September 2008

Paul Theroux gave a talk at Politics and Prose, Washington, DC., last night. I hadn’t read any of his books (he wrote Mosquito Coast among others), but will now. Fascinating talk about his travels.

Live Pikachu

The Tokyomango blog has an entry about how an auction site in Japan sold 20 “real live Pikachus” for almost a $billion. Kinda doubt it’s true (probably a photoshopped gerbil), but he sure is cute! Now, if they can find a real, live version of my favorite Pokemon (Squirtle), I’d be all over it…

Right. I recently upgraded this installation of WordPress to 2.6, and just now tried to login as admin to change some settings. Nope, kept looping me back to the admin login page. Yes, I was using the correct password.

Turns out I was having a conflict with older plugins (I hadn’t disabled them). So, I went in to the backend MySQL database (via phpMyAdmin), and edited the wp_options table. I changed the option_value for the row with “active_plugins” to


which basically turned off all plugins. I could then login (and turn on plugins one at a time to find the culprit).

Note that you can also change your password via the backend by editing the wp_users table and using the MD5 function on the password value. Neat.

In yet another Stupendously Idiotic Display of Moronic Ineptitude ™, the Bush administration has blocked a Kansas meat packing company from testing 100% of it’s cows for Mad Cow disease. Large packers objected to Creekstone Farms Premium Beef company testing all of it’s cows because they might then be forced to follow suit once Creekstone could label their beef “100%” tested.

The Agriculture department only tests 1% of cows, because “the disease is so rare”. I like the point made on BoingBoing: then this should apply to the TSA, and only 1% of passengers should be checked at the airport (terrorists are, actually, *rare*).

Supposedly the tests could be blocked, because the USDA can regulate “treatments”, and the appeals judge ruled this a treatment. Note, however, that the tests are done on *dead* cows, and there is no cure for Mad Cow disease. I do not see how this is a treatment, unless the cows suddenly come back to life. Idiots.