49Atlanta, United States
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My self-summary
Returning to Atlanta after traveling to Woodstock, NY and Cambridge, MA for the summer on August 1.

I'm a scientist who studies black holes and neutron stars, but also have diverse, eclectic interests. I'm inspired by nature towards surprising and new visions of the world.

I have a Ph.D. in astrophysics and a secure job as a tenured professor. While I'm a thoughtful introvert who loves classical music and reading, described by friends as kind, gentle, and patient, I can also tear up a dance floor into the wee hours.

I am the strong contemplative type, kind of like Ferdinand the Bull. I follow politics: I'm a liberal Democrat who thinks the $3 trillion the US is spending on the Iraq war could have been far better spent on other stuff.

On personality type tests, I usually score INTP ("the architect"), and I tend to be a "system-builder"; I'm always developing my personal philosophy. I'm not a restless adventurer--though I'm curious and playful and enjoy food and travel--as much as I'm desirous of putting together for myself a picture of the world.

I'm quite physically fit. I take a lot of care with my diet (I've spent decades as vegetarian, or fish eating and otherwise vegeterian, though for a few years I've eaten meat every once in a while). I keep up with the latest news on nutrition and medicine and healthy supplements.

Recently I've found the opportunity to travel a bit. I've been to Italy 3 times (Rome, Florence, Venice, and then Tuscany twice), Prague last summer, and I got back from India just before Christmas 2015.

I'm always thinking and questioning stuff beyond what I'm doing at work. A colleague in grad school called me "Mister Secret Concept Man".
What I’m doing with my life
I'm a tenured college professor.

I've taught astronomy, physics, and math at colleges and a university and I do research using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray telescope. Mostly I study neutron stars, which are stars that have collapsed so that each cubic centimeter contains more mass than every human who has ever lived.

On the side I puzzle over big issues in science and philosophy. I try to make the world a better place through activism and education.
I’m really good at
Thinking (philosophy), creativity, playing piano, reserving judgment, obscure humor, writing, remembering obscure things for a long time, and dancing.
The first things people usually notice about me
My big blue eyes that contrast with my thick eyebrows and beard, that I have a quiet and gentle bearing.

Speaking of my big blue eyes, I was reading in the obituaries of Elizabeth Taylor that she had a double row of eyelashes--and that this was because she was a MUTANT! And... I also have a double row of eyelashes. So, you might notice that I am a mutant with extra eyelashes. Reference:

For a nerd (Ok Cupid assures me I am a nerd rather than a geek), I'm actually quite nimble and coordinated, which helps when dancing.

I'm quite a good cook on some dishes. My specialty is spanakopita (learned to cook it from an ex)--but also Tunisian couscous, Kaluha chocolate cake, hummus, Thai coconut curry, cranberry/barley malt pancakes, herbed salmon, etc.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
(a) obscure science fiction like Stanislaw Lem, Olaf Stapledon, and Greg Egan

Classics like Shakespeare and Tolstoy.

Playful modern writers like Italo Calvino and Milorad Pavic and James Joyce and Isaac Bashevis Singer

Philosophy (Lucretius and Epicurus, and Spinoza and Leibniz and Bertrand Russell)

Popular science books (Carl Sagan, Stephen Jay Gould, etc.).

(b) almost anything with Alec Guinness or Peter Sellars: The Horse's Mouth, Doctor Strangelove, etc. Spaceballs.

(c) I have unusually eclectic tastes. People might say, "but these kinds of music are so different", but I might feel about them the same way. Beethoven--I love to play the Appassionata and Hammerklavier, Schubert, Bach--I love to play the Well-Tempered Clavier, Mozart, '80s New Wave, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Throwing Muses, Radiohead, Neko Case, Blackalicious, Conlon Nancarrow (strange mix of modernist and ragtime programmed onto a player piano that goes faster than any human piano player), The Beatles

(d) Vegetarian, Sushi, Indian food, Thai food, Ethiopian food
Six things I could never do without
1) electronic piano 2) cats 3) green tea 4) library card 5) box of letters from friends 6) bookshelf
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Is the Universe discrete or continuous?

Why does it obey mathematical laws?

What is information? Can it really be pinned down or is it some kind of flexible pattern? Is the Universe different from the information in it?

Is there a right and wrong and is that different from good and bad? Is this something anybody can really know?

How long can I stay in denial that Obama is no longer our president, and that we have an authoritarian blight occupying his former office?
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I keep a blog for my cat.
You should message me if
You exist. You exist as described in your profile. You are female. You are literate. You are not an evil dictator or mass-murderer. (And, I should add, you don't have plans to become one--merely adopting the trappings of such is ok--petting a cat while putting your pinky to your mouth and cackling like Dr. Evil or something). You think for yourself. You can write something that will make me laugh or think or both. The "I spend a lot of time thinking about" section of your profile should interest me. Either that or you list classical music or similar obscure popular music in your list of favorites.
The two of us