Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

My commenters really make my day. Because I am such a crappy commenter, I really appreciate that about you. There have been many times in my life when my commenters have been the only reason I’ve continued writing this blog, and there has been an indecent number of times when one or more of my commenters said something that made me decide that it was worthwhile to just stay alive at all.

Every morning, the first thing I do (even before making coffee!) is read your comments. But my fondness for you and your comments is more than just idle words from me: for example, as a measure of how much I truly value my readers and their comments, I married one of you and left the country of my birth to live with him! (although my spouse probably thinks I am punishing him for being such a funny commenter.) So instead of marrying each and every one of you, I wish to give you a small token of my appreciation and recognize of your words, thoughts and yes, your wonderful senses of humor that you share with me here.

So starting today, and continuing through Saturday night, I will choose one comment that I think should be recognized as being especially excellent. If you think someone’s comment qualifies for the “comment of the week” award, I invite you to either leave a comment to that effect or to email me (if you’re shy).

In December, I will ask my readers to vote for the comment that they think was the best overall and I’ll give the winner (or maybe the top 3 or 5 vote-getters) a prize. (Or maybe I’ll have several categories and you can choose the best comment that fits that particular category? Still thinking about how to implement this, so your suggestions are welcomed). At this point, I don’t know what that prize will be .. a really cool book? a t-shirt? a mug? a kilo of marijuana? I am interested to hear your ideas of what sort of prize you’d value as a reward for your effort to write such thoughtful, insightful and funny comments, and I’ll do my best to make that happen, even if I have to purchase those prizes myself and mail them to you from Germany (the land of shockingly expensive postage).

Comments

  1. #1 Cuttlefish
    July 18, 2010

    Wait–

    We *can’t* marry you?

    I’m outta here.

  2. #2 blf
    July 18, 2010

    Germany (the land of shockingly expensive postage)

    Does Deutsche Bundespost actually work? Or are they like the French La Poste which specialises in not delivering the things it fails to break/mangle (which are sometimes then delivered, verrrrry sloooowly).

  3. #3 "GrrlScientist"
    July 18, 2010

    cuttlefish: i am happy to marry more of my readers, but (a) except for the german consulate’s demand that i marry my spouse before immigrating here, i actually don’t “believe in” marriage in the first place (unless there’s kids involved) and (b) i do believe in torturing only one person at a time since it helps me maintain my focus on the task at hand.

    blf: shockingly, Deutsche Bundespost actually does deliver stuff without breaking it into a hundred pieces, but it is 3.5 times more expensive for me to mail an item from germany to the USA than to mail the same item from the USA to germany. when mailing items overseas from germany, i have one of two choices, hugely expensive airmail, which takes 5 days to arrive, or the nearly as hugely expensive “regular mail” which takes 30+ days to arrive. never tried that “regular mail” option since airmail is only a few euros more …

  4. #4 Tabor
    July 18, 2010

    For those of us who are shy, you do realize that having a comment contest will constipate our responses!

  5. #5 Toast
    July 18, 2010

    I was about to write almost the same as Tabor. You’ll probably get some beautiful screeds from those who (think they) are literate and nothing from the rest.

  6. #6 "GrrlScientist"
    July 18, 2010

    oh, no! it seems you don’t much like this idea. shall i not do this?

  7. #7 Grant
    July 18, 2010

    You could offer a non-monetary prize, for example, plugging a website or blog of their choice. (Excluding commercial sites and the offensive, of course.)

    As examples, they might choose to plug The Fred Hollows Foundation or some other charity, a favourite scientific website (until July 30th, I’d be looking the the Royal Society of London’s open access), a blog they think deserves wider attention. (I’d disallow plugging their own blog (meh!); you can always mention that in passing.)

    If I had more commenters than I do, I’d nick this idea! :-)

  8. #8 bardiac
    July 19, 2010

    I like the idea. :) I think some of the folks who explain what they’re seeing in the mystery bird threads are amazing, and their comments help me a lot. So I vote for psweet, for one.

  9. #9 Diane G.
    July 19, 2010

    4
    For those of us who are shy, you do realize that having a comment contest will constipate our responses!

    Posted by: Tabor | July 18, 2010 3:00 PM

    Hmm…& I was motivated to come out of lurkdom…not for any prize chances, as I’m the exact opposite of eloquent or witty, but because of your stating how much comments meant to you. :-)

  10. #10 "GrrlScientist"
    July 19, 2010

    i agree, bardiac. i am hoping to find a birding guide that psweet might like … or something that is a nice reward for his time and efforts spent on mystery birds. i also wish to give something to joseph kennedy, for being so amazingly generous by sharing his photography with us for years.

    hello, diane, and thanks for de-lurking and leaving a comment. i hope you are inspired to leave more comments when i post something here that inspires you to say something.

    okay, since it seems that some of you are not very pleased with a “comment of the week” award, i will try to think of something else that might make you happier … i am certainly open to suggestions.

  11. #11 Tabor
    July 19, 2010

    OMG! I was joking!! I guess I need a happy face with a wink at the end!

  12. #12 arby
    July 19, 2010

    I think it’s a fine idea. I happened to bump into Amazon’s “Tuscan Whole Milk, Gallon, 128 fl oz” reviews again yesterday, and there are clearly some very clever people out there with waaaay too much time on their hands. And surely some of those clever people are visitors here too. Maybe not quite as many, now that we know marriage is off the table. rb

  13. #13 arby
    July 19, 2010

    The last should read: “…now that we know marriage and the kilo of marijuana is off the table.”

  14. #14 Murray
    July 29, 2010

    I HATE to see you go and hope I’ll be able to find you again- (just lucked into your site surfing for birds). And Bardiac is right: another vote for psweet and one for P(ete?) Moulton, too! Don’t have anyone to talk to about birds so, believe me, I will miss you all!

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