Archive for July, 2004

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

– Zhan4 – Stand, Stop, Station

火車 – Huo3 Che1 – Fire Car — Train

火車站 – Huo3 Che1 Zhan4 – Train Station

Tonight’s movie: The Station Agent. I know what you’re thinking: “What? An American movie? IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?!?!” Well, we were going to watch some more of All About Eve, but Mr. Walde was stuck at work. So we went to the video store, and it came down to Starsky and Hutch and The Station Agent. Jenny made the final call. I have a feeling it was a very, very good decision.

Date: July 30th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ti2 – Lift, Raise, Carry, Propose, Mention

提名 – Ti2 Ming2 – Propose Name — Nominate

Most surprising thing John Kerry promised to do while accepting the nomination: “We will double our special forces to conduct terrorist operations.” Wow! They usually don’t admit to that kind of thing in public! Sure, the prepared transcript had a slightly different version of that phrase, but it’s what he said that counts.

Date: July 29th, 2004
Cate: Geekism
2 msgs

Various

I should have one of those linkyblog things. Until then:

HTTP Caching and Cache-Busting – But what if I need a cache-buster-buster? (via)

How to handle international dates and times in PHP and MySQL – I’ve always wondered how to do this properly. I am a little concerned that he mentions that all bets might be off on Windows. (via)

Great Hackers – Interesting to me because he keeps mentioning ITA Software as one of the few places that currently employs and cultivates “Great Hackers”.

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

– Xia2 – Hero

俠盜獵車手 – Xia2 Dao4 Lie4 Che1 Shou3 – Hero Thief Hunter Car Hand — Hero Thief Car Hunter

That’s also what Grand Theft Auto, the game, is called in Chinese. Not really sure about the “Hero” part, especially the way I play. Jenny had a sense that there might be a single English word that is a better translation for 俠盜, like what Robin Hood is, but couldn’t quite find it. I just started playing GTA3: Vice City yesterday, I’ve had it forever but never played it. I finished the first one, but didn’t search every nook and cranny. Pretty soon they have a third one coming out, so I have to be ready. Grand Theft Auto 3 … 3? (another of my favorite insanely named video games, especially when they say it in commercials: Final Fantasy Ten. TWO.)

Date: July 27th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Pao4 – Bubble, Soak, Steep

is what you do to make tea. In this house, and in Taiwan, you can also do it to noodles:

泡麵 – Pao4 Mian4 – Steeped Noodles — Instant Noodles

And according to 中文.com, in China they’re apparently called 快餐麵 – Kuai4 Can1 Mian4 – Fast Meal Noodles. And an alternative term, used everywhere, is 速食麵 – Su4 Shi2 Mian4 – Fast Food Noodles. Why not 速餐麵 or 快食麵, I wonder?

Date: July 26th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Fan1 – Foreign, (measure word)

番茄 – Fan1 Qie2 – Foreign Eggplant — Tomato

(and 番薯 – Fan1 Shu3 – Foreign Potato — Sweet Potato)

One of the cherry tomatoes turned bright red, so we ate it! It was great! I declared it to be of the highest possible grade, “SALAD GRADE”. This wasn’t any “COOKING GRADE” or “SAUCE GRADE” tomato.

The tomatoes haven’t been eaten by Rabbit Rabbit yet. Maybe he’s been scared away by 黑喵咪 – Hei1 Miao1 Mi1 – Black Kitty, the cat Walde mentioned yesterday that comes to our yard sometimes. I think whoever lived here previously was feeding him, our first few days in this house he was very friendly with us and kept tyring to come inside.

Date: July 26th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
3 msgs

– Li4 – Chestnut

花栗鼠 – Hua1 Li4 Shu3 – Flower Chestnut Rat — Chipmunk

Watching some show on TV, we learned that chipmunks “are” squirrels, and we finally figured out that the holes that have been appearing in our lawn are probably made by chipmunks. I think we have voles too, Jenny’s seen tiny things scurrying that look like the soot sprites from Totoro.

Date: July 25th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
11 msgs

– Mei2 – Berry

覆盆莓 – Fu4 Pen2 Mei2 – Cover Basin Berry — Raspberry

We’ve been watching this incredibly cute anime series, Azumanga Daioh. The closing theme song is called “Raspberry Heaven”.

Date: July 24th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Wu2 – (a surname), An ancient kingdom, A group of related dialects

I always thought that Cantonese was the second most commonly spoken dialect of Chinese. I was wrong! It’s actually a group of related dialects called , which Shanghainese is a part of. Here’s the breakdown of the major groups and numbers of speakers. And if you want to explore this subject even more, look no further than the astoundingly detailed Chinese Dialects section of Glossika.com.

