from the hoping-for-a-speedy-recovery dept.
The observant among you may have noticed I'd been posting fewer stories recently.
On October 27th I went to the hospital. After a physical examination, CT scan, and MRI, it was determined that I had had a minor stroke. I had mild loss of use of the pinky and ring finger of my left hand as well as some loss of fine motor control in my left arm and leg. A couple days later saw me in the operating room with a stent being inserted in my right carotid artery. I was released on Halloween day for a few days' recuperation at a relative's home and am now cleared to go back to work. I'm starting easy with slightly shortened work days, as I lack the stamina I had before.
Still, as these things go, I can't help but think of how fortunate I am. Nothing internal seems to have been affected (heart, lungs, etc. all working fine.) I am right-handed, so no problems there. No problem with talking or swallowing, so that's a huge plus. Thanks to neural plasticity and prescribed exercises, I have already mostly recovered. The lack of stamina manifests as my just being too tired after a day at work to be able to do much in the way of posting stories out to the site. As for my mind, I can attest that I am still as tarp as a shack! =)
As much as I would like to think I'll just bounce back to normal in no time, I acknowledge that my activities here will be at a somewhat diminished capacity for a while; time will tell.
With my absence, the rest of the editorial team rose to the occasion and kept the main page fed with stories. This meant extra time and effort on their part. Please join me in thanking Fnord666, Janrinok, cmn32480, takyon, chromas, NotSanguine, and CoolHand for their efforts to help push out stories to the main page. There were probably others whom I failed to notice; please accept my apologies for their omission. Call them out in the comments, and join me in thanking them for their efforts.
On a related note, it is my pleasure to announce that Fnord666 has accepted my invitation to step up to fill the position of Alternate-Editor-in-Chief. When janrinok was Editor-in-Chief (EiC), I accepted becoming Alternate-EiC, and when he stepped down as EiC, it was a privilege to take on becoming the EiC. I foresee no imminent demise on my part, but recent events made it abundantly clear to me the value of having this position filled. Please join me in congratulating Fnord666 on his promotion!
(For completeness' sake, I wish to point out that all of the staff at SoylentNews are volunteers. Nobody here has ever been paid anything for their work on the site. Any monies received when you subscribe go towards paying hosting fees, domain name registration, tax preparation expenses, and other costs required to keep this site running. Speaking of which, we are at nearly 70% of our goal for this half of our fiscal year—many thanks to those who have already subscribed!)
Lastly, I now place a request to the community. With the holiday season coming, my free time will become even more limited by work demands. It would be such a help to us to see story submissions from members of the community. It's really not that hard to do. Take a look at what the general layout of each article looks like on the site. Nothing very fancy or elaborate is needed. Click the Submit Story link in the SlashBox on the left-hand side of the main page of this site. Provide a title for the story, select a topic, provide a link to what you are writing in about, and a few paragraphs from the linked story would prove extremely helpful to us! We aim for mostly tech-oriented stories, but that is not an absolute requirement. Please submit your story in English (either North American, British or other variant is fine). Do be aware that we aim for balanced reporting here; attempts to push an agenda with one-sided, biased, or slanted submissions will likely result in the story being declined. The story submission page provides a link to the Submission Guidelines that, if followed, greatly improves the chance that your story will be accepted. (NB: We tend to relax the standards a bit on the weekend so as to include slightly offbeat or humorous stories; we appreciate a good laugh, too!
To those of you who may be celebrating a holiday at this time of year, on behalf of the staff at SoylentNews, please accept my best wishes to you and those you hold dear.
As the end of the year approaches, I extend my humble thanks to all of you who have subscribed to SoylentNews!
As of this writing, we have received $1799.47 towards a goal of $2000.00 for the second half of the year. All funds received go directly to supporting the site: web hosting, domain name renewal, tax preparation, etc. Nobody has ever received any money for their work on SoylentNews. We are staffed entirely by volunteers who give of their free time to keep the site running and the story queue filled. By my estimate, we have probably passed the minimum funds received that are needed to support the site for this half of the year... but actually reaching the goal would give us a bit of a cushion against the unexpected. To those who have let their subscription lapse and to those who may have never subscribed before: please subscribe and help us meet our goal.
Rarely mentioned, but SoylentNews does have a folding@home team which recently surpassed one billion points earned and now holds 218th place in the entire world! Here are views of their progress individually and as a team. Their efforts contribute to helping medical research into Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and many forms of cancer, among other diseases.
This Year So Far:
The SoylentNews web site has been available 24 hours day, 7 days a week... except for a couple relatively brief unplanned outages. Further our IRC (Internet Relay Chat) has been available throughout this time, as well. (There may have been a brief downtime due to scheduled Linode maintenance on our servers.) Also, behind the scenes, all the supporting back-end stuff has been chugging along: web servers, databases, caches, E-Mail processing, and lots more. Those of you who have been with us since the start remember the frequent site crashes of those early days. Often several times per day! The rarity of site crashes, now, is a testament to the hard work of many people who gave of their time and expertise to make SoylentNews so stable, today.
These are the folk who quietly mind the underpinnings of and automate everything so well you don't even know they are there and would likely feel embarrassed if attention were brouht to them. Please join me in thanking them, anyway!
The editorial staff at SoylentNews has posted 4,884 stories to SoylentNews since 2019-01-01. With a very conservative estimate of 5 minutes per story, that amounts to 407 hours' time. Put another way, that is 10 full-time person-weeks.
Please join me in thanking the editors who have so generously given of their free time to make this happen!
Lastly, I am taking advantage of this opportunity to again thank everyone who offered their support during my recent health issue. I'm still a little wobbly typing with my left hand's pinky, but as things could have gone, I'll take this any day of the week, instead! It is my sincere hope that by sharing my experience, it may help someone else make a change in their life and avoid my experience or much worse.