John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 26

by on May.12, 2010, under Rum Doings, The Rest

Crikey-o-blimey! We’re back! After a volcano-encouraged break, Rum Doings returns with episode 26 to not discuss whether the Americanisation of Britain gone one step too far?

Instead John struggles with pomegranate wine, we ponder super-tasting, the merits of Marmite, and the Queen’s insatiable loins.

Inevitably we talk election, but having recorded this before Tuesday night, we weren’t aware who our new King was to be. There’s thoughts on the peculiar imbalance of political leanings in the press compared to the population, the difference between Scotland and England, and the source of John’s self-loathing. Then we even discuss money stuff things.

After the frivolity of this politics business, we then turn our attentions toward more serious matters: poo poo and wee wee. Inspired by a three year old, we consider the merits of poo, and what various people may look like as they perform one. Then we ascend to talk of asparagus wee, and the corrupted souls of those who cannot produce this potion, including nano-plans to fix this defection. Also, John tests the very limits of his girlfriend’s tolerance. Also, what colour to political leaders wee?

We finish with some absolutely shameful impressions of Gordon Brown.

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13 Comments for this entry

  • innokenti

    Haven’t heard the episode yet… but I would just like to say that pomegranate wine is AWESOME. At least the stuff I occasionally get from Waitrose. AWESOME.

  • Vague

    Um, women have urethras… Its just shorter.

    About sinking stool… I thought that floating stool is most likely due to fat, whether it be due to excessive fatty foods or poor fat digestion, and isn’t particularly good.

    As for blue urine… Porphyria? But that needs sunlight to react.

    I’m about 50% certain most of that’s correct… Only half studied for my alimentary and urinary system exams…

  • Rosti

    Asparagus wee gets more interesting still: not only are there mutants that can’t produce the stuff, but an independent mutation stops folk smelling it. Still not worth bothering the lady-folk over though.

    (Of course, who the mutant is depends on your perspective – I’m fairly sure I can’t produce it but *can* smell it.)

  • Colthor

    Asparagus wee? Is that wee that smells like asparagus?

    …Does asparagus even smell? I don’t remember it.

  • Nick Mailer

    Colthor. Have a drink of water and then eat some sticks of asparagus. When you next urinate, note the aroma that becomes immediately obvious to you.

    If it doesn’t then you, like Laura, have gut thetans.

  • Fashigady

    I can confirm that women have urethras, and yes they are shorter. In my Human Biology lecture the other day the lecturer said that the average male urethra is roughly 10cm long, compared with 3cm in women. On the topic of asparagus, I have never heard of ‘asparagus wee’, but I can say that boiled aspargus on a bed of pasta with salt and butter is delicious. Also, I find the blatant partisanism of the British press bizarre – has it always been so? Perhaps you and Nick could explain that to us foreigners with ostensibly balanced media in a future Rum Doings.

  • Colthor

    I probably just have gut thetans. I’ve eaten quite a lot of asparagus – my parents grow it in their garden – and never noticed anything untowards. I’ll try and do a proper test next time I have some, though.

  • James Campbell

    I abhor the smell of asparagus urine.

  • Alex

    I don’t know about tunneling, but but quantum entanglement is suspected in the workings of chlorophyll!

  • Gassalasca

    I’ve never eaten asparagus. :-|

  • EthZee

    You’re not missing much.

    Avocados, on the other hand, are Delicious.

  • Laura

    Hello Boys,

    Your terribly scientific debate on episode 26 of Rum Doings gave me great joy. There are a few points I would like to clarify, in the interests of scientific accuracy:

    1a) I am a molecular biologist.
    1b) It would seem, from further experiments, that I may well produce asparagus wee. Further tests are needed.

    2) Asparagus wee: approximately 50% of the population suffer from asparagus wee. The other 50% may not produce it, or may produce it but lack the ability to smell it. Sulfur-containing amino acids in asparagus break down during digestion, creating an odor when urine is excreted. (It’s the same sulfur group that makes skunks smell.) The break down is thought to be facilitated by a digestive enzyme which some people have the gene to code for, and others lack.

    There is a conflict in views, however. Some scientists think only half of the population can break down the sulfurous amino acids into their smellier components. Other scientists think that asparagus is digested the same by everyone, but that only half can smell the odor. Therefore, your suggestion of an experiment to test these hypotheses is much needed.

    3) I would also like to suggest making the nanobots out of magnetite (iron oxide), which, as the name suggests, has magnetic properties. This would allow for recycling by easy separation of the bots from urine after administration.

    4) “Supertasting”:

    “Humans show substantial differences in taste sensitivity to many different substances. Some of this variation is known to be genetic in origin, and many other inter-individual differences are likely to be partially or wholly determined by genetic mechanisms. Recent advances in the understanding of taste at the molecular level have provided candidate genes that can be evaluated for contributions to phenotypic differences in taste abilities. This approach has provided an understanding of variation in the ability to taste phenylthiocarbamide (PTC – the substance on the bit of paper John was talking about), and has resolved long-standing controversies about the genetics of this classic human genetic trait. Significant coding sequence variation exists in taste receptor genes, which suggests that PTC tasting may indicate more general taste sensory variation. However, many aspects of taste perception remain poorly characterized. Better understanding of the molecular components of salty and sour tastes is still needed, as is a more complete picture of second messenger and downstream signaling mechanisms for all taste modalities. More general studies of linkage and association between genetic markers and taste phenotypes may reveal genes encoding proteins that were previously unsuspected to be involved in this sensory process.”

  • Nick Mailer

    My question is: how do these compounds get into our wee? Surely they should get into our poo instead?