Note to readers

December 20, 2013 • 4:02 am

I’m trying to figure out if I can get The Roolz posted somewhere permanently on the sidebar, but until that happens here is another Rool.

I am glad to receive items from readers, though at times their number is a bit overwhelming! But many of my posts come from those contributions, and I try to remember to h/t readers if I use their contributions. (Sometimes I forget this acknowledgment—in which case my apologies.) If you send me something and I don’t use it, please do not feel bad. I get many more tips, photos, and other stuff than I can possibly use, and have to choose.

But please do not send me items asking me to post them, or saying, “I think this would make a great post for your site.” That feels a bit presumptuous and coercive, and, as readership grows, I’m starting to get these requests more frequently.

Also, please do not ask me to publicize your or your friend’s book, business, or any other endeavor.  If you want to call something interesting to my attention—and of course it must be of potential  interest not just to me, but to readers—that is great, but don’t ask me to post things. I will make that decision, because:


49 thoughts on “Note to readers

  1. Well, I’m one who asked if you would cover a certain topic, a topic I have some confusion about.

    I didn’t mean to come off of presumptive and I didn’t feel slighted when you didn’t cover it, figured it just didn’t fit.

    Thanks for clarifying this issue, I honestly didn’t realize topic requests came off that way. Social graces have never been my strong suite.

  2. Everytime I see that meme I get lost in the formula on the blackboard. It has something to do with cheese^2, milk^2, a mouse over cheese and log.

    Is it a trap?

    1. Yeah, the formula is great. But I also love the multiple beakers of different colored liquids on the table, thus verifying that the cat is a true scientist. Because that’s what scientists do, you know. They fill beakers with different colored liquids. The great scientists sometimes have a beaker with smoke coming out the top.

      1. Some people here at our institute grow algae in long glass tubes, aerated with air-bubbles, and supplied with full spectrum light from a source within the tube — those long, neon-glowing, bubbling tubes REALLY look scientific. I’m hideously envious, becase the most scientific-looking thing I have in my office is a photospectrometer. Pfff.

        1. I have a spectrophotometer, too — an X-Rite i1 Pro. Doesn’t at all look scientific…it just looks like an oversized computer mouse, actually….

          I do have a 44″ inkjet printer, though. Doesn’t look scientific, but it does look industrial.


          1. Curses! I am waging war vs. algae because stupid hair algae keeps growing in my aquarium & ruining the leaves on my plants!

              1. Yeah I might consider it. It’s hard to keep things in balance and easy to overdo something and have an aquarium catastrophe!

  3. And a Merry Christmas to Professor Ceiling Cat, and thanks for all the work you put into your bl..ebsite — which is always interesting, informative, and thought provoking, as well as doing sterling work promoting science, reason and secularism (with increasing success, as shown by the LA museum and other episodes).

      1. I too am amazed at how much you produce for this site and think all “the roolz” you have posted seem more than reasonable.

        1. Agreed. The flood of email traffic the host must receive would be overwhelming to me (and most folks, I’m guessing). I appreciate his generous efforts to maintain a high-quality site.

  4. When I eventually write The Greatest Works of Dom, I will be sure not to advertise it – methinks would be rather dull & short 🙂

    1. PS feel guilt for overwhelming Professor Ceiling Cat. Perhaps you should set up a gmail/hotmail account that people can send things to, then that would noy interfere with your work email? Just a thought & you can consider/disregard as appropriate…

          1. I am not Majesty – that is reserved for European monarchs. In fact, our family throughout its history since Peter the Great abolished the title “Boyar”, has always refused to accept any title. The old patriarch deemed that the name itself was sufficient and did not need to be gilded with a title. 🙂

              1. A bit of family trivia:

                My great-great-grandmother was Prince Felix Yussupov’s great-great-grandmother, which makes him my third cousin. He is the one who murdered the infamous Rasputin… My great-great-grandmother was quite a beauty, as you can see here:


                Her daughter was deemed the most beautiful woman in Russia, and the wealthiest after she inherited the fortune left to her by her husband, Prince Yussupov:


              2. I have French Bourgeois blood. They got out of dodge during the French Revolution. I curse them because they gave me my white skin!

                I joke that I come from a long line of people that knew when it was time to go because my great great grandmother left Germany after WWI and moved to NZ – her decision was a good one because she was a Jew.

                Way to go fleeing ancestors – you lived to pass on your DNA to me so I can live to make wise ass jokes on the Internet about your fleeing. 🙂

            1. I have a friend, Swedish, like me, and one day I was bragging to her that I was related to the Swedish royal family, and she said she was, too. And I thought, wow, what are the odds? We must be relatives! And then she said, “it’s a small, old country. We’re ALL related to the royal family.”

              I still make stupid boasts, I’m sure, but not any to her any more.

