Matthew O'BrienLehigh Valley, United States
About me: I study neuroscience, enjoy sports, especially running, all literature, philosophy, psychology, and history. I have an insatiable appetite for knowledge and I love to have fun and meet pleasant people. :) I'm hyper when animated and a wee bit mischievious. I like seeing people creative and happy and I'm always curious as to what makes them excitable. I really believe in experiencing life to the fullest. I only wish we only had a bit more time... here's to your happiness and good health! :-) Cheers.
Now, to inspire:
Eargasmic stuff. My highest value is life and this music gushes with it.
Video from my favorite television series, Doctor Who, that I sometimes watch:
"The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. Hey. The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant." (DW - Vincent and the Doctor)
"Stop crying, you've got a lot to look forward to, you know. A normal human life on Earth. Mortgage repayments, and from 9 to 5 a persistent, nagging sense of spiritual emptiness. Save the tears for later. You are so young, aren't you? And you know, right now, everything's ahead of you. You could be anything. You could walk among the stars... You know, when I was little like you I dreamt of the stars. I think it's fair to say, in the language of your age, that I lived my dream. I owned the stage. Gave it 110 percent. I hope you have as much fun as I." (DW - Closing Time.)
A few more life lessons:
TV/Movies: Amelie, Merlin, The Colbert Report, Torchwood: Series 3, The Pillars of the Earth, Sherlock: Series 1, Ip Man, The Legend of 1900, The Shawshank Redemption, Schindler's List, LOTR, LOTS, Mr. Holland's Opus, Pan's Labyrinth, GATTACA, Harry Potter, Good Will Hunting, South Park, and Doctor Who.
Music: (Genki Sudo) - WORLD ORDER, Ludovico Einaudi, Nightwish, and Wolfsheim. I like Yann Tiersen, VNV Nation, Amberian Dawn, mind.in.a.box., Elegant Machinery --- I like many groups and styles of music, anything with pace, feeling and soul.
On Euphemism: The Giver (Lowry)
On Public Service: Mountains Beyond Mountains (Farmer)
On Family/ Living: Tuesdays with Morrie (Albom)
On History: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Shaffer, Barrows)
On Law/ Biography (Individual): Thurgood Marshall - American Revolutionary (Williams)
On Sport/ Biography (Team): The Undefeated: The Oklahoma Sooners (Dent)
On Economics: Freakonomics (Levitt)
On Children's Literature: The Giving Tree (Silverstein)
On Science/ Genetics: Next (Crichton)
On Fantasy/ Sci-Fi: A Song of Ice and Fire (series) (GRRM), Sword of Truth (series) (Goodkind)
On Nutrition: The UltraMind Solution (Hyman)
On Strength of Character(s): Harry Potter (series) (Rowling)
On War: Ender's Game (Card), The Hunger Games (Collins)
On Exercise: Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (McDougal)
Sports: "Training is principally an act of faith. The athlete must believe in its efficacy: he must believe that through training he will become fitter and stronger.... He must believe that through training his performance will improve and continue to improve indefinitely for as long as he continues to train to progressively stiff standards." (Stampfl, The Perfect Mile)
I enjoy soccer. I played travel soccer for about 10 years and I have very good footskills and touch on the ball and I can juggle a soccer ball hundreds of times before letting it drop. I discontinued playing soccer as a result of 2 partial MCL tears. Additionally I found that the running community as a whole is quite friendly. However, I still referee soccer some weekends and I have helped coach my brother's and sister's teams. Arsenal and Newcastle are my two favorite premier league teams; I like the Arsenal management philosophy in addition to their aesthetically pleasing style of play.
Lifestyle: Vegan (except for the occasional pizza or stromboli) - I highly recommend the books The UltraMind Solution and The China Study to learn about the fantastic benefits of eating vegan. Similarly, Forks Over Knives and Super-Size Me are good documentaries. Simply put: you are what you eat and what the body needs are real and whole foods! I am an ardent supporter of preventive medicene.
I enjoy the outdoors. I go for runs and I like hills! Running hills was always my greatest strength in cross-country. I used to take freewheeling classes frequently at the gym and this seemed to aid in powering up hills although my slender build gave me significant competitive advantage in running. I like to run during the sunny hours so I can get my daily dose vitamin D. Many people are vitamin D and vitamin B12 deficient but do not know it! Additionally, I referee soccer on weekends, so I get paid and stay involved in a simple game I loved to play with the benefits of working out.
I am agnostic. I was raised Roman Catholic, however, I found Eastern philosophies very attractive! Ultimately, I thought to take the best from what I gathered from philosophy for a reasoned and healthy lifestyle. I derive fulfillment from seeking the truth in all things, which is fulfillment enough, in addition to the beauty instrinic to life and its corresponding environment.
-is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it. (Kaye)
-[is defined by] the chance for people to be happy. (Pendragon, MacHale)
-is the ability to live our own lives, to have soveriegnty over one's own heart. (Sword of Truth, Goodkind)
Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy. -Csikszentmihalyi
And my favorite:
"A man's strength is not the force of his hand or his voice but the kindness of his heart." (Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, Lang)
Ratings: FIDE: 2089, US Blitz High 2307, US Quick High 2215.
My interesting games:
From my tactics trainer approving:
1782 (The Emperor’s New Clothes) --- Material
Other cool chess sites: