I'm a 46 year old art director who helped design the game Myst. I work in Burbank, CA for a Sony funded start-up and we are working on a launch title for the next generation Playstation.
My background includes working for the National Geographic Society, numerous newspapers and game companies. I'm an avid traditional artist and love computer graphics.
I love off roading and have a Jeep and use it to explore the vast open ranges, mountains and deserts of the west. I love geo caching...an activity where you use a GPS device to find caches left in some really obscure places in the middle of nowhere. It's a hoot.
I bycyle and hike and love outdoor photography.
I am a progressive and very liberal in my leanings. I find George Bush to be a little more than a lucky fool manipulated by more powerful elements of the conservative movement into running for office.
I feel religion is basically a hold over from a more primitive state of human nature - for people who need something greater than themselves to believe in and act rationally and morally.
I first was exposed to Scott Card when I heard one of his lectures on evolution when he was doing this act as a Secular Humanist Preacher who preached that the first law of secular humanism was that you should think. He was the reason I found evolution to be the best picture of our origins contrary to the many whacko creationists who wanted to place religion into our schools. He is inspiring when talking about science.
Well that's me in a nutshell - I think this place will be fun to contribute ideas and commentary. Good meeting you all.
I'm a 22 year old working on my PhD in electrical engineering at the University of Texas (scary, scary state. I think they've forgotten about the other 49 states here.). Sounds about as exciting as it actually is--I'm currently looking for a way out (I think biomed is the way to go, maybe nanotechnology. Something that isn't so drearily boring...).
and, as you might have been able to tell--i love parenthesis.
Most of my political ideas are pretty immature, so I'll largely keep quiet. When i do pipe up, i will be irreverent, irascible and incendiary. Hopefully I won't relegate myself into the lands of "so and so has posted, best just scroll down..."
Myst was an absolutely awesome game. One of these days I'm going to track down the 16 (or was it 32) bit version and play it all over again...
As for your religious opinion, Murdock, you're obviously wrong, and as TomDavidson will be sure to inform you , the reason you haven't found God is because you haven't searched hard enough...
Posts: 921 | Registered: Nov 2002
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Hello, all! I posted in the Universities thread a few days back, and just found this one ... so here goes:
I'm 36, married, one daughter. I'm an adjunct faculty member at an engineering school in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas. I'm wrapping up a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, and will be fishing about for a full-time faculty appointment in the near future.
I'm a student pilot, and a Presbyterian. As far as politics go, I used to call myself a Jeffersonian minimalist. I'm not quite a Libertarian, but I tend to have libertarian leanings.
That's about all I've got time for just right now ... Back to lurking!
Posts: 2 | Registered: Sep 2003
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Well I suppose I should do my shtick too, since I've been doing more posting than lurking lately--
I'm fifty-four, male, live in sin in semi-rural NH with a wonderful woman a few years younger than I am, and I'm a full time freelance artist of the type usually called a bird carver, though I prefer to think of myself as a sculptor who happens to like birds as subjects. My primary interest is in raptors, which I've been studying since I was nine years old, and exotic tropical species, especially hummingbirds, which I combine in certain of my pieces with semi-precious gem materials-- I'm also a lapidary.
I spent the years between roughly 1972-86 as a full time professional guitar maker and repairman (I still do repairs to supplement my income, such as it is). I've managed or worked in several guitar shops of the kind that are currently going extinct in the face of competition from cut-throat discount catalogs and souless chain stores. I've worked in guitar factories, including C.F. Martin & Co way back in 1969. I play too, mostly da blooz, or my version of it anyway, and pretty well... actually, much more than pretty well, though for some reason I have a hard time admitting just how good I am.
I'm a completely lapsed Jew and have been since I first read Voltaire at the age of fourteen (my parents can best be described as secular humanists who went through the motions when their Orthodox parents were around and stopped doing so the minute they were gone). I think the greatest contribution my ancestors have made to world culture in general is Yiddish, and I wish I knew how to speak it.
