Archive for Blogs

Eleven Years a-Blogging

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 16, 2019 by telescoper

I received the little graphic above from WordPress yesterday to remind me that today is the 11th Anniversary of my first blog post, on September 16th 2008. If this were a wedding it would be a steel anniversary…

To be precise, the graphic reminded me that that I registered with WordPress on 15th September 2008. I actually wrote my first post on the day I registered but unfortunately I didn’t really know what I was doing on my first day at blogging and I didn’t actually manage to figure out how to publish this earth-shattering piece. It was only after I’d written my second post that I realized that the first one wasn’t actually visible to the general public because I hadn’t pressed the right buttons, so the two appear in the wrong order in my archive. Anyway, that confusion is the reason why I usually take 16th September as this blog’s real anniversary.

I’d like to take this opportunity to send my best wishes, and to thank, everyone who reads this blog, however occasionally. According to the WordPress stats, I’ve got readers from all round the world, including the Vatican!

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To Like and to Like not

Posted in Biographical, Poetry with tags , , , on March 8, 2019 by telescoper

Travelling today, I was reminded that exactly a week ago, WordPress sent me this notification:

I was a bit surprised, to be honest, as that I posted a St David’s Day poem and usually when I post poetry the traffic goes down. Last Friday however it seems all my St David’s Day poetry posts going back years attracted traffic (and ‘likes’), so I was quite pleased.

Some time ago a senior astronomer emailed me to say that he thought that, for a science blog, there was far to much other stuff for his liking. Other stuff presumably including poetry, music, sport and the rest.

Anyway my response was that this isn’t really a science blog. It’s just a personal blog written by someone who happens to be a scientist. I post about science fairly often but I wouldn’t enjoy blogging half as much if I only covered that.

Some people have asked me why I post poetry and music and the rest. The answer is simple: to share things I enjoy. If just one person were to discover a poem they like by reading it here then it makes it all worthwhile!

A Decade In The Dark!

Posted in Biographical, The Universe and Stuff with tags on September 16, 2018 by telescoper

When I logged onto WordPress yesterday I received a message that it was the 10th anniversary of my registration with them as a blogger, which is when I took my first step into the blogosphere; that was way back on 15th September 2008.

I actually wrote my first post on the day I registered but unfortunately I didn’t really know what I was doing on my first day at blogging – no change there, then –  and I didn’t actually manage to figure out how to publish this earth-shattering piece. It was only after I’d written my second post that I realized that the first one wasn’t actually visible to the general public because I hadn’t pressed the right buttons, so the two appear in the wrong order in my archive. Anyway, that confusion is the reason why I usually take 16th September as this blog’s real anniversary.

I’d like to take this opportunity to send my best wishes, and to thank, everyone who reads this blog, however occasionally. According to the WordPress stats, I’ve got readers from all round the world, including  the Vatican!

If you’re interested in statistics then, as of 14.00 Irish Summer Time Today today, I have published 4,225 blog posts, not counting about 20 that I wrote but have not yet published; I’ll probably save these for my memoirs.. These posts have received 3,688,023 hits altogether; I get an average of about 1200 per day.  This varies in a very erratic fashion from day to day, but the annual average has been fairly constant over the last several years. The greatest number of hits I have received in a single day is 8,864 (at the peak of the BICEP2 controversy). Some of the most popular posts have not been about science at all, including  my rant about Virgin Media and a post about the last episode of Inspector Morse.

There have been 30,372 comments published on here and  2,213,145 rejected by my filters. The vast majority of the rejected comments were from automated spam bots, but a small number have been removed for various violations, usually for abuse of some kind. And, yes, I do get to decide what is published. It is my blog!

While I am on the subject of comments, I’ll just repeat here the policy stated on the home page of this blog:

Feel free to comment on any of the posts on this blog but comments may be moderated; anonymous comments and any considered by me to be abusive will not be accepted. I do not necessarily endorse, support, sanction, encourage, verify or agree with the opinions or statements of any information or other content in the comments on this site and do not in any way guarantee their accuracy or reliability.

