Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Endnotes: Solstice Edition

It's the summer solstice here in New Zealand, a day which always seems full of meaning: a more suitable end for the year than the astronomically meaningless 31st. Perhaps because I grew up in Venezuela, where every day is about the same length, I always enjoy the idea of getting to the longest day (or the shortest day, in the winter solstice), and like to mark the occasion; among other things, it feels like a fitting time to take stock and look back on the year.

I (re)started blogging a year and a half ago, mostly as a way to force myself to write while I was on research leave, and I'm grateful and astonished at the fact that I seem to have acquired a bit of a readership. Some 200 people seem to read this blog regularly via RSS feed, and perhaps 100-200 more read it through various other means. Several of the posts on cults of personality and related phenomena have been picked up by very high traffic sites, garnering thousands of pageviews, and the unexpected attention pushed me into starting an actual research project on the topic, which will consume me probably for years :).  Thanks to the people who have linked to or shared my posts, and thank you readers!

In the spirit of celebrating the holidays, I give you some links for your holiday reading (or viewing) pleasure:
Some biologically-themed links:
And finally, some beautiful holiday extremophiles for you: haloarchaea turn Lake Eyre in Australia pink:


  1. How do you know the number of people reading via RSS feed? I'd like to be able to determine this for my own blog, but I'm not sure how, not being a user of feeds myself.

  2. LFC, you can use feedburner (feedburner.google.com) for that.