Archive for April, 2004

Date: April 29th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Pu2 – Rush

Rush, the type of plant, that is.

蒲公英 – Pu2 Gong1 Ying1 – Dandelion

After the first day of the Dandelion Wars, Jenny was feeling confident in victory. “I’ll be all done tomorrow, they’re actually fun to pull out!” After today, the second day, things are very different. Her fingers broken, her back sore, her legs weak, and her spirit crushed, she is realizing that the more you pull out, the more you find… and they never, ever stop. Ever.

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

– Zao3 – Early, Morning

Jenny, go to bed! You have a dentist appointment 很早 – Hen3 Zao3 – Very Early tomorrow morning!

Date: April 28th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ta3 – Tower, Pagoda

巴別塔 – Ba1 Bie2 Ta3 – Tower of Babel

We’re watching a new show, My Love Patzzi. It’s really hard to understand because the subtitles have been translated, poorly, from Korean to Chinese, and then from Chinese to English. It’s like watching a movie that has been processed through the Babelfish a few times. You get some great lines like “I’m going to hit you to dead!”, and the pronouns are completely messed up. Not just he/she but sometimes even you/I and we/they are backwards or scrambled. It makes following the plot pretty challenging.

Date: April 27th, 2004
Cate: Regular
5 msgs

HADOOOOOKEN!

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

– Jian3 – Clip, Shear

剪刀 – Jian3 Dao1 – Clip Knife — Scissors

After watching Big Fish (pretty good) we realized that we’ve both never seen Edward Scissorhands. Hopefully one of you reading this will be there next time we’re looking for something to watch and can remind us, because this is another on a huge long list of “oldies” we want to see but can never remember when at the video store.

Date: April 26th, 2004
Cate: Regular

New Fifty

Date: April 26th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Qiang1 – Cavity

腔調 – Qiang1 Diao4 – Cavity Tune — Accent

Jenny finally got me the Chinese CDs that have been sitting on my wishlist for ages as a graduation present. I already know 90% of the vocab on this set, but we’re hoping it will help me with my fluency and pronounciation, especially being able to hear and say the infamous tones. A minor problem is that the lessons are all given in Chinese with a Beijing accent, which is pretty different from the Taiwan accent that Jenny and her family have. It’s kind of like learning English to speak to Americans, but learning to speak with a Cockney accent.

Date: April 25th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Jie3 – Divide, Solve, Untie, Relieve

解脫 – Jie3 Tuo1 – Relieve Remove — Relief, Set Free

Finished! Finished, finished, finished, finished, totally FINISHED! I’m done with the paper, done with the class, done with the presentation, done with the semester, and done with school! What a relief!

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

– Zun1 – Honor, Respect

尊魚 – Zun1 Yu2 – Honor Fish — Trout

So the new Iron Chef America doesn’t stink as much as the UPN version did — but that’s not saying much, since that version was a complete travesty. This one is in general a waste of time, and the new fake “Chairman Kaga” must die.

Date: April 23rd, 2004
Cate: Geekism

LJ’s Backend

This is sort of old news, but I finally read this presentation today and there’s a reason why it’s linked up everywhere. How do you set up a weblog hosting site that serves 2.4 million users (who read AND write), and deal with peak hit rates of 800 per second? Like this: Inside LiveJournal’s Backend (pdf).

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

– Yan3 – Evolve, Develop, Practice, Perform, Act

演講 – Yan3 Jiang3 – Perform Talk — Lecture

It’s all over now but the presentation. 演講 is the closest I could come, I’m not sure if it really captures the meaning of “presentation” though. I ended up with 13 slides (a good omen?) and I’ve got just 15 minutes. So I gotta keep moving!

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

– Qi2 – Banner, Flag

旗魚 – Qi2 Yu2 – Banner Fish — Swordfish

烤肉 – Kao3 Rou4 – Roast Meat — Barbecue

I wonder how you say “Weberize” in Chinese?

Date: April 20th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– JIan3 – Simple

Don’t let anybody tell you LDAP and JNDI aren’t 簡單 – Jian3 Dan1 – Easy. They are. I went from never having touched an LDAP server in my entire life to having a) installed one, 2) set up a schema in one, and iii) written Java code that accesses one in about 3 hours today. I guess few weeks of preparation by reading books and RFCs and talking to some smart people helped, too.

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

– Zhong1 – End, Finish

This week is the end. Final paper due and final exam for one class due on Thursday. Final presentation for the other on Saturday. Of course, lots of stuff going on at work this week too, because that’s how it always happens. And, just to make things extra interesting, a dentist appointment thrown in!

