The Sunsets of 2012

A brief review.

Not a sunset, but moody and cloudlicious in a sunset-y way:

As always, we have one sunrise:

And as a bonus this year only, what was on the other side of the sky from that sunrise:

That’s not bad.

As one personal comment, I think I may have gone a bit overboard with the “dramatic contrast” sort of sunsets in 2012. Maybe I’ll have few more lighter ones in 2013.

Most Trafficked Whatever Posts of 2012

It seems unlikely that in the next two and half days the numbers will change all that much, so without further ado, here are the most visited entires of Whatever for 2012, in order of highest number of views.

1. Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is

2. Guest Post: A Doctor on Transvaginal Ultrasounds

3. A Fan Letter to Certain Conservative Politicians

4. Being Poor

5. A Self-Made Man Looks at How He Made It

6. Who Gets to Be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be

7. An Incomplete Guide to Not Creeping

8. Speech and Kirk Cameron

9. “Lowest Difficulty Setting” Follow-Up

10. Ten Things Teenage Writers Should Know About Writing

I’ll note that “Straight White Male” was far and away the most viewed piece of the year, with more than twice as many views as “Transvaginal Ultrasounds.” Between here and Kotaku, which reprinted it, it was viewed (and hopefully read) a couple million times, and engendered (heh) quite a bit of discussion out there on the tubes. It’s easily the site’s biggest hit, as it were, since “Being Poor”; it was certainly interesting being the center of attention of the Geekosphere for a couple of days.

Speaking of “Being Poor,” the piece was highlighted on’s front page this year, which boosted its numbers considerably. It’s likely it would have been in or near the site top ten for the year anyway — it really is a perennial, with new people discovering it every year — but it’s nice to see the piece still having a significant impact after seven years. Likewise, “Ten Things” keeps trucking along, in no small part, I would assume, to its Google search placement, which puts it at the top or near the top of all the search variations of “teen writing advice.”

It occurs to me that of the pieces in the top ten this year, they fall into two very wide categories: Me explaining¬†something¬† or me thumping on people (or some combination of the two). Explaining things and thumping on people have their downsides, of course; do them poorly in either case, or both, and you become a textbook example of a blowhard. I don’t doubt there are at least a few folks out there who would say “yup, that’s you, all right.” And, well. Fair enough. I do try to use my blowhard powers for good, not evil.

This year I also managed to arouse the ire of a whole stack of racist, sexist, homophobic dipshits with the above posts as well as several others. If I did nothing else with my year, this would have made it delightful to me. They also gave the Mallet of Loving Correction plenty of use when they would drop by the site and learn to their surprise that the sort of smug trollery that passes for thought in the land of epistemic closure doesn’t get past the door here. This is not a delight to me — trolls are always irritating — but whacking them so that the conversational level here remains high has its own grim level of satisfaction.

In all, a spirited year for Whatever, in terms of posts. We’ll see what next year brings.