I bike everywhere. I love how the bike gives you instant access to great chunks of the city, independent of the usual urban mobility hassles like traffic, subway schedules etc... It also feels like flying.
I'm a non-confrontational person - but I enjoy arguing with science deniers on the Internet, where I take the side defending the Theory of Evolution, Global Warming theory, etc... I'm aware that sounds incredibly tedious and I swear I won't ask you to read any of it. But it speaks to my politics and my values. I'm a Western rationalist and I believe in evidence and empirically demonstrated facts - not campaigns of pseudo-scientific misinformation serving religious or economic ends. I'm also a poet - but not in the usual sense. Writing about whisky takes flavors and smells - things that are wired into the limbic system, the reptile brain - and finding words for them. Words come from the higher brain, the cerebral cortex, so metaphor is required as the limbic has no words.
Living in the New York metro area is wonderful. I love the diversity; the enormous wealth of different perspectives and cultures as well as the tremendous range of experiences from foods, the arts, museums, and interactions. I also don't mind the hard parts. I explore troubled areas and find the beauty in them too. (There's a photo album on here called "Beauty in hard places" which illustrates the idea).
In my spare time I love blogging, writing, research, jewelry making, exploring abandoned places and bad neighborhoods, and staying up late. I'm very active in the whisky world and am poking around for career opportunities in it. I connect with other whisky bloggers around the world via social media and administer one of the leading whisky blogger forums as a group on Facebook. I'm also doing research for a book I'm planning to write about the history of rye whiskey. I lead tasting events. For the record, when tasting whisky for formal review, I'll take half an ounce over a 40 minute or so period. I'm not a heavy drinker.
Recently I did stand-up comedy for the first time. I killed.
I almost never watch TV and seldom go to movies. I like movies though... let's go.
Music: I love Elvis Costello, Lucy Kaplansky, Soul Coughing, Joni Mitchell, Joan Osborne, Dire Straights, Koko Taylor, Neill Young, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Miles Davis, David Bowie, Brian Eno and his buddy Fripp. Oh, and J. S. Bach.
As for food - I'm adventurous and eat everything. I cook - and have studied Italian, American BBQ (low and slow smoking as well as grilling, rubs, sauces), and some French. I'm interested in cocktails and often do my own infusions. I understand the magic intersections among bitters, amaros, and rye whiskey. I'm a chocolate enthusiast. I've been a judge at the New York City regional semifinals of the International Chocolate Awards three years running. I regularly seek out, taste and eat utterly fantastic chocolates and I have arranged and performed public and private chocolate whisky pairings - as well as written about the topic.
I love intense coffee and green wulong & matcha tea.
I'm fascinated by the mathematics and science of emergence. I find the patterns in the ways things come together, from subatomic particles into atoms, atoms into molecules, molecules into life, and life into families/packs/clans/societies/cultures tremendously meaningful. Emergence focuses on the phase transitions that engender new phenomena arising out of complexity; the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. These dynamics also operate on the level of culture, language, society, and economies. The fact that emergent structures display the fractal mathematics of chaos and complexity in such diverse phenomena as the spiral of shells, the branching of rivers, the behavior of market economies, the structure of languages and societies, veins on leaves, and the blood vessels in our bodies strikes me as beautiful and meaningful. These feelings have led to a study of the science of abiogensis - the formation of life from the complex interactions of organic molecules. This is where science and spirituality meet. Complexity and the laws of physics and chemistry are a generative force. The creator. I feel it viscerally when sand table physics vibrates beads and oscillons appear which display behavior which is an isomorph of the laws of electromagnetism. This is a long winded way of saying I'm a geek.