Meet Gralistair: Lover of travel and barbecues in the US!


Gralistair on vacation!
Gralistair on vacation!

Gralistair is a brilliant and trusted member of the community. He humbly believes he has few contributions on the site: a mere 77, 476 contributions making him a Gold Contributor! He supervises many categories related to travel and airports, and he contributes most actively to the Plastics and Polymers, Chemistry and Metal and Alloys categories. Born and educated in the UK, this British chemist makes his home in Kansas City, Missouri and he loves the United States! Read on to learn more about Gralistair.

What is your first name? My name is Graham.

What is your occupation?

I am a research scientist in the fields of Chemistry and Materials Science.

What is your username and how did it come about?

It’s Gralistair. My first name is Graham and my middle name is Alistair. So my username is a contraction of those two. My father to this day calls me Graham Alistair.

Where are you from and what makes this place special?

I was born in Chester, an old Roman fort city on the River Dee, in England and then raised in Preston, Lancashire. I was educated in London, but I have lived most of the last 13 years in Kansas City, Missouri. The people from the midwest in the United States are wonderful – and of course the barbecue is outstanding. The climate is very different from what I was used to in the UK.

How did you discover

I was researching a chemical question in connection with my job. I came across this site. Incidentally the answer was wrong, but I said so and contributed to the discussion and suggested an edit.

What enticed you to join our community?

There are two reasons: I was actually a contributor on a rival site, but found to be the best and livliest site. The main reason though is my age and time of life. Although I will always be committed to lifelong learning and I truly believe I can learn something from everyone, at 56 years old, I want to give something back. I like answering questions and editing the answers of other people, so the whole community can gain in knowledge and benefit from my expertise and experience.

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

I would choose the American Bald Eagle. I love the USA, so it seems appropriate. And I believe in freedom, something this bird truly has. Flying like a bird is the ultimate in freedom.

What is your favorite thing to do on

I like to answer questions and edit. As a Supervisor, I have the added privilege of merging multiple similar questions and answers and then doing a heavy edit and clean up. I get credit for this of course, but many have contributed to the final outcome. Let us all remember, everything is possible as long as we are not worried about who gets the credit.

If you were inviting someone to join, what reason would you give that person to become a part of our community?

The reasons to join are to be part of something good; to be part of the community; to learn; to contribute; and to help others.

Imperial College London
Imperial College London

What life accomplishments are you proud of?

I am proud of getting a Master of Science degree with distinction in Engineering. I’m also proud that I received the prize for Student of the Year from Imperial College London, a top 25 university. Given my education and experience, I regularly receive invitations to speak around the world on technical subjects.

Last, but not least, I have flown in and out of, slept in, driven in, photographed the “Welcome to” sign, and visited the capital city of all 50 states in the United States.

What accomplishments on are you proud of?

None really, as I am not a huge contributor. I have only 80,000 contributions and there are many others that make far greater contributions than I do. Because I really am busy, I do not contribute as much as I would like to.

What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you?

I was once trapped on the Brazilian side of Iguaçu Falls. We could not get back into Argentina because the Brazil/Argentine border was blocked by striking taxi drivers. To resolve the problem, my small tour party crossed illegally into Paraguay and navigated through the streets until arriving at  the river. We then charmed our way – with the help of our tour guide – through naval border security, boarded a very small fishing boat, and crossed the river back to Argentina.

What is your favorite type of music?

I like electric folk music and my favorite band is Steeleye Span.

What is your favorite song?

My favorite is Sebastian by Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel.

Who is your favorite poet?

My favorite poet is Wilfred Owen and my favorite poem is Dulce et Decorum Est by Owen. It does the exact opposite of glorifying war from the perspective of someone who had lived through World War I.

What makes you unique?

Every human being on the planet is unique. I am a human being – ‘nuff said.

If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?

1) World peace 2) That I could fly 3) That I could have enough money to retire and fly First Class all the time.

Do you view the glass ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’?

