Reason #13 to vote for Pharyngula


This will be my last plea for your vote, to the relief of many. My next comment on this subject will be a miserable concession speech glorious in-your-face crow of triumph, after all the votes have been counted and validated. We’re behind right now, but I’m sure there will be a last-minute rush to the polls to save me.


I think it’s time to up the ante a bit. Since Phil’s doom is imminent, perhaps we need a little wager, just to make everything more interesting. My first thought was to have Phil’s penalty on his loss was to come live in one of my tanks, as illustrated here (little known fact: Phil is a very tiny man. That’s not a telescope in the infamous nude photo, it’s a ballpoint pen). But then I considered what he’d probably demand in return, and although I’m not going to lose, one should never make wagers one can’t pay—and I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life crammed in a tiny space capsule, going “beep-beep-beep”.

So here’s a different deal: if when I win, Phil has to write an article on astrobiology for Bad Astronomy, and dedicate it to ME and all the wonderful, intelligent, perceptive Pharynguloids who had the discernment to vote for this blog rather than his. In the purely hypothetical instance that Phil wins, I have to write an article on something of his choice (I’m not sure what; astronomy is so boring, so I suppose it could be on kittens or whatever. Maybe he can think of something) and similarly dedicate it to his legions of misguided fans (or perhaps, that one guy who cheated and voted 7,000 times for him).

So come on, Phil. Let’s see if you’re tough enough to take the wager.

Vote for Pharyngula (and remember, you can vote every day!). Unless you really want me to say something nice about a mob of chordates.

P.S. The fiercest contest is between Bérubé and “Spunky Homeschool”. At least if I lose, I’m being crushed by a fellow scientist…but if Bérubé loses, it will be to a defunct blog with “spunky” in the name, and the shame will be unbearable. David Horowitz will mock him evermore for it. He’ll be laughed off the hockey rink. He might change his blog name to “Spünký Bérubé”. Help the poor guy out, and vote Bérubé.

Important Update: the terms of the wager have been agreed upon!

When I win: Phil will write an article praising the importance of biology in some way, and most importantly, expressing his appreciation of the perspicacity and noble mien of the readers of Pharyngula. In addition, in his talk at The Amazing Meeting this year, he will take a moment to further sing the praises of Pharyngula (and he must spell it correctly!) before his audience. Rah!

If Phil, by some ungodly miracle and happenstance, should win: I will write a similar article that singles out the Bad Astronomer’s readership for far, far greater praise than they deserve. My extra penalty: I will pose for the SkepDudes calendar. That last was part of my new cunning plan—I am committed now. If I lose, this body will be in the calendar, and I assure you, people opening it to that month will wonder if that is a man or a mollusc. Everyone’s going to vote for me now, lest that photograph ever be made. Mwuhahahahaha!


  1. DavidByron says

    I’m thinking of starting my own weblog award which will have even more votes than this one claims to have because instead of merely allowing people to vote once a day per browser per machine (or once every time they wipe out their cookies) it will have an edit box where you can type in however many votes you want to cast.

  2. Edd says

    I’m with you there Nerull. I don’t think PZ has realised he’s actually had astronomers voting for him. (No slight meant to Phil, but I don’t know all this biology stuff so it’s more fun to read!)

  3. George says

    … that one guy who cheated and voted 7,000 times for him).

    Does that guy happen to have the initials P.P., work at Sonoma State, and spend his free time wowing people with his egg balancing skills, perchance?

  4. poke says

    Am I the only person who read “come live in one of my tanks” as “come [as in ejaculate] live [as in the opposite to pre-recorded] in one of my tanks”? I was distraught and confused for a good 2 minutes before the sentence shifted, like a Necker cube, to something more wholesome (sort of).

  5. Phil's brother says

    Hey, now! I didn’t cheat! I own 1,750 computers! It took me four long days to post those votes!

    You may be write ;-) about the pen, but Phil can still KICK YOUR butt!

  6. minusRusty says

    Am I the only person who read “come live in one of my tanks” as…

    Yes. And with a name like poke, I’m not surprised… :-)

  7. idlemind says

    The weird thing is that the SpunkyHomeschool has been going backward for the last day or so, while Michael Bérubé has been advancing at a fairly good clip. I wonder if SHS has been having votes lopped off due to cheating? He’s gone from 200 behind to 500 ahead, with about a third of that change being the evaporation of SHS’s total.

    And, poke, I’d hate to see what your reading of “Spunky Home School” would be.

    Finally, I must note that if I wanted to win and had command of enough minions, I’d hang back just a bit and then have everyone make their final vote five minutes before deadline — too late for the other side to come back, whatever they may have in their tank.

  8. says

    Yes, there’s an announcement over there: Spunky lost over 900 votes to cheating, Bérubé lost almost 500.

    So NO CHEATING! That Plait guy would rub it in my nose, and my nose is very delicate.

