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Skeptical Science housekeeping: Woody Guthrie award, bug-fixes, Facebook and donations

Posted on 28 February 2010 by John Cook

The Woody Guthrie Award for a Thinking Blogger is an honour passed from blog to blog where each blogger subsequently gets to choose the next recipient. Dan Satterfield from Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal was the last recipient of the Woody Guthrie Award. He received the award from Greenfyre. I wonder if anyone has documented the history of the award, like tracing the path of the Holy Grail. Could be a good Dan Brown novel. But I digress. Dan Satterfield has awarded the Woody Guthrie award to Skeptical Science. Many thanks to Dan for the honour. I guess I'll savour the award for a while then decide who to pass it onto next. Hmm, one blog does jump to mind but will mull it over for a few weeks...

A quick bug-fix report. For a while, people have been telling me the unsubscribe link from emailed blog posts wasn't working. This perplexed me as the link worked fine for me until I realised it only worked if you were logged in (which I always was). Once the light dawned, I fixed the unsubscribe link. So this can be the last Skeptical Science post you receive by email if you click the unsubscribe link at the top or bottom of the email (but don't).

With much appreciated help from Trevor Murdock, we've set up a Skeptical Science Facebook page. All this newfangled social media is making my head spin but well, gotta keep up with you young whippersnappers.

Up till now, there's been printable versions of the skeptic arguments but not of blog posts. I've now added a Printable Version link at the bottom of each blog post as well as a Link To This Page link. Thanks to Gerry who asked for this feature. I notice many blogs have the whole array of "Share this" icons at the bottom of their blog posts linking to Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc. If this is something people will use, I'll look into adding these also.

A new translation has been added: Portugese. There have also been attempts at translations into Japanese and Polish but we're having problems displaying some of the characters. If there are any HTML gurus cluey on displaying all manner of non-English characters that might have an idea on how to resolve this, it would be great if you could contact me.

Lastly, I've put this off for as long as possible. The time demands of Skeptical Science have grown steadily over time - posting, researching peer-reviewed papers, responding to comments, developing the website, the constant process of improving the content in the skeptic arguments (I love to tinker) and many, many emails to reply to. The release of the iPhone app kicked things into overdrive which is a good problem to have but nevertheless, still a problem. The beauty of self-employment is the flexibility to work on climate whenever I want. The curse of self-employment is when I don't work on the day-job, I don't get paid. So to keep Skeptical Science sustainable, I'm finally having to ask for donations. Any amount is appreciated - just click the Paypal button in the left margin. Thanks for your support :-)

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Printable Version  |  Link to this page


Comments 1 to 20:

