Am I a gorilla or an elephant?

Oy, it’s navel-gazing time in the science blogosphere, prompted by a post at Bayblab that reveals some resentment or justifiable concern (depending on your perspective) about the inevitable problem that always crops up in blogging: somebody always has more than someone else. Traffic and traffic-ranking services fuel a feed-forward loop that means that those that have, get more. And that means that those squatting atop the traffic ziggurat aren’t necessarily there because they are the very best, but because they tapped into fortunate combinations of attraction and attention early on. I’ll be the first to say that luck and timing are the big factors that put someone at the top of the heap in this game (although I think a little talent for the medium does play a role, at least in the sense of keeping one from slipping to the bottom.)

Somehow, I’ve ended up at the high end of my niche on the web, so of course everyone is making me part of the argument. I’m the 800 lb. gorilla, the beast you can’t ignore — is that good or bad? Does that PZ guy demolish the reputation of science across the web, or does he enhance it? Is he in it for the money, the fame, the glory, or the girls, and is all that a corrupting influence?

None of the above, of course. I would be writing the same stuff whether it was a 100 of you stopping by each month, or something over a million. What I write is just plain naked me, without contrivance or effort to write what someone else wants. I get paid a sum that’s actually helpful in staving off starvation, but not enough that I’m at all tempted to quit my day job … and I was doing the same thing when I was getting paid nothing. What I write I write because I feel like it, because I’ve got my hobbyhorses that need to be rocked, and not because I’m trying to meet some abstract standard that someone else set, no matter how well-meaning they might be. Love me or hate me, I’m just doing my thing.

You all are welcome to write a more popular blog. I’m not going to knife you on the way up, and I’m not even going to feel any resentment if you want to pass me by. This is not something I have any control over, and sincerely, I think there is an element of zen here: you aren’t going to get readers to flock to you by trying to get them to come to you. It just happens.

Well, except when you write a mildly inflammatory post and the bleary-eyed 800 lb. gorilla looks up and pokes you with a link.

Anyway, go read the various takes by Munger, Switek, and Laden. They’re pretty sensible.

By the way, I do have to address one specific accusation made at Bayblog, that I get most of my traffic from creationists. I know this isn’t true; creationist blogs rarely link to me, and even when they do, the traffic from those sites is laughably negligible. We actually have a bit of a dearth of creationist commenters; regulars here know that such visitors tend to get shredded fast. I’m afraid that most of the people who show up here are fans, not opponents.


  1. LeeLeeONe says

    “What I write is just plain naked me, without contrivance or effort to write what someone else wants.”

    PZ, Professor: This is why you are #1, not only on my list, but on thousands and thousands of personal lists (i.e. a helluva lot of lists)!

    If I were Bill Gate’s or even a close relative, you could quit that “day” job. But you wouldn’t, I bet.

  2. says

    PZ, as an avid reader of your blog and a fan, I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss something that’s been concerning me.

    You have to know that your weight is negatively impacting your health, shortening your life and detracting from the quality of it. Whether it be due to glands, bad genes, or calamari overindulgence, 800 lbs is simply too heavy.

    Help is out there, and I urge you to take advantage of it. If you won’t do it for yourself, the Trophy Wife™ or poor little Skatje, won’t you do it for me?

    Your pal, Brownian.

  3. Janine says

    Brownian, why are you concerned about PZ’s weight. Eight hundred pounds seems reasonable for a gorilla. I am impressed that a gorilla runs such a great blog.

  4. says

    I found this a curious comment:

    Of those only Cognitive daily is consistantly talking about peer-reviewed research. Why is that? Perhaps there is less appeal in discussing recent papers than bashing creationists.

    My take is two-fold:

    1. Constantly blogging peer-reviewed research takes time; if that’s all you do, you probably won’t post often, and will consequently not have many regular readers.

