Herman Mark Schwartz was left as a child on the doorstep of the Shaolin monastery where he received his early training. His Shaolin masters wanted him to become a ninja assassin, but Schwartz preferred the more exciting life of an academic. Through Shaolin training, Schwartz mastered the cutting wit and endless patience needed to deal with academic torments. Hours of standing in icy water followed by beatings made department meetings and decanal addresses a piece of (rice) cake. Schwartz is mostly known for his collection of 273 identical shirts made from paper re-pulped from unsold copies of his books. He spends most of his time looking at pictures of kittens on the internet.

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