My Top Ten Posts

WordPress comes with a fairly impressive site stats facility, which I regularly check out, to see what’s being read, what’s being searched for, and so on.

And one thing in it that’s attracted my attention recently has been the list of All Time Top Posts. Usually when I write something, there’s a burst of interest about it for a day or two, and then after that nobody reads it much. But some posts garner quite long term interest, and they gradually accrue a mounting hit count over subsequent weeks and months, and these are the ones that go to make the Top Ten.

And the Top Ten are a pretty strange bunch of posts.

In at Number 10 out of over 1000 posts is Richard Dawkins v. Rowan Williams, which was originally posted on 21 Feb 2012. It was a bit of a nothing post in which I said that I was going to be rooting for the Archbish in his encounter with Richard Dawkins (which in the end was pretty tedious). But I guess there are enough people on the web that are interested in these two to ensure a regular trickle of visitors.

Just above it, at Number 9, is We’ve Stopped Spending (rpt), originally posted on 16 Feb this year. That was an interesting post that explored how smokers not only spend less in pubs and cafes, but also on pretty much everything else. Which kinda strongly suggested that smoking bans might cause recessions. It gathered 78 comments, which is quite a lot for me.

Next up is Letter To Linda at Number 8, after being published on 3 Sep 2011. This is an open letter to Linda Bauld, one of the major professional antismokers in Britain. And it’s completely devoid of vitriol. Now the only people that I think will be reading this will be antismokers like Linda Bauld. So the high ranking of this one suggests to me that quite a few antismokers read my blog.

At Number 7 is another improbable post, in the form of What Did Cameron Veto?, a sort of non-story from December last year about how David Cameron didn’t really veto some EU proposal, because there wasn’t one on the table. I have no idea who would want to read this.

At Number 6 is a solid smoking-related post in the form of 110 Passive Smoking Studies. It’s pretty much exactly what it says it is: a list of 110 Passive Smoking studies, of which 90% or so show no significant health risk from passive smoke.

At Number 5 is another smoking-related post, Two Smokers, published 6 Feb this year. But the two smokers are Lana Del Rey and Leonard Cohen, and so I’m riding a little on Lana’s rise to international fame over the past 6 months, and Leonard Cohen’s long term fame.

At Number 4 is another oddity from December last year, Spanish Smoking Ban to be Amended? This was a story that died a few days after it first broke. The new Spanish Prime Minister, Rajoy, had said shortly before the election there that he didn’t think the smoking ban was fair or even-handed. That probably won him the votes of quite a few expectant smokers. But more or less as soon as he’d been elected, he scotched any idea that he was going to do anything of the sort. Which goes to show what bastards politicians are.

At Number 3 is what remains my all-time highest single day hit count of almost exactly 1000 hits: Miss Colombia Going Commando. It’s (one of my) my Lad Mag post(s). And it just goes to show what pulls the punters in, and why the Sun and the Mail and all the rest keep selling papers.

At Number 2 is perhaps my most tongue-in-cheek post, Pall Mall Blue. They’re the cigarettes that Lana Del Rey smokes. It’s a post I still enjoy reading occasionally. And it’s the fastest climber in this little hit parade, getting 10 or 20, and even 30 hits a day. It’s a page that seems to have its own fan club, almost. And the numbers of fans seem to be growing rather than dwindling. It overtook Miss Colombia a week back, and looks set to catch up with the current Number 1 Greatest All Time Hit in another 2 or 3 months.

And that’s Smoking Down, Lung Cancer Up, which is another solidly smoking-related piece about how the incidence of lung cancer just kept on rising while smokers were giving up smoking. It’s attracted steady interest since April 2011 when it was first published.

So from that, I figure that if you want to get lots of hits you’ve got to have a picture of a scantily-clad Lana Del Rey, and maybe David Cameron and Richard Dawkins and the Archbishop of Canterbury as well (although I’ve not come across too many pictures of scantily-clad Archbishops of Canterbury), at some conference where they’re all talking about passive smoking and lung cancer.

