It is end of the year retrospective time. This is the time of year those of us who do stuff others read or watch all year run out of good stuff to do and dredge up old stuff to keep the few of you who are not flying to Mexico or baking cookies busy while we get drunk. This is the first in a seemingly interminable set of such retrospectives that I plan to do this year.
I’ll start my retrospective with a prelude:
Early in January I’ll be doing a live radio retrospective of the year’s science stories with Lynn Fellmann, on Atheist Talk Radio. We are waiting until the end of the year to make sure nothing happens at the last minute that we wouldn’t want to miss. Given Lynn’s interest in the last several tens of thousands of years of human migration and my interest in human evolution, this latest news about a “separate species” of humans that “interbred” with “us” in “Asia” would count as a last minute major story that we would have missed had we done our retrospective early.
I may also do a blogospective review of Minnesota news. I’ve been finding the exploration of Minnesotan news to be enlightening and sometimes entertaining lately, and I was just going over one of our local news station’s photo-retro. There are some interesting things there. Of the 30 stories or so, five or six will make an interesting blog post.
But now, to the topic of the present retrospective, referring to the title of this blog post. The answer to the question, “Why do people read my blog” for half of you is because I make you using such techniques as staring at you while you sit on the couch making you feel guilty of you don’t. For the other half of my regular readers, I can’t explain it, I figure you’ve got some sort of psychosis or something. So that accounts for my 12 regular readers.
For the remaining several tens of thousands of unconnected random page views per unspecified unit time, and the 12 of you might find this interesting, most people come to my blog to look at a picture of a chicken, to make fun of a cartoon, or to find out about how to trap a mouse or a squirrel. Another sizable group of readers includes those who are convinced, rightly or wrongly, that the end of the world is not too far off, and its the Yellowstone Caldera that is going to do us in, but blowing up again.
Indeed, my post on The Origin of the Chicken was a nice piece of blogging work, if I may say so myself. But the photograph of a chicken that I’ve got on there has attracted a huge amount of attention. This photograph has been downloaded so many times it is starting to wear out, and it has been used in many different educational contexts where chickens are appropriate. And probably some contexts where chickens are not. Appropriate, that is.
The single most visited blog post on my site is probably the cartoon that shows two arks, the regular one (Noah’s) and the Dinosaur Ark. The people on Noah’s ark have a cannon, and they’re ….. oh, why am I describing it. Just have a look. I have no idea why 720 gazillion people viewed this post over the week or so after it was published. A short term minor Internet memetic event, I suppose.
At some point in your life, you are going to need to know How to live trap a mouse, and eventually, you’ll work your way up to needing to know How to live trap a squirrel. And when you do, you’ll come here to find out. Everybody else seems to.
I’ve written about Yellowstone geology a couple of times, but my post, “The Yellowstone Problem,” seems to be the one that gets picked up by the search engines for phrases like “End of the world apocalypse geyser” or “yogi bear rapture explosion” and so on and so forth.
Notice that these posts are not selected (by me) from the prior year’s blogging. They are not among my personal favorites, for that matter. But in looking things over and deciding what to do for an end of the year retrospective, these posts kind of sprang out at me.
Part of the reason these posts have been viewed so many times is that they were written some time ago, but what is freakish about them is that they are still fairly hot, which is cool. Over the last one million page views on this site, 2% were of the chicken post, and about 2% were divided among the live trapping posts. Maybe I should write a post on how to live trap a chicken.