A fire, a map, and a WordPress theme

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Fire gutted the landmark Plaza Fair building early morning Tuesday. Reports say the fire caused P20 million in damages. The blaze broke out just as we were finalizing the day’s newspaper issue. We no longer had time to include the story in the issue.

But I admit it was tempting to copy Michael Keaton in The Paper-the whole “Stop the press!” bit. Of course you couldn’t do that in Sun.Star Cebu, our printing plant is kilometers away and if you needed to “stop the press” for a late breaker, you’d either have to call or text the plant manager. Somehow texting “stp d prs” isn’t as dramatic as barging into the plant and screaming the words.

The fire was visible from our office canteen, two blocks away (check photos and map below).

After the newsroom staff finished the day’s issue, Marlen and I passed by Colon St. to view the fire. This was already at 2 a.m. and the fire was still raging. On the sideline were owners of stalls inside the Plaza Fair building (Fairmart to Colon old-timers). My favorite McDonald’s branch in downtown Cebu City was razed. I took some camera phone photos and then Marlen and I went to Fuente Osmeña to take an early morning meal (our equivalent of a dinner).

Here are photos I took of the fire, click on them to view larger images. I’m hosting the photos in Zooomr and they are geo-tagged, meaning you can view them in a tag map and they are pinned on the satellite photo of downtown Cebu City. If you view the tag map in Zoomr, click on satellite view because Google does not have street maps of Cebu.

Plaza Fair on Colon st. Plaza Fair, Colon, Cebu City Plaza Fair fire P. del Rosario street in Cebu City

Here is a map to the place. Boy I would love to have this tool for the Sun.Star website. Imagine the spatial context it would give to your reports if you can pin events related to your report in an easy to use map such as this (you can move the map around by using the buttons or dragging it. Click on the green flags to read notes):

We arrived home at 4:00 a.m. and I no longer had time to package the files of Brighthouse-WP, the Typo theme I converted to WordPress, for downloading. It was a good thing though as it gave me a chance to check it again to fix XHTML validation errors. I still have a couple of errors to fix and as soon as I fix it, I’ll package the files for downloading.

Brighthouse is a theme for the Typo blogging platform. I spotted it when checking out features of SlimTimer. I really like the theme, it reminds me of the design of the Signal vs. Noise blog. I converted it for WordPress over the weekend, using the bits of code I collected in this blog post.

I still have some issues to solve with Explorer-why some sidebar elements don’t appear in that browser. All these issues were caused by my conversion and not by the original Typo files. I’ll work on it today and maybe I’ll offer it for download tomorrow, if not the next day.

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