Your 2010 Favorites

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Since it’s the last day of 2010, I thought that, instead of my usual installment of Small Wonders, I’d take a quick look back at some of the year’s highlights on Wonderland. (Granted, I only started this blog on September 1, so this is really a look back at just the last quarter of 2010.) As I mentioned on my very first post, this is the first blog I’ve ever written, and I still have lots to learn. So I thought it would be instructive to see what posts of mine had proven most popular over the past few months.

Before I get to the list, let me say this: It’s very exciting for me to see what you all liked the best. When I started this blog, I was nervous about my lack of focus–I have many scientific interests, and I couldn’t imagine narrowly focusing on one field or subject here. So I decided to embrace my broad interests and my love of the scientifically quirky. So it gives me great pleasure to see that your favorite posts are all over the board–these posts are hugely different from one another, which makes me think that there is, indeed, a desire for this kind of freewheeling, curiosity-cabinet-style blog. And that makes me happy.

And now, onto the results.

5. A Tadpole Taste Test with Students as Mock Predators. An interesting hypothesis–do well-camouflaged tadpoles taste better than those that live out in the open?–combined with a genuis method (Feed tadpoles to graduate students!) made the study described in this post a favorite.

4. Mom and Pop Parenting: Determinism Strikes Again. One of the most substantive posts, scientifically speaking, that I did, exploring how oxytocin does–and doesn’t–influence gender roles in parenting .

3. A Science Writer Reads the SkyMall Catalog: A long, boring plane ride inspired me to riff on the pseudoscience that peppers this famous in-flight magazine.

2. When a Deaf Man Has Tourette’s: My very first substantive post way back on Sept. 2. I’m thrilled that this post turned out to be so popular, because this case study–about a man who uncontrollably signs curse words–illustrates all the things I love about science and neuroscience and the human brain.

1. In Which We Learn that It Is Unwise to Drink and Handle Snakes: The winner by a landslide. And to think, I almost didn’t post this. I wasn’t sure that there was enough “hard science” here, but the popularity of this post goes to show that if the story behind a scientific paper is compelling enough, the science itself doesn’t need to be terribly involved.

Thanks for reading over the past few months. I hope you keep reading–I’ve got some big plans for the coming year. Happy New Year to one and all!

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