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“Here I am standing in a street with mud and a cow” — Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia.[1]

Nicholas George Shanks was born on 1 May 1981 at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, to a Scottish father and Hungarian mother. He was raised in West Bridgford before moving at age 18 to Hatfield to attend the University of Hertfordshire where he read Astrophysics.

Although presently a web developer at the Royal Opera House, in London's Covent Garden, Nicholas has won an Apple Design Award whilst working as a Cocoa programmer for Boinx Software of Bavaria, where he wrote Mac applications. Interests include learning languages (Gàidhlig, Latina, 日本語, Русский). Besides astrophysics, computing and linguistics, his interests include archaeology, paleontology, paleoanthropology, human and robotic spaceflight, terraforming, females, natural disasters and a plethora of other topics. His musical tastes include Bruce Springsteen, The Police, Die Prinzen, Chris Isaak, Jefferson Airplane, Peter Gabriel, The Steve Miller Band and U2 amongst many many others.


1 Languages
2 Major Contributions
3 Images
4 Articles of Interest
5 External Links


en This user is a native speaker of English.
de-1 Dieser Benutzer hat grundlegende Deutschkenntnisse.
fr-1 Cet utilisateur peut contribuer avec un niveau élémentaire de français.
la-1 Hic usor simplici latinitate contribuere potest.
hu This user only knows a few words in Hungarian.

For anyone who's interested, I have an RP‐like non‐rhotic East Midlands accent with linking and intrusive [ɹ], and almost exclusively use a short /æ/ in words like grass, path, laugh, dance; exceptions being aunt, can't, half and calf. I read wh as /w/ in almost all cases, except where distinctions are significant (which witch?), and exhibit partial and sometimes inconsistant Yod dropping for example in lute, suit but not new, dune or Zeus. The words chew and juice may be pronounced both with and without /j/ with no apparent (to me) reason why I would choose one over the other, and I more frequently coalesce the noun tune to /ʧuːn/ than not; the verb to tune is never coalesced. I have written an IPA transcription of myself reading the above passage and made an audio recording of myself reading the passage from the English Speech Accent Archive.

Major Contributions[edit]







All images created by me are licensed through a Creative Commons Attribution license of one form or another, some require Share Alike, some just attribution. My photographs have the additional condition that I be notified by email explaining when and where they are to be used. I retain copyright on these works, unless otherwise noted.
See english gallery (content in English) and commons gallery (language neutral content).


Diagrams & Artwork[edit]

SVG Optimisations[edit]

The following were optimised by me in a text editor. I did not draw the originals.

Articles of Interest[edit]






External Links[edit]

Commons-logo.svg This user has a page on Wikimedia Commons.


  1. ^ "Wikipedia takes business approach". BBC. 15 April 2008. 

© Copyright 2004-2008 Nicholas Shanks.