MetaCognitions | 2015: The Year in Review — the Good, the Awful & the ‘Meh’


The past year was a mixed bag where I’m concerned, though on its own merits survivable. I’ll begin first with the good stuff, as I prefer a positive start.

The Good:

On this blog, there was the posting of Slimy Great Old One, whereby I parody Jimmy Buffett’s tune Pencil Thin Mustache, there was a talk given by Carol Dweck on how mindset can influence how the brain works, and the concept of fluid intelligence, and a debate on Facebook which went rather well, all things considered.

In January, the Dawn probe visited the Dwarf Planet Ceres in the main asteroid belt, the first such body visited closeup.

In April, there was the news that North and South America have eradicated Rubella, with no home-grown cases in five years…

In May, Ireland approved marriage equality by popular vote in a ‘yes’ vote by all but one of its 43 parliamentary constituencies.

In June, Cuba was declared by the World Health Organization to have eliminated mother-to-baby HIV transmission, a first!

In July, the New Horizons probe made its historic flyby past Pluto, planet or not, completing the initial reconnaissance of large solar system bodies known prior to the 1980s.

September brought us evidence of liquid water on present-day Mars, and,

…a new species of humanity was discovered, the remains found in a South African cave, Homo naledi, another branch on the ever-expanding tree of human evolution and descent.

In November, the reason for the loss over time of the atmosphere of Mars was revealed, making any future prospects for terraforming the Red Planet very grim indeed.

In December, SpaceX successfully landed the Falcon 9 in a vertical takeoff/vertical landing operation from a successful satellite launch.

So, get this out of the way, let’s get on with…

The Awful:

The truly awful Chapel Hill Murders of three muslims over something as petty as a parking dispute, discussed better than I by AronRa and Mister Deity.

There was the passing of Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy on the 27th of February, and an awful thing indeed, though to be fair, his was a long and prosperous life, and I envy him for it.

August brought the death of noted neurologist Oliver Sacks from cancer. His too was a life well-lived and his contributions to neuroscience considerable.

And there was the death of my longtime friend and reader of this blog, Carl Powell, also from cancer on May 25th. He fought, oh damn he fought. He’ll be missed.

There were the murders of prominent secular bloggers in Bangladesh, in a climate of fear for Bangladeshi atheists there and abroad.

In December ISIL (DAESH) claimed credit for the attacks in Paris and elsewhere.

Finally, we have…

The ‘Meh:’

I’ve deleted several of my experimental WordPress blogs started in 2014, and changed the Theme of this and other of my remaining WP sites to their current layouts.

I’ve started several new features to this blog, cleaned up the site’s Categories, and several of the site’s more visited posts.


All in all, a passable year despite the horrible things going on along with the wondrous, with lessons to be learned from the sheer awfulness.

Here’s hoping this year is better, and if not, more interesting times in any event. And that’s just ‘interesting’ in the sense of the apocryphally-ascribed ‘Chinese’ curse.

In Soruggon,

Talotaa frang. Talotaa kas. Talotaa tranga suulat.


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