1. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Happy Monkey and Happy New Years to all.

    Too many root beer floats, and we won’t get our cephalopod fix.

  2. Chris P says

    You guys are no fun – I’m going to have me an English hard cider.

    Perhaps one day some people in this country will note that China is spending its billions on buying resources around the planet while we spend billions on defense. China is also NOT wasting it’s scientific talents resisting back peddlers like DI, Meyer and the creation crazies. Our local city used to be a high tech manufacturing center but is now a center for defense and religion.

  3. says

    WTF! You west coasters are in for a surprise. As soon as the clock rolled over to Midnight a big humvee pulled up in front of the house and Jesus himself jumped out and said it’s the Rapture, and we’ve been drafted. We’re going to Jesusland!

    Apparently it takes a few hours for the lower intestine to morph into a solid rocket booster to propel us up to Jesusland so I have this brief opportunity to let you know in advance what 2010 holds for you.

    Happy New Year, and don’t go to the bathroom! You might miss out on Jesusland!

    P.S. When we get there we all get our own dinosaur! And a 2 ark garage!

  4. Hank Fox says

    Happy New Year to you and yours, PZ!

    And to all the rest of you, I insist you have a really great year!

  5. Rorschach says

    Happy Monkey everyone, hope you all have your goats on fire !!!

    I’m enjoying a medical treatment known as the counter-beer, since it is the afternoon of the 1st here and I’m trying to overcome the effects of last night’s excess…:-)

  6. dmutidjian says

    Same to you PZ and to all the other pharyngulites.


    I just finished a nice big bowl of Wheatabix… my comfort food :)


  7. irishlight says

    Happy New Year, one and all! Thank you all for the information, wit, snark, and secular support. I’m looking forward to more in 2010. Maybe some day I’ll even comment. 8-)

  8. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    35 minutes to go in Texas…How did Minnesota manage to zoom into the future, while the rest of us in the Central Time Zone did not?

    I’d suspect that there is a sober answer to that question. But not a sober ear to listen.


  9. John Morales says

    … root beer …

    Huh? Here in Oz we do it the other way around. ;)


    Happy Monkey!

  10. Janet Holmes says

    I hate to sound foolish but what is a root-beer float? Would I like it or is it some local delicacy you have to be raised with to appreciate?

    Happy New Year to all.


  11. Tristanm says

    What? No you didn’t PZ, it’s only 11:33pm. It’s still 2009, and I know it is there because we’re in the same timezone! :P

  12. Newfie says

    I notice that the time stamp on the posts has jumped up an hour to EST. I smell shenanigans afoot.

  13. Chris P says

    I think root beer is what snake-oil salesmen used to sell as a cure-all before they found that religion was more profitable and didn’t require the sale of an actual product that had to be manufactured.

  14. eddie says

    Happeh munkeh! to all. I think the tiger thing is a red herring ;-)

    To celebrate, I had a half bottle of veuve cliquot. Lovely stuff.

  15. Paula Helm Murray says

    Didn’t know you all were on Eastern time… it’s 11:35 p.m. here in Kansas City, MO.

    Happy new year’s anyway. Has to be a better year, we’re getting a new furnace Monday/Tuesday (it’s a boiler, don’t ask. Right now it’s keeping the first floor at about 55-58 and the space heaters are keeping our personal spaces above that warm). And Feb. 1st I’m starting a new job so that will help a lot. (My mom is helping with the furnace).

  16. Rorschach says

    Whatever root beer float is, and I sure dont know, it does seem to have the power to influence the space-time continuum…:-)

  17. JCfromNC says

    Root beer float: Typically, two scoops of vanilla ice cream floating in a glass of root beer. Ver’ tasty stuff, wish I had one right now.

  18. Stardrake says

    It does help if you use GOOD root beer!

    And we’ve got 5 minutes left–I suspect a pre-posted post and SciBlogs being on Eastern time.

  19. F says

    Mike Wagner @ 12:

    No one told me the Mighty Morphing Rapture Rangers were in town. I guess the north coast ain’t east enough.

  20. says

    Let’s see… I’ve got root beer… but no ice cream. Ah well. Happy Monkey! Although I still don’t know what that means.

