I have a rather wide area of interest (thus, this will be the longest page on this website :D). Actually, for me, the world around is an unlimited source of awe and a place for constant exploration. It sometimes causes a problem, because my free time is scarce and have to manage my hobbies well. Therefore, some of my activities were suspended at some point of time - e.g. I dont play chess as a professional player anymore. Fortunately, one can read books and listen to the music simultaneously :-).
Definately, Japan is my hobby, my dream and my love. If reincarnation is a fact, I had to be Japanese in one of previous lives. My interest started long ago with history books, when I have read about Kamikaze Units and admiral Takijiro Onishi. I was fascinated by tragic bravery of Japanese pilots. Then, the whole country, its culture, history and art have became my favourite hobby. I have managed to be in Japan for some time (Japanese government's scholarship) and I deeply hope I will have a chance to go there again. I am also a big fan of Kyudo, the ancient Japanese Art of the Bow.
I try also to encourage Japanese people to visit Poland and therefore I plan to start a Poland Guide Site. I will also try to answer any question about Poland and accomodation here, please feel free to [MAIL] me.
Well, I do like listening to some good music (as probably most of us). I cant say I have one or two favourite genres which I stick to. Actually, quite the opposite - I like many types of music. Celtic folk, pop, rock, jazz, classics and even metal and gothic - they all have something I like. The only two genres I really dont understand (am I too old?) is probably gangsta (you know, those funny guys in loose clothes, wearing golden chains and fancy rings) and disco polo (if you dont know what it is - dont ask, google it for yourself ;-)).
My favourites? Oh, there are many of them. Loreena McKennitt, Enya, Clannad. Leonard Cohen. But also Nightwish (and Tarja Turunnen of course!), Manowar or Sabaton. And dont forget classics like Dire Straits or Pink Floyd.
CHESS, BRIDGE AND GO
I have been playing chess since my very early years (probably learned the rules when I was 4 y.o.). I used to play in tournaments as a teenager, but later on decided I want to have chess as a fun, not as the sport. I quit from real gaming before secondary school, but sometimes I do play online on www.freechess.org. My login is CYNTHUS if you like to play with me ;-)
I am not a very good bridge player (chess is easier for me), but I do like to play with friends. At least from time to time.
Recently I started my adventure with go (which should not be a surprise, because I seem to like every thing which is Japanese). But I am only a mere beginner.
MATHEMATICS AND PHYSICS
Yes, I DO belive maths IS poetry. Many false opinions about mathemathics came from bad teachers in preliminary education. I had the chance to learn from really good ones and therefore I like both maths and physics (which is theory and purity of equatations applied to this real world). Looking to the right, you can see famous Maxwell Equations. Arent they beautiful?
Modelling complex processes (like dynamic economics) is challenging, but very interesting for me. It gives rationality to the physical world. What can be more refreshing than learing the rules that make this world go round? ;-) Actually I plan to write a Ph.D. thesis in that field (a mixture of IT and economics).
Reading books is very important to me. Unfortunately, recently I have learnt that if I start reading all my e-books right now, I wont be able to complete them before end of my days. This is very frustrating to me ... And every second people are writing new books worth reading. Life should be longer just for reading... (heh, sounds like an old Japanese Zen proverb).
Anyway, my TOP list includes books like: Ceasar by G. Walter, The Name of Rose by U. Eco, The God's Particle by L. Lederman and many more.
I always loved to draw. I was making sketches at school (especially during lessons...), at home or at work. My art initiation was passed when I tried to copy images from bridge cards found at my Grandpa's (Konrad, it was you who I tried to mimick, thank you :D). My first own drawings included variuos samples of medieval armament (as I was a fan of fantasy books).
Then I went to a college and choose a different path. But drawing was always an important part of my life. However, I mostly deal with electronic multimedia. On the other hand, right now, I have an honour to work with fellow Professors of Arts, most notably Tomasz Bogusławski (his poster from the play Titus Andronicus is shown to the right of this text), Adam Kamiński, Andrzej Śramkiewicz and Marek Freudenreich. Their insight, understanding of visual communications and nature of Arts is a great chance for me. I have a real chance to learn from them and to exchange ideas and thoughts.
There are many areas of art I like. Among my favourites you can find classic masters like Rembrandt van Rijn or Hoblein, but also impressionists. I also have a great respect for project graphic masters (and a whole Polish school of poster). On the other hand, I was always a great fan of commercial artists like Chris Achilleos, Frank Frazetta (great Nazgul depiction!), or Royo. And last but certain not least - Gieger and his dark and traumatizing vision of Aliens.
I have always been interested in history. It started during my childhood, when I read a great book on Greek Mythology by J. Parandowski. Since then I found myself very keen on ancient heroes, centaurs, gods and godesses. I wanted to read more and more about those legendary kings and philosophers and that way my interest have begun. During my preliminary school my grandmother used to read aloud historic books for me (thank you, Grandma!), and I learned some epic stories about my country. Then, during teen years I also was fascinated by WWII history (which took me to Kamikazes and Japan as a whole).
