The kitsch…it burns! »« I spent all that time in Norway and I could have done it all in 4 minutes at home?

Did you notice my new haircut?

Yes, I got one the other day, and several observant students noted that I was less shaggy and bear-like.

But did you notice the FtB site revamp? Various things got juggled around, partly in preparation for a new ad service that will be stepping in soon (hopefully, with more appropriate ads), but also to make everyone else’s site almost as pretty as mine. I’ll be tinkering further with the site appearance in the future, but it’s got to wait a while — I’m neck-deep in teaching and also a major grant proposal that has to be done before the end of the month.

Comments

  1. Dianne says

    Unfortunately, the changes result in an awkward look on my browser (firefox.) Also I can no longer see recent comments. Is this fixable?

  2. Dick the Damned says

    Yeah, Marko, & I bet that one didn’t come from the bottom of the barrel. Actually, it’d be interesting to know if she is actually on their books, or is just an inducement to sign up.

  3. Mr. Fire says

    Agh! On my screen there’s no recent comments section, and the recent posts section is much shorter!

    You must surely deal with this before securing the financial future of your research!

  4. MarkW says

    The obligatory Withnai & I quote: “I wouldn’t advise a haircut man. Hair is your aerials, connecting you to the cosmos. This is the reason all bald men are uptight”

  5. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    PZ, make the recent comments the default, and increase the number to 10. Also, while thread dependent, the new format bogs down my work computer. Nothing like typing a sentence then waiting a couple of minutes for the text to appear. Scrolling the orgasm response thread was painful with this piece of dreck.

  6. geral says

    Awesome. I look forward to more changes (like possibly an edit button or delete, albeit with a timer to prevent abuse).

    Any plans to delete the blog off SB? FTB seems stable enough.

  7. Sili says

    And once again I’m getting ads for nice hair.dk …

    I’m sorry PZed, but I really don’t think Matt and Chris want to come play in your new tree house.

    (Thank god)

  8. marcoli says

    Hey, could anyone clue me in on why there is this new site in the first place? Will this eventually become the only Pharyngula site? I am also sort of less fond of it, in that it looks like it has more ads.

  9. AlanMacandCheese says

    Any chance of keeping the Scientology Ads, they were hilarious. They actually had their E-meters in the ad. Priceless.

  10. Ibis3, féministe avec un titre française de fantaisie says

    Not sure if you’ve taken a look at TET this morning, but the page was broken by a very long squee. You can blame Phoenicia, Josh’s new sourdough starter.

  11. Imani says

    Could you bring back the sidebar that lists the other freethought blogs? I was actually using those.

  12. says

    PZ Myers #9:

    Recent comments are still there: see the tabbed section under “About the Author”.

    If that’s the only Comments list we’ll have it needs to be much longer.

  13. says

    Current ad is for a discounted New Scientist subscription, with the slogal “You don’t need to be a scientist to be an expert.”

    You’re not helping, New Scientist.

  14. jose says

    It’s certainly less ugly, that’s good. Don’t really know why the even comments have a white space between the commenter’s name and the blue bar with the comment’s time and date.

  15. Janine, The Little Top Of Venom, OM says

    The list of recent comments should be longer. I am sure that many of the regulars keep taps of on going discussions through that feature.

  16. municipalis says

    I’m not really a fan of the overall design of the site. Everything is a bit too stark and lifeless. The typography could also use some work. I also wonder:

    a) Why is there both an “about the author” box (which right now just has a small picture in it), and the “profile” box which has another author’s picture plus a little description.

    b) Why is the content section so narrow (890 pixels). I think 980 is the standard nowadays. It would make things feel a lot less cramped (right now the sidebar seems to be 45% of the screen!)

    c) Why are there two search bars (one integrated into the theme, at the very top, and the second at the top of the sidebar). More redundant clutter.

    All that said, I’m still happy this site is around – I find myself reading the other blogs on here a lot more often than at scienceblogs.

  17. julian says

    Ah… and here was me thinking my browser was being stupid again.

