1. Jake Harban says

    Well, if you’re not oppressing and killing millions of people in the process of “colonizing” Africa, India, or Steampunk Europe then you already are civilized so you don’t need to take active measures to “keep” civilized.

  2. Anisopteran says

    Only if you make it properly. Boiling water, guys, and let it brew for more than 30 seconds. And milk in the cup first, alright?

  3. says

    Wait, but if you must have milk, you add it last. Steep first in boiling water, then add cold milk.

    Uh-oh, we’re going to have a religious argument in this thread now, aren’t we?

  4. cartomancer says

    The milk only goes in first if you’re using fine bone china. That has a tendency to crack if exposed directly to the boiling water. Otherwise it’s water first, milk afterwards. And proper skimmed milk too, otherwise you get fatty floating bits on top. Sugar is optional to taste, but if you don’t add at least five then there are building sites in England where you will be shot on sight.

  5. cartomancer says

    And the picture above is an entirely accurate representation of British military protocol. Our tanks have all been fitted with integral tea kettles since the first world war, and if an RAF mission forgets to bring the teapot, they have been known to fly right back to base and get it. There’s even a Mitch Benn song about that last one.

    Mind you, since a fair number of our past wars have been about securing the national tea supply it’s not all that surprising.

  6. themadtapper says

    It’s funny, I was actually disappointed when I saw this image when Foglio updated his site last night, not because it’s bad (I actually like the picture, despite being a coffee person myself) but because it was filler and meant I won’t get the next story update until Monday. And of all things I find it reposted here. No point to make really, just struck me as amusing. Also, anyone who doesn’t already read Girl Genius should. It’s quite entertaining.

  7. bargearse says

    PZ @5

    Uh-oh, we’re going to have a religious argument in this thread now, aren’t we?

    Sigh, if we must. You get the wood for the bonfire, someone else round up the milk first heretics. I’ll put the kettle on so we can all have a cuppa after we’re done.

  8. Menyambal says

    I can’t remember the situation, but somewhere an army medic complained about the British first aid. They’d give the wounded a few grains of morphia and a cup of tea. The problem was the morphia masked any shock symptoms, and the tea leaked out through stomach wounds.

  9. bargearse says

    Menyambal @ 13

    I don’t know if it ever happened for real but that exact situation happened in an episode of MASH.

  10. Matthew Trevor says

    I’m not sure if I’d call addicting a nation to opium in order to stop paying silver for tea is exactly “civilised” but the British Empire would probably disagree.

  11. Dr Marcus Hill Ph.D. (arguing from his own authority) says

    Milk last. If you add it first, the tea won’t infuse properly. I also note the correct spelling of “civilised”.

  12. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I once heard that the proper temperature for the hot water for tea was 30 seconds before boiling (no temperature, just time). This was always followed with the trick to achieve that to perfection: two pots of water, equal amounts of water in each. Put one on stove at max, wait 30 seconds, put on second. When first boils, use 2nd for tea.
    Any one who would stick to such a rigorous technique would be a very fastidious person.

    aside from that bit of trivia:
    Tea time has always been highlighted as a civilizing influence. No matter how rude/violent an argument, at precisely 4 o clock, everyone stops for tea and politely discusses the issues. Even war pauses at 4 for tea. (or so I’ve been told).
    And that was the importance of the Boston “~1775 Event” of throwing all the tea off the Imperial Ships into the Harbor, and the advocacy of drinking coffee instead of tea. Because coffee was more local, being from South America, while tea required the “overlords” to import the tea leaves from China.
    The calming effect of the time while steeping the leaves to flavor the water could be quite beneficial as well.
    [*whispering*] tea leaves behind those interesting leafy residues in the cup. Ripe for soothsayers to exploit.

  13. cartomancer says

    Of course it’s civilized! It’s the very definition of civilized! Do people in small agrarian communities launch imperialistic wars to line their own pockets? Do nomadic peoples go around setting up elaborate international trading concerns to exploit the resources of other nations?

    For proper large-scale military exploitation you need cities and the life they allow!

  14. anat says

    Ripe for soothsayers to exploit.

    The middle east has a tradition of reading coffee grounds.

  15. bryanfeir says

    Of course, the fact that it’s obviously supposed to be War of the Worlds going on out there with the tripods just caps it off.

  16. Menyambal says

    Bargearse, thank you. I thought it was from the book M*A*S*H, but I couldn’t find the asterisk on my phone.

  17. Artor says

    Bryanfeir, no, not War of the Worlds. That’s not a Martian tripod. It’s probably a Wulfenbach battle clank.

