Hi all! ... i was reading some cosmology articles on phys.org as i often do and sort of noticed something about GAIA down the page on the right without knowing it was a forum post - although it is plainly indicated. I felt like i could contribute to that thread and there i am introducing myself. I'm a french male, 56, born in Nice on the riviera where i live. My interest in science and physics started very early, thanks to my father. I was a geeky boy with geeky friends and we had a lot of fun. I've been working thirty years as a software engineer. Corporate systems, data bases, graphic design, multi media, interactive CDROMs, web sites, real time 3D, networks... Meanwhile, i always kept an eye on science achievements and applications, and it has been an amazing ride... And it is getting even more amazing! I don't have any science degree, i'm just a compulsively curious mind with a bit of understanding. Over the years i read more about science then any other subject i got interested in. Some of my favored subjects are general relativity, quantum mechanics, physics, astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, complexity, fractals, chaos, systems far from thermal equilibrium, genetics, biology, cognition, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, origins of life, string theory, philosophy of science... and the list keeps growing with the years. Somehow it revolves around the very large, the very small and the very complex. What else? I'm glad to be here. First time on the forum for good. I just hope i won't get sucked into it... I've already got some demanding hobbies and activities. I'm tempted to mention a few opinions and thoughts but it may not be appropriate right away...? And it could be long winding - and not always pc. Maybe latter... BTW: i manage to balance my 'rational mind' with music playing, singing, photography, drawing, dancing, wood working and hiking... for now.