The Heart of a Teacher

Dave Ramsey often encourages people to look for an investment advisor with the heart of a teacher. I’m learning more about what that means.

Some people are in the position of training a new person, on the job, for example. But they don’t enjoy it. They hope the person will learn the new skills as quickly as possible, and go away and not ask for any more training. They want the new person to do their job, and do it well, so that the reluctant trainer won’t get in trouble with their supervisor.... [Read More]

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“Eugenics” by Another Name…

Replying to 

Everyone will stay opposed to ‘eugenics’… right up until the microsecond that they can use it to give their own kids an advantage in life.... [Read More]

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Knowledge Base: Apostrophe

"Its" and "It's"There are few things which make your post or comment appear unprofessional so much as misuse of the humble apostrophe. This is in large part because it’s so easy to get it right. Here are five rules for use of the apostrophe:

  1. If you mean “it is,” or “it has,” write “it’s.” Otherwise, write “its.”
  2. Contractions (can’t, I’ll, you’re) always use an apostrophe, replacing the omitted letters.
  3. Possessive nouns always use an apostrophe.
  4. Possessive pronouns (hers, yours, ours, etc.) never use an apostrophe.
  5. One never forms a plural by adding an apostrophe.

For a deeper exploration of this, including rare exceptions, see my 2008 document, “The Use of the Apostrophe in the English Language.”

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Knowledge Base: Cross-Posting and Copyright

Ratburger.org asserts no copyright (including compilation copyright) over anything published here. Authors retain copyright over anything they publish here, and are free to publish their work anywhere else without any restrictions whatsoever. (If another venue requires that the work not have been published elsewhere, that’s between the author and that publication’s editors.)

Material whose copyright is not owned by the person who posts it should not be published on Ratburger.org, except for quotations and excerpts for critical purposes under the doctrine of fair use.  Such material should be identified as to its source including, if on-line, a link to the original document.... [Read More]

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Knowledge Base: RSS Feeds

Ratburger.org, like most WordPress-based sites, offers RSS feeds which provide notification when new posts and comments are published.  You will find links to these feeds in the “Meta” section of the sidebar at the right of the desktop site or the bottom of the home page on mobile devices under “Entries RSS” and “Comments RSS”.

These feeds are XML files in the RSS 1.0 standard format which list the most recent 25 entries and comments on the site.  You can subscribe to these feeds with any compatible feed reader (sometimes called an “aggregator”), of which a multitude exist.  You just supply the URL of the feed to the reader program, and it will show the recent entries.  You can usually tell the reader to poll the feed, for example, every ten minutes, to inform you of new posts and comments.... [Read More]

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Knowledge Base: Spoiler Warnings

When you’re writing a post, for example a book or movie review, and you don’t want to give away plot or ending spoilers to those who haven’t yet encountered the story, you can wrap the spoilers in the [spoiler] and [/spoiler] shortcodes.  These will cause the text they enclose to be hidden unless the user explicitly displays it by clicking on the title of the spoiler box.  You can specify any title you wish with the “title=” attribute in the [

shortcode.

For example, if you write in your post:... [Read More]

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Knowledge Base: Drop Caps

Would you like your posts to use drop caps as in  beautifully typeset documents of yore?  Yes you can, as long as you’re posting at Ratburger.org!  To use a drop cap in your post (it’s available only for main posts on the site, not comments or messages and comments in groups, which are informal conversations), simply wrap [dropcap] and [/dropcap] shortcodes around the first word of the paragraph you wish rendered with a drop cap.

This is best if used sparingly.  Use a drop cap at the start of your post and after breaks between main sections of long posts.  They indicate to the reader they’re moving from one part of the text to another.... [Read More]

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Knowledge Base: Editing Published Posts

When you publish a post on Ratburger.org, it moves from being a Draft you can edit at will to the exalted status of a published post.  Published posts cannot be edited, since there is no facility to save incremental changes to a non-public draft, and hence visitors to the site might read something you aren’t ready to place before their eyes.

Consequently, when you find an error or wish to amend what you’ve said in a published post, proceed as follows.... [Read More]

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Knowledge Base: Embedding Media in Posts and Comments

Thanks to a technology called oEmbed, it is possible to embed videos, documents, tweets from Twitter, images from image hosting sites, polls, and other media in your posts on the main site and in groups, and in comments on those posts.

It couldn’t be easier.  For example, suppose you’re viewing an interesting video in YouTube which you’d like to share.  As long as the person who posted the video hasn’t marked it as ineligible for embedding, you simply copy the URL from the address bar of your Web browser, something that looks like “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ6nn8fZOmc” into your post on a line by itself, without any formatting (such as bold or italic type), and the link address will be automatically transformed into embedded media when you publish the post or comment.... [Read More]

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Knowledge Base: Including Images in Comments on Posts

When you’re writing a comment on a post and wish to include an image, it can seem puzzling, since the mechanism is entirely different from that used when you add an image to a main post.  Why?  Because the image facility for main posts is a WordPress built-in feature while the comment composition editor is a plug-in by a third party which does not conform to the same interface.  It would be nice if it did, but, not wishing to implement everything from scratch, we work with what’s available.  Once you get used to it, including images in comments isn’t all that painful.  Let’s dig into it.

You insert images in comments by clicking the icon at the right of the comment composition box that looks like a mountain range (that’s supposed to suggest a picture).  When it pops up, you’ll see the following dialogue:... [Read More]

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