Newley Purnell's home on the web since 2001

Month: January 2007 (Page 1 of 2)

Propaganda: Thai-Style Design Store

Salt and Pepper Shaker from Propaganda, a Bangkok Design Store [Not My Image]

My latest Gridskipper post is about a Bangkok design store called Propaganda.

Kazakhstan 52, Thailand 1

Kazahkstan 52, Thailand 1 [Not My Image]


Changchun, China — Kazakhstan scored 52 goals against Thailand in Asian Winter Games hockey competition yesterday, but the goal that brought the most cheers came from the outgunned Thais.

The Asian hockey little guys went into the game knowing they were going to lose to tournament favourite Kazakhstan, but an opportune goal seven minutes into the third period was celebration enough in the 52-1 loss.

The hero was forward Arthit Thamwongsin…who jumped on a rebound off the boards to slam a shot past Kazakhstani goaltender Sergey Ogureshnikov.

Up to that point, the highlight for the Thais had been when defenceman Teranai Harnnarujchai bodychecked one of the linesmen.

(Emphasis mine. You know your hockey team is doing poorly when a routine defensive play is considered a “highlight.”)

“Warm Whiskers” Eye Pillows

Animal Sleep Masks

God help us.

The Warm Whiskers freezable or heatable eye pillows help reduce eye puffiness and strain, headaches, facial tension and sinus pressure. Each animal is filled with relaxing lavender and chamomile.

Send this cuddly friend to bed with your little one or enjoy the therapeutic and aromatic warmth yourself.


Visit Machu Picchu in…Nepal?

Machu Picchu

That’s the title of my latest Gridskipper post.

(Image via.)

Ecuador’s Defense Minister Dies in Helicopter Crash

Eloy Alfaro Air Base in Manta, Ecuador


Ecuador’s first female defense minister was killed on Wednesday after only nine days in office in a mid-air collision of two helicopters, government and military officials said.

The accident in the Andean nation further rocks the leftist government of President Rafael Correa, who has clashed with Congress over his executive powers and prompted street protests since taking office along with his ministers on January 15.

Minister Guadalupe Larriva, a former teacher and senior official of a socialist political party supporting Correa, died in the crash in a Pacific coastal province east of Quito, presidential spokeswoman Monica Chuji said.

Correa wanted Larriva, one of only a few civilians to lead Ecuador’s 176-year-old military, to control an institution that has played a part in the ouster of three presidents in the last decade by publicly withdrawing its support as street protests erupted.

Larriva, one of the most popular members of the Cabinet, had promised to strengthen presidential control of military ranks, improve salaries for the armed forces and make the promotions system more transparent.

U.S. firemen stationed at an air base at the port city of Manta rushed to the scene of the crash, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said.

(Emphasis mine.)

Note: In his presidential campaign, Correa vowed not to renew the US’s lease on the facility, which is set to expire in 2009.

Related: More on Ecuador’s new president.

Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick

Jimmy Dean Chocolate Chip Pancakes & Sausage on a Stick

Not new, but worth mentioning. God bless America.

Junk Food Blog:

The Jimmy Dean brand of breakfast food won my nod of approval when I found this lovely new entry.

Pancakes & Sausage on a Stick Chocolate Chip pretty much takes what my wife often eats at IHOP and puts it all on a hand-held form factor, allowing junk-foodies like us to revel in frozen food fanatacism.

Better yet, these are microwaveable, so just nukem and pukem.

(Thanks for the tip, Miles B. and Mike W.)


John and My Brother with French Fry-Encrusted Corndogs

God bless Korea. The infamous Korean french fry-encrusted corn dogs, which Mech and John E. and I encountered this time last year in Seoul.

Fatty foods on a stick. They’re the lingua franca of the junk food world…

German Food in Bangkok

Bei Otto German Restaurant in Bangkok

That’s the subject of my latest Gridskipper dispatch.

Big AirAsia Sale


I’m not normally one to point out travel bargains, but this one appears to be significant — and it’s ending soon.


Book within the next 3 days and be treated to the cheapest flight you’ll ever find – period! AirAsia is giving away 1,000,000 FREE seats to over 70 routes within Asia. Just pay the air taxes. Travel is valid from April 1-Oct. 27, including the popular summer months!

Founded in 2002, AirAsia is a low fare, no frills carrier. Their fleet of Boeing 737’s and Airbus 320’s covers exotic destinations in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and more. In 2003 & 2004, AirAsia was named Asia Pacific Low Cost Airline of the Year by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

For more information and to book:
# Click here to go directly to AirAsia’s site.
# Click the “1,000,000 Free Seats” banner to reveal the available routes.
# Use the flight search tool on the left to choose your desired cities and dates.
# Fares are displayed in local currency. Here’s a handy online currency converter to help translate your final cost.
# Seats are limited, so this WILL sell out quickly. You must book by Friday, Jan. 19.

Thanks for the tip, Mom and Claire VDL.

How Much is a Rai?

The rai is a unit of land measurement here in Thailand. You’ll see references to land the size of so-and-so rai, etc. But exactly how much area, I was wondering yesterday, is one rai?

In researching the answer to that question, I stumbled upon this:

rai: a traditional unit of land area in Thailand. The rai is now considered to equal exactly 1600 square meters, which is 0.16 hectare or approximately 0.3954 acre. The rai is divided into 4 ngan. The unit is called the hai in northern Thailand and the lai in Laos. The word means “field,” that is, an upland field rather than a rice paddy.

The rest of the site — How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement — is really worth checking out. It’s maintained by a guy named Russ Rowlett, who’s a math prof at UNC-Chapel Hill.

I especially like this:

What countries besides the U.S. have not adopted the metric system?
Many U.S. teachers think the answer is “Liberia and Burma” (make that Myanmar). Let’s give Liberia and Myanmar a break! All countries have adopted the metric system, including the U.S., and most countries (but not the U.S.) have taken steps to eliminate most uses of traditional measurements. However, in nearly all countries people still use traditional units sometimes, at least in colloquial expressions. Becoming metric is not a one-time event that has either happened or not. It is a process that happens over time. Every country is somewhere in this process of going metric, some much further along than others.


Americans probably use a greater variety of units of measurement than anyone else in the world. Caught in a slow-moving transition from customary to metric units, we employ a fascinating and sometimes frustrating mixture of units in talking about the same things. We measure the length of a race in meters, but the length of the long jump event in feet and inches. We speak of an engine’s power in horsepower and its displacement in liters. In the same dispatch, we describe a hurricane’s wind speed in knots and its central pressure in millibars.

Furthermore, our English customary units do not form a consistent system. Reflecting their diverse roots in Celtic, Roman, Saxon, and Norse cultures, they are often confusing and contradictory. There are two systems for land measurement (one based on the yard and the other on the rod) and a third system for distances at sea. There are two systems (avoirdupois and troy) for small weights and two more (based on the long and short tons) for large weights. Americans use two systems for volumes (one for dry commodities and one for liquids) and the British use a third (British Imperial Measure).

Some other interesting units of land measurement include: the tatami (yes, like the mat — thanks for the heads up, Mech and K!), the olk, and the soendre.

Vespa Rickshaw

Vespa Rickshaw

Introducing the Vespa Rickshaw, available from a shop in Bali. Via.

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