Saturday, December 31, 2005

The 2005 Rhosgobel index

[Warning: a very long and self-indulgent post follows; click here to skip to the end.]

In the spirit of trying to make things more usable here at Rhosgobel, here's an organized list of posts from 2005. This isn't a comprehensive index to everything I wrote, but the vast majority of my 2005 posts are linked to here (a few items are duplicated between categories, but not many).

I've broken the index into a number of categories:

Professional life / teaching
Hurricane Katrina
Recurring features


FSU attempted to start a chiropractic school (post 1, post 2), then gave up.

Despite CNN's article to the contrary, I determined that no, fruit juice will not make your children fat, and after CNN posted a second article, I fired back a second volley.

I wrote about inaccuracies in the art of the Nasonex bee, which became one of my most-commented-on posts ever.

I wrote about appendices and caeca.

I examined the (still in-development) game Spore from a biological perspective.

I summarized a study showing how antibiotics might directly influence bacterial evolution rates.

I looked at how the Bush administration was whitewashing the environmental impact of grazing.

I looked at mad cow disease in US cattle.

I talked about ending discrimination against rats.

I found some swallowtail caterpillars on my parsley, and let them pupate (they're still pupae, by the way).

I got frustrated by Michael Behe.

I looked at why echinoderms are important.

I wrote a review of our mouse cages.

I talked, in more detail than most people wanted to see, about why most insects are not bugs, and then saw "bugs" everywhere during Christmas.

I also linked to a number of neat sites and studies, including fast plants, the anatomical atlas of flies, plants photosynthesizing without the sun, a prosthetic limb that allows its wearer to feel what the limb is touching, an article skeptically analyzing exercise equipment, flying insect photographs, footage of a live giant squid, baby feeding myths, 4.4-billion-year-old zircons, singing mice, AAAS media awards, how intelligent design should be taught, and the Dover decision.

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Professional life / teaching:

I enjoyed reading about Jill/txt becoming department chair in February, then became department chair myself in September and wrote a bit about it.

I lamented the lack of pedagogical training for university faculty.

I discussed my justifications for posting my PowerPoint slides online after I give my lectures.

I showed that I was an administration mole by detailing why I like student evaluations.

I was on a hiring committee in the spring semester, and based on that experience wrote a 9-post series on how to apply for a community college teaching job.

I started a wiki for a research class I taught over the summer; the wiki ended up being a huge success (with thousands of edits over its lifetime).

My spring was filled with committee work blues, which kept on going.

My SO generated a scarily accurate portrait of me teaching.

I submitted an NSF grant with a few colleagues, only to have it rejected in October.

As happens every semester, I found more plagiarizers (I found more in the fall, too, but didn't bother to post on it), and got to deal with begging students.

I had at least one very uplifting day that reminded me of the spirit of science.

I worked most of my summer away by teaching a field course.

I had tales from a not-so-fun start to the fall semester, wherein (among other things) one of my lab sections was cancelled.

I reminded folks that in-class response systems are not for attendance, quizzes, or tests.

I completed the last steps required for me to obtain tenure.

I ran into bureaucratic problems with a fundraiser.

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I posted on why I started blogging on politics.

I made lots of posts on prisoner abuse throughout the year (1 - January; 2, 3 , & 4 - May; 5 & 6 - June; 7 - September; 8 - October; and posts 9, 10, and 11 on the McCain anti-torture amendment).

I posted a lot on events surrounding the Downing Street Minutes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, including Conyers's letter to Bush and Conyers's hearings 1, 2, 3, 4.

US Count Votes released a report on election fraud in the 2004 presidential election, Conyers talked about election fraud too, and then the GAO released a report on electronic voting security (or, rather, the lack thereof).

I posted about community college budget problems in March (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), April (1, 2), May (1, 2), and June (1).

I posted on issues related to the special elections in California, including a lot on Prop 76, and some on Gov. Schwarzenegger's record 1, 2, 3.

I suggested people donate to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.

Tom Ridge reminded us that terror levels weren't changed because the department of Homeland Security was concerned.

A Republican candidate photoshopped a picture from Dean's presidential campaign.

Some members of the Iraq parliament explicitly asked the US military to leave Iraq.

There were reports of Halliburton wasting money in Iraq, along with US military contractors exploiting poor foreign workers, and the US military planting stories in the Iraq media.

I did a sole post on the Plame/Wilson/Rove/Libby scandal.

I linked to a number of things by the EFF, including end user license agreement terms, protecting public weather data, and a legal guide for bloggers.

I started to look at privacy on the web (the series will be finished some day; the posts are even written).

I noted that a draft Indiana law prevents many unmarried people from reproducing via assisted reproduction.

We found that the US has higher rates of medical errors than other countries.

And, near the end of the year I posted that Bush's bin Laden satellite phone leak story was a myth, and linked to Conyers's response to Bush's justification for NSA wiretapping.

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Hurricane Katrina:

A national disgrace

A historical comparison

More outrage in the aftermath of Katrina

Louisiana governor requested federal emergency assistance on Aug. 27

Donating to Louisiana

Escape for a select few

Doing everything possible to help Katrina victims ...

Daily show clips

Police blocked bridge out of New Orleans

Prisoners left to die

If true, a terrifying tale

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Recurring features:

By far the most frequently-posted on topic this year was food: for links to all food posts see my recipe archives, organized either chronologically or by topic (the topic archive is much easier to use).

I made a number of posts on our mice, though sadly most of them were obituaries, as all seven of our mice died this year. All mouse-related posts are linked to on the mouse archive page.

I made a lot of posts on using Debian/Linux; they're all linked to on the Debian/Linux archive page.

I wrote a 9-post series on how to apply for a community college teaching job (see the community college job archive page for links to all the posts).

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My SO and I traveled to London in January, and took lots of pictures (posts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

We traveled to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

We traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area twice, posting cute slug pictures after both trips.

We went to Anime Expo.

We took a multi-week trip to Canada, and visited Mt. Saint Helens, got exhausted, had tea at the White Heather Tea Room in Victoria, and visited Tacoma (among other things).

We went to the King Tut exhibit in LA.

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My SO made me truffles.

We hit lots of snags in remodeling, including problems obtaining supplies, pouring self-leveling compound, more problems obtaining supplies, having wires melt in our kitchen, and having our fence fall down.

I posted about my summer reading.

I posted a picture of our ever-so-geeky living room.

I read about, then bought, Civ IV.

My SO and I got a sewing machine, and sewed our first project.

I went out to dinner with PZ Myers.

A friend bought a timeshare, and we helped him get out of it.

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While there are lots of pictures embedded in other posts (especially the travel posts), there were a few one-shot posts, including a picture of a caterpillar and a spider. And, of course, you can't forget about my two cute slug pictures.

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Rhosgobel turned a year old (back in January).

I hosted the third Skeptics' Circle (is it really only a year old?).

I was translated into French.

I started an exercise blog, Rhosgobel's Gym.

I declared a week in October to be Cooking Week.

I finally figured out what Radagast and Rhosgobel stand for.

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