Describe your latest project.
It's the third Sneaky Uses book. It will be bigger and have more science/inventor resource material. I also produce a science resourcefulness project column in Make magazine.
What inspires you to sit down and write?
I love devising and collecting resourceful tricks to inspire creativity in people.
Describe your favorite childhood teacher and how that teacher influenced you.
My favorite childhood teacher was... Lex Luthor. I really cannot remember a particular teacher, and I do thank my parents and relatives for providing science kits and comic books when I was a kid. That's where I found my inspiration in the rival of a certain Kryptonian.
I was fascinated with how this ordinary guy takes on Superman! (Later I came to understand that it was his understanding of science and technological adaptations that allowed him to challenge his foe.)
What do you do for relaxation?
Roller skating, weight lifting, Akido, reading, and homemade boomerang throwing (the cardboard type that can be launched from the palm of your hand instructions and a how-to video clip can be seen at Sneakyuses.com).
Douglas Adams or Scott Adams?
Scott Adams! Dilbert is the closest thing to a dependable daily laugh.
What was your favorite book as a kid?
The How and Why Wonder Book of Beginning Science.
Describe the best museum of science and/or industry you've ever visited.
Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. I visited it frequently as a kid and I go there on every visit to the Windy City. They have a U-505 submarine, a Boeing jet, and other one-of-a-kind displays there. On my last visit I was in the middle of studying nuclear energy and I was able to see multiple film clips, perform tests with Geiger counters, and actually touch mockup displays of fuel cells, fuel rods, control rods, and more.
What new technology do you think may actually have the potential for making people's lives better?
No contest: modern medicine. Medical techniques and modern drugs have virtually doubled the average (American) lifespan in only a century. And don't forget fast-responding paramedics and ambulances. We are living in an age of readily available PET and CAT scans, colonoscopy and preventive breast screenings, multi-bypass heart surgery, less invasive stent implant techniques, and so much more.