Archive for October, 2003

Date: October 30th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Bao4 – Leopard

黑豹 – Hei1 Bao4 – Black Leopard — Panther

That’s what Apple calls it. But I’ve also seen Panther written as:

美洲豹 – Mei3 Zhou1 Bao4 – Pretty Continent (American) Leopard — Panther

Either way, this is my official “OMG PANTHER!!11!!11!! F1R5T P05T!!11!!1″ It’s great so far! The upgrade install took about 2 hours, but worked fine. Everything seems a bit faster somehow.

Date: October 30th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ruo4 – Weak

Helping Toto move in today (btw: Toto bought a house) I realized why I always get movers: I’m almost unbelievably !

Date: October 29th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Shang1 – Trade, Commerce, Business

商標 – Shang1 Biao1 – Trade Mark — Trademark

少林寺 – Shao4 Lin2 Si4 – Young Trees Temple — Shaolin Temple™

Already the temple has set up a corporation, Henan Shaolin Temple Industrial Development Ltd. and applied to trademark “Shaolin” and “Shaolin Temple.”

Date: October 28th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Bi3 – Pen, Pencil, Writing Brush

Date: October 27th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
3 msgs

Tired: .NET / Wired: WinFX

Announcing the new-new-new WinFX! Available in 2006 maybe! (Are they really serious? They’re not going to release anything for the next three years?)

WinFX is to .NET as .NET is to DCOM as DCOM is to COM+ as COM+ is to COM as COM is to ActiveX as ActiveX is to OLE as…

In other news, the look and feel for their new OS appears to be some sort of “brushed metal” type appearance. I wonder where they got the idea for that? (Also interesting to note: Even in their super duper amazing space age year 2006 version of IE, there’s still no tabbed browsing. But they do plan to have popup blocking figured out by then. Go innovation!)

They’ve also invented XUL, except it’s called XAML.

Date: October 27th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Dian3 – Spot, Dot, Drop, Point, Touch, O’Clock

點心 – Dian3 Xin1 – Touch Heart — Dim Sum

This is really a Cantonese expression. It’s pronounced Dim Sum in there and I’m really not sure why this means what it means. I’ve also seen it translated as “Heart’s Delight” or “Little Bit Of Heart”. But what it means is a type of Chinese food, usually eaten for breakfast or lunch, where you get tons of different kinds of small, light, strange (to me) snack type things. Sometimes they bring them around the restaurant on carts, and you pick what you like as they go by.

I usually don’t like Dim Sum much, but today we celebrated Ellen’s birthday and went to this place in Providence called Dragon Phoenix Restaurant. It was great! Best Dim Sum ever!

Date: October 26th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Chuan2 – Boat, Ship

We took a foliage gawking ride on the Becky Thatcher today, which we’ve been on before, last year, for our wedding. They recognized us, and let us ride and eat for free! Very nice! The foliage was pretty weak and it was kind of cold, but we enjoyed it anyway. Jenny got a few reasonable pictures which we’ll put up at m.info in a while.

We also talked to the Captain, Captain Bob, the same guy who drove the boat for us last year. It turns out that the company that runs the boats is going out of business. And by sheer, dumb luck, it turns out we showed up for the very last cruise, ever. Their boats, which have been a fixture of the Connecticut River forever, are now all for sale.

Date: October 24th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Yin2 – Silver

銀河 – Yin2 He2 – Silver River — Milky Way

戰士 – Zhan4 Shi4 – War Scholar — Warrior

銀河戰士 – Yin2 He2 Zhan4 Shi4 – Milky Way Warrior — METROID, I think. I found it at these two sites, anyway. If not, well, at least now I know how to say Milky Way.

I’m playing Metroid Prime now, I just got to the Phazon Mines. So far I think it’s pretty good, but not quite as good as the old Metroid games. Super Metroid has to be in the top 10 video games of all time.

Date: October 24th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
5 msgs

– Hun3 – Confuse, Mix

Yesterday’s word of the day is causing lots of 混亂 – Hun3 Luan4 – Confusion!

Check out this rant by Zonble. He thinks 楚留香 is not a thief, and has no idea where I came up with that idea. “The only thing 楚留香 has ever stolen is a woman’s heart” he says. He’s right, in the movie, 楚留香 didn’t steal anything, and was actually just trying to solve a mystery and avoid getting killed. The reason I called him a thief is because every time he introduced himself, he’d say 我是… 楚留香 – Wo3 Shi4… Chu3 Liu2 Xiang1 – I am… Chu Liu Xiang. The other person would invariably respond “Oh?! The master thief Xiang?”

