Well, after some more googling, I found a solution. If anyone was curious --

require 'cgi'
require 'iconv'

n = "á"
n = CGI.unescapeHTML(n)
n = Iconv.conv("UTF-8", "ISO-8859-1", n)


On 7/25/07, Chris Worrall <chris.worrall / gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
>
> I've looked around online for a solution, but I'm pretty new to ruby
> and programming in general, so I feel like I'm hitting a wall here.
>
> I'm retrieving data from Hpricot that I'd like to store in UTF-8, but
> I can't find a function to convert hex NCRs like:
>
> &#xe1;
>
> Surely somebody's had to do this in the past that could point me in
> the right direction? Thanks!
>
>