WordPress Error: cURL error 6: Couldn’t resolve host ‘dashboard.wordpress.com’

Background:

I maintain a WordPress blog that uses Jetpack’s Stats package.

Issue:

We started getting this error message when opening the ‘Stats’ page:

We were unable to get your stats just now. Please reload this page to try again. If this error persists, please contact support. In your report please include the information below.

User Agent: 'Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:54.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/54.0'
Page URL: 'https://blog.server.tld/wp-admin/admin.php?page=stats&noheader'
API URL: 'https://dashboard.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?noheader=true&proxy&page=stats&blog=XXX&charset=UTF-8&color=fresh&ssl=1&j=1:5.0&main_chart_only'
http_request_failed: 'cURL error 6: Couldn't resolve host 'dashboard.wordpress.com''

The entire Stats block in the Dashboard was empty, and the little graph that shows up in the Admin bar on the site was empty as well.

Other errors noticed:

RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: cURL error 6: Couldn't resolve host 'wordpress.org'
RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: cURL error 6: Couldn't resolve host 'planet.wordpress.org'

These errors were in the WordPress Events and News section, which was also otherwise empty.

This whole thing was ridiculous on it’s face, as the hosts could all be pinged successfully from said server.

I checked with Jetpack’s support, per the instructions above, and got a non-response of “check with your host.”  Well, this isn’t being run on a hosting service so you’re telling me to ask myself.  Thanks for the help anyway.

Resolution:

The machine in question had just upgraded PHP, but Apache had not been restarted yet. The curl errors don’t make much sense, but since when does anything in PHP make sense?

It was kind of a “duh!” moment when I realized that could be the problem.  Restarting Apache seems to have solved it.

Hiking @ Goldsmith

We found a new place for a nature walk: Goldsmith Woodlands in Andover.  We covered about half of the trails in a two-hour walk.

The town provides a rough map.

flowers
Just a random bush. I think they’re rhododendrons?
kids
All three kids, two human and one dog, heading down the trail
trail
Looking down the trail. Most of the trails are about as well-groomed as this.
bessie's point
Looking out from the end of the trail at Bessie’s Point (click to expand)

 

Crime and Punishment in Modern America

This quote is so representative of the issues that divide our country.

Q. You criticize the Miranda ruling, which gives suspects the right to have a lawyer present before police questioning. Shouldn’t people, who may be innocent, have such protection?

A. Suspects who are innocent of a crime should. But the thing is, you don’t have many suspects who are innocent of a crime. That’s contradictory. If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect.

This exchange comes from a published interview with an Attorney General of the United States and a former prosecutor.  It could have been written this week.  Instead, it’s thirty years old.  The question was posed to Edwin Meese in 1985.

A prosecutor, of all people, should know that abuses of the law by police and the legal system are common.  Innocent people have routinely been railroaded in a zeal to hold someone, anyone, accountable for crimes.  The police have a long history of deciding on a suspect and then making a case, rather than letting the evidence lead to a suspect.

Mr. Meese was strongly criticized for his words at the time, but he also had plenty of defenders then and since.  The United States has a strong authoritarian streak that sounds very appealing until people see how wrong it can go when put into practise.  Why do we keep going in so many circles before we figure out that the extremes are detrimental to ourselves?

Silver Lake Memoirs

History: Ice cutting at Silver Lake more than 100 years ago

My favorite quote:

The secret incentive of [the Silver Lake Fire Depart­ment] was to be found in the water tub of that wagon. Prohibition by this time was the law of the land.

Before the volunteers started from the shed at Pop Neilson’s, a keg of beer was put into the tub of the wagon. By the time they returned to Pop’s, that beer, immersed in the cold waters of Silver Lake, was just right for a refreshing drink.