I had completely forgotten that today was my 2nd anniversary as a blogger until my girlfriend sent me this photo a bit earlier:
Apparently, as there were no number 2 candles (cf. last year), she instead made two cakes (possibly setting a dangerous precedent in the process!).
I can't believe that it's that time again – I've now been talking to the internet for two whole years! It's been really busy period for me in real life but in contrast a quieter one for BRSM. Although I've written 5 papers, I've only managed 44 blog posts in the past 12 months, which is unfortunately quite a bit short of the one-a-week target that I try to aim for. How people like Derek, CJ and See Arr Oh write so much decent stuff, I don't know!
I still think of this a total synthesis blog—after all, it began with me reading a Totally Synthetic post one day and thinking "I could do that!"–but it seems that the posts that get the most hits tend to be the ones based on random observations or conversations with friends. For example, here are my top posts of 2012-13 (In descending order of pageviews):
1. Where Did It All Go Wrong? – I probably wrote this in about 10 mins after glimpsing a ridiculously misassigned structure in J. Nat. Prod., but a link from Derek probably helped this to the top.
2. Drugs I Shan’t Be Taking This Week 1: 2,4-Dinitrophenol – I really have no idea why people keep reading this. It must be high on some Google search!
3. And Now For Something Completely Different 4: Wikipedia Fun – Based on the chance tea time observation that my PhD supervisor is outranked on Google by a number of golfers and DJs with the same name. I think that occasional commenter Martyn (of gyrofaunal fame) did most of the legwork for this one.
4. Superlatives 3: The Longest Polyene – A friend emailed me a photo (thanks, James!), which I posted.
5. A Birthday Surprise for K. C. Nicolaou – Inspired by a drunken conversation in a pub.
Not a single scheme in sight – I am constantly surprised by what you guys will read!
While I'm reminiscing, I'd like to thank this year's three guest authors: my long-time benefactor DrFreddy, who promised me a post 'about teenage love, the Greenwich Observatory and TNT' that he surprisingly was able to deliver; Brandon from ChemTips, who wrote about Hanessian's recent full paper on pactamycin; and Siddharth Yadav, whose post on pentacycloanammoxic acid will be up later in the week. Conversely, I also wrote my first ever guest post, which attempted to give some practical advice for the Birch reduction, over at ChemTips. I also contributed a little bit to Blog Syn, by mostly failing to reproduce other people's work. I hope that we'll find a way to get that site going again!
I'd also really like to thank everyone who has gave me advice for my imminent move to the US whether it was in person, on twitter, or via the recent mini-carnival that Jess and Freda organised. Hopefully I'll catch up with some of you one day!
Finally, thank you all for reading and commenting! I don't know what a couple of years in the US will do to my ability to spend hours messing around on the internet, but hopefully I'll keep this thing up for another year!
1. This claim would be a lot less impressive if I told you where we sent them...