That looks like the winning combination: cheesecake and lung cancer. I bet the Editor of the Sun could never dream up that combination.

But I may have just managed to do exactly that today. I’m expecting a tidal wave of hits tomorrow.

About Frank Davis

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18 Responses to My Top Ten Posts

  1. Na well. Here is your first…. :-))

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    I want 4 wives all exact models of Lana del ray…….scantily clad in garters and stockings, smiling and chanting my name……………….ohhhh harley!

    Then I got hit in the head,the real wife caught me dreaming again!

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    The fastest ban ever repealed
    Would You Sign the Petition Against the Tobacco Ban?
    Many downtown businesses started a petition Friday against the tobacco free ordinance in the city of Norcross.

    Many businesses in downtown Norcross have taken part in a petition against the tobacco-free ordinance that passed during the May city council meeting.

    The ordinance, which bans all tobacco products from being used on all city property such as sidewalks and city parking lots, is scheduled to go into effect July 1.

    In order to gain signatures against the ban, downtown businesses such as 45 South Cafe, Iron Horse Tavern and Good Things placed petition sheets in their establishments Friday.

    Would you be willing to sign the petition against the tobacco free ordinance? Tell us in the comments.

    The reason for the petition is because many owners, such as Edna Berkshire of Taste of Britain, believe the ban will hurt their shops by scaring away potential customers.

    “It’s just not good for business. It’s not good for the image of Norcross,” said Berkshire. “We’re trying to bring people into Norcross, but then we’re saying, ‘Don’t come here if you smoke.'”

    She said that she and the other business owners want to sit down with the city council and talk about a way to amend the ordinance. The owners most likely will address the issue at the next council meeting June 4, she said.

    Some businesses such as the Anna Balkan Gallery and Paizano’s have chosen not to participate in the petition.

    As of Tuesday afternoon, the number of signatures at each business ranged; one shop received as many as 24 signatures while another had a little as four.

    The petition is written as follows:

    “We, the undersigned, call upon the Norcross City Council to amend the new Tobacco Free Facilities Ordinance (Ordinance No. 13-2012, Chapter 3, Sec. 5-1.) prohibiting tobacco use on all city property, including parks and sidewalks, but not the streets.

    The new smoking ordinance infringes on our civil rights and possibly our constitutional rights.

    Whether smoking falls under the freedom of expression in the First Amendment is something that has been debated for many years.

    We concede that smoking has indeed been linked to lung cancer, but then alcohol has been linked to liver disease and traffic deaths, and fast foods have been shown to contribute to obesity.

    If we continue to control the use of tobacco products so strictly, then these other practices should all be strictly regulated as well.

    It is our right as Americans as well as tax payers to smoke or not. We live in a Democracy where “We” are allowed to make “Our” own decisions.

    WHEREFORE, we the undersigned hereby petition the Norcross City Council to amend the new Tobacco Free Facilities Ordinance to allow smoking in outdoor areas.”

    What do you think about the petition? Do you think the city council will listen if the petition has enough signatures? Tell us in the comments. … e-petition
    I can teach you about Leadership,but nothing about submission.
    harleyriders saying

    Kim Civins
    7:53 am on Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    I would not sign the petition. I appreciate having clean air to breathe when I’m on the sidewalk.

    Reply Delete john davidson
    8:10 am on Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    Clean air ehh! Auto and Diesel exhaust right there and you complain about some cig smoke my GAWD!
    There is no clean air anywhere on the planet and never has been you breathe in over 100,000 chemicals at any given time just from the natural air make-up and then your own exhalations add to the mix in the naturally occuring air anywhere. In fact the chemicals in tobacco smoke are naturally occuring everywhere and nobody can diseminate between them in the air,Thats why the Tobacco control nuts went with continine levels to try and diseminate between second hand smoke and natural chemicals in the air as nioctine is the only chemcial thats especially peculiar to tobacco smoke! Yet we find Nicotine in tomatoes,potatoes etc……these levels are naturally occuring too!


