Note to readers

I’m trying to figure out if I can get The Roolz posted somewhere permanently on the sidebar, but until that happens here is another Rool.

I am glad to receive items from readers, though at times their number is a bit overwhelming! But many of my posts come from those contributions, and I try to remember to h/t readers if I use their contributions. (Sometimes I forget this acknowledgment—in which case my apologies.) If you send me something and I don’t use it, please do not feel bad. I get many more tips, photos, and other stuff than I can possibly use, and have to choose.

But please do not send me items asking me to post them, or saying, “I think this would make a great post for your site.” That feels a bit presumptuous and coercive, and, as readership grows, I’m starting to get these requests more frequently.

Also, please do not ask me to publicize your or your friend’s book, business, or any other endeavor.  If you want to call something interesting to my attention—and of course it must be of potential  interest not just to me, but to readers—that is great, but don’t ask me to post things. I will make that decision, because:



  1. Alice Wonder
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    Well, I’m one who asked if you would cover a certain topic, a topic I have some confusion about.

    I didn’t mean to come off of presumptive and I didn’t feel slighted when you didn’t cover it, figured it just didn’t fit.

    Thanks for clarifying this issue, I honestly didn’t realize topic requests came off that way. Social graces have never been my strong suite.

  2. Jesper Both Pedersen
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    Everytime I see that meme I get lost in the formula on the blackboard. It has something to do with cheese^2, milk^2, a mouse over cheese and log.

    Is it a trap?

    • Posted December 20, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Yeah, the formula is great. But I also love the multiple beakers of different colored liquids on the table, thus verifying that the cat is a true scientist. Because that’s what scientists do, you know. They fill beakers with different colored liquids. The great scientists sometimes have a beaker with smoke coming out the top.

      • Larry Gay
        Posted December 20, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        What convinces me that the cat is a true scientist is that he wears a white coat.

        • Posted December 20, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          Nice. Although most scientists don’t wear fur in the lab.

      • Dennis Hansen
        Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        Some people here at our institute grow algae in long glass tubes, aerated with air-bubbles, and supplied with full spectrum light from a source within the tube — those long, neon-glowing, bubbling tubes REALLY look scientific. I’m hideously envious, becase the most scientific-looking thing I have in my office is a photospectrometer. Pfff.

        • Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          I have a spectrophotometer, too — an X-Rite i1 Pro. Doesn’t at all look scientific…it just looks like an oversized computer mouse, actually….

          I do have a 44″ inkjet printer, though. Doesn’t look scientific, but it does look industrial.


          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

            Curses! I am waging war vs. algae because stupid hair algae keeps growing in my aquarium & ruining the leaves on my plants!

            • Posted December 20, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

              Ever tried UV light? There might be smallish ones available for aquariums.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 20, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

                Yeah I might consider it. It’s hard to keep things in balance and easy to overdo something and have an aquarium catastrophe!

  3. Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    And a Merry Christmas to Professor Ceiling Cat, and thanks for all the work you put into your bl..ebsite — which is always interesting, informative, and thought provoking, as well as doing sterling work promoting science, reason and secularism (with increasing success, as shown by the LA museum and other episodes).

    • gravityfly
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:34 am | Permalink

      Yes, Professor…thanks for all the work. I don’t know how you manage to get the time. 🙂

    • JBlilie
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      +1, please keep up the your feline good works!

      • Lynn A. (Ottawa)
        Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:22 am | Permalink

        I too am amazed at how much you produce for this site and think all “the roolz” you have posted seem more than reasonable.

        • Keith
          Posted December 20, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

          Agreed. The flood of email traffic the host must receive would be overwhelming to me (and most folks, I’m guessing). I appreciate his generous efforts to maintain a high-quality site.

