I often have to write speaker bios, and I always forget to save them. After revealing this fact on Twitter, a genius suggested I should crowd-source the creation of my next bio. The actual document is changing moment by moment (shown wonderfully in this video captured by a reader), but here’s everything you need to know about me, as at 11:30am on the 27th of April:

My New Bio

His Royal Holiness, Professor-Doktor Sir Benedict Rutherford Herstley Jones-Von-Matterhorn Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Rothschild Gracewood™, DSO, KBE, VC and Bar (Public) is a tall, handsome, and pleasantly-spoken (possibly cyborg) gadget-obsessed ur-developer. He also answers to “Sex-kitten”, “Hey you” and “The Defendant”. The third son of minor nobility, he spends his days at leisure, hunting pixel-stained peasants, commenting knowledgeably on the woeful state of the proletariat, and invoking Dark Forces (Microsoft tools and frameworks) in order to produce something approximating software (usually simultaneously). He accidentally wrote the original version of Firefox while drunkenly attempting to find a way to hide his search history in Mozilla. In the summer he makes meat helmets, which he donates to starving naked orphans in the Third World, thereby solving two world issues with a single invention.

“Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah!
Roma-Roma-ma-ah!
Gracewood-ooh-la-la!
Want your Ben romance” — Lyrics from his Solid Gold hit ’80s single “Ben Romance”

Infamous in certain circles for his involvement in the events detailed in the Red Book, and particularly in having the fortune of guessing “pocket lint” at a critical juncture, Sir Benedict was honored with a knighthood for throwing himself into a river during the battle for Lower West-Hampton, only to nearly drown. At this point he introduced into battle strategy the important tactic of removing armour before entering deep waterways. Insights such as this have seen him honoured by knights everywhere, but cursed by metal collectors and archaeologists.

He is also known as The Man Who Shot Paul Henry, Don Brash (Labour), Don Brash (Act), Don Brash (National), Don Brash (Maori Party), Harry Potter and Rebecca Black in one day (with one bullet, no less). He fears no man, but isn’t particularly fond of spiders or unrolled toilet paper. His worst nightmare is Rolly, the dog with eight legs. Rumours that he can be slain only by an as-yet unborn girl-child armed only with a feather and a sense of goodwill have been confirmed by his publicity agent.

In his copious spare time, courtesy of his trust fund and the lands he rules with an iron fist, he runs his website on LAMP and harbours impure thoughts about learning Ruby on Rails (but doesn’t know what either of those things are). His one-eyed obsession with Windows Phone 7 has been recognised with a Windows Phone MVP award from Microsoft (as well as a ‘cease and desist’ letter), but he still thinks the iPhone 3G is the best smartphone, at least until WP7 Mango 2011 Home Student Ultimate Edition Service Pack 3 comes out later this year (and inevitably fails during the update process). Don’t ask him about Android, cause he’ll not shut up about its pure awesomeness and start asking awkward questions about what you’d do if you found a turtle lying on its back.

Ben works as a capital-A Architect for Datacom and thus has plenty of time for blogging at http://ben.greek.nz, swearing on Twitter as @nzben, and fighting crime dressed as an enormous possum. He has made numerous television appearances, but is perhaps best known for his YouTube series on lemur hygiene. The videos feature him alongside his furry sidekick Morgan (pictured below) and follow his daily attempts to house-train his beloved pet. His work with prosimians earned him a range of accolades, including an audience with the Queen which he was rumoured to have declined, saying “down with this sort of thing”—a phrase he would later get tattooed on his left buttock. His right buttock features the elite hunters-and-coursers symbol, a small ithyphallic fox.

His Holiness’s first Oscar™ nomination was for The Godfather, in the small but significant role as the orange Marlon Brando didn’t eat. However, he is best known for his role as Tom Cruise’s nude body double in Eyes Wide Shut, a performance that resulted in an enormous increase in profits for trauma counsellors. Sir Benedict turned down the cunt role of Voldemort in the Harry Potter movies, fearing that his commitment to method acting, and his hidden depths, might see him accidentally conquering the real world with dark magic and enslaving all Muggles.

At one point he attempted to build an escape-proof fence, which his one-year-old child, Dwight, promptly rocket-jumped over during a daring daylight robbery. This has led to the understanding that with each generation of Gracewood, the genes, intellect and daring only reach greater heights.

He totally enjoyed nailing the Groupon clones with Twitter rants much to the amusement of his loyal devotees. Unbeknown to many, Ben is in fact the originator of the 1-day coupon idea and owns shares in many of them, as well as two submarine patents related to the concept.

He recently hacked into the PSN network, later stating it was ‘for teh lulz’. He is a unique and beautiful legion. He’d like to have a coffee, but he needs to be back this afternoon to DDoS parliament.nz. He built his own DDoS network which he likes to refer to as ‘Skynet’, mostly to scare politicians. In his spare time, he is MP Jonathan Young’s technology advisor.

When pressed as to which Gracewood sister he’d save in Dr. Haywood’s original thought experiment, he shrugged and went back to playing Portal 2; further enquiry elicited a query as to whether he had sisters at all. In a Metro Magazine readers poll, Sir Benedict was voted the Gracewood Sister Paul Henry Would Least Like To Fuck.

The rumour that he is in fact Gary Brolsma, the unfortunate young man in the original Numa Numa video meme, relocated to New Zealand to escape the cruel taunting of his schoolmates is, of course, a cruel and malicious lie (although Sir Benedict has so far been unable to produce a valid birth certificate). Ben’s loves of Star Wars and Britney Spears, however, have not gone unnoticed by the Intarwebs, or Interpol, especially after the publication of that crossover fanfiction.

He has more Lego than God. (Than God has, that is. Ben has no God, other than the almighty iPhone 3G). However, he chooses not to comment on this, as he does not wish to give an inferiority complex to an entity that he doesn’t believe in (It would seem a double insult). When asked about this, or indeed anything else, God declined to comment.

Ben likes Star Trek, Star Wars, and starbursts. He earnestly believes that glitter is your friend. However, he draws the line at Glitter, as the film works of Mariah Carey fall outside his expressed areas of cultural interest.

Not many people know this, but the alleged four Gracewood siblings are simply four different aspects of the holy quaternity that is Ben. He has a thousand arms, eyes in the back of his head, and is capable of turning water into beer. In an earlier incarnation he was also responsible for the works published under the names of Marlowe, Shakespeare, Lovecraft, and Enid Blyton. Timmy is still the literary character of which he is most proud. He is, after all, so licky.

Ben divides his time neatly into thirds, and apportions each to a letter of the Greek alphabet. Unfortunately kunt is not a letter in the Greek alphabet, but nobody has the heart to tell him.

Ben thought crowdsourcing his bio was a good idea. Says a lot, really.

The Original Bio

Here’s what I had originally. While accurate, it is infinitely less awesome.

Ben Gracewood is a gadget-obsessed developer. He builds stuff using Microsoft tools and frameworks, runs his website on LAMP, and harbours impure thoughts about learning Ruby on Rails. His one-eyed obsession with Windows Phone 7 has been recognised with a Windows Phone MVP award from Microsoft, but he still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone, at least until WP7 Mango comes out later this year. Don’t ask him about Android. Ben works as a capital-A Architect for Datacom, blogs at http://ben.geek.nz, and swears on Twitter as @nzben.


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