Since it’s nearly the end of the year, many people are doing year-end roundups and evaluations, so who am I to be different? (Here’s Jennifer Ouellette’s list, John Rennie’s, and Brian Romans’. I’m sure I’ve missed a lot posted in the last week, since I’m not following my regular reading schedule.)
I don’t mind admitting that 2011 wasn’t a very good year for me. I began the year working in a good teaching job, and ended it unemployed, unsure what my next step will be professionally. On the other hand, this blog has grown a lot, both in terms of content and readership: at this time last year (when it was called “Science Vs. Pseudoscience”), I called it a good day if I had more than 10 readers. It’s easy to forget that I haven’t really been doing science writing that long: I cringe reading some of my earlier posts (OK, most of my posts), but I’ll take that as a sign I’m improving and have room to continue to improve.
So, if I may be forgiven the self-promotion, here are two hopefully representative posts from each month of 2011. I may be fooling myself, but I think I see improvement over the course of the year:
- January: “101 Uses for a Dead Scientist” and “William Shakespeare and the Moon Landings“
- February: “Let Us Now Praise Famous Robots” and “Don’t Understand Something? Blame It On Quantum Mechanics!“
- March: “The Aharonov-Bohm Effect, or How is a Coffee Cup Like a Donut?” and “Exoplanet Transit Authority“
- April: “On What Authority?” and “Big Trouble on Little Mimas“
- May: “Revisiting Schrödinger’s Cat” and “Physics Quanta: The Pendulum’s Swing“
- June (a busy month, due to summer teaching): “What Does the Double-Slit Experiment Actually Show?” (at Scientific American) and “From Identical Twins to Voltron, Physics Style“
- July: “Finding Mass Without a Scale” and “Seeing Through Gravity’s Lens” (transcript of a podcast recorded for 365 Days of Astronomy)
- August: “Centrifugal Forces and Trojan Horses” and “From Pendulums to Quantum Oscillators“
- September: “Sync or Swim” and “What We Know About Black Holes” (at Scientific American)
- October: “Why Quaternions Matter” and “Science is For Everyone Including (Gasp!) Moms“
- November: “Tsunamis of Sand in the Sahara” and “Of Mobius Strips and the Shape of Things“
- December: “Mirror Mirror On the Wall, Mirrors Don’t Switch Hands At All” (at Double X Science) and “Prelude to Feynman Diagrams“
It was hard to pick some of these, and I certainly ignored others to keep the list to 24 entries. In fact, let me cheat by including my entire Universe in a Box series at one go. I also didn’t count my most popular posts (“I Don’t Want to Write About Neutrinos“, “Was Einstein Wrong?“, “I Have No Sense of Humor“, etc.) simply because they already got a lot of hits, and I don’t necessarily think they’re representative posts. However, I hope you find this meager offering suitable, and I’ll see you all (virtually) in the New Year.