A lot of people (really, a lot—I’ve got a stack of emails on this subject) have been complaining that their browsers routinely crash on loading this site, and a few have been telling me about other peculiarities. The epidemic struck about the time we added the new video ads.

As an experiment, those ads have been at least temporarily pulled from this site. Now we need some important feedback from those of you who have been having problems.

  • If your browser was formerly crashing and now everything is smooth and sweet and easy, let us know in a comment. That means it was the ads, and we’ve found the source of the problem.

  • If your browser was crashing and it’s still crashing, send me email if you somehow read this. Otherwise, the complete silence from anyone who has experienced the problem in the past will tell us there is some other source of the problem.

  • If your browser wasn’t crashing with the ads and is now crashing with them gone, we don’t want to hear from you, and fortunately you won’t be able to comment here, because that result just causes too many headaches.

  • If your browser didn’t crash before and still isn’t crashing (like mine), ignore this message. We aren’t worried about you.

If you do send me a note about continued problems, it’s very useful if you include your OS and version, and the browser you use and its version.



  1. makita says

    Although I did not e-mail you, my browser was crashing allt he time recently. It hasn’t done so yet for this morning, which is encouraging. OS: windows XP pro, browser: IE 7.0

  2. Mark says

    I sometimes crashed when video ads loaded, sometimes not. No current problems, though.

  3. jufulu says

    XP w/ all updates, IE7
    the only probs I had were having to hit the back arrow twice, sometimes not loading page completely, and not returning to the same location on the previous page. While bothersome, none of these were worth copmplaining about.

  4. Don Culberson says

    Mine started crashing as soon as the video ads started up, and is not crashing as of their removal. As a matter of fact there was a time when the ads were not working for a brief period, and my browser did just fine.

    Actually while I called it crashing, it was not exactly so… what would happen was that I would be redirected to the following monstrous search URL:*XlsbdzJ6EaKg4mUrJ4*nfmGPY-ahC4VogDWG8RPPD7fszRs419JTNwXRGgAmnt*QFrF69cPpqmrwMl7xxsnEHfyBgiAG6B-NK6LCWRZNw0mgUbpQK43i2MbRJPxfX8xV2POhfWjy6Z9nS*N

    I found I could circumvent the redirect by hitting the stop button until the video ad finished trying to load. Annoying, but at least I could read the blog.

    Browser is IE 6.0 and OS is XP Pro
    Hope this is useful!
    Uncle Don

  5. Fatmop says

    Mine sometimes would load the page all the way up so I could read it, then a window popped up that said “Internet Explorer failed to open the page.” I can’t be 100% sure, but I do think it started when the video ads popped up, especially since they seem to be the last thing that my browser loads up.

    Hasn’t happened today.

  6. Brian says

    I am running Windows XP Pro, it never crashed, but it does seem to load faster now.

  7. Chaoswes says

    In my case the page would still try to load even though everything had been loaded. A couple of times the page would just half load. Win Pro w/ IE 7.0.
    All is good now w/o the ads.

  8. Foldedpath says

    My browser never crashed on the video ads. However, when scrolling down the page, the scroll speed slowed down noticeably when passing the video ad section, then came back to normal speed on the rest of the page. I’ve noticed that behavior on a few other sites running video or flash-intensive ads. It happens frequently on the New York Times home page (but not this morning’s edition, I just checked).

    Win XP/SP2
    Adblocker Plus for Firefox installed

  9. Andrew Scudder says

    Mac OS X, Safari 2.0.3: crash crash crash, with the ads. No crash w/o the ads. Further evidence: I just popped over to Respectful Insolence, where the ad was still on the site, and kaboom. Okay, and I do have hella slow basic DSL.

    When I use Firefox, however, no crashes with ads. But I *like* using Safari.

    Oh yeah, this is my first post ever here, though I have been an avid reader for some time. PZ is one what rocks!

  10. says

    No crashes before or after (on Firefox/Win and Seamonkey/Linux). However, the video ads did make the page load and scroll lag intensely, and now that’s gone.

