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About Robynn

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  • Birthday 02/11/1973

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  1. Who doesn't love beautiful girls with wild hair and tattoos getting naked and having fun on late night cable? I know I do - but The Suicide Girls ruined it for me last night when I was watching "The Suicide Girls Guide to Living" on Showtime. This particular special is supposed to be a "how to" guide for the kinky set. One of the "how to" segments was how to prepare absinthe. So these girls sit down with a nice fountain and proper glasses and....(infamous music here - da da dumm....) a bottle of Le Tourment Vert. Awww. Just when I was getting turned on. And then - they over pour the nasty stuff, do the sugar cube on the spoon thing and add what appears to be a very small amount of water to an awful lot of LTV. On several close-ups when the girls are supposed to be sipping it, and supposedly getting turned on you can see that the liquid never reaches their lips, so obviously they weren't enjoying it. I wonder why? I realize this is porn and not a lecture on fine spirits, but then don't make yourself out to be experts on how to do something, when you have no clue. It was just a set up to get some of the girls naked - which is apparently what happens when you drink absinthe. Or maybe just LTV does it, because we all know it's not really absinthe. Hard to say. And honestly - the naked parts weren't that good either.
  2. The current owner (The Andrew Lloyd Webber Art Foundation) of "Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto", known to most as "The Absinthe Drinker" will auction the painting off at a Christie's auction of Impressionist and Modern art in London on 23 June 2010. The painting is the most highly estimated works of art to be offered at auction in Europe, with a pre-sale estimate of between £30–40 million. Jussi Pylkkanen, president of Christie's Europe division has said the painting is "one of the most important works of art to be offered at auction in decades."
  3. Excellent video. Well shot, great information from the host and a charming Guest Star. Only one thing I wanna see now: More!
  4. That would be my interview with Cheryl on my podcast, Skepticality. I hadn't specifically posted anything about the interview I did with Cheryl here on the forums, as I'm still in the scheme of things a new member of the WWS, I felt it would have been sort of self serving to advertise the interview here. But I am glad that it came up organically as a by-product of someone coming to the WWS because of it, which was part of the point. Thanks though for all the kind comments, it was a lot of fun to do and Cheryl was amazing to talk to (as anyone who has talked to her at all, knows well). I tried to get a lot of good facts in there, but of course there is so much more to absinthe history past, present and hopefully future that there wasn't really time to devote to including everything I would have wanted to. I hope to perhaps revisit the topic again some day. I received a lot of positive feedback from our regular listeners about the interview after it was posted and I know at least a few people who are now becoming absinthe connoisseurs who were, previously uninterested. Big props here go to Cheryl for inspiring that episode of our podcast. - Robynn (aka Swoopy, co-host of Skepticality: The Official Podcast of Skeptic Magazine)
  5. Re: podcasts I would also be totally happy to volunteer do any necessary audio editing, I've done it for fun and for (small) profit for the last five years. Also more than happy to help other folks with audio production tools on the ins and outs of publishing a podcast, creating an RSS feed etc. if needed. I think a standard review and discussion program (could even be a call in show where folks can ask questions of a knowledgeable host), featuring some of our most experienced people as well as maybe some equipment reviews, and vendor information would be easy to put together. Our lovely logo would look very nice on iTunes, which would again draw people to the site. Interviews with distillers, herb growers, retailers etc. would also make for great content. Promotional spots could also be recorded for these programs as sold advertising revenue. There are also podcast hosting companies that can help your program find advertisers (which will likely not be absinthe related) to offset hosting costs etc. Sounds like we have lots of talented folks here that can help make this happen. Also, could the yearly WWS calendar be a money maker? Perhaps sold through an outlet like Zazzle or Cafe Press? Reading lots of great ideas, hopefully we can implement some. - Robynn
  6. I did see the site was down several days ago and sent an email to Brian, but sadly it appears neither of us saw that it was down because of a funding issue. As someone who runs a struggling online presence and helps with several other non-profits, I will say that you need to slap some Google ads on this site ASAP as it will pay for your hosting. I realize those ads aren't always enjoyable but they can be highly tailored to include only topics and even only the companies you approve, thus you can block sites that sell less than reputable products. Even with very minimal click-throughs (and we can all promise to do some clicking, right?) you'll make several hundred extra dollars each quarter. Secondly, get some affiliate codes for amazon.com and the like. If folks who use the boards buy stuff on amazon (doesn't have to be absinthe related) or other online retailers with the affiliate codes, the kick backs can go to the WWS. This is part of an "every little bit helps" strategy. I would also create a "chip in" donation jar so that people who may not