I can't quite call myself an atheist, because it really is impossible to disprove the existence of a deity, but I'm as agnostic as it gets. I'm attracted to Zen, but like Huineng, the 6th Patriarch of Chinese Zen, I have an aversion to zazen (seated meditation) and all other things associated with the formalities of mainstream Zen Buddhism.
I was admitted to and for awhile attended a very prestigious art school in NYC, but found it stifling and dull (especially compared to what was going on in the neighboring streets in the fall of 1967), and hence droppped out to pursue learning how to build guitars-- at the time, you could count the number of guitarmakers (I don't like the now popular word "luthier") in the US on your fingers and toes. Sometimes I regret not sticking it out and getting a degree, but most of the time I don't.
Politically I'm more or less liberal, but only up to a point... I dislike extremists on either side of the spectrum and have as little truck with the bowdlerization of the liberal language police as I do with conservatives nutboxes who seem to think they can remake the world into a rerun of "Father Knows Best." Meshuggahs all, and mishegoss all of it.
I no longer exercise as much as I should, but used to be accomplished in the Wing Chun system of Chinese boxing, and can still punch the daylights out of your nose six times in six seconds from six inches away (so far, the occasion to use this skill has thankfully never arisen). I like to read and I like to think. I like to make beautiful things, though I'm lacking in discipline and tolerance for the grunt work that inevitably accompanies doing so. I don't watch television.
Posts: 1524 | Registered: Oct 2001
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Six inches was an approximation. One of the central tenets of Wing Chun is "short power," that is, the ability to generate considerable force over a very short distance. It's an entirely practical system, no hocus-pocus in it at all. One maxim of the style is simply that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line... which should be obvious, but is ignored in many other systems due to an emphasis on the mystical qualities of circular movement.
When you see a Wing Chun practitioner in a guard position, you will never see his or her (this is the only "classical" Chinese martial art invented by a woman) holding the fists tucked up alongside the rib cage, as you do with karatekas, Tae Kwon Do folks, and most other Chinese system stylists. The hands will be out in front, where they belong in a real fight.
Bruce Lee, who originally trained in Wing Chun under the legendary Hong Kong streetfighter Wong Shun Leung, developed this technique to the ultimate and was reputed to be able to drop a hefty opponent from a distance of one to three inches. Given that the man definitely could break half a dozen boards hung from a ceiling and separated by several inches (much, much more difficult than breaking a stack of them one on top of the other), it might even be true.
I should add to this that the system, according to the best research into its history, was apparently developed for fighting in extremely close quarters and possibly on boats (it comes from the Fujian-Amoy coastal area). It isn't a perfect system-- it lacks grappling techniques and that's a major lack in my opinion-- but for the average person who wants to learn efficient basic self defense in a short period of time, it's probably still the best of the classical Chinese styles.
Time to resurrect this one. We keep getting new people for short periods of time...
Posts: 7500 | Registered: Sep 2003
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Bump, for people like Carter-LibDem and because some things need bumping even if it'll get them more posts then "Does God have Feet?" (Speaking of which, Warssaw needs to get his priests answer!) Anyway...Bump!
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I'm 37 years old and live in Austin, TX. Married 15 years but it only feels like 14 years and 9 months. I have 2 boys, ages 10 and 13. I have degrees in chemistry and computer science.
My current hobby is making sure my employer does not catch me posting to this forum during working hours.
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we (serotonin's gone and I) live in austin too... weird. we're both grad students at UT.
i'm in ecology, evolution, and behavior...my undergrad degree was a BS in zoology, minor in latin/classics. Being a grad student takes up a lot of my time, and the rest of it is spent watching trash on TV, sporadically going to the gym, and hanging out with other grad students at a bar. i also spend a fair amount of time harrassing serotonin about when he's going to be done with his homework. i read excellent books and i make a mean mac n cheese.
politically i'm hard to define- my politics in an ideal world are much different than how i actually vote. i never ever argued about politics until i got on ornery. i still don't know why i'm here.
I have just recently began lurking around Ornery American. I found the site through Hatrack River. I have been a fanatical OSC fan for several years now and eagerly await every new title.