  11. Ian Wood says

    My browser never crashed, but I never looked at the ads! (I use Firefox).

    I did notice, however, that your “PREVIOUS/NEXT” option has been intermittently disappearing from the bottom of the page so that I had no convenient way to browse through the older material.


  12. Matt T. says

    Mine was crashing, running Mozilla 1.7.3. Crashed on a lot of sites though – here, Pandagon, Majikthise – and I was beginning to think Bill Donahue had something to do with it. So I updated Mozilla, and we’re kool and the gang. That’s my tower PC, which is old and on its last leg. It ran fine on my new laptop, which uses IE.

  13. charles stores says

    Mac OS X, Safari 1.3.2 crashed nearly every time I tried loading your site with the ads. Everything OK today w/o the ads.

  14. Carlie says

    My browser slowed to a crawl when they were first added, and sometimes stopped loading altogether, but then after some laborious adblock work with Firefox it isn’t as bad. It still does hang up on everything downpage from the video, but not to the extent it did before. It’s livable, for the most part.

  15. nobody says

    Was crashing during video ad era using Safari 1.3.2.
    Wasn’t crashing with Firefox

    Not crashing in Safari now.

    Mac OS 10.3.9

  16. Hank Fox says

    The page loads MUCH faster now. The loading lag before was so bad I sometimes thought I’d lost the connection. I’m running WinXP and IE6.

    Something else I’ve noticed, which has been happening for at least a couple of months:

    When I read the post intros, everything is okay on the page, but when I click on the comments link, suddenly the post and the comments section is forced down to the bottom of the page, down below everything in your right column.

    You Firefox fans, I’ll switch to Firefox when it allows you to use Ctrl-N to open a new browser window WITH the Back-button loaded with all the previous sites visited. I often create new browser windows when I’m reading a news article, and then use the back button in the new window to regress to the original page, so I can continue to search other stories.

  17. Silmarillion says

    I never had the crashes either, but the load time is so much quicker. Before, I had to wait around 10 seconds for the background white to load, which was a bit annoying, but it’s been fine ever since the ads were pulled.

  18. melior says

    You Firefox fans, I’ll switch to Firefox when it allows you to use Ctrl-N to open a new browser window WITH the Back-button loaded with all the previous sites visited.

    A new window? We all use new tabs now.

  19. James Morris says

    Like several others using MAC 10.something or other and Safari, I crashed everytime. Sometines on loading and othertimes after a short time on site. First time back since you deleted the ad and have had no problems. Thank You. I missed Pharyngula very much.

  20. jgs says

    as Safari 2.0.3 is FINALLY able to stomach this site for the first time since those ads went up i can thank you for pulling them down. I would add also that even if the ads were fixed such that they wouldn’t crash innocent browsers they shouldn’t be put back. Sidebar maybe, but right after the top post = crass and annoying.

  21. jgs says

    as Safari 2.0.3 is FINALLY able to stomach this site for the first time since those ads went up i can thank you for pulling them down. I would add also that even if the ads were fixed such that they wouldn’t crash innocent browsers they shouldn’t be put back. Sidebar maybe, but right after the top post = crass and annoying.

  22. says

    The site had been regularly crashing Akregator when I’d bring up a tab to read a full story. Don’t know if that’s an issue with Akregator or with the KHTML renderer. Seems fine today though.

    (KUbuntu 6.06)

  23. Fred Levitan says

    The page now loads normally. Formerly, during the period of the video ads, the page would only load partially, with varying proportions of it available with repeated reloads. I could never access more than the top page. I have Windows 2000 and IE 6.0.

  24. Mark Borok says

    I’ve experienced sporadic crasher using IE on Windows 2000, but I think this was happening before the ads. Not so much crashes, but the page would load and then I would get a “page couldn’t load” alert. On the Mac using Safari I’ve had no problems.

  25. Robin Byrne says

    Twice it crashed on me using Mac OSX Safari with the ads. It has not crashed with the ads gone.

