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Greetings, and welcome to my humble website.

Kindly allow me to introduce myself -- I am Sebastian Wren -- commentator, prognosticator, speculator, critic,  pundit, and skeptic.  I am a man plagued by curiosity -- I want to understand the world I live in, and I'm constantly asking questions.  This, of course, drives people around me crazy.  I'm a man of talents -- most of them utterly and completely useless in the grand scheme of things.  I'm a man of conflict -- and only through conflict can one truly know peace and serenity.

So at least I've got that going for me.

For some reason, I have a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology with a great deal of emphasis in the area of neuroscience.  I have no idea how this happened.  I just kept going to school, and eventually they handed me a degree and encouraged me to leave.

Many years ago, I started out studying the brain and cognition, but these days my career is devoted to understanding everything I can about the simple and elegant act of reading. Most of my current work is focused on how we as a nation could do a better job teaching children to read.  I've spent most of my career working for the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, and I spend my spare time writing for my own website, BalancedReading.com.

So, by day, I'm a mild-mannered education researcher and opinionated pundit and critic who is excessively concerned about things over which I have very little control or influence (illiteracy, education reform, election reform, a plague of monkeys infesting my nation's government, etc.).  By night, however, I am transformed into a mild-mannered cat owner with the super-human ability to remove stains from the carpet.

Little things give me undue pleasure.  I love old houses, and I have deep respect for quality craftsmanship.  I love living in Austin, and count my lucky stars every damn day that I moved here.  I love my central-city neighborhood, and have become active with the neighborhood association.  I am an amateur photographer.  I'm a fairly talentless wood-worker.  I greatly enjoy riding my bicycle.  I am a mediocre but prolific writer.  These are the things I enjoy -- they balance the myriad plethora of things in this world that make me nuts.

Like I said, I'm a man of conflicts -- I'm deep in a very superficial way.

I have a Ph.D., but I dropped out of high school.

I am a scholar, but I am no gentleman.

I am the sort of person who backs into parking spaces.

On first impression, people usually think I'm taller than they are.

I believe that men who are intimidated by intelligent women are sissies.

I enjoy running over plants with my lawn mower.

I have cancer, but I'm very healthy.

I'm a vegetarian who eats imitation meat.

I'm a cyclist who drives an SUV.

I can sharpen pencils using only my teeth, a woolen blanket, and a sharp knife.

I have herculean strength when it comes to pinching pennies.

I am faster than a speeding pit bull.

Hiding eggs on Easter makes perfect sense to me, but I find the Easter Bunny perplexing.

I stick my fingers where they do not belong.

I drive to the gym.

My first child will be named Wikipedia Wren.

I have strong opinions about things that don't really matter.

I have memorized every telephone number I've ever had.

I sincerely believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I love riding my bicycle.

I think the English have no sense of humour about spelling.

I have a morbid fear of artificial joints.

I have a cunning plan for solving the world's obesity problem that will also lower fuel prices.

I have the biggest hands in the world.

I know first hand that drinking and unicycles don't mix.

Chain stores and restaurants offend me deeply.

My life has never been like a box of chocolates.

I am able to touch other people's toes without bending my knees.

This is just a hint of the complexity that is me.   I am like an iceberg -- I'm big and cold and slightly less dense than salt water.  Getting to know me and understand my world is a challenge that should be taken on only by people who have tremendous amounts of mental fortitude, patience and, above all, spare time.

I wish you luck in your endeavors.


Sebastian Wren