Thursday, July 05, 2007


Well, just a few days after I did a "Friday Cat Blogging" (sort of), I find that there's another blogging tradition that I need to follow -- that of a "tagged post". I've been tagged by John Logsdon to follow up on his "eight random facts about yourself" posting and tag eight other bloggers with the same meme.

The rules are:
  1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
  2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
  4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  5. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I am a native Wisconsinite and my last name is indeed "Badger" (as Wisconsin is known as the 'Badger State', the sports teams of the University of Wisconsin are the 'Badgers' and so many businesses there are named Badger this and Badger that, this was the source of many jokes growing up). Apparently my name has no linguistic connection to the animal or state, though -- 'Badger' is a Scots name and my father's ancestors were Scots-Irish.

2. I don't drive. In the Midwest this fact generally generates gasps of incredulity, here on the East Coast it often generates compliments on the assumption that I've done it out of some noble principle, protesting urban sprawl or pollution or something. But really, given my poor eyesight, reflexes, and sense of direction, it's just better for everyone (including myself) that I stay off the road.

3. My scientific genealogy includes two Nobel Laureates (Rutherford and Chadwick) and well as a winner (Woese) of the Nobel-ish award for evolutionary biologists/ecologists, the Crafoord Prize in Bioscience. Not that that necessarily means anything for my own career -- as stock brokers say, "past performance is no guarantee of future returns".

4. I like languages. Both computer and human. The computer languages I know are Basic, Pascal, C, C++, Smalltalk, Forth, dBASE, Actor, Perl, and Ruby. The human languages I know are English, Esperanto, French, and German, although to be honest, I'm far better at reading than speaking the last two.

5. As if it wasn't obvious from my "Friday Cat Blogging", I'm a cat person. I don't much care for dogs. I find the large ones vaguely threatening, and the small yippy ones are just plain annoying. Plus, they neither clean themselves nor use a litter box. Human infants have similar defects, but I guess inclusive fitness must play some role because all the people I know with infants seem to overlook this.

6. I seem to have an obsession about the former East Germany. I own 27 books about East Germany and listen to albums like "Die Partei hat immer recht" and collections of Oktoberklub songs.

7. My favorite authors are John Crowley and A.S. Byatt. Besides the fact that they both write well, they both seem to be attracted to the Elizabethan and Victorian eras. These eras also attract me because they were also transitional times in the history of science -- the dawn of modern science in the early 1600s and the transition of science from hobby of the independently wealthy to practical career choice in the late 1800s.

8. I like my coffee black, and my art nerdy (Escher) or atmospheric (Hopper).

I tag:
Jacques Ravel
Neil Saunders
Steve Salzberg
Mike Hu
Naomi Ward (yes, your blog has to rise again!)
John Tsang (You need a blog!)
Marei Dose (ditto)


Eva said...

Hm, I tried, and couldn't make it to 8 without rambling, and then decided that I should probably stick to *not* doing memes on my blog. My partial list included: I play violin, I collect the book "Winnie the Pooh" in different languages (and have 11 so far), I lived in Morocco as a kid, I've done street theatre in Prague in 1995, and I'm very scared of giant dragonflies.

I've never been good at "X things about me" memes and wrote this parody list once. "100 Things about you". I hope that makes up for me not being able to get to 8 things about myself....

Steven Salzberg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven Salzberg said...

Hi Jonathan, I'm trying but I don't know if I can come up with 8 other blogs. You know this tagging idea is just a form of pyramid scheme, right? It has to collapse pretty quickly with each "taggee" generating 8 new tags. But it's all in good fun, I see, so if I can come up with 8 then I'll tag 'em.

Question: is it legit to post the 8 "memes" but not to pass on the tag?

Jonathan Badger said...

As a motivational speaker said in an episode of The Simpsons (back when it was still funny) "First, let me assure you that this is not one of those shady pyramid schemes you've been hearing about. No sir. Our model is the trapezoid!"

But, honestly, if any of my tagees don't want to do it, or they want to do the 8 "memes" without passing it on, that's okay.

neilfws said...

It's always flattering to be remembered, but I'll have to pass on this one. The number 8 makes for way too much work, perhaps 3 would have been better.