That most excellent blog on plant genetics and scientific agriculture, Biofortified, is having a fundraiser to maintain their eucational and reporting efforts (there's a full breakdown of where the money goes on the site). They're not asking much and they produce so much more — help 'em out if you can. (Also on FtB)
The 2011 blogging scholarships are up for a vote — $10,000 goes to the winner. As you might guess, we want a science blogger to win — there are lots of good candidates, and Christie Wilcox has compiled a list of the science bloggers, but I had to place my vote for David Shiffman, just because marine biology rules. Look them over and place your vote! (Also on FtB)
I'm feeling a little hipster resentment here — all these nouveau poulpe crashing into my internet turf. But oh, OK, this new blog on SciAm called Octopus Chronicles looks good, and you know I'm never going to abandon the molluscs in a snit over all the other people fascinated by them. There's room for all of us. While we're relishing the expanding cephalopodian nature of the internet, check out the octopus having dinner on the move — it's wonderfully amoeboid and slithery. (Also on FtB)
OK, that launch fizzled. You know what's really annoying? I can't shake my fist towards the mysterious Blog Overlords and curse them for their incompetence, because we are the blog overlords. Dang. Freethoughtblogs.com is not holding up well under the morning traffic load. The tech slave is unconscious right now — he whimpered something about working all night and not getting any sleep over this thing — but once we stab him in the heart with a syringe full of adrenalin, and with a little hearty application of the whip, we'll bring it back up someday.
The new site went live sometime late last night, and our technical help slaved away to try and get everything working, if not beautiful. Check out Freethoughtblogs some time today, and say what you think. I've created a thread to collect suggestions and criticisms as we shake out the bugs, fine-tune everything, and eventually, make it pretty. A new blog network is hitting the web on August 1. Led by two of the most prominent and widely read secular-minded blogs in the country - PZ Myers' Pharyngula and Ed Brayton's Dispatches from the Culture Wars - Freethoughtblogs.com will, we hope, quickly…
Hey, this is good news: Nature included a short opinion piece from a stem cell biologist on his experiences blogging, writing the Knoepfler Lab Stem Cell Blog — I'll have to start following it. He has some good general advice for scientists starting to blog, although I have some reservations about the first bit. Here are some tips for beginners. Start slowly; wait a day after writing and reread your draft before posting. Try to avoid discussing your own institution, and critique papers or theories in the field in a constructive manner. It is important that you include your own opinions, but…
Tonight at 7pm PST/10pm EST it's time for part 2 of the Ardent Atheist podcast. The first half was played last week; tonight I think it's the part where we discovered that one among us, Suzanne Whang, was rather on the woo side of the spirituality thing, so we all took turns hammering brutally on her. Don't worry, she's tough.
Jen McCreight is deep into her blogathon day. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go over there and provoke, tittilate, inspire, annoy, or enrage her so she'll be able to keep churning out posts. No, this blog will not be self-destructing at all. Relax.
It's a terrible situation. Most of us can practice moderation, posting lightly or not at all, or at worst, pacing ourselves to avoid burnout. But for some students, it's a nightmare of weekend excess, where the afflicted egg each other on to greater and greater doses until they collapse in exhaustion, red-eyed and addle-brained, so saturated in a blogoholic stupor that they can't see that they're destroying themselves. Help Jen McCreight. We may need to stage an intervention here.
There are five of them gearing up at The Evolving Scientist, and they seem to understand that the potent mixture of real science and criticizing crazy dingleberries is a great way to build interest. (Oh, no, I just spilled the beans about my magic formula!)
I hate to say it, but there's no avoiding the stinking corpse on the living room rug: Scienceblogs.com is dead. It might be twitching still, but that's just the biota working beneath the skin, and soon they'll erupt and start looking for new hosts. Many already have. Scientopia was one of the early products of a Sb diaspora, and now Bora has announced the Scientific American network, which also has a swarm of very good bloggers, some formerly of Scienceblogs, but also some new and interesting faces. Scienceblogs won't be competing with SciAm; it can't, and there's a lack of interest in doing…
They talk about rocks like they're cool and sexy or something. Weirdos.
Old timers may remember Unscrewing The Inscrutable, and the World Wide Rant, two blogs that preceded mine and were long on my blogroll before they both up and died from ennui or something. Now Andy and Brent have done something unnatural and disturbing: they have taken the dead, rotting corpses of their ex-blogs and stitched them together into one lurching undead hybrid nightmare. It's called Happy Puppy Sunshine Blog. Somebody needs to alert the Center for Disease Control, I'm afraid.
OK, this is getting ridiculous. I'm beginning to feel like I wasted my life. Here's another new blog, Life Before the Dinosaurs, about ancient animals other than dinosaurs, by someone who really likes arthropods. He's seven years old. He's dictating the text to his mother. At least I have an excuse. We didn't have blogs when I was 7. We didn't have the internet. Heck, computers cost millions of dollars and filled whole rooms. When I was 7, the best I could do was make dinosaurs out of play-dough and make them battle on the windowsill.
It's a new blog from the region I've always felt was home, so I have to mention it. Also, the top entry there is about water, something always on the minds of Pacific Northwesterners, so I have to tie it into a weird story from Portland: a man was seen peeing in one of their reservoirs, so they're draining it completely at a cost of $35,000. Seriously? That's just silly squeamishness. Fish and amphibians and passing birds and insects and mammals are busy peeing in our water supply all the time; insects are dying and falling into the reservoirs and rotting in them. And let's not forget the…
As one of those geezers in his grey, tired, wizened 50s, I'm torn between the cranky get-offa-my-lawn attitude and a patronizing bless-their-little-hearts when I see all these young'uns romping about at meetings nowadays. And the internet is even worse: look, it's a literate 13 year old atheist and a hardnosed 16 year old skeptic! I'm going to have to combine my views — it gets easier as senility looms — and kick their little hearts around on my lawn, I guess.
Always write short articles. Banana.
In my talk at the Society for Developmental Biology, I encouraged more scientists to take advantage of the internet to share science with the public. Someone fell for it! Saori Haigo has started a blog, and she even explains why. I've started this blog because I believe I have a social responsibility as a professional scientist to communicate science openly to the people. I will blog about what I think are important topics in the biological and biomedical sciences and explore the value, current issues, and realistic expectations of what we gain from doing research on that topic. In addition…
I have learned that AOL is buying the Huffington Post, which is an act of compounding irrelevancies. AOL was a joke (something about landfills full of shiny disks) ten years ago; the Huffington Post started with a flake running the show and has descended to capitalizing on celebrity sleaze, and is on its way to becoming the Weekly World News of the internet. I think the two of them belong together, and hope they sink each other. But pay no mind to my cynical and pessimistic views. Go read a more substantial summary of the ongoing fluff collision.
The webcomic Jesus and Mo has won the Riffy Award. Maybe now it will get the hatred, rioting, and violence it so deserves.