  4. Dominic
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    When I eventually write The Greatest Works of Dom, I will be sure not to advertise it – methinks would be rather dull & short 🙂

    • Dominic
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:31 am | Permalink

      PS feel guilt for overwhelming Professor Ceiling Cat. Perhaps you should set up a gmail/hotmail account that people can send things to, then that would noy interfere with your work email? Just a thought & you can consider/disregard as appropriate…

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Just make it a pop up book. 🙂

  5. Posted December 20, 2013 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    It makes absolute sense. 🙂

  6. gbjames
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    I was hoping you’d post these roolz, but didn’t want to suggest it. 😉

  7. JBlilie
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Hear, hear, Your Fuzzy Highness. (And I DO mean HIGHNESS!) 🙂

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      Ceiling Cat is an Aristocat?

      Oh dear.

      • Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

        I am, oh dearie me!

        • Jesper Both Pedersen
          Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:13 am | Permalink

          My aplologies Your Majesty!

          • Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:36 am | Permalink

            I am not Majesty – that is reserved for European monarchs. In fact, our family throughout its history since Peter the Great abolished the title “Boyar”, has always refused to accept any title. The old patriarch deemed that the name itself was sufficient and did not need to be gilded with a title. 🙂

            • Jesper Both Pedersen
              Posted December 20, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink


            • Posted December 20, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

              Would love to hear more about your ancestry, Vierotchka!

              • Posted December 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

                Read all about it – you can climb up via both my father’s line and my mother’s line, and all the other paternal and maternal lines as you go up:


              • Posted December 20, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

                A bit of family trivia:

                My great-great-grandmother was Prince Felix Yussupov’s great-great-grandmother, which makes him my third cousin. He is the one who murdered the infamous Rasputin… My great-great-grandmother was quite a beauty, as you can see here:

                Her daughter was deemed the most beautiful woman in Russia, and the wealthiest after she inherited the fortune left to her by her husband, Prince Yussupov:

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 20, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

                I have French Bourgeois blood. They got out of dodge during the French Revolution. I curse them because they gave me my white skin!

                I joke that I come from a long line of people that knew when it was time to go because my great great grandmother left Germany after WWI and moved to NZ – her decision was a good one because she was a Jew.

                Way to go fleeing ancestors – you lived to pass on your DNA to me so I can live to make wise ass jokes on the Internet about your fleeing. 🙂

            • Marta
              Posted December 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

              I have a friend, Swedish, like me, and one day I was bragging to her that I was related to the Swedish royal family, and she said she was, too. And I thought, wow, what are the odds? We must be relatives! And then she said, “it’s a small, old country. We’re ALL related to the royal family.”

              I still make stupid boasts, I’m sure, but not any to her any more.

              • Posted December 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

                The Bernadottes are French of origin and only became monarchs in 1818, so unless they had issues with tens of thousands of Swedish women, your friend’s claim doesn’t hold water. 😀

            • Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

              Thanks for the lovely family history, Viera! The women you mentioned are indeed exquisite beauties.

      • JBlilie
        Posted December 20, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        Ceiling Cat looks down upon us mere mortals from a consierable height. He probably does other things from that height as well! 🙂

        • Dennis Hansen
          Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

          Don’t eat the yellow snow.

  8. Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    How many emails do you get per day, Dr. C?

    Great idea to have that rool in place. Good for everybody not to expect an email reply either. I like that simple standing understanding.

  9. Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    I send things to Prof. CC if I think they’ll catch his fancy. When it’s something in the popular press, I try to chase down the original paper so as to save him a bit of time.

    While there’re times when it’s something I’d like his perspective on as an evolutionary biologist, it’s mostly just, “I found this interesting and I bet you will, too.”


  10. Posted December 20, 2013 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Coming-up to the end of the year, can I thank Professor Ceiling-Cat for hosting a very fine website, full of the most intelligent and experienced of people, from whom I learned so much over the past months.

    Most endearing moment of the year was when JAC expressed his chagrin for appearing to slouch while at a debate (photo please), while NOT REALISING that Richard Feynman used to slouch at his desk in the same way when contemplating the world! It is the right of professors to make themselves comfortable when dispersing the cloud of bunny-woo that fills the minds of most people.

