Time Travel (dreams)
This ancient hobby contemplated by much of humanity continues to be very popular. For example, there are 6,000 Reddit users who subscribe to a precognition discussion group. I have expertise in precognitive dreaming and I wrote everything I currently know in a book called The Oneironauts, which means “dream travelers” and is pronounced oh-NEAR-oh-nauts.
This is my newest hobby, starting from scratch in late 2016, and now fencing regularly at the West Berkeley Fencing Club. This is a superb sport that is very safe, an excellent workout, and technically challenging. Plus you learn a bit of French as you go along. En garde!
I swim 2-3 times a week at the Soda Aquatic Center in Moraga and enjoy open-water swimming over the summer.
Everyone seems to be kiteboarding nowadays, and I’ve taken lessons, but I guess I’m sticking to windsurfing. It’s more of a hassle, I admit it, I’ve even broken my ribs, twice, but windsurfing has moments when the board and the sail, the wave and the wind, are all channeled by the person into a magical kinetic harmony, without even thinking. Or, if the wind goes nuclear, just go as fast and as high as possible until something breaks.
Guitar (classical & flamenco)
I’ve been studying classical and flamenco guitar since college, and have performance experience in both flamenco guitar and dance. Because flamenco is improvisational, playing for a dancer can be a pure thrill as both guitarist and dancer spontaneously and instantaneously connect their emerging creative energy into a unique performance.
I am a member of CAIFF (California Independent Film Festival) and have enrolled in different courses and workshops since college. In general, I prefer films that have hidden meaning in the visual content and spoken narrative, especially if it questions the nature of reality, identity and purpose. Though “The Matrix” and “Dark City” comes to mind, there are many others such as “Barton Fink” and “A Serious Man” by the Coen brothers, or Miyazaki’s animated “Howl’s Moving Castle.”
Human Hamster Running
I enjoy slow running in mindless circles around this rubberized track for 10 kilometers or 60 minutes, twice a week. Running on such tracks minimizes the risk of injury, and at the same time allows the mind to relax and wander, which serves to consolidate memories and evoke novel problem-solving. The breakthrough ideas period usually starts 20 minutes into the run because mind-wandering is enabled when: 1. novelty in the immediate environment has subsided from attention, 2. increasing physical exertion triggers a natural defense response of separating the mind from the present and from the body, and 3. motion through space activates hippocampal place cells and entorhinal grid cells which are associated with the basic architecture of memory and semantic knowledge.
I almost forgot to mention that astronomy has been my hobby since I was 12 years old. I still have my original telescope, a Dynamax 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain. I still use it for outreach activities, such as with Girl Scouts events.