Friday, March 18, 2011

The great plogging thread

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For those of you brave lads and lasses who valiantly defy modern convenience and prefer to manually open the blog in a browser over checking it up in an RSS reader, you may have noticed I’ve just now made a few additions to my blogroll (Favorite Haunts, right sidebar) that were frankly quite overdue (though some of which I’ve only just discovered). In the spirit of both plogging* some decent locales and (of course) self-indulgence, I thought I’d dump a list of my RSS reader entries here along with a quick explanation of why you should also already be following them as religiously (har) as I do.

    Blogging Fodder Collectors

  • Bad Astronomy – Phil Plait (aka Bad Astronomer)
    One of the skeptiverse’s central hubs of critical thinking, Phil’s blog is a delightfully quirky mix of level-headedness, debunkings of anything from antivaccination lunacy to perennial (and perennially bogus) end-of-the-world myths, amusing(ly bad) Photoshopped images, geekery, and (of course) more astronomy than you can shake a telescope at. A reliable source of magnificent photos.

  • Pharyngula) – PZ Myers
    Arguably the most well-known atheist in the blogosphere, PZ helms the most popular science-themed blog on the ’Net, and for good reason. This is the place to go for all your needs regarding biting sarcasm, mallet-like doses of reality, hardlined anti-theism, expertise in science (specifically evolutionary biology) and all-around anti-stupidity and ignorance. I don’t always agree with his views (or his obvious enjoyment in being a firebrand, nor his childish poll-crashing), but in general, a more than welcome inclusion to any skeptic’s reading list. Also, has a peculiar fetish for cephalopods.

  • Dispatches from the Culture – Ed Brayton
    If not my favorite blog(ger), then easily the one from whom I get the majority of my blogging fodder. If you’re looking for sharp and concise (and informative) retorts to idiots and ignorami saying or doing bad things, especially regarding legal/criminal or church-and-state issues, Ed’s always happy to deliver.

  • Friendly Atheist – Hemant Mehta (occasionally Richard Wade, Jesse Galef, and a few others)
    Perhaps a more grounded and pragmatic form of atheism to PZ’s more uncompromising tone, Hemant the “Friendly Atheist” is always quick to respond to cases of social, political and religious injustices with a calm yet unflinching rationalist perspective. Total vegan. Features biweekly atheistic advice columns by Richard Wade.

  • Respectful Insolence – Orac
    Renown for both his dogged stance against anything pseudoscience and his incredible loquaciousness, Orac is your one-stop resource for anything regarding the combating of antivaccination, homeopathy, faith healing and other forms of medical quackery in general. Absolutely hated by all the big cranks out there, so you know he must be doing something right.

  • Blag Hag – Jennifer McCreight
    “McCreight is always right” – other than being a useful reminder for how her name is properly pronounced, it’s also a decent description of her “liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist[ic] feminist[ic]” stance on things. Includes plenty of academic insanity. Also a total Pokémon freak. (Don’t ask.)

  • The Agitator – Radley Balko
    Libertarian journalist focusing on criminal justice issues, from the wretched War on Drugs to the wretched concept of prosecutorial immunity, and many other equally wretched ills resultant from the dangerously bloated and mismanaged US justice system. Avid photographer and doggy fanatic.

  • Forever In Hell – PersonalFailure
    Odd how a blog with “Hell” in the name can feel so comfortable. The daily musings and snark-filled rants of an atheistic, poverty-stricken, quasi-socialistic chronic pain patient, traits that force one to evaluate the often less-than-charming underbelly of our society. Total Girl Genius fanatic, dubber of my Nize Hat!, and overall invaluable blogger. But then, what else can you expect from the maybe-eventual Empress of the Entire Freaking World?

  • Uzza’s Notes – Uzza
    Basically PersonalFailure’s sharp-toothed cousin, blogging-wise. Started off reading and critiquing the entire Koran, and is now slowly tackling the Bible, always with her vicious wit. One of ’em radical feminists. She says she sometimes goes easy on me because of my age. I say, maybe she just has a thing for whippersnappin’ know-it-alls. :3

  • Diaphanitas – Diaphanus
    He introduced me to Otaku. I should forever hate him for that, but instead, I just keep coming back to his repository of Latin and anime geekery, atheistic philosophy, sexy anime girls, and generalized randomness. (… Okay, so it may mostly be the sexy anime girls. Whatevs.)

  • Right Wing Watch – Kyle, Peter, Brian, and maybe a few others
    Easily the best recourse for all things religious-Right. If Christian-conservatives are up to something, this team of superhumanly patient bloggers will let you know about it.

  • Information Is Beautiful – David McCandless
    One of the treasures of the Web, this appropriately-titled blog presents some of the most beautiful and useful infographics available anywhere. Because nothing helps to put mountains of complex data into perspective like a few lines and colors. Updated rather sporadically, but updates are always worth the wait.

  • Political Irony – Iron Knee
    For your daily dose of level-headed liberal-minded political commentary and some of the best political cartoons around, this is the blog for you.
    (Note: The blog feed seems to be acting up in my RSSOwl reader; anyone else having problems with it?)

  • Margaret and Helen – Helen Philpot
    Who knew that some of the most insightful and entertaining commentary on the Internet would come from the meanderings of two elderly ladies? Fiercely liberal, clear-minded and sharp-tongued, this is one blog that needs to be in your favorites list, even if it isn’t updated all that often.

  • The Daily Grail – News Briefs – Greg, red pill junkie, Rick MG, & more
    This quasi-daily stream of utterly random news is one I regularly check up on. I tend to ignore much of the site – not into “magick and myth”, myself – but those News Briefs are as useful to the average blogger as any.

  • Blogger Buster – Amanda Kennedy
    The absolute resource for all things Blogger customization. Simply put, this is the one instrument I used (other than a few random others for details) to change my little blog from this to what it is now. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, you don’t belong anywhere near a blog.

  • Necropolis

  • Vox Popoli – Vox Day
    I don’t really know just why I keep perusing Vox Day’s blog. Maybe it’s the unbridled sexism, or the amusingly inane anti-atheist diatribes, or the arrogance-of-ignorance-fueled anti-scientific bashings, or the pseudo-intellectualism that perpetually conflates knowledge for wisdom. Because as learned as Vox may be about some things, he continually displays an amazing cluelessness regarding the very societal issues he enjoys pontificating against. Either way, this is as entertaining a target-rich environment as I can find.

  • Ray Comfort's Blog – Ray Comfort
    Widely considered to be one of the stupidest men alive, I honestly don’t think of the “Banana-Man” as unintelligent (at least, not sub-average) – merely exceedingly misinformed and completely unwillingly to be educated, especially when scientific principles come into conflict with his evangelistic beliefs. Ardent Young-Earth Creationist whose renown for such gems as claiming that the banana’s palm-fitting shape indicates intelligent design (which he now claims was a joke) and declaring that someone who falls to the ground is “violating the law of gravity”. Exasperating, yet somehow unable to be ignored.

I’m now opening the floor to suggestions for other blogs I should be following, myself. Go on, plug away!

* ‘Plog’ = Blog plug.