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EM - We bid you farewell & Link to Effect Measure blog archive on FluTrackers server

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  • EM - We bid you farewell & Link to Effect Measure blog archive on FluTrackers server

    We bid you farewell

    Category: Blog ? Personal
    Posted on: May 16, 2010 1:30 PM, by revere

    It's been a long time coming but the time has come. Effect Measure is closing up shop, after 5 and a half years, 3 million visits and 5.1 million page views of some 3500. You commented on them some 37,000 times. It's been a grand ride but to all things there is a season. It's time to simplify my life and while my family has had me all along, at times science got short shrift. Now my time is getting short and I want to turn my attention to my research, the other polar star of my life. "Revere" will continue to post occasionally on Effect Measure's successor site, The Pump Handle (TPH), which will hold down the public health anchor position after EM is gone. We'll provide more details later this week when we officially hand off this spot to our friends and colleagues at TPH. Our archive will be folded into theirs, with details to follow when they are firmed up.

    I pondered long and hard about whether to mention names of the many wonderful friends, adversaries, readers, commenters, offline email correspondents, fellow bloggers, forum leaders and sources that made EM what it was. It's a dangerous thing to do because you inevitably leave out people whom you cherish, respect and, despite differences, have managed to develop a great affection for. So we're not going to do that. I hope you know who you are or at least realize now you fit that description even without recording your name. Having said that, we are going to make three exceptions, both for historical and personal reasons.

    The first is Jordan Barab, whose occupational health and safety blog, Confined Space, was a model for what can be done with the blogging form in public health. When we started EM, Jordan and I met for coffee at a local coffee house and he couldn't have been more helpful and encouraging. He was a pioneer in public health blogging and a master at it. When he became a senior congressional staffer he gave up the blog, but many of its functions were folded into The Pump Handle, so history is repeating itself. Jordan is now Deputy Director of OSHA. Imagine that.

    The other two names are the late Melanie Mattson and Greg Dworkin, known far and wide under his blog name, DemFromCT. When we started blogging about avian influenza at EM back in late 2004 it was a topic barely discussed in the blogosphere. Melanie and Greg, separately, were two exceptions and we began to correspond via email and link to one another. When one of my commenters suggested my ever more numerous flu posts could be collected in a wiki format, I suggested it to Greg and Melanie and Flu Wiki was born. I was there at the founding, it is true, but like a delinquent parent I soon had left it to Greg and Melanie to raise the infant site without much help from me. And they did, in grand fashion. Melanie was a very sharp, deeply concerned and committed person who worried tremendously, perhaps excessively, for her fellow humans. She had a difficult and troubled life, and died too early. She was a blog pioneer and is remembered with deep affection by many of her fellow bloggers. As for Greg, if I didn't know him personally I would suspect he was not a person at all but a group of people. A front-pager at Daily Kos, perhaps the world's biggest blog, and one of the main anchors of Flu Wiki, Greg is a practicing pediatric pulmonologist who sees flu at the bedside but also has a public health perspective. When he blogs on health topics as DemFromCT at Daily Kos he does so with the eye of a consummate expert. His politics are progressive as befitting someone on the front lines of the battle to make this a better world. He is also a friend. My hat's off to you, Dem. You're still at it. I don't know how you do it -- but I'm glad you do.
    So that's it, folks. We'll follow up soon with information about The Pump Handle, where you might occasionally catch a glimpse of us. But we can no longer blog day in and day out and sporadic blogs lose their audience quickly. EM is now passing into blog history, a good approximation of oblivion.

    So it's time to bid you a farewell and we are doing it in the most literal sense: a wish that wherever you fare, you fare well and safely and in peace. It's what we wish for everyone and what this blog was all about.

  • #2
    Re: EM - We bid you farewell

    Dearest Revere(s),

    I am sad for myself and for the world -- but glad for you and your family(ies) -- that you will be posting less often.

