2008 By the Numbers

12.31.08 | Permalink | Comments Off on 2008 By the Numbers

Well, it’s hard to believe 2008 is gone already, it feels like we hardly had a chance to know you…on the other hand, when I look at the growth for this blog and the content, for 2008 and over time you like to read, I can see there has been a lot of proverbial water under the bridge.

As of this post, there are 1,255 posts in 14 categories with 499 different keywords and you’ve contributed 2,226 legitimate comments to this venue. Thanks, that’s a great participation rate and a big increase over last year’s comment rate. On the spam side of the comment house, we have now rejected over 160,000 spam comments since the beginning, that’s overwhelming, but shows a slowing trend vs. last year and for that, I’m very grateful.

Musings from the Coast Page View Growth 2006-2008
Page View growth of Musings from the Coast 2006-2008

The first full year of operation, 2006, was a pretty modest affair relative to our readership now. In terms of overall visitors, we had around 17,000 in 2006 viewing nearly 50,000 pages. In 2007, we had great growth of the venue with nearly 180,000 visitors viewing nearly 500,000 pages. This year (excepting today’s statistics) we’ve hosted over 560,000 visitors viewing over 1,100,000 pages! That being said, I’ve gotten a few questions about my decision to stop advertising and I can say, even with the growth seen in this platform, we’re still 100x off what we’d need to be viable as a commercial, on-going concern from a traffic perspective and 300x off what we’d need to be a very successful commercial enterprise. So for now, I’m content to keep writing and hopefully you’ll keep reading (and/or viewing which will make sense as the top content is enumerated below…)

What did you like best of my 2008 content? Here’s the list of top entries as viewed by you…

  • Geothermal Industry Landscape – A view of the players in the geothermal industry now referenced from all over the internet – Link to Entry
  • More Mavericks Photos – Photos of Mavericks surf contest in 2008 taken from a boat – Link to Entry
  • Rodent of Unusual Size – A giant rodent fossil is unearthed, the Princess Bride, and the Capybara – Link to Entry
  • This is your Brain – Fantastic picture of a tattoo – Link to Entry
  • Turned On – A little humor poking at religion – Link to Entry
  • iWash, Keep your iPhone Clean – More humor, this time a movie – Link to Entry
  • Coming Soon, A Soup Line Near You – Even a broken clock is right twice a day, I told you we were in economic trouble… – Link to Entry
  • Atheism is Dead Wrong – Take heart anti-Santa-ites –Link to Entry
  • DIY Steam Engine – Nifty little experiment for the kids – Link to Entry
  • Make Memorial Day Personal – A visit to Golden Gate National cemetery – Link to Entry

What about all-time popular content? Well, again, here’s the list as viewed by you….(duplicates from 2008 omitted.)

  • Princess Leia – Carrie Fisher in Leia bikini – Link to Entry
  • Sexy Pole Vault – The new breed of female pole vaulters (apparently many of you like looking at photos of scantily clad women…) – Link to Entry
  • Bebel at Carnival – More skin, this time Brazilian babe Bebel Gilberto – Link to Entry
  • Want to get $3,500? – A quick and practical way to save serious money… – Link to Entry
  • A Mighty Wind – Detailed description of how electrical power is generated from wind – Link to Entry
  • Great Michigan License Plate – Great and Michigan aren’t often used in the same sentence, but this is a funny photo – Link to Entry
  • Hellenologophobia – A humorous tour of various fears – Link to Entry
  • Coaches Halloween Costumes (2) – Redux of a previous popular entry. Jenn Sterger is there continuing the skin theme… – Link to Entry
  • Friday Football Funny – West Fucking Virginia, only here could such humor reign – Link to Entry
  • Return of the Amphibian – Another amphibious car is released to roam the lakes and streams – Link to Entry

What about my favorite content? Here are a few entries I like the best (even though you didn’t like them as much…)

  • Children with Checkbooks – How we manage our public funds – Link to Entry
  • I Chose the Red Pill – Offering a choice to the masses of asses about religion – Link to Entry
  • My Anti-Contribution to Prop 8 – Hit them where it hurts, the wallet – Link to Entry
  • Move Over iWash – An even more effective iPhone screen cleaner – Link to Entry
  • Darwin At Work – A creative way to tempt fate – Link to Entry
  • Prison Population Growth – A look at the US prison population 1980-2005 – Link to Entry
  • Global Warming, the Proof is in the Knickers – Just click the link and laugh – Link to Entry
  • Top 10 Most Likely Ways to Die – For those of you frightened of your shadows, an empirical view of the risks we run daily – Link to Entry
  • Rumpology – Again, you’ve got to click it to believe it… – Link to Entry

This is my favorite passage from 2008 from the hundreds of entries (from I Chose the Red Pill above.)

The red pill holds only stark truth. In the end, we’re meat. We’re here for a short time. It’s what we do in this life that matters and how we behave here and now that we can influence and control. The sum of those behaviors form our legacy and can affect generations to come in a very real way. The reward of the red pill is being present, being accountable for one’s own actions, and doing the right thing as a way of life – not because some mystical being will send you to everlasting torture if you choose poorly. The blue pill is comfortable with mystical rewards; the red pill requires work and holds no promise of rewards. In the end, that will likely be the reason most people won’t choose it. And that is a tragic outcome for us all.

