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WP_ModerationRSS

I like to monitor my comments by RSS. That keeps all the fun blog related stuff in the feed reader and leaves my email for important stuff. Unfortunately, this has resulted in some comments languishing unnoticed in the moderation queue since there doesn’t seem to be an easy way (that I found with a quick search) to get the comments awaiting moderation into a feed. So here is a very simple plugin to put comments awaiting moderation into an RSS feed.

Features

  • RSS feed of comments awaiting moderation
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Hosting Problems and How to Restore Lost Pings

I just checked in here and found the last couple days of comments missing. Luckily, they were stored in gmail and I think I restored them all. But if you left a comment recently and it isn’t here now, it’s not that I don’t like you (just that my host apparently doesn’t like me).

A couple of the comments were pings and I wouldn’t have know how to get them back if I hadn’t messed around with pinging for my WP_PingPreserver plugin, so I figured it might be useful to put up a quick bit on how to recover lost pings. You’ll need to know a little bit about php to use it I guess but if you don’t know php and need to restore some pings let me know and I’ll make up a quick plugin. So here’s some simple (i.e. probably not perfectly to specifications) php code to restore lost pings on WordPress:

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Tangled Bank #104

Tangled Bank Icon Myers, Darwin and cake

Welcome to the 104th edition of the Tangled Bank blog carnival (a biweekly showcase of good biology posts selected by the authors themselves). Rigorous calculations and archaelogical research have revealed that this is the Tangled Bank’s 4th birthday. In the birthday spirit, several people sent appropriately themed presents.

Chris gave some great gifts (with a few caveats); a protien to resist radiation (may cause cancer), an enzyme to live longer, slimmer and stronger (but anti-socially and so far only in mice), and a transcription factor that can reverse skin aging (also in mice).

Flu virus

Even more microbiological gifts came in. steppen wolf wrapped up a nice box of cancer-fighting microRNA while Nimravid added some surprisingly robust bacterial gene networks. Finally, Ed chipped in a giant symbiotic bacteria with 40,000 copies of DNA and some influenza virus (straight from the flu’s tropical Asian source) and I contributed some cancer fighting bacteria.

I’m running out of synonyms for “give” and ways to twist submissions into presents, so let’s leave the birthday party behind and see the rest of the submissions.

First some plant related posts. Ocean Rambles has a bunch of nice pictures of the endangered Garry Oak ecosystem (and spring flowers) on Vancouver Island. Also concerned for plants, rENNISance woman links to the new idea of plant dignity (and a very odd stem cell comment thread).

On cultivated plants, Jeremy warns that relatively little money is being spent on farming research, especially for developing countries that need it most, and urges farmers to stop being pushed around by an agricultural corporation that sounds like the RIAA of farming (plus health effects).

Continuing the topic of corporate machinations, Biotunes describes an article (and personal experience) about bias in medical publications. On the lighter side of medicine, you can play doctor in space with a cool little flash game from the BBC.

Flagellum model

Moving on to scheming of the creationist sort, Greg theorizes why physics doesn’t have argumentum ad Nazium documentaries and points out that biology at the molecular scale is difficult to comprehend. Monado gives an example of this difficulty by comparing creationist drawings to a real electron micrograph of a flagellum. Late update: On the topic of pseudoscience, Podblack Cat asks “are women more superstitious?” (and throws in quite a literature review for the topic).

As an antidote to that intelligent design, Alvaro has details on making new neurons and a bunch of interviews of neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists.

Finally, 10,000 Birds (the only returning blog from Tangled Bank #1 [this post if you're curious]) describes coots (the bird, not the elderly).

I hope you enjoyed this Tangled Bank. The next edition is at the Beagle Project. You can email submissions to the hosts directly here or here or to the standard host@tangledbank.net before May 14th. Here’s to four years of biology blogging carnivals and hopefully many more.

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Gravatar Adds MonsterIDs and Identicons

Gravatar

It looks like Gravatar has added Identicons and MonsterIDs to their system. I’d been wondering when they would add something like this since it seems like such a simple and useful addition. I was thinking my plugins wouldn’t get much use now but it seems like they’ve gotten quite a few hits in the last few days. Not sure if that’s related to Gravatar or just random but I guess some people are still finding them useful.

So I guess I’ll keep maintaining the plugins since unfortunately Gravatar doesn’t really give you all the configuration possibilities of WP_Identicon or the hand drawn monsters of WP_MonsterID.

Goblin art by Lemm

Speaking of hand drawn, Lemm, the kind illustrator that drew up the new monsters, has (re?)started No More Tangerines, a blog showing off some of her art. It’s pretty cool to see the progression her drawings go through.

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WP_Texticon

Matrix-like Texticon example Letters Texticon example DNA-like Texticon example

I realize I’m getting in the dead horse beating side of automatic avatar creation plugins but brainsolid asked for a plugin to generate binary avatars that looked like the text from the matrix and I figured it wouldn’t take too long to change WP_Identicon over to it. Of course, then other things came up and I managed to take quite a while to get around to it but it’s done now so here is WP_Texticon. It generates avatars with an array of colored characters. It’s sort of hard to describe so it’s probably easier to just show a few examples.

So I guess it’s mostly for anyone that likes that text in the Matrix, writing about code (with 0 and 1′s or 0-9 and A-E if you want to get fancy) or biologists (give every commenter their own DNA sequence with ATCG) or maybe general literature (with some random letters and a white background).

Features

  • Dynamically generated avatars for each commenter
  • Matrix/DNA/Binary-like text array icons
  • Customizable character selection
  • Gravatar support
  • No theme edits necessary

Current Version:

WP_Texticon

Installation instructions:

Unzip wp_texticon.zip. Upload wp_texticon.php and the texticon folder. Make sure the texticon folder is writable. If your unzipping program creates a wp_texticon folder please only upload the contents (wp_texticon.php and the texticon folder). That should be it. Texticons should now appear next to your commenter’s names.

You can adjust the background colors, the type and number of characters making up the Texticons and CSS in the Texticon Control Panel. If you’d like to change the fonts used for the characters, add or remove any Truetype Fonts (files that end in .ttf) you’d like to the texticon/fonts folder. You can also clear the Texticon image cache in the control panel.

For Advanced Users:

For even more control, you can disable the automatic placement in the Texticon Control Panel and add an Texticon to any comment with texticon_build($comment->comment_author_email, $comment->comment_author);. For example, find the comments.php of your current theme (it should be in the folder wp-content/themes/[currentThemeName]/). Open it up and look for something similar to foreach ($comments as $comment). Inside this loop there should be code that displays the comment author’s name or metadata like <p class="comment-author"> or <p class="comment-metadata">. Just before all this enter:
<?php if (function_exists(texticon_build)) echo texticon_build($comment->comment_author_email, $comment->comment_author); ?>
If you would prefer to base the Texticons on the commentor’s IP address instead of the commentor’s email just replace $comment->comment_author_email in the above with $comment->comment_author_IP.

Change Log:

  • v0.52 3-27-2007:
    • Fixed missing gravatar bug
  • v0.51 3-27-2007:
    • First Public Version

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