Sunday, October 14, 2012

Catching Up

Instagram photos:

Shaking It Out

A friend posted a photo on Facebook of a dramatic landscape in New Zealand, where she is visiting. After a moment, in my mind's eye I saw Lord Of The Rings pasted onto the scenery - and I haven't even seen the film. Now I have got to shake that image and the associated reactions out of my head so that I can see the view 'clean'.

What A Mess

I can translate the extreme version of this to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - where the poor soul who suffers from it sees a scene of horror pasted onto everything.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stop The UK Badger Cull

Stop the badger cull

Responsible department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
We, the undersigned, call on the government to stop the planned cull of badgers on the following grounds: 
1. Over 70% of the badger population in large areas of the country will be killed, many of them healthy.
2. The method of free-shooting badgers could cause severe to many thousands of badgers.
3. Independent scientific studies have shown that culling would be of little help in reducing bovine TB, and even suggest that it could make things worse in some areas. 
We urge the government to stop the cull and implement the more sustainable and humane solution of both a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle, along with improved testing and biosecurity. 

This e-petition has received the following response:

This e-petition has now passed the threshold of 100 000 signatures.
The Leader of the House of Commons has written to the Backbench Business Committee, who are responsible for the scheduling of debates on e-petitions, informing them that the petition has reached 100 000 signatures.
The Backbench Business Committee meets weekly to hear representations from MPs for debates in backbench time. The Committee can consider any subject for debate, including those raised in e-petitions, but an MP must make the case for their consideration. More information about the Committee is available on its website
A futher response from the Government on this e-petition will be published in due course.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Like A Duck To Water

RSPCA Campaign

Duck Fresh Water Campaign

Dear Asda / Morrisons / Tesco /
The Co-operative Food / Waitrose

I am calling on you to improve the welfare of farmed ducks. Ducks are water birds that have evolved to be in and around water, so I find it unacceptable that the only duck meat you sell is from ducks that don't have access to one of their most basic requirements - bathing water.

I demand you stop ducking this issue at once and provide a higher welfare option for your shoppers and introduce a policy to ensure all the duck meat meat you sell comes from farms that provide full body access to water, according to RSPCA welfare standards for ducks. Please get back to me and tell me what action you're taking to address this issue.

Thank you.

Reply From Tesco

Thank you for your email raising your concerns with us about the provision of open water for ducks. Animal welfare is an important and sensitive issue for many of our customers and we take our responsibilities in this area very seriously.

We have a strong relationship with the RSPCA and wrote in 2008 to support their research into the provision of open water and duck welfare.

Although we do not currently sell any Tesco brand duck, we have discussed the issue with our suppliers, whose duck products we sell in our stores. They have informed us that all ducks supplied to us are given access to open water for water-related behavioural activities such as cleaning and preening. In addition, they are given straw bedding, natural daylight and supplementary lighting, which creates a 6 hour dark period for rest. They are reared in accordance with the Duck Assurance Scheme (DAS), part of the Red Tractor Scheme which focuses on animal welfare, as well as good environmental practice and food safety.

Thank you once again for taking the time to write to us. We are always keen to review new evidence on animal welfare and will be maintaining a close dialogue on the issue with the RSPCA, and with our suppliers.

Tesco Customer Service

Building A Website That Does Not Use Databases

I read an article on alternatives to Wordpress, and one of the suggestions was to build a site using GetSimple CMS.

I already had a spare domain hosted on my favourite web host for shared hosting, so I FTP'd into it and cleaned out the files and folders that were in there.

Then I downloaded the GetSimple folder and uploaded the contents to the server. The site was up and running in about 10 minutes.

There Was A Hitch

There was a hitch because the email that was supposed to arrive with the login password, didn't arrive. And I was locked out of the site.

I cleaned all the files off the server and was ready to put the whole thing down to experience.

But then I asked on the forums and saw that I needed to salt the config file. There's a GetSimple wiki for how to do that - it's very quick and simple to do.

So I started from scratch again and uploaded the package contents to the server. But before I logged out I opened the config file via FTP and salted it.

Now it worked because I could log in and log out and in again. I must ask on the forum whether, if I had salted the config file before uploading it to the server, the email would have arrived with the temp password as it should have.