    Honestly think I liked the other look better but meh. So long as everything is organised and a couple clicks away.

  18. says

    Humble request: Is there anything that can be done to get the favicon to show up in Firefox for Windows? Right now it’s just a blank spot, which makes it difficult to spot FTB pages on tabs and bookmarks. Thank you.

  19. Ytrus says

    I like this layout, it’s much cleaner looking, besides a couple gaps on the right side where I’m assuming ads will be.

  20. Karellen says

    With Konqueror 4.6.5 I get a very wide page. All the page content is the width of my browser window, so there’s no problem reading it, but there’s almost the page width again of completely empty space off to the right, and a pointless horizontal scroll bar.

  21. says

    Recent comments are still there: see the tabbed section under “About the Author”.

    Yes, but it’s not very convenient.

    See, the thing is that posts aren’t actually much of an issue. We generally see the recent posts without them having to be listed at the side. They’re in front of us.

    If the default tab were Comments it would be preferable.

    Glen Davidson

  22. RFW says

    Regarding that haircut: it’s about time, goddamit! The calendar says it’s 2011 and shaggy sasquatchoid haircuts are OUT. We know you’re not gay, but can’t you still make some effort to stay on top of recent developments in style and fashion? Your gay friends will be happy to give you advice on the topic if you suffer from uncertainty. And, no, they won’t suggest that you need to add a pink feather boa or a pair of assless chaps to your wardrobe.

    I just hope it was a good, short buzz cut.

    And, dare I ask, did you undergo a little manscaping while you were at it?

  23. illuminata says

    Recent comments are still there: see the tabbed section under “About the Author”.

    Nope. under about the author is adspace. No recent comment field at all.

  24. jose says

    The tabs are the top are definitely too big. And there are two different search boxes, one at the top, other under the header.

  25. marta says

    The site is less ugly, but also less user friendly. I agree with poster above: bring back the list of blogs, formerly on the left, for a good reason–users can see immediately which authors/blogs Freethought is hosting, without having to scroll.

  26. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Recent comments are still there: see the tabbed section under “About the Author”.

    Five recent comments? There are ten at the SB site. How about ten or even, dare I say it, twelve?

    And where are the links to the other FtB sites? The link to Greta Christina’s blog goes to her old blog, not FtB.

    There’s still more tweaking that needs to be done.

  27. badtim says

    overall, i like. some notes:

    the two search bars — one is the WP search, the other is google site search. the WP search results page has issues; the sidebar is set to float:left, which makes it inconsistent with the rest of the site (sidebar on right), and the posts returned from search need a width, and perhaps a float, so they don’t get pushed down below the sidebar.

    the odd comment rows are picking up the light blue background from the even comment rows (div.comment-meta and div.comment-author) — neither of these need the backgrounds set for them, as the light blue is provided by the parent div in even rows, remove those backgrounds and the odd rows will be all white.

    about the author should be at the top in the right sidebar, and have some text :) — this should probably be merged with the Profile block, as it’s the pretty much the same sort thing.

    comments set as default in the Recent block, definitely. and 10 items, not 5.

    the tabs themselves in the sidebars need a bit of space between them, either add a TD into the output code or change the background image. and the off state for the text needs to be a different color than light grey, the read is off. try light blue.

    i’d also put the leaderboard ad above the site masthead, less visual disruption to the page that way.

    $.02

  28. David Marjanović, OM says

    Somebody changed a running system.

    PZ, make the recent comments the default, and increase the number to 10.

    No, increase it back to 15! (At least.) And if the list of recent posts doesn’t show more posts than the main page does, it’s useless.

    Not sure if you’ve taken a look at TET this morning, but the page was broken by a very long squee. You can blame Phoenicia, Josh’s new sourdough starter.

    That’s fixed; the new culprit is in comment 446, where someone tried to find out how long the lines are.

    Yes! Ragged right text! Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou

    It’s been ragged for, what, a month now?

    can’t you still make some effort to stay on top of recent developments in style and fashion?

