Archive for April, 2003

Date: April 12th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Wan2 – Play

Tomorrow Jenny and Susan are going to New York to . Should I go too? Or stay home and be a 黑客 – Hei1 Ke4 – Black Guest — Hacker? (get it, Hei-ke, Hacker?)

This is cool… Hackers in China call themselves 紅客 – Hong2 Ke4 – Red Guest intead. In both cases, Red Guest and Black Guest, the kind of hacker they’re talking about is what we’d call a cracker. I don’t know if Chinese has a word for hacker the way I mean it.

Date: April 12th, 2003
Cate: Meta Zeitgeist

Here’s a way of visualizing the searches people use to find The Zeitgeist. Bigger words means more searches. Color is just for decoration.

I got the code for that at Everything Burns, which has lead me to a whole genus of new, strange, and interesting weblogs.

Date: April 12th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Guan3 – Pipe, Tube, Care, Mind, Manage

Me: “What’s the word of the day?”

Jenny, annoyed: “Care.”

Date: April 11th, 2003
Cate: Regular

My days are finished and I will die – all I need is chilli fries.


CIA creates parody version of Gangsta Paradise, broadcasts to Iraq. Among the lyrics: “If you don’t like me, I kill you. I am Saddam. Saddam in the house. Everybody in the house say I hate you. (we hate you!)”

I give you, via MeFi, the MP3.


That apparently wasn’t enough, so they went on to create a deck of cards, featuring the 55 most wanted members of Saddam’s regime. Saddam is the ace of spades.

I give you, via, the cards.

Four Aces

Date: April 11th, 2003
Cate: Regular

I, for one, … oh forget it.

There’s something really spooky about the way these new robots the Japanese have been working on move. Instead of being all jerky and wobbly and akward and, well, machinelike, like sci-fi always imagined robots would be, their movements are very human, smooth and perfectly balanced.

Slightly relatedly, lots of people have been using the Internet to welcome all sorts of new overlords.

Date: April 11th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Dan4 – Egg

皮蛋 – Pi2 Dan4 – Skin Egg — “Thousand Year Egg”

Pi Dan       Thousand Year Egg

“Thousand Year Old Eggs” are really only about 100 days old.

Duck eggs are used instead of chicken eggs.

The raw eggs are buried in the ground in a mixture of clay, lime, salt, tea and straw. I have seen recipes calling for pine ash instead of clay.

This mixture leaches into the shell and egg, making the interior smooth and creamy – like a ripe avocado in texture.

The yolk turns a vivid green and the white various shades of yellow, blue and green. It has been compared to the colors of a black opal.

Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? These are so disgusting to the uninitiated that they’ve even been used to make people puke on Fear Factor. The first time Jenny showed me I couldn’t believe it. But she loves them, and so do something like 2 billion other Chinese and assorted asians. They were even the theme ingredient on an episode of Iron Chef! For some reason, Food Network has elected not to translate that episode to English. I wonder why.

Now I’ve come to accept them, I’ve eaten enough to say “I’ve tried it and I don’t like it”. I’ve also eaten which actually weren’t that bad… dry, salty, crunchy.


Date: April 10th, 2003
Cate: Geekism

Flash Is Not SWF (Is Not Flash)

A while back I was wondering about Flash, what the file format is, how open is it, how do you author it without the multi-hundred dollar software.

Today, I randomly hit the gold mine of information and links on this exact subject, an article at O’Reilly called SWF Is Not Flash. It answered all my questions, and the links led to mountains of technical specs, free parsers, free generators, books, documents, and more.

Date: April 10th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Jia1 – Home

I’m very happy to report that a is a – Shi3 – Pig (another word for pig) with a roof over it! I know a pair of pigs who need a roof…

Also don’t get confused with 房子 – Fang2 Zi5 – House.

Date: April 9th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
3 msgs

– Chong2 – Bug

Date: April 7th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Mi2 – Confused, Lost

Jenny totally 迷路 – Mi2 Lu4 – Lost her Way on the way to jury duty. She finally found it, but they didn’t need her to decide anyone’s fate.

Date: April 7th, 2003
Cate: Meta

More on the Register story…

The other webloggers featured in the story are starting to post about it:

A Life Less Interesting
The Worst Weblog Ever
Darn Tootin’
Right Thoughts

Date: April 6th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Pa4 – Fear

I find it interesting that is made up of – Xin1 – Heart and – Bai2 – White.

What’s so 可怕 – Ke3 Pa4 – Scary about today? JENNY HAS JURY DUTY!

Date: April 6th, 2003
Cate: Meta

Does this count for my 15 minutes?

New Haven Register: Dear Digital Diary

Scroll down almost to the end, and what do you find?

Stephen Minutillo of Hamden, at, blogs about everything from video games to favorite restaurants in Taipei.

Date: April 5th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Shu3 – Rat

I’ve always liked animal names in Chinese. They’re very descriptive.