But, there’s still even more possibility for confusion: That’s what it said in the SUBTITLES, which are frequently mistranslated. So, for the final answer on what 楚留香 is, we have to ask Jenny. All those times he introduced himself, what did the other person respond? Did they said “Oh?! The master thief?” or “Oh?! The secret agent?” or something else entirely? This mystery must be solved! What did they say!!

Jenny: “I forgot.”

Date: October 23rd, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
3 msgs

– Die4 – Spy

Spy as a noun is 間碟 – Jian4 Die2.

間碟軟體 – Jian4 Die2 Ruan3 Ti3 – Spy Soft System – Spyware

Spyware is software that watches what you’re doing without your knowledge. An example is Gator, which secretly installs itself on your machine (usually through vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer), watches what sites you visit, and sells that information to advertisers, as well as popping up ads all over the place.

They apparently just HATE it when people mention the fact that they are spyware. But it is a fact. You can get Gator and other garbage off your system by downloading and running software such as Ad-Aware or Spybot Search & Destroy.

The funny thing is I was thinking of using 間碟 for the word of the day even before I heard about this story with Gator. We watched a movie tonight, Clans of Intrigue, where Ti Lung is playing 楚留香 – Chu3 Liu2 Xiang1, who is some sort of famous character who is supposed to be a spy. The back of the movie box, and the trailer for the movie both refer to him as a spy or a secret agent. Watching the movie though (the title in Chinese, by the way, was the same as his name: 楚留香), it turns out he’s just a thief. Strange.

Date: October 22nd, 2003
Cate: Geekism

FoF in Italiano

gat aggregator è un aggregatore di FEED RSS, potete usarlo per aggregare i vostri blog preferiti, ed i siti di news che mettono a disposizione un FEED RSS.

è utilizzabile via web, con un browser, ed ha il vantaggio, rispetto ad un aggregatore desktop, di non aver bisogno di essere sincronizzato se lo utilizzate sia da casa che da lavoro: potete accedervi da qualsiasi parte, purché abbiate una connessione internet.

gat aggregator è basato su MagPieRSS, un sistema di parsing e caching basato su PHP per feed RSS, è inoltre un’implementazione di FeedOnFeeds.

AggreGATor è una versione modificata di FoF da Gat, che inoltre è stata tradotta in italiano.

Download AggreGATor

Gat’s weblog

Date: October 21st, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Tou1 – Steal

偷天換日 – Tou1 Tian1 Huan4 Ri4 – Steal Sky Replace Sun

You wouldn’t think it would be possible to make a movie with Marky Mark and Ed Norton and have it not be good. But it is! They did it! It’s called The Italian Job, or in Chinese, 偷天換日, which is a cool expression for what a really good thief can do.

Date: October 21st, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Le4, Yue4 – Happy, Music

is another of those broken words. If you pronounce it Le4, it means Happy, as in 快樂. But if you pronounce it Yue4, it means Music, as in 音樂 – Yin1 Yue4 – Sound Music — Music.

I’m not sure how to say Muzak in Chinese, so I’m posting 音樂 instead. We were at a Japanese restaurant tonight, and I was shocked to hear them playing a muzak version of the song I mentioned yesterday, 雨一直下. Jenny had to explain to me that yes, they have muzak in other countries too. It took a while for me to accept it.

Also at the same place at one point the waitress asked Walde if he wanted another soda. He said “No”. She said “Good”. She got an extra big tip for that.

Date: October 20th, 2003
Cate: Regular
3 msgs

SR-71 Flight Manual

Bored? Learn how to fly an SR-71!

Table of Contents | How to start the engines | Bailout

However, if you’re interested in Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar Systems, you’re out of luck. Try FAS, they always know everything.

(via memepool)

Date: October 20th, 2003
Cate: Regular
1 msg

Imperial Buffet

Date: October 20th, 2003
Cate: Regular

I didn’t know Twining was a word

This somewhat spooky video shows how vines climb so well:

They’ve got lots more videos like this at the Plants-in-Motion site.

Date: October 20th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Yu3 – Rain

Lately it’s been raining a lot. Especially on weekends! 雨一直下 – Yu3 Yi4 Zhi2 Xia4 – Rain Always Falls.

Date: October 19th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Kan4 – See, Look, Watch, Think, Consider

“Kill Bill” totally rules. Go see it immediately.

Date: October 18th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ming2 – Clear, Bright, Understand, Next

明天 – Ming2 Tian1 – Next Day — Tomorrow
今天 – Jin1 Tian1 – Current Day — Today
昨天 – Zuo2 Tian1 – Yesterday Day — Yesterday

Saw Better Luck Tomorrow, and it was pretty good!

