I am Bob Phillips and you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggestions and comments about my Calorie Restriction (CR) website, or any other website I've created, are welcome.
At the time I am writing this in 2006, I am 58 years old, 5'7", 130lb, so BMI of 20.4, with 12%-14% body fat. I have been on a Calorie Restriction diet for something over 2 years, albeit with a 5 or 6 month hiatus after about a year.
The following ramblings, some related to CR, some not, will give you an idea of who I am.
Science and Dieting
I've been interested in science all my life, starting out majoring in physics, but ultimately getting my BA and MA in math from the University of California, Berkeley. (Here are other Exploits at Berkeley). I have long been hooked on publications like Science News, Scientific American, New Scientist, and Planetary Society. The last few decades have been wonderful because so many scientists have taken up the pen to write popular books about their expertise, many of which I have enjoyed. My most recent favorites are The Elegant Universe, Warped Passages, and Collapse. Anything John McPhee has written I have loved to read.
A couple of years ago I decided I needed to lose weight. I spent time looking at various diets. McDougal, Ornish, Mediterranean, Atkins, Weight Watchers, etc. I stumbled onto CR. There was simply no comparison between the scientific basis for CR and the basis for the others. That's how I got involved in CR.
I am a registered Republican and an extreme liberal. That's because I live in Kansas and the only way to have a meaningful vote about our world-renowned Kansas Board of Education was to vote in the Republican Primary for that office. So I registered as a Republican and never switched. Then, when I got heavily involved in local politics, I found various Republican candidates here in Johnson County whom I admired and worked to get elected to local office in an attempt to manage the development around neighborhoods.
For several years I published a website, NeighborhoodNet (updated sporadically based on neighborhood issues) as an adjunct to political efforts: a means of sharing information among neighborhoods who faced the problem of rampant development. Local politics is a great way to meet like-minded people.
My favorite activity is back packing, which I only get to do rarely, but intend to do more of. I particularly enjoy backpacking in the Sierras. I have a website about my family's last trip that you are welcome to enjoy. Nothing like looking at someone's travel pictures, I always say.
Gods and Aliens
It worries me that we have not contacted alien civilizations elsewhere in the universe. Read the book Collapse, watch movies like The Corporation and An Inconvenient Truth, think about how many billions of planets there almost certainly are just in our galaxy, consider how quickly life evolved on our own planet and how many billions of years have passed already, then think about the quote from a scientist long ago about aliens: "Where are they?"
If a technological civilization existed for a few million years in this galaxy, it's hard to believe its presence would be hidden. So I now lean to the thought that technological civilizations destroy their environment and themselves in fairly short order. I hope I am wrong.
I do not believe in any supernatural beings: God(s), devils, archangels, immortal souls, tree spirits, wood nymphs, ghosts, spirits, etc. I also don't believe in atheism, since the lack of gods cannot be proven.
I believe we are responsible for all that we do, that humans evolved so individuals are usually, basically, trustworthy, caring, and nice. I assume that is because there is an evolutionary advantage to working together and helping each other out.
Family and Genealogy
My wife is an academic reference librarian with an activist political past. When her Congressman, the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee at the time, long ago proposed a billion dollar pork barrel Corps of Engineer project that would flood her family farm, she began organizing and researching the basis for the Corps claims. She and her fellow activists were so effective, they stopped the project cold. In the end, the Governor of Illinois stood on the State House steps, put his arm around her shoulders, and complimented her. The Congressman said he would never do anything his constituents did not want.
If there are gods, they must look favorably upon us, because we have been blessed with a wonderful son, who is now in college and doing well.
My Dad grew up in the military, spent his career in the military. As a kid he collected various military insignia, amassing quite a collection. I have a website of his insignia, too. He was in military intelligence and at one point helped prepare the national intelligence estimates provided to the President. I have never met more of an intellectual. He became fluent in language after language - Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagali, Portuguese, Spanish. Up until just a couple of years ago he jogged regularly, now he takes walks every day.
My Mom waited to earn her Bachelors degree until she was in her 60's, then got her Master's degree at 76. We all laughed at a quote by her thesis professor in the newspaper on her graduation about how energetic and determined she was. It was an understatement. She passed away 6 years ago.
Both my Mom and Dad were interested in genealogy and I inherited the interest. So of course, I have our genealogy website. My Mom's thesis was based on a diary of the Civil War by my great grandfather, Joseph Eggleston, which had never been published. It is fascinating. I have long thought she should have published it as a book. One friend who was a Civil War buff and read the thesis urged us to do so. It has been made available by the Virginia Historical Society (combination search for author Eleanor Eggleston)
One of the best stories was about Joseph manning a cannon with 2 others, facing across a field leading to a forest, where the Union soldiers were. Twice in quick succession, as he and two others manned the cannon, they were briefly standing closely together. Twice the middle man was shot. Then a cannon ball went right by Joseph, so close the passage knocked him over. His comrades thought he was dead, but he got up and continued manning the cannon. Here is the complete excerpt.
And, finally, here is a Life Of Bob slideshow as presented to a group of colleagues at Sprint, where I presently work.