Portal to the Universe

If you often talk about astronomy online, whether through your blog or something else, then Pamela Gay of Astronomy Cast and Star Stryder is looking for you. To support the International Year of Astronomy, she is involved with building the Portal to the Universe, which is going to be a clearinghouse for online astronomy content. If you have a blog about astronomy or something else with online astronomy content, then she wants to know.

Blog carnivals

Blogs are a great way to see what other people think and talk with each other. However, a single blog only includes what its writers express, so you could miss the chance to read great stuff in other blogs if you simply follow a fixed set of blogs. Blog carnivals overcome this by linking to multiple blog posts in a certain topic, so you can expose yourself to great content in blogs you've never been to before.

I've seen interesting content via blog carnivals, and I've also participated in a few myself:

If you like reading blog posts in certain fields but can't dare to follow every single blog in the world which talks about the subject, then chances are that there is a blog carnival you could be interested in. And if you write something great on your own blog, you might want to consider expanding your readership by submitting the post to a blog carnival.

Blogging has a glass ceiling?

It's been reported that while a roughly comparable number of men and women blog, blogs maintained by women apparently attract less attention. Some women believe that it's because people tend to take a woman's blog less seriously than that of a man. I have to wonder if this is really the case. In most of the blogs I read and comment on, I don't even know if the writer is a man or a woman, and frankly, I don't care. For that matter, I often don't even have a clue about a writer's race, age, job, etc. Am I an anomaly? Are there really so many people who read blogs depending on the writer's gender?

Scribbled word cloud

Generating word clouds from Wordle seems to be an up and coming fad. Based on words that appear on a web site or blog, Wordle generates an image of a cloud of words based on how often they appear and laid out in a hopefully aesthetic manner. It's a Java applet, so there isn't any worry that generating images will overload the Wordle server. Cosmic Variance and the US/LHC Blogs are two sites that have already succumbed to the fad. With such prestigious precursors, who am I not to follow?

Word cloud for Stochastic Scribbles generated by Wordle

Generating a word cloud for this blog, it appears that I've talked a lot about North Korea. This is somewhat surprising since I'm usually not very interested in keeping track of the totalitarian state. I'm probably talking about them a lot recently because they're acting even more oppressively than usual such that they're causing incidents which even I can't help but comment on. Other things that the word cloud indicates are that I appear to maintain an interest in Mars exploration and that I might have a thing for "incidents".

A change of name

I'm changing the name of this blog from Yoo's Ramblings to Stochastic Scribbles. One reason was to make it less ego-centric (or I should have gone all the way with "Yoo Chung's Blog" rather than the half-baked "Yoo's Ramblings"), and another was that it gives the nice, evil-looking initials SS. Somehow YR does not look as impressive ...