Creating Tag Clouds with Wordle

Worldle is a new site that allows you to create aesthetically-pleasing “word clouds” (or tag clouds). Above is one for the home page. And here’s one I created using the text from the main page of

Burgercraft: It’s all about Proportion

Speaking of Bangkok’s best burger, here’s an interesting essay from Eric Ripert in Gourmet: My Quest to Build the Perfect Burger: Last fall, I opened a restaurant called Westend Bistro. It’s located in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C., at 22nd and M Streets—a part of D.C. that’s growing very quickly, with new apartment buildings […]

Gary Shteyngart on Travel Writing

Rolf Potts recently posted a Q&A on travel writing with author and essayist Gary Shteyngart. Here’re a few snippets I like: How did you get started writing? I’ve been writing since I was a kid in Russia. My grandma paid me in little pieces of cheese for every page I wrote. That’s how you create […]

Best Burger in Bangkok

If you ask me, dining on an authentic krapow moo kai dao — stir fried pork with chili, basil, and a fried egg — can be a near-religious experience. I firmly believe that a fiery som tam (papaya salad) is one of the world’s greatest dishes. A well-executed gaeng keow wan gai (green chicken curry) […]

Umbrella Hat: Spotted in Bangkok

Spotted recently in central Bangkok: a worker, toiling away on a rooftop in the midday heat, making use of the venerable umbrella hat for protection from the tropical sun. (Thanks to my brother C for the reconnaissance assistance.)

Salmonella on Jalapenos

News from the jalapeno world: The source of a salmonella outbreak in the US appears to have been traced to a jalapeno pepper imported from Mexico. Related (and notorious) post: “Jalapeno Hands: A Cautionary Culinary Tale,” which has attracted an amazing 130 comments to date.

Images: Volcanic Activity, Stock Photos, and Fireworks

Richard Wanderman has pointed to a couple of good photo-related items of late: Recent Volcanic Activity (the third from the bottom is my favorite — simply wonderful) and a Slate story called “The Weird Science of Stock Photography.” (And don’t miss Richard’s own images from the 4th of July: “A Different View of Fireworks.”)

Happy iCal Day

Caution: Mac Geekery Ahead Today* is iCal Day: the one day of the year** when the iCal icon’s default date, July 17, is accurate. iCal is Apple’s calendar application; some call it quirky, but I love it for its simplicity. *It’s also my pal Lee Lefever‘s birthday. Happy birthday, Lee. **Insert joke about Macs being […]

Calling from Thailand to the US

I make a lot of phone calls to the US to keep in touch with colleagues, friends, and family. You’ll remember, as I mentioned in last year’s Skype tutorial, that I suggest taking advantage of the service. (Despite the occasionally comedic aspects involved in international call forwarding, that is.) But sometimes it’s best to use […]

Ko Chang and Ko Kood: My New T+L Southeast Asia Story

I have a story in the July issue of Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia about luxury developments on Thailand’s Ko Chang and Ko Kood. The article isn’t online, but it’s called “Sea Change,” and it starts on page 79. Cedric Arnold did a great job with the photography. If you’re here in Bangkok, you can […]