Saturday, February 24, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Today, Backreaction celebrates its first anniversary!

One year ago, I was sitting in my office in Santa Barbara, shifting problems back and forth, not getting anywhere except towards a huge headache. A friend sent me a link to a post at the ReferenceFrame, and I figured that's what they call a 'blog'. Interesting, I thought, looks like a good trashbin for all the unifinished ideas and random stuff. I can do that as well.

So, I signed up at blogger, and after I was done messing up templates, the first sentence read 'Okay, that is my 3rd try to set up a blog. Be patient. My world is a fuzzy sphere and my English reliable only at the 95% confirmation level.'

Over the year contributors came and go. The only one who stayed reliably at my side is the guy I married last summer (as he likes to put it, I scared the others away with my writing).

This is a small thank you, first of all to my husband for not getting scared away, but also to all the fellow readers: for your feedback, the interesting comments and for clicking our but which is getting fatter and fatter (see sidebar).

Very special thanks go to Arun, Quasar, Plato, RaeAnn, and UncleAl, for always being around.

Here is the visitor statistic from the last year (status Feb 23rd)

(not only did I move in August and was offline for some while, but also was blogger constantly down. The peak in January was due to a link by CosmicVariance to our KATRIN post, followed by a link from Seed, and a whole bunch of secondary links.)

Some of my favorite Google searches that lead people to this blog include

This is also your opportunity to let us know what you'd like to read about more often. Or less often. Can you cope with the disorganization of this site? Do you like the template? Every opinion and criticism is welcome!

(Should add, I am not myself satisfied with the template as it is right now, but I don't currently have the time to do something about it).


  1. Hi! Happy Birthday to your blog. You have done a pretty cool job on it I must say. Keep up the good work.
    Drop into my blog on birthday ecards for some beautiful e-greeting cards and other interesting info.

  2. Congrats on completing a successful first year of blogging! Looking forward for more. :-)

  3. Happy B-Day ;-)

    I find it disturbing, that I always get tha Denzel Washington quote through my feeder (but that is not realy a problem...)


  4. Congrats to Backraction on its first birthday may it celebrate many more.
    Thanks to Bee & Stefan, for an excellent blog filled with a myriad of insights and links.
    Always an interesting & fun read!

  5. Happy birthday to Backreaction! If the toddler phase is this good, I can't wait to see Backreaction when it is a kindergartener.

  6. Thank you, Bee and Stefan, and a Very Happy Birthday to The Blog!

    The template is fine, don't worry about it. Two Sigma English also works out very well :)

    You might like this story, especially the last para

  7. Happy Birthday!

    A special thanks to you both for the out reach to the public and for keeping the science enjoyable.

  8. First rate people retain first rate people, second rate people retain third rate people. Scare a few folks - it's good for the world.

    Mediocrity is a vice of the doomed. The existential root of Liberty is the capacity to be very bad at taking orders from morons. Get down and push! "8^>)

  9. Happy Blog Birthday! I really enjoy your blog so much and have found many things that have enlightened and informed. I have no complaints about it at all. It's always great! Here's to another great year!

  10. Hi All,

    Thanks so much for the nice wishes. It's good to have you around, I appreciate your feedback very much.

    Hi Helge,

    I love B-day! Yeah, the Denzel Washington quote disturbs me for another reason: it attracts a lot of spam-links. I think, I'll have to remove it. Too bad, I really liked that scene in the movie. Did you see Deja vu? Except for the ending, I found it had a good plot.

    Dear Quasar,

    what would our blog be without your comments? What's a fire without sparks? A beach without shells, a bathtub without bubbles ;-)

    Hey Amara,

    I've learned a lot from your comments! Seriously. It's always good to have the real experts around :-)

    Hi Arun,

    thanks :-) The link is too funny. But I mean, you never know what a science project might turn out to be useful for. If an alien stopped by in your garden ad ask you to hop on board, would you go?

    Hey Plato,

    thanks to you too for all the interesting contributions over at your place. I often 'lurk around' and read them, but I admit I hardly ever have very much to add, so I don't leave many comments. But it's always good to see topics from a different perspective.

    Hey UncleAl,

    You're quite a mystery to me. One should give you an award for cryptic comments with maximum content ;-) Where do the second rate people go? It's not my primary interest to scare people, but there always comes a point when the guys notice I'm not harmless...

    Dear RaeAnn,

    I hope the coming year will be more peaceful. I really need some time to calm down. Lately, I feel like I'm always running without knowing from or to what. The last year has been totally nuts. Please feel free to ask whatever questions you (or your son) have :-)

    All the best,


  11. Dear Bee,
    dear readers,

    thank you very much for the friendly words :-)
    This morning, when I looked up backreaction, he had just reached 100.000 visits - wow!

    if the toddler phase is this good, I can't wait to see Backreaction when it is a kindergartener.

    Hm, but one has to scale the one year to the life expectancy of a blog - I have no idea what this does mean...

    I am still scared from time to time at the idea to keep pace with Bee's blogging energy and quality :-)

    Best, stefan

  12. Happy Birthday to the blog and thanks to you for feeding it so well!

    Honestly I don't think there is another blog out there that is so interesting to read AND so informative on the physics!

    Thank you!

  13. Congratulations - great decision a year ago. ;-) All the best, TRF

  14. Pardon me, Bee, if this stings, but the quality of portrait photography on this blog can be greatly improved. e.g., the portraits of the guest physicist posters are all probably taken at the department of motor vehicles.

  15. Hi Arun,

    I pardon you. If it stings though, it doesn't sting me. As you might have guessed, I'm not the one who took the photos - with exception of Stefan Hofmann's photo, which I am considerably proud of ;-). But I'll try to change our photos in the header, they don't go so very well together. Best,


  16. The header is fine. The Hofmann portrait does have energy, but the framing makes me feel it is caged energy.

  17. well, the whole guy IS caged energy. unfortunately, it's caged in my office ;-)

  18. Happy Birthday!.Congrats. It is always a pleasure visiting BackReaction. Well done!

  19. Happy 1st birthday - It seems safe to assume that Backreaction does not need diapers anymore!! ;-)

    What will the future have in store? More great writing for sure.



COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG ARE PERMANENTLY CLOSED. You can join the discussion on Patreon.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.