Date: April 18th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Chuang1 – Window

I think the virus/worm/spyware infection rate of Windows PCs for non-techie users is nearing 100%. In recent weeks, two of Jenny’s sisters have asked me to take a look at their computers because they were acting strange. I found both to be infected with dozens of different viruses and worms and various other pieces of malware. I cleaned one up about a month ago, and then going over again a few weeks ago I found it reinfected with all new stuff. I cleaned 三喵’s up today too, but I know in a month or so it will also be infected again.

The only real solution is to keep completely up to date with all the patches for Windows, but that’s impossible, because Windows Update is a complete joke. On Ellen’s computer, I logged in to Windows Update, and it told me there were 67 “critical” updates and patches that were required, a total of something ridiculous like 500 megabytes to download. And there wasn’t even a way to just say “OK, install them all.” You had to install each one and then reboot. Haven’t they heard of cumulative updates? Or patch (1)?

So what’s going to happen now? I wonder what the general reaction to this trend will be.

Date: April 18th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ni2 – Mud

泥土 – Ni2 Tu3 – Mud

We went hiking today with a seriously huge number of kids. Sharena, Janice, Aidan, Alexis, Linda, Christina and Brianna! I don’t even know how many that is, I can’t count that high. It was crazy, kids running everywhere. The trails were a bit muddy, and we all got pretty dirty. We then went back to LCB’s house for an orderly game of basketball/scooter/frisbee/roller blade/badminton/hula hoop/bicycle/baton twirling. And Mario Sunshine. I think Linda has more Shines than I do.

This will not stand.

Date: April 17th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
3 msgs

– Jia3 – Shell, Armor

My favorite was 甲龍下目 – Jia3 Long2 Xia4 Mu4 – Armor Dragon Under Eye — Ankylosaurus.

(Lots of dinosaurs have 下目 in their name. I don’t know why! It doesn’t seem to mean anything, and I can’t think of what it could be a phonetic translation of.)

Date: April 16th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Lian2 – Pity

可憐 – Ke3 Lian2 – Can Pity — Pitiful, Poor Thing

Sharena first asked us to take her to see dinosaurs last September! And we still haven’t gone! 可不可憐 – Ke3 Bu4 Ke3 Lian2 — Isn’t she a poor thing? She’s almost as 可憐 as all those people who have been very patiently waiting to see if I’ll ever release a new version of Feed on Feeds. Well, school is almost all over (my final final exam is next week, and I present my paper next weekend too) so the waiting may be close to over. And, we’re finally going to see the dinosaurs tomorrow!

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

– Zi1 – Resources, Capital

資訊 – Zi1 Xun4 – Information

隱藏 – Yin3 Cang2 – Hide, Conceal

資訊隱藏 – Zi1 Xun4 Yin3 Cang2 – Information Hide — Steganography

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

– Gun4 – Stick, Pole

Tonight’s movie: 五郎八卦棍 – Wu3 Lang2 Ba1 Gua4 Gun4 – Fifth Son(?) Eight Diagram Pole — Eight Diagram Pole Fighter: good!

——-8<——-CUT HERE—SPOILERS BELOW——->8——-

In this movie, a man’s brothers and father are killed. He escapes to a monastery, and becomes a monk. At first they won’t let him in, because he is so violent and has too many thoughts of earthly matters. Eventually, he is allowed in because of the strength of his resolve. The monks teach him their ways: not to kill, to be peaceful and serene, and to become disconnected from worldly concerns.

Then he leaves the monastery… to get revenge on those who killed his family? Huh? And during the final battle, his fellow monks even show up (with a helpful wooden wolf) to help him kill the last few really tough bad guys! Best part: using a wheelbarrow full of bamboo sticks like a gatling gun.

Date: April 12th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
3 msgs

– Yi1 – Treat, Cure, Medicine, Doctor

醫生 – Yi1 Sheng1 – Doctor

Sometimes the old games are the best.

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

– Fu4 – Recover, Return

復活節 – Fu4 Huo2 Jie2 – Recover Life Holiday — Easter

And Good Friday is 受難日 – Shou4 Nan4 Ri4 – Suffering Day

Our local area was pretty eerie today, we went out to run some errands and the roads were empty and almost all the stores were closed. Finally it hit us… Easter!

Date: April 11th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Dong1 – East

See also: North, East, West and South.

東京 – Dong1 Jing1 – East Capital — Tokyo

Another mini-review: Tokyo Godfathers: good!

Date: April 10th, 2004
Cate: Geekism
1 msg

Lifeforms: REMIX

Remember Data’s “scanning for lifeforms” song? Here’s the remix!

Date: April 10th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Deng1 – Mount, Climb, Step On, Record

登山 – Deng1 Shan1 – Climb Mountain — Mountain Climbing

We went for a walk, which turned into a bit of a climb, at Sleeping Giant today.

