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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fresh Brainz 1st Birthday!

Fresh Brainz is ONE year old today!

The mascots have turned up en masse for the celebration. Nick, Brad, Pikaia, Svetlana and Sally are here ...

... and oooh there's chocolate truffle cake for everyone. But before I light the candle, let's take a quick walk down memory lane!

Fresh Brainz was not my first attempt at a science & entertainment periodical. Many years ago, I created a newsletter called GIS-Celle which was supposed to inform and amuse fellow researchers.

Unfortunately it never took off and died after two issues.

Its highest readership was five people. Including me.


Despite its happy-go-lucky quirkiness, Fresh Brainz was born from despair. It rose out of the ashes of disillusionment and the ruins of my devastated self-esteem.

Instead of spreading misery around by ranting aimlessly like some MySpace blog, I decided to salvage whatever creativity that's left from my emotional wreckage and write science articles that are easy to read and somewhat funny too. opened its doors on 11 July 2006 and was immediately read by (you've guessed it!) five people daily.

This is how Fresh Brainz looked like after it moved to Blogger Beta back in September 2006 ...

... and this is how it looked like in June 2007.

Today, Fresh Brainz has 182 posts and is read by 100 readers daily.

This is a modest achievement, but fellow science bloggers know that building readership in this niche area is an arduous endeavour.

Top science blogger Prof. PZ Myers suggests that a new blogger should be patient:

The key words are fearlessness and persistence. Readers will reward you for speaking your mind - no matter how controversial you might be - but it takes a long, long time to build up a presence on the Web.

Without the support of fellow bloggers, my family, friends and lab mates, Fresh Brainz could not have lasted this long.

I would like to thank my supporters:

Dr. Andrew Thompson
Jonathan Loh

I must also thank these bloggers who provided a much needed confidence boost during the early days:

Andrew Tingle (Thoughts From The Sidelines)
Patty (Sea Blue Green)
Mathia Lee (Aaeskay's Blog)
Jeremy Barker (Popped Culture)
Sivasothi (Otterman Speaks)

And to thank some readers who have given me useful advice and encouragement:

Dr. James Mello

*clicks the lighter*

*lights candle*

And of course, a big THANK YOU to all Fresh Brainz readers!

Here, have a slice of chocolate truffle cake.

Bon appetit!


Julia said...

Happy birthday Fresh Brainz! I hope your blog goes from strength to strength - 100 readers is most impressive!

ah said...

Happy Birthday Fresh Brainz!

Right, to put a truly British dampener on the celebrations I've been ordered by the Lao Ban to 'Get on your case'. So, er... less Fresh Brainz and more cloning of Oppossum Oct4 and Nanog into that CAG vector.

I'm not threatening you, but Paul Verhoven and Nazi's... Right? I'm just saying is all. No harm done. I like nazis too. And breasts. I like breasts.

Kevin Z said...

Happy Birthday Fresh Brainz! You were actually one of my first readers. Good luck in the next year.

Anonymous said...

Well done! Happy 1st year.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

To Julia, Kevin and Patty:

Thanks for your encouragement and support! I wish you all a fun and fruitful blogging experience!

To AH:

Heh, don't worry, I'm ligating stuff while typing this. Lao Ban will "treat" me to a capful of Laotian snake whiskey if I don't meet the dateline.

So when is our Paul Verhoeven appreciation day?

Sivasothi said...

Hey FB, hooray! Happy blog-birthday! I have been reading your posts of late now that I have my mac and feeds settled and its really good to have you around in the biology-blogosphere!

Lim Leng Hiong said...

To Sivasothi:

Thanks for your encouragement and for subscribing to Fresh Brainz!

Have a great weekend!