be able to afford recurring membership can throw a dollar in here and there. For non-profits I know there are ways to get reduced paypal fees for 501©3 non-profits, and chip in doesn't cost anything - it's just a flash widget. Use Twitter more to draw more traffic to the site. With ads, and more traffic we'll get more click-throughs, and thus more revenue. And yes, by all means let's get some companies advertising on the site. For all of the free advertising that companies have gotten via word of mouth through this site, offer banner ad deals for them so they can advertise legitimately, and the WWS can finally reap some monetary benefit. This would also be available for events, like Tales or special in-stores, or tasting parties. The number one place that everyone goes to for information about Absinthe is the WWS, and it's ridiculous that at the very least, hosting isn't being paid for by those who have benefited for years from this resource. Lastly, I'll admit that as a dues paying WWS member at first blush, I did so because I appreciate the site - but, I think more folks might sign up or make contributions if there was a product in the offing. I've noticed that in the past there was talk of podcasts, or videos that really haven't gone anywhere. If perhaps someone were to do something like a short absinthe review podcast that would again - draw people to the site, and provide an end product produced by the experts of the WWS, it might be something more people would be willing to donate for. I noticed a thread with discussion about an iPhone application- this is an excellent idea AND it will create revenue even if you only charge 1.99 for the application. Again, this is something I've had experience with and it does work. Economic times are tough all over, but really this website should pay for itself, and if there is anything that I can do to help you implement any of the great suggestions people are putting out there to try and make this a reality, then please don't hesitate to ask. Those of us who visit the site every day may not have lots of money, but our combined ability and brain power should get this place on it's feet without much fuss. - Robynn
  7. My good friend and really cool guy, Dr. Phil Plait has a good hypothesis on his blog, The Bad Astronomer which is part of the Discovery network. Following his initial post, additional information was released stating that the failure of a new Russian intercontinental ballistic missile during testing was the cause of spectacular spiraling blue lights in the skies over northern Norway.
  8. ? Good to have you here. Loved the story. Cheers! OMG_Bill, to clarify - I work for and with Skeptic Magazine and the Skeptic's Society which is a non-profit scientific and educational organization of scholars, scientists, historians, magicians, professors and teachers, and anyone curious about controversial ideas, extraordinary claims, revolutionary ideas, and the promotion of science. Thanks so much for the warm welcome from everyone. What a fabulous sense of camaraderie! Robynn
  9. Welcome from another Georgia local! I'd be interested to know which package stores you've been frequenting that now preclude you from ordering abroad (as I'm still doing so). I live in Roswell, so I don't usually shop down in Atlanta proper but it would be well worth a trip to avoid some of the shipping fees. Then again, maybe sometime we can share an order and save some pesos. I don't generally drink at the Vortex (cause I'm the driver), but again this might require some amending, which absinthes are they serving? Another local joint I think might be amenable to adding absinthe to their regular bar faire is The Thinking Man Tavern in Decatur, and I plan to discuss when next I'm there for Skeptics in the Pub or the Science Tavern meet-ups. I suspect Atlantans would be amenable to the wonders of absinthe, it would be great to see that happen. "Remember the burning of Atlanta? That was because someone foolishly lit their absinthe on fire. Let's not do that again, y'all." Robynn
  10. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am hereby rectifying my faux pas of posting, pre-introduction by getting around to introducing myself albeit in a somewhat tardy fashion. My interest in absinthe began as a juvenile curiosity - a byproduct of my general brooding and morbid fascination with all things dark and mysterious, typical of most teenagers. As a romantic by nature, but a skeptic by trade I did what little research I could about absinthe in my late junior high school years through library research, but as it appeared to be a banned substance and a foreign one at that, absinthe became an obscure wish, mostly forgotten about for awhile longer. Becoming part of internet culture in the early 1990's, I was able to finally learn more about absinthe, and unfortunately to try some very scary home brew (vodka maceration made from whoknowswhat) through a friend. So I can attest first hand to the evils done by others in the name of the elusive and imaginary psychoactive brew that so many once believed to be absinthe, that we fortunate enlightened souls have schooled our brains and our palettes, and know better. Like most things, the truth of the matter is much sweeter than the fabricated fiction. As an adult, I had friends who had mentioned they had procured absinthe from Europe (via internet sales) and had offered to finally let me taste what I had wondered so long about, but this was either a silly boast or through gluttony perhaps there was none left to share - and once again, I would have to wait. In May of this year my girlfriend and I spent a lovely two weeks in France, driving from Paris through Alsace south to Lyon and then North again. On a leisurely stroll through Kaysersberg I chanced upon a shop window displaying