My Blog

  About Me


Job Experience

  Photo Gallery
  “Digitally Altered”
  Video Editing
  Making Music

  Urban Exploration

  Jokes Collection
  Sound Clips

Political Essays
  The NSA's Domestic Spying
  U.S. Foreign Policy Flaws
  Noam Chomsky Lecture
  Howard Zinn Interviewed
  Why Invade Iraq?
  The Problem of Pres. Bush
  Japanese Government
  Gun Control Laws

Essays of Experience
  My Feelings About Cars
  Tour of a Nuclear Plant
  E. Abbey on Nature
  House Moving Story
  A Balloon Ride

Science Essays
  Baseball Physics
  Evidence of Paranormal
  Was Time Created?
  The Big Bang
  Fish Evolution
  Ocean Currents
  Dinosaur Meteor Impact
  Universe Expansion
  Quantum Chance
  Handwriting Recognition
  Recovery from Smoking

Other Essays
  Investments for Everyone
  Macs vs. PC's
  The Matrix, & Fight Club

All Essays

Me sitting on a log
Oberlin Arboretum, 1997.
About Me

Are you looking for information about Scott Teresi's experience as a programmer and web developer? See my professional portfolio or resume.

(Random trivia: my last name, Teresi, is pronounced "trr-EE-see.")

On this page:
       Growing Up
School and Life
The Real World
About This Site

Growing Up

I was born in the mid 70's and grew up on the edge of a small town in northeastern Ohio. Down the hill about a quarter mile hung the only stoplight, the center of the town of Garrettsville. If you parted the trees and bushes in my back yard, you'd end up in the town's main plaza, with grocery store, hardware, bank, post office, Dairy Queen, and movie theater. I'd play every day in the sandbox or play ball tag with the two kids next door, and I'd hear the sounds of the bell tower and the fire siren and cars and trucks driving by the house. I'd ride my bike through town and explore every side street, back alley, and back road. And there at the edge of town were fields and woods which I would explore on foot. I grew up with the sounds and excitement of the city which would later captivate me and draw me to larger cities.

School and Life

When I was in high school I'd started getting together with my friends Andy and Frank and trying to play music (see my Music page). We never really got something organized together, though Andy and Frank did join bands for short times. We'd have regular camp-outs in the woods on their farms and chase each other in the hay loft at Andy's. Then in 1993 I moved away to college at the University of Toledo, Ohio, to a great dormitory full of friends and non-stop action and excitement. (See my Friends page.) Everything was suddenly new and positive. I majored in computer science and lived for three years with Mike, an English major. By my senior year I'd completed most of my course requirements, and I could indulge in developing some of my other interests—philosophy, economics, psychology, jazz band, and photography (see my Photo Gallery).

Campus of Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997-99
Bustling midday crowd. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. March 1999.
By 1997 I felt I hadn't gone far enough in my study of computers (see my Programming page). I'd been fascinated by computers ever since my family bought a used Apple IIe for $2000 in 1985 and I'd learned to program BASIC. I still felt like there was a lot more to learn, and I certainly didn't want a real job yet, so I enrolled in grad school. I was accepted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, two and a half hours south of Chicago and a day's drive from Garrettsville. It was a long ways away, and I was entirely on my own.

I lived in a tiny dorm room my first year of grad school at UIUC and a house my second. While I did have a car, an old '84 Toyota Tercel, it was more fun to travel everywhere by bicycle. All the necessary stores and shops were only five or ten minutes from campus by bike, through rain, shine, or snow. I met people who were much different than any other people I had ever known. Almost all my friends in Illinois were from other countries, such as Germany, India, and Brazil (see my Friends page). Propelled by our distinctive differences, we actively discussed plans, philosophies, and views of the world. I bought an acoustic guitar the summer of '98, and learning to play it was a great distraction during my last semester (again, see Music). I received my Masters of Computer Science degree (gladly opting out of a thesis) in Dec. of 1998 and then worked at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in the spring, programming 3D graphics stuff in Java. NCSA is probably best known for developing Mosaic, the precursor to Netscape which launched the whole phenomenon of the World Wide Web.

I left Illinois in May of 1999, when all my friends had also graduated and moved on. I moved back to Garrettsville for a vacation and to play music once again with Frank and Andy. I had been away for six years of school and felt that there were so many new possibilities for us. In August I wrote my first song with lyrics on a challenge from Andy (see Music). Before the end of the year I'd rented a house with Andy in Hiram, whom I lived with for three years until he up and moved to California to follow his dreams.

Now I've moved to the Ohio State area in Columbus, Ohio, to follow my own dreams of living in the middle of a thriving urban neighborhood. It's great to be able to bike everywhere I need to go on a daily basis, and have lots of choices for evening entertainment right down the street.

The Real World

Picture of me by Lake Erie
Me, Lake Erie, 2002. Photo by Tony Scibelli.
Currently I'm working as a freelance web developer, creating web sites with dynamic content (see my professional experience page and resume). A dynamic web site is controlled by behind-the-scenes programs (such as PHP) and databases (such as MySQL), which end up outputting HTML to your browser. A web site without a back-end database is simply a collection of static pages, like a short book or a pamphlet. Part of the revolutionary impact of the web comes from being able to retrieve requests for information coming from each unique visitor to the site. Searching through a web forum, booking a plane flight, buying a CD, getting driving directions, using a search engine... All of these applications require large databases and a well-designed interface to retrieve the information the customer wants.

I contract most of my work for Digispire. The owner of Digispire, Darren Shrager, was once my boss at a small company a few years ago. He was learning all the latest web technologies (CSS, Flash, DHTML, etc.) and knew all of the quirks of the various browsers. He could organize a new site from the ground up, and he had the artistic talent to create sharp, friendly site designs. He was a one-man web site producer.

Darren always encouraged me to learn as much as I could and to take on more and more responsibility. He was always happy to answer my questions, and he had lots of confidence in me. I learned a lot by working for him, going through the steps of conceptualization, site planning, creative design, and development. His broad knowledge gave me a strong foundation and understanding of everything that goes into creating a web site. Working for him, I've gotten tapped in to how the web works and can see the endless career possibilities!

I also work for the U.K. company, Energylinx. I did the backend programming for the Energylinx web site, which allows consumers to find the lowest priced gas and electricity suppliers available in their situation.

About This Site

The world wide web was just becoming popular via Netscape and Mosaic while I was in college. By the time I understood what was happening and made my first lighthearted contribution, it was already 1996. My first project was my enormous jokes collection, which doesn't attract much traffic anymore. (Who doesn't get enough jokes forwarded to them?) Then came my photo gallery, which turned out to be the subject of most Google searches which brought people to my site for a while. Finally in 2000, while I was between jobs, I sat down and created a lot of the content you see here. My goals were to reflect my interests in a balanced and all-inclusive manner, to share my passions with others, and to preserve who I am as part of the internet. Here were my original thoughts on designing this site, and my original dramatic purpose for why this site should exist. The audiences for my site are a) random but purposeful web surfers (the largest group), b) friends, and c) potential employers.

I would like to say thanks to my family and my friends Alison, Frank, and Andy for their continued constructive suggestions and help in the decision-making process.

In the years since my site has been on the air I've received many kind e-mails from people interested in my photography, students and other inquisitive people who've found my writing helpful, and lots of people who found the source code in my programming section a small but significant help to their research projects. I'm continually amazed whenever I hear of how a total stranger was inspired or enlightened by something on this site. I enjoyed the process of creating each and every item that's here. To turn my excitement for my endeavors into a contribution to someone else's ambitions... what a great feeling!

Last updated: Nov. 2003


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