I'm a 33 year old single male living in the great white north of Michigans upper peninsula. I LOVE to down hill ski, scuba dive and hunt and fish. When I'm not doing any of those I'm either reading a new book or playing Everquest (yes I'm addicted).
I've spent the last 14 years of my life and will spend the next 6 at least in the United States Navy. I'm not exactly sure which view the "right" or "left" take but I know that they are typically polar opposites and that I don't usually agree with either end 100%. Thus, I always say that I'm middle of the road politically speaking. I do however tend to follow the republican way of thinking on most issues. Don't take that to mean that I am a republican though. I believe that EVERYONE should decide who is best for the job and vote their concious rather than vote because of a political party affiliation.
I believe whole heartedly in the Bill of Rights and the American way of life (and this is NOT in reference to the "me me me" philosophy that so many people think is the American way of life). In the grand scheme of things my life has little meaning but I offer it as sacrifice so that ALL people around the world may live with the freedoms that we here in America enjoy. I have been around the world several times and I truely believe that America, with all its faults, is without a doubt the greatest country on earth. I have vowed my live to ensure that it remains that way.
I'm stubborn and opinionated but I will listen to others opinions and reevaluate my own if they have a strong arguement with sound reasoning. Sometimes I have to be hit over the head with a board though before I change my opinions.
I guess thats me in a nutshell.
Posts: 754 | Registered: Nov 2003
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I've been lurking for awhile now (mostly at work), so I have been wanting to introduce myself as I feel I've gotten to know many of you already!. My name is Paul and I've been a fan of OSC since one of my brother's turned me on to Enders game back in 86 or 87. What led me here was a link to an article about the RIAA and music swapping. Almost two years ago I met OSC at a Book signing and let him know that my brother gave me Enders' game, which in turn, led me to buying most of his following works. I'm a Christian,political centrist, and right now I'm being sucked in by South Park and our 2 dachshunds. Hopefully I can start dabbling in the forums soon. Have a good night
Posts: 2 | Registered: Sep 2003
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I’m androgynous, of an indeterminate age, and have absolutely no affiliation with any political, religious, or other special interest group. That being the case, I reserve the right to take any position on any topic at any time. This includes the option of willfully making assertions contrary [ornery] to previous statements in order to bring further elucidation to the discussion.
With that brash disclaimer out of the way, some semblance of reality can finally set in. I happened upon ornery.org during a search for the word “stupid”; and when I discovered how seldom that word accurately described the content and interaction here – I began to lurk. After a while, I was no longer content being a passive bystander and registered. You’re reading my first post, located here because I was taught that it’s polite to at least introduce yourself before butting into someone else’s conversation. So please allow me to provide some more pertinent data.
I’ve had many jobs in the private and public sectors, both military and civilian. Some of the more interesting include lumberjack, bartender, infectious disease research, and my current focus on computer security and forensics. I have no college diploma though I acquired enough credits for at least one (had they been more concentrated in time, place, and subject matter). It’s of little consequence - my experience has been that “formal education” almost always consists of a lot of “form” and very little education.
I read eclectically and voraciously, primarily SF&F because it literally, and literarily, has no limits. I love music, and have about 1000 LPs and CDs, lots of classic rock and blues but the rest is spread all over the genre map. I have a collection of sports cards and memorabilia I’m trying to unload; but still collect knives and southwestern Indian jewelry. I have been a serial collector of Mustangs, and currently have two in the stable. My girlfriend drives my ’88 GT and I cruise in my ’01 Cobra.
Politically I’m right of left and left of right, but tend to be closer to both extremes than in the middle. Don’t know or care what label applies – I don’t like labels. I was raised Christian fundamentalist, and examined other religions later – basically rejecting them all. I do posses some deep, personal, spiritual beliefs, but I won’t label them or belabor them. No proselytizing allowed. Philosophically, I will take the shortcut of using a label and state that I lean toward the relativist doctrine but find major problems in a strict interpretation of the theory.
Enough! I’m looking forward to being challenged and educated by you folks.
