It’s one of those meme thingies: I now have to name 7 favourite blogs, and then 7 favourite authors. If they pick this up they are supposed to do the same. Now apparently others have been doing it in alphabetical order so as to show no favouritism. That’s too much like work at 11pm, so you get it in the order I pull them off in! Or at least in subsets.
First up is one of my personal favourites: Stupid Evil Bastard (aka SEB). Les’ site has the distinction of being the one that my wife objects to me looking at on her laptop because it leaves ‘Stupid Evil Bastard’ in her address bar history. His tag line “What the fuck is wrong with you people?” sums up his attitude to ‘Teh stoopid’ he sees all around him. He says ‘Stupid evil bastard’ are three words sometimes used about him because he hates America is a liberal atheist, who doesn’t mind telling people when they are wrong. Good place to see right wingers and creationists get the spanking they deserve.
Playing Yang to Les’ Yin is ***Dave, a SEB regular, on ***Dave does the blog. The *** isn’t anything rude- just a hangover from when you actually had to type into computers, rather than click. Many posts are composites of links to other stories- why write the same as someone else, makes sense. He has a little family of blogs, including his RPG and ‘WIST’- “I wish I’d said that”.
Then one of the Big Beasts of the Blogosphere- Pharyngula, the blog of Professional evil person and despoiler of the faithfulbiology professor, PZ Myers. A man personally cited by some of the wackier US Christians as a threat. The man who organised the tour by atheists of the ‘Creation Museum’. The man who was refused entry to ‘Expelled’, while they let his companion in. Unfortunately his companion was Richard Dawkins (“Door policy FAIL”). A very popular blog, threads often reach 100s of posts in less than a day. Also has a penchant fo crashing web polls.
Along the same lines, smaller than Pharyngula, but possibly less exhausting is “Why Evolution is True“, Jerry Coyne’s blog named after his book of the same name. WEIT is more biology than PZ’s blog, possibly because Jerry doesn’t appear to get the loonies attacking him, asking to be kicked back.
The third of the science blog triumvirate is my first Non-US entry ‘Bad Science’. Ben Goldacre is also a ‘Guardian’ journalist, who uses his column to attack and correct the misuse and misreporting of science.
Next up are ‘Margaret and Helen’, two grandmothers who have been friends for over 60 years. Most of the entries are by Helen, who proves you don’t have to drift right as you age. She reserves a special hell for the likes of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and Ann Coulter, as if being a right wing woman has let your sisterhood down!
Finally a bit of a cheat. “Irregular Webcomic” is not exactly a blog, but it’s author David Morgan-Mar- aka Dangermouse or DM often includes long explanations of the science behind the puns, which are educational and often ‘wow’. The associated forum is full of the regulars being just a touch silly. Warning- do NOT click the links to TVTropes- you will lose hours! Also from IWC can be accessed “Darths and Droids“- what if Star Wars wasn’t a hugely successful series of films, but a Role Play game? (Qui-Gon collecting blasters to sell later). Inspired by “DM of the Rings”.
I also read Dana’s blog most days- an angry young woman if ever there was one!- but it seemed cheating and the easy option to bounce back to the referer.
#1 has to be Terry Pratchett. If you have never heard of ‘Discworld’ then I can only assume you have been dead for 20 years.
Fritz Leiber for Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. Two lovable rogues who met trying to carry out the same robbery. Their first words were an offer from one to the other- “60/60?”. The stories introducing them are a bit long, but form there on most are enjoyable and humorous short stories.
Jasper Fforde. The ‘Thursday Next’ series take place in an alternate reality where literature isn’t the new rock and roll, its the main event, and cloned mammoths migrate across England. The eponymous heroine jumps in and out of famous works of literature, enlisting such famous characters as Miss Haversham and the Cheshire Cat to fight the evil Archeron Hades. It helps to have a passing knowledge of literature.
Number four is Garth Nix, a man who’s ‘Keys to the Kingdom’ series that knocks that Potter kid into a cocked hat. Each book, Starting with ‘Mister Monday’ is imaginative and fast moving, and each is different to the others. Dr Scamadros’ animated tattoos, that reflect his thoughts, is one of my most favourite literary ideas ever.
Robert Rankin. Just plain weird. Probably not for Americans (now there’s a challenge!).
And of course JRR Tolkein. A man who inspired generations. Without him there may never have been a Pratchett, Leiber, Nix or Rowling. And possibly never a Star Wars.