In fact, right now I rarely have enough time to read good books, but still I'd love to do so. My personal favourite periods are: Roman Empire (I always thought Gaius Julius Ceasar was the biggest politician of all ages), Greek Polis period and modern history (WWII and 1945-90). And Japan during Tokugawa period, of course!
My favourite book is definately "Ceasar" by G. Walter. I would also advice Polish authors: A. Krawczuk (specializing in ancient history) and B. Wołoszański (modern history).
POLITICS AND ECONOMY
Yes. I am interested in politics. This is rather unpopular statement in Poland, where politicians suffer great loss of position in public opinion (due to numerous corruption scandals and simply to common incompetence).
However, I am NOT a politician (and I am not planning to become one), I am rather interested in political science. Politics is (and always was) a field of neverending struggle and applied psychology, management and economics. Moreover, I am interested in mechanism of balance of power from the game theory's point of view. I dont belive there ideal statesman really can exists, but if he/she sould, is should be mixture of early Roman senatore and a 19th Century diplomat. I could be a political being then... which reminds me, that my grandmother used to say that I should be a diplomat one day. Well... who knows? ;-)
My position is mostly of liberal kind. I belive in free market, in personal freedom and individualistic values. I am not a radical - I dont shout "Laissez-faire or die" on the streets. On the other hand, in foreign affairs domain (which are very interesting to me) I think I might accept some of "realpolitik" conclusions. For instance: I supported Iraqi intervention wholeheartedly. I agree though that numerous things were done badly, too many soldiers and Iraqi civilians died. But, I am not a hypocrite - its war, after all. And Saddam did terrible things to thousands of people. Yet, it does not allow me to feel happy about what is going in Iraq right now.
On the other hand my favourite staement on politics is: "Diplomacy is the art of avoiding the conflicts". Nice.
I also take invest my interest in economics. Personally, I am very interested in macroeconomics and state-market mutual dependances. Generally, I would like to propose some generic mathematical model for simulation of that kind of relationships. This is because I am intrigued by mathemathical modelling of complex processes.
MOVIES: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE OTHERS
Ok, I do like movies. But I am not a professional critic, so I can judge them by my own standards :-)
I do like old, classic GOOD movies. Canonical. Therefore Kurosawa Akiro is one of my favourite filmmakers. Bergman, Kisielewski, Stone, Polanski and Wajda counts in this group, too. I am not sure what makes a move "canonical". I guess its the spectrum of artistic expression, the mood, the climate, the narration. All those things that make you think about the movie over and over. So here comes a short list of my personal movie blockbusters (not including doings from makers mentioned earlier): Casablanca, The Sting, Space Odyssey, Bridges of Madison County, Blade Runner, Citizen Kane, Ghost in the Shell.
I am also a fan of good Hollywod productions (which are sometimes claimed BAD). Makeing a good commercial show is a real challenge and - for God's sake - cinema was made to entertain the masses! So, there are a plenty of movies made as moneymakers that I still love. Take Lord of the Rings, for a good example. Or Terminator. Aliens (with an exception of Alines: Resurrection). All films made by Tarantino or Rodriguez (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Sin City - a great shot). Many lighter movies also fall in this cathegory, including one of my best moviemakers: Pedro Almodovar.
Finally, I liek really BAD movies. And I want to emphasize: BAD. Take Ed Wood, for instance. Arent his products wonderful? All those flying saucers on the strings. Actors totally screwing their job. Rubber monsters. Yeah, they are really GREAT! In Poland, we also have a great history of bad movies. Take Klątwa Doliny Węży (The Curse of a Snake Valley) for instance :D Funny thing is, there hired first-class actors for this endavour (K. Kolberger, R. Wilhelmi, L. Niemczyk or Ewa Sałacka :-). But when the movie was shot, the budget was dramatically cut (due to communist regulation on cinetography). The effect is still worth seeing!
Lets not forget erotic movies. Surely, the best erotic movie ever is Emmanuelle. I love Sylvie Kristel :D. If you had never had a chance to view this cult movie, you should try to do it. No other movie made so social earth quake in culture, especially in this area :D. Eroticism of this image is so timeless, so it could ba a milestone up to these days.
Last not least, for Polish moviemakers: I dont like Wiedźmin (the movie). Because it suxx. So read the book, play a video game and lets forget the movie.
MODELLING AND RPG
In short words, I DID like playing RPG when I was younger. I was also an active Game Master. We set up a pack of friends sharing the same hobby. Three of us have now Ph.D. degrees and Konrad even managed to get academic position at Harvard University. Not a bad career for guys playing miniature soldiers :-)
These days I tried figure modelling and painting (but now I no have time to develop my skills anymore). You can find some of my works at the GALLERIES.
Update: I sometimes play RPG with my Students :D