It's that time of the year again where I look back and see what has happened over the past 365 days in the life of this blog. So far in 2016... ...I have posted 26 posts ...that received over five hundred ten thousand views ...from 225 countries/territories ...with 1129 comments My most viewed post of the year (#5 site-wide!) was my personal favorite: Expedition Ecstasy: Sniffing Out The Truth About Hawai‘i’s Orgasm-Inducing Mushroom (does it work? There's one way to find out...). The closest runner up was my explainer about how GMOs have nothing to do with Zika (#11 site-wide, which also, perhaps unsurprisingly, generated the most comments of any of my posts!). Y'all loved anything about snakes, from video of a man letting deadly snakes bite him to the over-acted fake death of a hognose (last year's description of death by boomslang also drew eyeballs). My exposé of the Discovery show Venom Hunters also made it into the top ten, as did stories about the future of GMOs, how mosquitoes feed, why cownose rays aren't destroying fisheries, and how Neil deGrasse Tyson needs a primer on bat biology. My words also reached beyond the boundaries of this blog to the far corners of the internet. Some of the best include how climate change impacts marine diseases for The Scientist, a newfound appreciation of salps for Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, and why we associate tentacles with aliens for Quartz. However, my favorite piece of the year was my profile of Jack Randall, ichthyologist extraordinaire, for Hakai Magazine.
I also had a big year beyond the interwebs. I had a number of articles published in print-only magazines, including a great piece on the poisonous pitohui bird for Muse and anotherall about my current work as a venom scientist in this month's Hana Hou, the magazine for Hawaiian Airlines. In March, my first foray into editing — Science Blogging: The Essential Guide — hit shelves. Then in August, my first book, Venomous, followed suit. The reviews of both have been tremendously positive, and I couldn't be happier with the way both books have been received. Venomous even obtained coveted slots on Amazon's Best Books of 2016: Science and Smithsonian's Best Books About Science of 2016. 2016 doesn't exactly have the best reputation in most circles. From political upheaval to beloved celebrity deaths, many are happy to see the year end. I am more conflicted—while in those ways, this year has been rough, it's been one of personal and professional joy and success for me. I'll always remember 2016 as the year I became engaged to the man of my dreams, the year I became a published author, and the year I conceived my first child. It's hard for me to speak ill of any year that had all those in it. Thank you to all of you who read this blog: let's keep this bio-nerdy party going all through 2017!
Fireworks image (c) Mark Wooding, from Wikipedia