MD was born in India in 1967 and came to the US a year later with her parents. She was raised in Iowa and attended Iowa State University, where she graduated with a BS in chemistry, and the University of Iowa, where she completed medical school in 1994. Since graduation, M's nomadic academic existence has taken her to Albuquerque, Chicago, Palo Alto and, most recently, Boston. She still hopes to 1) win the lottery, or 2) win the lottery. But first she has to remember to actually buy the tickets. M blogs at ChaiTeaLatte.
Why do you blog? > For the complete and utter joy of it.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Listening to a story on NPR, writing about the subject on my blog, and having said subject leave a comment on the post.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Losing my temper in a comments thread.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Decide what it is you want from your blog and stick to it.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Can I say my dad? Well, whatever. I'm saying my dad. I used to proof-read mathematics papers he wrote. Oh, not the math part, just the few paragraphs of writing in between all the formulas. (Hmm, what does it say about me that my intellectual hero is someone whose work I don't really understand? Does that even count? Can I change my answer? Who'd everyone else pick?).
What are you reading at the moment? > I just finished Father Goriot. The med student totally let me down. I had a glimmer of hope when he said, 'I'd let the Chinaman live', and then, boom, it all goes downhill.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > I can't pick just one! No, no, no, no I can't do it. Lucky Jim, The Debut, Jane Eyre, Madame Bovary. I could go on, but I'll spare you all.
What is your favourite poem? > I don't do poetry.
What is your favourite movie? > Wait a minute, isn't this like the security question to a lot of internet-y things? What are you getting at?
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > The death penalty: after rotating through the medical examiner's office during my residency I changed my mind to thinking that the death penalty should be allowed in extreme cases, when previously I had opposed it.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Anti-Americanism and moral relativism in the most extreme forms.
Who are your political heroes? > Ronald Reagan and Gandhi. I am wicked serious.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.'
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be President, who would you choose? > Rudy Giuliani or Condoleezza Rice.
What would you do with the UN? > Move the UN headquarters to Des Moines, Iowa, and make all the UNocrats live in a huge compound on the DMACC campus. They can spend any free time de-tassling in the summer, and atoning for their sins in the winter. The winters tend to be long in Iowa.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > In the short term, Islamofascism and terrorism; in the long term, one of those giant outer space meteor thingies. (Or should the short term/long term thing be switched around?)
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > Best is yet to come.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Show up, do your best, be kind.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > Sure, why not?
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Kindness.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Pettiness.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > The whole pointy-toed shoe thing that has been in fashion the past few years (thankfully over). Who are these shoe designers, anyway? Women-haters, that's who.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Enjoying yourself is not a waste of time.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Uh, I was raised by Indian parents. I worry about everything.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > No good can come of a question like this.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading and going to museums and art exhibitions.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > I almost changed my name to Rita as a kid. I have no idea why.
What talent would you most like to have? > To be able to sing.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I don't expect it would change that much. Except for the huge place in Milan, the quitting my job, and the wearing of dark sunglasses indoors and at all times.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]