BTW, the nym resulted from one of those “formal education” courses. Herr Doktor Professor Dummkopf Vogelgehirn was raving about how the ancient Greeks were the only “great thinkers”. Of course, several of us made up “Greek” names and started speaking with atrocious Greek accents. Hadn’t thought about it in a while, but the topics often discussed on this site reminded me (in a positive way) of the nym.
Posts: 6 | Registered: Dec 2003
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Hi. I'm Matt Avery. I've lurked here for roughly a year before I started posting these past two monthes. I was originally drawn to this site because of the Ender books, which remain among my favorite. I'm an undergrad student at New College of Florida, which is a tiny public liberal arts school in Sarasota, FL. I'm working on my degree in economics. I'm quite glad to be here; despite recent events, this is by far the most rational, intelligent board I've ever posted on. Guess that's about it!
30 y.o.. Engaged. Graduated with honors in philosophy from the University of New Brunswick (Canada) a couple years back. I enjoy debating over social injustices (self perceived at times) but i really enjoy a good metaphysical debate. Consider myself a part time "post modern". Hoping to get my PhD someday and teach philosophy for a living. Some of my fav philosophic thinkers: Socrates, Plato, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Sartre and Foucault. Would have loved to learn more about Wittgenstein.
Try to be agnostic, though sometimes it is hard. My cyncism is very deep rooted into most thoughts i have.
Thoroughly enjoy reading OSC's books. At one point read 23 consecutive. Reading George R.R. Martin's series "A game of thrones" atm.
Tend to think socialist and liberal. Want people to be able to enjoy this wonderful planet we have. We only have one trip on this rock, no matter what your beliefs are, I wouldnt want to think someones shot at this reality wasted cause of dumb luck. Also beleive that to enjoy life, one has to realize what makes one happy, and that odds are, its not material possessions. Some of the greatest things i have ever experienced had little to do with the things i own, but more to do with the company and environment i was in.
Dont employ the 'grass is greener on the other side' mentality. I just try to keep my grass as nice as a i can.
Sorry to those of you that thought i wasted your time ... but i didnt force you to read this
Posts: 26 | Registered: Sep 2003
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Well, why not. I have already been "outed" namewise when my blog came up. My name is Luis Poza, born & raised in the San Francisco Bay Area (grew up in Menlo Park, home of the USGS and SRI). I'm 39 and single and trying hard not to be. Got a B.A. in Japanese Language and an M.A. in English with a concentration in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at SFSU. Worked my own way through college by alternately teaching English in Japan and coming back to S.F. to get the next higher degree.
I am currently a college professor, teaching credit-bearing academic-level (as opposed to ESL) courses in Writing and Reading, and also teach a survey course in Computer Science. I teach at a branch campus of an American university; the campus is located in central Tokyo, and is one of only three fully accredited American college branches in Japan (the other two are Temple and University of Illinois in Niigata). I used to be the Academic Coordinator (translation: a dean, without the Ph.D.), but stepped "up" to full-time teaching after five years because I got tired of working longer hours, and getting shorter vacations, for less money. Paid m'dues.
Am an agnostic with the faint beginnings of what I guess might be deism. Politically, am Liberal with Libertarian leanings. Bill Maher is a favorite commentator; my father is very kind enough to tape all the "Real Time" shows and mail them over every month or so. (Along with The Daily Show. Har!)
Favorite author is currently OSC; Ender's Game is still the favorite (when I first read it, I did so in about 24 hours, without sleeping), closely followed by Speaker for the Dead and Pastwatch. Other authors I enjoy include Neal Stephenson, and the old standards of Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke.
I run a blog called The Blog From Another Dimension (www.blogd.com), which I intended as a friends-and-family thing, expecting maybe a dozen visitors a day at best, but which has snowballed into a rather larger audience of 350 unique visitors per day, and about 6000 per month (go figure). Google gets me about a third of that traffic, and, weirdly enough, a short, early-on post about eyelid twitching slowly turned my blog into the Eyelid Twitching Mecca of the Internet. Go ahead. Google it. You'll see. ('Eyelid twitching' in quotes--sometimes I'm #1, sometimes not, but always in the top ten.) Not exactly the noteriety I was looking for.... The blog is more about politics, some about Japan, and bits and pieces about lots of other things.
