Borrowing and modifying an idea from Ingrid, I present 14 bits of information about myself. Seven are real. Seven are false. This is also partially inspired by Carra's post about weird things about herself.
- When I was into model rocketry, I used to roll my own rocket engines and make my own rocket fuel. I often had "catastrophic" engine failure.
- I have never been intoxicated. Not even a little bit "happy".
- I have had the privilege and pleasure of going out with women from every continent except Antarctica (for the obvious reason there are no indigenous Antarcticans).
- I volunteered one Christmas at a soup kitchen. I naively believed that such simple acts of generosity helped people over temporary setbacks until they could get back on their feet. The reality was these people were pretty wretched and needed far more than a ladled bowl of soup, a slice of turkey, some stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce to get them "over the hump". It was a stark revelation that there are quite a lot of marginalized people who lead pretty pathetic lives.
- I have chewed coca leaves in the Peruvian Andes. You can have the same experience by chewing on a handful of fresh green leaves (just ensure you choose non-poisonous ones). Coca tea and coca flour are legally available in Peru and promoted as a source of calcium.
- One summer I worked as a researcher's aid on protecting electronic equipment from EMP pulses produced by atomic blasts. I read a lot that summer about the effects of atomic blasts on electronics and humans.
- I have (probably unwisely) taken apart smoke detectors to get at the Americium-241 to do experiments in radioactivity (primarily trying to observe tracks in a homemade cloud chamber). It is apparently quite toxic.
- I played the role of Judas in an Easter play on the Passion of Christ back in grade 6.
- One lazy Saturday I drove my friend (a Master's student at the time) around Montreal Island as we collected pH readings from various spots in Lake St. Louis (really part of the St. Lawrence, the island of Montreal just happens to lie in the middle of it).
- I have had chicken pox, measles and mumps, despite being vaccinated against measles and mumps.
- I read about 1 page per minute (paperback sized book, also depends on how "heavy" the subject matter is). So a 300 page paperback takes me about 5 hours to read (less, if I am tired. ha ha I start skipping paragraphs).
- I fractured my radius (or possibly my ulna - one of the bones in the lower right arm), the first time I went downhill skiing. Focussing on speed is not a smart thing for a beginner.
- When I was significantly younger, I once bicycled from Montreal to Ottawa (a little less than 200Km). It took 2 good effort days, was incredibly dull (cycling in the city is more varied, on the highway it is just the same for kilometres on end), it is also incredibly scary as cars and trucks zip by at 120Km/h (it is scary enough in the city at 60Km/h, but the lack of paved shoulders makes it extra scary on the highway - this was before the days of ubiquitous cell phones - which I still don't have). Not looking forward to another two long days to return, I took the bus back.
- It is not just my age that gets bigger as I get older, so does my waist and weight. At my heaviest I have been 145Kg (which people said I wore quite well. Erm … ok, sure if I was few inches shorter, I would have been more round, but I can assure you, nobody wears that much weight well - not even Orson Welles).