    Thanks also to the twenty or thirty regular posters, who bring extraordinary bits of knowledge to the table; for their many sharp readjustments of reality; for the dubious humour, and for the confirmation that…

    “There is only science; all the rest is fluff”

    (I am a retired writer/director and filmmaker, don’t forget, so we do well to ignore the crap that ‘science’ is denying the wonders of creativity!!)

    Is this a new category in communications; a ‘ruthless pursuit-of-the-truth’ website?

    Thanks for all the fish (and insects, birds, cetaceans, rodents and mammals)

  11. Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    O Happy Night ! As such myself the NONvirgin ma, I hold that the actual birthings, whenevah that is, of humans, other animals, all things growing … … are of extreme importance and The Reason / the Rationale for Hoo – Hahing —- UNlike some 16th Century’s gregory – god – guy’s idea of what should be “observant” days on his construct known as a “calendar.”

    IN ten nights’ time, it will be the birthing anniversary of Dr Coyne ! THAT is a huge deal. Thanks, thus, BE to you and to your Mama ! —- FOR this website and blog: every sunrise I literally “need” its wisdom —- in order to be able to tamp down the NOISE and the brain’s CLUTTER which will try to creep in during the rest of my hours in an academy that, although it purports its self to be of science, soooo is not. Still.

    Merry Winter Solstice and other Heathens’ Greetings, All !


  12. Posted December 20, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Come to think of it, Dr.C, would a kinda sorta like an amnesty day do the trick? There seems to be much eagerness and enthusiasm about readers, and some are even shy to post stuff. Would it work to have a day set aside, say, per month or per quarter maybe, where people can make clean and appropriate comments with links to whatever sites/photos they are simply *dying* to share with everybody? Maybe this would stem the deluge of suggestions you might be getting on a daily basis. Just wondering, ‘sall….

  13. Scote
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Well, asking you to post things might be a bit presumptuous (I’ve never done it) but at least it is straightforward and upfront. Instead, now you’ll get people trying to hint, cajole, imply ans wheedle, without just saying what they want, as per the Rulz. I’m not seeing those sorts of social lies as improvements – kind of how I don’t think treating religion with social lies like accomodationism is a good thing. Why not just be factual and civil?


    • Diane G.
      Posted December 21, 2013 at 2:20 am | Permalink

      Why not just send something with no entreaties whatsoever? Under the theory that, hey, if he likes it maybe he’ll post it.

      (I sometimes even find myself sending things I’d never expect him to post–probably because I spend so much time here I feel like we’re friends…)

      I never expect him to even read everything he’s sent–how could he? It’s just nice to know that sometimes the readership can come through in a pinch.

  14. Posted December 20, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Hi Jerry, Make the Roolz a “page” instead of a post and it will stay on the sidebar.

    Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2013 11:02:21 +0000 To:

    • Posted December 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps. If it doesn’t stay on the sidebar, one can always link to it by adding a widget to the sidebar. In any case, it shouldn’t be too hard.

  15. Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    On Rools:

    1. As Thaddeus Aid (immediately above) wrote, make it a page under its own category like “Book Links” and “Buy the book.”

    2. You can ALSO post it as a blog so that if someone searches the blogs, it’ll also be there.

    3. Best yet: You can also paste a jump link to your new ROOLS page (as in #1 above) as a closing line in ALL future blogs, as:
    “Read Our Rools” (and embed the link to the page in that phrase.

    4. I use WordPress for our Audubon Society Chapter blog, and embed links to earlier blogs and other pages on our blog all the time. See:

    • Diane G.
      Posted December 21, 2013 at 2:29 am | Permalink

      So when you use the word “blog” as in your second point, you’re actually referring to specific blog posts?

      • Chukar
        Posted December 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Yes. Blog = a single posting. Blogsite = The whole kit & caboodle. So #4 should have said “…Chapter blogsite, and embed links to earlier blogs and other pages on our blogsite all the time.”

        If the terminology for this new-fangled stuff has been settled, I haven’t heard about it. So I make it up as I go along, with an inevitable lack of consistency.

%d bloggers like this: