably guess. There are a lot of recipes around, but I’ll sum it up quickly here. (Amounts are approximate – check recipes online, but consider going heavy on their recommendations as the results seem better that way.)

  • Lots of ginger.
    Aim for around 50 g per liter of water for a nice strong ale.
  • Lots of sugar.
    Yeast eats sugar to produce C2H5OH – ethanol – alcohol – BOOZE!
    Aim for around 50-75 g per liter of water.
  • Yeast.
    Yeast ferments the drink.
    Aim for around 1/2 a tablespoon per liter of water.
  • Filtered water.
    Use good water. Toxins in the water (fluoride, chlorine) can retard the fermentation process.

For the sugar, use better quality sugar, e.g. raw sugar, organic sugar, light brown sugar, but not pure shite, err… white sugar. You can use white sugar, but why? You might want to add in a tablespoon of molasses if you use white sugar to give it some more colour, but don’t use too much as it will heavily flavour your ginger ale. Do not try using an artificial sweetener. You can use caster sugar (icing sugar). I make my own caster sugar from normal sugar, and I do that for each batch of ginger ale.

While any decent brewing site will tell you to use “proper” yeast, you don’t need to. You can get perfectly acceptable results with baker’s yeast that you may very well have in your pantry already. Try that first. Let the specialty stuff come later as you experiment more.

Now, with the ginger, mince or grind or grate or pulverize the bejeez out of it. Really. Get that ginger as fine as you can. You don’t have to, but you’ll get a much higher surface area and get more flavour out of it if you do.

Mix the sugar and ginger with some water and get that all dissolved, slowly adding in more water. You don’t need to add in all the water you’ll be using at this point. While you’re mixing, add in the yeast. You can do this all in a blender.

When you’re done mixing it together, let it sit in a warm room for 2 days. After 2 days, take a funnel and some cheese cloth or muslin or something to filter the ginger pulp out, and pour the liquid into a bottle between 1/4 and 1/3rd full, but not more than 1/2 full. Put in a teaspoon of sugar – don’t miss this (this is for secondary fermentation that gives you carbonation). Top up the bottle with water to around 75-85% full. You MUST leave room for some air in there or the bottle will EXPLODE!

tl;dr for alcoholic ginger ale

Mix ginger, sugar, yeast and water. Let sit for 2 days. Put in a bottle with some sugar and air room at the top. Let sit for a day. Put in fridge. Let cool. Drink!

Now, making ginger ale is pretty easy, but WTF does that have to do with anarchy?

Anarchist Alcohol

Defund the state. Defund corporations that cooperate with the state.

Every penny you give to the state in taxes goes towards violence against you and others. By refusing to let the state have any more of your money than they forcefully steal from you, you are helping to defund them. With alcohol being heavily taxed, if you brew your own drinks, you are withholding money that otherwise would have been wasted.

Getting the Album ID with the Facebook C# SDK

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in .NET, Alcohol, C#, Software, Solutions to Problems, Super Simple | Posted on 09-06-2011

Tags: ,

I really shouldn’t drink & post like last night… Anyways, cynicism and rantiness wane as sobriety returns, and here’s some code that illustrates uploading a photo to a specific album:


// This is directly out of the Facebook C# SDK sample code (FacebookInfoDialog.cs)
private void btnPostPicture_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    var ofd = new OpenFileDialog
                  {
                      Filter = "JPEG Files|*.jpg",
                      Title = "Select picture to upload"
                  };
    if (ofd.ShowDialog() == DialogResult.OK)
    {
        var picture = File.ReadAllBytes(ofd.FileName);

        var fb = new FacebookClient(_accessToken);

        fb.PostCompleted +=
            (o, args) =>
            {
                if (args.Error == null)
                {
                    FacebookClient tmpClient = (FacebookClient)o;
                    Console.WriteLine(args.GetResultData().ToString());
                    JsonObject jo = (JsonObject)args.GetResultData();

                    Console.WriteLine((string)jo["link"]);

                    MessageBox.Show("Picture posted to wall successfully.");
                }
                else
                {
                    MessageBox.Show(args.Error.Message);
                }
            };

        dynamic parameters = new ExpandoObject();
        parameters.caption = txtMessage.Text;
        parameters.method = "facebook.photos.upload";
        // See below for how to get the album ID value:
        parameters.aid = "123456"; // <== This is the album ID.

        var mediaObject = new FacebookMediaObject
                              {
                                  FileName = Path.GetFileName(ofd.FileName),
                                  ContentType = "image/jpeg"
                              };
        mediaObject.SetValue(picture);
        parameters.source = mediaObject;

        fb.PostAsync(parameters);
    }
}

// PARTIAL SNIPPET
// This shows a quick & dirty way to get the album ID:

dynamic jobj = arraySerializer.Deserialize(json, typeof(object));
int counter = 0;
Dictionary<string, string> albums = new Dictionary<string, string>();
// This loop is a sin, but don't get side-tracked.
while (true)
{
    try
    {
        // The link to the album has it's ID:
        string link = Convert.ToString(jobj.data[counter].link);
        // Convert that to a URI:
        Uri url = new Uri(link);
        // Get the query string:
        string query = url.Query;
        // Put the query string into a quick & easy collection:
        NameValueCollection nvc = HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(query);
        // Extract the album ID using the literal variable name, "aid":
        string aid = nvc["aid"]; // <== The correct album ID.
        // Add the album ID (aid) and the album name to a dictionary:
        albums.Add(aid, jobj.data[counter].name);
        // If you were to do this, you wouldn't have an album ID that you can use
        // because the "id" in the JSON doesn't return the album:
        // albums.Add(jobj.data[counter].id, jobj.data[counter].name);
    }
    catch
    {
        break;
    }
    counter++;
}

It’s not hard at all. But the lack of decent documentation makes it painful at best.

