Image via [Wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Nshl.jpg)
Some time ago there was a meme about science blogging and one of the questions were “why do you blog”. Well, I do it because of the “Nada Surf effect”. You don’t know the “Nada Surf effect”? Pity you weren’t in Washington, DC 2001.
In March or April of 2001, Nada Surf played a concert there. It was a small bar on 14th Street W, close to the more famous Black Cat. It was a spring night, I was with a couple of Dutch friends that had told me about the concert, if I’m not wrong, a couple of days before. It was also mid-week, so you wouldn’t expect big crowds in most concerts. We left ISH around 7 pm, with spare time for the 9 pm concert. We didn’t know the venue, we got there and it was empty, just a couple of souls at the bar. We sat and for about an hour we were pondering if we were in the right place, until a guy came and asked if we were staying for the concert. We said yes, paid th US$ 7.50 of the admittance and sipped our beers waiting for the opening act. Soon after we paid, a van parked outside and some guys started bringing music equipment inside. At that time there must have been around 20 people there. The van guys set the instruments, wasted 5 minutes soundchecking, and started. IT was Ashtray Babyhead.
They played for 40 minutes and as fast as they arrived they left. Another van parked outside and this time Nada Surf members started unloading and setting up the stage. Now roadies. OK, maybe one guy helped, but I’m getting old and the memory sometimes falters. At that point in time, almost 9 pm, the number of brave souls was at 50. They played as they were playing for 50.000 people in Wembley. Nice set, great songs, unforgettable night. After the show, they sold CDs at the usual after-show gathering, we talked about New York, Brazil and feijoada.
And why do I call it the “Nada Surf effect”? A band that used to play for thousands of people in festivals and stadiums, had a number one video on MTV (Popular), played in a midweek night in a small bar in Washington, DC as it was the band farewell. Every fan that night felt that they were the most important one, maybe even the only one.
And this type of example is the one that brings me to write this, and to write Beginning Python for Bioinformatics. Especially the latter (as I spend too much time here, writing about non-important stuff). If I can make one person have an idea, one person there to use Python, or least to learn something extra in their lives, I’m happy. I don’t care if I have a huge audience or if I’m famous. I care for the undergrad that is starting today, the high school kid that is hacking at night, or the Java coder that is looking for some better language (Ok, not really, but I couldn’t resist). And this is one of the things that I learned in Science, always give back and don’t expect anything in return. Just add to the pile of knowledge.
So, my advice for the three people that read this site is: let Nada Surf in!