4 Tips for Lighting a Cigar

For new smokers, lighting a cigar can seem as daunting as learning to choose a good single. Here are four tips to guide you in lighting a cigar for the first time.

1. Use cedar matches, if possible. If you prefer to use a lighter, make sure it’s butane lighter to avoid strong odors.

2. Warm the open end of the cigar (aka ‘the foot’ of the cigar) slowly over the flame, without touching it to the fire. Let a black ring form around the end.

3. Place the cigar in your mouth and draw in slowly. Hold the cigar over the flame, about half an inch above it, again without touching. Continue to draw in until the cigar draws the flame. Turn the cigar slowly, spinning it to establish an even burn.

4. Once your cigar is lit, take it out of your mouth and observe the burn you have established. If the burn appears to be uneven, simply blow on the unlit sections to draw the burn, and then take one or two draws from the cigar to reestablish an even burn.

All About Santa Claus

It’s only fitting that since Santa Claus has the magnificent capability to visit homes around the world in a single night that more than one place would claim to be his home.

It’s only fitting that since Santa Claus has the magnificent capability to visit homes around the world in a single night that more than one place would claim to be his home. It’s common belief that Santa hails from the wintry North Pole, but folks in Finland will also tell you that Santa calls that country his home. To prove it, the Finns will even invite you to visit Santa in his workshop before Christmas or during the year and talk with Santa Claus as he and his elves busy themselves for their end-of-year Christmas expedition around the globe.

The popularity in America today of the images and legend of Santa Claus can be traced to the poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,’ that was written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1822. In that poem, Moore described St. Nicholas as a jolly fellow who flew from house to house in a sleigh pulled by reindeers and waited for children to go to bed on Christmas Eve before he came down the chimney to deliver Christmas presents for them.

Following the distribution of that poem, the popular magazine Harper’s Weekly published cartoons by Thomas Nast between 1863 and 1886 that depicted Santa as a cheerful fellow with a large round belly and long white beard who wore a bright red suit that was trimmed with white fur. In those cartoons, Santa also held a sack, which was filled with toys for boys and girls, over his shoulder. The cartoons also showed Santa reading letters from good boys and girls, working in his workshop with his elves, checking his list to make sure he had all the required toys and even showed his wife, Mrs. Claus.

The tradition of Santa Claus was brought to America however by Dutch colonists who settled in New York City, which was called New Amsterdam at the time. The real St. Nicholas is said to be a minor saint from the 4th Century with a
reputation for generosity and kindness that gave rise to legends of many miracles that he performed for the poor and unhappy. One of the stories about the legend of St. Nicholas is that he saved three poor girls who were sisters
from being sold into a life of slavery or prostitution by their father. According to the legend, Santa Claus provided the girls with a dowry so that they could get married.

The legend of St. Nicholas led to hundreds of people being devoted to him and consequently thousands of European churches became dedicated to him. After the Reformation period however, widespread practice and worship of St. Nicholas disappeared in European countries that were Protestant, except in Holland where the legend of St. Nicholas continued. St. Nicholas was known as Sint Nikolaas but that was later corrupted to Sinter Klaas.

Dutch colonists took this tradition of Sinter Klaas to New York City where it was adopted using the Englist name of Santa Claus. Over time, the Dutch legend of the kindly saint was combined with old Nordic folktales about a magician who punished naughty children and rewarded good ones with presents to give rise to the stories that now exist about Santa Claus.

The red and white-trimmed suit of Santa Claus is believed to be the colors that the original St. Nicholas worebecause red and white were the colors of the robes worn by traditional bishops. It is also believed that the Coca Cola Co. played a role in what is regarded as the popular look of Santa Claus today through paintings by artist Haddon Sundblom that were placed in some of the company’s advertisement between 1931 and 1964.

WP update: WordPress 3.4 Beta 1

Another WordPress release is underway and here are some of the updates…

Another WordPress release is underway and here are some of the updates:

  • Theme Customizer with Previewer
  • Flexible Custom Header Sizes
  • Selecting Custom Header and Background Images from Media Library
  • Better experience searching for and choosing a theme

Some of the change under-the-hood:

  • New XML-RPC API for external and mobile applications
  • New API for registering theme support for custom headers and backgrounds
  • Performance improvements to WP_Query by splitting the query (Please test!)
  • Internationalization improvements (improved performance and locale support)
  • Performance and API improvements when working with lists of installed themes
  • Support for installing child themes from the WordPress Themes Directory

Please report all bugs to the  alpha/beta forum or email it to the wp-testers list.

More details on the WP 3.4 beta 1 release can be found here.

WordPress 3.2 – faster and lighter

This major release include some interesting updates, such as a redesigned admin interface and a new theme called “Twenty Eleven”…

This major release include some interesting updates, such as a redesigned admin interface and a new theme called “Twenty Eleven”. The primary focus on this update was however to make WordPress both faster and lighter. In order to accomplish that, the developers had to raise the system requirements from PHP 4.3 and MySQL 4.1.2 to PHP 5.2.4 och MySQL 5.

