Super Special Anniversary Post!

This week, Big Ten Science celebrates its first birthday! Wheeee! This is actually my third attempt at a blog and – bar far – the most successful. That’s not really saying much, though, as the other ones were lucky to get 10 hits in a week.

During the past year, I’ve put up 158 posts about scientific research at Big Ten universities and one Zaphod Beeblebrox reference. When you count 10 “Fast Friday Fours,” that adds up to 188 different stories about cool and intriguing research papers published by 11 of this nation’s greatest research universities.

Now, you may look at the 158 number, run some quick math and say, “Gee, Ken, that means that there were 103 days where you couldn’t be bothered to get your lazy ass on the computer, digest a research paper and make it easier to read for the rest of us.

Well, yes, there is certainly room for improvement, which is why I’m now going to ask for your help.

The best motivation I ever receive to keep doing this is when people come up to me and say, “Wait a second, you actually write all of those? I love them!” It doesn’t happen every day, but it does frequently enough for me to get all warm and fuzzy inside. And if I got all warm and fuzzy inside more often, I’d be much more compelled to make the effort on a daily basis.

So all I’m asking of you today, my friends, is to help me get a few more readers. I don’t really care how many people notice my little blog – I kept doing this even when there were less than 10 hits per day, which were probably all from my Mom (thanks, Mom!) – but deep down inside, I have to admit I have a bit of an ego too.

So help me stroke my ego a bit today, won’t you?

Below are the five most popular posts from the past year, as ranked by the number of hits they received. It’s quite a diverse group. Polygamy, the energy crisis, sex, cardiac health and urban farming. I’ve also taken the liberty of writing a short description of each, just in case you missed it the first time.

So here’s my ask. Today, share this page with one other person. Email it to your coworker. Tap someone on your shoulder and say, “Hey, check out this cool site.” Put it on your Facebook status. Throw a couple tweets out and include the #BigTenScience hashtag. Or do all of the above.

Unless, of course, you actually hate my writing and just keep logging on to catch all of my grammatical errors and laugh at my horrendous jokes.

  1. Polygamy Sucks for Women (In Terms of Sexual Selection) – Data from polygamous families in Utah show women in such situations have fewer children than their single-partner peers while men have a ton more.
  2. Can Ants Help Solve the Energy Crisis? – Cutter ants – capable of stripping an entire eucalyptus tree in a day – use fungus to break down cellulose in tree bark, something that bioenergy companies would really love to learn how to do.
  3. Is the First Time Better for Men? – Men have a higher self-image after losing their virginity while women’s self-esteem plummets.
  4. A Healthy Heart: Genetically Predetermined or Personally Determined Every Day? – A healthy lifestyle far outweighs any genetic predisposition to cardiac catastrophe.
  5. Could Large-Scale Urban Farming Really Work? – Using Google Earth and some fancy mathematics, it’s discovered that it’s possible for Detroit – and potentially most other cities – to grow all of its own produce.
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About bigkingken

A science writer dedicated to proving that the Big Ten - or the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, if you will - is more than athletics.
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