  9. Bobryuu says

    I might blind myself and ruin my career as a painter for this, but if by some Divine form of ruin that you lose, I will know that Cthulhu has been awoken and I must buy the SkepDudes calendar to drive me to insanity.

  10. idlemind says

    PZ, you know photographers can do marvelous things with lighting — and Adobe Photoshop™. Why, I’m sure you’ll be almost indistinguishable from George Clooney.

  11. jackd says

    the Bad Astronomer’s readership for far, far greater praise than they deserve

    Since there’s no way on this green Earth that anyone could read Bad Astronomy AND Pharyngula, right?

    (As a dedicated reader of both blogs, I have decided to do the only fair and equitable thing: Accept bribes.)

  12. James Taylor says

    ‘Polls close at 11:59 PM (US – Eastern) December 15, 2006.’

    Guess that’s just a guideline and not a rule.

  13. CanuckRob says

    At 2:29 PST you were behind by 10 (now 9). I was quite happy to see either of these great blogs win but the SekpDude calaenar threat forced todays vote to be for PZ.

  14. minusRusty says

    It’s like watching a horse race: Here comes Pharyngula leading by a nose… And Bad Astronomy takes the lead… They’re neck and neck, swapping leads by the bob of their heads, it’s going to come down to the wire folks, …. it may be a photo finish……

    gOd forbid they end up in a tie!

  15. minusRusty says

    “gOd forbid they end up in a tie!” Because then we’d end up with PZ nekid in a calendar, and Phil singing at the Amazing Meeting. :-(

  16. Greco says

    (As a dedicated reader of both blogs, I have decided to do the only fair and equitable thing: Accept bribes.)

    Such as a Skepdude calendar?

  17. Buzz Parsec says

    The terroristicalist threats made me cancel my earlier vote for the BA by voting for PZ this time. Only the Cephalopod Party can protectect us from scary calendars!

  18. faux facsimile says

    Whatever way it turns out, looks like Pharyngula and BA are good candidates for the “Closest Race” in the whole deal. Not to mention you guys got a ridiculous number of votes…

    Not that there’s the slightest doubt who will win in the end!

  19. says

    I voted for you. Good writing, and nice to see such a healthy sense of fun and competition between the best science blogs out there.

    Good luck!

  20. jb says

    Chordates? Invertebrates?? Pah!! Ascidians rule! This chemist managed to get his advanced degree by sacrificing hundreds of those wonderful evolutionary dead ends for their blood. And wonderful blood it is, too…full of chemistry…

    Their cellulosic bodies are pretty cool, too…

  21. says

    Ascidians are invertebrates. What do you mean, “dead ends”? They have their own unique and fascinating evolutionary history.

    And yeah, I’m currently getting beat. The threat to take off my clothes backfired…everyone wants to see my lovely body, I guess.

  22. Caledonian says

    Y’know, you should really write that positive article about astronomy whether you win or not.

  23. faux facsimile says

    I’m still trying to understand how you went from 8700 to 9000 in about 30 minutes. Must have a lot of late night fans?

  24. says

    One possibility is that I made the initial announcement at around 10:00 when the competition started. That means that if someone caught it then and were to vote every day, they’d have to get their last vote in now.

    I know that I cast my first vote at around 10:30 at night, and in order to keep up with the 24 hour limit, had to cast subsequent votes around the same time.

  25. says

    The surge is just stupid….
    I fear that the cheaters would probobly be too smart to be caught, I can think of several ways this could’ve been possible…. :(

  26. Ichthyic says

    Pharyngula is THE WINNER!

    congratulations to all squid lovers and those who never, EVER, wanted to see nude PZ pics.

  27. Ichthyic says

    Hmm, I though voting was going to stop at midnight eastern time, but I guess not.

    I’m sure they are still allowing votes, but according to the rules panel, votes after 11:59 PM EST will not count.

    OTOH, wouldn’t it be fun if they actually did do a sloppy job of “closing the polls”, it ended up in a tie, and there was a fight about it all the way to the USSC!

  28. faux facsimile says

    Yeah, voting continues. So don’t let up, unless you want the squid to be sad tomorrow morning.

  29. says

    No, I think they won’t count any votes after the cutoff.

    I can’t do a victory dance just yet. Votes have to be validated (somehow, in some unexplained way), and everything could change.

  30. Kristjan Wager says

    Currently the score is 9414 to 9185 for Pharyngula. You guys are aare that you hogged 82,37% of all the votes in that category? A little greedy, isn’t it?

  31. PZ WINS! says

    Well done. Considering the cronyism of that calendar Skeptits and the BA, it was just stupid by the end. They should admit it and just go and get a room – leave award-winning blogging to the PZ!! :)

  32. Ichthyic says

    hoody, it’s positively creepy that you continue to post here, when you are disemvoweled on sight.

    doesn’t it embarass you at all?

    do you actually think you are making some sort of statement?

    like i said… creepy.