Very useful WordPress tip for editing systemwide options

In the process of searching for a solution to a very specific WordPress problem (getting the “Add Media” overlay to default to “none” for the link — no one I know ever wants it to default to inserting a link), I came upon a very useful general tip for WordPress.

WordPress stores a ton of settings in the wp_options data table. But a lot of those settings are not directly accessible for editing in WordPress admin. Or so I thought.

Turns out, it’s not linked anywhere in the admin interface, but if you have the Administrator role, you can access an All Settings page that allows you to edit any record in that table (except serialized data) by going to this URL:

http://YOUR_URL/wp-admin/options.php

Watch out… you have the potential to really mess things up here, which is why it’s not easier to get to. But it’s a handy way to easily update an option, if you know what you’re doing, without having to log into the database directly.

Oh… and if you want to fix the specific problem I was trying to solve at the beginning of this post, look for image_default_link_type and set it to “none”.

Newsweek: Brains are back!

And not a moment too soon. A Newsweek article explores the return of intellect and reason to the White House after the shallow anti-intellectualism that has plagued our nation for (at least) eight years.

This may be the number-one reason I supported Obama as vigorously as I did. He is a thinker. He’s curious. He wants to know the truth, and he’s not afraid to question and challenge — or to be questioned and challenged himself. It’s about time!

And now… please… let’s put a few anti-intellectual ideas to bed:

1. Earth is not 6000 years old. We can be reasonably certain through carbon dating and other scientifically validated methods that it is approximately 4.5 billion years old.

2. Evolution is a fact. We can observe it — and we have — at the microscopic level (i.e. antibiotic-resistant bacteria) and in other species with short lifespans (like some insects), and it is a logically consistent explanation for the diversity of life we see on Earth today. Why can’t we witness it happening at the macro level, like in humans? See point number 1. The slice of Earth’s lifespan that your own represents is smaller than the division between Al Franken and Norm Coleman in this year’s Senate race. It’s the same reason we don’t see stalactites grow.

3. Global warming is caused by human activity. Sure, the overall temperature of the planet has fluctuated over the millennia, but the rate of increase in the last 150 years (coinciding with industrialization) is unprecedented.

4. Science is the quest for knowledge and understanding. It is a good thing that everyone should study. It does not preclude religious belief; the two are not mutually exclusive. You do not need to reject science to have faith, and you do not have to reject faith to believe in science. But faith, by definition, cannot be proven, and science can — in fact, that’s what makes it science, and it’s given us just about everything we have in the modern world.

Ahh… it feels good! Brains are back! Now, let’s stop arguing the validity of things we know to be true, and start doing something about them!

After a typo fix, the Coleman-Franken split is now just 236 votes

Yes, according to the Huffington Post, the vote totals between Norm Coleman and Al Franken are now separated by only 236 (although for some reason the StarTribune says 238), out of 2,860,224 votes cast. That’s a difference of 0.0083%. It’s not razor-thin, it’s atom-thin. I was going to draw a graph representing that slice of the pie, but if the “slice” were only one pixel wide, the chart would have a diameter of 53 inches. You’d need one of the largest commercially available plasma TVs just to look at it (and the top and bottom would still be cut off), and the “slice” would still be only about the thickness of your fingernail.

State law would require a recount even if the difference were as large as 14,301 votes, yet Coleman is still declaring himself the victor and calling on Franken to concede.

No way! I absolutely do not want a protracted 2000-style legal battle, but this is simply too close and it’s not even up to Franken whether or not the recount happens. Cool it, Norm!

This is even better than the manualist!

Yes, the manualist from my previous post also played the Super Mario Bros. theme, but I think this is even better: the SMB theme is here being performed by a pair of Tesla coils!

Of course, a quick search on YouTube reveals a ton of creative arrangements of this timeless piece of music. I have to give credit to even some of the less-than-stellar performances, like the one on a ruler. But for sheer audacity, the award has to go to this kid who played it on a church pipe organat a service!

Can we make Mississippi secede again?

I’ll try not to gloat over the (at this time, apparent) Democratic victory in the House, and possible (but increasingly unlikely) victory in the Senate. (At this point it looks like a modest Republican victory in Missouri is going to lead to ao 50-50 split, with Cheney — or Lieberman — tipping the scales to the right. And that’s counting on surprise Democratic victories in Montana and Virginia!)

Right now I’m fixated on one incomprehensible fact: Mississippi re-elected Trent Lott! By an overwhelming margin!

*BANG* Ow! *BANG* Ow! *BANG* Ow! *BANG* Ow!

(That’s me beating my head against the wall.)