It does mean a lot to me to know that there are people who find my ramblings on this `shitty wordpress blog’ interesting enough to look at, or even read, and sometimes even to come back for more, so I’d like to take this opportunity to send my best wishes to all those who follow this blog and especially those who take the trouble to comment on it in such interesting and unpredictable ways!

The last decade has been eventful, to say the least, both personally and professionally. I started blogging not long after I’d moved into my house in Pontcanna, Cardiff. Since then I moved to Sussex, and then back to Cardiff, and now to Ireland. More importantly we’ve seen the discovery of the Higgs Boson and gravitational waves, both of which resulted in Nobel Prizes, as did the studies of high-redshift supernovae. The Planck mission mission was launched, did its stuff, and came to a conclusion in this decade too. Science has moved forward, even if there are many things in this world that seem to be going backwards.

I don’t know how long I’ll keep blogging – vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam – but I’ve got no immediate plans to stop.

Nine Years In The Dark!

Posted in Biographical, The Universe and Stuff with tags on September 15, 2017 by telescoper

When I logged onto WordPress today  I received a message that it was the 9th anniversary of my registration with them as a blogger, which is when I took my first step into the blogosphere; that was way back on 15th September 2008. I actually wrote my first post that day too. Unfortunately I didn’t really know what I was doing on my first day at blogging – no change there, then –  and I didn’t actually manage to figure out how to publish this earth-shattering piece. It was only after I’d written my second post that I realized that the first one wasn’t actually visible to the general public because I hadn’t pressed the right buttons, so the two appear in the wrong order in my archive.

I’d like to take this opportunity to send my best wishes, and to thank, everyone who reads this blog, however occasionally. According to the WordPress stats, I’ve got readers from all round the world, including one in the Vatican! If you’re interested in statistics then, as of 14.30 BST today, I have published 3,806 blog posts, and have received 3,220,896 hits altogether; I get an average of about 1200 per day, but this varies in a very erratic fashion. The greatest number of hits I have received in a day is 8,864 (at the peak of the BICEP2 controversy). There have been 27,590 comments published on here and  1,705,410 rejected. Most of the rejected comments were from automated spam bots, but a small number have been removed for various violations, usually for abuse of some kind. Yes, I do get to decide what is published. It’s my blog!

While I am on the subject of comments, I’ll just repeat here my comments policy as stated on the home page of this blog:

Feel free to comment on any of the posts on this blog but comments may be moderated; anonymous comments and any considered by me to be abusive will not be accepted. I do not necessarily endorse, support, sanction, encourage, verify or agree with the opinions or statements of any information or other content in the comments on this site and do not in any way guarantee their accuracy or reliability.

It does mean a lot to me to know that there are people who find my ramblings interesting enough to look at, and sometimes even to come back for more, so I’d like to take this opportunity to send my best wishes to all those who follow this blog and especially those who take the trouble to comment on it in such interesting and unpredictable ways!

 

Incidentally, I noticed that another auspicious anniversary falls today. It is now thirty years to the day since my second refereed paper was published!  Here’s the front page:

 

Reading through it again now it seems incredibly simplistic and dated. It may not exactly be a classic, but it still gets the odd citation!

Eight Years In The Dark

Posted in Biographical with tags on September 15, 2016 by telescoper

8th-birthday-badge-pink
When I logged onto WordPress today  I received a message that it was the 8th anniversary of my registration with them as a blogger, which is when I took my first step into the blogosphere; that was way back on 15th September 2008. I actually wrote my first post that day too. Unfortunately I didn’t really know what I was doing on my first day at blogging – no change there, then –  and I didn’t actually manage to figure out how to publish this earth-shattering piece. It was only after I’d written my second post that I realized that the first one wasn’t actually visible to the general public because I hadn’t pressed the right buttons, so the two appear in the wrong order in my archive.

I’d like to take this opportunity to send my best wishes, and to thank, everyone who reads this blog, however occasionally. According to the WordPress stats, I’ve got readers from all round the world, including one in the Vatican! If you’re interested in statistics then, as of 14.00 BST today, I have published 3,343 blog posts, and have received 2,853,105 hits altogether; I get an average of about 1200 per day, but this varies in a very erratic fashion. The greatest number of hits I have received in a day is 8,864 (at the peak of the BICEP2 controversy). There have been 24,907 comments published on here and 1,556,259  rejected. Most of the rejected comments were from automated spam bots, but a small number have been removed for various violations, usually for abuse of some kind. Yes, I do get to decide what is published. It’s my blog!

