Archive | Misc.

Subscribe to My New Email Newsletter, Newley’s Notes

2015 02 19 email1

Last Sunday I sent out the first edition of my new email newsletter*, called — you better believe it — Newley’s Notes.

You can read that dispatch here.

To be added to the list, enter your email address here.

I’ll use the brief dispatch, probably sent every Sunday, to:

  • Share links to my recently published WSJ stories
  • Highlight notable technology industry news, especially concerning tech in Asia
  • Point out other interesting stuff related to books, sports, music, science, journalism and more — much like the material I link to in my periodic links posts.

Note that the newsletter will not simply be a regurgitation of what you see on this site. It’ll point to some Newley.com items but will mostly link to other stuff.

*Long-time readers will recall that I’ve blogged about email newsletters several times in the past — as long ago as January 2002, in fact! — so I’m excited to be kicking off one of my own at long last.

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Everything You Need to Know about Personal Finance in 833 Words

For his last Sunday WSJ column, Brett Arends provides some simple rules on personal finance:

Smart money moves aren’t more complicated than you think. They’re simpler.

Cut through all the jargon and pontificating and technical stuff, and everything you really need to know about personal finance fits into less than 1,000 words—no more than three to four minutes.

Click through for his 23 tips.

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An Album You Must Listen to: Sturgill Simpson’s ‘Metamodern Sounds In Country Music’

I first heard about Sturgill Simpson on the NPR “All Songs Considered” best of 2014 podcast.

You just have to listen to his album that came out this year, “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music.” (It currently has 282 ratings on Amazon, 248 of which are five-stars.)

Here’s NPR’s take:

In case you need a clue as to where Simpson is coming from, the title comes in handy: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music nods to the genre-expanding Ray Charles classic Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, and tells you he’s going to fold country’s conventions over on themselves as if he’s trying to create some kind of musical space-time portal. He shows up on the cover in a photo that looks as if it had been pulled out of a Civil War-era locket, with long hair and untrimmed mustache. The background, of course, is outer space. Here’s a list of the jobs held by the eight people Simpson thanks in the album’s credits: molecular biologist, psychonaut, science-fiction author, astronomer, theoretical physicist, psychopharmacologist and computer programmer. The way Simpson is gunning, he’s going to freak some people out.

The funny thing is, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music is absolutely country, from the roadhouse-ready “Life of Sin” to the lonesome-skyline blues of “Voices” to the revival-tent call-and-response stomp of “A Little Light.” The two covers on the album are of Buford Abner’s “Long White Line” (which appeared on both Charlie Moore & Bill Napier’s Truckin’ Favorites and Aaron Tippin’s In Overdrive) and When in Rome’s 1988 hit “The Promise,” which appeared in the closing credits to Napoleon Dynamite. Both would sound at home at the Ryman.

Embedded above and on YouTube here: “Life of Sin.”

I’ve also heard good things about his first album, “High Top Mountain,” but haven’t checked it out yet. I will soon, though.

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The 20 Best ‘Best of 2014′ Lists

  1. Best Books of 2014WSJ
  2. The books Quartz read in 2014 — Quartz
  3. The best books of 2014 — The Economist
  4. 10 best nonfiction books of 2014 — Stephen Carter at Bloomberg View
  5. The 10 Best Books of 2014NYT
  6. The Best Books of 2014 — Amazon
  7. The Best Book Covers of 2014NYT
  8. Longreads’ Best of 2014 — Longreads
  9. The Best Movies of 2014 — Richard Brody at The New Yorker
  10. Best movies of 2014 with behavioral economics themes — Cass Sunstein at Bloomberg View
  11. The 20 best movies of 2014 — A.V. Club
  12. The Best Movie Posters of 2014 — MUBI Notebook
  13. The 10 Best TV Shows of 2014 — Vulture
  14. Best TV Of 2014 — NPR
  15. Best albums of 2014 — Rateyourmusic.com
  16. The 100 Best Tracks of 2014 — Pitchfork
  17. Best iPhone photos of 2014 — iPhone Photography Awards
  18. Top physics breakthroughs of 2014 — Physics World
  19. The Best Tech Quotes of 2014 — Vauhini Vara at The New Yorker
  20. Embedded above and on YouTube here: Top 30 Goals World Cup 2014, by HeilRJ.
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Vine of the Day: ‘Best Wezer cover ever’

Embedded above and on Vine here: “Best Weezer cover ever.”

