By Kris Kitto - 04/15/08 04:52 PM EDT
If I get through all the work I have to get done, I have a glass of cognac and I watch “The Daily Show.”
Twice in my career [as a physicist], I was in the position where I was able to see the answer to a question that no one else knew the answer to. It was a big underground experiment ... protons were not decaying ... me and my fellow graduate student looked at the terminal ... quark ... the accelerator was running.
Favorite musician or musical group?
Pop group — it’s got to be The Rolling Stones. And classical — Stravinsky’s La Pulcinella suite.
Finish this sentence: My favorite place in the whole world is …
The bike path along the Fox River [in Illinois] where I used to bike with my kids.
Tell me something no one knows about you.
I don’t use Rogaine. How’s that?
That my father didn’t get to see me sworn in to the House of Representatives. My mother did. My mother and father met on Capitol Hill.
What is the one thing you can’t tolerate?
People in a position of strength abusing those that are not.
What household chore do you dislike?
Crawling through the insulation to try getting rid of mice in the attic.
If I weren’t a lawmaker, I’d be …
I would be a physicist again. I could probably be a sailboat racer.
What is your favorite possession?
The set of mementos that are little pieces of equipment from each of the physics experiments I built.