Archive for March, 2004

Date: March 31st, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Chang2 – Taste

And now for the moment of truth… Tasting and judgement… Miraku Grill was good, but I think I slightly prefer Seoul Restaurant in New Haven. However, Rooftop Room Cat was great! Like really really great! Too bad there were only 16 episodes though, I’m not quite sure what to do now that it’s all over. Walde has been threatening to make us watch this 18 billion hour long super boring Chinese TV version of the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” or something, so scary…

Date: March 30th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Han2 – Korea

韓國 – Han2 Guo2 – Korea

Unless you’re in China, then it’s called 朝鮮國 – Chao2 Xian3 Guo2. I wonder why? Some political reason?

Tomorrow we’ll try out this so called Miraku Grill, and then finish off Rooftop Room Cat. Will Kyung-Min get together with Jung-Eun? Will Miraku be anywhere near as good as KumGangSan? And the biggest question of all… WHAT WILL TOMORROW’S WORD OF THE DAY BE?!?!?

Date: March 29th, 2004
Cate: Geekism
3 msgs

Google “numrange” search?

Anybody else notice this yet? Is it new? Numrange Searches: Numrange can be used to specify that results contain numbers in a range you set. You can conduct a numrange search by specifying two numbers, separated by two periods, with no spaces. Be sure to specify a unit of measure or some other indicator of what the number range represents.

For example, shaw brothers 1975..1980

Date: March 29th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Yu3 – Feather

羽毛球 – Yu3 Mao2 Qiu2 – Feather Ball — Badminton

Date: March 27th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Wu3 – Noon

午夜 – Wu3 Ye4 – Noon Night — Midnight

牛仔 – Niu2 Zai3 – Cowboy

Can you believe that I had never seen Midnight Cowboy? Until tonight, that is. We finally rented it. It was really good!

Also, by the way, 牛仔褲 – Niu2 Zai3 Ku4 – Cowboy Pants — Jeans

Date: March 27th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
3 msgs

– Wen2 – Writing, Language, Culture

文明 – Wen2 Ming2 – Culture Light — Civilization

Date: March 26th, 2004
Cate: Otherwhere
6 msgs

(not-so) Random Photo Albums

“Harajuku Hardcore”, part of the Hervé Guillaume web experience™. More of his pictures from Japan here.

Taipei Night Life, part of the Philo Vivero web experience™. He went to Taiwan in 2000, 2001, and 2004.

Date: March 25th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ba4 – Father

爸爸 – Ba4 Ba5 – Dad

Baba?

Date: March 25th, 2004
Cate: Regular
3 msgs

Stupid buggy brain

Is your brain defective? Watch this video. What is he saying? Now play it again, with your eyes closed.

(via languagehat)

Date: March 25th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
39 msgs

– Ding3 – Peak, Top

屋頂 – Wu1 Ding3 – House Top — Roof

Today, for free, bonus Korean words: 옥탑방 고양이 – Rooftop Room Cat

Walde has been bringing over episodes of this Korean soap opera, Rooftop Room Cat, for us to watch. I thought it was going to be awful. Soap opera? How can that be anything? But it’s really good!

It’s based on an “original Internet novel” (like My Sassy Girl) and is about these four people in Seoul who have a love… quadrangle? trapezoid? Well, whatever it’s called when A likes B likes C likes D likes A. The main characters are almost too cute to stand, and there’s a few other characters thrown in who are really easy and fun to hate. So far we’ve seen 6 of the 16 episodes, and it’s still going great.

We’re getting to the point where watching this show is interfering with our normal activites (homework, sleep) so we’ll probably be finished with it really soon. I doubt it will end with everybody dying, but we’ll see.

Date: March 23rd, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Yao4 – Key

鑰匙 – Yao4 Shi5 – Key

If you need to exchange keys with somebody, these guys can help:

Date: March 22nd, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Bi4 – Finish, Complete

Another milestone on the way to 畢業 – Bi4 Ye4 – Finish Study — Graduation: My paper is complete!

Date: March 22nd, 2004
Cate: Geekism
2 msgs

Rainbow

Here’s my other desktop. I made it all by myself.

Same joke as before, comes in any size, as long as it’s 1280×1024.

Date: March 22nd, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Sai4 – Race, Contest

Birthday presents: 賽車 – Sai4 Che1 – Race Cars, Stud Finder, Shirts, Books, Badminton Set, Laser Level, “Crippled Avengers” Poster, Ping Pong Toy, Barrel of Monkeys.