  1. Congrats John. You deserve that much and more...
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  2. You certainly deserve this award!!! (Love the photo!) We need you more than ever now to fight the Climate Denial Machine! You are the best when it comes to layperson's explanations that can tell us non-scientists what is going on. Thank you so much! Tenney
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  3. well done John :)
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  4. Congratulations John. I'm sure you will receive many more accolades for your fantastic service. And I'm only too happy to contribute, you're helping so many of us by you clear and concise explanations.
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  5. Very well deserved, always my first point of call when debunking nonsense. Keep up the good work on the facts and keep on trying to make the site as welcoming as possible to sceptics.
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  6. Well done, excellent blog.
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  7. Congratulations! $5 to you. BTW, when I donated I was sent to a site that offered me premium cartoons. Qui? You deserve more, and when I have more, you will get some of it.
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  8. $56 AUD just sent (I know, weird number but I thought it was equal to $50 USD). I was waiting for you to put a donate button up. You are a tireless, scientific workhorse and should get a little $$$ for your efforts. BTW, thanks to Kate over at ClimateSight who turned the lightbulb on for me, I just created a Facebook group called Global Warming Fact of the Day. I will post a small factoid each day related to climate change that is geared toward the general public. From what I gather, anybody who joins the group will get this daily factoid automatically on their Facebook page. I like the concept because people will get information without having to go find it. I started with three factoids to wet appetites.
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  9. Keep up the good work John! My $25 isn't as much as Big Carbon might pay their proponents, but at least you needn't feel any guilt in accepting it :)
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  10. Keep up the good work and congratulation :)
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  11. I've donated a bit - more coming when I get richer. Thanks for writing the best climate nonsense debunking service on the web!
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  12. 25AUD to the cause as a starter and more to come in bits and bobs. Glad I found you. Best wishes, Arnold Mousetrouser (Australia)
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  13. Though I do want to give money to this excellent site today, I'm sure you can appreciate that the people of Chile need my charity much more today! Still, I'll be happy to chip in $50 next week!
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    Response: Agreed, have just donated to and strongly urge everyone to donate to similar relief organisations such as
  14. Keep up the great work. More than ever your site is needed. I've chipped in $50.00. Its only fair as I constantly use your site as my source for countering the sceptics/cynics. This weekend I've fired off several letters to the editors of "The Australian" and "The West Australian" Here in Western Australia we have just had our hottest summer on record and Perth has had the hottest and driest summer on record. Hopefully the letters will be published.
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  15. Time to put my money where my mouth is :-) My favourite climate blog, happy to chip in my bit.
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  16. Notionally off-topic but somewhat about housekeeping and probably of interest to many of us here: RIP, ICESat: NASA has stopped trying to restart the primary laser instrument on the ICESat spacecraft, and the seven-year ice-mapping mission has been declared complete, the agency announced Wednesday. Launched aboard a Delta 2 rocket on Jan. 12, 2003, the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite spent more than six years dutifully circling Earth, bouncing laser beams off the planet's surface to gauge the thickness of land and sea ice at high latitudes. The satellite measured the Earth's surface and atmosphere in "unprecedented 3-D detail," said Jay Zwally, the mission project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. ICESat was ultimately limited by the failure of its main instrument, the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System. The last of the GLAS payload's three lasers stopped emitting light on Oct. 11, and NASA has ceased attempts to restart the instrument, according to a statement. Produced at Goddard, GLAS monitored ice by firing laser pulses during observation campaigns lasting several weeks about three times per year. Since launch, the instrument completed 15 campaigns and its three lasers executed more than 1.9 billion laser pulses. GLAS accumulated about 15 months worth of data during the mission, NASA officials said. ICESat mission complete after seven years in orbit
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  17. Yes, bravo from me too John, very well deserved for much hard work, and beautifully structured analysis and thought. May there be many more awards.
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  18. SkepticalScience is one of two sites I recommend to anyone wanting well-supported arguments to counter anti-science; the other is RealClimate. I agree, it's only fair to support you financially -- $AUD 100.00 is on its way.
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  19. John, I hate to add to your To Do list, but it would be nice if the Arguments were linked to the Posts, preferably with short explanations of the similarities and differences. When I try to point people to the relevant places about a topic, I find myself having to point to multiple arguments and multiple posts, and being unsure about whether some of those are subsets, or are outdated versions. If an Argument is supposed to be a short version and a Post a longer version, each could point to the other, with that explanation. If an Argument or Post is out of date but you want to keep it because of existing links to it, maybe you could augment it with a bold note at the top pointing to the most recent one. Thanks again for all your hard work!
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    Response: Okay, this is the way the website is set up. The arguments are meant to be the definitive, "encyclopedic" part of the website. So if you're pointing someone to Skeptical Science, point them to the relevant argument page.

    The blog posts are in a sense documenting updates to the website. In other words, updates to the arguments section. So when a new paper is published, I do a blog post about it. I then update the relevant argument with the new info. Sometimes the argument pages get so unwieldy with all the new additions that I need to give them a complete overhaul, trimming the content to keep it readable. In those cases, I often link to the blog post with a "More info on..." link.

    For example, one page that needs a bit of a birthday is Global warming stopped in 1998 which is basically just three blog posts spliced together. It doesn't make for a very coherent reading experience and I'll rewrite it one of these days.

    Thanks for the comment. This is the first time I've actually articulated how the website is meant to work - until now it's only been in my head. I should put this on the About Us page or on the Link to Us page (or both).
  20. Aha! I like that site structure, John. If we all do as you say by pointing people to the Arguments, that will reinforce that structure.
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    Response: I've also added some explanatory text to the Link To Us page (which is where I recommend going if you're pointing someone to Skeptical Science). Thanks for making me aware of the need to explain this more clearly.

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