Archive for January, 2004
理 – Li3 – Reason, Logic, Arrange
修理 – Xiu1 Li3 – Repair
The other day my website crashed randomly! I was getting an error message from MySQL: “Can’t open file <SOME_TABLE>.MYD (errno: 145)”. A few minutes of Googling revealed that this sometimes happens, and to fix it all I had to do was say “REPAIR TABLE <SOME_TABLE>”. It worked! But strange.
I checked the logs, but nothing suspicious was going on. It apparently just broke. I wonder if it’s some kind of deadlock? Cause actually two tables were in that same state, and MySQLAdmin reported them both “in use”.
霏 – Fei1 – Falling Snow and Rain
This is what I see out my window right now. That is, if I understand what this character means.
A mind bomb in today’s NASA Mars press conference:
Q. Have any of you slept?
Pete: we slept for three years. I got 4 hours.
Arthur: I got about an hour last night.
Steve: landings are special. Once you get into Marstime, it’s fine. I got into the Gusev groove. I was getting 6,7, 8 hours sleep. What’s hard is changing rovers. The jump to Opportunity was a 12 hour time zone change and that’s hard. I’ve been sleeping in little 2 and 3 hours.
I already knew that the crew back on Earth is operating on Mars time, sleeping and waking as the Spirit rover does, with 24.6 hour days. What surprised me is now that Oppurtunity has landed on exactly the other side of the planet, they’ve had to switch their schedules 12 martian time zones to stay in sync. Whoa!
By the way, Asa Dotzler has the best Mars rovers coverage on the Internet.
財 – Cai2 – Money, Wealth
新年快樂 – Xin1 Nian2 Kuai4 Le4 – Happy New Year!
恭喜發財 – Gong1 Xi3 Fa1 Cai2 – May you get rich!
Today we celebrated Chinese New Year with Jenny’s family and played the 紅包 – Hong2 Bao1 – Red Envelope game. In this game, you give red envelopes full of money to unmarried people who are younger than you, and to people of preceeding generations. (My studies on this topic have shown that the red envelope game is like Monopoly: Every family may have different rules.) This game has historically been a net win for Jenny and I. Jenny’s family had relatively few kids, so we only had to give out to her parents and grandmother and a few random tiny children, but got red envelopes from everybody and their uncle (literally). This year the realization that we’re at long last married has finally sunk in to her entire family and we got nothing! And the proliferation of kids meant that we were handing them out left and right. A crushing defeat.
I’m sure ‘red envelope strategy’ is a well studied subject and factors in to many family planning decisions among Chinese people. But I’m just a novice.
掃 – Sao3 – Sweep
I listened to the last half hour of the landing on Mars tonight live. Wow! Cruise stage seperation (avionics team: “thank you for flying with us and hope you had a pleasant journey”)… atmospheric entry… deceleration… Parachute deploy! Radar lock on ground! Retro rockets firing!! WE ARE BOUNCING ON MARS!! We are ROLLING on Mars! …and rolling… and rolling… and rolling… and rolling… and rolling……. and … probably have stopped.
When it was pretty clear that the landing was a success, they handed out brooms in mission control.
群 – Qun2 – Herd, Flock, Group
環 – Huan2 – Surround, Encircle, Ring
體 – Ti3 – Body, System, Field
(I know that those three words mean Group, Ring and Field in the mathematical sense from this page. I found it the same way I find lots of specialized words: Search google for “ring field group”, and then restrict results to Chinese only. You can find a lot of very specific definitions that way.)
來 – Lai2 – Come
I told Jenny I couldn’t tell what today’s word of the day is. She said “慢慢來” – Man4 Man4 Lai2 – Slow Slow Come — Take It Easy, Be Paitient. And it worked!
房 – Fang2 – House
房間 – Fang2 Jian1 – Room
We helped Yvonne move into her new room today. It’s in a house, near Main Street, Flushing. She’s living the typical student life: a tiny room, with a tiny bed raised up off the floor by plastic crates.
She then took us to some surprisingly good food in Flushing. We went down some stairs to a dingy 99¢ store below street level, full of cheap hangers, mouse traps, and rainbow colored feather dusters. But in the back corner was a restaurant! There were a few ladies chatting with the regular customers, busily making dumplings, with a small counter, some boiling pots, and a grill. We got an especially good 炸醬麵 there. I have no idea what the restaurant is called, or if it even has a name.
