Some distinguished French journals, both old and contemporary, are called Comptes rendus, a term that to me has the right sound for this entry. Loosely translated it means "accounts rendered." I wish to render an account of this blog's first six month of existence.
Some statistics to date: 46 posts, over 100 comments, and nearly 100 visits per day (interestingly, fewer on weekends.) I have received a number of positive remarks (but expect that those who think otherwise tend to keep their opinion to themselves.)
As I approach four score years of age, I regard working on this blog as one of the most exhilarating activities of my life. To single out stories that illustrate the astounding reaches of microbial evolution and to share my love for the world of microbes with a wide and diverse public this has been enormously gratifying. It is a demanding task but I have the leisure time to do it (as I don't play golf.) One thing that makes my job easier is that the stream of good stories seems to be inexhaustible.
The contents of the blog have been true to my intent, which was to call the attention of microbiologists and others to exciting, sometimes unusual, often overlooked tales of wonder from the world of "small things." Do you want to know which are some of my favorite Miniessays? Month by month:
- It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing (Dec 2006, my very first one)
- Ciliate 007 (Jan 2007)
- Could we have started out as magnetotactic bacteria? (Feb 2007)
- Arms and the Fungus (Mar 2007)
This blog, like most, is meant to be interactive. I appreciate all the ways it has entered your lives. Some of you have subscribed to it or made it a favorite or bookmarked it, others have assigned some content to a class, and still others have plain told me that they enjoy it. I thank all of you and hope that you will continue to read it and contribute to it. I could use more brisk responses to my Talmudic Questions, questions meant as points of discussion and which usually have no known or knowable answer.
The staff at ASM has not only made the blog a reality, but has also provided essential technical and conceptual help. I thank especially Chris Condoyan. Being technically challenged, I could not have done it without him. I have had far-reaching help from Merry Youle who has been my inspired and inspiring collaborator, critic, and, of late, technical editor.