There’s a longer version on YouTube, as well. But I prefer the simplicy of the Vine.

(Backstory: Apparently this wonderful bit of music recital silliness isn’t new, but it’s new to me.)

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Back from the Philippines — Here are Some Pics as Part of Manila Prepared for Typhoon Hagupit

2014 12 10 hagupit tracker

I’m back in Singapore after my trip to the Philippines.

Thankfully, typhoon Hagupit turned out to be less severe than many feared:

The people of southern Luzon expressed relief Sunday night as Typhoon Hagupit, which they had feared might be a repeat of last year’s deadly supertyphoon, largely spared their region.

Just two days earlier, forecasters had warned of a crippling direct hit on the populous region.

“We’re happy, because we were afraid it would be like Yolanda,” said Jennifer Amonuevo, one of 650 people in Legazpi Port Elementary School in Legazpi City. “Yolanda” is how locals refer to last year’s Supertyphoon Haiyan.

2014 12 10 baseco

Meanwhile farther to the north of the country, I spent much of Sunday, before the storm arrived, at an evacuation center in the Baseco compound of Manila’s port area.

It’s a fascinating place: full of narrow roads, tiny homes, various shops. And it’s buzzing with activity: food vendors, children running about, pickup basketball games, people coming and going to work.

Due to its location next to Manila Bay — it’s the triangle highlighted in the second map above — it’s vulnerable to storms.

Thankfully, though, the typhoon didn’t make its way north and pummel Manila, as some thought it might.

Here are some iPhone pics from the day — many of which I Tweeted and posted to Instagram — as some in the community took shelter in a large building that is also used as an elementary school.

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The evacuation center

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Smiles all around

No shortage of laughs among kids at the Baseco evac center here in Manila. #RubyPH #Hagupit

A video posted by Newley Purnell (@newley) on


And more smiles

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Inside the shelter

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Getting settled

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Playing ball

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View from the evacuation center looking out toward the water

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Preparing for the worst

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My ride out of Baseco

Had never ridden in a sidecar-like contraption like this before. #Manila

A video posted by Newley Purnell (@newley) on


Video from inside

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And, finally, rains hitting Manila on Monday. (I took this pic from a standard taxi, not a sidecar!)

The storm ultimately killed 11 and injured 480, according to local media.

Any loss of life is sad, of course. But compared to the 6,300 or so who perished during Typhoon Haiyan just over a year ago, Hagupit was obviously far less destructive.

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I’m in the Philippines Helping Cover Typhoon Hagupit/Ruby — Here’s How to Follow My Dispatches

I arrived in Manila early this morning; the weather has remained calm here.

Here’s our latest story, just up:

Typhoon Hagupit made landfall late Saturday, with its eye passing over the town of Dolores in the coastal area of Eastern Samar, a central Philippine province that has yet to fully recover from the devastation wrought last year by supertyphoon Haiyan.

It was too early to know the extent of damage to Dolores.

“It’s now in God’s hands,” Interior and Local Governments Secretary Manuel Roxas II, who is in Eastern Samar’s capital of Borongan City to oversee disaster response actions, told a radio station earlier about what is ahead for the Philippines.

The typhoon, locally referred to as Ruby, has days to make its might felt, as it moves up from the midsection to provinces just south of Manila.

For images and other dispatches, follow me on Twitter; I posted some photos from the city today.

You can also subscribe to my public Facebook updates.

Stay tuned.

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Video of the Day: LEGO Particle Accelerator

Embedded above and on YouTube here:

This is a working particle accelerator built using LEGO bricks. I call it the LBC (Large Brick Collider). It can accelerate a LEGO soccer ball to just over 12.5 kilometers per hour.

By JK Brickworks. (Via.)

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