Date: October 16th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Bo1 – Glass

玻璃 – Bo1 Li2 – Glass

The secret is the Glass Pane. And the Layered Pane is really good too.

Date: October 16th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
1 msg

You’d think he would have learned his lesson

“640K ought to be enough for anybody” – Bill Gates, 1981.

“I can’t think of desktop applications where you would need more than 4 gigabytes of physical memory”Bill Gates, 2003.

Date: October 16th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
6 msgs

Hell froze over.

iTunes for Windows! Works perfect!

Date: October 16th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Yang2 – Poplar, (a surname)

The name of the Taikonaut I mentioned yesterday (he did land safely, by the way, he is now on his way to Beijing to start his new career: parades) was 杨利伟 – Yang Liwei. But, if you tried to look up the words in that name in my dictionary, you might have had trouble. That’s because it was written in Simplified Chinese.

Simplified Chinese is the set of characters that are used in mainland China and somehow also Singapore. The other Chinese speaking countries, and other countries that use Chinese characters in their language (like Japanese) generally use the Traditional characters. The Simplified character set was an idea by the Chinese government to make Chinese easier to learn and use. In many cases, the characters were returned to older, simpler forms. In other cases, the Simplified characters were just made up from scratch. 中文.com has more to say on this.

Here’s Yang Liwei in Tradtional Chinese:

楊利偉

And again in Simplified:

杨利伟

For this name, the first and last characters are different, but the middle one is the same. I’m not sure what percentage of characters are different in Simplified vs. Traditional, but it’s enough that somebody who has only learned the Traditonal ones (like Jenny) finds it almost impossible to read something written in Simplified.

I also have found that translating from Simplified to Traditional and back again is not as easy as you might think. It’s not always a one-to-one mapping. More than one Traditional character can simplify to the same Simplified character. And it gets even worse, as you can see in the documentation for this Perl module that attempts to convert between the two.

By the way, back to Yang Liwei, I absolutely love this picture. This is what they saw when they got to his capsule and opened the door:

Date: October 14th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Tai4 – Highest, Greatest, Too, Very

太空 – Tai4 Kong1 – Highest Empty — Space

Good luck to 杨利伟 – Yang Liwei, the first Taikonaut! See you tomorrow, in Inner Mongolia!

(by the way: 太空 – Tai4 Kong1 is where the term Taikonaut comes from)

Date: October 13th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Pi1 – Chop, Hack, Split

I was in the back yard with Sharena this past weekend. She mentioned that she wants to learn Tae Kwon Do. “Why?” I said. She started running around with her hand up in the air and then started chopping at stuff as she yelled “So I can break…. EVERYTHING!

Date: October 13th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
5 msgs

Artifacts Roadshow

There should be a version of Antiques Roadshow where adventurers come in and get their items identified. It would of course be called Artifacts Roadshow.

Tell me, do you know anything about this short sword?

Well, not really, I picked it in a hoard of treasure we found after killing some Trolls. I have noticed that it glows slightly when enemies are near.

There’d be experts on all different subjects. Scrolls and potions:

This scroll labelled FOOBIE BLETCH is actually a scroll of Genocide! This is quite a find! But the brilliant blue potion you have here appears to be just fruit juice.

Elven goods:

See this mark here? It’s in Tengwar, but I know it’s the mark of Celebrimbor, a great craftsman of Rivendell. This ring mail happens to be pure Mithril, do you know what that means?

Polearms:

I have this Guissarme here, I’d like to know…

I’m going to stop you there, because a lot of people make that mistake. This is actually a Fauchard-Fork, which you can tell by the much longer blade. You’re in luck though, because it’s at least a +2.

They’d bring in the Keno twins for truly unique items:

Wow, I’m really glad you brought this in today. You have a really special item here. I’ve talked to some of the other identifiers here today, and we checked some tomes, and we all agree: This is actually the Wand of Orcus!

Orcus, the Prince of the Undead?

That’s right. Did you find this in the Abyss?

No, I picked it up in an item shop for 45 silver pieces.

That’s really astounding. It’s a good thing you didn’t touch this skull at the tip, because you’d be dead. This artifact can also animate dead three times a day, and cast unholy aura as a 20th level sorcerer twice a day. Do you have any idea what the value of an item like this might be?

I really… No.

In a busy shop, with an expert shopkeeper, this item could bring as much as 10,000 GP.

Wow! I just… Wow! I’m never going to sell it, but… Wow!

