This widget will check in with the central command center and display the appropriate graphic reflecting the current Suicide Squirrel Threat Level. The threat level is based on rigorous scientific research, monitoring squirrel ‘chatter’ in channels generally associated with squirrel activity.
The Suicide Squirrel Advisory System is designed with Science to guide our protective measures when specific information to a particular sector or geographic region is received. It combines threat information with vulnerability assessments and provides communications to public safety officials and the public.
The Color-coded Threat Level System is used to communicate with public safety officials and the public at-large through a threat-based, color-coded system so that protective measures can be implemented to reduce the likelihood or impact of squirrel suicide.
Note: I copied a lot of the above from The Department of Homeland Security. You have to admit it’s a masterpiece of bureaucratic quack-talk.
We here at Squirrel Alert Command Center never rest in our quest to make the world a safer place. It’s possible that in the future this widget will become even more sophisticated. Maybe not likely, but possible.
Future enhancements might include:
- customizable messages for every alert level
- option to use smaller versions of the images
- anything any clever nutjob out there suggests. (That means you.)
- Why in the name of all that is holy would I want a garish, badly-drawn, inconsequential widget taking up precious space in my sidebar?
Because if you don’t, the squirrels have won.
- It doesn’t work!
That’s not a question.
- Why doesn’t it work?
That’s better, but not very specific. This is a pretty simple Widget, but it requires that your server has simpleXML. simpleXML is turned on by default for (almost) any server running PHP5. Do you get a message about simpleXML? Why didn’t you say so!
- Is that all it does? Put up an ugly picture?
NO! Not only does it put up an ugly picture, it sets the alt and title attribures of the picture as well! Optioinally, it links back to the Command Center Advisory page so your viewers will know what to do.
- TERRIFICALLY MINOR change for XHTML compliance
- Works on servers with older versions of PHP.
- Works better with no title and no snide comment (does not add unneeded stuff to sidebar)
- Fixed an error in the error-handling code.
- Changed a couple of paths in the documentation. No biggie.
- First release.