I also run a new political blog for Expats (http://www.xpat.org) with another Japan-based American expat; we're looking for more contributors, so if you're an expat American, drop a comment and let us know.
Posts: 601 | Registered: Sep 2003
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Edited to add stuff and correct my age: Hi, I'm 25, married, I work as a journalist for a weekly paper. I've lived my whole life in Michigan, beginning next door to an Ojibwa reservation in Baraga, a tiny town in the Upper Penisula. I grew up in a more intellectual than average middle-class home. I went to Michigan State University (how ya like that basketball game, U of M!!!) and now live in a old suburb part of Kalamazoo. My parent's are from New Jersey and lower Michigan, and owned a vet clinic, my mother later became a teacher. Pepper is an anglcised german name. I've also got Irish blood. The Pepper family came to America (I'm told) in the late 19th century. My mother's ancestors are said to include an Irish deserter from the British Army during the American Revolution. I'm a leftist secular humanist (raised Catholic) and I'm proud to be a Midwesterner. I don't really care about fast cars, I love comics (Daniel Clowes is the king), books (my favorite is Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry), movies and music (everything from Tupac to Beethoven to the Clash to Pantera) and I'm saving up to buy a canoe. I like English beer and I believe in freedom, democracy and social justice, in that order. I was a crappy college student and I have a dog and cat. The cat is a badass, as he fights the dog every day, even without claws.
I've spent enough time reading history to bring up stuff like this: Kenny Payne said:
quote: , my father's side of the family is in Eastern Tennessee, near Chattanooga
If that's the case, the odds would be they weren't rebels. The confederate army had to occupy East Tennessee to keep it from going the way of West Virginia and seceding from secession.
My name is Amy Carlisle. To my mind, my most interesting attributes are the following (in order):
I live (not a typo) to read and write, especially SpecFic.
I have a nice collection of rejection slips, and have sold and published one story in a real magazine (The kind you can purchase at the B&N and everything! ) and several stories and poems online.
My writing partner and I finished a novel that is every bit as bad as first novels are supposed to be. Don’t worry; you’ll never see it. We’re hoping to do better with the next one
By trade I am a digital archivist. My most recent job was working in a secure media archive located within an old Limestone Mine (hence the handle).
I’ve also worked as a photographer and videographer, a Giclée printer and a microcomputer technical support person. I was once the one-person photography staff of a community newspaper, I owned (and lost) a chainlet of retail video stores, and I make a pretty darn good Chocolate Soda.
I’m not quite 50 years old, with a degree in BS Physics from Carnegie-Mellon. No PhD here, I’m afraid.
The only other factoid that you should know is that I’m a pre-op Male-to-Female transsexual. I’ve been on hormones for nearly five years, and hope to begin my Real Life Test in the near future. It’s a pleasure to meet you all; thanks for making me feel welcome.
Posts: 11 | Registered: Feb 2004
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Most of what there is to know about me is available somewhere on my webpage if you dig enough and click enough pictures.
I came here because I love reading, and OSC is one of my favorite authors. I stay not because I love politics or debate, but because Ornery is the first place I've been that made politics make any sense to me at all. If my posts are naive please understand that I nearly failed every course I took that had politics as a topic.
In spite of myself I am currently procrastinating my Master's Thesis in Computer Science (not Poly Sci, heaven forbid, that's my wife's area).
Dreams: Publish a novel Write a hit song Take part in a best selling computer game's development Perform for a crowd larger than 10,000 (and not get booed off stage) Hear the words "Well done thou good and faithful servant."
Dreams I've reached: Perform for a crowd larger than 5000 (and not get booed off stage) Get a post secondary degree (Master's was never on the list, just fortune and a scholarship) Make someone cry for joy Record an album (three, albeit not solo: chamber music) Get married (never thought I'd succeed) Have kids (depended on the one above) Serve an honourable mission
I'm a 21 year old single male living in Omaha, Nebraska. I currently hold one degree in Microcomputer Technology and am almost finished with my second, in Computer Science. I currently work for Hewlett Packard, building servers.