  26. Gyvates says

    The page was displayed complete but the browser continued laoding it (winXP laptop). Now (no ads) everything is ok.

  27. abeja says

    My problems: incomplete page loading, (not a big deal–refresh would always cure that), and constantly getting the message that “windows has encountered a problem and needs to close”, then it would close the window and I’d have that option of sending/not sending the error report. That happened all the time. Also, there were times when I couldn’t even get on the site.

    I haven’t had the problem yet today.

    Windows XP, IE 6.0

  28. Dave says

    I am using Firefox 2.0.2 on WinXP – When the ads first appeared I noticed the site was very, very slow to load. I saw the new video ads and immediately used Adblock Plus plug-in to block the ads. After that it has worked fine.

    “laborious adblock”

    I just used a simple ** rule

  29. Cranky in L.A. says

    Much better; the whole page loads successfully and returning to the main page positions correctly, rather than at the top of the page. Using Internet Explorer 6.0

  30. George Atkinson says

    My browser [SmartExplorer] hung, too, when the video ad started. The fix was easy: add

    to the hosts file.

  31. says

    Mine was crashing both with Safari on my Mac (office) and Firefox on my PC (home). Neither has happened since the ads went, and both started the day they arrived!

  32. Dave K says

    My browser never crashed before on this site and isn’t crashing now, either at home (4-year-old eMac running OS X.something and Firefox) or here at work (PC running Windows XP Pro and IE 6.0).

  33. George Atkinson says

    My browser [SmartExplorer] hung, too, when gratuitous download of video started. The fix is easy: add

    to the hosts file.

  34. Josh says

    My browser never did crash but the page took forever to load. Now it’s loading faster. Cheers…

  35. Kagehi says

    XP Pro here with Firefox. The pages where hanging, which is to say that Firefox would simply stop responding for 30 seconds or so, more if I opened a lot of windows from different articles I wanted to look at. It would do this ***even if the ads where disabled by having NoScript disable content from those sites***, which is bloody odd. Since removed, the page(s) load without any odd pauses or unresponsiveness.

  36. Alice says

    I use Firefox 2.0, my OS is Vista and the page loaded incompletely/slowly/weirdly after you added the video ads. Now it’s all nice and pretty again!

  37. Niket says

    I think the video ads were a problem. IE7/WinXP never crashed for me, but the browser kept loading something (indicated by a rotating circle in the pharyngula tab) even 1 hour after the page was fully loaded.

    I think browser crashing might be Flash issue (those were flash ads, right?). Another computer I use always crashed, both IE7 and FF2 (on WinXP).

    Now, the site works like a charm!

  38. BennyH says

    I use XP and IE7. Your page was crashing my browser with the video ads but not without. Specifically, I wasn’t able to fully load your page (but I thought this was just my ancient dial-up connection) and when I would click on a link to a story from your page everything would be fine but when I hit the back button to return I would get multiple blank page tabs. These would multiply until crash.

  39. says

    Wait, so you’re telling me that the reason that ScienceBlogs is using an old release of mysql that’s open to an easy type 1 XSS bug(*) is because I haven’t spammed you about it?

    If only I’d known.

    (*) It is possible for me to construct a URL that, when clicked, will cause arbitrary javascript to be run in the context of If that doesn’t scare you, read that as “do anything on that the person who clicked the URL could do”.

  40. says

    Xubuntu Linux 6.10

    Not crashing, but scrolling can be painfully slow, and I haven’t noticed this on any other web pages.

  41. Goby says

    Mac OS X 10.3.9, Safari 1.3.2.

    Began to crash as soon as the video ads appeared; no crashes before their presence, nor after their (permanent?!) removal.

    Like others, I had no problems using Firefox, but prefer Safari on a day to day basis.

    Thank you.

  42. JujuQuisp says

    Vista at home. Tried to access pharyngula a second time and it destroyed firefox. Apparently this is a common problem with Vista and firefox. I can’t even use it now on Vista. My Powerbook is totally reliable, as usual, though.

