how do you get your hair so perfect?

pack it full of secrets. that, and wash every other day. go easy on the heat styling.

what's the most ridiculous thing you've been told/asked/stereotyped about cos of your looks?

i told you this one once, but it reigns supreme. i was at an honors' society awards ceremony in undergrad, i think it was, when i was asked if i was lost, and looking for the sweet sixteen down the hall at the venue.

what are five things you'd want every young woman to know before they get into high school?

5.) moisturize your skin. drink water. take care of your body. 4.) being 'too cool' to be excited about something just ends up in you missing out on something great. never fails. 3.) always be kind. people will remember you for how you make them feel. 2.) learn what you believe, and then fight for it. 1.) no one can ever make you feel inferior without your consent. you, and your human experience are valid. you are enough and worth defending.

if you could implement an idea of yours without worrying about funding/requirements/etc., what would it be?

it's not my idea, but universal healthcare usually tops my wish list.

what's your favourite story behind some of our known constellations?

i have one that's kind of taken the cake recently. so i'll spill for the class. how many of you have ever heard of the pleiades? the seven sisters? it's a star cluster that you can see clearly here. they're allegedly seven sisters that are the children of atlas and pleione; from what i can gather, the most popular myth is that the girls were turned first to doves, then to stars after orion pursued them across the sky. orion still chases them to this day, but he'll never catch them. anyway.. they're a cluster that you can't quite see with your naked eye. you need to look at the whole through your periphery to see it properly.. and there was one night this fall that i spent with someone doing just that. so.. that's my favorite. long story, but there you go.

do you enjoy watching your students suffer at the gym because you're so buff and we're not and can't keep up?

yes, because it means i'm challenging you. you're welcomed to kick my butt once you're up and running.

what's the weirdest thing you've ever done in public when you thought nobody was looking?

make a drone into a flying jellyfish. turns out people were looking when it almost crashed into a house. sorry, lyle.

who do you most want to dress up as for next halloween?

ruth bader ginsburg.

so do you ask wyatt to lean down if you want to kiss him or do you climb on a ladder or WHAT because he's so tall, so what the hell?

in heels, i'm close to 6'4" -- it works out just fine. thank-you for asking, and that's all you're getting, london.

what are your essential items needed to get through the day?

coffee, mascara, my phone, a sharpie pen that doesn't have the tip bent, and a hair tie.

is there a moment in time that you wished was reversed?

there was a catsuit and a broken table involved.

if you were a plant, what besides water and light are needed to grow?

touch. that sounds scandalous, but it's not, i swear.

what is a movie or other form of media that left you completely speechless the first time you saw it?

the photo of dr. christine blasey ford during the kavanaugh hearings. there are no words for that image, and many others that skilled photojournalists can capture. i still can't stomach photos of refugees in the mediterranean. in terms of fiction/media.. fight club blew my mind in high school. i was not ready for that.

in 20/30 years, what will you remember most about the 2010s?

that this moment in time is one i've worked over twenty years for. by the close of the 2010's, i will have worked my tail off to be doctor cara davies, phd.

whats your underrated lifeskill?

i parallel park like a champ.

would you agree with the quote: "all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"? why or why not?

agree wholeheartedly. y'all; actively choosing to do nothing in the face of injustice or a situation that could benefit from something? it's as significant a decision as perpetuating whatever atrocity is being committed. complicity is real. it really is that simple.

if you could talk to one of your body parts, which would it be and what would you say?

my hands. i'd thank them for all they've done, and then warn them that they still had lots of work left to do.

if we lived in a completely matriarchal society, how different would our world be today?

mandles would not exist. or maybe more of them would. oh god, what a thought.

You slowly start losing your senses one by one. What's the last thing you'd want to experience with each before they're gone?

sight: a clear sky at night, sound: jeremiah's belly laughs, smell: peonies after the rain, taste: the perfect cup of coffee, touch: a full-body hug.

Who has influenced you greatly in being the best version of yourself that you are today?

jules. jeremiah. wyatt. teddy. you. the people i love deserve the best me, and i'd give them even more if i could.

Do you remember the first thought that popped into your head when you met me? What was it if you DO remember?

clear as day, old man. and it was ".. oh no."

What do you think is the most detrimental thing to society as we know it?

intentional ignorance.

Can you imagine the world if social media stopped working? What would happen?

i can, because i grew up without social media and turned out okay. so many young people would have to unlearn what they've taught themselves about their value in this world, and i don't know if a good portion of people (young and old) would know how to re-teach it to themselves. that frightens me.

What's the best word that you've learned recently?

'scintillating' is one of my favorites. not new, but always in the top 5.

What's the worst thing you've ever tasted?

i've been convinced that shawarma isn't the worst thing in the world, but i once had.. some gnarly shawarma.