              1. The Bernadottes are French of origin and only became monarchs in 1818, so unless they had issues with tens of thousands of Swedish women, your friend’s claim doesn’t hold water. 😀

      1. Ceiling Cat looks down upon us mere mortals from a consierable height. He probably does other things from that height as well! 🙂

  5. How many emails do you get per day, Dr. C?

    Great idea to have that rool in place. Good for everybody not to expect an email reply either. I like that simple standing understanding.

  6. I send things to Prof. CC if I think they’ll catch his fancy. When it’s something in the popular press, I try to chase down the original paper so as to save him a bit of time.

    While there’re times when it’s something I’d like his perspective on as an evolutionary biologist, it’s mostly just, “I found this interesting and I bet you will, too.”


  7. Coming-up to the end of the year, can I thank Professor Ceiling-Cat for hosting a very fine website, full of the most intelligent and experienced of people, from whom I learned so much over the past months.

    Most endearing moment of the year was when JAC expressed his chagrin for appearing to slouch while at a debate (photo please), while NOT REALISING that Richard Feynman used to slouch at his desk in the same way when contemplating the world! It is the right of professors to make themselves comfortable when dispersing the cloud of bunny-woo that fills the minds of most people.

    Thanks also to the twenty or thirty regular posters, who bring extraordinary bits of knowledge to the table; for their many sharp readjustments of reality; for the dubious humour, and for the confirmation that…

    “There is only science; all the rest is fluff”

    (I am a retired writer/director and filmmaker, don’t forget, so we do well to ignore the crap that ‘science’ is denying the wonders of creativity!!)

    Is this a new category in communications; a ‘ruthless pursuit-of-the-truth’ website?

    Thanks for all the fish (and insects, birds, cetaceans, rodents and mammals)

  8. O Happy Night ! As such myself the NONvirgin ma, I hold that the actual birthings, whenevah that is, of humans, other animals, all things growing … … are of extreme importance and The Reason / the Rationale for Hoo – Hahing —- UNlike some 16th Century’s gregory – god – guy’s idea of what should be “observant” days on his construct known as a “calendar.”

    IN ten nights’ time, it will be the birthing anniversary of Dr Coyne ! THAT is a huge deal. Thanks, thus, BE to you and to your Mama ! —- FOR this website and blog: every sunrise I literally “need” its wisdom —- in order to be able to tamp down the NOISE and the brain’s CLUTTER which will try to creep in during the rest of my hours in an academy that, although it purports its self to be of science, soooo is not. Still.

    Merry Winter Solstice and other Heathens’ Greetings, All !


  9. Come to think of it, Dr.C, would a kinda sorta like an amnesty day do the trick? There seems to be much eagerness and enthusiasm about readers, and some are even shy to post stuff. Would it work to have a day set aside, say, per month or per quarter maybe, where people can make clean and appropriate comments with links to whatever sites/photos they are simply *dying* to share with everybody? Maybe this would stem the deluge of suggestions you might be getting on a daily basis. Just wondering, ‘sall….

  10. Well, asking you to post things might be a bit presumptuous (I’ve never done it) but at least it is straightforward and upfront. Instead, now you’ll get people trying to hint, cajole, imply ans wheedle, without just saying what they want, as per the Rulz. I’m not seeing those sorts of social lies as improvements – kind of how I don’t think treating religion with social lies like accomodationism is a good thing. Why not just be factual and civil?


    1. Why not just send something with no entreaties whatsoever? Under the theory that, hey, if he likes it maybe he’ll post it.

      (I sometimes even find myself sending things I’d never expect him to post–probably because I spend so much time here I feel like we’re friends…)

      I never expect him to even read everything he’s sent–how could he? It’s just nice to know that sometimes the readership can come through in a pinch.

    1. Perhaps. If it doesn’t stay on the sidebar, one can always link to it by adding a widget to the sidebar. In any case, it shouldn’t be too hard.

  11. On Rools:

    1. As Thaddeus Aid (immediately above) wrote, make it a page under its own category like “Book Links” and “Buy the book.”

    2. You can ALSO post it as a blog so that if someone searches the blogs, it’ll also be there.

    3. Best yet: You can also paste a jump link to your new ROOLS page (as in #1 above) as a closing line in ALL future blogs, as:
    “Read Our Rools” (and embed the link to the page in that phrase.

    4. I use WordPress for our Audubon Society Chapter blog, and embed links to earlier blogs and other pages on our blog all the time. See:

      1. Yes. Blog = a single posting. Blogsite = The whole kit & caboodle. So #4 should have said “…Chapter blogsite, and embed links to earlier blogs and other pages on our blogsite all the time.”

        If the terminology for this new-fangled stuff has been settled, I haven’t heard about it. So I make it up as I go along, with an inevitable lack of consistency.

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