Much to my surprise, I checked my blog stats this morning only to discover that I’ve been tagged by Bora to participate in the “8 Random Facts” meme. Here are the rules;
1. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
2. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
3. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been
So, without further introduction, here’s the 8 Random Facts About Me;
1: My favorite book as a child was The Saggy Baggy Elephant, and I even had a little bean-bag elephant that I used to carry around everywhere. My most favorite elephant of all, however, was “Koba,” a giant black plush elephant that was bigger than I was, but unfortunately I was allergic to his stuffing (causing me to have nearly constant bronchitis for several years) and he had to be destroyed.
2: I used to write and record my own songs, making several failed attempts at starting a band. I think some of my home-made demos may still be circulating the internet somewhere (check back later tonight; I’ll upload at least one really embarrassingly-bad song from CD if I can’t find it elsewhere). I frequented “open-mic nites” and gave out my demos to friends and bands coming through town, but I eventually realized that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.
3: In 2000 (I was a junior in high school at the time) I was commissioned by a group hired by the Discovery Channel to help find shark-related stories/news for “Fin Time” segments during Shark Week: Uncaged (2000). I didn’t get a credit or get paid, but they did send me a t-shirt and lanyard. I also was asked for information by a company designing aquaria displays in Euro Disneyland, although I never found out what the finished product looked like.
4: I have never been outside the Eastern Time Zone. I’ve been as far north as Vermont, as far south as Key West, and as far east as Nassau in the Bahamas, but I’ve never been to California or any of the other states I want to visit. Hopefully a western-bound road trip will happen in the near future.
5: Before May of last year, I actually didn’t know very much about evolution. I never doubted it was true, but my understanding of how evolution works and how different lineages evolved was pretty pitiful. Much to my embarrassment now, I even used the “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” argument in discussion with a creationist at one point, being that I remembered the concept from high-school biology class. Fortunately, now I know better.
6: I am the oldest of five children, born on February 26th, 1983. I have two brothers and two sisters, one of whom is in grad school, another going to the same college as I do, another graduating high school today, and the youngest with a few years left in the public education system. They are all exceedingly talented and smart, and there’s little doubt in my mind that they’ll all be successful in whatever they end up doing.
7: During high school I achieved a 2nd-degree black belt in Taekwondo, although (needless to say) I am no longer as flexible as I once was, and I do wish I practiced a more useful martial art. Still, I’ve never gotten into a fight or even hit anyone, outside of sparring matches that is.
8: I absolutely love old books. While I do love the modern paperback and hardback works of Gould, Sagan, and others, for me there is nothing quite like receiving a yellowing and slightly water-damaged text from decades (even centuries) past. My favorite “oldies” I have in my collection so far are a 2nd edition (1874) copy of Darwin’s Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex and a first edition copy (1923) of Gerhard Heilmann’s The Origin of Birds. I would love to get my hands on Hitchcock’s Ichnology of New England, St. George Mivart’s On the Genesis of Species, The Natural History Museum, Hartwig’s Polar and Tropical Worlds, and especially Gideon Mantell’s Medals of Creation, but most of these books are available as reprints and I can settle for that.