    I hearby nominate EffectMeasure to be the first online World Heritage Site. It should be preserved forever.
    Posted by: Jody Lanard M.D. | May 16, 2010 1:35 PM

    2 Many happy years left, and if you post at Pump Handle when you want, that'd be great!!
    Thanks so much for your kind and generous words.
    I'll miss this very unique and high quality site.
    Cheers and best wishes!
    Posted by: DemFromCT | May 16, 2010 1:41 PM

    3 There's no way we at The Pump Handle can thank you enough for all you've contributed to the public health community and to us personally over the years. You've been a rock and an inspiration. We can't fill your shoes, but we'll keep applying all we've learned from you.
    You have much to be proud of, and we have much to be grateful for.
    Posted by: Liz | May 16, 2010 1:51 PM

    4 Rats.
    Posted by: Jude | May 16, 2010 1:57 PM

    5 I'll miss you, but thanks for the introduction to The Pump Handle. Agreeing with Liz that (a) You Rock and (b) You Inspire. All the very best...
    Posted by: Hugh Blackmer | May 16, 2010 2:11 PM

    6 I have followed Effect Measure pretty religiously over the past 5-6 years, learning much about science, public health, politics and the politics of public health in the process.
    You folks have done the world a great service. I will miss these wise voices and I know I'm not alone in that.
    I second Jody's suggestion.
    Best wishes for the next phase.
    Helen Branswell
    Posted by: Helen Branswell | May 16, 2010 2:11 PM

    7 Originally, I came to this site for a better understanding of flu virus. But it wasn't long before the music and the spirit took me back to the old days. Thanks for the reminder Reveres.
    Best Wishes.
    Posted by: Granny Sue | May 16, 2010 2:13 PM

    8 Rats, indeed. Now how am I going to justify my blog surfing at work?
    In all seriousness, I was introduced to EM by a colleague who said it was the only blog he'd ever found worth reading. You have directed me to a few more. I can't count the times I've quoted something that's been said here or linked to a particular post. I'm truly sorry to see you go. It has been a great run. Thanks for everything.
    Posted by: Man of Misery | May 16, 2010 2:16 PM

    9 You had a good blog, and I'm sorry to see it go. Your swine flu coverage was great.
    Posted by: IanR | May 16, 2010 2:20 PM

    10 Your blog has been a keystone in my Google Reader for years. Thank you for your time and efforts.
    Posted by: Nate | May 16, 2010 2:23 PM

    11 I would second Jody's suggestion.
    The archives of EM contribute immensely to the Internet's value as a research tool. I go back and use them often myself, and what little I know about influenza and epidemiology I gleaned from your site.

    While saddened by this news, I understand how much daily blogging requires in terms of one's life. I wish `you guys' the best, and look forward to your guest appearances on the Pump Handle.

    You described it well. It's been a grand ride. Thanks for inviting us along.

    Posted by: Michael Coston | May 16, 2010 2:34 PM

    12 I have really enjoyed reading Effect Measure! And The Pump Handle as well, which I'll continue to read. Thank you for all you do.
    Posted by: george.wiman | May 16, 2010 2:35 PM

    13 I'm very sad to see you go. This site has consistently been honest wise writing. You've helped define public health.
    Posted by: hankroberts | May 16, 2010 2:37 PM

    14 I am so sad to hear this news.
    It is only fair to admit that my sadness is partly selfish; your collective expertise and skill have been a bright thread that reporters such as myself could rely on to guide us through the worst confusions of the H5N1/H1N1 years. Without your wise counsel, what will we do? But I am sad as well for the loss of a thoughtful and unafraid voice for public health; there are not many, pace Greg and Liz, and y'all leave big shoes to fill.
    At the same time, the blog's pace of publication has been phenomenal; it is no wonder you all need ? and much deserve ? a break.
    Looking forward to seeing you at TPH. Warmest wishes meanwhile,
    Maryn McKenna
    Posted by: Maryn McKenna | May 16, 2010 2:40 PM

    15 Darn. I will really miss Effect Measure.
    Posted by: Marilyn Mann | May 16, 2010 2:58 PM

    16 A bitter pill.
    I've used 24 hour scroll as one of my main sources of news, insight and entertainment. IMHO it has been a remarkably well rounded resource. Anything of any import shows up.
    In the middle of the rants, conspiracy fantasies and outright lies from the denialist all around Effects Measure was a place to get the facts, the real, reality-based insights, a bit of humor, and a touch of rough justice. You got us, me, through the swine flu and the cross-winds of flying BS. I'm still not sure which was worse. At least there is a shot to help counter the swine flu.
    It was a painful loss when Yong and Rocket Science left, I drop by Discovery now and then but I have to make a point of it. Now Effect Measure will be soon but a memory. Adding TPH to my things to do, and making a point of doing it makes it a once in a while event.
    Things change. I really wish they wouldn't. I liked reading your blog. It made me feel a little special knowing I had a reliable source for good information. You're going to be missed.
    Posted by: Art | May 16, 2010 3:22 PM