Date: March 21st, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ba1 – Wait, Hope

巴哈伊 – Ba1 Ha1 Yi1 – Bahai

Today is New Year (or Naw Ruz) in Iran, and for Bahais.

Date: March 20th, 2004
Cate: Regular
4 msgs

TRAPPED BY UNDEAD, NEED HELP

Mitch and Roy are trapped by zombies. So they started a weblog.

TRAPPED BY UNDEAD, NEED HELP (This is not a joke. We are alone and constantly battling for our lives.)

It’s probably part of the marketing for some zombie movie, but who cares?

Well since everyone has pretended our problem does not exist, I too will disregard the ever growing troupe of flesh eating zombies outside. I’ll carry on with my life like everyone else. I just downloaded the trailer to The Day After Tomorrow, looks pretty sweet. I wish it reaches the multiplex in this town. Oh wait, I forgot I can’t step out of this camp because I’ll be ripped apart by the walking dead.

Cheerios.

(via MeFi)

Date: March 20th, 2004
Cate: Geekism

Happy Mac

Using images stolen from OSたん保管庫 (don’t know what that means, but the site can only be described as “operating systems fan art”), I’ve created this desktop, perfect for use on a Mac:

It comes in whatever resolution you want, as long as it’s 1024×768.

Date: March 19th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Zui4 – Sin, Crime

Seven deadly sins

Date: March 19th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

廿

廿 – Nian4 – Twenty

For completeness I’ll also mention that there is a single character for twenty: 廿. I think, but am not entirely positive, that this character and – Sa4 – Thirty are mainly used as shorthand for dates, especially on calendars.

For more on the horrors of the Chinese calendar, see here. One nice thing that I’ve never run into before is the names of the moons. The Chinese didn’t stop with naming all the full moons, they even named all the new moons. Right now is “Vernal Equinox” which isn’t that interesting but we just came out of “Excited Insects”, and are heading into “Clear and Bright”. Sounds nice. These names should really be added to the authoritative Names of the Moons site.

Date: March 17th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Sa4 – Thirty

I’m 30!

Date: March 17th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Xiang4 – Examine, Study, Appearance, Picture

相機 – Xiang4 Ji1 – Picture Machine — Camera

I’m really in the home stretch now. I’m preparing the “Camera Ready” version of my paper. Nine days left until the final due date…

Date: March 15th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Qiu2 – Prisoner

– Ren2 – Person
+ – Wei2 – Enclosure
– Qiu2 – Prisoner
Date: March 15th, 2004
Cate: Regular

Must be careful with these titles…

It all started with this strange IM conversation:

sylloge: SweetRoxy215, I gotta ask you something: why the heck did you IM me? Where did you get my name from?
SweetRoxy215: i was iming a computer robot: ZolaOnAOL and i tried to ask her questions but she seems like she knows absolutely nothing so i typed “instant message question answerer” in the search bar and it came up with “Sylloge” so i tried iming and it worked

[...]

SweetRoxy215: do a lot of people bother you with questions?
sylloge: Nope. You are the first one.
SweetRoxy215: o…really…are you some type of genius
sylloge: Well, I’m pretty smart. But it is just a coincidence that my IM name came up first in that search. Just the way that Google works, I guess.
sylloge: I don’t normally answer questions like this.
SweetRoxy215: o okay

How wrong he was…

Date: March 14th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– You2 – Float, Swim

游泳 – You2 Yong3 – Swim

游泳池 – You2 Yong3 Chi2 – Swim Pond — Swimming Pool

Date: March 14th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Bu4 – Cloth, Announce, Deploy

桌布 – Zhuo1 Bu4 – Table Cloth

布袋戲 – Bu4 Dai4 Xi4 – Cloth Sack Play — Puppet Show

Date: March 13th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ke4 – Subdue, Overcome, Gram

克林貢 – Ke4 Lin2 Gong4 – Klingon

I thought I was wasting my time, but I found it:

Klingon/Chinese dictionary and phrasebook!

Date: March 12th, 2004
Cate: Regular
3 msgs

Hab SoSlI’ Quch!

languagehat points the way to not just one, but two tlhIngan Hol (Klingon language) weblogs: bo logh, and jIqel’s Journal.

MALTZ! JOL YLCHU’!

Date: March 12th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Shi4 – See, Watch

視頻 – Shi4 Pin2 – See Frequency — Video

視頻點播 – Shi4 Pin2 Dian3 Bo1 – Video Point Broadcast

Did I say I hate my cable box? Cause what I meant is, my cable box is… well, not that bad after all. They randomly gave us video on demand! We can watch (and pause, rewind, fast forward) a whole bunch of stuff for free, and get pay per view movies for $4. The content is OK, we watched some really bad anime (alas, dubbed), but there was some other interesting looking stuff that is hard to find usually, like short movies and documentaries. We almost puked when we went to the pay channel section, HBO had 8 million movies listed, and episodes of all their shows listed as free! But when we tried to watch them, it wouldn’t let us. You have to have the regular HBO channel.

Date: March 10th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Lan2 – Blue

藍色死亡畫面 – Lan2 Se4 Si3 Wang2 Hua4 Mian4 – Blue Color Death Frame – Blue Screen of Death

The blue screen of death makes a pretty good 404 page. But wouldn’t a guru meditation be even better?

Date: March 10th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Qing1 – Blue, Green

Now that Daffodil is finished, I’m working on Cyan. But I can’t figure out how to say cyan in Chinese! I found 氰化物 – Qing1 Hua4 Wu4 – Cyanide. That character has inside it, and they’re both pronounced the same. can mean blue or green, and some dictionaries define it as blue-green, which is sort of what cyan is. So I’m going to say this is a
close as I can get.
Date: March 9th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Nian2 – Year

As of today, I’ve been doing word of the day for one year. It all started with .

Here’s the mind boggling thing. To have basic literacy in Chinese, you need to know about THREE THOUSAND characters. So if I did word of the day for EIGHT YEARS, and learned every single character, I’d be there. At that level you can read a newspaper. To know enough to be able to read classical books, and be considered well educated, you need to know even more — about four or five thousand. And a really good dictionary contains tens of thousands of unique characters.

There’s hardly any system to the characters, they just have to be memorized. To somebody like me who only had to learn the 26 letters, it barely seems possible, but of course it is. I’m not sure how long it takes to recognize a single character, but it seems that a fully literate reader of Chinese can read a text at about the same speed as an English reader. Even when the text is displayed on a computer screen (like the one you’re using now) that doesn’t have enough resolution to display each individual stroke in a complicated character, and approximates it with a square-shaped blur, the brain’s pattern matching ability keeps rolling along at full speed.

I had thought about ending word of the day after a year. Even after doing this every day, I can only regonize a handful. And I can’t write any. But, word of the day has been a fun way to learn more and more words, and the connections between them. At least I remember how to say a few of them. And it sort of keeps me “immersed” in Chinese, or at least it keeps my toe in the water. I don’t always get the words right the first time, but of course Jenny has been helping me, as well as some kind people around the Internet (especially zonble and isis謝謝你們!) As I mentioned above, I’m not going to run out of words any time soon. So… let’s keep going!

Date: March 8th, 2004
Cate: Geekism

Iraqi Transitional Constitution – full text

LAW OF ADMINISTRATION FOR THE STATE OF IRAQ – FOR THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD

The people of Iraq, striving to reclaim their freedom, which was usurped by the previous tyrannical regime, rejecting violence and coercion in all their forms, and particularly when used as instruments of governance, have determined that they shall hereafter remain a free people governed under the rule of law.

These people, affirming today their respect for international law, especially having been amongst the founders of the United Nations, working to reclaim their legitimate place among nations, have endeavored at the same time to preserve the unity of their homeland in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity in order to draw the features of the future new Iraq, and to establish the mechanisms aiming, amongst other aims, to erase the effects of racist and sectarian policies and practices.

This Law is now established to govern the affairs of Iraq during the transitional period until a duly elected government, operating under a permanent and legitimate constitution achieving full democracy, shall come into being.

(via The Command Post)

Date: March 7th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– La1 – Pull, Drag

– Tui1 – Push, Shove

酷斯拉 – Ku4 Si1 La1 – Godzilla

Exactly 50 years after the first, the “final” Godzilla movie is coming out at the end of this year. It sounds great! The ending of the last Godzilla movie I saw in a theater really stuck in my head:

Man, looking out at the destroyed city of Tokyo, where Godzilla has just defeated a monster from space: We scientists created Godzilla, and ever since then we’ve been trying to destroy him.

Girl: Then why does he keep protecting us?

Man, looking wistful: Maybe because… there’s a little bit of Godzilla in every one of us.