    2. Most people, even lots of scientists, don’t want to constantly read highly technical discussions. It seems a good and successful blog would bring people in with the fun, and make them stay for the science. Not many ‘ordinary folks’ are going to stumble accidentally across a post about “Regulatory evolution of the Hox1 gene,” for instance (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).

  5. rmp says

    “Plain naked me”. Come on PZ, you know that’s a cruel image to force upon us.

    OK, too obvious but I just couldn’t help myself.

  6. Janine says

    Alright! I demand an investigation! Is PZ a gorilla, an elephant or a cephalopod. Or is he just someone who got himself a transmogrifier? We need answers!

  7. says

    Janine, according to Wikipedia, adult male gorillas range in weight from 310 to 440 lbs. Methinks someone’s spending a little too much time foraging and not nearly enough time grooming.

  8. says

    This has been ‘whiny hypocrite concern troll’ week on the blagosphere, apparently.

    I liked booby week better.

  9. Doc Bill says

    Please clarify.

    Naked prose or prone naked?

    (Please be answer “A” Please be answer “A” Please be answer “A” Please be answer “A” Please be answer “A” Please be answer “A” Please be answer “A”)

  10. says

    Traffic is nice, of course, and it’s fun when there’s a rush to your blog, because that makes you think that you put up something good, but popularity is sort of a fluke. My big rushes have come from links here and at Crooks & Liars (the most recent one for merely posting an old Fry & Laurie bit on “Kickin’ Ass” [see me blogwhore]). But there is an upside to low traffic, and that’s recognizing your regulars, like the Huntsville reader who is always one of the first to read one of my posts, often within minutes of my posting it. And my Harvard regular, whoever that is. Fans! At a mega-popular site like this, PZ can probably barely keep track of the people who natter on in the comments, let alone the lurkers who keep quiet. And since my blog is merely a hobby rather than an effort to bring Truth to the Universe (while incidentally smiting Evil), I’m okay on the fringes of the blogosphere’s ecosystem. I will, however, still smite Evil occasionally, just to keep my hand in.

  11. says

    I got to the comment that included this:

    Anyway taking a pay-cheque for blogging is just silly. More importantly it robs bloggers of their power to contribute something original to culture.

    … and decided not to read further lest I flame.

    I’m as sensitive to the whole long tail issue as anyone, and I try very hard to spread what little traffic I have around to blogs with less of it. I have benefitted, traffic wise, from PZ’s doing the same — and he did so back when he was just a moderately large orangutan. There are systemic problems with ranking blogs by traffic, and that writer has a point about writing what the audience wants rather than what needs to be written. Though it’s not precisely the point s/he thinks it is.

    But if you’re writing material whose quality is so low that getting paid for it would be “just silly,” that might be part of your problem right there. I didn’t see much in the way of writing ability over there that would cause me to go back. There are plenty of smaller, less-trafficked blogs deserving of more attention where the blogger/s in question can construct a clear, non-ambiguous, and even artful post.

  12. mjfgates says

    I, for one, welcome our… no, no, that’s just silly. I can say that the few bloggers I’ve personally thrown money at, I threw money at precisely because they were contributing original things. Well, also because it’s kind of fun to be able to send them mail saying “Write! Write FASTER, slave! *wssshh-CRACK*”, but that’s differnt.

  13. Hank Fox says

    I think I remember when there WERE only about 100 of us here. And PZ, you haven’t changed all that much — you’ve just gotten better and more prolific.

    I’ve said it before: I’m glad you exist. I couldn’t be happier if I’d invented you myself.

    And you’re popular enough that apparently even Christians want to hitchhike on you. On my screen right now is a “Faiths United for Sustainable Energy” advertisement.

    We believe that these humanitarian and environmental effects on society and the Earth are moral issues that must be immediately addressed by faith communities. Through education, organization, and action, faith communities can make their voices heard, leading the movement toward a clean and sustainable future throughout the world.

    Faith communities have a unique opportunity to take the lead in promoting sustainable, clean, socially responsible, and economically viable solutions because of our religious commitments to compassion, peace, and justice. To learn more about why faith communities have a responsibility to act on these issues, click here.