While I am on the subject of comments, I’ll just repeat here my comments policy as stated on the home page of this blog:

Feel free to comment on any of the posts on this blog but comments may be moderated; anonymous comments and any considered by me to be abusive will not be accepted. I do not necessarily endorse, support, sanction, encourage, verify or agree with the opinions or statements of any information or other content in the comments on this site and do not in any way guarantee their accuracy or reliability.

It does mean a lot to me to know that there are people who find my ramblings interesting enough to look at, and sometimes even to come back for more, so I’d like to take this opportunity to send my best wishes to all those who follow this blog and especially those who take the trouble to comment on it in such interesting and unpredictable ways!

 

 

 

Seven Years In The Dark

Posted in Biographical with tags on September 15, 2015 by telescoper

7th Birthday Badge Superhero

When I logged onto WordPress to write today’s post I received a message that it was the 7th anniversary of my registration with them as a blogger and thus took my first step into the blogosphere; that was way back on 15th September 2008. I actually wrote my first post that day too. Unfortunately I didn’t really know what I was doing on my first day at blogging – no change there, then –  and I didn’t actually manage to figure out how to publish this earth-shattering piece. It was only after I’d written my second post that I realized that the first one wasn’t actually live, so the two appear in the wrong order in my archive.

I’d like to take this opportunity to send my best wishes, and to thank, everyone who reads this blog, however occasionally. According to the WordPress stats, I’ve got readers from all round the world, including one in the Vatican! If you’re interested in statistics then, as of 13.30 today, I have published 2,934 blog posts, and have received 2,460,789 hits altogether; I get an average of about 1300 per day, but this varies in a very erratic fashion. The greatest number of hits I have received in a day is 8,864 (at the peak of the BICEP2 controversy). There have been 22,482 comments published on here and 1,391,901  rejected as spam or abuse; a lot goes on behind the scenes here that you really don’t want to know about!

Anyway, the numbers don’t really matter but it does mean a lot to know that there are people who find my ramblings interesting enough to look at, and sometimes even to come back for more!

 

 

 

Six Years In The Dark

Posted in Biographical with tags on September 16, 2014 by telescoper

When I logged onto WordPress to write yesterday’s post I received a message that it was the 6th anniversary of my registration with them as a blogger and thus took my first step into the blogosphere; that was way back on 15th September 2008. I actually wrote my first post that day too. Here it is, in all its glory:

So here we are then. I’ve finally decided to start writing a blog. I’ve been reading quite a few of them recently and most appeared to consist of a load of ill-informed opinionated drivel. So I thought “I can do that!”. And here we are.

I don’t know who (if anyone) will be reading this or even what I’m going to write, but let’s see how it goes until everyone concerned gets bored with it.

And before I start, I’d like to thank Phil Brown from the British Association for the Advancement of Science for inviting me to set this up. I never would have got around to it if he hadn’t done so.

So blame him!

Unfortunately I didn’t really know what I was doing on my first day at blogging – no change there then –  and I didn’t actually manage to figure out how to publish this earth-shattering piece. It was only after I’d written my second post that I realized that the first one wasn’t actually live, so the two appear in the wrong order in my archive.

I’d like to take this opportunity to send my best wishes, and to thank, everyone who reads this blog, however occasionally. According to the WordPress stats, I’ve got readers from all round the world, including one in the Vatican! If you’re interested in statistics then, as of 9.15 this morning, I have published 2537 blog posts in all, and have received 2,032,090 hits altogether; I get an average of about 1300 per day, but this varies in a very erratic fashion. There have been 20,201 comments published on here and 857,904 rejected as spam or abuse; a lot goes on behind the scenes that you don’t want to know about!

Anyway, the numbers don’t really matter but it does mean a lot to know that there are people who find my ramblings interesting enough to look at, and sometimes even to come back for more! This blog is read by a number of powerful and influential people too, as well as John Womersley….