Better Know a Skeptic: 10 Questions for Cristina Fernandes

“Better Know a Skeptic” is a series of articles introducing the members of the Ottawa skeptics by asking ten questions.
Name: Cristina Fernandes

Screen name: Cristina
Member Since: Almost Day 1
Chosen quote: Robot: “Calling all scientists!
Scientist: “Ooh, I have a dregree in homeopathy.”
Robot: “You have a degree in baloney.”   -Futurama


1) Briefly describe yourself.  What do you do for a living, etc.
I own an independent publicity company based in Toronto that specializes in music publicity.  Much of what I do for a living revolves around the music industry and music so when I’m not ‘on the job’ I’d much rather hang at home with my son and husband Pat who is an active member of the O.S.

2) Why are you a “skeptic”?  Was there a “wow” moment?

I wasn’t always a true-blue skeptic in the sense that if someone endorsed a homeopathic product to me, or promoted some metaphysical idea, I didn’t question it.  However, I always had a distaste for B.S.  My “wow” moment was when I started to learn more about the scientific method, astronomy and see shows like Mythbusters.  Pat had stumbled across the SGU podcast and that opened the door to the skeptical movement, and the realization that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

3) What are your hobbies/interests?

I’m really into Cooking, Baking, watching great Comedy, Fashion, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Basketball, Rollerblading, Spinning, Weight-training on the Gravity machine, and raising my son to be a critical thinker.

4) What are you passionate about at the moment?

5) Do you have a hero?  Why him/her?
There are many people that I respect and admire for various reasons, however, I can’t really name one person that is my all-time hero.  If I were to pick who it was right now, I’d have to say Barack Obama.
6) If you could have dinner with 5 people, dead or alive,  who would they be and why?
Barack Obama.
Stephen Colbert.
Chris Rock.
Neil deGrasse Tyson.
My late Dad.

I think the “why” is probably self-explanatory!

7) Do you have a favourite: album, musician, sports team, movie, TV show, book? (Feel free to list one, some, or all.)
Music: Besides all of the artists I represent, you mean? ☺  This one is tough as my musical tastes range from old Jazz to Urban to Metal.  A short list of bands off the top of my head are Death Cab For Cutie, Radiohead, Rage Against The Machine.  “OK Computer” by Radiohead is one of my favourite albums, ever.
Sports:  Toronto Raptors & the National Portuguese Soccer Team
TV shows:  The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Office (UK & U.S. versions), Heroes, The Universe, any great Science and Astronomy show on Discovery, BBC, PBS or Nova
Books:  At this moment in time, I’m into author Malcolm Gladwell (Outliars, Tipping Point, Blink).
Movie:  The Usual Suspects is a great movie in every way.  High Fidelity is an old fave too

8) What grinds your gears?
Jenna McCarthy gets my blood boiling like no one else can.  As a mother, I find her ignorant, delusional, misguided efforts to influence the “unwashed masses” and push forward an agenda linking vaccines to autism despicable and completely objectionable.   Sylvia Brown the “psychic” is probably a close second.
9) Tell me something I don’t know about you.
I earned a Danbo belt in Tae Kwon Do.  A Danbo belt is half red/half black and is the level that precedes a Black belt.   And yes, I had to break boards with punches and kicks in order to earn my belts.  I was also Ms. December in the 2008 Skepchick calendar.
10) Why are we here?
I am here because my Mom and Dad had sex about 40 weeks before I was born.  And since I am here, I would like to make the most of my life on this planet.

23. February 2009 by Pat
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