Closing the book on a fantastical 2013

As I am typing these words, I am at the end of a wonderful Christmas week in a house full of parents, and thankfully with heat and light after 32 hours without power in the aftermath of Ice Storm 2013.  The picture below shows the tree damage in my backyard, which will have to be dealt with… at some point, when the ice starts to melt away and I can get some traction walking in the backyard.

Some tree damage from the ice storm.  In my backyard near Toronto.

Some tree damage from the ice storm. In my backyard near Toronto.

With only a few days left in 2013, I declare this my last Atoms and Numbers post of the year.  I began writing a post on the recent launch of the Human Edge exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre, along with a meeting with a record-holding freediver who states that she can train anyone to hold their breath for three minutes.  That will (hopefully) be my first post of 2014.

The year 2013 ends for me in a different situation from where it started, as I now have interesting employment in Toronto.  An intensified search in September and October meant that I needed to put Atoms and Numbers on a hiatus.  This position, while mostly working standard business hours, has meant less time for writing, particularly in December when we had to scramble to get ready for the aforementioned Christmas visits. But it has all been worth it.

My blog highlights of 2013 include an article comparing the effects of exposure to WiFi with the effects of exposure to Sun (hint: only one can actually harm you).  This article was the most-read article of 2013, even though it was posted in late June.  I was also proud of an article dispelling myths about “water memory“.  I also contributed to ongoing discussion on addressing chemophobia, and offered some tips on how to start a science blog.  And while it hasn’t generated much traffic, I particularly enjoyed preparing my article on the dangers of the film used in early cinema.

As with many science bloggers, I write and publish because it is a rewarding hobby – and for some, it becomes more than a hobby.  I learn so much when I am researching articles, and I learn even more from reading the works of other researchers.  However, I admit to moments of wondering how much my blog is really being noticed.  In November, I received two encouraging emails in the span of a few days. My blog was shortlisted for a Canadian Weblog Award in the Science and Nature category; while I did not win an award, being named in the top 5 in a juried competition is a nice honour. At the same time, I was also invited to the preview of the Human Edge exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre as a local blogger. These gestures certainly help boost my confidence and motivates me to continue publishing in 2014.

And with that, I wrap up the year for Atoms and Numbers.  I am eager to see what 2014 has in store.

To all my readers, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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