    Yeah, really. Even a blind pig, etc.

  14. Geoff says

    That blog post was completely inane; reeking of petty jealousy and hypocrisy. I wonder how someone who purports to measure the boundaries of science blogging can get his or her research of basic facts so completely wrong.

  15. says


    The SECOND order of magnitude of traffic you enjoy beyond, say, me, is because of the positive feedback effect. Fine. But the FIRT order of magnitude is because you are simply very very good at what you do.

    Plus, you’re a gorilla. That helps in the blogging biz.

  16. AnthonyK says

    Magnificent “Who I Am” post, PZ. I read your blog every say, and you are justifiably at the sharp end of the zigurat.
    Much better than youtube, but in a better written, less visual, and way less stupid, kind of way.
    And who’s that wanker “geoff”?

  17. foxfire says

    First we get the self-defined morality police (“Moral Majority” types) and now we have potential self-defined blog traffic cops? Kiss my a$$ you whiny losers.

    My traffic goes to PZ (and ERV for the same reasons, btw) because he writes well, addresses topics that interest me, responds to comments (not every one, but enough) and because a whole bunch of the folks who comment are also interesting, well educated, creative, informative and downright hilarious.

    Keep it up PZ – you gotta go for the one-ton King Kong award!!

  18. says

    “You all are welcome to write a more popular blog. I’m not going to knife you on the way up, and I’m not even going to feel any resentment if you want to pass me by.”

    And in fact, you’re very generous about sharing the wealth and plugging other blogs when you like them. Links from Pharyngula have helped put my own blog on the map (to the small degree that it is on the map), and I’m sure that’s true for many other bloggers as well.

  19. says

    And that means that those squatting atop the traffic ziggurat aren’t necessarily there because they are the very best, but because they tapped into fortunate combinations of attraction and attention early on.

    AmericaBlog to a tee. It just such a destination restaurant blog compared to so many blogs that get one-tenth, at best, the traffic and yet are full of great writing. (Will say Gary’s really been up and down the past few years.)

  20. Bee says

    The real reason their blog gets fewer readers is the painful to read words on black background treatment. Made my eyes water.

    PZ and quite a few of the other ScienceBloggers
    create an easy way for me, a non-scientist interested in science, to ingest a little science at a time without getting mental indigestion, while simultaneously reassuring me I’m not an imbecile, since I can easily form intelligent responses to their frequent non-science posts. Win-win, in my opinion.

    PZed’s sciencey posts have frequently caused me to go look somewhere else for more information on a specific topic – maybe even landing in one of the little blogs.

    The concern that the anti-religion bias scares off moderate religious people is nonsense. If they are really moderate they should be able to engage the arguments that come up here, as is true for the real religious moderates who do post in Pharyngula’s comment section.

  21. Holydust says

    Humble observer opinion #237:

    I (and all of my roommates in the apartment, now) bump your traffic by visiting because
    a) the posts are relevant, beneficial to my smarts, and written with an element of humor that keeps them interesting
    b) the commenters here display a marked talent for both thinking critically AND having social skills. I rarely see posters on the same side disagree and dissolve into a flame war. on the contrary, they tend to (can you believe this?) debate intelligently and come to agreements.

    so yeah. I’m going to keep coming. :D

  22. Damian says

    Somebody has to stay on top of the pseudo-scientific horse manure, and most scientists have contributed precisely nothing, thus far. Sure, we all get a kick out of exposing the insanity, but too many people dismiss the real threat that they pose, in my opinion.

    It is rather easy to become bored of it when everyone else is putting the hours in to educate the public about their methods and intentions.

  23. foxfire says

    Patrick @26

    I just saw that (I was unable to access the blog for a while as it was out of service – a few minutes later the “you have all been part of…” post showed up). I can only concur with the first comment (“bullshit”).