    17 My favorite public health blog or website of any kind, and certainly the one that really got me motivated to delve deeper in to the issues I was learning about in school, although I am no longer an undergrad. If I continue on to any measure of academic success, I can safely say I owe a large part to you, Revere, for helping give perspective to what may sometimes appear to abstract scientific concepts.
    Thank you for everything and good luck in the future.
    Posted by: Undergrad in TO | May 16, 2010 3:34 PM

    18 Thank you, Revere. Both for the classroom and continued teaching through EM.
    Posted by: Student (former) | May 16, 2010 3:35 PM

    19 Thank you for all you've taught us, Revere. We'll miss you. Good luck with you work.
    Posted by: caia | May 16, 2010 3:38 PM

    20 We'll miss you. The Pump Handle may take over the public health function, but who will deliver our Freethinker Sunday Sermonettes and blog about manhole covers?
    Posted by: chezjake | May 16, 2010 3:41 PM

    21 Good luck with your future endeavours!
    Posted by: Blake Stacey | May 16, 2010 3:54 PM

    22 What Jude said.
    I must admit I was only a semi-regular reader, but I always knew an EM post would be worth investing the time in: a place to savour. The scientific blogosphere has lost one of its better corners.
    Good luck at The Pump Handle, and in the Real World. We which you well - all of you.
    Posted by: Bob O'H | May 16, 2010 3:56 PM

    23 Thank you.
    I believe the past tense of Revere is Revered.

    Posted by: another | May 16, 2010 4:07 PM

    24 Well folks you can forget it. I got about 70 emails this morning after Revere posted this up as to WHO HE WAS ! My answer remains as it has been for years, you can have it over my dead rotting corpse.
    As a knight of the church Revere and I batted heads, got people out of prison (Bulgarians) and agreed, disagreed and agreed to disagree. I came from the position of faith, he came from the position of science...Sounds a lot like the Catholics and Galileo a bit doesnt it? But I defended his position as it was with mine... mostly unprovable one way or another. Even my Bishop said that he would have loved to have had him to dinner ... Both the Bishop and I love the discussion of the existence of God and try to get those that disagree to prove us wrong.
    But through this all he has steadfastly remained a good blog buddy and he has lost some friends like Melanie along the way and indeed his family must come first. The time he has left should be spent with them. We finally agreed to disagree on mandatory healthcare... it was indeeeed getting old. I will hold a place in heaven for him because his attempts at healthcare were honest, open and were to help humanity. What can be more godly than that?
    So Revere... I want you to go with this in your heart and soul if you can find it later (he-he) and remember that with the help of 3000 soldiers, 800 airmen, and the email and phone numbers to the Libyan Embassies in 25 countries you made a difference. I have NO DOUBT in my mind that once we put our heads together that we righted a wrong and got those doctors and nurses released after years of political captivity.
    I wonder though if those emails from the nerds in the 4th ID herd were a bit over the top..? We made offers to drop cruise missiles into the back seat of his limo and we told him we missed him badly and that we wanted to visit really bad... Maybe it was those recon photos that showed him going to his girlfriends house?
    Well maybe but once the racket started the Libs decided that it was a good idea to release them if for no other reason than to keep their servers up...We crashed them over and over again. One geek had a randomizer going that was offering all sorts of "persuasion" almost 25,000 times per hour. So many dictatorships, so few servers?
    But you made the difference Revere and that is all we can ask for in our lives..
    You did.
    Aw shucks....

    Posted by: M. Randoph Kruger | May 16, 2010 4:21 PM

    25 You will be missed. You had a positive impact on my life whether you realize it or not.
    Thank you for sharing with me how an atheist thinks and feels, although I am a believer in God I've gained a respect for the atheist community. Now if just more of you could get into governmental positions.
    I've been coming here five years revere and will think of you fondly whenever I see an old Volvo moving down the road!!
    Posted by: Lea | May 16, 2010 4:23 PM

