Comment on this post. I will choose seven interests from your profile and you will explain what they mean and why you are interested in them. Post this along with your answers in your own journal so that others can play along.
Chosen by sissyhiyah.
I've been procrastinating long enough on answering this meme. Here goes.
historical cycles: I first became aware of historical cycles in 1991, when I listened to Strauss and Howe, the authors of Generations, on public radio. I was so enthralled by their explanation of American history, that I ended up buying four copies of their book and gave three out as gifts. I also bought their next book, 13th Gen, which came out a year later, and The Fourth Turning, which came out in 1997. By 2000, I was divorced and had more time to play on the internet. At that time, Millennials Rising, their fourth book, came out. Of course I bought it. I discovered the website and started reading the forums. I've been there off and on ever since.
There, I met Mike Alexander, who wrote several books on economic cycles. I ended up being his editor for three of his self-published books on the subject. I didn't get any money out of it, but he fed me well, which made me happy. I also know nearly as much about the subject of economic and historical cycles as he does. Because of him, I was able to see the top of the real estate market coming in June 2005 and put my house on the market so I could get out when the getting was good. It sold in May 2006, right at the top of the market. Never has one of my hobbies paid off so handsomely.
kookology: I fell into this one, but it came surprisingly naturally for me. For ten years, I had been one of the big wheels on rec.arts.marching.drumcorps, including being the person who dealt with trolls and other disruptors of the newsgroup, and had always been successful in either getting them to play along with others or running them off. Then, I ran into someone who was immune to all my tricks. I figured out that she wasn't just an ordinary poster, or even a run of the mill troll. She was a kook. The only person who could get her to behave was another kook, someone who was also a high-powered troll. After seeing the two of them go after each other, I decided to study the kook who got the better of the interaction to see what made him tick. I found it fascinating, and actually got to know the fellow. Mind you, he's still a kook, and I really don't like him much, even though I like him better than most people do, but I got a much better understanding of abnormal psychology. I also figured out that bringing him back to rec.arts.marching.drumcorps wasn't going to be my ticket for dealing with the original kook in the group. Instead, I had to join the group who makes it their hobby to do so, the kookologists of alt.usenet.kooks.
To make a long story short, within a year of posting to alt.usenet.kooks, I became the Friendly Neighborhood Pollster, the number two person on the group. Within a year of that, I became the Friendly Neighborhood Vote Wrangler, the group's nominal leader. I collected nominations, decided who would go on the ballot, counted votes, and posted the winners. I did that every month from October 2006-January 2009. I'm on hiatus now, but I'll be back.
lady gaga: I thank darcy_chan for introducing me to her, but I thank nebris for convincing me of her worth. Not only is she a big star, but she's also an artist and very much a creation of her own making, not some marketing flack at her record company. I enjoy her making the avant garde and grotesque palatable for the masses. I've called her taste "Alien at the disco." It helps that she's a capable dancer and a serious musician.
BTW, I'm not alone in being an older fan of hers. The Queen likes her, too.
public radio: This is something my ex-wife got me into. She started listening to WUOM back in 1990, right after my family moved here from California. I found a non-profit source of news and entertainment to be surprisingly enjoyable and generally superior to the commercial alternative. The habit stuck. I'm still a big fan of National Public Radio and Public Radio International. If one goes back to my first six months of posts here on LJ, one can find songs being played on WDET as the music for the posts.
Of course, it helps that I'm in the middle of a public radio paradise here. WUOM, WDET, and WKAR are all currently programmed into my car radio, and WEMU has been programmed there in the past. I can receive WGTE from Toledo, as well as two CBC stations. When I used to drive to Chicago, I'd listen to WMUK in Kalamazoo. I have no shortage of public radio stations to listen to.
revolutionary girl utena: I consider this to be my main fandom in anime.
In part, it's because of the complex and ground-breaking nature of the show, as I've described Revolutionary Girl Utena as "Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch hijacking a season of Sailor Moon...it's that stylish, that well-crafted, and that weird" and "an animated *Twin Peaks* for 14-year-old girls." It did to shojou in general and magical girls in particular what Neon Genesis Evangelion did to shonen in general and mecha shows in particular. In fact, I think it did it better. As I wrote, "I've watched Shoujo Kakumei Utena and [I've watched] Shin Seiki Evangelion, and I can tell you that I'm not sure I'll watch Evangelion again, but I'd definitely watch Utena--and, in its own romantic and gender-bent way, Utena is stranger--and better resolved, too."
The other part of the reason I consider RGU/SKU my main anime fandom has to do with the fandom. When I stumbled upon alt.fan.utena, I found a tight group of the smartest anime fans on USENET. Those 12-20 people kept their group together for four years and really did a great job of explaining the show. Even now, the bulk of them are my LJ and Facebook friends.
shell collecting: Actually, I'm not a shell collector; I don't maintain my own collection of shells, as I don't have the collector's impulse for anything except books and music (I have a decent, if slightly out of date, collection of anime OST CDs, although I was once an officer of the Conchological Club of Southern California (the main organization of shell collectors in Los Angeles and the oldest shell collectors club in the U.S.).