    Bee’s post above (#25) is terrific and I share his/her reason for liking Pharyngula – I first found it after I saw a post at RD net where Dawkins mentioned PZ’s blog.

    The “Part2” at Bayblab states:

    Why do we blog about science? For us at the bayblab, it was just an extension to our conversations about science that tended to take place in the “cool” bay of the lab, the only place with a decent sound system. It wasn’t initially intended to be public, it was just an efficient way to share stories among us so that we could have some conversation fodder

    Well, Bayblabers, I guess that kinda explains why people like Bee and I come here to Pharyngula. PZ writes for folks who love science and who snotty grad students might kick out from their “cool” blog because they were just layfolk.

    Take a clue Bayblabers and check out ERV’s blog. She’s a grad student too. Only she is not snotty, can write for a layperson as well as technical experts and is stunningly eloquent, entertaining, educational and downright human.

    Kinda like PZ. In layfolk terms: U kan B teh Gorilla or U can be cheezeburger.

  24. says

    Ladies and gentlemen, when PZ lowers his shoulders, extends his forelegs, raises his hindquarters up, and furiously wags his tail all while presenting a wide oral gape, it means he wants to play. It’s common canid play invitation behavior, seen among wolves, dogs, and even cape hunting dogs. The fact a cephalopod learned this behavior makes it unique.

  25. Janine says

    I am thinking of a story where a man struggles to kick his addiction to blogging. I think I should title it “The Man With The Gorilla Arm”.

    Thank you folks! You have been great! I will be here all week. Try the veal!

  26. Holydust says

    Oh yes, foxfire — I forgot to mention that I came to Pharyngula first after reading the God Delusion and hearing about it twice (or three times?) in the book. I had to come see what this clever man was talking about? And I’ve been happily perusing ever since.

    I’m actually considering offering the link to my still-confused-on-ID father — because he has gotten the unshakable impression from anti-athiest blogs that Dawkins is an incorrigible snob who thinks all religious people are utter imbeciles. Whether or not that’s true, I’ve tried to convince my father that not all athiests are mean-spirted, snarling jackals. I’m hoping PZ’s blog is just the place to show him that… hoping. Cross fingers.

  27. foxfire says

    That was supposed to be Patrick @27 and Bee@26. Sorry!

    I was so just annoyed: “Social Engineering” experiment my ass. These clowns would fit right in at Faux News.

  28. Rey Fox says

    You’re a Gorilla because you Dare to take on the conventional wisdom of our religious society, like Clint Eastwood in the wild west. On the internet, I no longer feel All Alone, like Every Planet I Reach Is Dead. You are a New Genious, and this blog is my Feelgood Inc.

  29. Bride of Shrek says

    “Is he in it for the money, the fame, the glory, or the girls, and is all that a corrupting influence?”

    No, No, No, maybe and I don’t know – ask Keith Richards.

  30. RamblinDude says

    It’s very strange to hear someone suggest that the majority of Pharyngula readers are creationists. It tells me that they live in a world of facts and figures and have little appreciation of artistry.

    Those of us who are regular readers know very well why Pharyngula is successful: PZ is an exemplary wordsmith with an unparalleled ability to communicate an idea effectively. It’s a rare combination of wit, writing skill, and eruditeness that is compelling and inspiring–as is reflected by the growing number of intelligent and inspiring commenters (like Cuttlefish and Sastra, among many others.) It’s a fascinating thing to watch unfold.

    Equally fascinating is watching the long neglected evisceration of superstitious/creationist nonsense that has far too long gone unchecked. Somebody knowledgeable has to take the time and call them out and make them accountable for all the misinformation they spew–it’s good for science.

    Also, the concerns that Pharyngula is harming science by veering into politics and religion are, to me, simply untenable. While it’s true Pharyngula is not devoted purely to science, it does instill in the reader an ever keener appreciation of science and the scientific method, and most certainly a better understanding and appreciation of the mind of a scientist.