Squirrel: 松鼠 – Song1 Shu3 – Pine Rat.
Giraffe: 長頸鹿 – Chang2 Jing3 Lu1 – Long Neck Deer.
Owl: 貓頭鷹 – Mao1 Tou2 Ying1 – Cat Head Hawk!

More Chinese animal names

Date: April 5th, 2003
Cate: Otherwhere
36 msgs

Whack-a-mole: real life version


A kitchen worker hits a water rat on the head to stun it before it is killed for a meal in a restaurant in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

Date: April 5th, 2003
Cate: Regular

3½” Enterprise


Date: April 4th, 2003
Cate: Geekism

case JIBS1:

Copyright (C) 1996, 2003 - 3D Realms Entertainment

This file is part of Duke Nukem 3D version 1.5 - Atomic Edition

Duke Nukem 3D is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of

See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

Original Source: 1996 - Todd Replogle
Prepared for public release: 03/21/2003 - Charlie Wiederhold, 3D Realms

Download the Source

Date: April 3rd, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Xin1 – New

There’s a 新生 in town today, named Aidan. I’d spell out his Chinese name too, but he doesn’t have one yet!

(Did you forget already?)

Using and – Nian2 – Year you can say 新年快樂!

Date: April 3rd, 2003
Cate: Geekism

Geekism Roundup

Turn your NES into a PC – I must admit I haven’t tried this. But…

Make the Enterprise out of a floppy disk – This one works! And it’s way better than the primitive “disk cows” I used to make out of bad Amiga disks.

Date: April 2nd, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Lao3 – Old

In honor of 老夫子 – Lao3 Fu1 Zi5 – Old Master Q.

Date: April 2nd, 2003
Cate: Otherwhere


Jenny found this site today, and sent me a link at work but I was all “whatever” and didn’t look at it. I SHOULD HAVE.

Ginger Wong’s Gingervitis

For one thing, she’s currently in Taiwan and has been taking lots and lots of pictures and posting cool stories. That would have been good enough. But then we noticed a link labeled “blatant self-endorsement” to Old Master Q Comics. WOW! She created the site for Old Master Q! You probably have never heard of it, but Old Master Q is an absolutely super famous and super good Chinese comic strip. Go ahead and read some, mostly you don’t need to read Chinese to get the jokes. Mostly.

They’ve made lots of Master Q movies over the years, from black and white to fancy computer graphics:

Old Master Q     New Master Q

Then we explored further, and found this page explaining her involvement with Old Master Q. Alfonso Wong, the guy who created Old Master Q, is her Grandfather! Whoa!

Date: April 2nd, 2003
Cate: Regular
3 msgs

Something I call a “LASER”

This has to be a joke, right?

I was about to post about this company, Stavatti, working on a totally sweet nuclear powered laser gun, which I found out about at Slashdot:

I call it a 'Laser'

But then I got to reading the rest of their site. They also claim to be working on a Robotech looking fighter they call the F26, and a hypersonic nuclear heavy bomber!

And they have a division called Stavatti Special Access. On a single web page, both of these staements are made:

1: “Stavatti’s Special Access Division is responsible for the design and production of Top Secret/Special Access Required/Compartmentalized and COSMIC aerospace weapon systems and special products for the U.S. DoD and government user agencies.”

2: “Stavatti can neither confirm or deny that from 1997 to the present Stavatti SA has continued to perform special access contract work for U.S. government user agencies as either the prime contractor or industry team member.”

Well which is it then? It gets better. They’re also working on tactical space fighters, and interplanetay space craft. It just gets crazier and crazier the more you read the site. Oh, and drums, they sell drums somehow.

It has to be fake. But it is a very detailed fake! Reams and reams of PDFs of specifications, cost estimates, and production schedules for all these fantastic (with emphasis on the FANTASY) weapon systems.

The guys at rec.aviation.military agree that it’s bogus. But who are they trying to fool? And why?

One last thing, check the clear thinking in the chairman’s statement on the war in Iraq:

I think we as American’s know the reality. Our economy collapsed a long time ago. There have been numerous frauds organized by the powers-that-be to keep the gears turning, be it trickle-down economics, the Dot Com Stockmarket or now, the Invasion of Iraq. This invasion may well preserve the US status quo for at least another two to ten years, but then what? There are real threats to national security. There have always been. MacAurthor was fired for insubordination when he desired to deal with the roots of the problem. If America truly is the greatest nation on earth, we should act as police officer for the world, secure Babylon and eliminate Saddam. We should then preemptively strike all other threat nations which possess weapons of mass destruction and harbor no respect for human life. Those include North Korea, Libya, Syria, Iran and the People’s Republic of China. I am certain the CIA has a far more comprehensive list which could add a extra threat or two. Before we do that, however, we should actually rebuild our military, provide every soldier with a good pair of boots and a nice warm blanket, and start openly deploying some of the toys ‘we don’t have’ .

Date: April 1st, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Xue3 – Snow

We got some April Fool’s yesterday.

is – Yu3 – Rain that you have to – Hui4 – Sweep. At least that’s how 中文.com explains it.