It’s been quite awhile since I’ve contributed a daylog to the gel but since I got some good news I feel a bit obliged to share it with some folks.

I got a surprise visit from Anna the other day. Due to a combination of many things such as conflicting schedules, a bit of stubbornness on both our parts (a borgo family trait) and the hectic life of a seventeen year old we haven’t seen each all that much. That little visit brightened my day and made my week.

Anyway, we were just catching up on things like school, politics, social matters and summer plans. (She plans on volunteering at a local hospital). I knew she recently took the ACT tests and wanted to know how she fared. With college only a year or so away I thought it would be good to know where she stands among her peers when it comes to the selection and acceptance process.

She got a composite score of 28 out of a possible 36.

The national average for 2010 was 21.

That puts her in the 90th percentile of all the kids who took the test.

I’m thinking she can just about have her pick of the litter when it comes to choosing a school.

During the seventeen years I’ve been a single parent I’ve made my fair share of mistakes along the way. Maybe it’s because I have a fragile ego or some deep rooted inferiority complex that caused me to lash out when things didn’t go the way I expected them to. Do I have some regrets of the way?

Absolutely.

But then I got to thinking about dwelling on the past and how that’s just not good for you. It was something that my own father did constantly during his life. Even when his children were grown and had fled the nest he never failed to remind them of their so-called shortcomings during family get togethers. It got so bad towards the end that most of my relatives just stopped bothering to attend. Who needs to be reminded of shit that went down five, ten or twenty years ago?

So now I look to the future and the future looks pretty damn bright.

So honey, if you read this, and I know you will, let me take this opportunity to shout it out from the rafters that I’m so proud of you and what you’ve been able to accomplish under what was at times some difficult circumstances.

What I said when you left grade school for high school never rings any truer or is more heartfelt today than when I wrote it a couple of years back.

Oh yeah, she wants to retake the test in June to see if she can improve her score.

You go girl!

Nodegel Weekly #1
Propaganda Mouthpiece of Nopantsistan
Week of Feb 27 - Mar 4

"How do pants hinder innovation? Our new infographic explains"
-- aphexious, via Twitter

70 nodes were subsumed into the nodegel last week. I haven't done the math here, but I would guess that's about the same word-count as a text-heavy weekly magazine. (Newsweek, let's say, or the literary rag published by your local college.)

That's a thought that occurred to me a few months ago, and it gave me a new hook on which to hang E2 in my mental coat-room. I don't read E2 daily anymore. Once or twice a week, I think, is enough to shift back through all the contents and feel satisfied that I've read most of what's new. Like a magazine.

You might phrase that in your mind in a dismissive way. "Pffff, yeah, Wikipedia has created the most extensive encyclopedia in the history of Earth, and E2 has created... what? The 2012 equivalent of a magazine?" But hold on a second.

Magazines are great. I spent many fond hours as a kid flipping through National Geographic and Air and Space magazines, and begged my parents to keep up my subscription to Nintendo Power. As an older kid, a subscription to PC World Magazine was one of the first things I spent my own money on. (I know. NERRRRD.) These days, I'll happily flip through an issue of MAKE or Outside if I'm in the library with time to kill.

So E2-as-newfangled-magazine. That's fine. This realization came as kind of a relief to me honestly. Not every damn thing on the Internet needs to be so compelling that you want to spend your every waking moment there, you guys.

Sometimes you just want to spend a couple hours in an afternoon catching up on interesting articles and fun stories from your favorite regular contributors, maybe stumble across an article you hadn't planned to read and learn something new, then make dinner and get on with your evening.

Who are your favorite regular contributors? Well, let's pull up the leaderboard, shall we? But try this: As you scan this list, pick five names and ask yourself, "If the entire site was *just* these 5 people, would you still read it?" Your answer-- as that old cover-copy cliche goes-- might surprise you.

E2 Leaderboard
Top 20 noders who have posted a w/u in the last 4 weeks
(Feb 6 - Mar 4)
Sorted by xp

  1. Jet-Poop (124,120)
  2. The Custodian (120,361)
  3. dannye (90,049)
  4. Tem42 (74,109)
  5. iceowl (71,037)
  6. Glowish Fish (60,129)
  7. mauler (57,555)
  8. wertperch (54,239)
  9. etouffee (48,560)
  10. borgo (39,391)
  11. JD (34,812)*
  12. sam512 (32,875)*
  13. alex (31,082)
  14. doyle (29,976)
  15. artman2003 (28,052)
  16. Transitional Man (27,712)
  17. allseeingeye (26,286)
  18. IWhoSawTheFace (24,937)
  19. Oolong (22,123)*
  20. Aerobe (17,456)

(* = Posted a node 3 weeks ago, and are thus on the brink. Must post a new node by March 11 or get bumped off of next week's list.)

