Sunday, 10 October 2010

my lawn, my blog, your windows

Time has flown. My lack of blog has been due to intense work-related activity punctuated by occasional (work-related) despair, and the distractions afforded by the ethical shortcomings of one of the more prolific authors in the journal I edit. Today, on the other hand, was spent considering more mundane matters, such as the quality of nextdoor’s lawn, which resembles Wimbledon’s grass tennis courts before the playing season has had the chance to ruin the neat and luscious stripes. My own lawn is, in parts, satisfyingly luscious, green, and soft underfoot. The challenge is to fight conventional wisdom, and to allow the moss to spread to the rest of the lawn. What I can’t quite grasp is why we genetically engineer grass seed that will grow well in the shade, when I believe we should instead be engineering moss to grow well in full sunlight. My lawn would be a better place for that. I can dream...

Hits to this blog have returned to normal after the highs of late August and early September. Harvard Magazine will soon be running a piece that again quotes from me (and this blog), so I shall be curious to see whether hits go up again. It is strangely addictive, monitoring who comes here and when. (Ok, so it is not as addictive as my pond, or even my moss... perhaps because I can’t actually find out who comes here - I can only find out where from, with what browser, on what operating system, etc.). Interestingly, and depending on which kind of publication referred to my use of the F-word, the operating systems from whence came the masses changed quite considerably. The New York Times sent 453 visitors on August 28th. 55% of these were from Apple machines (Macs, iPhones, iPads, etc). Only 40% came from Windows. But Slate Magazine sent 949 visitors on September 7th, with 70% coming from Windows, and only 27% coming from Apple. Does this reflect different readerships? Are NYT readers more Apple-oriented? Or was it simply that the 28th fell on a Saturday and the 7th on a Tuesday, with Macs primarily reserved for weekend use? I suspect it is none of these: It is surely no coincidence that 55% of 454 visitors (August 28th: NYT) is almost exactly the same as 27% of 949 visitors (September 7th: Slate); evidently, it was the same number of Apple enthusiasts on both days, with the only difference being that Windows users came late to the party. Finger on the pulse... that’s Apple folk for you.

For those that worry about my archaic use of the word “whence”: I can categorically assure you that this has been the first time I have ever used that word. It will be my last. My profound apologies.

And for those that worry about my archaic use of the word “Windows”: Again, my profound apologies.

And for those Windows users whom I’ve totally alienated: My profound sympathies apologies.