I am the eternal optimist. I do not believe in the Kobayashi Maru (to use a Star Trek analogy). There are infinite possibilities and I always look for the good in people, not the bad.

What do you find most challenging as an Supervisor?

I find it frustrating to re-categorize answers that another Supervisor has moved to the wrong category, probably by batch recategorizing  100 answers or more at a time to get their organization contributions higher. Sorry if the frustration shows through.

What do you find most challenging as an contributor?

It is a challenge to keep quality up and not worry about quantity.

What are you most passionate about in your life?

My passion is public speaking.

What is your favorite quote and why?

“If you bang your head against a brick wall it is not the wall that gets hurt.” I claim credit for inventing the quote, and it illustrates that it is best to move on rather than engaging in a futile exercise.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?

Without a shadow of a doubt, it is my father. He laboriously corrected my grammar and more, when I was a very young child. Therefore, if you lend to someone, you borrow from them.

Where is one place in the world you would love to visit and why?

I would like to visit Antarctica below the Antarctic circle. It is remote, barren and very few people on the planet have gone there.

Do you have any special talents?public-speaking

Well, I do not like blowing my own trumpet and slapping my own back, but I can stand up at about 10 seconds notice in front of a large crowd of people and give a speech about almost anything. I love public speaking.



Check out some of Gralistair’s answers on the site:

Why is there a minimum age to have a frequent traveler card?

Why are some reactive metals corrosion-resistant?

How can you prevent galvanic corrosion between 304 stainless steel piping and galvanized saddle tap fittings?

Meet His Powr4U: A Millionaire Club Contributor

Hispowr4U started out on in 2007 and already had a WAmmy Lifetime Achievement Award by 2009. She is an honored member of the Millionaire’s Club many times over with more than 3 million contributions. She has 6,744 Trust Points, another sign that she is highly valued on our site. Her favorite categories include: Word and Phrase Origins, Definitions and Word Differences, and Synonyms and Antonyms. She is also active in the Music category. Check out B.J.s profile page to see beautiful portraits of Smokey, her kitty and many more accomplishments. She is an impressive and respected member of our community!

What is your first name? My real first name is Betty, but I go by BJ.

What is your occupation? I’m unemployed and disabled.

What is your username and how did it come about?

It is HisPowr4U (notice there’s no E in it!). I actually prayed that God would help me to think of a name that would point others to Him, and that’s what I believe He gave me.

Where in the world do you hail from and what makes this place special?North Carolina

I grew up in Missouri, but since 1984 I have lived in Western North Carolina. I love the mountains here, and the flowers in the spring.

How did you discover

I was asking a question on Google – I have no idea now what the question was – and one of the first “answers” was a link to WikiAnswers. I was lovestruck.

What enticed you to join our community?

Soon after I started contributing to the site, I was invited to become a Supervisor. I had so much fun on the site, I jumped right in.

Smokey: Powr4U's kitty!
Smokey: Powr4U’s kitty!

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

 I would be a kitten, because they are so precious and cuddly.

What is your favorite thing to do on

I love to re-categorize questions.

What reason would you give someone to join the community?

It’s FUN! There are so many things available on the site now to do, and there are so many more groups than when I first found the site. If a person has special knowledge about any subject, he or she will be able to find a niche here.

What life accomplishments are you proud of?

I used to do short-term mission trips to Juarez, Mexico once a year with a friend of mine who had a youth group. I translated for the group sometimes because I was the only one who spoke Spanish. We did preaching, singing, and a lot of skits. I even taught the youth group how to sing “Jesus Loves Me” and “This Little Light of Mine” in Spanish.

I am proud of learning Spanish, although I’m not totally fluent. It comes in handy. Now I’m writing Bible questions in Spanish for the director of an orphanage in Guatemala. They do what they call “Bible Quizzing” in which the kids use questions to memorize Bible verses.

Check out some of HisPowr4U‘s contributions on the site:

How do computers make you lose the skill of writing?

What are the symptoms to know that a woman is asymptomatic?

Why were women not important in the Bible?