Among the other updates you will find:

  • Redesigned post editor with fullscreen button
  • Extended Admin bar
  • No more IE6 support
  • Incremental upgrades (=faster)
More info can be found in the 3.2 Codex and in the Trac milestone, which includes over 400 closed tickets.

WordPress 3.0.2 – security update available

A maintenance release that fixes a moderate security issue that could allow a malicious Author-level users to gain further access to the site, addresses a handful of bugs, and provides some additional security enhancements.

WordPress 3.0.2 is a maintenance release that fixes a moderate security issue that could allow a malicious Author-level users to gain further access to the site, addresses a handful of bugs, and provides some additional security enhancements.

What’s new

  • Fixed moderate security issue where a malicious Author-level user could gain further access to the site.
  • Remove pingback/trackback blogroll whitelisting feature as it can easily be abused.
  • See all updates

To upgrade, visit http://wordpress.org/download/ or update automatically from the Dashboard > Updates menu in your site’s admin area.

How to list post attachments in WordPress

Here’s an example on how you can list documents uploaded to a specific post or page in WordPress using get_children.

Here’s an example on how you can list documents uploaded to a specific post or page in WordPress using get_children. Add the following code to your single.php or page.php file to list uploaded documents.

<?php
$attached_documents = get_children(array(
	'post_parent'    => get_the_ID(),
	'post_type'      => 'attachment',
	'numberposts'    => -1, // show all
	'post_status'    => null,
	'post_mime_type' => 'application/pdf,application/msword,application/vnd.ms-powerpoint,application/vnd.ms-excel'
));
if (!empty($attached_documents)):
	echo '<ul>';
		foreach($attached_documents as $attached_document) {
			$document_url   = wp_get_attachment_url($attached_document->ID);
			$document_title = apply_filters('the_title',$attached_document->post_title);

			echo '<li><a href="' . $document_url . '" title="' . $document_title . '" target="_blank">' . $document_title . '</a></li>';
		}
	echo '</ul>';
endif;
?>

This example lists all PDF, Word, PowerPoint and Excel files. For more MIME types, check out w3school’s comprehensive list.

Remove WordPress version from RSS and head tags

By default your WordPress blog is showing which version of WordPress it is running on. This information can be found on these two places:

In a head tag:

<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 2.9.2" />

In a “generator” tag in your RSS feed:

<generator>http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2</generator>

To hide this information – just add the following lines to the functions.php file in your theme directory:

<?php
	/* Remove WordPress version */
	remove_action('wp_head', 'wp_generator');

	function remove_feed_generator() {
	return '';
	}
	add_filter('the_generator', 'remove_feed_generator');
?>

Why hide this information? Some versions of WordPress have included vulnerabilities in the past and will most probably do so in the future as well. By hiding your WordPress version you will make it a bit harder for a potential hacker to know which vulnerabilities to use.

Also, remember to keep both your WordPress installation and it’s plugins up-to-date!

Writing your own iframe shortcode plugin for WordPress

When you want simplify publishing of specific elements or code chunks, WordPress Shortcodes might come in handy. Basically it replaces a piece of text that you insert via the editor with something else, defined in your template or in a plugin.

When you want simplify publishing of specific elements or code chunks, WordPress Shortcodes might come in handy. Basically it replaces a piece of text that you insert via the editor with something else, defined in your template or in a plugin.

Here’s an example on how to create a plugin that allows you to insert iframes using shortcodes. Regular iframe tags can be inserted via the HTML editor in WordPress, but the example below will give you a hint on what it can be used for.

<?php
/*
Plugin Name: Iframe Shortcode Plugin
Plugin URI: http://www.guidecloud.com/2010/07/14/writing-your-own-iframe-shortcode-plugin-for-wordpress/
Description: Add iframes to Posts and Pages within WordPress.
Author: GuideCloud.com
Version: 1.0
Author URI: http://www.guidecloud.com/
License: GPL2
*/

class guidecloud_iframe_shortcode {
    function shortcode($atts, $content=null) {
		extract(shortcode_atts(array(
			'url' 	=> '',
			'scrolling' 	=> 'no',
			'width' 	=> '100%',
			'height' 	=> '500',
			'frameborder' 	=> '0',
			'marginheight' 	=> '0',
		), $atts));

		if (empty($url)) return '<!-- Iframe: You did not enter a valid URL -->';

	return '<iframe src="'.$url.'" title="" scrolling="'.$scrolling.'" width="'.$width.'" height="'.$height.'" frameborder="'.$frameborder.'" marginheight="'.$marginheight.'"><a href="'.$url.'" target="_blank">'.$url.'</a></iframe>';
    }
}

add_shortcode('iframe', array('guidecloud_iframe_shortcode', 'shortcode'));
?>

Create a new file called iframe-shortcode.php, paste the code above and upload it to your wp-content/plugins/ directory. Go to “Plugins” in your WordPress administration and activate the plugin.

Once the plugin has been activated you can place iframe shortcodes, like the example below, into your WordPress posts.

[iframe url="http://www.linktoiframe.com/iframepage/" height="500" width="100%" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" marginheight="0"]

You can also download the plugin here:
WordPress Iframe Shortcode Plugin

More reading: