It's that time of the year. We've been past the Christmas shopping frenzy, now time to have a bit of a look at the year that past. I'll start with blogging.
To commemorate my appreciation to my fellow bloggers that have made my life that much more interesting over the last year, here is a list of my favorite ones and their respective blogs. The blogs list is sorted in the usual order I tend to start reading them in the morning, which – for the record - does not have much to say about my relative appreciation levels; order tends to be a matter of convenience:
- Yossi Gurvitz: A left wing Israeli blogger that turned lately into being my main supplier of impressions from Israel through his blog. That said, I actually got to know Gurvitz through his daily technology news column here. Note both sources “speak” Hebrew.
- Ronen Dorfan: Another Israeli blogger, but this time a sports blogger (here). The point is that having been raised in Israel, my sport preferences tend to be much more similar to Dorfan’s than they are to, say, the average Aussie. That aside, Dorfan specializes in shedding original light on sporting events, to the point I enjoy reading him even when he writes about sports I’m not particularly interested in. I guess that means he passes the ultimate writer's test.
- Renai LeMay: LeMay is running the best
IT news website in Australia, Delimiter. More than being a supplier
of news, I like LeMay’s personal opinion and analysis of events –
especially when he’s politically incorrect. It’s great to see
someone dare speak his mind up; the fact I’m almost always in
agreement helps. It’s interesting to note that while I would have
called LeMay a journalist, he claims to prefers the title of blogger (which, coincidently, makes us brothers in arms).
While on the subject of Delimiter, I would like to mention Jenneth Orantia who writes regular reviews for the site. More than any other technology reviewer I could find, her reviews seem to hit the point best in precision and relevance. I strongly suspect we have a lot in common, Orantia and I.
- John Scalzi: Enough has been said about Mr Scalzi and his blog on these pages; suffice to say he seems to be my favorite fiction writer at the moment. That aside, he's also one of my favorite bloggers - I would say his blog is not that different to mine, actually; only his is much better (and received more hits per hour than mine receives in a whole year). As I have found while reading his latest book, Fuzzy Nation, reading Scalzi's blog during the time he wrote the book (and, for that matter, following him on Twitter) has significantly augmented my reading experience. I could clearly see the blog behind his book.
- TorrentFreak: While the blog carries the name of the most popular file sharing mechanism out there, this blog is a pirate's most effective way of keeping up with the world. It doesn't [only] deal with how to best pirate stuff; it quizzes the whole system behind intellectual property from the pirates' point of view. Not shying from investigative journalism (as per its recent findings of rife piracy within the ranks of top copyright stakeholders), TorrentFreak has been known to supply headlines for mainstream media.
- Richard Dawkins Foundation: While the man himself rarely blogs, his namesake foundation is quite prolific and offers a blog full of science and atheism news. From the latest at CERN to the latest bus ad campaign, the Richard Dawkins Foundation has it all.
- dpreview: Undeniably the best authority on digital photography, I subscribe to the site to get the latest dose of photography news and updates. Most of the stuff there is irrelevant, but a quick browse keeps me up to date and the occasional gem of an article leaves me a better person.
- Terry Lane: Posting and writing for The Age as dpexpert, Lane keeps me informed on matters of photography that are particularly relevant to Australia. It also helps that his reviews are published long before dpreview's (although the latter's reviews are a marvel of thoroughness). I don't always agree with Lane, as in the case of his recommendation to buy European TVs over the Far Eastern ones due to the former's supposedly superior picture; I'd rather put my money on the best TV I can afford and then spend $100-$200 more on calibrating it. Still, there is much to learn there.
- PZ Myers: Myers' is one of the first blogs I got to follow, and indeed the man has been one of my favorite bloggers for several years now. Look no further for the latest politically incorrect analysis of all matters atheism, including ventures into Australian territories (supported by a long list of loyal local followers). There is some good humor around the octopus fetished Myers; his review of the latest in the Game of Thrones' book series, entitled Game of Drones, pretty much settled the matter of whether the books are worth my time or not.
- Cory Doctorow: Doctorow position in my life couldn't be any firmer, with him serving as a role model on many a front - from piracy (or rather, the open source culture) to science fiction. The trouble with following Doctorow through Boing Boing and his more personal blog is that they publish around 50 posts a day, only a fifth of which is Doctorow's; even then, a lot of the stuff Doctorow blogs about is to do with things that are of lesser interest to me, such as matters of the steam punk culture.
- Phil Plait: Not only the main culprit in making my four year old interested in science (through his awesome Bad Universe TV series), Plait is also a fine skeptic and blogger. His blog focuses on recounting the latest science news, in particular astronomy related science news, by explaining pictures and videos to the laymen. Needless to say, the occasional post on matters of skepticism (e.g., the anti vaccination movement) adds spice to an already interesting and educational blog.
Image by Lady Madonna, Creative Commons license