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They call me The Renaissance Man, or many people have since 1984. When I was in secondary school, many of my teachers called me "a modern day renaissance man." Shortly after, many people began to call me "The Renaissance Man." I have been called many things in my life, and I must admit that I prefer The Renaissance Man to many of others. So I do encourage its use, because in all honesty it is a good name for me. When people call me The Renaissance Man, it is as a modern day renaissance man, not because some of the clothes I wear are copies of clothes worn during big renaissance era in Europe. For there have been many renaissance periods though out history, and all over the world. True, there was a big one in Europe around, and during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and it was the second greatest era in history. It cast in the light, ending the Dark Ages. Although we define it as ending the Dark Ages, it was not something which began at some precise time on a foggy day one April morning in year X. It was also the first era to name itself.  Do you think that some one in 1066 C.E. living outside Bourges would have thought they lived in the middle ages? NO! Actually, in Europe for the most part, they believed that they lived at the end of the world, which was just around the corner. Then, as the renaissance took hold, more and more people believed in change--a change that would survive even the Victorian mind and still be strong today. It was a belief in the future, that perhaps our time now is not the last word of god. But not just that, there were more, many more circumstances and ideologies which came together to make "the Renaissance." The word its self means rebirth, which is a terrible name for the era, but they did not know what they had started, nor could they shape it. There is something which characterizes all renaissance periods, and that is thought. Not that people outside those periods do not think, though some can attempt to prove otherwise. But there is a kind of thought during a renaissance period that one does not find in other periods, which is, in general, the belief that everything is knowable, and that one person can know it all. Now, I know that I can never know everything. We live in times that make that goal quite impossible. However I have, as far back as I can remember, been interested in almost everything. I have always been a jack of many trades, which really just comes from having so many interests. However, I digress, so back to secondary school.

The Sciences and thier related Technologies Engineering

The Renaissance Man's Polyhedron Weeb Siteone of the sciences I like is that of Mathematics, well acctually not all of it but many aspects of math are cool. Geometry is particularly cool, esspecially as it relates to Polyhedra. Those are geometric solid or forms in three dimentional space of either regular of iregular shapes. this has practile aplication in architecture and molecular chemistry and stuff. but I love to model these shapes and that's cool stuff, IMHO

Architecture is cool too, I was on my way into the architecture field when I desided to comit to a life of history. The spacifics of architecture getting the most of my attention are towers, skyscrapers, Stadia, bridges, tunnels

My Eco-Cabin SiteI'm forever tincering in architetural things and I get to do a lot of hands on stuf with Mom's cabin. I redesigned and rebuilt this cabin my mother had dreamed about for 25 years.

Pete Bastiansen's Comicbooks Weeb Site

My Space Ship Site My Alien Site Amoung the many things getting my attention are the aries of Space exploration and travel, along with the peoples who must live out there in the vast expances of space. I've made different weeb sites for each rather than duplicate all that stuff here, so if you want to see my stuff about either space ships or Aliens then click their respective links on either side of this paragraph.

There I was, with my wide-ranging interests, and a rather cerebral manner. I had started sewing earlier, and as I improved I was better able to furnish myself with the clothes I liked.. That clothing was not of the cut of the popular clothes of the times. These clothes were of an eighteenth century style. Then, besides sewing, I began making musical instruments in the wood shop at school.  In two years I made about a hundred. Mostly Appalachian mountain dulcimers, hammered dulcimers, banjos, and a few violins. I invented a few too, and I still make couple or four a year now. But to keep making the numbers I used to, I would need the power tools of a well set up woodworking shop, so nowadays I make my musical instruments entirely by hand. Anyway, people began calling me The Renaissance Man because of my thirst for knowledge, and not just to know what but to know why. To know why is a very special part of renaissance thought.

Today my interests are still vast, though if there has been any specialization it has been to the field of History. I have an affinity for history many others do not seem to have. Currently my greatest historical interests are in the history of the sciences and their many related technologies, the history of clothing, and the history of history. One of the many great things about history is that it involves everything, and to me it is sum of all knowledge. How could someone not love that? History has been my passion for two decades. For many history is just names and dates, but that attitude comes from disinterest and a terrible curriculum--or indifferent teaching. For me history has always been the High Story of human beings. It is the "greatest story" that can ever be told, and one reason for that belief is that history evolves. As time passes the story changes, ever approaching the truth. Like scientists, who of course are all people in white coats laboriously sneaking up sideways on the secrets of the universe, historians are also sneaking up sideways on the store of human history. Science is more today than it was before because scientists today stand on the shoulders of those who went before. History is the same.  We know more today because we see more than we did before, and we stand on the shoulders of giants.

People often ask me if I think I was born too late, or, if I wish I had been born in the Renaissance or even the middle ages.  I can tell you NO. Living during the middle ages would have been unbearable for me as I have been for most of my life.  I think if I were suddenly transported there I would go mad or be killed. During the Renaissance, living was certainly better, but it still would "suck"; it would just "suck less." Of course were I born back then, I would have been perfectly accepting of the time I lived in, for everything around me would be perfectly normal to me.. The historical consequences could be problematic, though. As for whether I think I was born too late, I usually say no, and I will also add that if anything, I have been born too soon. However, outside of all this fiction-speak, I am perfectly happy with the time and place of my birth. I love both my parents and appreciate that they produced me, and especially in that I was a wanted child. I am indebted to them for my life and I thank them. The life I have lived has been quite something, though it has been the only life I have known. I have lived well, and, from the most part, I am happy. I am quite happy with this Weeb Site. I have put a lot of work into it and I think it is pretty nice.  I would like any advice you would like to share in making it an even better site.

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Click to E-Mail  © Ragnar Torfason
2005 December 28