Fun Facts

Sam's Favorite Books

  1. Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo

  2. The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster

  3. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown

  4. Crime & Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

  5. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, by Victor Hugo

  6. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

Sam's Favorite Movies

  1. The Big Lebowski, directed by the Coen Brothers

  2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, directed by Zack Snyder

  3. School of Rock, starring Jack Black

  4. The Front Page, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau

  5. Dr Strangelove, directed by Stanley Kubrick

  6. Dial M for Murder, directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Sam's Favorite Musical Artists:

  1. The Mars Volta

  2. Red Hot Chili Peppers

  3. Michael Jackson

  4. Pink Floyd

  5. Foster the People

  6. Hans Zimmer

Sam's Favorite Television Shows:

  1. The Simpsons

  2. Star Trek: The Next Generation

  3. Modern Family

  4. Breaking Bad

  5. Comedy Bang! Bang!

  6. Psych

Sam has a recording studio in his house.

Sam is of no relation to Don Otten, the NBA record-holder for most personal fouls in a single game.

Sam started losing his hair as a junior in high school.

Sam did not have a cell phone until 2012 (his mom's hand-me-down flip phone) and did not have a smart phone until 2021.

Sam has directed a mini-movie parody of “The Matrix” and a collection of music videos with his younger brothers under their production company Fibre Studios.

Sam happens to know that in Perry, MI, there is a Perry Masonic temple.

Sam is a Barnes & Noble member.

Sam feels that gift shops in the state of Minnesota should sell little six ounce cans of pop and call them "Mini-sodas." Sam's wife feels that gift shops in Minneapolis, MN, should sell "Mini-apples."

Sam played Sky Masterson in Rudyard High’s 2001 production of Guys & Dolls.

Sam has memorized all the U.S. presidential election winners and challengers of the past 162 years.

Sam was a co-founder of the Hack Clubs at Rudyard High School and Muskegon High School, but the Hack Club in Rudyard was banned 15 years later, ironically, by one of the founding members when he was principal of the school.

Sam’s favorite fast-food restaurant is Taco Bell, and his favorite restaurant overall is Taco Bell.

Sam thinks that "Londonderry Air" is a funny name for a song.

“Sam” was the most common dog name in 2004.

Sam and his friend Dale Bergman have given over 100 musical performances in various nursing homes in West Michigan.

Sam’s name was published in the Dec 2007, Oct 2008, and Dec 2008 issues of Mathematics Magazine because he solved some of their proposed problems.

Sam is right-handed, as is 85% of the general population.

Sam feels that the Mars, Inc. candy company should produce and distribute bags of lemon drops called “Lemon-M’s.”

Sam found it funny when he received a fortune cookie that said, “If you promise someone something, keep it.”

Sam spoke at the January 2008 and the December 2010 MSU Board of Trustees meetings in support of the Graduate Employees Union during their contract negotiations.

Sam's Erdős number is 4.

Sam finds it troubling that near Grand Rapids there is a chain of funeral homes whose signs read “Cook Funeral Home: Family Serving Family”.

Sam composed a piece of choral music that enjoyed its world premiere in the Upper Peninsula, May 2008. Here is a scanned copy of the score.

Sam’s wife shares a birthday with HAL 9000.

Sam's nextdoor teaching partner in East Grand Rapids was Mr Streeter. His nextdoor teaching partner in Muskegon was Ms Strasser.

Sam believes that though, through, bough, rough, and trough should all rhyme.

Sam released an album of original music entitled The Illustrated Man, which is a soundtrack to the book of the same name by Ray Bradbury. (Ray referred to the album as "wonderful" and a "delight" to listen to.)

Sam was featured in Fall 2010 on the Grand Valley State University website as a "success story." He was also featured on the cover of the State News in April 2011.

Sam captured the first images of Ben Affleck in his Bruce Wayne costume for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Sam hosts the Justice League Universe podcast, analyzing the DC Films from Warner Brothers studios.

Sam has 1933 references in his Endnote library.

Sam and his wife have designed ambigrams for each of their children: