Ten years have passed since this blog made its entrance into the blogosphere with "Profit from Fantasy," announcing itself as a place where comments on the book Dark Mission by Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara could find a home. The book had its own blog, started on 18th August 2007, but James Oberg and I very soon noticed that Bara, as blog moderator, generally refused to allow negative comments to appear.
The first four posts on this blog had page views well under 100, and no comments at all. The 10th post, however, "Data's Head image proved fraudulent," set a page view record of 11,117 that stands to this day. The all-time record number of comments is 186, for "Mike Bara sees glass over Picard" on 19th October 2012. The least popular post ever, with only 51 page views, was "The fun is about to begin" on 5th September 2010. Don't ask me why—that's a puzzle.
The "official" Dark Mission blog expired on the last day of 2009, but this blog continued its mission to mock pseudoscience, with a wider remit than just one book. Most often cited words and expressions over the years have been coast-to-coast am, elenin, phobos, hyperdimensional, ziggurat, facebook, accutron. My targets, in addition to Hoagland & Bara, have been many of the darlings of late-night radio: Ken Johnston, Judy Wood, Kerry Cassidy, John Brandenburg, Robert Morningstar, Steve Quayle, and latterly the convicted felon Sean David Morton.
There's no doubt that interest in this blog is waning somewhat: of the 15 posts this year, none has made it to the 1,000 page view level of interest. Just a couple of years ago, 2,000 was a common number. I'm not discouraged but I will be looking hard for fresh topics because I suspect the sag in popularity is due to readers feeling that they've read it all before.
I'd like to make a "Hall of Fame" list of all the people who have supported me over these ten years with their encouragement, information, research, and intelligent comments—but I'm afraid if I did that I'd offend somebody by omitting their name. However, a few stand-outs really must be acknowledged:
James Oberg: Joint founder of the blog and vital resource on space history, especially Russian
James Concannon: A former colleague who has probably written more for the blog than anyone other than myself, and who inhabits Faceboo (whereas I almost never do).
Stuart Robbins Ph.D: An actual working astronomer who has his own blog and cringes right along with me and Concannon when the pseudoscientists make their awful mistakes. If ever I make a slip-up when writing this blog, I'll hear about it from Stuart.
Derek Eunson, Ph.D: Another real working scientist, in the field of design engineering, and not a man to mince words when it comes to scorn for pseudoscience. Derek is now teaching in China, but keeping in touch.