    26 You have been many things to many people, on-blog and off. Personally, I have always found you to be an inspiration and role model, in science, career, and in giving a voice to one's profession when the public (and some fellow scientists and clinicians) may not fully realize the impact of one's work.
    Public health has been one of the most important contributors to our large increase in lifespan since your namesake worked in the field. But we take it for granted in part because we cannot see lives saved.
    Maryn McKenna's points in #14 should not be underestimated. While "what a science blog should be" is debated endlessly, Effect Measure has been what a science blog should be and strive to be. Your learned and measured voice in areas from flu to BPA to popcorn lung has provided reporters and writers with an unequaled source for highest quality commentary to understand and translate complex scientific information.
    You have many other talents and your readers have only seen a small glimpse of your gifts in conveying the tumultuous sixties. You've continued to live a life of activism and idealism, using this forum to play a role in the release of the unjustly imprisoned Tripoli 6. And your challenge in late 2006 for us scientists to have the humility to consider that chicken soup may indeed inhibit neutrophil chemotaxis led me to write my only post to ever be included in the Open Laboratory anthology. You've helped me learn, you've made me think, and you've helped me appreciate what it means to be a scientist, family man, and a compassionate human being.
    And the irony is not lost on me that my favorite atheist should sign off with Pete Seeger's adaptation of the passage from the book of Ecclesiastes.
    I could go on but I know there are many others who have their own memories and appreciation to share. I thank you for many things and I wish you well.
    Posted by: Abel Pharmboy | May 16, 2010 4:29 PM

    27 You have been an entertaining and very educational read for a layperson such as myself.
    Enjoy the family and the science.
    You will be greatly missed.
    Posted by: karen | May 16, 2010 4:43 PM

    28 Au Revoir, Reveres!
    Posted by: Pierce R. Butler | May 16, 2010 4:51 PM

    29 As sorry as I am to see this blog go, I'm always stunned that good blogs last as long as they do. The amount of work involved is astonishing.
    Thank you for providing it, and best wishes to you and your family.
    Posted by: Molly, NYC | May 16, 2010 5:05 PM

    30 But I love you old hippies to bits. Old school progressive public health isn't easy to find afterall.
    See you at TPH instead.
    Posted by: antipodean | May 16, 2010 5:31 PM

    31 Thank you for all the time and passion you've put into this blog. Like Karen, I'm a layperson, one who didn't even know I had an interest in public health until I stumbled across this blog. I've learned so much, and I've forwarded many, many of your posts to friends.
    Thank you as well for the links to so much great music. You've got impeccable musical taste!
    I will miss this blog dearly, but I am happy that you will gain time both to spend with family, and to do science.
    Here's a celtic sendoff for you.

    Posted by: C. Corax | May 16, 2010 5:48 PM

    32 Simply - Thank you for everything for all the years. All the best to you and your near ones. ?Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.?
    Posted by: sharon sanders | May 16, 2010 6:25 PM

    33 Awww, too sad. I'll miss you guys!!!!
    Posted by: Scicurious | May 16, 2010 6:51 PM


    • #3
      Re: EM - We bid you farewell

      Some have asked me what would happen if I or Sally, who are functioning as the main administrators of FT at this time, would decide to "retire" from operating FT.

      We have a different organization than Effect Measure. We are actually a legal charity incorporated in the state of Florida, in the United States. When I was organizing the legal status of FT I wanted to be sure that all the work here is preserved for as long as there is money to pay for the server. So if I or Sally resign, FT lives on. The board of directors, who is me, Sally, and Jeremy, would appoint people to replace us. The corporate entity that is will exist as long as the proper filings and fees are registered annually with the state of Florida.

      Thank you to everyone who helps us. We are committed to our mission and we are here to stay.


      Certains m'ont demand? ce qui arriverait si je ou Sally, qui fonctionnent comme les administrateurs principaux de FT en ce moment, d?cide de "se retirer" de gestion de FT.

      Nous avons une organisation diff?rente de mesurer les effets. Nous sommes en fait un organisme de bienfaisance morale constitu?e dans l'?tat de la Floride, aux ?tats-Unis. Quand j'?tais organiser le statut juridique de FT Je voulais ?tre s?r que tout le travail est ici pr?serv? aussi longtemps que il ya de l'argent pour payer le serveur. Donc, si je d?missionne ou Sally, la vie sur FT. Le conseil d'administration, qui est moi, Sally, et Jeremy, se nommer des personnes pour nous remplacer. La personne morale qui est existera aussi longtemps que les documents appropri?s et les frais sont enregistr?s chaque ann?e avec l'?tat de la Floride.

      Merci ? tous ceux qui nous aide. Nous engageons ? notre mission et nous sommes ici pour rester.


      Alcuni hanno chiesto che cosa sarebbe successo se io o Sally, che funzionano come quadri dirigenti del FT che il tempo, ha deciso di "opt out" gestione FT.