    Sarah Bakhtiari
    9:34 am on Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    Ross Kaul, the councilman who spearheaded the tobacco free initiative, announced this morning that he has asked the city council to repeal the tobacco free ordinance at the June policy work session. Details on that to come.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Councilman Asks to Repeal Tobacco Free Initiative
    Ross Kaul, the original go-getter for the ordinance, announced that he has asked the council to put the repeal on its June policy work session.

    john davidson
    11:59 am on Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    Councilman Kaul said:
    It’s all about education, and it’s about where we stand and if we want to increase the quality of life,” he said. “Do we want to have another generation of children that come along as smokers? That’s what it’s all about.”

    Its amazing Albert Einstein smoked,perhaps if it wasnt for his pipe helping him to concentrate the theory of relativity would have never been!
    The Founding Fathers also smoked as they wrote the Constitution,even the Declaration of Independence is stained with Nicotine Residue.
    Perhaps if our children arent exposed to the American Tradition of smoking and its enjoyment,just maybe they wont grow up to be Americans at all. In fact lets help them grow up to be Blindly led little Dictators,forcing their views by legislated Bulliness upon the masses of those lessers in the world. You will submit!

  5. junican says:

    I have just amused myself by leaving a comment at the Norcross Patch.

    I noticed that the councilman brought out the old chestnut about ‘for the children’. What amazes me that these people have theffronteryry to steal from parents the right to bring their children up as they wish, within the law. This principle applies to plain packaging and all the other ‘for the children’ claims.

  6. lecroixkwdjer says:

    Still dunno who Lana is and I have not checked out her music. Just because I don’t wanna know too much about current stuff. It’s my pet peeve. But she damn sure looks mighty pretty. It’s a bit sad #4 in your list only served to see “what bastards politicians are”. Well, that is what I felt, for the first time in my life. I am quite the late bloomer.

    Those 110 studies, I use all the time. And also I have too stopped spending (number 9). Dawkings (number 10) is kind of a mistery to me. I am mostly on his side, but he is too agressive on believers (only Christians of course). Maybe he is just like me, and feels persecuted because of his ideas and so he is mad. But franklyI think he is a bit unfair. The Vatican is a fallen giant. Don’t kick’em when they are down. Just let them be.

    My two cents, after finally I feel relieved because I completed translations for ISIS. It was weighing heavily on me. Never imagined those “artistic” programs such as Photoshop or Corel could be so complex to the untrained mind.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Still dunno who Lana is

      Well, she’s not Spanish, even if she’s given herself a Spanish-sounding stage name.

      • lecroixkwdjer says:

        That is true. Her name sounds very Spanish (totally. A literal translation would be Lana the king-related). I have noticed some Spanish-speaking celebrities, or even companies, favor English-sounding names. That sounds exotic. And I have noticed the opposite is true. English-speaking celebrities or even companies favor more Spanish sounding-names. If you sell let’s say relaxing pills for English-speaking customers, you might favor Relax-o, instead of Relax-ing. In Spanish, they do the same the other ay around and instead of Relajación, they may go for Relajation (which would make no sense to English-speaking people, but sounds exotic to people who speak Spanish).

        • Frank Davis says:

          Is Lana a Spanish name? I know that ‘del Rey’ means ‘of the King’.

        • lecroixkwdjer says:

          No, it is not. Literally “Lana” means “wool” in Spanish. But there are many diminutives thay may fit the bill. People tell me names in Spain are becoming more and more exotic, a phenomenon not uncommon in the USA recently. So “Lana” sounds perfectly Spanish-exotic and also perfectly English-exotic. I know “Wool of the King” sounds silly. But who’s gonna know? A name is just name. there was this character in Asimov’s novels called “Gladia Delmarre”. Delmarre, when pronunced with English phonems, sounds almost identical to Spanish “del Mar” (from the sea). And “Gladia” can be from latin “sword” that also gave name to a flower (Gladiolo). Was Asimov trying to call her Sword (or flower) from the sea? I think he, again, just wanted something exotic-sounding. Just like our beautiful Lana del Rey.