  21. mythusmage says

    On Rootbeer Floats

    A variant I like involves 7-up and orange or lime sherbet. If you don’t want to wait for the sherbet to partially melt a blender can expedite matters.

    Warning: Brain freeze is possible with this concoction.

  22. SaintStephen says

    Well, I may get the bum’s rush out of Richard’s party, but I know I can toss around a few colourful comments on PZ’s blog:


  23. Shawn says

    Happy New Year, even though its not quite 2010 in Seattle. This has been my favorite blog of 2009, and this is my first post. May your 2010 be blessed, secularly speaking of course.

  24. says

    Live long and prosper, PZ. May we revel in curiosity and understanding in the new decade. Let friendship and knowledge and imagination thrive, and let the lives of the evil be short and filled with pain.

  25. Bride of Shrek OM says

    Throwing icecream into a carbonated beverage is known as a “spider” where I’m from, the quantifier being the type of beverage, as in lemonade spider, cola spider etc etc Of course it’s rarely drunk by any one above the age of 12.
    I however concede the maturity quotient is upped by it being a drink designated a “beer”.

    At any rate, Happy New Year to you all of you, my online geek chums. It’s getting on night here on the 1st so I’ve had vastly more experience of the new year than most of you 2010 newbies. I can say, with expert opinion, that so far its pretty much the same as 2009. I’ve been on hiatus getting my (newly single) life together so I haven’t been commenting much but I’m back now, in fine form and happy as clam!

    Rorschach, I’ll send you an email as update.

  26. mythusmage says

    Bride of Shrek, #39

    I refuse to be so immature as to forgo any beverage deemed immature by those so immature as to consider any beverage immature.

  27. Rorschach says

    I can say, with expert opinion, that so far its pretty much the same as 2009.

    I can corroborate that finding !

    And as I said on the current incarnation of the thread everlasting :

    For the new year, I’m reminded of the great german philosopher Dragoslav Stepanovic’s words :

    “Lebbe ged weida” !
    (“life goes on”, when spoken by a serbian with a hessian accent)

  28. TheVirginian says

    To R’leyh with root beer floats. Had plenty of those when I was a kid. I’ve got a screwdriver and listened to a lot of firecrackers an hour-plus ago.
    I hope they were firecrackers …
    Happy Monkey! Help it extinguish the flaming goats!

  29. Crudely Wrott says

    Here’s the way you do it.

    Get a couple of tall glasses, some good (your brand of choice) vanilla ice cream and some Vernor’s Extra Dry Ginger Ale.

    Chill all components.

    Fill glasses half full of Vernor’s. Add a reasonable amount of ice cream or add all the ice cream you have. Top with more Vernor’s. ‘Ware the foamy stuff. Did I mention napkins?

    Sip at your leisure.

    Back where I come from this is known as a Horse’s Neck. Don’t ask me why, it just is.

    Happy. Long. Good.
    Certainty and doubt.
    Discovery and pathos.
    Satchel to Paige.
    Don’t look over your shoulder.
    Here we go again.
    Two thousand and ten.

    Aaaarrr, matey. Avast!

  30. Meathead says

    Happy Masturbating Robot Munkeys and flaming goats to all. May 2010 bring many more.

  31. llewelly says

    I hate to sound foolish but what is a root-beer float?

    “root-beer” is a traditional drink with a pleasant flavor. It is vaguely akin to beer, but it contains no alcohol, and was popularized by teetotalers who believed alcohol was the milk of Satan. A “root-beer float” is root beer with ice cream in it. Delicious, but for best results, the root beer should be replaced with dark rum.

  32. llewelly says

    I hope they were firecrackers …

    In fact it was the sound of the Righteous being raised up to visit Jesus. See #12.

  33. --PatF says

    For all of our non-usian friends, root beer is akin to the old drink called sarasparilla. You might have seen this if you ever watched too many cowboy movies when you were young. I watched far too many.

    I understand that, while it is popular here, it is an acquired taste and you may not like it.

    Wikipedia says:

    [center]There are hundreds of root beer brands in the United States, produced in every U.S. state,[1] and there is no standardized recipe. The primary ingredient, artificial sassafras flavoring, is complemented with other flavors, common ones being vanilla, wintergreen, cherry tree bark, liquorice root, sarsaparilla root, nutmeg, acacia, anise, molasses, cinnamon, clove and honey.[/center]

  34. says

    Posted by: Miki Z @ 10 “We celebrated here 14 hours ago, but Monkey was so 2009. Happy Tiger to all.”

