Shop Amazon to help the fund feathery dinosaur – he thanks you

shop amazon

The old, snarky, cranky, curmudgeonly feathery dinosaur still needs funding to keep this website running for the next year. And to run it smoothly. And there is a way that won’t cost you money – shop Amazon, and a portion of your purchase will come to this website.

This is a painless method to support this website. And no, Amazon doesn’t increase your  prices to do this.

How does this work? Click on any of the links below to shop Amazon. And you can buy anything, although some of the links take you to promotions and other things Amazon is advertising. Just don’t leave Amazon’s website or shut down your browser.

So click on these links below, then do your shopping. Go grocery shopping, Buy a new computer. Complete your holiday shopping. Anything you want from Amazon.

 

Remember, anything you buy at Amazon, not just the recommended ones above, will count towards this website.

But if you want to donate to the website, you can still do it the tried and true way:

 
 
  You can also support this website by making your Amazon purchases – just click on the link below. A small portion of each purchase goes to the Skeptical Raptor, without any additional cost to you.  

 

(Note: sometimes the PayPal button is mean and won’t work. You can just find the button along the sidebar to the right, and that one should work.)

Anything you can do will help. Go shopping for your whole family, friends, neighbors, and scientists at Amazon. Use GoFundMe. Use PayPal. The feathery dinosaur appreciates it all.

Thanks for your time. And shop Amazon – and buy a lot of stuff.

The feathered dinosaur is not a Big Pharma Shill – please help

feathered dinosaur

It’s been a calm Thanksgiving week. Compared to the last few wild weeks where this website was overwhelmed with hits after being accused of being Dr. Paul Offit, being David Gorski, and working for Dorit Rubinstein Reiss. The feathered dinosaur is confused.

That’s interspersed with the daily claims that the feathery dinosaur is being paid by Big Pharma for doing their bidding. If only it were true, this posting wouldn’t be required.

Your generosity so far has provided approximately 30% of what is necessary to keep this website running. But it’s an expensive endeavor, and the Skeptical Raptor could use a little bit more of a push so that the survival of this website is guaranteed over the next year or so.

So, if you have the ability, please donate to this website Anything you can do will be greatly appreciated.

There are two ways to contribute to this website.  First, you can make use of PayPal. If you wish, you can set up PayPal to provide monthly contributions, which are just as helpful. I prefer PayPal, because it doesn’t take out a fee, so if you send $10, I get $10.

Or you can use GoFundMe, if you prefer. They take off about 7%, but many people feel more comfortable with the anonymity of GoFundMe.

So click either the GoFundMe or PayPal buttons below to be taken to the secure website where you can contribute to the cause.

 
 
  You can also support this website by making your Amazon purchases – just click on the link below. A small portion of each purchase goes to the Skeptical Raptor, without any additional cost to you.  

(Note – for some strange reason occasionally, the PayPal button doesn’t work, a problem on PayPal’s side. If that happens, try the PayPal button along the right sidebar, which almost always works.)

Please help out the funding of this website for both the short term and long term. The feathery dinosaur thanks you.

Help the feathery dinosaur for Thanksgiving – please

Help the feathery dinosaur

We are coming up on the Thanksgiving holiday here in the USA, where we all fall asleep watching football and consuming turkey.  And we still have to ask readers out there to help the feathery dinosaur keep the website running for the next few months.

Admittedly, the feathery dinosaur is someone offended that one of his relatives, the distinguished turkey, is a part of this meal.

Right now, we’ve gotten about 60% of necessary funds from all of your generous donations. We’ve removed many of the ads that drag down performance of this website (we hope someone has noticed). We will going to leave a couple up because they don’t appear to have much of an effect on loading time. But we will monitor it.

There probably won’t be many posts for the next few days, because we’ve got a project on this website that’s caused by the vexatious (not really) Orac, who was forced to move his website to a new domain.  Actually, Orac gets better control over his website doing this, so that’s great for him, but an inside source said it took some work to get it done.