  43. Kat says

    I use Safari. When ads were posted my browser would crash. This only happened if plug-ins were enabled, and has not happened since the ads have been taken down.

  44. Stephen says

    Haven’t suffered browser crashes, but some weeks ago I noticed that I could no longer play the videos that you and other science bloggers sometimes include as content. I get a message “loading” but nothing loads.

    Opera 8.5, Windows XP

  45. CaroCogitatus says

    I wasn’t crashing before, but getting multiple popup errors on each page view. Now I’m not.

    OS: Windows XP Pro
    Browser: FeedReader 3.08 and Firefox

  46. says

    To sum it up, I think there can be no doubt that the ads are the problem.

    I looked throught the comments, and took some notes, and saw the following patterns.

    Crashed with ads:
    Win XP with IE 7.0/6.0 (several people)
    Win 2000 with IE 6.0
    Mac OS X with Safari 2.03/1.3.2 (several people)
    Mac OS 10.3.9 with Safari 1.3.2 (several people)
    Windows Vista with anything (several people)
    KUbuntu 6.06 with Akregator
    Unknown OS with SmartExplorer
    Win XP with Firefox 2.0

    Slow speed
    Everyone else, basicly.

    People with fewest problems:
    Win XP with Firefox and adblock

  47. Nigel Ball says

    For me, the browser failed to display the whole page. The right hand column was missing and only the first few items were shown in the main column. The browser got stuck diplaying “Waiting for” in the status line.

    The page is displaying OK now, without the ads.

    O/S: Win XP pro; browser IE7.

  48. says

    I haven’t had problems with crashes before or now, and I use Firefox version 2 on a PC with XP Home Edition.

    “You Firefox fans, I’ll switch to Firefox when it allows you to use Ctrl-N to open a new browser window WITH the Back-button loaded with all the previous sites visited. I often create new browser windows when I’m reading a news article, and then use the back button in the new window to regress to the original page, so I can continue to search other stories.”

    Right click, Open New Window? The Ctrl+N feature I don’t like in Firefox compared to IE (one of the few downsides), but this is a good substitute.

  49. says

    My problem was that the main page did not appear my history in IE, so I can refer back later. No crashes, but appeared slow. Much better without the video ads.

  50. Matthew says

    Using firefox on Mac OS 10.3.9, often had problems with the browser crashing (rather, becoming completely non-responsive, even though it thought it was still running, could use keyboard shortcuts, but the display on the screen was frozen). Now seems to be gone.

    However, on some other blogs had to block sites such as, so not entirely sure that the video ads were the only problem.

  51. llewelly says

    What, exactly, is the ROI on ads that render a site unreliable?

    This is not the first, or even the second time scienceblogs has had problems with ads that make the site unreliable for many of its users.

    (However none of this has affected me personally; I run adblock on FF on freebsd, with no video or flash plugins enabled.)

  52. Zwirko says

    Like many of the others I never experienced a “crash” (IE7/XP).

    However, the page would never fully load – epecially the lower content, large images and the righthand side menus. They would eventually load after 5-8 minutes though (even with 2.2 MB connection).

    With video ads gone, the page load is instantaneous (or thereabouts)and complete.

    Looks to me as if those videos were pre-loading the full video file instead of buffering for a short while when “play” is clicked. No need for that really.

  53. says

    I didn’t have any trouble at all on my Macbook Pro, running under Mac OS X (10.4.9), and accessing Pharyngula with both Firefox ( and Safari (2.0.4, build 419.3).

  54. T_U_T says

    The wannabe adblockerproof visual clutter is gone and so is the crashing…

    What was the purpose of it ? To scare readers away ? To use them as guinea pigs ?

  55. Ben says

    Much better. Wasn’t crashing but was nearly impossible to scroll up or down. Under Linux.