That’s an excerpt from MARIO & ZELDA BIG BAND, the latest video game concert in Japan. If you know about BitTorrent, you can get the whole thing here, from #gamemp3s. And if you search those file sharing networks, you might even be able to find a copy of the DVD. It’s great! You can see Shiggsy HIMSELF playing:
Nice t-shirt he’s got there.
肝 – Gan1 – Liver
肝臟 – Gan1 Zang4 – Liver Organ — Liver
Yuck. Liver. This is also scary:
心肝 – Xin1 Gan1 – Heart Liver — Darling
I have a Motorola cable box, from Comcast. And I hate it. IT SHOWS ME ADS ALL THE TIME! Every time you change a channel, it shows you an ad. It also shows ads whenever you check the program guide. The menus are full of ads. It pretty much shows you ads every time it gets a chance. It is also incredibly slow at changing channels, the slowest one I’ve ever had. I always assume it’s the ad processing that’s slowing it down and get madder and madder the more I use it.
Today it came up with a new trick. There was a little red light on the front panel, that I’ve never seen before. It was next to a label, “NEW MESSAGE”. Being incredibly stupid, I get all excited. I’d seen the “messages” feature before when I did my normal depth-first traversal of the menus when I first got the box. But it was always empty. I quickly turned on the TV, went into the menus and selected “VIEW MESSAGE”.
You probably already know what happened next. It was another ad! “Don’t miss WWE Wreslemania XIXICXIIV! THIS SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!”
密 – Mi4 – Secret, Dense
密碼學 – Mi4 Ma3 Xue2 – Secret Symbol Study — Crypography
Or maybe 密碼學 is Cryptology? I can never get that straight. If I remember right Crypography (making codes) + Cryptanalysis (breaking codes) = Cryptology.
Why why why why do the Japanese keep all the best games for themselves? Why can’t we get one… just ONE of these super games that they’ve been hoarding? Curse Nintendo and their territorial lockout!
NINTENDO GAMECUBE DONKEY KONGA! I don’t care that it’s a complete blatant shameless rip off of Taiko no Tetsujin, I still want it. It has screaming monkeys. And you clap!
Sudden interest in Mars because of…? Here’s a story at Petroleum News
Briggs said NASA has been working with Halliburton, Shell, Baker-Hughes and the Los Alamos National Laboratory to identify drilling technologies that might work on Mars.
Halliburton and Baker-Hughes are working on some very advanced systems, Briggs said, some so advanced they aren’t willing to talk much about them.
精 – Jing1 – Choice, Fine, Essence
精神 – Jing1 Shen2 – Essence God — Spirit (MER-A)
Current location: Gusev Crater, Mars.
機會 – Ji1 Hui4 – Chance Able — Opportunity (MER-B)
Current location: Space!
ETA on Mars: January 25th. Landing site: Gray Hematite rich area of Terra Meridiani, Mars.
赤鐵礦 – Chi4 Tie3 Kuang4 – Red Iron Ore — Hematite
羅 – Luo2 – Catch, Gauze
I was hoping to find some meaning in the title 羅生門 – Rashomon. I knew that 門 is gate, so I was expecting something like GATE OF TRUTH, except more subtle and cool. But it’s just the name of a famous ruined gate in Kyoto. Oh well.
(I guess I’m kind of bending the rules by using these names of Japanese movies as Chinese words of the day.)
Here’s my TODO list for 2004:
- Real Life
- Get Master’s degree.
- To do this, complete final class and seminar.
- To do this, stop wasting time working on stupid TODO lists and get back to work.
- To do this, complete final class and seminar.
- Then: Go on big huge vacation.
- Get Master’s degree.
- Upgrade to WP1.0
- Enhance word of the day
- Add features to make each entry more useful (links for dictionary lookup, cross reference between words, pronunciation guide, more meta data.)
- Make it easier for me to publish. There should be a word of the day wizard that suggests words I haven’t done yet.
- Spam filtering
- Flip the switch that consigns spam comments to oblivion. I think it works!
- Release spam filter.