Since last week, swankivy, riverrun, and kthejoker all faded off list, creating room-- even with the sudden reemergence of allseeingeye-- for Oolong and Aerobe to make the cut. No one changed positions, although etouffee did gain a level. Welcome to Level 25, Vizier Etouffee!

So, like I was saying: My desert-island top five from that list would be The Custodian, Jet-Poop, iceowl, wertperch, and doyle. Your list may well be different from mine. That's good.

I love science fiction, so The Custodian is definitely on there. To be completely honest, I often think of E2 as "The Custodian's monthly science-fiction magazine that just happens to have a lot of bonus content". doyle posts many of the writeups that I find most useful and insightful. iceowl, I think, is the most technically proficient writer and he tells great stories to boot. Jet-Poop is the funnest, wertperch the most charming.

On the web, magazine-equivalents (blogs, news sites, aggregators, and the occassional weird literary cul-de-sac like this one) don't cost money for a subscription. They just cost time; the time to read them. A couple years ago I used to subscribe to way, waaay more RSS feeds than I do today, but I got dissatisfied with the way my attention was split over so many streams. Instead of a fragmentary soup composed of 100 different sources, I cut back to thoroughly reading the couple dozen that I liked the best. (Btw, one of these daily sources includes a plain ol' newspaper, which I highly recommend.)

If all of those 20 people above just decided to leave E2 and just wrote for their own blogs instead, would I subscribe to them? Heck yes. Would we all be a little poorer for it? I think so. Because it would mean missing out on the neat cross-over chatter from writers who are little farther off your radar.

Like these folks:

The Strange Folk
Top 5 w/us by noders under 1000 XP
from last week (Feb 27 - Mar 4, 2012)

  1. Beyond The Mind's Eye (thing) by GrannySycorax +23 2C!s
  2. Ørsted (thing) by DearestDane +22
  3. Niels (thing) by DearestDane +15
  4. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. (review) by rosetinted +15
  5. Okonomiyaki (thing) by satkomuni +13
And these:
Week's Best
10 Highest Rep writeups from last week (Feb 27-Mar 4, 2012)
  1. root log: March 2012 (log) by jaybonci +36 1C!
  2. The extroverted feeler in the yard (essay) by lizardinlaw +29 4C!s
  3. Scrabble pieces (thing) by etouffee +29 3C!s
  4. Grampus (thing) by Tem42 +29 2C!s
  5. shachihoko (thing) by mauler +27
  6. walking to the moon in my nightgown (idea) by moeyz +26 5C!s
  7. Nintendinitis (thing) by BranRainey +26 1C!
  8. PTTD (thing) by jessicaj +26 3C!s
  9. baseball umpire (person) by borgo +26 3C!s
  10. my life in car years (personal) by moeyz +24 4C!s

Highlights? Well, of course everyone's excited about jaybonci's new work on the codebase. satkomuni goes toe-to-toe with the great sensei on Okonomiyaki. rosetinted continues to kick my mind's ass, and You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. is his/her most well-received w/u yet. (How are you still downvoting these, people? How?) Props to moeyz for getting two on the list. And shachihoko is a good example of a node that I would never have sought out but upvoted after the first sentence. "The shachihoko is a mythical beast in Japanese folklore with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp"? DUDE. SOLD.

I like how Tem42 immediately swooped in and took the opportunity to write a quick node about grampus too. ("grampuses"? "grampi"?) A great example of how the nodegel self-assembles into a monstrosity greater than the sum of its icky, gelatinous parts.

You get the idea. Let me round out the rest of the week's news bits, and then I'll get out of here:

Helio Sequence
New chapters in an ongoing series
from the last 2 weeks
Administravia
This week's new additions to the Page of Cool:
gold standard, cooled by mauler, w/ 7 writeups from 2000-2004
Brussels sprouts, cooled by Oolong, w/ 3 writeups from 2001, 2010 & 2012

New Coder log: root log: March 2012 by jaybonci
New front page item: March of the Critics 2012: A Month of Review by alex

Oh, and OldMiner suggested that the membership of e2core (the core group of Everything admins) would be another valuable group to track. Here is that magnificent seven, for a baseline: alex, The Debutante, Oolong, Aerobe, mauler, grundoon, The Custodian

Until next week: Voice some cool opinions, noders. Or even some uncool ones. And remember: whilst pantsless in Portland, don't let someone abscond with your trousers and lock them in a bike shed, as GhettoAardvark did at last year's Horace Phair. No, wait, I mean "do". DO do that.

See yah next week, nodegel.

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