  56. Jason R says

    I hadn’t made a connection until reading this post, but I had been experiencing some pretty severe browser crashes for the last few days. I tried a fix this morning, but that coincides with the video ads being removed. So, put me down for a “maybe.”

  57. RichVR says

    All the issues that I have been having (including and especially having to click the back button on my mouse 3 times to actually get back to where I started) have been cleard up by the removal of the ads.

    Win XP Pro SP2, IE6 and Firefox.

  58. SEF says

    My computer was having trouble with the adverts right from the start. It got better briefly and I thought perhaps you’d fixed it. Then, quite suddenly, some days ago it was much worse again – causing repeated crashes of the browser and then wiping out the whole internet connection, email included. The trigger was your link, in a newish blog entry about Egnor, back to a previous Egnor entry.

    I have Win2K with IE6 and various updates (I’m rather surprised it isn’t saying IE7 but …). I didn’t try any other browsers. I just gave up on your site entirely for a while. This is my first visit since then.

  59. Malky says

    I did not have crashes but quite commonly the page would open blank or if trying to open in a new window would be blank. O/S Windows XP home SP2, browser firefox 2.0.

  60. SEF says

    Well that evidently worked; and the second test, of paging back to the post with the specific link which seemed to have directly caused the previous crashes, also worked. It linked, nothing crashed and (I think) I can still post.

  61. says

    Another to add to the chorus of former crashers. Mac OSX.4.9, Safari 2.0.4. Everything appears to be working properly now.

  62. Dave Godfrey says

    XP home (sp2) and IE7

    i never crashed, but the page wouldn’t load fully, I had to go to the archives page to access all but the most recent six or seven posts.

  63. mikmik says

    Some other sites would crash as well as yours. The problem was Adobe Flash 8.0

    Firefox 2.0 and WinXP Pro. The other sites (Huffpo, for instance, and FDL) have stopped crashing, but I don’t think it is because YOU removed YOUR ads! Prolly and update to FF.

  64. mikmik says

    Also, your home page is quite long and full of graphics, so if a computer is short of memory (RAM) programs can lock up, including browsers. Limiting your home page to 100 kb might help. It is close to 400 kb at the moment with 89kb of text, so that will take many browsers a long time to load your page, and with animation and videos added to that mix, you are looking at the megabyte range and trying to load all that stuff, vids and animation, on top of the already massive page, it could easily lock up browsers.

    Another thing to consider is peoples connection speed and people with connections that are slow, or on networks, will begin to have troubles with larger pages.

  65. Julie Stahlhut says

    Safari has been crashing repeatedly, every time I load a ScienceBlog, for at least a week. This seems to happen only under OS 10.3.9; my personal laptop runs 10.4 and Safari hasn’t crashed there.

    As of this afternoon (~ 4 PM EDT), the crash problem persists. It doesn’t seem to affect Camino.

  66. Peter McGrath says

    Was fine, started crashing with the ads, now stable. OS X 10.3.9, Safari 1.3.2.

  67. Ktesibios says

    I was having a lot of crashes using Safari 1.3.1 running under OS X 10.3.9. It appears to be better now. I had found that disabling Javascript would usually prevent the crashes, but I have it enabled now and so far, so good.

  68. says

    On OSX 10.4.7, running Safari 2.0.4, I wasn’t crashing, but I was getting some pretty dramatic slow-down with the video ads.

    It’s fine, now.

    Video ads are per se stupid, anyway, regardless of any software issues they might cause.

  69. says

    My browser wasn’t crashing, but it would only load part of the page. As of today, it is now loading the entire page, and very quickly. (Windows XP HOME, IE 7.0)


  70. Ktesibios says

    Update: this blog is fine with Javascript enabled, but Ed Brayton’s blog, which has video ads, is crashing Safari with perfect consistency, as is the main Scienceblogs page.

    The only way I can read either is with Javascript disabled, but then you can’t comment :(

  71. KenJay says

    Didn’t get any crashes, but much slower loading–and the video often wouldn’t display except as a blank grey box. No problems now.

