'I noticed today that the sitemeter on this blog (on the right hand side, near the bottom of the list of stuff there) says that the BA Blog passed the 500,000 visitors mark. I installed it on May 22, 2005, so it started counting at that time. In fact, my own web statistics package says the number should be higher, but I'm not overly concerned about it. The point is, a lot of folks come here!
And in fact I know more people have visited, because I didn't install the sitemeter for a couple of months after I started the blog. The first blog post was on March 13. I missed my first anniversary! :( I'm really not much for arbitrary celebrations, so it's not a big deal to me, but it's nice to know that after a full year plus some, the Bad Astronomy Blog is still going.
When I started it, I wanted to write about astronomy, the parts of it that enthrall me and make me want to learn more about it every day. But as time went on, things got more complicated. It's almost impossible for me not to inject opinion into what I write, and from talking to people it seems that this is the very thing that they like about what I write. The Universe is cold, dark, and deep; yet for me astronomy is a very personal endeavor. So my own take on it is inevitably going to come out in my writing.
But then the attacks on science kept coming. Of course I would blog about the Moon hoax, or astrology, or the face on Mars. But as the attacks started coming from higher levels, from people who were not just gnats in a storm but actual wind-makers, I knew I had to speak out. My first few entries about this seemed pretty tame compared to what I've written lately, but at the time I felt really tentative about it-- even nervous. I'm glad I did it though. Every day I am more appalled at what I see going on in the seemingly permanent war on reality, and every day I take a deep breath and feel the stronger for fighting it.
I'll add that one of the main reasons I started writing for The Huffington Post is that I knew it would increase the audience, get more people aware of not just science, but of those who would destroy it. An entry I wrote the other day (mentioned here) got onto the front page of HuffPo as well:
These issues are not just the blatherings of some blogger somewhere; these are critical issues which affect us, our friends, our family, and our future. This is not hyperbole. This is cold, hard fact.
It's been a year, and more than a half million visits. But I have a lot more to say, and you can count on me saying it here for some time to come.'