Happy new year. Did you know that this is the first year in many that all four digits of the year (in this case 2,0,1,3) are different from each other? Can you name the last year this was true? Can you name the next year in which this will be true?

Had you been following me on twitter you would know at least part of the answer to that inane question already!

Anyway, I went over the records of the last year to see which blog posts seemed to get more than average attention from my readers, and chose from them a selection to review here. This is a somewhat complex statistical problem. Most blog posts get all the reading they are going to get within a few days of being published, while others are being accessed in small to modest numbers, every day for the long term. I mixed the two patterns together here, but note that those in the latter set that were produced recently will be underrepresented for obvious reasons. I’ve also excluded posts that had fairly high pageview counts because of some dumb reason and have no content worth repeating. There were only a couple this year anyway.

I’m not authorized to give out numbers of page views (that is a trade secret around here) but I’ll take a chance and tell you that the largest number of page views among these posts are well over a quarter million, and most are mid five figures. I left off a number of posts that end up getting promoted frequently, especially those related to behavioral biology and climate change. In many cases they are linked to within the posts I do list here, and many of them were originally written before 2012 and are either still popular or reposted. I don’t want you to view this list as just another version of a list you’ve seen before.

And now, by topic:

Behavioral Biology

Ask A Scientist Type Posts:

Science Education

For hopefully good reasons, this post: Teaching After The Test: An argument for a national school schedule was very widely read (and I hope it gets more read!). Otherwise, instead of adding the usual list of the posts you all know and love/hate, I’m pointing you to a recently created page on my blog dedicated to science education and related topics of interest to teachers, here. That page will be updated now and then.

Peer Reviewed Research Blogging:

This category refers to posts submitted to the Peer Reviewed Research Blogging aggregator (just click on the icon inside any of these posts).

Climate Related Posts (some on the Research Blogging aggregator)

Useful Knowledge for Day to Day Life:

Other Items


  1. #1 NewEnglandBob
    January 1, 2013

    1987, 2014

  2. #2 Graeme edwards
    January 1, 2013

    Sorry Greg yours was not a good try ! Temperatures were higher in Northern Hemisphere due to larger land mass but the curve for the plane was greatly lowered temps in 2h Eemian
    Not an answer but not ignorable either
    Also why not give up rage pejorative Denier when those of us interested in the science are sceptical of alarmist projections now shown to be false but not denying that there are changes, the planet has warmed since the last ice age ,probably within natural variability limits, and wonder if we are heading for another glacial in the 120 k year cycle

  3. #3 Jeffrey
    Canton OH -
    January 1, 2013

    Very interesting that the last one was 26 years ago and the next one is in one year. What are the odds of that? This is not a rhetorical question, just trying to calculate it makes my head hurt.

  4. #4 Jeffrey
    January 1, 2013

    Graeme, could you restate that in another tongue? Perhaps next time try Latin. Your post was all Greek to me.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    January 2, 2013

    The eemian is definitely something we need to know more about, but there is nothing from the data for that time period that brings our global warming models into question. I’ve written before about sea level rise in relation to that interglacial. The main issue of concern is that it wasn’t warmer then, but there was less ice. This tells us that we’re actually rather lucky at the moment that we have so much ice, and without fully understanding why that is the case, we should be bit concerned about that. It may well be that a change in the weather patterns could melt more ice than expected (and that is happening to some degree this year and last year, we hope that isn’t a trend!)

    Land masses were not dramatically different then than the are now. It was only 100K years ago.

    Jeffry, it’s number theory. I assume.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    January 2, 2013


    then, starting with 2020, no more for a while!

  7. #7 jeffrey
    January 2, 2013

    Numbers are endlessly intriguing to me. What I often try to imagine is what year, for example, would it be if we happened to have seven digits on each hand, etc.
    Nullius In Verba

  8. #8 Eric Lund
    January 2, 2013

    @jeffrey: The just-ended string of 25 consecutive years with repeated digits is the longest since 1099-1202. The next such string will be 2199-2300. Strings of more than 20 consecutive repeated-digit years occur twice per millenium between 900 and 9999: one when the thousands and hundreds digits are the same (just over 100 in length) and one at the end/beginning of each millenium (most of them 24 consecutive years). You get strings of 11 consecutive repeated digit years twice per century (except during the aforementioned longer intervals), when the tens digit matches either the thousands or the hundreds digit.

    The probability that any given 4-digit number will have no repeated digits is (9*9!)/(6!*10^3*9) (I am disallowing leading zeroes here). That works out to 50.4%.

  9. […] Happy New Year, and A Year End Review of Blog Posts I went over the records of the last year to see which blog posts seemed to get more than average attention from my readers, and chose from them a selection to review here. This is a somewhat complex statistical problem. Greg Laden’s Blog, 1 January 2013 […]