I used to like the word, just as a less elitist / snobby version of "intellectual." But I also just enjoy learning about the physical world around me, studying how people study it, and seeing the crazy technology people build with and for it. I've bumbled around in a few different worlds (mostly software-based), but if there's one that convinces me to get up out of bed after already having worked all week, it's science.
"Hippie-ish" is also somewhat apt. Though I fear the east coast may have shaved a decent bit of that out of me.