Tuesday, July 22, 2014

From The Quillcards Blog

Bison (or buffalo as they are known in the United States) are of course an iconic animal of the American plains.

They are now reduced from the huge numbers there were before the opening up of the West.

Ah, the West and Westerns.

I’ve always been a fan of Westerns – even trashy TV Westerns that were really just soap operas.

Abandoned towns and the open space of ranges and deserts give characters settings in which to play out themes without the clutter and distraction of civilisation.

For me growing up, a good Western could be practically transcendent.

Westerns have helped me understand life, and I have a shorthand name for a certain kind of Western. I call it ‘The Retired Gunslinger’.

Read more... Bison: Do They Twist And Pull, Or Do They Nibble?



The main gallery of the National Museum Of Scotland in Edinburgh is very light and airy.

In fact, it is so light and airy that it limits what can be put on display.

That’s because when it was designed in 1861, no one knew the deleterious effects of sunlight on exhibits. But today, of course, we do.

So when the museum was renovated in the 1990s, the designers were faced with a choice.

The choice was either to preserve the light and airy appearance of the building and limit what was on display – or to roof in the building to lower the light levels so that more exhibits could be displayed.

And the building won.

Read more... Top Facts About The National Museum Of Scotland



If you’re in the UK, you will have been seeing reminders everywhere that it is Mother’s Day this Sunday, March 30th.

Every department store has been advertising gifts for Mother’s Day – and the color pink has been predominant.

It’s a day when dutiful sons and daughters send cards to their mothers. If they live close by, then traditionally they will visit their mothers with gifts of flowers and chocolate.

Get on a bus this Sunday and you are as likely as not to see...

Read more... Why Mother’s Day Was The Time To Go Home


When will Spring come?
When will the nights pull back and the days start to get longer?
When will we see the sun?
When will the grey, grey days go away?
When will the wind stop?
When will we be able to walk out without layers of clothing, without thinking of the struggle to get to the post office, to the shops, to the bus?

We’ve had almost no snow. You can see it on the hills – and you can always see the hills from almost anywhere in Edinburgh, even from the city centre.

Read more... Signs Of Spring

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dashboard On OSX won't open? This may be why.

A couple of times over the past year or so, the dashboard wouldn't open when I clicked on it.

I don't recall how it corrected itself last time it happened, but this time I decided to look up the problem. I found this on the Apple Support pages:

To open Dashboard:
From a trackpad, swipe right with three or four fingers. To close Dashboard, swipe left.
From your keyboard, press the Dashboard key, or press F12 (Fn-F12 on portable keyboards). To close Dashboard, press the key again.

I didn't know I had a dashboard key but now that I knew, I clicked it and the dashboard opened.



OK, that's interesting.

Then I noticed the Fn-F12 and suddenly it all became clear. I pressed Fn-F12 and then clicked the dashboard icon and it worked.

So when had I clicked Fn-F12? It's the keyboard function to open Firebug in Firefox.

Da da...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Poems to order

Cross-posted from More Flying Twigs



The Necessity Of Greeting Cards
My love, do you see the ocean
between us? The Atlantic
has bloated there like no-man’s-land.
Every word I speak is devoured
by winds on the high seas.
My love, I bought one hundred
pairs of wings, last night
in one hundred paper envelopes.
They carry with them all the words
I cannot say.
My love, I stayed up until morning
to place a kiss within each message.
I wore red lipstick, and by dawn
I had kissed you one hundred times.
I want to tell you every story.
I want te give you all the words
ever uttered, but I am mute.
So take these offerings:
Thank you.
I’m sorry.
Get well soon.
I love you.
I wish you the best.
I wish you the best…
The cards are signed.
The envelopes stamped.
Now they fly.
- by GennaRose Nethercott

Monday, July 7, 2014

Spinone and Spinoza

Cross posted from More Flying Twigs





This is a photo of a Spinone… an Italian breed of dog that whose ancestry goes back over two thousand years.
It’s name is not to be confused with that of Spinoza, a 17th century Dutch philosopher whose works are said to have laid the foundation for the Age of Enlightenment.
The Age of Enlightenment is really the beginning of the modern tradition in that it placed individualism and rational enquiry above mindless tradition.
As for the dog who became a famous philosopher, my wife is fond of calling Spinone dogs Spinozas.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Forcing HTTPS on a WordPress Site

Before we begin, a couple of definitions. An https connection is the protocol that defines how the visitor and the server negotiate a secure connection.

An SSL Certificate is the document that proves the authenticity of the server.

How To Force HTTPS

This is how to force HTTPS if, for example, you have an e-commerce WordPress site and want to put it under https for security or because your payment system requires an SSL certificate.

First make sure your web host can deliver an https site. They might only provide this under certain plans and may need to move your site to another server.

Buy an SSL certificate - your web host can probably sell you one.

Activate this plugin with which you can make the whole site secure or only certain pages (such as checkout pages) secure, if you wish: WordPress HTTPS

Change the URLs to https in Settings / General in the admin panel on your site.

Add instructions to your .htaccess file to tell it to redirect any http enquiries to https. You will find the following code mentioned around the web but you may find it causes the site to hang.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yourdomain.com/$1 [R,L]


The following code works. Add it before the comment line in the .htaccess file that reads #BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]


Now test it with this SSLLABS test and give yourself an A.

New Distance-Selling Regulations In The UK

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 came into force on 13 June 2014. These are the main provisions as they relate to e-commerce sites.

Go check them out here - but this is what I have picked out of them:

  • The cooling off period is 14 days (previously 7 days) from the date the customer receives the goods.
  • The customer can only be charged for return delivery on cancellation if this is stated in the terms of business.
  • Refunds must be processed within 14 days after the day on which the seller receives the goods back or from the date upon which the customer provides evidence of having sent back the goods. Unless agreed otherwise, the customer may use the same method for returning the goods as for receiving the goods from the seller.
  • Goods must be delivered within 30 days of order. If that time is critical to the contract, the customer may cancel the order. If the timing is not critical then the customer may impose a further critical time within which the goods must be delivered and if not, then cancel the contract.
  • The button or other method the triggers the obligation to pay must use clear language  such as ‘pay now’ rather than ‘complete your order’
  • Certain information must be displayed just before the customer completes the contract. There is a proviso that where there is limited space to display the information then the main characteristics of the product or service, the total price and delivery charge, the time limit to cancel the contract and how to cancel the contract have be shown in a prominent place directly before a customer places an order. (Thought: The 'Basket' page is likely to have all the information except the right to cancel. Probably best to place this just below the 'Pay Now' button.)
  • The customer has to return the goods without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days after the day on which the customer informs the trader of the cancellation.
  • Premium rate telephone numbers for customer service are in breach of the regulations.

Matrix Machine Code with a wet trout for slapping DDOS attackers

MarsEdit 4

I've been using MarsEdit for just over seven years. I started with version 2, and then upgraded to version 3 in 2010. Now, in 2018, I...