Grand Rounds and a new template

Unfortunately, I was too busy to come up with any new material last night. (Remember the talk I have to give today? The PowerPoint file has ballooned even slightly higher than the 45 MB it was last night. I really must teach my postdoc how to produce smaller photo sizes.) Fortunately, there's this week's Grand Rounds over at Clinical Cases and Images to give you your medblogging fix in my absence.

Oh, and there's the new template. I figure that in the absence of fresh material debuting my latest attempt at not offending the eyes of my readers would at least provide entertainment value. (This isn't the shortest duration for a template here, though. About a year ago, I changed templates for the first time, and that lasted only about a day.) Given all the complaints about the first iteration, I've made a significant modification of the background and color scheme. Hopefully this will be the last major revamp for a while, other than minor tweaking, trying to fix problems, and perfecting the logo. Of course, I'm an incessant tinkerer; so don't be surprised if you periodically notice unannounced minor changes, but, barring a rising up of the blogosphere in disgust to shut down my blog, lest its sheer ugliness or inanity warp the very fabric of the space-time continuum, I don't plan any more major retoolings for a while.

Let the flames begin!


  1. I like it. It's you. Whoever you are.

  2. I've got to be honest - the dark patterned background just screams 1999 to me.

    I do like this version better, though.

  3. The Template is pretty good, but I get a very slow downlad with this, and the circuit board. You know how great Cablevision is....

  4. Much nicer. Easier to look at, less cluttered, and I *like* 1999. Especially Space 1999, which also describes the background!

    One quibble: the sidebar of external links could go on the right, instead of below.

    So who is this postdoc, and are they really yours, or do you just rent?

  5. I don't care about the background, only legibility and load speed. This is not, after all, a photo blog.

    IMO, the legibility is acceptable, though the purple-on-white is relatively poor.

    But it's definitely slower to load, which is annoying. I'm a fan of Eugene Volokh's blogspacw, which seems to load in about .5 seconds and is easy to gather informatino from. Isn't this all about sharing information?


  6. I wonder if it's the TTLB Ecosystem code. That's usually what slows it down. When eople complained that there would be a big delay between the appearance of the left sidebar and the center panel, I figured out it was the TTLB Ecosystem code; so I moved it to the bottom of the right sidebar, where it seems to load last.

    As for this being "1999," well, if you know anything about Blakes 7, you know that it should be more like 1979 or 1989...

  7. Looks great! And thanks for the picture of Servalan!

    --Judy Wyatt

  8. I like the way you have it as "attempts at insolence" for the comments area. Very unique. I like the dark background.

  9. hey, i like this much better than the green circuitboard background! but i also found it a wee bit slow to download and i am looking at it on a T-1 line right now, so i can only imagine how frustrating it might be using something slower.

    i know you don't want to go back to the old template (even though we SHARED this template, harumph!) but i still think the best template of all is a clean white, pale blue or pale green background with black font, and a fancy masthead/headboard/thingy-at-the-top. but that's just (humble lil') me.


  10. I do like this one a little better, now that I've seen it. The new comment link is great.

    One question though: whatever happened to the "AKA Orac Knows" that used to be in the title?

  11. What seems to be slow in loading is whatever you have from

  12. "One quibble: the sidebar of external links could go on the right, instead of below."

    You must be using Internet Explorer. The sidebar of external links does go on the right in Firefox, Safari, Camino, and Netscape, right were it was always intended to be. Heck, it even shows up on the right on the old warhorse Internet Explorer v.5.2 for the Mac.

    I am aware of the problem but do not know how to fix it, as I have no idea why IE is screwing up the rendering of this page. (See the notice near the bottom of the left sidebar for evidence of my frustration.) I recommend that everyone using a Windows PC get Firefox anyway; it's a far superior browswer to IE. For Mac users, Firefox and Safari are more or less equivalent.

    Checking on my T1 line at work, I find that it's definitely the TTLB Ecosystem link that's loading so slowly.

    As for whatever happened to "(a.k.a. "Orac Knows"), I'm phasing that out. It's still in the HTML as the official blog title, but soon it may not even be there.

  13. The sidebar things happens a lot when the window isn't maximized. My guess is the two sidebars and body are a few pixels too wide for IE, so it puts the sidebar on the bottom.

  14. I like this pattern the best!

  15. The starry background is much easier on the eyes. I didn't dislike the green circuit board exactly, but I definitely prefer this one.

  16. Thanks, I'll try it the next time I tweak the template, probably this weekend.

    Of course, if people used Firefox rather than IE it wouldn't be a problem at all. The template looks fine in Firefox.

    Oddly enough, it looks fine in IE 5.2 for the Mac as well.

  17. Niiiiice, very niiiice.

    I want to see some breathing space between the bottom of the banner, logo area and the top of the white text box. I think if you could add some of the starry background, like a half inch to an inch below the banner and above the text box... that would look good. For some reason it feels cramped at the top to this reader.

    You could try going a shade darker of purple for the purple text. I also like the "# attempts at insolence" for the comments.

    Now, if you could only get all those stars to twinkle. :-)

    And a link that when you click on it your readers get a coupon for a free latte at Starbucks or something. Maybe a sample Fleets enema or something. No, just the eneman plush toy.

  18. Speaking of EneMan, I haven't forgotten about him this month...

  19. Wow! Miss a week (or two) and miss a lot, it seems.

    Nice new look Doc. The SciFi motiff was unexpected but very cool.

    (The was kinda lackin' in insolence though, wasn't it...?) {-;

  20. I come here strictly for the insolence. ;) It matters not to me whether you dabble in circuit boards, the starry heavens or the detritus in the cat box.

    I do like your new look, though. ;)

  21. Speaking of Blakes 7, I thought you might like to know I ran across an entire season for download while perusing bittorrents today.

  22. My only complaint is that links are hard to see. Could you change them to some other color?

  23. It was season 2, but a quick search reveals other seasons, too, and sporadic episodes. Unfortunately it doesn't look like there are a lot of people seeding, but you never know.


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