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[Comments] (1) Map Time: All sorts of ecology maps over at Mapping the Biosphere. Where else can you find the global map of soil pH? Actually, if you can find that somewhere else let me know, as that somewhere else probably has other interesting maps.

[Comments] (1) : There seems to be some interest in a Ruby port of Beautiful Soup, and I'm thinking of doing the port myself. I need to stop being a dilletante and do a good-sized Ruby project, and that's a good place to start. Do any Ruby people read this weblog? Would you like to have this?

[Comments] (3) : Floyd from The Fresh Loaf, who presumably knows from bread and bread byproducts, tells me that the sourdough soup I had at the Polish restaurant was probably zurek, and looking at the recipe I agree. Zurek is made with rye sourdough starter, so it is actually sourdough soup. Inventive.

Floyd also mentioned that he dabbles in Ruby, so that's one. I am going through the Poignant Guide, which is funny and gonzo and Fafbloggish, and I have a simple question about idiom. I see code like the following, which sets up a block that deals with a single item:

File::open('foo.txt', 'w') do |f|
  f << "text"

This idiom makes sense when you're iterating over a bunch of items, but why create a new block to deal with a single item? Is it somehow more Rubic (Rubyic?) than the following code, which seems much more straightforward?:

f = File::open('foo.txt', 'w')
f << "text"

Let me know. I'm trying to spare you the details of my mastery of Ruby (and puppets), but this is undoubtedly the first of many questions.


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