    Sorry to be pedantic Miki, but 2009 was (mostly) year of the ox and year of the tiger doesn’t start until Feb 14 this year. Not that I believe in this stuff, but I used to.

    Also I’ve seen coke spiders advertised as tarantulas. I’m not sure if I’d like the taste of beer and icecream together, although rum may have some value as an icecream topping. I know Southern Comfort and brandy are nice along with almost every sweet or creamy alcholic drink known (Baileys Irish Cream on icecream … heavan!).

    Happy New Year Everyone!!!!! Enjoy your hangovers.

  35. Aquaria says

    I was so boring, I was asleep when the New Year rang in. Okay, so my nap after work lasted a little longer than I’d planned. Like, about 7.5 hours longer. Went to sleep at 5…Woke up at 1.30.


    Beautiful full moon tonight, though.

  36. Aquaria says

    Oh, and happy New Year to everyone.

    I’m a little out of it when I first wake up. Maybe I need more sleep…

  37. joe.bussen says

    Still two hours to go here at 157 degrees west. We have been suffering from the vog (volcanic smog) for a week, the northeast trades failing us, and now the added fireworks. The legal ones are bad enough (a $25 permit allows you to buy x thousand firecrackers), but the aerials are everywhere. They are smuggled in from Asia; what does that tell you about homeland security? Very hard on dogs and cats, and a lot of people too.

  38. Crudely Wrott says

    This may be just a trivial spin off from the universe we find ourselves in or it may be a premium feature of it. I’m not sure, but . . .

    . . . for the last several hours I have been able, courtesy of my local cable provider, to switch back and forth between a Three Stooges marathon and a Twilight Zone marathon.

    Everything is suddenly becoming clear. I seem feel more connected and on a sounder footing. Except when I forget which show I’m watching.

    “I like these little points . . .”

  39. says

    I’m on the wrong side of 50 and I still occasionally enjoy a lime spider. Immature…feh!

    I already said HNY on an earlier thread on account of me being in Oz, but Happy Monkey again to all.

  40. says

    ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Happy happy Monkey/Tiger and other such salutations for the start of a new decade! And it be time for the traditional Scottish blessing to you all: May the best you’ve ever been be the worst you’ll ever see!

  41. Rorschach says

    HNY Dana !

    Show yourself a bit more around here again :-)
    And whatever happened to the elitists?

  42. Pygmy Loris says

    Happy Monkey to all!

    Where I’m from, we have coke floats. They’re delicious.

  43. John Morales says

    mtgap @31 (and anyone else who’s unfamiliar with it): The phrase Happy Monkey! originated in one of PZ’s “I get email” posts last December (whereby a Creationist tried to insult “Darwinists” with it).

    PZ immediately joyfully adopted it.

  44. Andyo says

    44 minutes into here in LA. Last year sucked for me, 2010 is looking worse.

    But, in the words of Boris Yellnikoff: “don’t think I’m bitter because of some personal setback. By the standards of a mindless, barbaric civilization, I’ve been pretty lucky.”

  45. Bride of Shrek OM says


    Notice I said “rarely” by anyone over 12?

    My guilty secret is I occasionally indulge in the rare and elusive “fanta spider”. It’s sickly sweet, a revolting spectacle to see and has absolutely no redeeming nutrional features.

    I embrace the power of having a fellow closet spider fan.

    Long live the spider! Spiders rule.

  46. Cosmic Teapot says

    Happy New Year to one and all, although after last nights Belgium beer, I am not all that happy at the moment. ;)

    And people keep texting me too, which doesn’t help my head.


  47. Miki Z says


    I’m in Japan, where they celebrate the new year on January 1st but Chinese astrology trinkets are a popular new year’s gift. We have a small menagerie from previous years. You’re absolutely right about the ox, of course.

  48. Pareidolius says

    Happy New Year Pharyngulites! PZ rocks bigtime, but I learned the most from you all . . .