Unfortunately, we have literally 100s of links to his old domain. And we need to fix each of them – everyone hates broken links. As we review these links and articles, we might repost old favorites for your reading pleasure.

So, if you have the wherewithal, please help the feathery dinosaur. Anything you can do will be greatly appreciated.

There are two ways to contribute to this website.  First, you can make use of PayPal. If you wish, you can set up PayPal to provide monthly contributions, which are just as helpful. I prefer PayPal, because it doesn’t take out a fee, so if you send $10, I get $10.

Or you can use GoFundMe, if you prefer. They take off about 7%, but we know many people feel more comfortable with the anonymity of GoFundMe.

So click either the GoFundMe or PayPal buttons below to be taken to the secure website where you can contribute to the cause.

 
 
  You can also support this website by making your Amazon purchases – just click on the link below. A small portion of each purchase goes to the Skeptical Raptor, without any additional cost to you.  

(Note – for some strange reason occasionally, the PayPal button doesn’t work, a problem on PayPal’s side. If that happens, try the PayPal button along the right sidebar, which almost always works.)

We regularly revise the goal level on GoFundMe to include amounts we’ve received through PayPal. We started with a goal of $4000 and we’re already down to needing only around $1900 more.

Please help out the funding of this website for both the short term and long term. The feathery dinosaur thanks you.

The feathery dinosaur still needs funding – please help out

funding

The last couple of weeks were pretty wild. First, being accused of being Dr. Paul Offit by the bastion of fake news, the Health Ranger’s own Natural News. Then several people on an anti-vaccine YouTube video accused yours truly of being David Gorski, and working for Dorit Rubinstein Reiss. What next? I’m actually an alien from space? A lizard person?

Also, last week,  Professor Reiss wrote about the sad tragedy of Nick Catone’s son. The massive hits to the website (nearly double or triple the usual amount) caused the server to collapse so many times that I nearly threw my computer through the window. But it’s cold outside, and I need my computer. This is why I still need to ask for further funding so that I can do some upgrading and improvements to the website’s code.

Then this week, I published an article on glyphosate and cancer. And once again, the server got hit from all of the views of the article.

Now, I’m not whining. It’s so cool that my humble little website has grown into a monstrosity.

Anyway, the issue with the server is that when there are peak runs on the website, and that happens with each of the popular articles, it overwhelms the processor and memory of the server. Right now, I have enough power for about 80% of the time. But that 20% causes a lot of errors when people try to read the articles. And that’s why I write, so people can read the articles.

I’ve received about 30% of what I need from the year from all of your generous support. But I need to keep asking. Please contribute.

So, if you have the wherewithal, please donate to the Skeptical Raptor. Anything you can do will be greatly appreciated.

There are two ways to contribute to this website.  First, you can make use of PayPal. If you wish, you can set up PayPal to provide monthly contributions, which are just as helpful. I prefer PayPal, because it doesn’t take out a fee, so if you send $10, I get $10.

Or you can use GoFundMe, if you prefer. They take off about 7%, but I know many people feel more comfortable with the anonymity of GoFundMe.

So click either the GoFundMe or PayPal buttons below to be taken to the secure website where you can contribute to the cause.

 
 
  You can also support this website by making your Amazon purchases – just click on the link below. A small portion of each purchase goes to the Skeptical Raptor, without any additional cost to you.  

(Note – for some strange reason occasionally, the PayPal button doesn’t work, a problem on PayPal’s side. If that happens, try the PayPal button along the right sidebar, which almost always works.)

I will regularly revise the goal level on GoFundMe to include amounts I’ve received through PayPal. We started with a goal of $4000 and we’re already down to needing only around $2000 more.

Please help out the funding of this website for both the short term and long term. The feathery dinosaur thanks you.

Skeptical Raptor is not Paul Offit – help feed the feathery dinosaur website

Skeptical Raptor is not Paul Offit

Well, I hope it’s clear to the anti-vaccine world that the Skeptical Raptor is not Paul Offit. One’s an ugly old dinosaur who rants crabbily about science. The other is a distinguished researcher who rants professionally about science.

