Some stats on this site (and some ducks)

I just noticed how many posts I’ve made on this site, and decided to do a few quick calculations.

This website began on January 22, 2009, with the first post being a short announcement that I’d published a Letter to Charles Darwin on the Oxford University Press website. Today, September 10, 2020, makes 4250 days since the site began. And, if you include this one, the total number of posts is 22,660, with the number of comments adding up to 1,113,584.

This works out to be 5.33 posts per day, 262 comments per day, and 49.14 comments per post (I was chagrined when it went below 50). I can’t believe I’ve written nearly 23,000 posts, and that doesn’t include the 1,587 posts that are drafts, the vast majority of which will never see the light of day.

I think it’s the equivalent of a large book, but nobody has read the whole thing. Looking at the early posts, readers have come and gone, some bored, some ticked off, and some, like the old faithful Ben Goren, getting married and adopting a much bigger interest. Still, subscribers become more numerous, and perhaps I’ll see 75,000 before I die. But of course this all becomes useless when I go underground, and then lost forever when the Sun burns up the Earth.

Well, the mallards will vanish too, but right now I have to feed them. The males are getting their green heads, and I’ve never seen them green up before. The sexually selected and iridescent raiment starts as a patch on their forehead and a mustache by their bills, and then spreads over their heads. Maybe they’ll be fully green when they leave.

They’re almost prettier when they’re half green than when their in their full resplendent sexual plumage.  The pictures below, taken today, show several drakes in Botany Pond. I think it’s fairly early for the males to get their colors, but it’s been a screwed-up year.

“New drake, who dis?”

34 Comments

  1. Terry L Pedersen
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Interesting shots of their bills, straight on. Almost look like a fox face!

  2. BobTerrace
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Maybe we can up the average comment count to 49.15 by the end of today.

    • Frank Bath
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Good idea.

      • jezgrove
        Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        “And, if you include this one, the total number of posts is 22,660, with the number of comments adding up to 1,113,584” – I can’t do the maths, but good luck, guys!

  3. GBJames
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Hey, Ben Goren! I’m married and still come here every day! Just sayin…

    • Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      🙂

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Me too!

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        Thinking more in depth, he might have an infant by now.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I do not know how you do it. I didn’t know how way back when I first started reading here. I don’t know how some of the people who read here do it. Not and still have a job anyway. It is really quite a thing when you think about it. I have had to go back and read WEIT a second time and may have to read it again just to refresh a bit. Evolution, atheist, and a little good food is all you need.

  5. Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the brief update on Ben Goren. I was just wondering what had happened to him.

    I assume that, “adopting a much bigger interest” means that he is now an adoptive father.

    This is good news. I was worried that he had had a health crisis or something else bad.

    • Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      No, I just meant that he became completely absorbed in his girlfriend, who became his wife, and stopped commenting here. I guess the site was an outlet for his desire!

      I do miss Ben and his comments.

      • Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Jerry.

      • Posted September 10, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Pah! I say we shall have no more marriage…

      • Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        I’ve been a reader here for about nine years and I miss Ben’s thoughtful participation too. Although I believe my first comment was almost an essay in disagreement with Ben over meat eating. Our host reprimanded me and I’ve made my comments seldom and short since. But I’m a loyal reader that starts each day with the most famous cat in Poland. I look forward to all the posts and comments to come.

  6. Simon Hayward
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    More than a decade – wow. Thanks to you and all the commentators for the entertainment and information.

  7. Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jerry, I don’t know how to subscribe. I just go to your site almost every day. You can count me as a subscriber. 🙂

    • Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Over on the left, where you see the red column, there’s a spot where you can enter your email address to ‘sign up’ and subscribe.

  8. Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    “I can’t believe I’ve written nearly 23,000 posts, […] I think it’s the equivalent of a large book, …”

    War and Peace (one of the longest books) is 600,000 words, so unless your post-average is about 20 words I think you’ve written vastly more than a long book!

    An average of 300 words would equate to 10 long books! 🙂

  9. rickflick
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations on site’s long life. I don’t know how you do it.

  10. StephenB
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    κῦδος! Your meditation on the uselessness and transitoriness of all things reminds me of this: “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity,” statement at the beginning of the Book of Ecclesiastes, a book of the Bible even an atheist can love. 😉

  11. jezgrove
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    “They’re almost prettier when they’re half green than when their in their full resplendent sexual plumage.” – I daresay Honey and Dorothy disagree!

  12. Jim walters
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Jerry

    One of the best web sites.
    Many thanks for the vast effort.

    Jim

  13. Posted September 10, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic website. I have learnt so much from our host and the family of posters.

  14. Ed Kroc
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Quite an accomplishment, however one chooses to quantify it. I’ve come and gone several times as a reader and occasional commenter as my own life-things have changed, but I’ve always found myself coming back. Your output is much appreciated. It’s often thought-provoking, and sometimes a real solace.

  15. Posted September 10, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Ben got married? How did I miss that?!

    Glad you are so cheerful! 👍😂
    😘

  16. john avise
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Jerry, on more than a decade of thought-provoking and highly entertaining material. Please keep up this great service; your site is truly appreciated by a grateful audience!

  17. Peter (Oz) Jones
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Our host provides such a wide eclectic collection of material – educates, entertains, stimulates.

    And the site has attracted knowledgeable commenters with only an occasional rebuke from our host.

    I too miss Ben – also Grania and what happened to Michael Fisher who was so good at forensically examining things?

    This must rank as one of the WWW top sites?

    • Posted September 12, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      Agreed – I’d almost forgotten about Michael Fisher. We don’t see enough of Sastra either.

      This website to me is my daily newspaper, spending each morning quietly reading through it. If I’m unable to read it for a few days, I have to set time aside to catch up.

  18. ploubere
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I read at least a couple posts most days, although I do have a job that keeps my time short.
    If there are already lots of comments I usually won’t bother adding one, it being unlikely to be read, I’m guessing.

  19. Mark R.
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Nowadays, this is the only interactive website I visit everyday and/or comment on (unless I’m on vacation which isn’t happening for the moment). I appreciate the diversity- from serious science to lighthearted duck reports and the thoughtfulness of subject matter our host supplies. An amazing feat of assiduous brain work and passion. And the comments by readers add to the richness. As noted, many great commentators have come and gone, which is to be expected. I remember this reader named Jasper (forget his last name) from the UK who I enjoyed reading…just to add to the “gone list”. Haven’t read any “Ant” comments of late either; another reader I enjoy(ed). Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep I try and count all the readers I “know” on WEIT. It’s sort of like doing the sheep jumping over the proverbial fence. Does Mark dream of electric sheep?
    I’ll also add that during this pandemic, WEIT has greatly helped my sanity. I don’t comment as much, but that doesn’t diminish the therapeutic value that my tether to WEIT engenders. Love ya Jerry!

  20. Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Generally, my day’s reading starts and ends with WEIT…. Bookends of a typical day in my household. Jerry, you are much loved!

  21. Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    All interesting thoughts and data. But even if the readership and commenting declines, it is a true thing that this place still rocks and rules. Most web sites would envy the ratings, if that matters.

  22. Posted September 11, 2020 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    I’ve only been reading for about 4 years, but it is one of my favorite sites and I read it every morning (I get up at 3-4am when Manhattan is at its least objectionable) and enjoy it every day. I guess many of your readers have similar interests.
    Then I go to thefarside.com. 🙂

    I write for various websites and magazines now I’m (sort of) retired and I also fret over readership/clicks from time to time. hahaha. It is easy to get neurotic about numbers but one must just.
    Keep.
    Writing.

    David Anderson, J.D., NYC


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