Fourth Annual VWXYNot? Readers’ Choice Comment of the Year Award!

(I’m off sick with a really nasty cough for the second day in a row, so I’m pushing this out a day earlier than planned ‘cos I’m bored)

So as regular readers know, every Friday, more or less, I choose my favourite comments from this blog (and my favourite posts I’ve read on other blogs), and list them in the sidebar under the title Bragging Rights Central. In December I go through the archives, tally the wins (congratulations again to Ricardipus (most mentions for best comment, for the second year running) and Steve Caplan (most mentions for best post)!), pick my favourite comments of the year, and let my readers vote for the winner.

This is no easy task – I’m lucky enough to have some amazingly funny and insightful commenters, and it’s sometimes hard enough to choose the best comments of the week, let alone the whole year! I had to cut some really, really great comments from my not very short list, and as always I’m really sorry not to be able to include everyone.

This year’s 12 choices are below, and you should can click through to the original posts to read the comments in context. This may be more important for some comments than others… I’m looking at Prof Curry in particular!

But first:


  1. All regular and irregular commenters and readers are encouraged to vote! Lurkers, this includes you – and why not delurk in the comments at the same time? 😉
  2. Please vote for your favourite three (that’s right, three) comments using the poll ONLY (link at the end of this post). Any votes cast in the comments on this post, on Twitter, Facebook, other people’s blogs, or by carrier pigeon WILL NOT COUNT.
  3. Please vote only once each
  4. Please vote for three different comments as your first, second, and third choices
  5. Please do not vote for your own comment!
  6. If you’re nominated, please feel free to link through from your own blog so all your own readers see the poll. HOWEVER, please link to THIS POST, rather than directly to the survey, so everyone who votes sees all comments in full (and all the rules 🙂 )
  7. Voting closes at midnight (Vancouver time) on December 31st
  8. The points for each comment will be tallied as follows: total points = (3 x number of first choice votes) + (2 x number of second choice votes) + (1 x number of third choice votes)
  9. In the event of a tie, I will choose my favourite of the tied comments (I won’t vote otherwise)
  10. The winner will be formally announced as soon as the NYE hangover clears
  11. Prize: ultimate 2012 bragging rights AND a CAD40 Amazon gift certificate


(in alphabetical order by commenter’s first name):

1) Bean-Mom for “it’s surprising the gaps in knowledge highly educated people can have. One of my favorite examples: one morning during his medical residency, my husband got a telephone call from a colleague. Afterward, he just kept shaking his head. His colleague, another medical doctor in her pediatric residency, had dropped her hairdryer into the toilet that morning. She unplugged it, but she was now staring at the thing, afraid to touch it because she thought the toilet water might be “electrified” and she was wondering when it would be safe to fish it out. She had called two other colleagues previous to my husband, and neither of them had a clue. Three people, all of whom had gotten through college and medical school.”

2) Beth Snow for “Any time I get an email with “gentle reminder” in it, I picture the person who sent it red-faced and screaming “WTF is wrong with you???!!! Why haven’t you sent me that [insert item name] that I already asked you for 17 times???!!!””

3) Eva for “The world is a lab, but the gel is badly cast.”

4) John the Plumber for “Has this layman got it right Cath?

Neither the originators of the ‘high’ science, nor those who peer review it, are capable of presenting it in an understandable way, so they employ you, who must both understand the unpresentable, then present it understandably, in order to get funding from those who would otherwise find it incomprehensible – so your value to both science and laymen is inestimable.”

5) John the Plumber for “wouldn’t it be more sympathetic to use lemmings as the laboratory animal of choice to be < alive. Whilst it might be a misconception that lemmings like to commit suicide, I’ve yet to find a truly suicidal mouse, – On the subject of mortality, it’s disappointing to learn from Mike that Stieg Larsson has died. As a dyslexic myself, I found comfort groaning at his sentences which he wrote with a hardened steel roller ball pen, puchased from the shop next door to Ikea, straight after he had bought his walnut topped desk with the oak legs, on his way to the library. The librarian, a most helpful blonde haired woman, dutifully sought the book he required, explaining that her hobby was knitting and that she always had two hardboiled eggs for breakfast at the Umqvist Cafe on Sodemalstrada. Now I feel guilty about the whole thing.”

6) Mike for ““Some people are still getting used to the way in which us Brits speak to each other, in particular the use of insults to show affection”

No we don’t. Idiot.”

7) Mike for “I’m pretty sure the tickle monster sign is actually a warning: “Danger! Canadians aren’t quite as good at the Gay Gordons as they think they are.””

8) Nina for “NZ celebrates “the queen’s birthday” too. But always on a Monday, because otherwise what is the fun of a dead queen’s birthday.

My Spanish colleague was equally confused when me and a German colleague tried to explain 2 long weekends to her. A few weeks back was ANZAC day, which is something like memorial day for Aussie and NZ. There is also an ANZAC Biscuit (which the girls used to sent to the boys at the front). So My German colleague said “You know, ANZAC, like the biscuit”. To which the Spanish lady answered “A holiday for a cookie, and one for a queen that is not there anymore and not on her real birthday either. It’s fine by me, but I don’t understand”.”

9) Richard Wintle for “Completenes. The ancient Greek god of proofreading.”

10) ScientistMother for “Like Nina my non-Christianity knowledge meant I was completely oblivious to the fact that the lion was supposed to be Jesus. Apparently its a “known” incarnation.

But seriously Lions are the symbol of Sikh men. Singh means lion in sanskrit and is the middle name of almost all Punjabi males (my hubby and son incl). Really, I grew up thinking the aslan was a kick ass punjabi sikh. Fuck Jesus. Maybe [CS Lewis] needs to realize that the lion can be whoever the fuck we want him to be.”

11) Stephen Curry for ““A His-tag!?!””

12) Sylvia McLain for “ICK Cath – all I can say is I think that is the worst thing we have to do – I hate end of grant reports – its like showing your mom your grade card – yuck”


Click here to vote – THANK YOU!

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
This entry was posted in competition, meta, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Fourth Annual VWXYNot? Readers’ Choice Comment of the Year Award!

  1. Mike says:

    I’m not sure I’m happy with the summary of #6 you made for the Poll. I suppose I asked for it though.

  2. chall says:

    no whiniiiiing? really? pah 😉

    You’re awesome! It’s so fun with these things, first the blog posts, then amount of comments and now the witty ones. (sadly I’m not in there… althuogh, I can’t say I’m surprised ^^ )

  3. Nina says:

    Being at home with a massive headache and bored, like you, I remembered I still had to vote! Then I re-read bean-mom’s comment about highly educated people’s knowledge gaps, and realized I had just had a strange train-of-thought (no doubt because of the head-splitting): I skyped with a friend the other day, she in the Nehterlands, me here in NZ. The friend was in bed with the flu. I caught myself thinking “maybe she infected me”. That’s how real skype is.

    • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

      Hee hee! You’d better update your computer’s anti-virus protection!

      Hope you feel better soon. I just found out that getting a cold can trigger the onset of asthma. Who knew?! Well, at least now I have an inhaler (two, actually) that work, rather than cough syrup that doesn’t. Hopefully I can get more than an hour or so’s sleep at a time tonight, for the first time in over a week…

      Hopefully the asthma will go away within a few weeks, but apparently it might be a permanent fixture from now on 🙁

Comments are closed.