Amanda Rose was born on Johnny Cash's birthday in the year Elvis died. She was raised all over country New South Wales. Her dream was always to live in Russia, which she did for two years, but now she needs a new dream. She also worked in Bulgaria and South Korea. Back home in inner west Sydney, she works in the parasitic fringe of the media and is doing an MA in Egyptology. Amanda blogs about music at Flop Eared Mule.
Why do you blog? > I can rave about my niche obsessions in my own place without barging in on other people's. I used to get drunk at parties and corner people and say the same things. It's much more polite this way.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Daily learning new things and having met a heap of great people.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Nothing other than the self-imposed pressure to produce regularly. I could never be a political blogger, not because I don't have strong views, but I can't be bothered with the endless (mostly petty) conflict. Even our most serious stoushes about music tend to be a lot of fun.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Update regularly and find a niche.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Carl Sagan, Tom Paine, Charles Darwin, William Flinders Petrie.
What are you reading at the moment? > A Concise Grammar of Middle Egyptian by Boyo Ockinga and The Falls by Ian Rankin.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Carl Sagan, James Randi, Stephen Jay Gould, Mark Twain, John Cassavetes.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Independent People by Halldor Laxness.
What is your favourite poem? > 'A Rabbit As King of the Ghosts' by Wallace Stevens.
What is your favourite movie? > Casablanca.
What is your favourite song? > 'Send in the Clowns'.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > I used to be (or thought I was, at the time) quite religious in my teens and early 20s. I'm squarely in Richard Dawkins's camp now.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > The need for constant sceptical testing of all views, most especially your own.
Who are your political heroes? > People like Aung San Suu Kyi, Frederick Douglass, Andrei Sakharov.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Don't punish yourself for choices other people make.
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? > If they just voted for the other mob, it's maybe conceivable. If they went in for psychics and horoscopes, never.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Empathy.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Cruelty.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > Very many.
What is your favourite proverb? > A Russian one: 'len' dvigatel pragressa' ('Laziness is the engine of progress').
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Turning 30!
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > The USA, NYC to start with.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Something involving margaritas and cabana boys.
What talent would you most like to have? > Musical or scientific.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Ellen DeGeneres.
Which rugby league team do you support? > Newcastle Knights.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > I've always wanted to be on a TV quiz show.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I'd ditch work and so buy myself the most important thing, time.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Carl Sagan, Bruce Springsteen and Jack the Ripper (not so he could eviscerate me, I just really want to know who it was).
[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.]