For the 240,000

Since the bombings in London a week past yesterday (Thursday), when 52 people were killed at the hands of terrorists, over 240,000 children have died as a result of poverty in the world.

It feels like people have forgotten about the drive to rid the world of poverty? Why aren’t people up in arms (limbs, not weapons)? Why haven’t we taken to the streets? Why haven’t we picketed Parliament, Downing Street, every government building in the country and demanded that poverty is ended?

I saw a poster today for the Live 8 concert DVD that invited potential purchasers to relive the concert where musicians changed the world. Well, for one I didn’t think it was about the musicians, I thought it was about us! And for two, did we change the world?! Did we really?

While I don’t want to diminish the awfulness of the indiscriminate bomb attacks in London — my brother knew one of the girls caught up in it, she was in the year below him at Aberdeen University — there have been 4,615 times as many deaths since Thursday-past that could have been prevented.

Keep an eye on Steve Lawson’s blog, folks. He’s still asking the right questions.

WordPress: Upload code hack

Something that annoys me a little about WordPress — that has changed between v.1.2 and the latest v.1.5 — is the code it automatically generates for uploaded image files.

When you Upload a file WordPress automatically generates the XHTML code for you, so that you can simply copy and paste it into a post or page, for example:

<img src='' alt='Description of image here' />

But you will notice that it has surrounded the URL and alt description with single quotation marks (') rather than double ("). I'm a fan of double-quotation marks here. So I've made a simple hack to the upload code:

How to hack upload.php

Here's how to change the code in your WordPress 1.5 installation to ensure that it will always give you double-quotation marks (") in the auto-generated XHTML code:

  1. The code for uploading files is contained in the file wp-admin/upload.php within your WordPress installation.
  2. Open the file in your text editor of choice (I prefer 1st Page 2000) and scroll down to about line 202
  3. There you will see the following lines of code:

    $piece_of_code = "<img src='" . get_settings('fileupload_url') ."/$img1_name' alt='$imgdesc' />";
    $piece_of_code = "<a href='". get_settings('fileupload_url') . "/$img1_name' title='$imgdesc'>$imgdesc</a>";

  4. Simply replace these lines with the following:

    $piece_of_code = "<img src=\"" . get_settings('fileupload_url') ."/$img1_name\" alt=\"$imgdesc\" />";
    $piece_of_code = "<a href=\"". get_settings('fileupload_url') . "/$img1_name\" title=\"$imgdesc\">$imgdesc</a>";

  5. You will notice the subtle alteration of escaped quotation marks (\") replacing the previous single quotation marks ('). The backslash before the quote tells PHP to regard the quotation mark as a text character rather than as part of the syntax of the code.
  6. Now save this file, and upload it (no pun intended) to your WordPress installation.
  7. er…
  8. that's it!

Yes Man

I’m currently reading the new book, Yes Man, by my friend (and cult leader) Danny Wallace. It’s good. I’ll not spoil it for you.

Actually, given that I haven’t finished it yet, I guess, technically, I can’t spoil it too much. That would be a bit like me reading one of the Gospels and getting some way through it and saying “It’s really sad, the main hero dies.” Because those people who had read it all the way through would be looking at me with a look of ‘knowing’ on their faces, shaking their heads discretely and mouthing things like “Don’t listen to him!” and “Keep reading!”

Not that I’m saying that Danny is like Jesus. Oh, I feel like I’ve been here before.

Anyway, the one thing that I do take issue with, so far is this. On the cover there are two endorsements. One is by comedian Dom Joly. The other is by daytime TV host Richard Madeley.

Dom Joly says about the book, “Funny. Very, very funny.” Which is fair enough, overlooking the fact that Mr Joly is a friend of Mr Wallace, and so you might expect that he gives the book a glowing review. Dom Joly is a funny man, himself — his Trigger Happy TV series was at times side-splittingly hilarious — so you can trust Dom Joly’s opinion about what might be funny and what might not. A good recommendation, a fine endorsement.

Richard Madeley’s offering: that’s what I take issue with. “This book is a treat.” No! No!! This is a treat:

Mr Kipling makes exceedingly good cakes.

This is a treat:

Blackpool Rock

Whereas this is a work of comedy genius:

Yes Man by Danny Wallace.

Drupal, phpBB and WordPress

Here’s an interesting find. I did a search on Amazon for Drupal and found this yet-to-be-published book, from APress:

Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress, by Robert T. Douglass, Mike Little and Jared W. Smith (APress, November 2005, ISBN 1-59059-562-9).

(The hyperlinks point to the Apress website, not Amazon UK.)

Two technologies that I already use (phpBB and WordPress) and one that I’d like to learn more about (Drupal).

Book launch

This evening Jane and I attended a book launch at Cornerstone Bookshop on Princes Street, here in Edinburgh.

Church on the Move by Peter Neilson

Jane’s father, the Revd Peter Neilson, has had his 2004 Chalmer’s Lectures published in a 160 page volume called Church on the Move: New Church, New Generation, New Scotland (Covenanters, ISBN 1905022247).

Sadly, we didn’t get a copy as there was a mix up with the order and so there were only 4 copies available this evening, and they were all snapped up immediately. There can’t be many authors who are completely sold out at the book launch! Fifty copies will arrive tomorrow, seemingly.

What’s the book about? Here’s the synopsis:

What kind of church will offer access to the Gospel for the next generation? That is the persistent question running through this book. As a minister of the Church of Scotland, the author is committed to a vision of the grace of God for all in our nation, but challenges the assumed strategy for fulfilling that vision as being only through territorial parish ministry. Our fundamental shift is from exclusive territorial mission to cultural and generational mission. A parish church does not mean a parish is churched. We need a mixed economy of neighbourhood and network churches to engage with our nation across the generations. Will we move the resources to match the missionary challenge?

Peter Neilson has been a minister of the Church of Scotland for over 30 years, in the parish of Mount Florida, Glasgow and later as Associate Minister in the Parish Church of St Cuthbert, Edinburgh. He has also encouraged the evangelistic mission of the church as an Adviser in Mission and Evangelism, Director of Training at St Ninian’s Centre, Crieff, and currently in the role of supporting New Charge Developments within Scotland. He convened the special commission which produced the ‘Church without Walls’ report in 2001. He is married to Dorothy with two married daughters, one about-to-be-married daughter and a delightful 2 year old granddaughter.

The Chalmers Lectures which form the basis of this book were graciously hosted in 2004 by St Mary’s College, St Andrews, and New College, Edinburgh. They have also been delivered in the International Christian College, Glasgow in 2005.

Buy it at Scottish Christian Press or at Amazon UK. I’m going to buy a copy tomorrow … if the bookshop has any!