15 Facts About Me (unpacked)

Fifteen facts about me, three of which are lies. Here are the answers.

The overcrowding in my mouth is so much that one of my adult teeth actually came through the roof of my mouth and my wisdom teeth have come in sideways.

Status… True!

Yes, I have had several teeth removed to alleviate the problem. For a few years around 1998 I wore an orthodontic retainer – and had a hole drilled through the pallet in order to let that tooth grow through the roof of my mouth before it was removed. For some reason, that retainer still appears when I’m dreaming and I use it as a reality check to enter a lucid dream state.

For one National Novel Writing Month, I wrote a pop-science/philosophy book that alternated narration with explanation in the style of Science of Discworld.

Status… False!

Ha! Hell no. I have never completed a NaNoWriMo entry before. I’ve started a few, got quite far with some, and written well over 50,000 words outside of November, but never finished one in a month. In this case, it was an idea I had planned, but it never came to fruition. Turns out you actually need to have what we call an “topic” to do this sort of thing. Who knew?

One of my dreams is to put on a production of Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites on Lake Constance as part of the Bregenz opera festival.

Status… True!

Yes. Being a technical theatre nerd in my spare time has given me plenty of opportunities to be creative. However, they’re almost invariably low or zero budget affairs. I have a small folder of “money is no object” plans just in case. One of these involves effectively building a cathedral, stylised to look a little like a guillotine, on the floating stage at Bregenz. Another is taking the plots of the major Mozart operas, and mixing them together as if they’re happening at the same time and same place, overlap and re-stitch a few of the characters, and make a single reduced production. “Easy” is overrated.

I once put up with an ingrown toenail for about two years.

Status… True!

It went away of its own accord for a week… but then came back again. And went away again. And came back again. I dealt with it eventually, though.

I used to be a conspiracy theorist.

Status… True!

Everyone knows this one. Even now I still have a soft-spot for alien stories, but I was definitely a big Roswell / Area 51 nerd back in the ’90s. For a brief time around 2003-ish I was a 9/11 Truther, and for a long while I thought the moon landing footage was faked on Earth in order to cover up that the original footage revealed the presence of alien life on the moon. I once told someone to “have an open mind” over it. No, I am emphatically not proud of this.

Despite being one of “those” silly anti-religious/anti-creationist little shits, I actually culturally identify myself as a Zen Buddhist rather than ‘atheist’ owing to it being far more philosophically fulfilling.

Status… False!

Yes, I am attracted to Zen philosophy. And yes, I do occasionally do koan practice and zazen meditation. It’s particularly an interesting to play it off against logic, as Zen focuses a lot on intentional inconsistency. However, I do not actually identify as a Buddhist – because I don’t really identify as anything. I try as best I can to use ‘atheist’ in a descriptive sense, but don’t use it as an identity at all.

My internet handle evolved from a typographical error of my real name in the electronic class registers at high school, making it sound weird; others then rolled the same mispronunciation across my full name and I rolled with it.

Status… True!

Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Nothing to see here. Move on.

I have an irrational fear of house rabbits.

Status… True!

Now, this does need a little explanation. What this actually is, is that I’m simply very uncomfortable around animals that are, let’s say, “larger than they should be”. Rabbits that are small and wild, I’m fine with. But Giant Flemish and other larger domesticated varieties creep me the fuck out. It’s just the way that you can see them breathe and move and… eugh. Same with spiders; I’m fine with them, even fine with the beefiest tarantulas, but house spiders that are a bit on the fat side? Fuck no. I will run a mile. They are simply not supposed to be that big.

I believe sex education in schools would be better served by teaching teenagers about S&M relationships rather than same-sex relationships.

Status… True!

If you think about the problems teenagers have with sex today, the issue isn’t really acceptance. Intolerance of sexuality is largely a phenomenon confined to the older generations – although they may pass it onto their kids in a memetic sort of way, we know that attitudes are consistently progressing. Eventually, this is going to die out, and there won’t even be a need to teach same-sex relationships at all – they will simply “be”.

However, consider the myriad problems facing teen sex ed; from safety in sexual health to the fact that many people grow up having no idea what consent even looks like. People can lack the idea that you even can negotiate in advance or discuss things opening, and are left reading Cosmo for advice – which tells people simply “don’t talk about it” and obfuscate everything behind fundamentally insane hints and codes and wink-winks.

Now, think of what is involved in a BDSM-based relationship. There is trust between partners, constant communication, informed consent, talks on good safety practice and so on. These aren’t just a model for when you’re going to gag someone and give them a spanking, they’re a good model for all relationships. Simply put, this is far more useful from a sexual health point of view than preaching tolerance for its own sake. Read the Pervocracy for about 10-15 minutes and you will agree with this.

My weird celebrity crushes include Seth Gabel.

Status… True!

Lincoln is just so cute!!  (。♥‿♥。)

I was once banned for three months from a bar for mooning the manager and the bouncer.

Status… True!

Yep. And the only person who knows why I did this was drunker than I was… and was thrown out about 4 minutes later,* just as someone was explaining to the bouncer that “not all students are drunk assholes”. Whoops.

*And she’s, like, married with a kid now… wow.

I disproved one of the major results in my research thesis about a week after finalising the hardbound copy and submitting it, necessitating a very awkward conversation with my supervisor.

Status… True!

To bore people with the grisly details, two particular products happened to have very, very similar 31P{1H} chemical shifts – however, were notably different in their established phosphorus-rhodium coupling constant. An unfortunate misreading of this meant what I thought I was seeing was photochemically induced isomerisation, perturbing the product distribution from its thermal equilibrium… when in fact it was something else entirely. On the bright side, the kinetics worked in the second instance without having to mess around with statistical means to determine the correct model. Aren’t you glad we know what we’re doing here in Science Town?

I spent most of the second year of my postgraduate degree being treated for depression.

Status… False!

I have never been treated for depression. Not with one-to-one counselling, not with group therapy, not with anti-depressants. I perhaps should have at a few points, but no, I never sought help for it and covered it up with a lot of lying.

My favourite TV series ever is Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds.

Status… True!

Duh. Who doesn’t fucking love Thunderbirds? It’s great. And I don’t mean this in some ironic, nostalgia-ridden thing where I say “oh, the puppets were so crap, but it’s so quirky and quaint and charming and so British”, I do genuinely think it’s an amazing series. Whereas most “good” roll models are all about killing bad guys, Thunderbirds is about rescuing people and saving lives. Whereas most kids TV focuses on really young characters (because the audience “relates” to them, supposedly), Thunderbirds focuses on adults and everyone says “I want to pilot Thunderbird 1 when I grow up”. There is not a single aspect of the series that I think fails on any level.

I decided to add more than three “lies” to this list.

Status………. ill defined.

Out of the above 14, you’ll spot only three lies. That makes this one false; there are not more than three. But wait… that means there are actually four lies if you include this. So it’s true; there are more than four. But then that would mean there are only three lies and so no.15 is false… Yes, I put the liars paradox in the list. I think this fact says the most.


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