'Tis a bittersweet moment.
On the one hand, I am happy that the 102nd Meeting of the Skeptics' Circle has landed over at Bing McGhandi's place. Not only is it chock full of excellent skeptical blogging, but the story is amusing, as evidenced by this little taste:
BM: Next, Orac from Respectful Insolence has sent you a warning about Dr. Egnor, the intelligent design advocate and friend of the Discovery Institute.
RB: I know all about this Dr. Egnor. I intend to make him Surgeon [bleeping] General when I become President in 2016!
Oh, but who is RB, this evil incarnate who would appoint Dr. Egnor Surgeon General? You'll have to click on the link above to find out, but suffice it to say that he has perfectly helmet-headed hair and is unclear on the concept of what constitutes an illegal quid pro quo. And he is definitely evil.
Now, what makes me sad is that the Skeptics' Circle is going to go on a brief hiatus until January 15. The reason is simple. Two weeks from today is New Years Day. Not only is it a major holiday, but, after Christmas, it second worst day for blog traffic of the year. I realize that our intrepid and most excellent hosts don't just host because they love skepticism (although they do). They also want to have their work brought to the attention of a larger audience, and how are they going to achieve that when overall blog traffic is in the crapper on January 1? So I, your benevolent Skeptics' Circle overlord, made a unilateral decision to cancel the January 1 Skeptics' Circle, despite the pain. Besides, why would I draft some poor skeptic into working on New Years' Eve when he or she should be out partying, only to have all that work fail to reach as wide an audience as it otherwise should?
Truly I am a benevolent overlord. I think only of my hosts and contributors.
One beneficiary of my beneficence will be Bug Girl, who will be hosting the next Meeting of the Skeptics' Circle four weeks from now at Bug Girl's Blog on Thursday, January 15. One other thing: Despite the prolonged break between Skeptics' Circle #102 and #103, please do not view this as an opportunity to slack off. Rather, view it as an opportunity to have extra time to help Bug Girl put together the greatest, most kick-ass Skeptics' Circle ever seen! The guidelines are here!
Finally, why not make a New Years' resolution to host your very own Skeptics' Circle? This is all it takes. Well, that and passing through a skeptical gauntlet of fire run by yours truly. Actually, that "skeptical gauntlet of fire" is more like a Bic lighter. All it means is that I peruse your blog after you drop me an e-mail request to host, and if it doesn't look as though it might be Deepak Chopra, David Kirby, Dr. Egnor, or some other maven of pseudoscience trying to pass himself off as a skeptic in order to subvert the Circle, you're in. Oh, and your blog has to have at least a couple of posts on it that would be at home in a Meeting of the Skeptics' Circle. That's about it. It's a small bar to get over for the glory and fun that is hosting a Skeptics' Circle.
So what are you waiting for?