Things I do for fun include video encoding, collecting exotic computer hardware, watching thought-provoking yet tragically unpopular movies, listening to a very diverse collection of music, and reading nonstop, mostly fiction. It was my love for OSC's Ender series that eventually led me to this website in the first place.
My political views are mostly conservative, although with anything Internet-related I'm more Libertarian. Despite this, I'm a registered Independant. Nothing pisses me off faster than partisan bickering.
Posts: 553 | Registered: Feb 2004
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Well, this is the internet. So I'm not that surprised that there's a disproportionately large population of tech people. They know computers, so they spend a lot of their time on them.
Posts: 1710 | Registered: Jan 2004
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Didn't notice this thread earlier, or I would have posted.
I'm a 19-year (4 days and I'm 20!) old English [Createive Writing focus]/Anthropology major at the University of Uber-Humid-Swamp...I mean Florida. I spend my time gravitating between the gym, various clubs, writing, reading, playing Diablo II, various boards like this, and just staring outside a window (which is very relaxing). I'm a bit of an idealist, but I try to balance my idealism with pragmaticism, though not always to the greatest extent.
Instead of writing my various opinions on things, I'm just going to tell you all how I think, as I consider that more important. I try to judge people based upon the standards they set for themselves, and the standards society and culture requires from them. I don't always know what those standards are, but that hasn't stopped me yet ^_~ I try to adhere as strictly as I can to the principles of scientific thought and critical anaylsis/thinking, and the skepticism, delayed judgement, etc. they expound.
Perhaps more relevant to a forum setting, I consider argument, discussion, and debate with the purpose of someone winning or convincing another person of the correctness of their position pointless. To me, argument is about the respectful and enjoyable exchange of ideas and thoughts. If someone "converts" to your side, good for you. If not, oh well. The point of arguing isn't to win, it's to inform and discuss. Which is why I hate political debates, as they inevitably turn into shouting matches ^_~
In leiu of that, I also believe it is the responsibility of every person in the discussion to supply the correct information concerning their topic, provided, of course, that they KNOW what that correct information is, and to refrain from errors of logic ^_~ Since debates should be about the exchange of ideas, erroneous or out of date data can damage one or more persons' perception and understanding of said ideas, and rather effectively screw everything up.
Now, the correct information will not always be known or available ^_^ However, one person feels a statement or belief is contrary to evidence, he or she should *politely* point that out, so that other persons can make their conclusions based upon valid data.
Oh, and if you haven't noticed already, I have a tendency to explain things in very great, if not too great, detail. I like to cover all aspects of a certain argument, from beginning to end, so people can see my thought processes as well as my conclusions.
Alright, I SAID I wouldn't try and give specific opinions on things, but there are three things that just piss me off, to the point where I usually have to wait a bit to respond or get involved (I'm only human, after all).
1. Perversion or misrepresentation of scientific evidence. Also known as "Why David hates Eugenics." 2. Censorship of literary work or other information. There are instances, mostly involving children too young for the material, where this is appropriate. Otherwise, it's just an attempt to limit people's access to data and knowledge. 3. The state of scientific (and for that matter, general) education in our public schools. They make science seem so boring and unimaginable, and teach that terribly stupid "Scientific Method." Gah, so annoying!
Thought I'd better introduce myself, as I've said enough on a certain very long thread.
I'm 28 and the minister of a small church in North Wales, UK. I'm originally from Scotland and like Star Trek (hence the name Cardassian Scot). Although I have to admit Babylon 5, was much better. In my pre-ministerial life I was a Theoretical Physicist. I currently also work one day a week, running the computer system at my denominations UK theological College. I try to use Linux as much possible, although I have to admit Microsoft does produce a very nice, if overly exensive, office suite.
If that wasn't enough I'm also a part time student working on a MA, which should hopefully be the 1st year (well thats the full time equivalent) of my PhD when I'm finished. For those who are interested I'm looking at God and time, in the light of modern physics.
Finally, I'm engaged to be married to a lovely Portuguese young lady in 6 weeks time.
Posts: 443 | Registered: Sep 2002
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