Godzilla: REEEEEEEEEOEOOOOWOORORORORRRRRRROooooooooOOOUUUUUU!!! [breathes fire, adding to inferno engulfing Tokyo] *STOMP* *STOMP* *STOMP* [smashes buildings with tail]

CREDITS ROLL

Date: March 7th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Yao2 – Mound, Embankment

This is fun. means dirt, and a pile of them, means a pile of dirt.

Date: March 6th, 2004
Cate: Otherwhere
2 msgs

Seamen ship for love!

If it weren’t for the URL, I’d think this is fake.

(via Nelson’s Linkblog)

Date: March 6th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
3 msgs

– Ta1 – She, Her

James points out that in writing, there is a separate character for she or her: .

Date: March 4th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– E4- Crocodile

鱷梨 – E4 Li2 – Crocodile Pear — Avocado

Yvonne says they also sometimes call it 奶油果 – Nai3 You2 Guo3 – Butter Fruit

You’d think I would like Butter Fruit. But I don’t.

Date: March 4th, 2004
Cate: Otherwhere
2 msgs

Dead Zone

Elena is from Kiev and her favorite place to ride is the “Dead Zone”, the radioactive area around Chernobyl. Why?

Why favourite? because one can ride there for hours and not meet any single car and not to see any single soul. People left and nature is blooming, there are beautiful places, woods, lakes. There is no newly built roads, but those which left from 80th in fairly good condition.

The silence there can be deafening:

This town might be an attractive place for tourists. Some tourists companies have been trying to arrange extrim tours in this town, but people- their customers scared and have been complaining about silence which is hard to stand in empty town. They charged 210 us dollars for 2 hours excursion and town guard say, they all were leaving in some 15 mins, complaining that silense is tremendous as if one got deaf.

But it doesn’t bother her:

I don’t know how sound the silence to those tourists that they can not stand it, but to me after hitting a red line on my bike tacho it sound like all those ghosts cursing 1100cc kawasaki engin.

Really incredible pictures, and an interesting personal story as well.

(via dph)

Date: March 4th, 2004
Cate: Regular

I know what I want for my birthday

UC Berkeley researchers developing robotic exoskeleton that can enhance human strength and endurance

The researchers point out that the human pilot does not need a joystick, button or special keyboard to “drive” the device. Rather, the machine is designed so that the pilot becomes an integral part of the exoskeleton, thus requiring no special training to use it. In the UC Berkeley experiments, the human pilot moved about a room wearing the 100-pound exoskeleton and a 70-pound backpack while feeling as if he were lugging a mere 5 pounds.

The project, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, began in earnest in 2000. Next week, from March 9 through 11, Kazerooni and his research team will showcase their project at the DARPA Technical Symposium in Anaheim, Calif.

For the current model, the user steps into a pair of modified Army boots that are then attached to the exoskeleton. A pair of metal legs frames the outside of a person’s legs to facilitate ease of movement. The wearer then dons the exoskeleton’s vest that is attached to the backpack frame and engine. If the machine runs out of fuel, the exoskeleton legs can be easily removed so that the device converts to a large backpack.

More than 40 sensors and hydraulic actuators form a local area network (LAN) for the exoskeleton and function much like a human nervous system. The sensors, including some that are embedded within the shoe pads, are constantly providing the central computer brain information so that it can adjust the load based upon what the human is doing. When it is turned on, the exoskeleton is constantly calculating what it needs to do to distribute the weight so little to no load is imposed on the wearer.

Date: March 3rd, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Ta1 – He, Him, She, Her

Chinese makes no gender distinction with the third person pronoun. Everybody is . It seems that the fact that English does have He and She causes trouble for Chinese people trying to learn English, and trouble for native English speakers trying to understand them. I guess because of the structure of English there’s some special register in my brain that keeps track of the gender of all the subjects of the current conversation. When there’s a mismatch, like “I was talking to my sister today, and ….. Then he said…”, some sort of exception is raised, and a flag gets set that says my subject table is corrupted. It’s kind of like a parity mismatch: the pointers to the subjects are possibly all wrong. It takes a few neuro-cycles for the error to be caught and passed up to the higher brain functions, which eventually decide that this error is safe to ignore. But by then the parsing, which was halted, is a bit behind, and the lexer’s buffer may have overrun.

Thus ends today’s lesson in dorko-linguistics.

Also, 吉他 – Ji2 Ta1 – Guitar, but you knew that already.