I’ve been harping on this for a long time: In software components, the real product isn’t *just* the component… It’s the documentation. ┬áThe best software in the world is no better than the worst if you can’t use it effectively. That’s what documentation is for.

I hope that helps save someone some time.

Cheers,

Ryan

Drugged-Out Craziness from MOM!

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Alcohol | Posted on 28-03-2011

Tags: , , ,

Sometimes my mom sends me the wackiest, coolest stuff! I can’t help but share this here. It’s just over-the-top nutty!

Pure, drugged-out, happiness~! Hahahahaha~!

Police Send Negative Messages About Australians

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Alcohol, Australia, Police | Posted on 06-01-2011

Tags: , , ,

The Victoria police and Victoria Roads really know how to send some negative messages. Looking at their billboard ads, Australia, or at least Victoria and Melbourne, has some horrible problems, including drinking and driving. It really seems like people just don’t know how to behave properly. It’s not like other places don’t have problems with impaired driving, but the problems here just seem much more exacerbated.

Take for example some Victoria Roads public service ad billboards like these two:

3000 Police.
No warning. No escape.

3000 Police No Warning No Escape

One million drivers will be breath-tested before New Year.

One Million Drivers TestedThe second one seems basically informative. The message is well phrased and informative. It lets people know that the police will be out in force to breath-test drivers and check for impaired drivers. That’s a good thing. It lets me know that the police are out there to help keep the roads safe for me to drive on. It reassures me that during the holiday season, I don’t need to worry about whether or not I’m going to make it to my destination in one piece. It’s a positive message and treats the reader with some respect. It doesn’t assume that the reader is drinking and driving and it doesn’t assume that the reader is a low-life or criminal.

The first, however, is an entirely different story.

The first public service ad is a blatant threat with the assumption that the reader is a low-life or criminal. There’s no attempt to inform the reader at all. It’s entirely an appeal to force and fear. (See ad baculum and ad metum.) That says a lot though. It says a great deal about the police in Victoria, and it says a lot about the people of Victoria, or at least they way the police of Victoria perceive the people of Victoria.

To me, as a non-Australian, the first billboard sends a few messages to me:

  1. Australians are bad behaved
  2. Australians drink and drive regularly
  3. Australians have no respect for law or order
  4. Australians are basically criminals
  5. Blah blah blah.

Now, let’s be clear about what I just said. “The first billboards sends a few messages to me.” And those are the messages that the ad billboard sends. Why else would Victoria Roads and the police resort to threats and intimidation? Hell, the graffiti on it reinforces those messages. The graffiti seems to indicate that the negative view of Victorians by the police and Victoria Roads is fully justified. After all, who defaces public service ad billboards? Decent law-abiding people? No. Thugs do.

Breaking down the first billboard, there are a few elements that combine to form a clear message.

3000 POLICE

In itself, this is really a neutral statement, but in context, it’s clearly about these guys being out to get YOU.

NO WARNING

You only need a warning when something bad is about to happen. You don’t warn people about good things. The context is clear. Something bad is going to happen to YOU.

NO ESCAPE

This is the most insidious part of the ad. It makes the assumption that you will be caught for drinking and driving, and you will not be able to get away. YOU will be arrested. Thrown in jail.

Is this the kind of message that you want to be bombarded with? Because this billboard is all over Victoria, and there are always plenty more just like it with the same basic message:

You are a criminal, and we’re going to catch you and throw your ass in jail.

The second billboard is fine. It sends a positive message. And the first billboard could have been like that:

3000 Police for the Holidays:
* Reducing Drink Driving.
* Keeping Your Roads Safe.

(“Drinking and driving” is called “drink driving” in Australia.)

Wouldn’t that be nicer to look at? Wouldn’t that send a much better message for those of us that don’t drink and drive?

Yes, it’s wordier and could be reworked some. But with a little Photoshop magic, have a quick look here:

3000 Police with positive messageIt *IS* possible to have public service ads and *NOT* be a total douche. It is possible to send a positive message to people.

Now, the “Don’t risk it” text is really out of character there, and again, assumes that the reader is a basic thug. But that’s the core tag-line and basic mindset here. Sigh…

The truth is that the vast majority of people are basically good. They don’t get all pissed up, drive around, and kill people. It’s a very small number of people that cause problems.

Targeting the majority as though they are part of the minority is simply ass-backwards. It’s like being screamed at, “YOU ARE FUCKING GUILTY AND WE WILL FUCKING GET YOU!” Well, no I’m not and no you won’t.

I mention this not because it’s a single irritating incident. It’s prevalent throughout Melbourne. Grocery stores have warnings on shelves about shoplifting. Billboards and signs around the city scream at you that you are a criminal and that you will be caught and imprisoned. The messages cover:

  • Drinking and driving (drink driving)
  • Shoplifting and theft (shopstealing)
  • Knives and violence
  • Drugs
  • etc.

The majority of ads make the assumption that the reader is involved in them.

It shows a deep distrust of the people and a deep disrespect for the people.

How can anyone from outside of Australia possibly come away with a positive impression of the place if this is the way Australians view and treat themselves?