  49. bad Jim says

    First seckt and then prosecco here, but we’re decadent out on the left coast. Here’s to the end of a “low dishonest decade”, to borrow Auden’s phrase. Happy Twenty Ten to all.

  50. JeffreyD says

    Happy Primate y’all!

    Root Beer?!?! (Delicate Shudder) I never developed the taste and I had a girlfriend who’s Dad owned an A&W drive-in so could have had it free. I always thought it tasted like the urine of the last leper in hell. However, I like things like Pernod, Ricard, and even Retsina so who am I to talk trash about the terrible tastes other people have? (grin)

    Just glad we are out of the “Oughts”. It was a kidney stone of a decade and glad it passed. I have not posted much lately, personal issues too demanding, but I try to read every day and you people are my sanity check. (Really? jeez, am I screwed or what?)

    Ciao y’all

  51. Gregory Greenwood says

    Happy Monkey to all! I myself am enjoying a completely hangover-free New Year. Ah, the benefits of being a teetotaler.

    I know that a good percentage of you are directing copious hatred at me right now, but I forgive you. ;)

  52. Legion says

    Jubilant Anthropoid!

    After 2000 years of possessing the souls of everyone from kings to televangelists (shout out to Oral Roberts), ringing in the new year holds little interest for us (even demons have to sleep), so we save our celebratin’ for New Years day.

    Our current host is something of a foodie, so we brined and hickory-smoked a ham over the last three days.

    In honor of this auspicious occasion, we’ll give our host the day off, and resist the urge to make him levitate at the dinner table.

  53. telamonides says


    Maybe it is still Happy Monkey in China, but in Japan it is now Happy Tiger! Since my wife is Japanese I have no choice, but to follow her solar customs.

  54. daveau says

    Celebrate January in Minnesota with ice cream: genius! (or madness!– really fine line)

    The spousal unit and I celebrated New Years on the solstice this year. Or at least, acknowledged it. Odd that she still refuses to become an actual atheist.

    OTOH, Jan 1 is our anniversary, so we do celebrate that. Mumm Cordon Rouge being the beverage of choice.

    Happy Monkey!

  55. Sven DiMilo says

    Haw! PZ autoscheduled the post and forgot that the time stamps are Eastern! Haw!!

    On floats:
    A “root beer float” is correctly termed a “black cow” (as in the Steely Dan tune), and should be made ONLY with A&W brand root beer or, in a real pinch, Hire’s.

    Vernor’s should not be drunk, with or without ice cream, outside of the state of Michigan, or preferably within 40 miles of downtown Detroit.

    Happy Monkey

  56. Carax says

    Our traditional New Year’s drink is Prosecco and peach juice.

    Happy Monkey and good luck to all; we are all going to need it in twenty-ten.

  57. MetzO'Magic says

    Happy New Year to all, and a hearty GOATS ON FIRE to ye!

    PZ is indeed based in Minnesota, but the scienceblogs servers are somewhere on the east coast. There’s a 5-hr difference when I post from my usual place in sunny Ireland (not!), but this missive is coming your way from Benalmadena Costa in Spain, which unfortunately is also not sunny at the mo.

    Anyways, hope the coming year is better than the last one, ’cause it sure did suck in so many ways.

  58. ardispark says

    Offtopic (if you can call this a topic):
    Dutch cartoonist wraps up the Darwin Year 2009, which was also Calvin Year (after the founder of protestantism). The cartoon says “Darwin Year 2009 – Calvin Year 2009 – Final Score”. The label on the jar says peanut butter (and alludes to a popular Dutch brand).


  59. negentropyeater says

    Happy new decade everyone.

    Talking about decade, just watched a documentary with some friends about the last 6 decades (50s,…,00s). It showed how life had changed, and we had a discussion about which decade had seen the most significant (and the least) progress (social, technological, etc…).

    Our conclusion was that the last decade had seen the least changes , that in the West it seemed as if we had arrived at a kind of plateau. And that the 60s has seen the most significant changes.

    I haven’t really thought about how to quantify this, wether it makes any sense at all…

    The one thing that stands out in my mind about the last decade, is blogging.

  60. mythusmage says

    Jeffry D., #66

    Have you ever tried Canadian root beer? Bears the same relationship to American root beer as Drambuie does to mere scotch.