Do you believe in any sort of higher power? If not, what do you put your deepest belief into?

i was raised in the south, so we went to church on sundays when we were kids. when my brothers left home, that family routine kind of went with them. i know that i believe in something up and out there, i just don't know what that something is.

As kids, we seem to have a sort of innocence and way of looking at the world that is more honest than we often are as adults, what do you think makes us unable to hold onto that feeling?

disappointment and fear. we lose our sense of wonder when we lose faith in something, big or small.

If I call you Captain, will you swat me? If yes, can I get a head start?

you know? it's growing on me, but someone already beat you to it. 10/10 will swat anyway.

What's the biggest failure you've learned from?

failed relationships. through those experiences, i've learned about who i really am (not who i think i am), what my flaws are, and who i want to be. it's made me a better person for me and a better partner for my partner.

what are your thoughts on small talk?

it helps when you don't know anyone and need something to start with, but you can't build a relationship with it. talk about the hard stuff; i promise, you'll thank yourself later.

how do you manage stress?

i organize things; giving my life a little bit of order helps in stressful situations (#justprofessorthings), but so does working out. working your body and mind to the point of exhaustion gives you no choice but to settle down.

if you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be? and why?

cherry garcia. kitschy and delicious? hello there.

what's one thing you think every person should experience at least once in their lifetime?

a planetarium show. i'm keeping it surface-level for this one. go watch a planetarium show.

is it easier to love or to hate?

i wouldn't say either is easy. they're both difficult for different reasons. love requires a willingness to be vulnerable and honest, to do the hard things for either someone's sake, or for them as a person. hate.. hate'll kill you in the end.

what do you think is the most significant event in the history of the human race?

lighting a fire. maybe the first cartographers. the wheel. things like that. the firsts.

at what point do you throw away old food? do you go by the expiration date, by the "smell test", or something else entirely?

i stick with expiration dates. bless anyone who operates with smell/taste tests; i'm entirely too safe, and like it that way.

what slang word/phrase do you wish you could erase from existence?

what in the fresh hell is a 'yeet'?

in one word, what do you live for?


what kind of cult would you like to start?

i want to meet a real life jedi. does that count?

The angel of death's come for you. He gives you an hour to do one final thing before you die. What do you do?

clear my browser history.

You can flip a switch to banish any band or musical artist from the earth, who is it?


Who would you really enjoy punching in the face, aside from the rather obvious top choice?

you know me too well. the amazon guy who doesn't donate any of his own profit to charity is a close second.

What are the top five things you'd take with you during a zombie apocalypse?

phone/charger, lighter, first-aid kit, a car (keys included), and a baseball bat for double-tappage.

How would you quickly dispose of a dead body from a hotel room?

weekend at bernies it? i don't know. this is terrible. jules, help.

You have to marry the last person you were standing behind in a line, how'd you fare?

i mean, she seemed like a perfectly lovely lady buying her coffee this morning, but i can't have a decent marriage with anyone that has six pumps of vanilla. i just can't.

What historical figure would you like having a chat with, if you could?

da vinci. easily.

You've become an international spy. Where's the place you'd like to go most? How about least?

if i'm a spy? maybe spain or italy would be the best. least, probably somewhere tiny like monaco. spying is hard when there's extreme populations, big or small.

A person walks up to you and says they're going to transform you into an animal of your choosing and there's nothing you can do about it. Which animal would you choose?

my dog. hands down.

Why do people expect a universe full of randomness to be fair?

now that i think about it, i feel like we'd all go a little nuts if we didn't hope for the best. expecting fairness is taking things a little far, but without hope for things working out, nothing would ever get done.

Tomorrow's the end of humanity. What destroys us all?

the sun's inability to power itself'll be the reason why in the end, but that's a long way down the line. ignorance'll kill us all much quicker if we don't do something about it, and fast.

Are you happy with the person you're becoming?

proud of getting this far. cautiously optimistic. understandably dubious.

Describe your life in a six word sentence.

and in the end, she cared.

what's the one thing you would like to change about yourself?

i want to be better at slowing down, in a general sense; i never used to be any good at it. i'm getting better.

what's your philosophy in life?

fall down seven times, stand up eight.

is what you're doing now what you always wanted to do growing up?

in a roundabout way. i just knew that i wanted to be very smart and wear pretty shoes. technically, i'm all the checking boxes.

what makes you feel accomplished?

diplomas, the kinds of hugs where people bury their face in your shoulder, remembering my password on certain websites, the normal stuff.

who is that one person you can talk to about just anything?

wyatt wu. the tall guy with the best smile you've ever seen. you know the one.

if you are in a bad mood, do you prefer to be left alone or have someone to cheer you up?

depends on how bad it is. i fully admit that there are some days when it benefits everyone to leave me alone, but usually, i like having someone else around.

what's an ideal weekend for you?