apparently antique, and new absinthe paraphernalia and it stopped me in my tracks. There's absinthe in there - that I could buy for my very own.....and the shop is closed. We had only limited room in our baggage (and limited number of bottles of liquor allowed through customs) but I asserted that a bottle of Absinthe was the souvenir I didn't want to go home without. We had already expended our Paris part of the trip, and so I was concerned I wouldn't get a second opportunity to procure my elusive quarry. The next day, we doubled back to Kaysersberg, rushing past the many windows of local gingerbread and macaroons (not the fussy Parisian kind, the amazing coconut kind) our hurried pace betraying our American tourist habits and with the assurance from the shop keeper that I would have no issue in customs, I purchased a bottle of Libertine 72 and several lovely spoons. (I know now, keep the grumbling to a minimum please?) I rediscovered the WWS that same night in our hotel room, doing research on among other things the possible foolhardy purchase I had just made. Despite what I learned, the bloom was NOT off the rose. A whole world of new opportunity to explore my long lost minor obsession was opened up again, and I was lost from then on. I have even built my own single spigot fountain from a wal-mart acquired apothecary jar, a spigot purchased online and a candlestick from Target. (Pictures are on the WWS Facebook page.) My seduction by la fée verte had begun in earnest. My current absinthe hoard includes: that not as bad as I've been told in my opinion (review to be posted soon) Libertine 72, Marteau de la Belle Époque, Pacifique, Delaware Phoenix's Meadow of Love and Walton Waters, La Désirée, Belle Amie 2nd edition, and a 50ml sample of Pernod Fils 1910, and (as packaged with La Désirée a 3ml sample of Pernod Fils Tarragona 1960. I have tried them all in proper preparation, save the samples (which I took a long deep breath of and a small taste from the cap) and the La Désirée. I'm saving the vintage Pernod for this coming New Years (when it will be at least 100 years old), and I recently battled a rather massive head cold, so I wanted my taste buds back before I sampled the new offering from VdA and the nifty Tarragona bonus. I have (finally) on order some Jade PF 1901 - assuming VdF will actually ship it, I've yet to be told otherwise and am all aflutter with excitement. I currently reside in the Atlanta suburb of Roswell, Georgia by way of Maine, North Carolina, Minnesota, Texas and Las Vegas. A native of Washington state, Walla Walla by birth, and then raised on the Olympic Peninsula where my family still resides and I visit often. I note there are many other absinthe enthusiasts in the Evergreen state, I hope to perhaps find some here in my adopted neck of the woods as well. I've had the fine opportunity to talk on the phone with Cheryl Lins, proprietor of Delaware Phoenix Distilleries and it was interesting to note that both she and I seem to share the same mutual attraction to absinthe that was more or less, insatiable curiosity at first blush, further fueled by a need to know for ourselves just what this alluring herbal concoction really was. That Cheryl has moved beyond research, to create her own amazing absinthes, despite great adversity has made her one of my personal heroes. I've been pleased, in my own small way to be able to educate some of my friends about what absinthe really is - and isn't - and several are now new enthusiasts in their own right, which is exciting. I hope that the Wormwood Society continues to foster a special respect and appreciation for absinthe. While it is rightfully dubbed "history in a bottle", as Cheryl Lins has so rightly stated absinthe is also "a drink for the 21st Century". And while it wasn't until now that I was fully able to appreciate the depth, complexity and truth about absinthe, it was certainly worth the wait. Robynn McCarthy Roswell, Georgia
  11. Compatriots - First let me begin by saying I haven't introduced myself or delurked (though I've been a dues paying member for awhile and a huge fan of the work of the WWS) and I realize this is a breach of protocol of sorts. I guess it took something really awful for me to prodded to finally post something. So, my apologies but I couldn't stay silent in the face of another egregious mass media blunder over our beloved spirit. This morning my girlfriend called me in to the other room where she was watching the latest episode of The Amazing Race on the Tivo. She wanted me to see that the contestants were being given a Speed Bump challenge while in Prague. They have to follow the "complicated three step process" to preparing absinthe. The three step process is to pour it, light the sugar on fire, drop the flaming sugar in the scary looking neon artificially colored crapsinth wait for it to melt and shoot it. <groan> I had to leave the room. So, this is a huge program that millions of people watch (not me, this is why my girlfriend watches it without me) and they now think that absinthe is a shot, that you set it on fire, and it tastes like as one of the contestants described (my girlfriend told me, I couldn't watch) like lighter fluid. I think this is a good opportunity to perhaps post in the forums for the Amazing Race at CBS.com about how wrong they got this, and perhaps point anyone who is interested in some factual information about real absinthe to the WWS. I'm four colors of cranky about this as it seems like we've been making so much progress lately, and this is another huge step backwards in the general population's understanding of absinthe. I will properly introduce myself in the welcome forums shortly, and again my apologies for jumping into the fray unannounced, but unfortunately it was with good cause. Robynn McCarthy Roswell, Georgia