Of course, every once in a while, things wouldn’t go so well.

I put on this ring, and haven’t been able to take it off? Can you tell me what it is?

How have you been feeling since you put it on?

Actually, I have been feeling strange. Even after eating these lembas wafers, I haven’t been able to be satiated.

Well, I have some bad news for you. This black onyx ring is actually a cursed ring of hunger. I’m sorry.

Date: October 13th, 2003
Cate: Kung Fu
17 msgs

KUNG FU ROBOTS?!?


Humanoid robots capable of performing somersaults and complex martial arts moves were demonstrated at Asia’s largest electronics and computing fair in Tokyo on Saturday.

Date: October 13th, 2003
Cate: Regular
10 msgs

More AP fun at Bush’s expense

Date: October 13th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Xia1 – Shrimp

We had a barbecue today! It was raining! We didn’t care! Best rainy barbecue ever.

One of the best things to come off the grill was 三瞄’s with 沙茶醬 – Sha1 Cha2 Jiang4 – Sand Tea Sauce — Tea Sauce.

(for you anti-shrimp people out there: you’ll be happy to learn that the character for shrimp is based on – Chong2 – Insect!)

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

– Dou4 – Bean, Pea

愷真很喜歡豆豆! – Kai3 Zhen1 Hen3 Xi3 Huan5 Dou4 Dou4 – Janice Really Likes Peas!

You can see inside , which is part of Janice’s Chinese name. Coincidentally, it’s also hiding in one character of Sharena’s Chinese name. Strange strange.

Date: October 11th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
4 msgs

Code points and characters and glyphs, oh my!

The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!) – You can’t process strings without knowing the character set.

What the heck is: A string – And sometimes you need to know the language the text was written in, too.

And Jonathon Decalour has been wrestling with some of this stuff lately too. Read these three recent posts, and especially the comments. Sometimes even knowing the character set AND the language isn’t good enough.

Date: October 11th, 2003
Cate: Regular
2 msgs

Japanese Word of the Day?

randomchaos is doing a daily Japanese lesson! Here’s all the old lessons, so you can catch up, and this link always shows the latest.

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

– Yi1 – Clothes

衣索比亞 – Yi1 Suo3 Bi3 Ya4 – Clothes Rope Compare Asia

What does that mean? Look at the pronunciations. Here’s a hint.

Date: October 10th, 2003
Cate: Regular

Dark and spooky

Remember that thing from a few weeks ago where the government was going to allow people to bet on terrorist attacks, and pay off whoever come closest to the actual retail price, without going over, or whatever it was? And then how it was killed because it was not only a remarkably stupid idea but also quite distasteful?

It’s back! Now with extra skullduggery!

(via IP)

Date: October 9th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Sha1 – Kill, Murder

Kill Bill comes out tomorrow! It’s got Gordon Liu in it! And Lucy Liu! I don’t think they’re related!

There’s some confusion about what the movie is going to be called in Chinese, though. Some sites have a literal translation: 殺死比爾 – Sha1 Si3 Bi3 Er3 – Kill Dead Bill (Bi3 Er3 sounds like Bill I guess). But, other sites have this for the title: 標殺令 – Biao1 Sha1 Ling4 – Mark Kill Decree — What?

Date: October 8th, 2003
Cate: Regular
2 msgs

Donut Call

donutcall.com: National Donut Call Registry

Q: If I register on the National Donut Call Registry, will it stop all donuts from entering my house?

A: No. Registering your number on the National Donut Call Registry will stop most, but not all, Donuts entering your house. You may still be able to stop an the local convenience store and purchase stale old donuts placed there from that morning. Also traveling groups of donut bakers are exempt. However you must put your current Donut provider on notice or they will be exempt from this registry.

Date: October 8th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ya1 – Crush, Press Down

Conan! What is best in life?

Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women.

Date: October 7th, 2003
Cate: Regular
9 msgs

Governator

I’d like to be the first to congratulate the citizens of the great state of California on your (projected) new Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

You idiots.

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

– Guan4 – Irrigate

灌木 – Guan4 Mu4 – Irrigate Wood — Shrub

Shrub has a weblog! Really! It includes such insighful posts as “The economy’s fine! Come on in!” and “The secret to beating the deficit: Tax cuts” and a post on how we have found WMD’s in Iraq (wait… what?) actually called “The Proof is There for Those with Eyes”.

Date: October 6th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Zhi1 – Spider

This is yet another of those words where each indivdual character doesn’t mean much of anything. You just have to use both together.

蜘蛛 – Zhi1 Zhu1 – Spider