Dr. Offit invented the rotavirus vaccine that saves 450,000 lives a year. The Skeptical Raptor once chased a bunch of kids in Jurassic Park.

Dr. Offit is only 66 years old. The Skeptical Raptor is about 66 million years old.

These are obvious differences. The other big difference is that if Dr. Offit requires assistance with his website, he’d call on the resources of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia or the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. The feathery dinosaur needs to hire a starving website coder to make some changes to bad code.

So I’m going to take you away from your regularly scheduled programming to ask once again to help out in funding the Skeptical Raptor website for the next year. As I am not a rich man, unlike the ignorant fools at pseudoscience websites who hawk fake treatments for all kinds of real diseases, I need help to run this website. It’s an expensive process.

So, if you have the wherewithal, please donate to the Skeptical Raptor. Anything you can do will be greatly appreciated.

There are two ways to contribute to this website.  First, you can make use of PayPal. If you wish, you can set up PayPal to provide monthly contributions, which are just as helpful. I prefer PayPal, because it doesn’t take out a fee, so if you send $10, I get $10.



My second method is through GoFundMe. Some people are more comfortable with the anonymity and popularity of GoFundMe, and it’s a perfectly fine way to do it. However, GoFundMe does take a small portion as a fee for the service.

 

 

I will regularly revise the goal level on GoFundMe to include amounts I’ve received through PayPal. We started with a goal of $4000 and we’re already down to needing around $2300 more.

So now that you know that the Skeptical Raptor is not Paul Offit, can you please help keep this website going. The ancient dinosaur thanks you.

The feathery dinosaur wants you – to please contribute

feathery dinosaur

In case you you don’t know the humor, a few years ago Orac, one of the snarkiest skeptics on the internet, called me a scaly dinosaur. Though I was scared to do so, but I had to correct him – I am a feathery dinosaur. Of course, I don’t think Orac is a paleontologist, but you never know.

I am once again e-begging. We’ve made a massive dent in the fundraising, chopping away about $1,000. If we can get the other $2-3000, it would be great. Continue reading “The feathery dinosaur wants you – to please contribute”

It’s that time of year again – I need to do some e-begging

e-begging

It’s that time of year for the old feathery dinosaur, Skeptical Raptor to do something he hates. It’s the time of year for e-begging. That old dinosaur and I are trying to get enough funds to keep this place running, and running smoothly.

Like I’ve said a hundred times before, I started this website as a hobby. A place where I could write down some thoughts, share them with a few people, and call it a day. The first month of this website, January 2012, I had 100 visitors. And I was ecstatic. It wasn’t ScienceBasedMedicine, but as a hobby, it was great.

My total costs for the website were around $15.00 month on a shared server located in Colorado Springs. The technical people there knew me by my first name, and we would fix issues in about 10 seconds, and then talk about skiing or something.

Expenses

This year, 2017, I’m ranging from 120,000 to 200,000 unique visitors per month, 200,000 to 300,000 total visits, and 2-5 million hits per month. That can’t be done on a shared server, because my website would be demanding all the resources, and other websites on that server, like JanesCatGrooming would fail to load all the time. In fact my web host in Colorado kicked me off their service in February 2015 without any warning.

On my current web host, I pay $350 a month for a dedicated server and bandwidth. Frequently, I exceed the limits of the server because I publish a very popular article, and the website performance goes down. I really need to upgrade soon. I could get it cheaper if I paid for a year of service in advance, but that’s a huge outlay for me.

I also pay another $100 a month for various services that block hacking (very important these days, the Russians probably aren’t happy with my anti-Trump articles), track stats, improve performance, and other things that are critical to a website.

Then, I pay about $150 a month for a technical guru who fixes issues with the website. For example, I had to switch from http to https in one day to maintain Google rankings, who was dropping non-secure websites from rankings. That was a large expense for me, because there was a problem in how I originally set up the website (back in 2012). When I knew nothing about websites.

Revenue

Despite all of the hits and design of the website, along with what appears to be 50 ads, my ad revenue ranges from $80-120 per month. In other words, it does not cover my average $600 a month outlay.