- Feed on Feeds
- Finish and release 0.2.
- Then: Do templates, plug-in system, Atom, and a non-PHP API.
獅 – Shi1 – Lion
南北獅王 – Nan2 Bei3 Shi1 Wang2 – North South Lion King, AKA Lion vs Lion or Roar Of The Lion
南北獅王 was tonight’s movie. It was great! Slightly slow in the middle and towards the end, but the conclusion MORE than made up for it. I’m going to talk about the ending, so if you don’t want it ruined stop reading now.
—–8< —SPOILERS—-8<—–CUT HERE—–8<—-
This movie has a similar plot to lots of other old Chinese movies: A relative nobody gets all mixed up in the battle between the Qings and the loyalists of the old Ming dynasty. There’s always some list of rebels that must be prevented from falling into Qing hands, or a great hero who must be protected. The nobody is usually really really good at Kung Fu for some reason. There’s usually lots of twists and turns, plenty of double- and triple-crossing, bad guys pretending to be good, setbacks, etc. But in the end, the main guy is usually almost successful in what he has to do. Almost.
This movie was no exception. There are really two main guys, one who is honest and good at Kung Fu, and another guy who is more tricky. At first, the tricky guy is using the honest guy for personal gain. But later, they form a friendship. The good guy is somehow entrusted with this list of rebels that the Qings must not get. He hides it, and fights a million battles. In fact, they guy who he is supposed to deliver the list to turns out to be a Qing himself! But, the two guys figure this out, and preserve the list. While fighting the main bad guy, the one guy who is really good at Kung Fu dies. But the other guy escapes. As the good guy is dying, he tells the tricky guy where the list is hidden and who to give it to. The tricky guy makes this big long speech about how he never meant to hurt people with his tricks, he just needed money, but now he’s seen the light, he’s going to be honest and help his country by delivering the list.
The final scene of the movie takes no more than 10 seconds: He goes and gets the list, and is on his way to deliver it, when out of nowhere, the Qing army shows up! The general yells “NOBODY ESCAPES THE QINGS! FIRE ARROWS!” All the soldiers fire flaming arrows into this guy, and the last shot of the movie is him flying backwards, full of arrows, and on fire. Then it says “THE END”. Before he even hits the ground! I LOVE IT!
All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. Many others have met a different fate. Let’s put it this way — they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies. (Applause.)
The rough plan, which sounds quite ambitious: Finish the space station. Then junk the shuttles and work on this new CEV: “Crew Exploration Vehicle”. It starts testing in 2007. Back slowly away from the space station, and focus on returning to the Moon, starting in 2013. Establish a permanent Moon base, and then start thinking about sending people to Mars.
I hope this is all going to be backed up with some well thought out rationale when it’s actually announced. But who wouldn’t get excited over a Moon base?!?!?
遷 – Qian1 – Move, Migrate
A movie mentioned that somehow Mencius’s mother (known as 孟母 – Meng4 Mu3 – Meng Mother) is considered like the paragon of motherhood. I asked Jenny about it and she mumbled 孟母三遷 – Meng4 Mu3 San1 Qian1 – Meng Mother’s Three Moves. I did a bit of googling and managed to find the story. About Mencius’s mother, and the famous three moves:
Legend says that the name of Mencius’ mother was Chang-shih and that she changed her residence three times on account of her concern for Mencius.
At first they lived near a cemetery, and the young Mencius amused himself with acting the various scenes which he witnessed at the tombs. “This”, said his mother, “ is no place for my son ;”—and she moved to a house in the marketplace. But the change was no improvement. The boy took to playing the part of a salesman, boasting about his wares, and exchanging light chaff and banter with customers.
His mother sought a new house, and found one at last close by a public school. There her child’s attention was caught by the various exercises in correct manners by which the scholars were taught, and he endeavored to imitate them. The mother was satisfied. “This,” she said, “is the proper place for my son.”
In my searching I found that this 孟母 is no joke when it comes to being a good mother: She’s in this list of the top 10 best mothers of ALL TIME, and is even a candidate to have a theme park built in her honor!
Based on hillside, river valley and lake, a number of entertainment activities suitable to females, mothers and children will be prepared, such as wit game, handicraft and water activities.
WIT GAMES! Yeah!