Jan 05

Nacle Notebook 2014: Funny Comments

This post is a list of some of the funniest comments I read on the Bloggernacle last year. (Here are links to collections from previous years, in case you enjoy this one and haven’t seen them before: 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008.)

Most of the quotes are excerpts from longer comments. Also, I’ve made a small change from previous years: this time in addition to comments, I’ve included a few post excerpts, in cases where the excerpts can be appreciated as standalone comments. I haven’t included any of the many funny posts I’ve read that were funny end-to-end, since excerpting from such posts would mean losing the context and the full effect of the humor.

I’ve made each commenter’s name a link to the original so you can go read them in their full glory and original context if you wish. I’ve put the quotes in roughly chronological order.

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Aug 06

Which GAs Do Readers of Different Blogs Like?

I thought this might be a fun question to look at, and thanks to Facebook’s Graph Search, I have at least an approximate way to answer it. Graph Search will let you look for people who “like” different combinations of pages. (For the remainder of this post, I’m going to drop the quotation marks on “like” when describing Facebook likes, because they just get tiring to look at, and I figure you know what I’m talking about.) Most blogs that I wanted to look at have a Facebook page that readers can like, so I just looked up people who liked the Facebook page for each blog, and then looked at how many of each of these people liked each member of the Quorum of 15. One small difficulty I encountered is that Graph Search is more interested in showing me individual people than in giving me an exact count (which makes sense given what Facebook is for). It estimates the number of people who like a blog page and a GA page as more than 10, or fewer than 1000, or whatever, but I couldn’t get an exact count without repeatedly scrolling to the bottom of the results so that it would pull up even more results until it could find no more.

One thing I wanted to adjust for is that the general membership of the Church likes different Q15 members more or less often on Facebook (as I’ve blogged about before and plan to again). So I thought it would be most interesting to see which Q15 members are most liked by readers of different blogs, compared to how often the GAs are liked overall. For example, President Monson alone accounts for nearly 20% of all likes of Q15 members. If he gets only 15% of likes given to Q15 members by readers of a particular blog, this indicates he’s less popular among readers of the blog than among members in general (even if he still gets more likes than any other Q15 member from readers of the blog).

Here are results for ZD. The differences are in percentage points (the percentage of all likes of Q15 members going to this member among likers of the blog minus the same calculation for all Facebook users). I put the First Presidency at the left because a lot of the action is there, and then put the Q12 in order of seniority. Note that I’ve added the colors just to make it easier to see who is who at a glance. A lot of these graphs look similar, so I think it can be helpful to have the colors so you can easily look for the same person as you look across graphs.

zelophehad's daughtersWell, that’s a pretty straightforward pattern. ZD readers like President Uchtdorf. They really, really like him. Most everyone else falls below overall norms to compensate.

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Mar 11

Is There a Way to Find Common Ground?

Last year I was on a long car ride with my parents, who were visiting from out of state. My mom and I ended up having a discussion about gay marriage, and it was then that I started thinking about this problem of finding common ground–that is, the problem of Mormons like me and Mormons like my mom being able to rejoice and be edified together as we discuss difficult gospel topics–rather than starting a cage match that ends in tears (probably mine, since my mom is a tough cookie), recrimination, the silent treatment, and (God forbid!) unfriending on Facebook. (I’m happy to say that so far none of these things have happened, at least as far as I know.)

I realize that saying that my mom and I represent two types of Mormons is a vast oversimplification, one that does not fully capture our similarities, and one that does not fully acknowledge that there are lots of types of Mormons–probably as many types as there are Mormons. Even so, I think it is useful to place us in two broad categories that are familiar to Mormons who frequent the Bloggernacle. Continue reading

Jan 06

Nacle Notebook 2013: Funny Comments

This post is a list of some of the funniest comments I read on the Bloggernacle in 2013. In case you haven’t already seen them, here are links to similar lists from previous years: 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008.

The comments are in roughly chronological order. Most of the original comments are longer, and I’ve only taken excerpts. Each commenter’s name is a link to the comment in its original context, in case you want to see where they came from.

Fair warning: This is kind of a long post, so you might not want to start it unless you have a little time to spare. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks to everyone who contributed to making me laugh so much as I read the Bloggernacle this past year, including both the comments I’ve listed here as well as all those I had to exclude to keep the post to a manageable size.

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Jul 12

Free to Be…You and Me

The big toe on my left foot is purple and the nail, like the hair on my head, is starting to fall out. I wish I could say this was an unusual state of affairs, but ever since I took up soccer again, I find my body perpetually suffering from minor traumas.

While limping around the house last week I thought about why I do this to myself. It seemed easier years ago. As Paul Simon sheepishly laments, “And all my friends stand up and cheer and say, ‘Man, you’re old.’ Getting old.” But stubbornly in my middle age (can 42 really be middle age?!), I still do it to myself, cursing as I play, that the 22 year-old I know I am inside has mistakenly woken up, through a tragic, Freaky Fridayesque accident, in an over-the-hill body. Now, the easy solution to this discouraging reality would be to stop playing. A less drastic measure might be to not play so hard—less recklessness, lower risk of injury. More brain, less pain.

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Mar 01


My husband and I are working on adopting, which is a large part of why I’ve been mostly absent here for the last year. I wrote this post last night on our adoption blog, but I thought it might generate some good discussion here, and go along nicely with some of the recent posts, so I’m cross-posting it.

Anyone who knows me know that I’m a pretty honest person, and I don’t sugarcoat things. Especially when it comes to my kids and mothering. In fact, this blog is probably about the least honest I’ve been, and even here I don’t feel like I’ve been at all dishonest, I just don’t have nearly enough whiny posts up for you to realize how whiny I can be in real life. That’s probably okay. A little less whining is good for me, and you probably appreciate not hearing so much of it. I know it grates on my nerves when my kids do it, so I really ought to be setting a better example.

But that’s not really why I’ve avoided my tendencies toward whininess here. (What do they mean, whininess isn’t a word? It totally is.) I’ve avoided it here because for the first time in a very long time people are judging me and I care what they think. Continue reading

May 06

Fan Mail

Anyone who has a blog knows that the ratio of spam to actual comments is crazy high. On ZD over the past five years, we’ve had about 16,000 comments—and 215,000 pieces of spam. Fortunately almost all of it gets caught, though some occasionally make their way through. (More unfortunately, sometimes actual comments get mislabeled, so do let us know if your comments are disappearing.)

One of the entertaining things about these fake comments is that they often try to seduce you with very generic flattery.  But hey, at least we’re getting fan mail. So I thought I’d respond to some of it.

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Oct 04

New Mormon Blogs

Launching today are two new Mormon group blogs. Wheat and Tares features many of the bloggers who recently left Mormon Matters. Also launching today is Doves and Serpents, where “Daily columns will cover Arts, Film, Religion & Spirituality, Family & Gender, Service, ‘Exploring the World’ and more” (quote is from their Twitter feed).

Rumors that a third new Mormon blog, Seagulls and Crickets, would also be launching today have not been confirmed.

Jun 20

Nacle Notebook 2009: Funny comments

Last year I compiled some of the funniest comments I had seen in my reading of the Bloggernacle in the previous year into a post.  I got a lot of positive comments on the post, so I’ve decided to try it again. Here’s my list of some of the funniest comments I read in the Bloggernacle in 2009. Of course, I’m only one person and I can only read so much of the Bloggernacle, so I’m sure I missed a lot of good stuff. If you’re so inclined, please feel free to share other funny comments from 2009 in the comments.

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Aug 31

My Nacle Notebook 2008: Funny comments

During the Niblets, a random John said that he enjoys looking back at the stuff that gets nominated more than he enjoys the voting. I tend to agree with him. There are all kinds of interesting, funny, amazing, and touching things written in the Bloggernacle. But I have a short memory, and I typically don’t think about even the best of what I read for more than a day or two.

In an effort to improve my Bloggernacle experience, I’ve started bookmarking posts and comments that strike me. This way, when current discussions get too acrimonious or repetitive, I know I can always go back and find my own favorite pieces of writing.

So, on the assumption that a random John and I are not alone in enjoying looking back at favorite stuff, let me share some bits of my Nacle Notebook with you. I’ll start with the comments that made me laugh.

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May 06

Nacle Numbers, 2003-2008, Part 1

Last year I threw together a big pile of numbers, counting during the previous year the number and length of posts and comments on 11 Bloggernacle blogs, as well who wrote them. A question that came up a few times in the ensuing discussions was what the numbers would look like across several years. So for this year, I went back and collected some of those numbers.

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Apr 26

Ten Thousand Comments

In our recent discussion of theory and practice, ZD hit 10,000 comments.  (The 10,000th comment, by the way, was Geoff J’s #6 on that thread.  Congratulations, Geoff; your prize, a T-shirt that says “This is What a Feminist Looks Like,” and a subscription to BUST magazine, will be in the mail.)  I have to say that it’s a bit strange to think that our relatively small blog has this many comments.  (Just think of the number of dissertations that could have been produced by all that writing.  Of course, they might not have been coherent dissertations.)

Comments, I think most bloggers would agree, are both one of the most fun and one of the most challenging aspects of running a blog. Continue reading