One of [WordPress’s](http://www.wordpress.org) coolest features is officially dead as far as I’m concerned. The [links-update](http://wordpress.org/support/topic/23457) feature is what used to control the order and formatting of the links in the sidebar on the right of this page. Links would be listed in the order of most recently updated, and links updated in the last 24 hours would be listed in bold. For over a month, according to wordpress, nobody has been updating anything. After the upgrade to WP 1.5 , it only kept track of maybe 4-5 sites. Now we’re down to none. And yesterday (finally) I gave up. They’re listed in simple alphabetic order now. So sad. Hopefully one day they’ll fix whatever kinks are up and I can reimplement this feature. It’s the first time WordPress has ever let me down.
Probably the saddest part is that, up till yesterday, I was still using my sidebar as a substitute for a genuine RSS reader. For a whole host of reasons, a nice neat list was really all I wanted. But since links-update has been broken, my nice neat list had me sporadically clicking every person on the list just to see if they had updated (I’m sure their hit counters were loving it).
Well, no more. I went a searching and found an online reader that seems to do pretty much everything I want (which is to say: nearly nothing). So I’m officially recommending [News Gator](http://www.newsgator.com/) as a good online RSS reader. The only disadvantage is that I now have to add things to my list of sites twice. Once there and once here. The good news is that now I’m reading up on all kinds of interesting things I had been missing out on.
* Michael at 2 Blowhards has a great article on [fiction writing](http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/002014.html). He has some charitable things to say about good storytelling and some not so charitable things to say about creative writing classes. Personally, I am resolved to read some of the teacher’s works before ever taking another creative writing class again. (Also, don’t miss Donald Pittenger’s discussion on Flair and Norman Rockwell([Part 1](http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/002020.html), [Part 2](http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/002006.html)). Best free Art education I could imagine.
* Howard Taylor of [Schlock Mercenary](http://www.schlockmercenary.org) fame says he’s [ready for all the Jedi to die](http://www.livejournal.com/users/howardtayler/96186.html). He has a great analysis of aren’t nearly so cool as some would like to make them out to be. His conclusion seems to be that the Jedi are more to blame for Darth Vader than are the Sith.
* Julie Fidler has what I think may [the perfect response](http://fidlerontheroof.blogspot.com/2005/05/redemption-vs-divorce.html) to a Christian couple who have decided on divorce.
* The Jollyblogger has some thoughts on whether the [individual or corporate aspects of salvation](http://jollyblogger.typepad.com/jollyblogger/2005/05/miscellaneous_t.html) are most important. He has a growing suspicion (as do I) that the corporate aspects are actually the most important in God’s plan.
* Jollyblogger *again* on the connection between [apostacy and an unwillingness to learn](http://jollyblogger.typepad.com/jollyblogger/2005/05/the_centrality_.html)
I’m sure there were more that I could have found, but I got tired of reading. If anyone would like to recommend a better online RSS Reader, I’d appreciate it. 🙂