Friday, November 24, 2006

The post about gingers. (Pronounced with a hard G in order to rhyme with "ringers").

(image sent to me by Leanne in order to provoke me into posting this.)

Okay, after more beers in the office and further "will you take us to Mount Splashmore?" type pestering, I have finally been persuaded to post this masterwork about red-headed men. Obviously it will be sheer genius, where's me Nobel Prize fer Literature, etc. Fittingly, I am on my third Red Stripe.

As a heterosexual woman, I am not particularly interested in female gingers. However I will let Brandon Davis have the last word here, as he demands.

Okay are you ready? Here are some celebrity gingers...

You know, once Natalya convinced me that she used to go out with Tom Gleeson when she lived in Sydney. She was just making it up, but I totally believed her. Never mind, I got her back by claiming we had a special French hot chocolate on the shelf pronounced "o-val-tinay".

And would you like to have a look at some local gingers? Ones you can spot when you're out and go, COR!? Well here are the fine boys from The Basics. They are very well brought up.

And here is Hot Little James. Debate is raging (between me and Tash) as to whether he is actually a ginger. I maintain he isn't, whereas Tash says he is. This photo does nothing to prove either of us right, but it does demonstrate that he is pretty.

And of course there is Thom, ginger-about-town...

You know, when I first envisaged this post it was going to be a thoughtful consideration of the perverse appeal of red-headed men, given that they're so reviled yet such a source of fascination. I have been reading a fascinating book called Mutants: On the Form, Variety and Errors of the Human Body, in which Armand Marie Leroi asks the question - are gingers mutants? Generally, mutations can be distinguished from genetic variations using two criteria - how common the genotype is in the general human population, and whether it's a gain-of-function or loss-of-function mutation.

Leroi writes that redheadedness is caused by around six separate genetic variations (thus accounting for ginger, auburn, carrot, etc), any one of which is globally rare enough to be considered a mutation. In addition, you can argue that redheadedness is a loss-of-function gene because it leaves you more susceptible to skin cancers, and that perhaps it's a dying gene - a relic of northern climates with little sunlight, where pale skin and red hair helped absorb vitamin A.

I should add that there is plenty of ginger in my family. My mum, her mum and her brother, my dad's brother, and my brother and cousins, are all various shades of gingers.

So there you go. Tah-dah!

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