  18. Anisopteran says

    Marcus @ 16: You put milk in your teapot? Or worse still, you brew it in the mug? Now, that is heresy! (Fetch the kindling someone)…

  19. themadtapper says


    Well, at this point it would be Gilgamesh, not Klaus (the former Baron is currently taking a “nap”), and Gil’s made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t give two shits about Her Undying Majesty. That being said, it doesn’t particularly look like a Wulfenbach clank, and tea is hardly exclusive to England, so it could pretty much be anyone’s clank anywhere in Europa.

  20. fakeusername says

    The union jack belt buckle suggests that the soldier is form the UK. The St. George stained glass window (not to mention the obvious War of the Worlds parody) suggests that the setting is in England. Whose tripod-clanks those are is another matter, though Mars isn’t out of the question.

  21. themadtapper says


    You know, I completely missed the belt buckle. Good eye. Probably indeed England. And yeah, with this mythos you never know where things are from. It could be sent by mole people for all we know. :)

  22. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 26:
    no mention of Aladdin’s teapot? I’m sure a djinn would help the Brits battle the Tripods, eh? snark snark, chuckle

  23. unclefrogy says

    what a disappointing way to start friday
    what is down in those catacombs?!?

    great drawings and always maintaining the suspense great What will happen next?
    would make a much more interesting tv serial then game of thrown’s
    given the right writers and other caveats
    uncle frogy

  24. themadtapper says

    would make a much more interesting tv serial then game of thrown’s
    given the right writers and other caveats

    I’d love to see an animated Girl Genius series. Or a Buck Godot series. I’d love to see him bring that comic back, but Girl Genius probably eats a lot of his time.

  25. prae says

    OMFG Girl Genius!
    I totally forgot about that… I should really catch up with my webcomics. Also, yes, an animated GG series would be f*cking awesome

  26. unclefrogy says

    heck it would make a very enjoyable live action / CGI serial given good casting & acting and production values and managed to keep the superb balance of drama and humor and references going.
    Just use the cartoons as the story board and you have plenty for a few seasons worth of FUN!
    uncle frogy

  27. microraptor says

    prae @31:

    Don’t worry, there haven’t been any significant plot advancements since whenever the last time you tuned in was.

  28. DonDueed says

    Oh man, Girl Genius!

    I discovered it a few months ago and blitzed through the whole archive. I can’t figure out why I didn’t know about it sooner. I knew Foglio’s work from his (very NSFW) Xxenophile comics.

    Now I have a GG T-shirt and everything. “It is a glorious day… FOR SCIENCE!”

  29. John Phillips, FCD says

    Seeing St George in the image reminds me that it’s also St George’s day today as its already the 23rd on this side of the pond.

  30. Kimpatsu says

    OF COURSE we Brits are civilised. Now, time to retake the Colonies and civilise them as well…

  31. rq says

    Of course, it is important to note that some tea cannot be drunk with milk, but with a slice of lemon. Here’s a set of tea instructions, and please note the column on the right side, explaining the part about how milk goes in last.

    Now that that’s out of the way: you can never brew tea for too long, as long as you add enough milk to compensate. Yes, your spoon should be standing by the end of the ordeal. And honey. Definitely honey.
    And my favourite way to make tea is by making a tea-milk infusion (no water at all), by heating milk with tea leaves in it. Other spices and honey may be added at leisure.

  32. Rob Grigjanis says

    rq @38:

    And my favourite way to make tea is by making a tea-milk infusion (no water at all), by heating milk with tea leaves in it. Other spices and honey may be added at leisure.

    Urgh. To complete the horror, you could add a splash of melnais balzams. ;-)

  33. chigau (違う) says

    Since I saw the OP, I have been reading Girl Genius.
    I am at April 23, 2010.

  34. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    When Phil and Kaja are at a convention a radio serial version is often performed with con members playing a lot of the parts, and the audience as the chorus for such things as “Othar Trygvasson GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER”

    Lots of fun.

    And the only tea I drink is the green type you get at chinese restaurants when at yum chat/dim sum, or some herbal.

  35. blf says

    And my favourite way to make tea is by making a tea-milk infusion (no water at all), by heating milk with tea leaves in it. Other spices and honey may be added at leisure.

    Similar to Masala chai.

  36. DLC says

    I gave up on web comics a few years back. But still remember Girl Genius.
    As for the tea, try a teapot. I suggest warming the pot with some hot water first, if you have a china one. Next, add in the tea, avoiding the kind in paper bags. Let steep for half a minute at least, then pour into your cup and add milk and/or sugar to taste. some even add lemon, but… curdle your own milk, not mine.
    Proper English tea, I’m told, is served with food, or at least biscuits. (that would be cookies to most Americans.)
    In some places