  72. Dustin says

    As an experiment, those ads have been at least temporarily pulled from this site.

    I’m betting that the data from that experiment will show a substantial decrease in the discontentment of readers. I’m betting also that it carries a very tiny standard deviation.

  73. says

    Using Safari 1.3 under Mac OS X 10.3.9, Pharyngula has crashed Safari almost every time I’ve visited with the video ads. The specific timing seems to be when the ad actually appears in the window. If your first post is long enough that the ad doesn’t appear on load, Safari will crash when I scroll down to the ad.

    Crashing means that first I get the spinning beachball, then I hear lots of hard drive access sounds for several seconds, then Safari goes away and a dialog appears stating that Safari has unexpectedly quit and do I want to send a report to Apple?

    There have been a small number of times when the ad has appeared on screen and Safari has not crashed. Then generally I click on a post to read the comments, that page loads, and Safari crashes on that page.

    Safari has obviously not crashed on this visit with the video ad removed, but I wouldn’t necessarily draw any conclusions from a single visit.

  74. Kountis says

    Windows Vista Ultimate/IE7

    With video ad had to continually refresh to see everything. No problem with the ad gone.

  75. Dustin says

    I have been informed that this particular ad will not be returning.

    I will sing your praises from the highest mountain.

  76. says

    Forgot to mention that the problem may be with Flash rather than the browser. I think I’m running Flash 9.0 r28, although Flash 9.0 r16 is also in my Installed Plugins.

  77. divalent says

    No crashes, but same issues as stated in comment #3, worse of which was not returning to the same location on the previous page when back arrowing to the main page from a link or full message. (I would be left at the top of the page, as if I just arrived there). Unlike commenter #3, I did find that annoying (but didn’t think to connect it to the ads).
    XP with IE6

  78. says

    I got the page slowing down terribly when the ads were rendered in the visible area, like others, and also found that my keystroke actions would be duplicated when on any part of the page; i.e., when I hit PgUp or PgDown, it would go up or down two screen heights, and when I tried to switch to its tab by keyboard, I’d go right past that tab to the next one. Mouse clicking worked fine, though, on the scrollbar or the tabs. Never crashed as such. Firefox on SimplyMEPIS 6.0 (based on Ubuntu, based in turn on Debian) with Linux kernel 2.6.15.

  79. Brian McEnnis says

    Mac OS 10.3.9
    Safari 1.3.2 (v312.6)
    Pharyngula, Dispatches from the Culture Wars, and Respectful Insolence – all carrying the ad – crash Safari repeatedly. Other scienceblogs, without the ad, do not.

    No problems at this site now that the ad has gone.

  80. ex fundie in recovery says

    My browser (firefox on Ubuntu) was crashing.
    But I associated it with the GodTube videos. I remember watching some of the advertizing videos with no problems.

    ex fundie in recovery

  81. MarkR says

    I haven’t been having any problems, myself, although I view the site through RSS feed using Thunderbird.

  82. Azkyroth says

    Browser: Opera v. 8.54
    OS: WinXP Home Edition

    When the ads were first put up on the site, I began experiencing this problem frequently, usually within 5-10 minutes of browsing on ScienceBlogs. Manually disabling Java in Opera’s option menu seemed to resolve the problem. I haven’t noticed any difficulties since the ads were removed, but I haven’t had Java enabled again for that long; will keep you posted.

  83. says

    My browser didn’t actually crash, but it did hang up while loading data every time I visited Pharyngula, Scienceblogs home, or the 24-hr recap page. I’d have to close the window because I couldn’t get it to stop, or get another address to load. I also had to finally stop using the 24-hr recap page as my browser home (see how much I love you guys?)

    Usually the problem would occur while data from some address including “brightcove” was loading in the activity bar, but I don’t know if that was the cause or just a coincidence.

    Using Safari 1.3.2 and Firefox on OSX 10.3.9

  84. G. cuvier says

    Since the removal of the ads, my browser is no longer crashing. Using OS X 10.3.9 and Safari 1.3.2. Previously, I had to turn off javascript which allowed me to read your blog, but kept me from posting. No crashes now and I have javascript enabled.

