What attracts you to Endymology?
Quick correction, entomology :)
I started in on my educational career with a focus on birds and fish; I loved birdwatching as a kid, and fishing, and found both groups fascinating. I'm a little bit of a bigger picture thinker (at times), so when I was finished with the broad basics of biology in first year and could start focusing on what I wanted to learn, I figured it was important to learn about the habitats and other organisms that related to the groups I wanted to study in depth… so I started taking broader ecology courses and courses on specific organism groups that supported the birds and fish; plants and insects (habitat and food sources). Perhaps it was my entomology professor's love of the subject that helped push me towards the field, but in taking my first entomology course I became quickly transfixed with insects. They're extremely diverse in form and activity, they cover so many ecological functions, they're virtually everywhere (except oceanic and Antarctic)… I loved what I saw when I looked at them under a scope, so much is revealed, such intricacy, detail… beauty!
So, yeah, in summation, they're beautiful, varied and offer so much to be discovered.
What attracts you to photography?
I'm a visual person. I also enjoy discovery and transience. Both of these combine in photography, and influences how I've approached pictures. Photography works quite nicely with the appreciation of interesting things around us every day, and allows us to quickly capture these images, and to record things or events that may be quite transient or ephemeral… a "moment", if you will. Photography changes how you look at things, and lets you frame every day things in an interesting light.
And, as mentioned, it's quick. Technically, you can do exactly the same thing with other media, and even put a more personal perspective on them… but they take more time, and in some ways, more effort. It's an immediate return form of expression and information conveyance.
Interestingly enough, while I love taking pictures, I don't tend to actively seek out looking at photos. While I do enjoy photos, I tend to look at other media for enjoyment.
So What is the purpose of life?
There is no purpose, life simply is.
How do you feel about your nationality? Does it matter to you? Why?
This is something I think about a fair bit, oddly enough, though generally in abstract terms.
I am at once apathetic, proud and shamed by my nationality. Ultimately, nationality means nothing… but at the same time, I am tied up in the social constructs we have based on the happenstance of our geographic location. True, there is some influence on culture based on geography and political boundaries, but generally not enough on the national scale to really be substantial; it's not quite the same sort of difference as between larger socio-religious groups where social outlook can differ greatly (ie. Western vs. Asian vs. Middle Eastern, etc). Yeah, I do identify as Canadian, and I think that social identity brings me a certain amount of pride, though I think that pride is more rooted in outdated concepts of Canada, rather than the reality of our society (as you know, Canada's outlooks and actions are kinda shitty these days). The shame comes from how far behind Canada has fallen in globally important areas, such as pollution and energy, and even human rights… we're not keeping up and seem to be taking willfully ignorant stances on these issues.
Ultimately, it's not important… it taps into silly tribalism that is somewhat meaningless, akin to sport tribalism. It's something we grab onto, hold tight, but when it comes down to it, it's no more connecting or informative than liking a particular band, but it does help develop some semblance of social solidarity.
ok this is a copout question but what would you do with $5 million?
Straighten out my debts and set money aside for Elania's education. That would leave almost all of that $5mil to spare though :P It would be nice to have a home and be able to conduct research without pandering to various industries for financial support (my research topics are pretty cheap to work on, but getting funding is tricky). I'd "waste" money on creature comforts for me, my family and friends and, if my friends wouldn't feel too awkward about it, help them out of their financial issues. I'd love to build an eco-friendly home. I'd live comfortably on $5mil, but I doubt I'd go to much extravagance… there are a few wants that I'd go for, but for the most part, I like to live by need.
I'd like to say I'd be generous to charities… but I don't know of any charities off hand that I'd be really willing to donate to. Too many charities are too bogged down with operational costs to be really effective… there are exceptions, and they're generally small-scale. More direct involvement is more effective, and if I could get past my own laziness, it would be my preferred route of helping.
Pretty shallow thoughts, really… but then, I'm a kinda shallow dude ;)