Well, that was fun. I hope next year is too. Happy New Year to all and thank you for visiting and reading Musings from the Coast. Please come back often and bring your friends! And also, your comments are valued, so please do feel free to submit them.


See Slumdog Millionaire

12.29.08 | Permalink | 2 Comments
Slumdog Millionaire character Jamal Malik

Over the weekend in a period of time I had “off” I saw the film Slumdog Millionaire. The story revolves around three young people (slumdogs) in the slums of Mumbai (Bombay for you old colonialists) and their journey of survival as they come of age under very difficult circumstances. The mechanism that transports the viewer through this is that one of the characters, Jamal Malik, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of Who wants to be a millionaire? in order to attract the attention of his love.

While it is a film set in Mumbai, it is not an Indian (Bollywood) affair, it’s more a British product coming from Danny Boyle (Trainspotting among other flicks.) So aside from the ending credits which give a nod to the traditional Bollywood dance number, don’t go in with that expectation. As an outsider who has visited India on business multiple times, it provides something of a glimpse into a side of the country I know exists, but one I haven’t really experienced. As one of my colleagues (an Indian executive) told me on a recent trip, “you can find anything you want in India, from infinite poverty to infinite wealth; often situated side-by-side.”

One of the things that struck me about the film is the role of chance in our lives and the resilience of humans, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Since one of the three of my readers might actually see the film, I won’t say too much more about it other than to say, get out there and see it. In my opinion, if this doesn’t win big awards the system is pretty broken…

Here’s the trailer for your viewing pleasure:


Sunday School: Deserved Desecration

12.28.08 | Permalink | 1 Comment

PZ Myers showed earlier this year what “believers” are really made of when confronted with ideas that don’t match their own. You really should read the entry he posted as this will all make sense, but there were two passages that really struck home for me:

[in response to a blogger calling Myers evil.]

I think if I were truly evil, I would have to demand that all of my acolytes be celibate, but would turn a blind eye to any sexual depravities they might commit. If I wanted to be an evil hypocrite, I’d drape myself in expensive jeweled robes and live in an ornate palace while telling all my followers that poverty is a virtue. If I wanted to commit world-class evil, I’d undermine efforts at family planning by the poor, especially if I could simultaneously enable the spread of deadly diseases. And if I wanted to be so evil that I would commit a devastating crime against the whole of the human race, twisting the minds of children into ignorance and hatred, I would be promoting the indoctrination of religion in children’s upbringing, and fomenting hatred against anyone who dared speak out in defiance.

And this closing statement.

By the way, I didn’t want to single out just the cracker, so I nailed it to a few ripped-out pages from the Qur’an and The God Delusion. They are just paper. Nothing must be held sacred. Question everything. God is not great, Jesus is not your lord, you are not disciples of any charismatic prophet. You are all human beings who must make your way through your life by thinking and learning, and you have the job of advancing humanity’s knowledge by winnowing out the errors of past generations and finding deeper understanding of reality. You will not find wisdom in rituals and sacraments and dogma, which build only self-satisfied ignorance, but you can find truth by looking at your world with fresh eyes and a questioning mind.

And of course, there is the actual desecration. I tip my hat to you Professor Myers, you’ve driven the point home (so to speak.) The image is below:

Communion wafer, Quran, the God Delusion, and other things desecrated.


Sunday School: A Businessman Can’t Hold a Candle to a Clergyman

12.28.08 | Permalink | Comments Off on Sunday School: A Businessman Can’t Hold a Candle to a Clergyman

George, you’re missed. This is an oldie, but a goodie. A classic. My favorite quote: “Religion takes in billions of dollars, pays no taxes, and always needs more. You talk about bullshit.” Second favorite quote: “Look at the results, not quite the work you’d expect from an all-powerful deity. It’s more what you’d expect from an office temp with a bad attitude.”

One important contribution George makes in this video is the proposal of a new religious canon with classic works like The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and Humpty Dumpty. I submit if people spent more time reading this type of story and less in the the so-called holy books, the world would be a much happier place.

The Sun bless you George and may Joe continue the good work on your behalf.

Humor, Politics

The Dreaded Bread Threat

12.27.08 | Permalink | 1 Comment
Bread is a gateway food for toast and other harder substances

  • 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
  • Half of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.
  • In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations
  • More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.
  • Bread is made from a substance called “dough.” It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average North American eats more bread than that in one month!
  • Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and osteoporosis.
  • Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days.
  • Bread is often a “gateway” food item, leading the user to “harder” items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.
  • Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.
  • Newborn babies can choke on bread.
  • Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 240 degrees Celsius! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.
  • Most bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.

In light of these convincing and frightening statistics, I propose the following bread restrictions:

  1. No sale of bread to minors
  2. A nationwide “Just Say No To Toast” campaign, complete celebrity TV spots and bumper stickers.
  3. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread.
  4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage.
  5. The establishment of “Bread-free” zones around schools.

The earliest reference to this theme is a piece called The Dread Tomato Addiction by Mark Clinton.

HT: Larry

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