WordPress bug squashed

This site has been unreachable for a while due to an unpleasant little wordpress bug I had noticed but underestimated. The permalinks were broken and the site errored out, but when I visited the site’s wordpress directory everything worked and the index was fine again. Turns out the cache was serving this valid page after I visted the working part of the site but once I left the cache expired and everything was broken again, reporting a “plugabble.php” error.

The problem is that I like to place wordpress in a separate directory, for which you need to copy the index.php out to the site root. Which is fine, it’s a nearly empty file that just calls the rest of the installation through a link.

Except that recently a wordpress update updated this simple file, which had remained unchanged for years replacing the old

require(‘./wordpressinstalldirectory/wp-blog-header.php’);
?>

for

require( dirname( __FILE__ ) . ‘/wordpressinstalldirectory/wp-blog-header.php’ );

and since the automated update procedure does not know you have files outside the wordpress directory it doesn’t update those files, so the site goes BORK until I can spend a few hours hunting a bug I’m really not qualified to squash (But I got lucky this time!)

Anyway, posting this in case anyone needs help figuring why their pretty category permalinks are broken or why their site reports a pluggable.php error – if you have your index outside the wordpress directory, that is the problem! YAY

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Knights of Sidonia anime review

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Knights of Sidonia is a Japanese animated series based on the manga of the same name by Blame! author Tsutomu Nihei.

Sidonia is a massive interstellar generation ship built around a large asteroid, which is traversing space in order to create a new colony at it’s destination. Earth, the cradle of humanity has been overrun and destroyed by an enigmatic alien race known only as the Gauna who even now pursue and attempt to destroy Sidonia.

The ship posesses powerful advanced weaponry but the Gauna are composed of a central core that is completely indestructible by any means available to humans, surrounded by a biological shapeshifting mass  called “placenta”.  Only a small number of blades salvaged from an alien structure can destroy this core.  Armed with these unique and irreplaceable weapons the robotic frames of the Gardes pilots have developed a series of techniques to destroy the gauna: First use conventional beam weapons to expose the core and then engage in melee combat avoiding the Gauna’s “placental tentacles” to strike a killing blow.

At the time the story begins, Sidonia has been at peace for decades without Gauna encounters. Our protagonist, Nagate Tanikaze is a teenage boy who lives alone in the lower levels of Sidonia with his grandfather. After the latter’s death he decides to climb to the upper levels in search of food. After an attempt to steal some rice from a processing plant he is injured and captured by the inhabitants of Sidonia.

The characters

Nagate Tanikaze

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Raised alone by his grandfather, Nagate is socially retarded and naive (But at least he has an excuse for this, unlike other anime protagonists who were presumably socialized normally) Additionally, he lacks the photosynthesis modification that allows the population of Sidonia to metabolize sunlight, so he must eat much more than a normal Sidonian, a feature that marks him as an outsider. However he has spent his entire life fighting in simulators mentored by his grandfather, who had a mysterious past as defender of Sidonia.

Captain Kobayashi

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An immortal woman who wears an expressionless mask in public, the captain can be ruthless when it comes to doing what needs to be done for the survival of her ship. She seems to consider Nagate important.

Shizuka Hoshijiro

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A classmate in the gardes pilot academy, Hoshijiro is one of the few Sidonians who welcomes Nagate.

Izana Shinatose

Izana_ShinatoseA “3rd gender” hermaphrodite and classmate of Nagate. 3rd genders are a new innovation in Sidonia, hermaphrodites who gravitate to one or the other gender according to their choice of a mate.

Yure Shinatose

yure_shinatose_50377Izana’s grandmother and member of the secret immortal elite that hide their faces so that the population of Sidonia will not know they are ruled by immortals. Head scientist of Sidonia.

Norio Kunato

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Scion of an important industrial dinasty and star pilot at the academy, Kunato soon becomes jealous of the interloper Nagate’s success and conspires against him.

The Gauna

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Enigmatic alien shapeshifters with indestructible cores, the Gauna seem to mimic human shapes and voices, particularly after absorbing a human pilot. Perhaps they are trying to communicate but are too alien to do so effectively?

 

Celshading

This entire show is animated in 3d with celshading options, a stylistic choice that is close to my heart. Although celshading 3d has been around for a long time now very few shows have opted for this route.

The backgrounds, mecha and space scenes are flawless, but that plays to the technique’s strength.  Character models are a little samey (Which to be fair is not unreasonable considering the plot elements regarding Sidonia’s population diversity) and character animation is a little stiff, but serviceable.

Themes

As typical with Nihei’s works, this story has many  hard science fiction features, realistic bioengineering, slower than light starships, respect for newton’s laws and fuel limits to be accounted for. Some of the more fantastic elements are present in the Gauna opponent’s biology, which allows them to perform feats the humans can barely understand, but this accords with Clarke’s law that a “sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

In this sense that the remnants of humanity are faced with opponents that are overwhelmingly more powerful, and where every confrontation features high mortality for the protagonists and the possibility of complete destruction for the human race, the themes of Knights of Sidonia are very close to those of that other highly popular recent anime, Attack on Titan.

 

stuff and nonsense