The 9pm Chia Seed Protein Pudding with John Birmingham

John Birmingham is haunted by the cover of his latest book. (Photo: Supplied)

The summer series takes a disturbing turn this week with one of our favourite guests, author and columnist John Birmingham — who admits to eating something that I simply do not understand.

In this episode we also talk about Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese, Donald Trump, Bluesky versus the site formally known as Twitter, cosplay, why sheep love solar energy projects, pork, alcohol, Christmas (of course), the Cybertruck (sorry), and why paying attention to the news is bad for you. And much more.

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John Birmingham has been on the Edict several times before.

Episode Links

  • John Birmingham (born 7 August 1964) is a British-born Australian author, known for the 1994 memoir He Died with a Felafel in His Hand, and his Axis of Time trilogy.
  • I write books and things. This is sort of like my private club where anyone can hang out to talk about that stuff. So, okay, not that private. I’ll let you know about the stuff I’m doing, the stuff I love, and more importantly, the sort of things I think you might love too. For once, it’s not all about me.
  • The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is a series of ten high fantasy novels written by American author Stephen R. Donaldson... The main character of the stories is Thomas Covenant, an embittered and cynical writer, afflicted with leprosy and shunned by society, and fated to become the heroic savior of the Land, an alternate world. In ten novels, published between 1977 and 2013, he struggles against Lord Foul, "the Despiser", who intends to escape the bondage of the physical universe and wreak revenge upon his arch-enemy, "the Creator".
  • Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease (HD), is a long-term infection by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae or Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Infection can lead to damage of the nerves, respiratory tract, skin, and eyes. This nerve damage may result in a lack of ability to feel pain, which can lead to the loss of parts of a person's extremities from repeated injuries or infection through unnoticed wounds... Leprosy is not highly contagious. People with leprosy can live with their families and go to school and work.
  • The English is a revisionist western television miniseries produced by the BBC and Amazon Prime, written and directed by Hugo Blick. It stars Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer... Englishwoman Lady Cornelia Locke comes to the West in 1890 looking for revenge on the man she sees as responsible for the death of her son. She meets Eli Whipp, ex-cavalry scout and member of the Pawnee Nation by birth. Eli is on his way to Nebraska to claim the land he is owed for his service in the US army, despite having been told that the white men will not honour their debt. Cornelia and Eli discover a possible shared history.
  • [16 December 2023] The number of planning approvals in NSW for big renewable projects continues to accelerate with the NSW Independent Planning Commission announcing it has provided conditional approval for a 200 MW solar farm in the state’s Riverina Region.
  • [15 December 2023]
  • [15 December 2023] The batch of Tesco Finest Apple & Cranberry Stuffing Mix may be "unfit for human consumption", the retailer warned via the Food Standards Agency.
  • [7 December 2016] Bogong moths aren't just a marauding horde invading our houses, hot water systems and halls of power – they are a superfood that tastes a little like "charred pork fat".
  • The bogong moth (Agrotis infusa) is a temperate species of night-flying moth, notable for its biannual long-distance seasonal migrations towards and from the Australian Alps, similar to the diurnal monarch butterfly.
  • This cheery tea and marmalade brunch martini will make a great addition to your holiday breakfast table. [This isn't the gin I was thinking of but it's along the same lines.]
  • Just perfect for High Tea (or any time really). Our best gin infused with Earl Grey tea, honey and lemon. Garnish with lemon, add toast and marmalade on the side. My fave garnish - a slice of fresh Mango and cracked pepper! Try me as a “Earl Grey Cocktail’. [I haven't tried this gin. You're more than welcome to buy me a bottle.]
  • This Jolly Rancher Moonshine tastes just like the hard candy, in liquid form – a colorful candy infused vodka that is sweet, tart, and strong!
  • Everclear is a brand name of rectified spirit (also known as grain alcohol and neutral spirit) produced by the American company Luxco (formerly known as the David Sherman Corporation). It is made from grain and is bottled at 60%, 75.5%, 94.5% and 95% alcohol by volume (120, 151, 189, and 190 U.S. proof respectively). Due to its market prevalence and high alcohol content, the product has become iconic with a "notorious reputation" in popular culture. Sale of the 190-proof variant is prohibited in some states, which led Luxco to start selling the 189-proof version.
  • Denatured alcohol (called methylated spirits, metho, or meths in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom; wood spirit; and denatured rectified spirit) is ethanol that has additives to make it poisonous, bad-tasting, foul-smelling, or nauseating to discourage its recreational consumption.
  • [6 December 2023] A large lemonade contains up to 390 mg of caffeine, nearly the FDA's daily safe limit.
  • [7 December 2023] The family of a Florida man has filed a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit claiming Panera Bread Company's caffeine-filled lemonade drink led to his death.
  • Find out just how much of this stimulant is in coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks.
  • [1 December 2023] oh no i crashed my cybertruck
  • [5 December 2023] Intel Inside.
  • [8 December 2023] Only a select few people who pre-ordered Tesla‘s long-delayed Cybertruck have received one so far — it helps to be Jay Leno, apparently — but fans of the futuristic vehicle have already convinced themselves it’s a flawless product, and another triumph for Elon Musk. And they’re just a tad defensive when someone suggests otherwise.
  • The Center for Auto Safety is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) consumer advocacy non-profit group focused on the United States automotive industry. Founded in 1970 by Consumers Union and Ralph Nader, the group focuses its efforts on enacting reform though public advocacy and pressuring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and automakers through litigation.
  • The year is 1954. A decade has passed since Berlin and Tokyo were consumed by nuclear fire, but war claws its way back to a world forever altered. The ailing Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin, strikes NATO with a colossal orbital assault, propelling waves of tanks and over a million soldiers westward — all armed with 21st-century tech plundered from a future they never knew.
  • We distribute ebook and paperback books to all the major retailers online, plus hundreds of storefronts worldwide.
  • A modern city can feed itself for nine days. No more. And when the panic starts…
  • PLA Unit 61398 (also known as APT 1, Comment Crew, Comment Panda, GIF89a, and Byzantine Candor) (Chinese: 61398??, Pinyin: 61398 bùduì) is the Military Unit Cover Designator (MUCD) of a People's Liberation Army advanced persistent threat unit that has been alleged to be a source of Chinese computer hacking attacks. The unit is stationed in Pudong, Shanghai
  • When three strangers crash the party and decide to pick on the harmless-looking guy carrying a cooler full of sodas, they trigger something inside Cooper. Afterwards, the folks in Gainesville can never look at him in quite the same way. Is he really just a regular guy who suffered a brain injury in a car crash, or is he someone else? Or something else?  
  • [11 December 2023] Ali Velshi discusses the escalation in Trump’s disturbing rhetoric and his defense of his controversial “dictator for one day” comments at the New York Young Republican Club’s 111th Annual Gala Saturday night. 
  • [14 December 2023] Project 2025, according to reporting in the Post and the Times, is designed to undermine the country's system of checks and balances and make sure anyone working in the federal government is an unquestioning Trump loyalist. And critics of Project 2025, from liberals and progressives to right-wing Never Trump conservatives, have been attacking it as a recipe for full-fledged authoritarianism.
  • [14 December 2023] In his first term [sic], Trump’s plans to send troops to “war” on the southern border were thwarted. This time, he’s talking about sending up to 300,000 there
  • [5 December 2023] Days after launch you sit at a red light...

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Thank you, Media Freedom Citizenry

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CONVERSATION TOPICS: Two people who choose to remain anonymous.

THREE TRIGGER WORDS: Dave Gaukroger, John Lindsay, Peter Viertel, Phillip Merrick, and one person who chooses to remain anonymous.

ONE TRIGGER WORD: Andrew B, Andrew Wright, Bernard Walsh, Bic Smith, Bruce Hardie, Christopher Biggs, David Heath, Drew Mayo, Frank Filippone, James Moore, James Moore again, Jamie Morrison, Joanna Forbes, Joanna Forbes again, John Avocado, Karl Sinclair, Katrinas Szetey, Kimberley Heitman, Mark Newton, Michael, Miriam Faye, Paris Lord, Paul Williams, Peter Blakeley, Peter Blakeley again, Peter McCrudden, Rhydwyn, Ric Hayman, Rohan, Roy Brown, Susan Ireland, and five people who choose to remain anonymous.


PERSONALISED AUDIO MESSAGE: Elissa Harris, Jens Hartmann, Karen Purser, Matthew Moyle-Croft, Syl Mobile, Warren McDonald, and two people who chose to remain anonymous.

FOOT SOLDIERS FOR MEDIA FREEDOM who gave a SLIGHTLY LESS BASIC TIP: Brenton Realph , Eric T F Bat, Greg Randolph, James Henstridge, Jim Campbell, Matthew Crawford, Michael Harris, Rohan Pearce, and two people who choose to remain anonymous.

MEDIA FREEDOM CITIZENS who contributed a BASIC TIP: Mark Hollands and Regina Huntington.

And another nine people chose to have no reward, even though some of them were the most generous of all. Thank you all so much.

Series Credits