    Fuck you. Get your priorities in some kind of order. Some self-proclaimed designer proclaims “this is fashion now”, and you believe everyone is obliged to obey? Seriously? Is PZ not allowed to have a taste of his own?

  29. evilDoug says

    Can you bring over the banners from the old site? Some of them are fabulous. The female mallard crocoduck is OK, but not the best of the banners.

  30. Lorence Sing says

    Getting better all the time!
    I would love to see the return of the “Random Quote” section, too.

  31. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    That’s fixed; the new culprit is in comment 446, where someone tried to find out how long the lines are.

    We will not mention John Morales’ name, to spare him any embarrassment.

  32. Rich Woods says

    I’m quite happy with the new site. Firefox with NoScript and AdBlock means no ads get in the way of my daily enjoyment of other people’s comments, nor in the way of my ability to add empty meaningless comments which do nothing to entertain, educate or inform the lives of others.

  33. evilDoug says

    Fuck you. Get your priorities in some kind of order. Some self-proclaimed designer proclaims “this is fashion now”, and you believe everyone is obliged to obey? Seriously?

    Oooh! Thank you David! I do enjoy the schlup sound of an airhead being deflated.
    ~~~
    On an entirely different matter of sounds (off-topic, but somehow I don’t think it is likely to derail the thread): Could you tell me how to pronounce “ludovicianus” (as in Cynomys ludovicianus, the black tailed prarie dog)? Is “vic” pronounced like vik or (more or less) vitch or veetch or …?
    Thanks.

  34. Shibujiro says

    I wouldn’t make a habit of using Apple’s icons like that, especially in a post about advertising.

  35. RFW says

    The pronunciamentation of “Cynomys ludovicianus”:

    I’d say Kine-o-mize loo-doh-veek-ee-an-us. Accents on the penultimate syllables, “o” and “an”.

    Some Latinists would plump for the V being pronounced as a W, as in Caesar’s weeny, weedy, weeky for veni, vidi, vici. (I came, I saw, I conquered.)

  36. says

    Ack! Ron Paul ads proclaiming something called a “constitution day money bomb” appearing at the top of every page on this site now…

    Great… my eyes are bleeding profusely and I’m almost out of tissues.

  37. says

    I prefer the ‘recent comments’ to be obviously present, not hidden under a tab, and it’s waaaaaaaay too short. I use that to keep track of discussions, it’s a very important feature.

  38. Sili says

    Is “vic” pronounced like vik or (more or less) vitch or veetch or …?
    Thanks.

    Yes.

    Well, Classical Latin had /k/ for <c>, but I have no idea what’s the standard for Linnaean faux Latin. The /t&ash;/ is an Italianate, moderner choice.

  39. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Do.
    Not.
    Like.

    Having the “menu” of links on the right makes my brain seize up. :(

  40. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    By the end of the day, I could TeT, but it wouldn’t scroll any faster than a line at a time. No problem on my iMac at home.

  41. David Marjanović, OM says

    We will not mention John Morales’ name, to spare him any embarrassment.

    “Well, I’m certainly glad I didn’t say that.” :-)

    Could you tell me how to pronounce “ludovicianus

    Depends on how Classical you want to have your fake Latin. Do what you want.

    Seriously. English-speakers at scientific conferences sometimes have trouble understanding each other because they pronounce names like Deinonychus and Diplodocus in different ways. Hey, there are even two US-American pronunciations of “data”.

    weeny

    Well, no. It’s “veni”, not “vini”.

    I have no idea what’s the standard for Linnaean faux Latin

    There is no standard.

    By the end of the day, I could TeT, but it wouldn’t scroll any faster than a line at a time. No problem on my iMac at home.

    For me, it scrolls quite nicely, but the stuff I type takes forever to appear in the comment window. Often a minute or longer. In other words, it overstresses the computer as if it had 2500 comments instead of less than 600.

  42. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Sheesh, I unwittingly (stupidly?) demonstrated that a problem exists, and this is the thanks I get?

    ;)

  43. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but the stuff I type takes forever to appear in the comment window. Often a minute or longer. In other words, it overstresses the computer as if it had 2500 comments instead of less than 600.