      Noi abbiamo una diversa organizzazione per misurare gli effetti. Abbiamo fatto un Ente morale incorporata nello Stato della Florida, negli Stati Uniti. Quando mi stava organizzando lo status giuridico di FT ho voluto essere sicuro che tutto il lavoro ? conservato qui fino a quando ci sono i soldi per pagare il server. Quindi, se ho lasciato o Sally, la vita sul FT. Il consiglio, che io, Sally e Jeremy, nominare le persone a sostituire noi. Corporation che ? esistere fintanto che la documentazione pertinente e le tariffe sono registrate ogni anno con lo Stato della Florida.

      Grazie a tutti che ci aiuta. Siamo impegnati alla nostra missione e noi siamo qui per rimanere.


      Algunos han preguntado qu? pasar?a si yo o Sally, que funcionan como los altos directivos de FT ese momento, decidi? "retirarse" de gesti?n de FT.

      Tenemos una organizaci?n diferente para medir los efectos. Hicimos una corporaci?n de beneficencia constituida en el Estado de Florida, Estados Unidos. Cuando yo estaba organizando la condici?n jur?dica de FT que quer?a estar seguro de que todo el trabajo que aqu? se conserva, siempre y cuando no hay dinero para pagar el servidor. As? que, si dejo de fumar o Sally, la vida en FT. La junta, que soy yo, Sally y Jeremy, nombrar la gente que nos reemplace. Corporaci?n que se existen mientras que la documentaci?n apropiada y los honorarios se registran cada a?o con el Estado de Florida.

      ?Gracias a todos los que nos ayuda. Estamos comprometidos con nuestra misi?n y estamos aqu? para quedarse.


      Sommigen hebben gevraagd wat er zou gebeuren als ik of Sally, die besloot als Senior Manager van FT functie, de tijd, "opt out" FT Management.

      Wij hebben een andere organisatie om de gevolgen ervan te beoordelen. We hebben een non-profit organisatie opgenomen in de staat Florida, Verenigde Staten van Amerika. Toen ik zag dat de organisatie van de juridische status van de FT Ik wilde er zeker van zijn dat al het werk hier zo lang is als het geld te betalen voor de server te krijgen. Dus wanneer ik stop of Sally, het leven op de FT. De raad van bestuur, die is mij te benoemen, aan Sally en Jeremy, vervang dan de mensen om ons heen. Corporation, dat bestaat, zolang de juiste documentatie en vergoedingen worden toegevoegd elk jaar, met de staat Florida.

      Bedankt aan iedereen die ons helpt. We zijn toegewijd aan onze missie en wij zijn hier om te blijven.

      Imagine - John Lennon


      • #4
        Re: EM - We bid you farewell

        best flu-pandemic science blog over 2006,2007 and maybe before. Also probably since 2007, but more and more other
        topics became discussed too.
        Maybe it needn't die completely, some few short posts occaionally should be possible ?
        Also just as a place where readers can comment and talk to each other,
        will it be possible to post comments here in future ?

        So, does that mean, the (H5N1)-pandemic danger is finally considered less serious
        and personal things became more important ? That would be even good news ...

        posts+comments until mid 2007 in one big file: effect measure blog , 8.3MB compressed(28MB)

        maybe I can make an update with the stuff since 2007, if revere allows

        Posted by: gsgs | May 17, 2010 3:46 AM
        I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
        my current links: ILI-charts:


        • #5
          Re: EM - We bid you farewell

          FluTrackers interview with Revere. I believe it is the only one in existence.

          Revere 11 January 2010

          Revere is not gone. He is a humanitarian and will stay engaged.


          • #6
            Re: EM - We bid you farewell

            updated file with blogposts plus comments at

            25MB compressed , 97MB uncompressed

            Effect Measure blog

            if you want your name to be removed, send email or PM

            em.lic - licence
            em.wor - frequency of words (posts plus comments)
            emb.wor - frequency of words in blogbosts only
            em10c_05 - direct links to the blog-posts since June 2006

            em - all the blog posts and comments
   - program to search this file for keywords
            I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
            my current links: ILI-charts:


            • #7
              Re: EM - We bid you farewell

              Thanks Gs. We will ask our technical team to upload to our server so that one complete set will be part of the FluTrackers charity.


              • #8
                Re: EM - We bid you farewell

                do the same with the archived FT-posts
                everything in one big file for keyword-search
                so it is preserved and can be used ... forever ...
                I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
                my current links: ILI-charts:


                • #9
                  Re: EM - We bid you farewell

                  Everything is on the FT main server and the backup server.


                  • #10
                    Re: EM - We bid you farewell

                    Thank you gs

                    Effect Measure blog archive:


                    • #11
                      Re: EM - We bid you farewell & Link to Effect Measure blog archive on FluTrackers server

                      Thank you Revere