Instead, I'm a malacologist, a zoologist who studies mollusks. My three great contributions to that science are that I'm the English language expert on self-fertilization in snails and clams, the world's expert on the land snail Zonitoides nitidus (I think I'd better cite my own Ph.D. dissertation and start editing the snail's Wikipedia page), and the world's expert on the fossil mollusks of Rancho La Brea AKA the tar pits of Los Angeles. Speaking of which, check out the list from this link. Actually, I'll post it for you, including additions that failed to make the online list. Any species name that has an asterisk (*) after it is one that I first identified in the deposit.
Anodonta californiensis Lea, 1852
Trachycardium quadragenarium (Conrad, 1837) ‡
Laevicardium elatum (Sowerby, 1835) ‡
Donax gouldii Dall, 1921*
Epilucina californica (Conrad, 1837) ‡
Tresus nuttalli (Conrad, 1837) ‡
Family Pisidiidae (=Sphaeriidae)
Pisidium casertanum (Poli, 1795)*
P. compressum Prime, 1852
Musculium lacustre (Müller, 1774)*
Musculium cf. M. partumeium (Say, 1822)*
Tivela stultorum (Mawe, 1823) ‡
Saxidomus nuttalli Conrad, 1837 ‡
Chione californiensis (Broderip, 1835) ‡
C. undatella (Sowerby, 1835) ‡
Corbula luteola Carpenter, 1864*
Ostrea lurida Carpenter, 1864 ‡
Argopecten circularus aequisulcatus (Carpenter,1864) ‡
gen. & sp. indet.*
Notacmaea insessa (Hinds, 1843)*
Haliotis rufescens Swainson, 1822 ‡
Lirularia optabilis (Carpenter, 1864)*†
Astraea undosa (Wood, 1828) ‡
Pyrogulopsis californiensis (Gregg and Taylor, 1965)*
cf. Lacuna sp.*
Lunatia lewisii (Gould, 1847) ‡
Alvinia compacta (Carpenter, 1864)*
Valvata humeralis Say, 1829*
Mitrella carinata (Hinds, 1844)*
Nassarina penicillata (Carpenter, 1864)*
Olivella baetica (Carpenter, 1864)*
Olivella cf. 0. biplicata (Sowerby, 1825)*
Fossaria modicella (Say, 1825)
F. parva (Lea, 1841)*
Fossaria (Bakerilymnaea) bulimoides (Lea, 1841)*
F. (B.) cockerelli (Pilsbry and Ferris, 1906)*
F. (B.) cubensis (Pfeiffer, 1839)*
F. (B.) sonomaensis (Hemphill in Pilsbry and Ferris, 1906)*
Stagnicola elodes (Say, 1821)*
S. proxima (Lea, 1856)
Physella concolor (Haldeman, 1841)
Gyraulus circumstriatus (Tryon, 1866)*
G. parvus (Say, 1824)
Planorbella tenuis (Dunker, 1850)
Menetus opercularis (Gould, 1847)*
Discus whitneyi (Newcomb, 1864)*
Helix aspersa (Muller, 1774)* (recent contamination)
Helminthoglypta traskii (Newcomb, 1861)*
Deroceras laeve (Müller, 1774)*
Punctum californicum Pilsbry, 1898*
Pupilla hebes (Ancey, 1881)
Vertigo occidentalis Sterki, 1907*
gen. & sp. indet.*
Vallonia cyclophorella Sterki, 1892*
Zonitoides arboreus (Say, 1816)*
Striatura pugetensis (Dall, 1895)*
‡ Archeological remains (brought in by humans)
Yes, I was the first person to identify 33 species from the most famous fossil deposit in North America. That, and $1.65 plus tax will get me a tall coffee at Starbucks. :-)
the guild: It all started when adayinthelife posted the following video in his LJ.
I immediately understood the joke behind it, as my wife kaligreeneyes has been playing Final Fantasy XI AKA Final Fantasy Online for more than two years, and my daughter played World of Warcraft for a year with her ex-boyfriend before that, so I was familiar with MMORPGs. I then found out that this was a promo for a webseries about a group of MMO players. I was hooked. I've since watched the first season twice on YouTube and once on Netflix, the second season once each on YouTube, watchtheguild.com, and NetFlix, and the third season once on watchtheguild.com. As my wife and I watched the first two seasons on NetFlix last night, I'm ready to watch the third season tonight for the second time.
I've also become a fan of The Guild's Facebook page and joined both knightsofgood and feliciadayfans. Yeah, I'm a Guild fanboy. Here's to Microsoft sponsoring a fourth season.
If you managed to read all this, you deserve a prize. Unfortunately, I don't have one handy.
Now, I hope it doesn't take another week each to get to underlankers' and meimichan's memes!