However, I will highlight one thing that has been particularly positive about the past year: taking my first steps in participating in the blogosphere. It's huge, it's fun, and whatever interests you or engages you, someone is putting stuff up that you'll love. I hope to update my blog roll to more fully show the (literally) 283 bloggers and sites that I follow daily- and that's not including the inumerable side links I click on each day. In particular, I'd like to send a shout-out to the geoblogosphere, a bunch of rock geeks who are as infatuated with the earth as I am, and by and large know a lot more than I do. I consider myself well-rounded with respect to geology (evidence of fluvial transport), and the way I got to that point was a willingness to learn and a willingness to ask (often inane) questions. The geoblogosphere was apparently created for me.
I also appreciate the vast number of other science blogs, humor blogs and sites, political and economic commentary and analysis, and what I have classed in my RSS folders as "This 'n That:" bloggers whose stuff is all over the map. I never know what to expect from these people, but I'm always well pleased. I put my own blog into that folder (not because I need to read it again, but because I want to see what it looks like in RSS, and as a further opportunity to catch and correct typos and grammatical errors).
Since I love to laugh, I'll preface my simple request with a simple problem: (From Talk Like a Physicist) The key quote from this post is "So the search for simplicity is guided by what Einstein taught us : 'Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.'" Which, oddly enough, was echoed in a post today from Cosmic Variance (front page here), one of the astronomy blogs I follow. The post in question is called "Blogs That Should Exist." It is basically a simple request that if you don't blog, would you please start? I hearby echo that sentiment. They offer a list of suggested names, one of which is "But No Simpler."
Whether your interests are astronomy, geology, stuff to make you laugh... whatever, there's a crowd out there that shares your interests, and wishes they could hear from you. It takes some time, first to actually do the blogging, second to connect to others, and third to actually establish some friendships. There are a number of people who visit my blog often and leave comments; I try to return the favor. Close friends? No, but they're people who would miss me if I went AWOL, and vice versa. I have only met a few of my fellow blogospherians IRL (in real life) so far, but I look forward to meeting more, to putting faces with names and personalities that have made an impact on me.
And did I mention it's simple? It is. And it's free. As I noted a while back, I showed my nephews how to do a post; later I helped them start their own blogs. These guys are grade-school aged, and if they can do it, so can you.Kris, at Just For Fun. My sister sent me a class project he did on Neptune last fall, and I'm glad to see Kris posted it. His writing is better than many college-age students.
Garette, at My Life as a Garette. Kris and Garette's posts so far have been mostly funny YouTube Clips, and I am trying to encourage them to write more. I never really learned to "keyboard," (which I guess is a verb these days) but as a result of much writing and computer use, my fingers just seem to know where the keys are. It's obviously very tedious for these two to compose on the computer, and it's almost painful to watch the ideas slip away as they struggle to peck out, letter by letter, the words to express their thoughts. But only through practice will they get better, and I look forward to hearing from them over the years as they become more fluent with the written word. (And Callan, note the prominant placement of your "Geology Rocks" Sticker. Hardly a day goes by that someone doesn't remark on it.)Kris and Garette got a Wii for Christmas; I suppose within a few years there will be some new-fangled technology that does for typing what Wii has done for bowling and boxing. That's their dad, my brother-in-law, Frank, in the back. (Is it just me, or does "Wii" sound like toilet humor aimed at kids?) But in the meantime, guys, typing it is.
And as long as I'm on the subject, a friendly "Thanks!" to the folks who follow my blog; I'm pleased and honored. Please understand that you have provided me with many hours of entertainment and education... and what more could one ask of the blogosphere?
Dr Monkey Von Monkerstein
See? If you started a blog, you too could be on this list! Wouldn't that be fun?