Field of Science

Blog Centennial for the Phytophactor

With no fanfare what so ever the Phytophactor has passed his 100th blog. A bit over a year ago the Phytophactor was constructed as preventative medicine for mental health, and so far it’s working fine. According to my blog log, my blogging centennial,was passed a couple of blogs and a couple of weeks ago. Of course I didn’t get there in 100 days as other things, like having a life, have kept the frequency of new blogs modest. Blogging has not become an obsession, and I don’t waste time doing it when I should be doing something else. Blogging has been fun, and a chance to blow off steam in a relatively harmless manner, although I did manage to frost off a couple of colleagues who thought I was specifically referring to them. So did whoever called their attention to Phytophactor. I thought many of the zanier botanical and gardening tidbits would generate more comments from curious visitors. But this is now certain, an awful lot of people wanted to know if an artichoke is a fruit or a vegetable. The more esoteric topics, like why spoiled things are yucky, have generated no reaction at all which makes me think something is rotten out there. Even posting pictures of pretty flowers failed to excite readers, with one exception, the lovely Holly. Sigh.

So the Phactor is glad he’s doing this largely for himself because while the feedback has been positive, it’s been minimal. Let's see now how those congratulations pour in.


Larissa said...

If I had a blue ribbon I'd pin it on you. If I had a Pabst Blue Ribbon I'd drink it - even though it doesn't taste that great.

Do I get any credit for being an avid phactor reader, or do I not count because I'm just a measly F1?!

you keep blogging away and I'll keep reading. I mean, someone has to keep an eye on you!

The Phytophactor said...

Measly F1? You are the Phactor's entire Darwinian fitness (0.5), so you count for a lot!

Anonymous said...

Happy centennial! You look much younger than that, or anyway your hat does.

What, I wonder, did I do before I phound this phabulous blog? Well, lots of other time wasting things, but no need to go into that.

Still, I am very happy to have made the Phactor's acquaintance. I have ntsavanna to thank for directing me hither. And now that the semester's over, I look phorward to getting caught up on the posts I missed before Phactor's immature gametophyte got stuck in my micropyle (pardon my metaphor, but the Web sometimes does seem as random, and as wonderful, as pine pollination).

As I said before, you are the bomb, Phactor.


P.S. What the divil is an F1? An 0.5? Is Darwinian fitness something you can train for?

ForestJane said...

The best way to get people to comment on YOUR blog is to go around and meet people with interesting blogs, and comment on them yourself. :)

Reciprocation works.

Asking a question at the end of your post helps too. Like a pop quiz, people'll take a stab at answering it even if they have no clue.

The Phytophactor said...

An F1 is an offspring, and every offspring gives you a Darwinian fitness of 0.5 because they possess 1/2 of your genes. Darwinian fitness is a measure of how many copies of your genes are passed on to the next generation. But it gets tricky to calculate because you share on average 1/2 of your genes with each sibling, so each of their kids will increase your Darwinian fitness by 1/4, and so on. As for training, nothing particular is needed. You only need to screw around alot. Aren't you glad you asked?

Anonymous said...

Hehe. I see you're taking ForestJane's recommendation. So let me be game and proffer an answer: Yes. No. What was the question?

Actually, I am glad I asked, though figuring out Darwinian fitness looks a lot like math. I thought this would be something easy, like chin-ups. And furthermore, it pains me to know that the last president shares my own Darwinian fitness. On the other hand, the current president shares his fitness too, so maybe the two will cancel each other out and equal a Libertarian? (I've never been very good at fractions.)

Silliness aside, this does remind me of something that's been bugging me, and I hope the Phactor will indulge one more question. If each of my children has half my genetic material and half my husband's genetic material, does that make them more closely related to each other than to me or my husband? (I say yes; my opponent says no; if I lose, I have to read a book of his choosing, which wouldn't be so bad 'cause it would probably be something by Steven Pinker, but still. I hate losing even when I win.)


The Phytophactor said...

Each offspring is exactly 1/2 related to each parent, but only on average 1/2 related to each other. This is because of independent assortment. Each pair of chromosomes has a one half chance (50:50) of ending up in an offspring, but there are 23 pairs of chromosomes. So the odds of two non-twin offspring being identical (or not related to each other at all) is the same as flipping 23 coins and having them all come up heads times 2. It's a big number. So this bet is a hard one to call. Playing the odds says offspring and parents are equally related.

ilex said...

Doc, your blog rocks. Happy 100th.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dr. A.