        • lecroixkwdjer says:

          Or much like my Lecroix Kwdjer….There is no Lecroix in French. Just Lacroix (the cross, female connotation). Lecroix is “the cross” too, but with a male connotation. In Spanish it would be “La Cruz” (female connotation) or “El Cruz” (male). The meaning in Spanish would be vastly different.

        • lecroixkwdjer says:

          And since I am still here, again, I might just as well explain “Kwdjer”. It comes from “Kaw-Djer, an obscure character from an obscure novel from a very well-known novelist. I loved the novel and I felt a bond with the character. When the smoking ban hit my life, there was a need for an alter-ego who would pick up the fight, and Kaw-Djer pushed through everything without asking for permission. He demanded the “a” be dropped and also the hyphen. He also wanted a first name, and he wanted something French-sounding. I will never understand why. And so the first name became “Lecroix”. A couple of months later, I discovered that a Spanish translation of “Lecroix” posessed very poetic meanings, all open to interpretation. By then, the character had its own life and had sucked me in. When I fight the ban, I am Lecroix Kwdjer. Funny thing is, when you type the real character “Kaw-Djer” in google, you get but a few hits. “Lecroix Kwdjer” gets (right now) 2,690 hits. He’s a busy little bee, this one.

  7. jaxthefirst says:

    Perhaps your regular followers could offer up their own little “never forgotten” favourites. My personal fave of your offerings, sadly, hasn’t made it onto your top ten, and it’s much too late for me to trawl through your back catalogue to try and find out what it was called, but you wrote it about (I think) a year ago, and it was a short run-down of history showing how periods of increased tobacco usage exactly mirrored a flowering in creative arts, poetry, great writing, technical innovation, expansion and innovation whereas low tobacco-usage times were invariably times of low prosperity, lack of imaginative drive, lack of progress, stagnation etc etc.

    And today, with its lowest-ever tobacco usage since its introduction to the western world, just look at the lack of imagination, creativity and real progressive innovation there is around – not just in terms of major things like masterpieces of art and books or in energetic, imaginative public policies, but in everyday life and the way people do everyday things like their work or how they conduct their social lives or their relationships. There’s a real lack of excitement and enthusiasm in the way most people do most things these days. No positive, human – what’s the word – oh, yes, passion about anything. Coincidence? I don’t think so. And your piece summed it all up perfectly.

    So that’s my gauntlet thrown down. C’mon, all you other regulars – let’s have your votes!

    • lecroixkwdjer says:

      My favorites talk about anger and hope. About tears trickling into streams and flowing into unstoppable rivers. Dunno how much passion is out there. I am hoping ISIS can tell me.

      Frank’s blog helped me though this ordeal. I was oh so green.

      So my vote is for anger and hope.

    • Rose says:

      Though I shamelessly use Frank’s blog as an archive of quotes and links, without doubt the post that has been most useful to me is “WHO FCTC”.
      I can do the research, but I have difficulty expressing how that affects everyone on a personal level.

      Frank has no such problem.

      “The measures recommended in these guidelines aim at protecting against interference not only by the tobacco industry but also, as appropriate, by organizations and individuals that work to further the interests of the tobacco industry.

      What all this means is that the legislation cannot be allowed to be “subverted” or “interfered with” by not just the tobacco industry, but organisations or individuals who further the interests of the tobacco industry.

      And “individuals” means me.”


  8. lecroixkwdjer says:

    #4 back on the table? Rumors point to a relaxation of the smoking ban in Spain, again.

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