Farsi The official language of Iran. My mom grew up in Iran and thus speaks fluently, but she didn't teach me or my sister very much of it growing up. Various attempts at various points usually petered out unsuccessfully, for whatever reason. The alphabet has always stuck with me, so at least there's that, and aside from customary greetings/farewells and the like, I've always known enough that I could listen in on a conversation and give you at least a rough idea of what's being discussed. Lately, I've been trying to buckle down and be more serious about learning Farsi. Since I don't live at home anymore, I miss hearing the language, and I'd like to get good enough to be able to hold my own in a conversation, particularly since both Remy and I would like to go to Iran one day. I have a Farsi grammar/vocabulary book that I study during my lunch break and on weekends. I picked up enough that I was able to write my mom a thank-you note after she let me and Remy make use of her house for a weekend.
Because I love you, Purrs, here's your real-life first name in Farsi. Enjoy! =)
Anyone else who wants me to do one for them, feel free to pester me. But be mindful that I actually need to do some work today too, at some point... ;)
Freethinker The definition from the FFRF webpage: "A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics and rationalists. No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth." Pretty much sums it up. I'm a naturalist and a materialist (in the philosophical sense- i.e., all that "is" is what we can observe in the material world and uncover with scientific methods. Ghosts, souls, spirits, etc. need not apply).
James Randi A magician who is best known for debunking "paranormal" con-artists like Uri Geller. He runs the James Randi Educational Foundation, and sponsors a $1 million dollar prize available to anyone who can demonstrate a paranormal ability- any paranormal ability- in a controlled environment. Unsurprisingly, no psychics, astrologers, dowsers, remote viewers, etc. have ever even come close to winning. The "Amazing" Randi is an advocate for scientific and critical thinking, and works to fight the "woowoos" and conmen who are out to exploit people for their own gain. Sylvia Browne? John Edward, Mr. Biggest Douche in the Universe? I'm looking at you.
This is an animated rendition of Patrick Troughton, the second actor to play the Doctor in Doctor Who. Why animated? Well, the BBC lost the film for a couple of episodes; I elaborated on this in an earlier post. Anyway, of the ten actors to play the Doctor in the show's forty year run, Patrick Troughton is my favorite: serious one second, delightfully quirky the next. I would kill to be this Doctor's companion, or at least to have a man like this as a doting uncle. ;) I have heard that he was not terribly popular during his run because the actor who preceded him played the Doctor as a cranky, cantankerous old bastard, and people were used to that, and not the lighthearted demeanor. But Troughton paved the way for some of the most popular Doctors to follow, like Tom Baker (the most popular Doctor to American audiences), and also for the current Doctor, David Tennant.
I also use this icon for one of my Star Trek role-play characters, a Romulan doctor named Goren. Goren is an eccentric who openly flaunts the strict conformity of more conventional Romulans, to the extent that many consider him batshit crazy. In reality, he's a lot like Troughton: quirky. He takes his job extremely seriously, and has, on a few occasions, almost been executed for trying to strong-arm superior officers into needed treatment. Someone introduced him to Doctor Who at one point, and now he enjoys recreating the series in the holodeck. Yes, my role-play characters role-play too! It's some crazy nerd recursion, lemme tell you.
The symbol of The Brights, a naturalist group trying to promote a terminology for the philosophy that isn't simply the negation of someone else's philosophy. Instead of calling themselves non-religious, a-theist, etc., they want to create popular acceptance for a new term: bright. And no, the opposite of "bright" is not "not-bright," heh! It's "super." ;) I registered with them 'cause I thought it was a neat idea.
This is another Star Trek role-play character (I have at least ten kajillion of them), Lieutenant Commander Nazeh Rahimi. I drew/'Shopped the icon. She's a computer-savvy Iranian, and despite being fairly young (in her mid-twenties), she's the Chief of Science on her vessel. One of her best "friends" is a PADD (personal hand-held computer) she has lovingly dubbed Alef. She's generally enthusiastic and eager to help out, and has a strong take-no-shit attitude- so strong that it occasionally lands her in hot water with superiors. She will voice an objection to orders if she doesn't think they make sense. She also has a streak for mischief, but that has been tempered quite a bit since becoming a senior officer. Not long ago, she married fellow officer and long-time friend Mayat Fenn, a Bolian. Why yes, the details and depth of my characters' personal lives quite often exceeds that of my own.
I think that's it for now! Happy Birthday to Remy! =)