Date: April 9th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Wu4 – Mist, Fog

Two quick reviews:

House of Sand and Fog: Good

WarioWare, Inc.: Good

Date: April 7th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– You1 – Excellent

優格 – You1 Ge2 – Yogurt

and 草莓 – Cao3 Mei2 – Straw Berry — Strawberry

is 好喝 – Hao3 He1 – Good To Drink

Date: April 7th, 2004
Cate: Otherwhere
46 msgs

Jewel Eye

I can’t find any information on this other than this one photo at Yahoo:   Update: More on JewelEye


Dutch woman Deborah Boer models the ‘Jewel Eye’ in her hometown Driebergen, the Netherlands April 7, 2004. The ‘Jewel Eye’ piece is latest trend in body fashion and is implanted underneath the cornea of the eye. REUTERS/Michael Kooren

Date: April 6th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Sun1 – Grandchild, (a surname)

Right now it’s the year 93 in Taiwan. Why? 1912 was the date of the founding of the ROC, with Sun Yat-Sen as its first (provisional) president.

孫中山 – Sun1 Zhong1 Shan1 – Sun Yat-Sen

Much more on Sun Yat-Sen and the history of the ROC can be found at wikipedia.org.

Also, here’s a huge panorama from the Sun Yat-Sen memorial in Taipei.

Date: April 5th, 2004
Cate: Regular
2 msgs

Confusion

I just found out that The Confusion, the sequel to Quicksilver, is already out in the UK, and comes out in the US in about a week. It looks like it’s more of the same from Quicksilver: endless politicking around 17th century Europe, surprisingly boring piracy (piracy boring? that’s unpossible!), and page after page of the dull antics of the Royal Society. Yeah sure it’s really well researched, or whatever, but… bleah…. and those long, long letters! After how much I liked Cryptonomicon (and Snow Crash (and The Diamond Age (and Zodiac))), I was really surprised at just how bad Quicksilver was.

So I think I’m going to skip this one. I’m sure somebody on some web site I read will read it, and mention if it’s any good.

Date: April 5th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Hu3 – Bank (of a river)

Walde finally made us watch the first episode of that 水滸傳 – Shui3 Hu3 Zhuan4 – Water Bank Chronicle — The Water Margin TV show. (previous posts on The Water Margin.) It seems like it might be good, but I really can’t get used to the dubbing. It’s a BBC version of a Japanese show, based on a Chinese story, dubbed over by British voice actors, who speak with really lame fake generic Asian accents.

Date: April 4th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Si3 – Die, Dead

Congratulations! If you are reading this, you made it through triple death day, 4/4/04. 4 is a really unlucky number, and is associated with death because – Si4 – Four sounds like – Si3 – Death.

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

– Qing1 – Light, Soft, Easy

I bought a book on LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) today. reminds me of something funny: When Alexis’s little brother Aidan was born, she loved to hang around him and touch him. His parents would always get worried and say 輕輕, meaning “lightly, lightly”. But Alexis misunderstood and thought they said 親親 – Qin1 Qin1 which means “kiss, kiss”. So she’d kiss him. Everybody would realize what happened and laugh and smile at her. That happened a few times, and now whenever she sees babies, she quickly kisses them, since that’s what she’s been “taught” to do!

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

– Ti4 – Duplicate, Substitute

替代 – Ti4 Dai4 – Substitute For

Yeah, we’re pitiful. Or maybe just me. Now that Rooftop Room Cat is all over, we’re trying to find some sort of placebo to dull the pain while we break the addiction. …ing seemed to fit the bill, a Korean movie starring one of the actors from Rooftop Room Cat. But, ultimately, it didn’t work. Too much on the sad, not enough on the funny. Really, there’s no substitute. We should have just given up and watched Secret Rivals 2.

Date: April 2nd, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Yu2 – Foolish

愚人節 – Yu2 Ren2 Jie2 – Foolish Person Holiday — April Fool’s

Waxy.org is keeping a running list of all this year’s April Fool’s jokes on the Net. One of my two favorites this year was Google’s new GMail service. The joke there, apparently, is that it’s real! The other best one was the story NPR did on ZIP code portability. I forgot all about it as usual. Maybe I’ll have a prank next year…

Date: April 1st, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Yia4 – Victory

The Chinese language is constantly evolving, and new characters are being added all the time. has recently come into common use in writing, and was recently added to the Unicode standard (hopefully your browser can display it). It is one of those hard to translate concepts: it encompasses victory, optimism, and a “go for it!” attitude.

All characters in Chinese started out this way, as pictograms. This page at omniglot shows a few examples of this process. Who knows, in a few hundred years may similarly be simplified and stylized to be just another inscrutable character, like for horse.

Since this is a very new character, your browser may not support it yet. It has been assigned unicode code point 9996, or 0×270c, and you can see the Unicode data for it, as well as a graphical representation here at fileformat.info.