    Oh, and Phil, I learned about Pharyngula from Bad Astronomy; you’re not so invisible. ; -)

  31. says

    Thanks for responding. There might be luck behind the popularity of your blog, but I think it’s good thing the gorilla is benevolent. I do appreciate the fact that you are open to annoying critics and supportive of other bloggers.

    I can’t say that I envy your traffic. Must be a pain in the ass to always be the scapegoat for people like us.

    I do however envy the number of comments you get, although I’d wish them to be more diverse and argumentative. I did also notice that virtually no creationists comment on your creationism posts. I find this intriguing as well. There are indeed mysterious forces at play in the blogosphere…

  32. says

    Everybody knows “Thou shalt only have one atheist blog that thou readeth and thou shalt not read other fake atheist blogs.”

  33. Matt Penfold says

    One of the criticisms levelled at PZ and others is that they do not blog enough on real science. They have been pretty much eviscerated over the stupidity of that comment, but there is something I would like to add.

    I enjoy PZ’s blog, both the more poltitical/cultural stuff and the more scientific stuff. PZ pointed out that the science stuff takes longer to write, and in general is more effort. I can quite understand that. What I would add to that is it takes more effort to read. Not in a bad way, when PZ blogs on real science he is always clear and understandable. But the posts tend to be longer, and require a bit more thinking on the part of the reader. I may be about to say something that will make me look a total idiot, but I am not always in the mood to put in that extra effort, often because I am reading the blog first thing in the morning or last thing at night. It is the same as not always wanting to read a book that is explaining complex ideas at night in bed: Sometimes some lighter fluff is what you want.

    What I do is tend to bookmark such posts to read when I have the time, normally at the weekends.

  34. Richard Harris says

    Long may you reign, PZ. You’re performing the very vital service of taking the piss out of religion, gods, & all the other supernatural nonsense. You’re helping to make this world a saner & therefore better place. (I’m sure that the latter follows from the former, & only religious nuts [& philosophers, maybe] would dispute that.)

    And where else can I say, “Fuck God”, in good company?

  35. RicD says

    According to New Scientist, a human weighing about 800lbs would have a lyer of adipose tissue on the order of 90cms thick

    this would make said person pretty much bullet-proof as all but the most powerful rounds would expend their energy in the fat layer and not make it down to vital organs

    thus if creationists start to take a similar violent action as some pro-lifers (and one suspects a fair amount of crossover between them) we can rest assured our favourite blogger is effecively bulletproof and safe


  36. Nan says

    If not outright fans, you do attract folks who enjoy creating and/or reading comments written (for the most part) by people who appear to possess decent rhetorical skills and the ability to engage in actual discussions on a variety of interesting topics.

    In other words, your original posts can sometimes be yawners, but the comments they elicit make up for your occasionally overly pedantic tone.

    As for the issue of getting paid to blog, with a few very rare exceptions, just about every blog I drop in on these days has ads. Is there actually much of an ethical difference between science bloggers getting paid by Seed and other bloggers who push their Etsy or Cafe Press store every chance they get, or who say yes to allowing other advertising?

  37. says

    As I observed over at Greg’s, if they’re going to call this a pre-planned “experiment”, it speaks very poorly of their regard for the ethics of informed consent.

    I would never have chosen that way to be immortalized in the wayback machine, but whatever.

  38. says

    Ah, whatever. There’s no room for pride in this game. I’ve got my daily 4 regular readers and 10 random strangers dropping in off the odd Google search, or because they were so thoroughly, deeply moved by one of my many eloquent and insightful comments I’ve made on another blog, that they simply had to click on my name. I’m happy with that.

    All I need to know is that I’m the only guy on the Interweb that has an illustrated How To for making a patch pipette filler out of a 1 ml syringe.

    Even the lowliest single celled beastie hanging out in the darkest volcanic crevices of the Interweb must know its niche and nurture it, imho.

