A “30 Rock”-style Muppet Show?

Sounds good to me …

ABC’s ‘Muppets’ Revival Will Be a “More Adult” Mockumentary Style Show | Splitsider.

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How I got W3 Total Cache and WPTouch to co-exist

Years ago, I was ahead of the new media curve. Now, I’m not. I confess that I did not have a mobile-friendly theme for SportsMyriad.com until Google sent me the notice that I needed to do that or my site would be buried under 10,000,000 porn sites or something like that.

So I installed WPTouch, and … it didn’t work. After some research, I found that the issue was that I also have W3 Total Cache, which I believe I installed when my 2012 medal projections crashed the site.

After some painful searching (um, Google, shouldn’t we get the most useful stuff first?), I wound up on WPTouch’s page for working with caching plugins:

That might have done the job on its own. But I also found another little trick buried in the otherwise useless support forums:

Check your W3 Total Cache settings:

In WordPress admin, go to Performance-> Page Cache -> Advanced -> Never cache the following pages.

Add mobile-detect\.php

So there you have it, one way to make W3 Total Cache and WPTouch work. It’s not at all guaranteed, and it’s being passed along by a guy who has no intention of researching this any further. Back to the stuff I actually do.

If this works for you, great. If it doesn’t, please feel free to comment on what’s supposed to be done instead. I’m just writing this in the hopes that other people will find ways to do this more quickly than I did. Maybe people will find this post and get the solution, or maybe my links will help boost these pages’ search ranking. Whatever. Peace out.

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A thought on learning

Slightly out of context from the piece as a whole, which is full of caution about grad school, but this is brilliantly written:

Society only exists because brains can learn, but academia is the only part of society that acts like it. Politics, business, and warfare all just play with the toys learning gave them, because arguing, greed, and violence are the childish parts of the species. Learning is how humanity grows up.

via 6 Important Things Nobody Tells You About Grad School | Cracked.com.

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Michigan “American Sniper” controversy is about taste, not freedom

A headline writer at Brown’s newspaper needs a lesson in reading comprehension. Either that, or he/she figured “Universities shouldn’t speak freely” would be a nice clickbait headline for a nuanced piece on Michigan’s decision to show, then not show, then show (off to the side) American Sniper at a campus social function.

rageaholThis sentence didn’t help: “But really, canceling the movie is perfectly consistent with freedom of expression, and showing the movie is what contradicts freedom of expression.”

But in context, it’s easy to see what he means. Students used their freedom of expression to say, “Hey, this is our party, and we don’t want to see a freaking WAR MOVIE that isn’t particularly comfortable viewing, especially for the thriving Arab and Muslim communities on campus!” That’s their right.

He was on much stronger ground here:

“It’s a complete mystery why the university thought it was a good idea to begin with to show the movie at a Friday night event designed to provide alcohol-free fun, entertainment and socializing.”

The right-wing outrage machine will surely try to make a big issue of this. But it’s not about censorship or freedom. It’s about having really bad taste in party planning.

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Our job: BS detectors

Yet another ethical issue: How to report on popular purveyors of scientific nonsense without ended up giving them even more exposure — that is, spreading the disease of misinformation in the process of trying to wipe it out.

Reporting on quacks and pseudoscience: The problem for journalists – LA Times.

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Does a TV series have to last to be successful?

For once, I agree with the critics. The Last Man on Earth was terrific for its first couple of episodes and then quickly went off a cliff.

Just when it became too much for Will Forte to do on his own, they brought in one of my favorite people in entertainment, Kristen Schaal. Their characters’ different approaches to civilization’s collapse brought some great comic moments.

The first half-hour asked and answered the question “How would you make the most of things if everyone else was gone?” Then with Schaal on board, it asked how you would make the most of things if the one other person drove you crazy.

Then … let’s let Salon’s Anna Silman sum it up:

It’s disappointing to see how fast the show has veered away from its adventurous beginnings into predictable sitcom plot-lines and stereotypes. When the cast was still only Phil and Carol, their odd-couple banter felt fresh, and I looked forward to following them on their bizarro Adam and Eve-like quest for repopulation. But with the arrival of January Jones’ Melissa in episode three, and the formation of a plot based purely on the old-school love triangle, much of the show’s early promise seems to have been jettisoned in favor of a far less exciting approach.

AV Club’s Caroline Framke had similar disappointment. She liked the possibility of January Jones being the rational one between Forte and Schaal’s extremes, but the whole “I’d rather be having sex with the other one” plot is as hackneyed and tedious as it gets.

Huffington Post’s Maureen Ryan didn’t even like Schaal’s introduction because her character was such a female stereotype. It’s a valid complaint, but I thought Schaal did such a nice job taking her character beyond stereotypes into lunacy — as she does in her standup comedy and her voice work on Gravity Falls and Bob’s Burgers — that she overcame most of the underlying sexism. She even brought a bit of dignity to the role, demanding and getting respect.

Here’s another way Last Man on Earth could have played out …

Forte and Schaal struggle for another 4-5 episodes, gradually making progress restoring basic comforts (plumbing, for one) and getting along with each other, even falling in love. They even restore power, get on the Internet and find … New Zealand survived the virus. They make contact and prepare to pack for New Zealand, only to find that a bunch of New Zealanders want to come over and live in Tucson. Forte and Schaal look out over their newly populated town with satisfaction.

End of series.

All told, maybe it’s 12 episodes. And that’s OK.

Continuing indefinitely is generally an American thing. Many of the classic British shows — Fawlty Towers, The Office, The Young Ones — only produced 12 episodes. In those cases, it’s regrettable. Surely The Young Ones could’ve gone on a bit longer. I was still holding out hope for a revival, akin to the periodic Absolutely Fabulous six-episode spurts, until Rik Mayall died. The Old Ones would’ve been terrific.

Not here. Shows continue until the ratings slide or everyone in the cast finally decides to move on after devoting most of their careers to a single role.

That brings me to The Blacklist.

It’s a terrific show. I could watch James Spader’s inspired Raymond Reddington character all day. But it’s wearing thin.

How many times can we have characters reach the brink of learning the mysteries surrounding them, only to back away? How long can Liz continue to deal with Red’s refusal to pull back the curtain and explain, at least partially, what this is all about?

The Blacklist should either run for about 50 episodes total or come up with some sort of extra level of mystery to make it worthwhile. The former might be more palatable.

So it’s a puzzler. Why must open-ended Britcoms leave us so soon while American shows drag out limited premises for so long? Why did Lost continue for so many seasons, only to conclude with, “Uh, yeah, it’s some sort of purgatory”?

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Jon Stewart: The last journalist?

At Popdose, Dw. Dunphy uses the Daily Show transition as a launching point for a sharp critique of the profit-driven cowardly news media, obsessed with landing big interviews rather than doing anything constructive with them:

In the messed-up, funhouse world of news transmission, the worst thought is that the true news companies are so compromised in their existence that they can no longer actually do the job as it needs to be done. They produce celebrities now; not any grizzled Edward R. Murrow types, if I may momentarily romanticize things. Stewart was as close as we had to that level of unchained reportage. I hope Trevor Noah will not fall back but will instead charge harder. If not, there’s not much left to count on, other than softballs, a swing, and a miss.

via “The Big Get” And The Jon Stewart Loss.

I still hope Jon Stewart is able to get another interview with John McCain before he departs.

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