There is an assumption that because I am a “Big Pharma Shill,” I am either wealthy from my past life or receiving huge checks from Big Pharma. Sorry, but neither is correct. Although I cover the costs of this website from my own monies, it is a serious burden for me.

This is why I need to e-beg for cash. I have several goals, beyond monthly fees, depending on the amount of money I receive:

  • I need to start caching this website to improve performance. But I have a major issue in how the website is organized which will require repointing every article to a new URL. This is an expensive and difficult undertaking, which only became a problem in the last few months.
  • I’d like to remove all but a couple of ads to improve performance. Since most of you use ad blockers (according to website data), I get no revenue, and still get performance hits.
  • I’d like to slightly upgrade the server to handle upticks in visits and hits.
  • I’d also like to really improve the performance of the website, which Google identifies as “Poor.” It’ll take a lot of work to get this done, above and beyond what I am paying out now.

I think there a lot of top articles with high Google rankings that counteract the misinformation of the anti-vaccine folks. Many of the HPV vaccine and GMO articles rank in the top 5. The articles on vaccines and law are often the most shared articles on this website.

I like to think that Skeptical Raptor is a resource to the world of scientific skepticism, especially in areas of GMOs and vaccines. I know if this website disappeared, it would be replaced by many of the other websites out there. But there are nearly 1100 articles posted on this website, and a good number of them are valuable tools in arguing with quacks and junk medicine users. For example, I wrote an article 5 years ago about whether bananas can cure cancer – they don’t, in case you were wondering.  That article still gets 50-100 visits a DAY.

e-begging sites

There are two ways to contribute to this website.  First, you can make use of PayPal. If you wish, you can set up PayPal to provide monthly contributions, which are just as helpful. I prefer PayPal, because it doesn’t take out a fee, so if you send $10, I get $10.





My second method is through GoFundMe. Some people are more comfortable with the anonymity and popularity of GoFundMe, and it’s a perfectly fine way to do it. However, GoFundMe does take a small portion as a fee for the service.

 

Your generous donations can keep this website going for another year. Please help if you can. And like I said above, if I can get enough donations, I can eliminate all but 2 low bandwidth ads, which will make me happier. And make the reader happier.

I really hate e-begging, but I need to do it to keep this website running. Please help out if you can.

 

The One with the website update – cleanup and advertising

website under construction

Over the past few months, we’ve made several changes to the feathery dinosaur’s website, and I’ve gotten little feedback other than a Tweet from a “fan” who complained that he didn’t like it. Of course, he didn’t explain why, so all the Skeptical Raptor could do is take his claw and scratch his head.

Here’s what we’ve done over the past three months:

  1. Speeded up the website. Load times seem to be near instantaneous, though, and as an Apple fan, it breaks my heart, it’s sometimes slow with Safari.
  2. Removed about 50% of the advertising. It slowed down the website and some of it was obtrusive. And despite our best efforts some of the advertising ended up being in contradiction to what we write here.
  3. Changed a lot of formatting things to make this easier to read. One of the Raptor’s fanboys helped out a lot in getting the font and font size just right.

But all of this leads to other issues. We’re still trying to improve the design of the website to make it visually appealing AND fast. But we need feedback from you, the loyal and casual readers, to adjust what we’ve done. The website must be a tool to share good writing on topics that interest you. If it’s visually unappealing, or takes forever to load, you won’t read it. So please comment below. And because the internet works on negativity, please drop a note if all is fine.

Another consequence of changes is ads. We’ve lost about 50% of the ad revenue because of the reduction in number of ads. Because of the high readership and popularity, this website is expensive to run. We can’t go to a website hosting service and get their cheapest plan. No, we need to get dedicated servers and a ton of other technical tools to run it efficiently. We laugh when we see adverts on TV that make it so easy to start a website for your business – it is not that easy.

website velociraptor
Photo of the Skeptical Raptor when he hears Donald Trump saying vaccines cause autism. They don’t.