  85. Neal Holtz says

    Thank you!

    I normally use Konquerer 3.5.3 on Ubuntu Linux; that is the
    browser my RSS reader uses by default. It did start to routinely
    crash on this site — usually about 5 or 10 seconds or so after opening
    the page. I got in a habit of using Firefox for this site, and that
    was OK.

    Now Konquerer works fine, no crashes …. yea!!!!

  86. speedwell says

    I did not crash, however, I have sound turned on for when my browser loads a page. I noticed that whenever I refreshed a page or went to another page on your site, the browser loaded about seven things (as witnessed by seven extra clicks) that I didn’t expect. Now those clicks are gone. You have found the source of the problem.

  87. speedwell says

    Oh… XP Professional/IE7 with a non-current Java version and SpybotSD resident. Something I did protected me from the woes of other XP/IE7 users.

  88. phat says

    Firefox 2.0 under Ubuntu and XP

    It didn’t so much crash before, it was just ungodly slow.

    Now, not so bad.


  89. says

    With the ads, not all of the page would load. Not all of the posts would appear (the previous-next links at the bottum would not appear) and some of the stuff on the right side would not appear. Now it works fine. Sure looks like it was the ads.

  90. Willow says

    Pages are loading well now. I use Firefox (version on Mac OS X (version 10.3.9). I previously had problems with pages loading completely and very slowly. Thanks.

  91. notthedroids says

    OS 10.3.9 on a first or second generation iMac.

    I was crashing, but now apparently not. Looks like I can read from home.

    The guy who called those of us having problems “whiners” on a previous thread can suggit.

  92. Rob Barrett says

    I’m using a G4 iBook, OS 10.3.9, and Safari 1.3.2. Pharyngula started crashing my machine the minute the video ads appeared–and stopped crashing it as soon as you took them down.

  93. says

    Is that what the problem was? Was stalling and barfing all over the place before (I usually have at least one ScienceBlogs tab open at a time), but it’s been behaving recently.

  94. sue says

    OS X and safari on upgraded old imac..for a couple weeks now whenever i tried to get pharyngula and some of the other seed blogs…….
    the spinning ball would appear and then chewing grinding sounds went on for ages till
    it all disappeared and a message came up to contact apple……..or close down.
    missed you guys so much………
    now, so far so good…..touch wood!!!!!

    thanx pz!

  95. Graculus says

    I had some sllllooowwwww/stalled loads, but no crashes. Everything is loading a lot faster now. Win98SE/IE6 (Don’t laugh, it’s paid for.. and probably more secure than yours ;-) )

  96. says

    MacOS 9.2, Netscape 7.0.2

    Never crashed. Then again, the ads never loaded. Always got a message saying that I needed to upgrade my Flash Player. Thing is, I’m using the latest version I can. (Sometimes having old gear works to one’s advantage. :) )

  97. Stegve says

    I had crashes, but mostly slow and incomplete loading, when the ads appeared. Without them, everything’s back to normal. This happened both on my cable connection and with dialup, using two different computers. I am using IE 7 with Windows XP.

  98. says

    Safari crashed every time I tried to go to a ScienceBlog site, starting when the video ads were loading. Now that they’re gone, no problem.

    FireFox never blinked, either way. It’s my default browser now.

  99. impatientpatient says

    IE/Windows 2000- your page would not load fully and I would have to go to your “About” link to get to the Science Blogs “Last 24 Hours” link, as your sidebar would not link either. And the comments often ran off the side of the page.

    Today it seems lovely again.

    I thought it was just me and I am relieved it was not. That means I do not have to throw my computer out the F*&CKIng window today.

  100. JohnnieCanuck says

    As soon as the first ads appeared, Safari 1.3.2 on OS 1.3.9 began crashing. Had to switch to Firefox which never did crash. The few times I forgot and used Safari, crash.