    Back when I was a kid one company produced three grades of root beer in increasing strength. You had Juniors, Moms, and Dads. Dads, as it just so happened, was the most popular, so when they decided to streamline their product line they switched to producing Juniors exclusively, and calling it Dads.

    America, wimping out in the face of fussbudgets and worryworts since 1965.

  61. Fred The Hun says

    Chris P @9,

    The written history of China begins with the Shang Dynasty (ca. 1550 BCE – ca. 1046 BCE).
    They’ve been at this civilization thing a bit longer than we have.

    Plus the Chinese are Nationalists first and foremost, that is the true root of their success. When for example communism no longer served their purpose they tossed it, It continues as their official ideology for now, but in name only. I’m sure they will do the same with free market growth oriented capitalism as soon as it has outlived its uselfulness as a paradigm for strengthening the “Nation”.

    Americans on the other hand have frittered away any possibility of surviving as a Nation and will soon splinter into a thousand continuosly warring ideological factions. When TSHF and the current economic crisis really bites, Americans will be at each others throats. This is no longer a Democracy nor is it one Nation. The only things Americans know how to do these days is pass the buck a try to blame the other guy.

    Hope they all enjoy the Chinese built crap they bought to underscore the “Reason for the Season” maybe it will last until next year when it all self destructs like magic and they can run back to Walmart and buy more of it on their credit cards at 29% APR.

    Good Luck, and Happy Chinese New Year, It’s the year of the Tiger, that might be an omen actually ;-)

  62. philzombi says

    I have been reading (and enjoying) the content here for some time now. I just wanted to say thanks PZ and “may the forces of Evil become confused on the way to your house.” – George Carlin (I think)

  63. gines says

    … when u drink there are 2 universes isn’t it? but if you see two universes and you know you’re drunk that means its only one, so the difficulty, to go out of confusion is to know that you’re drumk monkey … happy linux!

  64. Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology says

    I’m so glad it’s 2553!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (based on the Thai calender.)

  65. David Marjanović says

    China is spending its billions on buying resources around the planet while we spend billions on defense.

    China, too, spends billions on the military… Fourth Modernization, you know.

    Plus the Chinese are Nationalists first and foremost, that is the true root of their success.

    Well, no. The true root is that they’re now allowed to become rich. That wasn’t the case 40 years ago.

    Americans on the other hand have frittered away any possibility of surviving as a Nation [sic] and will soon splinter into a thousand continuo[u]sly warring ideological factions.

    Bla, bla, bla. Better that than a dictature.

    Also, the USA basically has a two-party system in its constitution because there’s no separation of president and government.

    This is no longer a Democracy [sic]

    Now that the votes are counted again (as far as I can tell), it is one again.

    nor is it one Nation [sic].

    What does it say in your passport again? (Or don’t you have one…?)

    Nations aren’t something mystic like religious communities or something.

  66. Fred The Hun says

    Hey David @86,

    If you don’t think the Chinese are more nationalistic than the Americans and that that has no direct influence on how they act to protect their self interests you are more than entitled to that belief. I’m not so naive as to say that the people in power in the US don’t act to protect the interests of the of the US. I just think that Chinese are truly nationalistic while the US protects the interests of Corporations, Financial institutions and political elites to detriment of the American Nation

    Yes, we have an election to chose our officials theoretically a democracy for sure. If you believe that this actually means anything in the sense that the American people have any choice or are masters of their destiny then perhaps you are part of 1% that controls the bulk of the power and wealth in this country.

    I have a US passport, what’s it to you?

  67. DominEditrix says

    Et un Joyeux Singe a tout le monde!

    My cats insist that 2010 is the year of the tiger. I believe that this is outright felinism. I am not going to argue with them, however, as they are well-armed. Um, clawed. And sniny.

  68. Sven DiMilo says

    According to ‘kipedia:

    Also known as a “black dude,” “black cow”[1] or “brown cow” , the root beer float is traditionally made with vanilla ice cream and root beer, but can also be made with other flavors.
    In the United States and Canada, the chain A&W Restaurants are well known for their root beer floats. The definition of a black cow varies by region. For instance in some localities, a “root beer float” has strictly vanilla ice cream; a float made with root beer and chocolate ice cream is a “chocolate cow” or a “brown cow.”

    What the hell: