Pharyngula

Order of the Molly for March 2007

Last month, I tried a new motivational tactic to reward good commenting, allowing you to nominate and select one of the commenters here for the Order of the Molly award, acknowledging excellence in commenting. Kristine Harley and Scott Hatfield won that recognition that time around. I said it was going to be a monthly phenomenon, and what do you know, another month has come by, and it’s time to do it again.

This is an important award, I’ll have you know. As Kristine noticed, it got some people worked up — John A. Davison is going on at some length about it, although, to be perfectly honest, he only seems to be talking to himself and his little friend, Martin. Still, it is amusing.

Anyway, this is easy. You can see the previous thread for examples, but all you have to do is name some commenter whose contributions you enjoy, and maybe say a word or two to convince others that your choice is worthy. I’ll count up all the mentions on Sunday, and declare a winner then. Don’t turn this into a serious competition, though—it really is intended to just celebrate the good ‘uns, and there will be more opportunities to recognize people in the future.

Comments

  1. #1 quork
    March 15, 2007

    although, to be perfectly honest, he only seems to be talking to himself and his little friend, Martin.

    Is this friend “Martin” visible? Has anyone other than JAD verified “Martin”‘s IP address?

  2. #2 Bruce Breece
    March 15, 2007

    Hank Fox gets my vote. He’s funny and always includes a thought provoking statement with clarity and logic.

  3. #3 Rey Fox
    March 15, 2007

    What would your position on nominating multiple people be?

  4. #4 Steviepinhead
    March 15, 2007

    I gave a thought to splitting my vote among several worthy contenders, but–as this will be a monthly event–I’m just going to hold some names in reserve.

    This month’s vote goes to Steve LaBonne–he has clear and valuable things to say on almost every thread almost every day. I’m not sure how he gets anything else done, but I’m glad he doesn’t!

  5. #5 Matt the heathen
    March 15, 2007

    My vote goes for Orac. Insightful, the occasional relevant link, an appropriate level of snarkiness… Great commenting on this blog is one of the biggest reasons I come back every day.

  6. #6 Observer
    March 15, 2007

    I still think this idea is repugnant, PZ. But be that as it may, I agree with the above statement by Steviepinhead (but I was also thinking Ed Darrell if there would be a second choice) I’m thinking consistency and duration:

    Steve Labonne

    (I would also like to note awesome posts by Flex and Blake Stacey today in the “Spirituality? Another words for lies and empty noise” thread, and elsewhere on the SBs today.)

  7. #7 Robert
    March 15, 2007

    Whats repugnant about a light hearted recognition of quality contribution? Someones taking this too seriously.

    (though my nomination would be for Blkae Stacey too)

  8. #8 Robert
    March 15, 2007

    Curses! I should at least get the name right! Blake Stacey.

  9. #9 Casey Luskin
    March 15, 2007

    I nominate Great White Wonder. In spite of his vitriol, I find him strangely attractive, in a purely sexual way.

    [but since this is you nominating yourself, GWW, that would be masturbation, so I’m not going to count this — pzm]

  10. #10 Blake Stacey
    March 15, 2007

    Thanks, Robert and Observer. I’m a bit too distracted to come up with my own list right now (and I’d probably unfairly slight people by leaving too many off), but maybe I’ll get it together after dinner.

  11. #11 Tom McCann
    March 15, 2007

    Hank Fox. We lefty liberals like to think of ourselves as freethinkers, but just like the right, we also have our own ‘thought fashions’ and ‘attitude templates’ as I like to think of them.

    Hank is great at spotting these thinking ruts and saying ‘Hey, wait a minute’. Many is the time he has made me think about things from a new angle.

    I don’t always agree with him, but he is always clear and insightful. He is a wise man.

  12. #12 Observer
    March 15, 2007

    Robert: Whats repugnant about a light hearted recognition of quality contribution? Someones taking this too seriously.

    (though my nomination would be for Blkae Stacey too)

    I don’t like what could be perceived as popularity contests. I also admit that I like to use the word repugnant. BTW, you were the first to nominate Blake Stacey in this thread – I simply acknowledged his contribution to the Science Blogs community today, as well as Flex’s.

    Last month PZ chose two people – of each gender. I forgot that either Molly – Molly in NYC and Red Molly (how appropriate are those names!) would go nicely with Steve.

    Sorry, a misspelling: Steve LaBonne

  13. #13 Carl Buell
    March 15, 2007

    It’s probably not fair, because I know Hank Fox personally, but I vote for him also. Very bright guy who comes up with the greatest metaphors to make his points.

  14. #14 Kristjan Wager
    March 15, 2007

    Hank Fox. Not only does he write some very good comments, he has done so for quite a while now.

  15. #15 Scott Hatfield
    March 15, 2007

    For erudition, I would like to nominate Torjborn Larsson. I not only enjoy his posts, but I learn from them. In fact, I often find myself having to learn a little something just to comprehend them in the first place: he’s *that* kind of mind, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    For amusement, I would also like to nominate the intermittently-vulgar but frequently hilarious Great White Wonder. He makes me laugh.

  16. #16 Trip the Space Parasite
    March 15, 2007

    I’ll second that nomination for Torbjörn Larsson. Even if I’m not sure how to pronounce his name. 🙂

  17. #17 Mike Haubrich
    March 15, 2007

    I nominated Blake Stacey last time, and wish to do so again. He’s a smart feller.

  18. #18 Stogoe
    March 15, 2007

    This month I’m going for Hank Fox.

  19. #19 Joshua
    March 15, 2007

    /me joins the Blake Stacey bandwagon

    I’ve been demoted from “PZ Sycophant” to “PZ Commenter Sycophant”, apparently.

  20. #20 Paguroidea
    March 15, 2007

    We’ve got such a great community of people who make insightful comments here at Pharyngula. I always look forward to reading the comments on the posts. It is hard to decide with so many excellent candidates.

    This time I’ll vote for the man who has lots of “Molly”, the one and only – Hank Fox!!!!

  21. #21 dogscratcher
    March 15, 2007

    He hasn’t been around in a while, but I have great respect for Martin Brazeau.

  22. #22 Rooney
    March 15, 2007

    I too have a huge blog-crush on Blake Stacey. His performance on the Sprituality thread surely puts him over the top.

  23. #23 nicole
    March 15, 2007

    Blake Stacey – whenever I’m reading a comment and thinking “Right on, man” I come to the end and there’s his name.

    I love you, Blake Stacey!

  24. #24 Desert Donkey
    March 15, 2007

    Hank Fox.

    I occasionally disagree with Hank on style, mostly, but he has earned our respect. To pass him over again would be disrespectful.

  25. #25 dfm
    March 15, 2007

    If you’re a super curious person like I am, you’ve probably wondered what John A. Davison’s deathbed words will be, since he’s a fairly old fart. Personally, I’m almost certain they will be nothing of any interest to anyone. But for comparison with famous people, there’s always this list:
    http://www.corsinet.com/braincandy/dying.html

    BTW, it might be cool to know what PZ’s last words would be. But I suppose we’ll have to wait.

  26. #26 Blake Stacey
    March 15, 2007

    Rooney and nicole:

    I’ve only just begun. . . . (-;

    dfm:

    What about Aldous Huxley’s last words — didn’t he scrawl a message to his wife saying, “LSD, 100 micrograms I.M.”?

  27. #27 PZ Myers
    March 15, 2007

    Please, don’t hold your breath waiting, OK?

  28. #28 Stogoe
    March 15, 2007

    *turns blue*
    *passes out*
    *has spiritual experience due to oxygen deprivation*
    Ooh, Goddamaroo…

  29. #29 coturnixc
    March 15, 2007

    There are many good ones here, but I’ll go for Hank Fox this month, too.

  30. #30 Rey Fox
    March 15, 2007

    He hasn’t commented as much lately as in the past, but I think we have to get Hank Fox into the Hall. And I don’t say that just because we’re related (’cause we’re not, this isn’t even my real name).

    And if we get a double selection like last month, then Blake.

  31. #31 great_ape
    March 16, 2007

    When I grow up, I’m going to write J.A. Davidson’s biography. Sorry guys; I called it first.

  32. #32 Torbjörn Larsson
    March 16, 2007

    Frak, always selection with these evolution blogs. Which is hard when there is so much delightful variation to choose from. Good thing it is repeated.

    Seeing that I missed the first opportunity, I will cast three votes this time.

    My first vote would have gone to Scott, because he is thoughtful, clear and stoic in the Roman sense (“calm acceptance of all occurrences as the unavoidable result of divine will or of the natural order”).

    My second vote must then go to Kristine which I would have voted for sooner or later, because she is witty, funny, and takes no shit.

    And my final vote this month goes to Blake Stacey, because he is engaging, learned and always there for us. Even if it is to tell us he will check in later…

  33. #33 Torbjörn Larsson
    March 16, 2007

    Frak, always selection with these evolution blogs. Which is hard when there is so much delightful variation to choose from. Good thing it is repeated.

    Seeing that I missed the first opportunity, I will cast three votes this time.

    My first vote would have gone to Scott, because he is thoughtful, clear and stoic in the Roman sense (“calm acceptance of all occurrences as the unavoidable result of divine will or of the natural order”).

    My second vote must then go to Kristine which I would have voted for sooner or later, because she is witty, funny, and takes no shit.

    And my final vote this month goes to Blake Stacey, because he is engaging, learned and always there for us. Even if it is to tell us he will check in later…

  34. #34 Torbjörn Larsson
    March 16, 2007

    I forgot: Thanks Scott and Trip (and the earlier thread commenters) for the nominations! This was a great start of my day, as you can imagine.