 

Begging is annoying. But we need contributions to survive. We don’t need gold bars shipped in from Big Pharma, but we do need contributions of any level to continue providing content for the foreseeable future. To be honest, without your contributions, we were considering shutting down this website last year. It’s no longer a cute hobby – it’s a almost full time business. And those Big Pharma and Big Agra shill checks keep bouncing. They have no honor.

So click on either of the links below, GoFundMe or PayPal, to contribute to this website. Please. We really need the help to keep going.

Finally, one issue that troubles us. We used to get 40-50 comments on blog posts, now we get a handful, sometimes none at all. Please comment (see what we did there) on why this might be happening. I’m beginning to miss the good old days when anti-vaxxers trolled the articles. Like our favorite alcoholic, drug addict.

And please comment here. Tell us how we’re doing – don’t be rude, be constructive. We need the feedback.

 
 
  You can also support this website by making your Amazon purchases – just click on the link below. A small portion of each purchase goes to the Skeptical Raptor, without any additional cost to you.  

2016 review – the feathery dinosaur’s take on an interesting year

2016 review

This blog and website is just short of five years old. It started in January 2012 to a grand total of 100 readers that month. I have no clue who those 100 readers were or how they found this website, but I wonder if any of those 100 are still reading this blog. And a tradition I started in 2012 (which is nearly the Jurassic age in internet terms) we the annual review of my top posts for the year – and it is time for the 2016 review.

And like any 2016 review, it’s time to list out the top 13 most read articles for 2016 on this website. Each article was viewed over 100,000 times, an amazing number if you follow how well blogs do on the internet. In fact, the top 13 made up over 50% of the article views for the year.

One huge caveat – I’ve published over 180 articles on this website this year. But some of the top 13 are articles published in 2014 and 2015. It makes me happy (and you always want to keep carnivorous dinosaurs happy) to realize that older articles are being read in huge numbers even 2 years later. Many of these articles are at the top or nearly at the top of Google search rankings. Just Google “banana cancer” – my article is at #1. And it is shared all the time by people who read the nonsense that ripe bananas cure cancer.

Please take a moment and read some of the top 13. Please share the article when you’ve read it – it helps bring in new readers and improves the Google ranking.

Continue reading “2016 review – the feathery dinosaur’s take on an interesting year”

Please donate to the Skeptical Raptor website

The feathered dino asks you to donate

He knows. That feathery, cranky, snarky dinosaur is once again asking for funding for this website, and it’s annoying while being uncomfortable for the carnivorous one. But we’re just a tad short of the goals of $3000 to support the website through 2017. Please donate if you can.

Here’s what the web experts have already done with the website with your generous donations:

  1. Last summer, we had constant issues with service from our web host. The problem wasn’t them, but us. We had too many people reading this damn blog, and the server just couldn’t handle it. With your donations, we’ve upgraded to a more powerful server, but we want to go one step higher to have the capacity for further growth of this website in 2017.
  2. Our website used a 2014 framework, which in internet years is like a 1,000 years old. We’ve moved to a more modern looking website, which was paid for by your generous donations.
  3. We’ve removed some of more annoying advertising, though we’re taking a risk. The worst advertising actually pays the best, so we’re counting on funding from you, the loyal reader, to cut our reliance on the worst of the advertising.
  4. We’ve even removed some of the advertising at the bottom of each article, which had some weird stuff like “alien babies.” Or similar.

The dinosaur thinks we provide great content here. It may not be to everyone’s liking, especially if you’re one of those anti-vaccine types, but we try to make it useful for anyone in a discussion that wanders off to the anti-science side.

Some of our articles widely read and shared. Articles on GMOs and vaccines are often shared several thousand times on Facebook and Twitter. Any time Dorit Rubinstein Reiss writes one of her thoughtful and informative articles about legal issues regarding vaccines, they always have significant readership. And commenting.

We really want to continue providing outstanding articles for 2017. But we need your help, especially if we need to reduce reliance on advertising.

Please donate via GoFundMe in the link below. Your help will be greatly appreciated.