Newley Purnell's home on the web since 2001

Month: June 2005 (Page 1 of 3)

The New World Hum

The World Hum crew has just re-launched their site — and it’s excellent. Check it out. RSS, some new features, a re-vamped blog. All great stuff. (You may recall that I wrote a story about eating soup in Bangkok for World Hum a few years back; it’s here.)

Now That’s a Catfish I Wouldn’t Wanna Noodle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fishermen in northern Thailand have caught the biggest catfish on record — a 646-pound (293-kg) giant the size of a grizzly bear — and eaten it, the WWF and the National Geographic Society said on Wednesday.

The giant catfish, believed to be the largest freshwater fish ever found, was caught along the Mekong River, home to more species of massive fish than any river on Earth.

I love the fact that they ate it. Waste not, want not.

Notes from a Tech Convention

Tom Deja attended a recent technology convention in Chicago and has some very funny observations. Like:

As we walked into the hall, past the world’s fastest electric car (supposedly; as far as I could tell it was a large fiberglass canoe), through the sheet of steam onto which was projected a live image of the jackasses in front of us (seriously, who the fuck takes a picture of themselves getting their picture taken?), I could tell that my fantasy of the whole place being full of jive-talking robots and chicks in jet packs was a little off the mark. Instead, it was full of the aforementioned retarded cliques, suits two-fisting free Maker’s Mark and sweaty salesmen with glassy eyes and useless shit. Seriously, according to GE, the future is going to be pretty much exactly like it is now only our burglar alarms will work slightly faster and everyone will drive in tiny, super gay looking cars that can go 50 whole miles without being plugged in again.

Bloglines and RSS

Ever since discovering Bloglines a few months back, I’ve been meaning to write about how much I love the service. So here goes. Prepare to be proselytized (just like I’ve previously raved about delicious and Firefox and the Mac experience).

You’ve heard me mention RSS before — though a better way to describe RSS would be to avoid the acronym and focus on what it provides: Web feeds.

RSS (er, a Web feed) is simply a way to subscribe to automatically receive notices when Web sites have been updated. You’ll find all sorts of complicated descriptions out there, but it’s one of those things you kind of have to see on the screen to grasp. Which I why I urge you to check out Bloglines.

Web feeds hold a lot of promise, and I’d messed around with RSS before — I experimented with NetNewsWire and the Firefox RSS aggregator plugin. But I didn’t like the way those worked; I don’t like the idea of using a separate application (like NetNewsWire), and the I didn’t like the way the Firefox plugin appeared in my browser. Bloglines, however, is Web-based, so I can access it seamlessly using a separate tab in Firefox. (Another nomenclature-related bone to pick, though: Bloglines is a bad name, since the service can be used to track not just blogs but traditional news sites, weather, whatever — any site that provids a Web feed.)

Here’s more info on Bloglines and RSS:

“Using Bloglines” (an illustrative tutorial)

“15 things you can do with RSS (it was supposed to be 10, but I got carried away)”

(Oh, and a final note: when you get Bloglines up and running, don’t send me emails expressing your gratitude. Just subscribe to the RSS feeds — links to ’em are on the top left of this page. That’ll be thanks enough.)

Promising New Travel Site

43 Places: “…the ultimate place to share stories about the corner joint and destinations across the globe.”

Pretty cool.

Ecuadorian Slang

UPDATE: January 24, 2011 — The link below appears to be broken. Here’s a different compendium that seems to contain many of the same words.

Chuta! Here’s a fabulous list of Ecuadorian slang. It’s full of gems — although I’d add a few choice words I remember from my year at latitude zero. Namely, buenaso (really good) and sigue no mas (go ahead).

I’m actually delighted to have come across this, as I assumed that a few of these were not specific to Ecuador — I thought they were standard Spanish. In the future, I’ll be sure not to ask for, say, canguil (popcorn) at a movie theatre in Mexico. Or say mande (huh?) to a Honduran.

Most telling definition: “Cholo: 1) A person with mixed race (indigenous and spanish) 2) Insult.”

Definition that evokes the most unpleasant memories: chuchaqui (hungover). I always wondered how you spelled that.

(Link via Gridskipper.)

Keyboard Magnets


Visions of Hell

“Vintage photos of old Shopping Malls of the ’60s & ’70s.”


Treknologies is a new blog devoted to gear and other resources for travelers.


I’m still sifting through emails that piled up last week; while I find my footing, here’re a few items of interest:

–Be sure to check out Dana’s re-vamped Number One Hit Song.

CJR: “A Technical Guide for Editing Gonzo: Hunter S. Thompson from the other end of the Mojo Wire”

ClickZ: “Study Bolsters Blog-Related PR Practices”

The trend toward PR agencies setting up blog-specific practices got a boost this week, as a new study found that more than half of journalists use blogs in the course of their work.

Taiwan Tiger:

In the neverending attempt to conserve and save money here in Taiwan (not like anyplace is exempt from that, of course….), comes this gem. My school, instead of placing separate toilet paper dispensers in each stall of the faculty bathrooms, has a central dispenser…

–The writing process simplified: “Sniff. Explore. Collect. Focus. Select. Order. Draft. Revise.”

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