The answers to my 15 questions: false assertions are in bold.
- 1. I love cinnamon chewing gum.
True. My favorite is Trident, though I will chew Big Red as well. My other favorite flavors of chewing gum are my overall favorite, Wrigley's Extra Polar Ice, and Juicy Fruit (though it lasts a maddeningiy short time).
- 2. In my entire life, I have had one traffic accident while behind the wheel.
True. In June, 2003, when my friend, former classmate, and research sponsor zurich31 was visiting, I drove him out to get a pack of cigarettes. I accidentally backed into a car that had just pulled up across the street and stopped for a block party across the street. No one was hurt. I exchanged insurance information with the drivers and phoned in the accident report to the RCPD and my insurer.
The only other car accident I've been in was when a driver sped through a light that was yellow or red and hit one of our station wagons as my mom was making a left turn. Again, no one was hurt. It was 1990, I was 16, and it was ruled a no-fault collision.
- 3. I am a light sleeper.
True. I wake up at the slightest noise and at any light or motion unless I am very, very tired. I cannot sleep easily in cars or trains, nor at all on airplanes.
- 4. I have never had a grade lower than 'B' on a report card or transcript.
True. I have gotten two 'C' grades in my life, both as an undergraduate, but both were recorded Pass/Fail. The first was Introduction to Minicomputers (fall 1989), a terrible PDP-11 assembly programming course that was dressed up as an architecture course. The second was Numerical Analysis (1992), taught by Shih-Ping Han, a retired Illinois professor who had, ironically, moved from chambana to Hopkins. Dr. Han wasn't a terrible instructor, but he was rather draconian and I could not cope very well with his teaching style. Later on, I learned the material more through my own reading, but numerical analysis has never been my strong suit. Oddly enough, it was a huge research area at UIUC, but it not so at k_state.
In graduate school, I had a 4.0 GPA, never getting a 'B' again after the seventh semester of my undergraduate program, when I got a B+ in Combinatorial Analysis (you may laugh now, zengeneral).
- 5. I have watched all 13 episodes of Firefly.
False. As miajesbar knows, I have the DVDs but have not watched them all because my old DVD player has a "12-second dimness flicker" problem with them, and I never got the Daewoo DVD/VCR combo player I bought in September, 2004 hooked up until a week and a half ago. I still have not seen the three unaired episodes nor all of "The Train Job".
- 6. As a child, I wanted to be a cartoonist.
True. I was a decent humorist as a child, but my drawing skills were next to nothing. For my seventh birthday I requested, and got, a mail-order book titled So You Want to Be A Cartoonist? I practiced for a couple of years, but got too busy with class work to continue, and by the time I got my tenth birthday present (an TI-994a with 16K RAM that was quickly exchanged for an Atari-800 with 64K), I was ready to change my plans.
- 7. I love cold weather.
True. Having lived in Georgia, Maryland, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, and Kansas, visited New York, California, and Iowa on multiple occasions, and gone once to each of Maine, Wisconsin, Virginia, Washington, and Texas, I can say that I honestly prefer a little cold weather. Snow is fine as long as I don't have to drive on slush and ice a lot.
- 8. I was voted one of the class heartthrobs in high school.
True. My friend Amber can probably confirm that this was done as a joke, or at least tongue-in-cheek, though they've never admitted it outright to me.
- 9. I have never seen Casablanca.
True. At the time I posted the questions, I had yet to see the film for the first time. Edit, 02:30 CST Sun 16 Jan 2005 - I watched it last night.
- 10. In high school, I played junior varsity tennis.
False. I tried out for the team and did not make the cut. Instead, I worked as a scorekeeper for the girls' lacrosse team. I still like tennis, but haven't played in a few years.
- 11. I want to move to Greenland someday.
False. This was once true but I changed my mind years ago. You see, I have wanted to build a computational science academy and data haven there since I was 12, it is no longer necessary to build a data haven in any particular physical locale any more (though some places such as the USA are disadvantageous).
I had the mistaken impression until I was 15 that Greenland would shorten the travel distance to the USA and Europe, when there's probably a lot of overhead and risk of weather-grounded flights. Since then, I've therefore only wanted to visit Greenland (and maybe still use it for a remote data haven).
- 12. I am the second-tallest person in my family.
False. I am nearly tied with my mother's younger brother (Kai-Fu Lee), who is a little less than 1 cm taller, and with my mother's nephew (second maternal aunt's youngest son, Shang-Sen Kai). My mother's brother-in-law (San biao ge's father) is about 2cm taller than I am. Thus, I'm in a multi-way tie for first if you only count my generation, but if you count my uncles I'm at most third.
- 13. I like the taste of brussels sprouts.
True. I like them sauteed in butter with a little garlic and onions.
- 14. I am a pacifist, yet I love to roleplay blood sport.
True. Does this really surprise you? I've always loved war games, including but not limited to tabletop ones, and hunting games also amuse me, though I don't think I would enjoy most real hunting. I'd hate arena blood sport in real life and probably wouldn't even go to a boxing match if you gave me the tickets, but I do love arena-type computer games.
- 15. I was a finalist for prom king.
False. I never went to my high-school prom at all.
And there you have it. sui_degeneris and istari_ala were the only ones to get 4/5. I have to give extra props to istari_ala for doing so even though I mismarked an answer!