Okay, Who’s Huffing Vicks VapoRub?
Nov14

Okay, Who’s Huffing Vicks VapoRub?

One of the fun things about having a blog is the traffic analytics feature on the dashboard of WordPress (although I really miss the features of SiteMeter that don’t run on WordPress because it doesn’t accept JavaScript. But I digress.) Besides the addictive nature of looking at one’s traffic numbers, I always find it interesting to look at the search terms that bring people to our humble little corner of CENtral Science. I became hooked on this way back when I started the original version of Terra Sig on Blogger: in February 2006, I had an unusual spike in traffic originating from the UK via the search term “terra sigillata.” So, I posted this and learned this. Usually, search term hits tell me that something has come up in the news. But, alas, I cannot find anything recent that would account for Vicks VapoRub to elicit much searching. Perhaps telling is that all 27 searches came via a misspelled search for “vicks vapor rub.” (By the way, the search term brought folks here to read this post I wrote on Vicks VapoRub after a 2011 PR snafu with journalists like Ivan Oransky at Reuters Health. I ended up writing a bit more about the North Carolina pharmacy history that brought the world this lovely concoction.) I do know that misguided youth will huff volatile chemicals for the acute high one might get. Vicks is most commonly used to enhance the experience of MDMA (ecstasy) – I’ve seen kids at raves wearing N95 facemasks inside which they have smeared the VapoRub. So, what’s with you people wanting to know about Vicks...

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Top 10 most-read posts of July
Jul31

Top 10 most-read posts of July

Being a scientist and writer of a science blog, one can’t help being mesmerized by the statistics behind one’s readership. Over the last five years I’ve been quite surprised to see what posts garner a large number of readers and comments and which ones don’t (more often those that take a lot of time to write). As posts gain traction among Google search returns on popular topics, you’ll often see old posts continuing to be among the most-read for months after writing. So here are some data for you as well as a nice list of posts that you may have missed first time around: 1. iAroma synthetic marijuana and the loss of Max Dobner – 16 July 2011 – 1,022 views, 4 comments 2. DEA already admits defeat on synthetic marijuana ban? – 02 March 2011 – 833 views, 23 comments 3. Flurry of FDA action against aromatase supplements – 27 September 2010 – 490 views, 5 comments 4. Amy Winehouse found dead in London – 23 July 2011 – 395 views, 3 comments 5. What’s the buzz?: Synthetic marijuana, K2, Spice, JWH-018 (repost) – 07 September 2010 – 352 views, 20 comments 6. SciAm blog network follow-up – 11 July 2011 – 324 views, 12 comments 7. Welcome Scientific American blog network! – 05 July 2011 – 307 views, 17 comments 8. Fingolimod (Gilenya, Novartis) for multiple sclerosis – 11 May 2011 – 249 views, 2 comments 9. “Synthetic marijuana” chemist John W Huffman interviewed on regional NPR program – 26 January 2011 – 187 views, 2 comments 10. Poppy seed tea can kill you (repost) – 13 April 2011 – 185 views, 2 comments A few interesting observations: Only four of the top ten most-read posts in July were actually authored in July Two posts weren’t even written this year Four posts dealt with some aspect of synthetic marijuana chemistry and pharmacology Three posts dealt with death Two posts dealt with the blogging community Synthetic marijuana users and bloggers are most likely to comment on blogposts about them And which one surprises me the most? The post on aromatase inhibitors being in dietary supplements. These agents, developed originally to treat breast cancer, have found increasing use in bodybuilding and in testosterone-deficiency of aging (now called “low-T” in pharma commercials). The post hasn’t drawn a comment since November but “aromatase inhibitors” remain one of the top search terms that bring readers to the blog. I’m not sure if those readers are seeking information on breast cancer or testosterone replacement therapy. Happy analyzing, reading, or...

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