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Mr. Grumpy Goes Blogging Round Three

It’s time once again for Mr. Grumpy to Go Blogging! This is Round Three of the Mr. Grumpy Series on Blogging. Mr. Grumpy’s goal here is to point out misfortunate blog design choices and mistakes in meaning and incoherent content and creative choices that make blogging a painful experience for the rest of us instead of one built on Passion and Magnitude. Some of the following mandates come from Mr. Grumpy, some of them come from Mr. Grumpy’s readers — all come from eyes too swollen by bad blogs to afford us a good night’s sleep and that makes everyone grumpy! Let’s get started:

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Need Plesk MIME Help

I need help getting my Hand Jive .MP4 (.MOV) video files to play on my new Media Temple virtual server:
http://hardcoreasl.com/handjive/
The video at the bottom of that page has played fine on other servers without me needing to do anything. When I asked Media Temple for help today, their response was this:

You will want to install darwin which is available at http://developer.apple.com/darwin/projects/streaming/
Please let us know if there’s anything else we can help you with.

That seems like overkill. I don’t need to really stream Quicktime, I just need my server to realize a .MOV file is the same as an .MP4 file so your browser’s Quicktime Plugin will recognize the file type but I cannot figure out how to tell my server to set those MIME types.

Do you have a solution?
If not, do you know someone who might know how to fix this?
I am running Plesk 7.5.3 if that makes a difference.

Numbing the Wild Will

It is appalling how many blogs on the web use animals as the butt end of a joke. While surfing one of the major blog exchanges I saw a video of a live kitten being stuffed into a fruit jar. I have seen dogs dressed up in people clothes. I have seen snakes held captive in boxes far too small for survival.

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Technology Bends Time and Compresses Spaces

I understand the romantic notion of clutching a book to breast — some clutch their laptops with the same passion but one can also embrace electronic revisions of writing in the same way. Scholars need to be vigilant in protecting their process of creation and thought and that means saving revisions and first versions so future generations can track the mind process of those who marked paths first. Imagine our scholar’s website that not only catalogues a C.V. and Bibliography, but also every nuance of every correction made in each published article or book.

Publishing on the web generates an enormous wealth of goodwill because our scholar’s verifiable thought patterns become accessible to anyone with the impetus to make the discovery and the thinking process is no longer limited to those who live within human reach of the scholar’s in-class voice. Learning how to use a computer begs the same curve of learning for those who moved from horse to car: Change or get left behind and it is the job of everyone to make sure equal access to information is a right and not a privilege.

Technology encourages revision and rewriting more than ever and the preservation of the process needs to be honored. I’m sure someone can always print out hardcopy of the early revisions of our scholar’s work for those who prefer breast-clutching.

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Word Trade Center Killing Grounds

I have been sitting here for three hours trying to find a way to begin this blog entry. Where should I start? How do I bring it all up again? There are some things you don’t ever want to recall. Forcible recall is treacherous.

Yesterday, for the first time since September 11, 2001, I returned to the killing grounds of the World Trade Center. I returned, not by choice, but by the happenstance of mass transit. In my GO INSIDE Magazine article, Celebrate the Dead, Mourn the Living I reflect on what the World Trade Center meant to me and to a city. I have been uninterested in returning to “Ground Zero” because I have no interest in gawking at the empty space where once stood giants.

Yesterday, I had a meeting in downtown Manhattan and I decided to jump on the PATH train and get off at the WTC stop. Now, “WTC” has always meant “World Trade Center” even when it was not operable for four years, but WTC has always been a destination, and not a place, in the minds of many who ride the PATH every day. The recently re-opened WTC stop on the PATH brought the end-of-the line back to Manhattan proper and, I while I was prepared to get off at the WTC stop, I was unprepared for what I was about to witness.

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