the kinds that are filled with what people call little details; the ones that are a really big part of what makes you feel human. good coffee, fancy breakfasts, time with people you love, self-care, good sex, long drives, day trips, cuddles with a four-year-old space marine biologist.. the important things.

what's your idea of a perfect vacation?

i'm going to costa rica in march; that's a pretty big dent in the 'perfect' column, but i maintain that i dream of going to iceland one day. hot springs, northern lights, whole nine.

when have you felt your biggest adrenaline rush?

when all my term papers were graded on time during midterms week. YOU'RE WELCOME, TEDDY & CHARLIE. (okay, i have more, but that's the one i feel decently about sharing).

what's on your bucket list this year?

doctor. cara. davies. phd. and then to actually drop a mic somewhere.

where is your favorite place in the entire world to go?

anywhere on lands' end, near the presidio. someone once asked me where my favorite stargazing spot was, and that's it. let me relax there for an hour or two on a warm night, and i'll come back all kinds of clear-headed. but savannah, georgia in the spring is also unparalleled. haven't been there in years, though.

what's something you can't go a day without doing?

cracking my knuckles. sorry, guys. it's nothing poetic; unless you count moving my body in some way, shape, or form. i don't feel right if i can't move myself to the degree of which i'm capable.

what is the weirdest thing about you?

you wouldn't believe me if i told you. scratch that. you might. no one else would.

if you could tell your former self one thing right now what would it be?

you're going to want to give up. don't.

what was the last book you read?

it was a poetry book by rmdrake. star theory.

if you could have anybody else's life, who’s would you take?

elle woods. that'd be a damn good one.

have you ever seen something you can’t explain?

i am something i can't explain.

what would you consider to be your deepest fear?

honestly? losing my cool and relapsing. losing my everything, because i have so much that i'm thankful for.

what person has had the greatest impact on your life?

my mother. she was one hell of a woman, and i'm so lucky to have had her while i did.

if you could be any inanimate object in your house for 24 hours, what would you be and why?

i'd be a certain candle i have in my house. i light it at least three times a week, because it smells incredible, and burns evenly without any of the formaldehyde that a lot of candles do have. warm, smells good, gets good amounts of use and rest? sure. i'll be a candle for a day.

what's something you wish you could do well?

build things. i can math 'em out, and tell you how they should work, but that's where my expertise ends.

what was the last skill you learned that wasn't work-related?

related to the above, i'm almost done building a microcontroller. so.. while i'm not super with building things, i'm figuring it out. let's talk arduino.

Are we living in the matrix?

only if we're going about our day to day with that same soundtrack.

What happens to the stuff that gets pulled into black holes? Is there a big pile of stretched out garbage somewhere?

exactly the opposite, actually. think about how fast light goes; light is made up of massless particles that move trillions on trillions of times faster than we ever will or could. black holes are dense enough to squelch a photon's ability to escape their environment. if anything, you chuck a tin can into a black hole, and it's going to get crushed so fast, your fingertip'd probably go with it. wild, right? my dissertation's written on measuring the geometry of black holes/dark matter. i get real nerdy about this.

Will you explain the multiverse theory to me someday?

i promise to explain the multiverse theory to you someday, dom.

what would you want your last meal to be?

midnight pizza, or an omakase at kusakabe.

What’s your biggest regret in life?

the times when i didn't speak up on something. no matter what it was.

Most outrageous thing that’s happened to you.

i adopted a cat.

5 words you think a good friend would use to describe you vs 5 words you’d use to describe yourself.

oh god. the words "she really is too much" vs. "i really am too much" have happened in conversations between jules and i.

What’s an unforgivable offense?

capitalizing on someone else's suffering.

Have you thought about children's names? Don't dodge me.

no. there's a time and place for that. when i was a kid though -- i did want to name my son simba.

If you could have one area of magical expertise, what would you choose?

taming scraggly ice dragons. it was an ice dragon, right?

What is the hardest part of your job?

the failure that comes with it. it can be physical failure in a workout, or academic failure when something doesn't go according to plan, or you don't do as good a job conveying a point to a group of hungover students. coming back from that is hard, but it's worth it.

What is your dream project?

a finished one. my house is always my project, and i bought it because of that. it's something that's wholly mine, for better and for worse. it's on me to make it work, one piece at a time.

How much would I have to pay you to go on reality tv?

not even amazonwhatshisface could pay me enough.

What's the one aspect of your life I know the least about?

childhood, 10/10. i mean, you know a lot about it, but relatively speaking? i think that's the thing you know the least about.

What do your dreams look like?

they've become more visual as of late. not a lot of words, just lots of things to see.

What do you think about when you can't sleep?

people. you guys. my place in the universe, and why that matters. my day. my tomorrow. normal stuff.

What are you reading or watching right now?

neither. i'm listening to explosions in the sky. the band. not actual explosions.

Name all of the people you love more than me so I can put eye drops in their coffee.