The Midway Geyser Basin at Yellowstone National Park, teeming with colorful archaea and bacteria. Creative Commons Wing-Chi Poon. Click image for license and source.


... and thank you to the late, great Carl Woese, for my post about both -- Archaea Are More Wonderful Than You Know -- was a finalist in the Best Biology Post category in this year's ScienceSeeker Blog Awards.

If you are interested in learning more about Woese and Archaea, I encourage you to listen to this Woese-themed This Week in Microbiology podcast featuring Vincent Racaniello, Michael Schmidt, and Stanley Maloy (start listening about 3:55 to skip the San Diego weather report). They discuss Woese's life, struggles, and work in fascinating detail. Woese's story is as much about humans as it is about microbes, and both parts of the tale are surprising and gripping in their own way.

The ScienceSeeker Blog Awards are "a way to feature several of the most outstanding blog posts, podcasts, or videos from the past year," according to the science blog aggregator and filter ScienceSeeker, a project of the annual conference ScienceOnline. Fellow Sci Am blogger Hannah Waters won the Best Biology Post category -- congrats to her! And congrats to the other Sci Am finalists, which Bora has listed here, and to all the other finalists and winners. The finalists include my friend Bob Henson at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, whose finalist post explained why the storm surge warnings before Hurricane Sandy were so poorly absorbed by the public. Also, don't miss the Post of the Year -- Re-Awakenings, by Virginia Hughes. It's top-notch. Thanks to those of you who "recommended" my post back in March. Finally, thanks to the judges -- Fraser Cain, Maggie Koerth-Baker, and Maryn McKenna -- for the gracious donation of their time and energy.

I don't say it enough, so I'll say it now: I'm so lucky to be given this soapbox here at Scientific American to tell you about all the living things that light up my heart and head. Thanks to Bora for giving me the opportunity, and to all you readers for indulging me. I hope you have as much fun here as I do.

It's been quiet here lately, but I've got a whole lot of good stuff lined up for the next few days. Stay tuned.