    Now Safari is working fine.

  101. G. Tingey says

    It was hanging badly, never loading completely, and occasionally crashing.

    All gone now, and loaded straight away.

    A great improvement.

  102. Maronan says

    I use Safari 2.0.3 on Mac OS 10.4.6.

    Pharyngula started crashing when the ads appeared, and would crash about 98% of the time. Now that the ads are gone, Pharyngula no longer crashes. It did crash the moment I tried to load Respectful Insolence, which still has the ads.

    Safari also crashed when I tried to load this page, the link to which was posted in the comments somewhere, but I don’t know about that.

    Firefox hasn’t choked on anything I’ve thrown at it, so I used it to read Pharyngula when the ads were up. I’m glad they’re down, though, because I like Safari much better.

  103. Thinker says

    I have no problems with crashes, using work and home PC’s with XP and IE 6 and 7, respectively.

    However, there is another annoyance: some posts (including this one) don’t load at the top of the page. Instead, the left sidebar displays normally, then the post is displayed underneath the left sidebar (and all the way to the left in the white space, just like the left sidebar), and finally the right sidebar is shown at the right, but starting under where the “Post a Comment” block ends.

    So everything is displayed, but the page doesn’t seem to build correctly. The problem is not linked to new ads – it has been happening for a long time (a year or so, perhaps). It happens only with Pharyngula, not other ScienceBlogs.

    Tell me, PZ, in what gene cluster is the mutation that causes this, and what activates the abnormity…?

  104. popeyemoon says

    My browser F.F. would crash and you page would not load. My trouble was a bad driver in Spy Sweeper by Webroot,removed the program every thing works great.

  105. says

    I use Safari on OS X and ScienceBlogs crashes the software routinely since they started running the ad. It simply can’t handle the video. To read Pharyngula or Dispaches (I read both every day) I have to open Firefox or Explorer. Oddly, this doesn’t happen with other video like YouTube.

  106. KevinD says

    Using OS X 3.9 and Safari this site started crashing routinely although not invariably. Scrolling down the page rapidly or clicking on a comments link (which causes the page to scroll down to the comments once the page opens) always caused it to crash but it often crashed on its own. It also crashed more from home (high speed broadband and a wireless router) than at work (ethernet).

    Coincidentally I switched to Firefox a couple of days ago and have had no trouble. I went back to Safari for a test – no problems now!

  107. jkeller says

    I’ve been having problems with the site crashing in NetNewsWire, my mac RSS software. It hadn’t been crashing in Firefox, so I was able to find the link and then pull up the page there. All looks to be better now, or it would have already crashed.

  108. says

    Safari crashed a lot before, but it just crashed again right now (I’m using Firefox). Hopefully it will get better…

  109. wafer says

    Crashed before with both safari and explorer (I was desperate), now everything is good. Please keep the ads gone.

  110. Patrick Quigley says

    I had previously posted that I was experiencing constant crashes at this site. I was using Mac OS 10.3.9 and both Safari 1.3.2 and IE 5. I haven’t been back for a while because of those problems, but there are no problems now.

  111. Kadin says

    Hank Fox: I can double-click on a tab and open a new duplicate tab with full history, or Ctrl-Click on a tab and open it in a new window with full history.

  112. Polly says

    Mac OSX 10.3.9 and Safari 1.3.2. Safari was crashing on your site a few days ago. Now all is well.

    The Firefly character quiz was a delight. Thank you.

  113. says

    PZ, I’ve been getting crashes too on other sites that use the newest Flash — notably this one,, which is all Flash, showing off a computer desk (really).

    The point is that it might not be a SB-exclusive problem; it could be something with Flash itself, but what’s weird about it is that it seems to be quite platform independent. Most crashes aren’t this generalized.

  114. Pieter B says

    Mac OS 10.4.9, Firefox

    I have had no crashes, but the other day I attempted to post a link and s couple of grafs of blockquoted text from the site. My post was rejected until I removed all the blockquoted text.