    QFT. Nothing like typing as sentence, then going to another task for several minutes before your misspelled words appear.

  44. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Considering PZ’s politics, on the left makes sense. :)

    Considering your bigfoot lack of evidence, but your faith in BF, you preferring right wing makes sense…

  45. John Morales says

    Hm. Just tried changing the setting on FireFox from left-to-right to right-to-left (about:config page, then change bidi.direction to 2 from 1) — interesting, but that’s not the go, alas.

    (not that I actually mind these settings, I was just curious)

  46. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, I don’t think this current mythusmage is the seagull.

    In other words, not Alan Kellogg. Any evidence? It’s not like I haven’t been wrong before, but the statement certainly sounds like Kellogg.

  47. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Nerd, just an impression from recent comments on this new site.

    (Up to mythusmage to confirm or deny this)

    chigau, I was being jocular. PZ segued from his hair-cut to the new site layout; you see only the latter.

    PZ — ads? What ads? ;)

  48. says

    Yes, it’s essential to have the 10-15 most recent comments to keep track of what’s happening, otherwise too much gets missed.

    As to the new haircut, pics or it didn’t happen !

  49. says

    @David Marjanović, the joke is “weeny, weedy and weaky”. It doesn’t work so well with better pronunciation. It’s from 1066 and all that, which everyone should read.

    Julius Caesar … having defeated the Ancient Britons by unfair means, such as battering-rams, tortoises, hippocausts, centipedes, axes, and bundles, set the memorable Latin sentence, ‘Veni, Vidi, Vici’, which the Romans, who were all very well educated, construed correctly.

    The Britons, however, who of course still used the old pronunciation, understanding him to have called them ‘Weeny, Weedy, and Weaky’, lost heart and gave up the struggle, thinking that he had already divided them All into Three Parts.

  50. chigau () says

    John Morales
    I’m hoping that that ghastly “beard” is gone he has modified his facial hair.

  51. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    This really is awful, PZ, I’m sorry. 5 “recent comments” is way deficient for Pharyngula, the right-hand menu is just. . . totally counterintuitive and awkward… the whole place is a huge visual turn-off that feels wrong. Again, I hate sounding so complainey about a place I’m not paying for but that I get such huge benefit from. But, it’s a mess. It looks amateurish, it’s not user-friendly, and it’s ugly as sin.

    I don’t know if the bad-to-begin-with FtB layout can be salvaged with any more clunky Band-aids. If y’all decide to do another drastic redesign, please, please, please enlist regular and casual readers to beta test it and give feedback first. It’s impossible to believe the FtB overlords, whoever they might be, even bothered with this in the first place.

  52. David Marjanović, OM says

    PZ, it’s not just TET that overloads this computer. The problem has reached the Prodding the feral otaku thread, where I just wrote comment 286, and now it’s beginning here, too (there’s a delay of a few seconds, and the fan is running).

    Freethoughtblogs is longer capable of dealing with long threads.

  53. Carlie says

    Another vote here for “recent comments” is more important than “recent posts”, so should be the default on top tab. Recent posts is redundant; I can scroll down on the same screen to see them. It’s the recent comments that are hidden all over the place and need to be highlighted with links.

  54. says

    Any chance of getting a favicon.ico file for FTB?

    That’s the little 40×40 picture that shows on browser tabs and next to bookmarks that identifies the domain. Right now, FTB’s is blank. ScienceBlogs.com has the black-background with the white S-sup-b on it. Google’s is a red-yellow-green-blue stylised lowercase g.

    Anyway. The existence of the icon means that tapes in a long list can be identified immediately. It helps pick a bookmark out of a list visually. And it will stop all those “error 404: favicon.ico” messages that your sysadmin is filtering out of his log files.

  55. Phalacrocorax, not a particularly smart avian says

    John said:

    Any chance of getting a favicon.ico file for FTB?That’s the little 40×40 picture that shows on browser tabs and next to bookmarks that identifies the domain.

    Funny, I see the FTB icon in my tabs. (Using Chromium, BTW)