Notes to readers

February 8, 2022 • 10:15 am

I have several items to impart today:

First, many people have asked how to send me photographs. I’m preparing a “page” that will live in the left sidebar telling you how to do this. In the meantime, please send photos to my email that you can get by clicking “research interests” at the upper right of the main page. Please follow the format that most people use: 12-15 pics at most, give a brief narrative along with species IDs, and don’t forget the Latin binomials! I of course encourage submission of photos, but please see that they’re roughly of the quality that I post daily.  (High!) Thanks.

Second, I keep bringing this up, and many people keep ignoring it.  The issue is of people over-commenting in threads, with the result that often a substantial fraction of the comments in a thread are made by one or a few people. In one thread the other day, for example, 7 out of 28 comments, or more than 25%, were made by a single person.

As I guideline, I refer you to this item (#9) in Da Roolz:

Try not to dominate threads, particularly in a one-on-one argument. I’ve found that those are rarely informative, and the participants never reach agreement. A good guideline is that if your comments constitute over 10% of the comments on a thread, you’re posting too much.

I’ll raise this to about 15% (one in 7 comments or so), but please try to be concise and try not to put up comments that don’t add anything to the discussion.

Also, please do not email me too often, as I often get several hundred emails per day, and it’s very time-consuming. And when there are so many, I can miss some, including important ones.  If you see an error in a post or have an urgent question, of course you may email me right away. Otherwise, try to combine your comments or links into one email sent every two or three days.

Finally, let me emphasize again that I always call for civility. Try to treat other people as if you were speaking to them personally (yes, I know, I sometimes slip up too). If you are addressing me, pretend you’re doing so in my living room. After all, that’s sort of what you’re doing. Lately, it seems, incivility has increased and I attribute this to the pandemic and people getting antsy and peeved. If you are heated up, I’d urge you to take a bit of time to ponder before you post something strong.

Thank you,



10 thoughts on “Notes to readers

  1. Well, we can’t have a post without a comment, so I’ll make one. Always button your shirt from the bottom up rather than from the top down; this way you will ensure that your shirt is buttoned properly.

  2. I think by commenting I have made 50% of comments on the thread so can 3 other people comment to bring it down?!

  3. I made that mistake just this afternoon with my jacket; buttoned from the top down (snaps actually), and had to un-snap and start again. How did you know? Is there a web cam somewhere?

    1. I just did that with my cardigan! (buttons, not snaps)

      Anybody remember the lovely stray cat that a kind fellow reader befriended and then adopted? Jerry photo reminded me of her. She was photographed sitting atop a post, and she was leaning a bit to one side (I can’t remember if the post was aslant). In the ensuing reader poll for a name, someone cleverly suggested Eileen (as in “I lean”). 🙂 But a different name was chosen.

  4. I remember years ago watching an old black and white American film where a woman times- with a stopwatch- her husband buttoning his shirt down and up, and to both their astonishment finds that upwards is quicker, so you could be saving time as well!

    1. um… I find that hard to believe, but it won’t hurt to try. Not that extra three? four? seconds saved is really where I need to be focusing…

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