Tom Reynolds (real name Brian Kellett) was born and bred in London. Attending a state school he did 'all right' in his GCSEs and A Levels. He was initially training to be a teacher at Goldsmiths University before realizing that he hated children. He 'accidentally' ended up becoming a nurse. After five years of A&E nursing he needed fresh air and so four years ago he joined the London Ambulance Service as an Emergency Medical Technician. He has been blogging about the service on the site Random Acts Of Reality. He has authored a book of the blog called Blood, Sweat and Tea.
Why do you blog? > I blog to get the stresses of my day out to people who have no idea what my job is really about.
What has been your best blogging experience? > The whole sense of community that the British blogging scene has. That, and the fact that I am yet to meet a blogger that I haven't liked.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Remember that everyone, from your family to your boss, can read your blog, and that to insult them over the internet is no different than doing it in front of a huge audience.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Sir Joseph Bazalgette - he has saved millions of lives by his creation of the London sewer system.
What are you reading at the moment? > The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Just reinforcing my own thoughts on the idiocy of religion.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Douglas Coupland's Microserfs. The geek in me loves it.
What is your favourite movie? > Aliens - I like my movies to be pure escapist fare.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > I was and am politically very fickle and have supported pretty much every political party at one time or another.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Atheism. Is that philosophy or just an accurate view on reality?
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > To stop the 'modernity' of eroding our civil liberties. No to ID cards and the national database.
What would you do with the UN? > Benevolent world dictatorship under my control? More realistically, I'd reduce the paperwork and send observers/enforcement into a place at the slightest sniff of trouble. It's the 21st century - why are we still letting 'tribes' kill each other? Yes, I could be called a fascist, but at least people wouldn't be slaughtered in their beds.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > It's a tie between increasing religious warfare or the failure of the current empire-powers to die more peacefully and with less actual people dying.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > There are so many dreamers struggling to make the world better, I think we have some way to go before we can say we have reached the best point. One day we'll have an endless abundant society.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > That if it doesn't kill you outright, it's probably going to be all right.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Empathy. How can you hurt someone you have empathy with?
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Dishonesty, both to yourself and to others.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > I would consider it when it would do the least harm. I'm philosophically and ethically immature or simple. I'm also a terrible liar because it's something I can never pull off; I just don't get enough practice.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > That all politicians are either evil or incompetent. More evil than incompetent.
What is your favourite proverb? > 'Quando Omni, Flunkus Moritati.' It's a fake proverb meaning 'When in doubt, play dead'. If you want something that you'll hear me saying, it's the unofficial proverb of our ambulance station: 'Fuck 'em'.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Football - pure tribalistic bullshit. Drinking in order to get drunk. The lottery.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > That the inmates are running the asylum. It's the only way to explain the state of the world.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Nope, I think it's turned out pretty good so far. Maybe I'd like to have started blogging back before it became 'cool'. Oh, and beat up the people who bullied me in school.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > World of Warcraft. Escapism and a social community all in one.
What is your most treasured possession? > My laptop. Without it I'm completely lost. I don't hold much for sentimentality.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > I kind of already have. Tom is my middle name, but I think it suits me much more than Brian. I can't change it legally; my mum would kill me (or come back from beyond the grave to haunt me).
What talent would you most like to have? > Assuming that immortality or the power to teleport and time travel are out of the equation, I'd love to have some talent for language or music, two things that are utterly missing from my brain.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > I can't think of anything more fun than what I do now. If pushed I wouldn't mind writing full time for a variety of media.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > That the people who run the world suddenly rediscovered their humanity.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I'd still work (probably part-time) because I can do things at work that no amount of money can buy. I'd travel more and find other things to write about.
[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.]