  35. #35 Torbjörn Larsson
    March 16, 2007

    I forgot: Thanks Scott and Trip (and the earlier thread commenters) for the nominations! This was a great start of my day, as you can imagine.

  36. #36 quork
    March 16, 2007

    Frak, always selection with these evolution blogs.

    Selection is natural.

  37. #37 Carlie
    March 16, 2007

    It seems like there might be a problem with counting this way – there are several people who have already shown up twice, and if they keep showing up month after month with others included, then there could be people who everyone likes but somehow never get a majority vote. What about a slight modification that each month there are two categories: a set of the runners-up in numbers from last month get voted on for the Molly, and other nominations for next month?

  38. #38 ctenotrish
    March 16, 2007

    I am casting my vote for Torbjörn Larsson. Thought provoking comments, worthy of reading, and relevant to the post.

  39. #39 Sonja
    March 16, 2007

    Hey Rooney and Nicole, move over.

    If I had to pick one, it would be Blake Stacey — he thinks like I do, but (unlike me) he always includes the sources to back it up.

  40. #40 deanbcurtis
    March 16, 2007

    I’ll add in another vote for Blake Stacey. Whose multitude, and depth, is simply tops.

  41. #41 Sastra
    March 16, 2007

    Blake Stacey. Because, like Meera Nanda, he is my hero.

  42. #42 VonGlaes
    March 16, 2007

    I would like to nominate Kristjan Wager. Not only is he a fellow Dane of mine, but I share most of his opinions. Most of them, not all. But, he does seem to make sense most of the time.

    Michael Bo

  43. #43 Mike Haubrich
    March 16, 2007

    It seems like there might be a problem with counting this way – there are several people who have already shown up twice, and if they keep showing up month after month with others included, then there could be people who everyone likes but somehow never get a majority vote. What about a slight modification that each month there are two categories: a set of the runners-up in numbers from last month get voted on for the Molly, and other nominations for next month?

    I am of the opinion that since this is PZ’s blog he can count anyway he likes. Without having to reveal the balloting and stuff. Don’t make it too complicated or people will start laying bets in Vegas. And that leads to organized crime and sex and those things bring preachers trying to clean the place up.

  44. #44 Kristine
    March 16, 2007

    Oh, I’m so glad to be able to pass the crown before those photos come out.
    😉

    It’s so hard to choose – this time I nominate Blake Stacey and Carlie.

    Scott, should we give the new winners, whoever they may be, any advice about the whirlwind life of photo shoots, public appearances, charity balls, and vodka-spiked oranges that await them? (What? Whaddaya mean you don’t remember anything about…)

  45. #45 stogoe
    March 16, 2007

    If my stomach wasn’t locked in a bitter and nasty war with citrus and vodka, I’d be interested to know about the vodka-spiked oranges.

    Rum-spiked cantaloupe, perhaps?
    Sambuca-spiked pears?
    Scotch-soaked strawberries (covered in dark chocolate)?

    Oh, now I have to try that last one…

  46. #46 David Marjanovi?
    March 16, 2007

    Yes, Blake Stacey this time.

  47. #47 David Marjanovi?
    March 16, 2007

    Yes, Blake Stacey this time.

  48. #48 Carlie
    March 16, 2007

    Thanks! I vote for Torbjörn and Blake. Mike, you mean there’s not already a betting pool? Then who was that who took my money?

  49. #49 Scott Hatfield
    March 17, 2007

    Kristine: I doubt this was an issue for a lovely lady such as yourself, but any potential male contestants should know there is a possibility that they will be addressed as ‘Mr. Molly’ or ‘that Molly guy’ (both actually happened to me).

    More seriously, while the “competitition” is light-hearted, to be signaled out for excellence in some fashion is always nice, and a reminder that we should shoot for excellence. (Back Bay Boston voice) “AHSK not what your Pharyngula can do for you, AHSK what you can do for your Pharyngula!”

  50. #50 David Marjanovi?
    March 18, 2007

    And Dustin, too. Look at his performance up on the woo conference thread:

    There’s a virtual particle associated with a reality distortion field. It’s called the GW-Boson.

    Doreen [Virtue, who “works on angels”] has appeared on Oprah

    That’s like saying mold appeared on five month-old mayonnaise.

    ROTFL! He needs some kind of award.

  51. #51 David Marjanovi?
    March 18, 2007

    And Dustin, too. Look at his performance up on the woo conference thread:

    There’s a virtual particle associated with a reality distortion field. It’s called the GW-Boson.

    Doreen [Virtue, who “works on angels”] has appeared on Oprah

    That’s like saying mold appeared on five month-old mayonnaise.

    ROTFL! He needs some kind of award.

  52. #52 Kristine
    March 18, 2007

    “AHSK not what your Pharyngula can do for you, AHSK what you can do for your Pharyngula!”

    Well said indeed. The Molly Award is “not so much a recognition of what I have done, but a standard for what I have yet to do.”

    I can’t wait to find out the new winners…

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