Photo Gallery: The Colonials Of Asuncion, Paraguay

I’ve always had a deep love for decrepit colonial or colonial-style buildings; in fact, I appreciate decrepitude in many things, such as classic cars, port cities, barns and houses (but not men). Even after a week in Paraguay, I’m still constantly reaching for my camera to capture shots of Asuncion’s seemingly endless restored and crumbling historic buildings (many of which are also gothic in style).

I have no idea what most of these buildings are; some are governmental or municipal, others are abandoned or private homes. In a sign of the times, some house modern shops or (god help us all) fast food joints on their bottom levels.

Asuncion is one of the oldest cities in South America, and while all of these 19th and early 20th century reproductions are treasures, there’s just something about the ones that have fallen into disrepair that I find irresistible. Long may they stand, Whopper-free.


Travel safety: are swans dangerous?

Mr. Asbo is not a nice swan.

He’s attacked numerous boaters on the River Cam at Cambridge, England, hissing and pecking at anyone who comes close. Back in 2009, he even attacked the Cambridge Rowing Team during their historic May Bumps race. The race had to appoint a special marshal to keep an eye on the naughty bird.

Swans are very territorial, especially when they have a nest full of cygnets (babies). Mr. Asbo and his lady friend have several cygnets a year and their nest is right on the main boating area of the river. This has led to numerous confrontations where Mr. Asbo hisses, snaps at oars, and tries to bat people with his wings. It’s even reported that he’s strong enough to capsize small boats.

His name refers to the Anti-Social Behavior Order, a punishment usually meted out to lager-soaked louts to ban them from playing loud music, being drunk in public, aggressively panhandling, or even stealing eggs. Now local residents have had enough and there are plans to move Mr. Asbo and his family to a rural area 50 miles away, where hopefully he won’t bother anyone.

Swans are one of the many attractions of the English countryside, especially at the popular riverside destinations of Cambridge and Oxford. They are strong, fast, wild animals and should be treated with caution. The Swan Sanctuary says they’re generally not a danger, but their peck can be painful and they can even break your arm or leg if they hit you with their wing.

Attacks are rare, however. Swans only get aggressive if you get near their young, enter their territory, or deliberately antagonize them, like the idiot in this video. Don’t be the idiot in this video.

Daily gear deals – $3 travel pillow kit, $15 headphones and more

Here are the hottest gadget deals for today, Monday June 8th 2009. Remember, these deals are often only valid for one day, so act fast before they are gone!

A new day, a new Netbook sale. Today the machine is an Asus Eee 900A. This Netbook has an 8.9″ screen, 1GB of memory and a 4GB solid state drive. It is on sale at Woot for $170. Just keep in mind that 4GB is on the low side, so you may need to invest in some additional storage. Click here for this deal.

Noise isolating earbuds don’t get much cheaper than these Tritton Xtreme headphones, on sale for $14.99 (with free shipping). They come with a long and short cord, making them perfect if you carry your player in your shirt pocket. Click here for this deal.

This Creative Vado HD camera keeps popping up in our deals, but that is only because its price keeps dropping. It is now down to $154, with no rebate involved. Shipping is even included for free. As a quick reminder – this pocket 8GB HD video camera records in “real” HD and features a built in USB connector. Click here for this deal.

To round off the deals lineup for today, how about a $3 travel set? The kit includes an inflatable travel pillow, eye shades and ear plugs. Ships for just $2.99 (read their page on how to add a coupon code to lower the price). Click here for this deal.

Daily deal – Asus Eee PC 900HA for $296

My daily deal for today is for one of the best sub-$300 netbook computers on the market at the moment.

The Asus Eee PC 900HA features a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1 GB of memory, WiFi, a webcam and a 160GB hard drive.

The 4 cell battery pack provides enough power to keep the machine going for about 5 hours.

The 900HA has an 8.9″ screen and comes complete with 1 year of free access to the Eee online storage service offering 10GB of space.

I’ve posted cheaper netbook computers in the past, but none of those had the power and storage space of the 900HA.

Of course, if you’d rather learn more about what a netbook is, and how it can help you on the road, check out this article I posted last year.

Daily deal – Asus EEE PC 1000HE Netbook for $374.99

My daily deal for today is hardly a budget friendly promotion, but it is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to get your hands on the hottest netbook sized machine on the market.

The Asus EEE 1000HE is the latest addition to the EEE PC lineup and offers a 1.66GHz ATOM processor, 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, Bluetooth, Wireless-N and a battery capable of up to nine and a half hours use! It also features a 1.3MP webcam.

At $374.99 it is nowhere near as cheap as some of the other Netbook machines i’ve featured here, but the specifications make it one of the most powerful options out there.

You’ll find the Asus EEE 1000HE currently in stock at in Blue and Black. The machine comes complete with the 6 cell battery, AC adapter and Windows XP pre-installed. Super saver shipping is free.