Hello, my name is Richard Ransom, and I’m the primary voice of the Funshop Blog. Here is where you’ll get some of our latest thoughts on fun in a less formal fashion, and hopefully more frequently, than through our subscription newsletter. Here is where I toss out tidbits for comment, critique, and contributions from the world at large. I’m passionate about promoting fun, and if you feel the same I hope you’ll take a moment to read some posts – and especially to leave some comments.
Richard F. Ransom, Ph.D., author
I’ve spent my entire life becoming a scientist (it’s an ongoing process, believe me), and decided at age 12 that I would be a biochemist. That pursuit led me to a both a B.S. (1983, Michigan State University) and a Ph.D. (1991, Purdue University) in biochemistry, followed by post-doctoral training in bacterial pathogenesis of tomatoes (University of California at Riverside) and fungal pathogenesis of corn (MSU-DOE Plant Research Lab). I then turned sharply to the left into biomedical research, and managed a lab at the University of Michigan studying the kidney disease, nephrotic syndrome. This grew into a faculty position, with focus on the molecular mechanisms responsible for the therapeutic efficacy of glucocorticoids in nephrotic syndrome. After obtaining my second major research award, I moved on to The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a faculty position at The Ohio State University doing the same work.
After several years running my own lab, a variety of difficulties led me to leave my faculty position, and I resolved to pursue only work that was closest to my heart. I founded Live Dye, a business dedicated to increasing the world’s supply of beauty through resist dyeing, better known as tie-dye. Besides producing various resist dyes for sale, I conduct workshops and disseminate information on how to perform the techniques I’ve refined and developed. I’ve been dyeing for thirty years, and it’s my art.
Time and time again during my long and difficult years pursuing academic research, the concept of fun pushed forward in what seemed at the time to be an inappropriate way. Science is serious, so why did I keep stumbling over something so seemingly frivolous as fun? I’m used to digging into the literature to assemble the knowledge I need to answer questions, and eventually I applied the same sort of rigorous investigation to fun that I have to molecular mechanisms of disease and therapy. I found the pool of knowledge on fun to be very shallow, and resolved to look deeper. That pursuit has become my vocation, subsuming every other aspect of my being into its mysteries. Luckily, I can think of no better direction for my life than the pursuit of fun – fun in every aspect of my life, work, and art. How sweet it is to be working in a field that demands that my life be as fun as possible in order to develop the necessary tools for my work and to maintain my credibility. Who would want to hire a fun expert who has no fun – who is no fun? I’ve learned to walk the talk, and I’m eager to bring the lessons I’ve learned to a broader audience.
Thank you for visiting my blog – now go have fun!