  39. Barney says

    “I’ve got my hobbyhorses that need to be rocked”

    Just to be pedantic – you don’t rock hobbyhorses, you prance with them:

    hobby-horse noun 1 a child’s toy consisting of a long stick with a horse’s head at one end that they prance about with as if riding a horse. 2 a figure of a horse used in Morris dancing. 3 a subject which a person talks about frequently.

    Chambers Dictionary

    We all have our hobby-horses, you see. :D

  40. Nobody says

    Bayblog is utterly full of it. The vast, VAST majority of commenters in this place are part the jabbering PSH (Pharyngula Sycophantic Horde).

  41. Michael Woelfel says

    As children we are taught fairy tales, but folks frogs really don’t change to princes. Let’s look at some Scientific facts…NO MUTATION has ever been observed to produce a more complex living organism, i.e., add new DNA; even with observation using current technology. Fruit flys simply had their Existing DNA destorted, nothing beneficial to the flys occurred in those experiments. Again- and this is THE BIGGIE- No New DNA Has Ever Been Observed (NN-DNA-HEBO) to develope from mutations happening naturally or in labs. Think about that, NO NEW DNA has Ever been observed to develope from mutations happening naturally or in labs.

    Macro evolution is a totally baseless exercise of faith, since this single issue has never been resolved!

    Doctors of science teach throughout textbooks, of a mysterious ‘Mother Nature’ who resembles Santa Claus. She works the scenes bestowing imaginative anatomies and behaviors freely upon all living things (yet NN-DNA-HEBO). Earth’s life forms were cleverly supplied, each according as it had need. Yet all change was said to be completely accidental- although in duplicate, as each male and female of all species co-evolved with no disruption in their procreative abilities. Though Mom Nature is promoted as somehow marvelously ‘innovative’, only ‘ranking’ scientists can understand and interpret how her modifying activities occurred; but Nowhere Do They Explain Process Details (BECAUSE NN-DNA-HEBO). So we are simply to accept that the boundless and stunning variety of life on this planet appeared solely from time and happenstance; in short folks “LIFE HAPPENS!” No one can point out positively a single transitional fossil. Neither is there an example of any mutation producing a beneficial change.

    The following information is taken from an ICR Impact publication (April 2002 article #346) normally devoted to scientific creation evidence. This article reveals the competence and influence of some of today’s CREATIONIST scientists. To show the reader the esteemed prominence of the creation worldview, a few of these Genesis believing scientists are listed: Kenneth B. Cumming (Dean and Professor of Biology) has a Ph.D. from Harvard where he studied under Ernst Mayr, “often considered the dean of living evolutionists”. Dr. Carl B. Fliermans (Microbiology) is a microbial ecologist with Dupont with over 60 technical publications. He is well known as the scientist who first identified the “Legionnaire’s Disease” bacterium. Dr. Kelly Hollowell (Molecular Biology) has a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology from the University of Miami. She is also an attorney (J.D.). Dr. Hollowell’s work includes a number of publications in the fields of DNA technology, cloning, and neurobiology. Dr. Raymond V. Damadian, M.D. is an inventor, most notably of the M.R.I. machine. Dr. Kurt Wise (Paleontology) has the M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, having studied under the dedicated evolutionist, Stephen J. Gould. “Dr. Wise is currently in charge of the science division at Bryan College.” Dr. Duane T. Gish (Senior Vice President and Professor of Biochemistry) has earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. Beyond his career as a research chemist, and 24 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, Dr. Gish “is also known worldwide for winning over 300 scientific debates with evolutionists”. As you can see, many fully credentialed scientists deeply intimate with the varied aspects of evolution, have wholly rejected the ideas. There are many more scientists today actually numbering in the thousands, who have also turned away from the monkey-man conjecture, and who now likewise embrace the literal Genesis record of human origin.

    The effects of ‘Scopes’ had it’s heyday. The pendulum of public opinion will now swing back with the release of Expelled. Solid Scientific evidence will be the catalyst, with the archaic ideas of Darwin are made a laughingstock. The current crop of evolutionary scientists will cluster and squall among their counterparts. Tell me there is no God!

  42. Tulse says

    There is no god.

    Also, the extremely common phenomenon of chromosome doubling (polyploidy — you can look it up) is the most glaringly obvious refutation of the claim that “No New DNA Has Ever Been Observed (NN-DNA-HEBO)”. This is pretty simple biology, and having a cumbersome acronym doesn’t make a silly claim any more true.

  43. says

    Michael, your comment must be really profound, since you feel the need to spam every thread with it /eyeroll.

    Say hi to everyone else in my killfile.

  44. says

    As children we are taught fairy tales, but folks frauds really don’t change to scientists. Let’s look at some Scientific facts…NO CDESIGN PROPONENTSIST has ever been observed to produce a more cohesive explanatory framework, i.e., add new evidence; even with current ID-friendly ‘peer-reviewed’ journals. Evolutionary biologists simply had their Existing articles, papers and research destorted, nothing beneficial to the scientific community occurred in those reinterpretations. Again- and this is THE BIGGIE- No New Evidence Has Ever Been Observed (NNEHEBO) to develope from cdesign proponentsists reinterpreting actual research or ‘working in labs’. Think about that, NO NEW Evidence has Ever been observed to develope from cdesign proponentsists reinterpreting actual research or ‘working in labs’.
    Intelligent Design is a totally baseless exercise of faith, since this single issue has never been resolved!
    [Expletive Deleted]

    Michael, do the world a favour and stop looking both ways before crossing the street.

  45. dwarf zebu says

    Seconding what foxfire @#22 and holydust @#29 said.

    I think it is a telling sign that the sort of readers that comment on my favored blogs are intelligent, (mostly) respectful and damn entertaining to read. I don’t do a lot of commenting, but more often than not, I read every comment on every post that I click on (which is also pretty much all of them here.)

    When a blogger attracts a following like that, it says a lot, I think. A whole heckuva lot more than mere volume ever could.

    I found Pharyngula through “Dispatches” which I found through a blog called “The Allen Almanac” which I found while I was still reading Netscape News.

    Bee @#26: You can always click “no style” under “view” on your toolbar and get plain black on white text and spare your eyeballs some pain.

    *snicker* BECAUSE NN-DNA-HEBO = PYGMIES + DWARVES *snort*

  46. says

    #60 wrote: “I don’t do a lot of commenting, but more often than not, I read every comment on every post that I click on (which is also pretty much all of them here.)” (emphasis mine.)

    Good heavens, man, do you have any time left over to do anything else? :)

  47. Richard Harris says

    Michael Woelfel – Tell me there is no God!

    Sure, Mikey, there aren’t any gods. It’s all made up. When you grow up, you’ll realize how obvious that is.

  48. Holydust says


    I giggled — first reading this I thought you guys were gettin’ started on making up a fun new song.

  49. says

    I just wanted to pop up and defend the Bayblab. It’s actually pretty good most of the time – let the dust settle and check it out some time. There are multiple contributors, so you can ignore any posts written by the guy who caused all the controversy, whether it really was intentional or not.

    I’m selective over which posts I read here, too – there are a lot of US politics posts that just don’t really interest me, and yes, the same culture wars themes do tend to pop up again and again. But the many posts that do interest me make it worthwhile. There’s no law that you have to read and enjoy every single post on every blog you read! (Luckily, or I’d spend all day here).

  50. the real CosMo Framer says

    I think I buy into the main criticism bayblab has which is that sometimes–if for no other reason than these sciblogs can get redundant with the constant Larry Craig reach arounds, and auto-erotic cross-linked backslapping–things get a little Minncestuous, and rather than being an enlightening and positive communication force, they can be somewhat off putting and dull–if only because the comments read more like a guestbook at a funeral home “I loved you so dearly” and all of that.
    *ho hum*