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

– Tao1 – Rejoice

Site problems: Fixed! And there was much rejoicing.

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

– Ci4 – Next, Second, Order, Sequence, Times

Site problems: 次日 – Ci4 Ri4 – Second Day

Date: July 20th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Wen4 – Ask

問題 – Wen4 Ti2 – Ask Subject — Problem

Site problem? What site problem? You just forgot to look at word of the day two days ago, uh, I mean, today.

Date: July 19th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Shi3 – Begin

For anybody who happens to be starting their seventieth year today, there is a Chinese proverb:

人生七十才開始 – Ren2 Sheng1 Qi1 Shi2 Cai2 Kai3 Shi3 – Person Life Seventy Just Starts — A Man’s Life Begins At Seventy

(Life also begins many other times, according to Google.)

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

– Zhu1 – Spider

蜘蛛 – Zhi1 Zhu1 – Spider

I’ve done spider before, but that was the , not the 蛛, so this one still counts.

We finally saw Spider 2, and Just like everybody else, we liked it!

Date: July 18th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Zhao4 – Illuminate, Take (a picture), Look After, According To

照片 – Zhao4 Pian4 – Take Picture

We’ve rented Fatal Frame. It’s a “survival horror” game, with a twist: your only weapon is a camera! You creep around this haunted house, and take pictures of stuff to solve puzzles. Occassionally you are attacked by ghosts, and you take pictures of them too! Apparently, they hate that, and are destroyed if you take enough pictures of them. And if you can keep them in focus for a while, and take good close up pictures of them when they are RIGHT ABOUT TO GET YOU, it hurts them even more.

(before you say that this has to be the strangest premise for a horror game ever, check out The Typing of the Dead)

The game has the same creepy feel as all those Japanese horror movies, which have never really been that scary to me. But this game is. When you enter a particularly spooky room, the controller starts to pulse, simulating your heartbeat. As things get creepier and creepier, the beating speeds up and gets stronger. And when ghosts appear, it starts beating really fast! It really adds to the feeling of panic as you’re being attacked. The ghosts themselves are really scary (women with broken necks, children with dark eyes, things that move akwardly or backwards, normal Japanese horror movie stuff) and the sound effects are really good as well. The scary stuff isn’t just “surprising scary” but also “atmospheric scary”: You also constantly catch glimpses of scary things, but when you turn around, they’re gone. You see things in mirrors, and shadows of things that aren’t there. You hear whispers in dark hallways. Doors close, and windows shut as you approach, and when you go in, you find nothing. None of it is overdone, it’s all sort of understated and adds up to a really unsettling experience.

It’s a good game to play alone, at night.

(ObComplaint: posted by dialup. stupid DSL is broken. back up now – that was fast)

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

– Bo1 – Sow, Spread, Broadcast

主播 – Zhu3 Bo1 – Host Broadcast — News Anchor

New k-drama: All About Eve, or 愛上女主播 – Ai4 Shang4 Nu3 Zhu3 Bo1 – Loving Woman Anchor in Chinese. Apparently this particular one was really popular in Taiwan too, they translate some Korean shows for broadcast there. So far, it’s… OK, the drama/comedy meter is pointing almost all the way over to drama, which isn’t that great. But there are a lot of characters, which is fun, and it’s well produced, which helps, and the subtitles make sense! I think we somehow started with the best k-drama, and are working our way down…

Date: July 16th, 2004
Cate: Geekism

True dedication

Looking over the release notes for Universal Feed Parser 3.3, I found this item: Optimized EBCDIC to ASCII conversion. Words fail me.

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

– Nu3 – Female, Woman

I can’t believe has never been the word of the day before! And I’m lucky too, because the other words in the Chinese title of Monster, 女魔頭 – Nu3 Mo2 Tou2 – Woman Devil Head, have been done. We watched that movie tonight, and it was exactly the kind of happy, upbeat movie with a feel-good ending that Jenny really likes.

Date: July 15th, 2004
Cate: Meta
5 msgs

Various

1. Did you notice the subtle change? Look at the right, under “Recent Comments”, there’s a new section (sometimes), “Comments on Older Stories”. Certain stories I’ve posted a long time ago have taken on a life of their own, and attract a constant stream of comments that some highly influential readers of this site find somewhat uninteresting. The 183rd “KeiicHi! You rule!” comment arguably doesn’t need to be published right on the front page, so instead they’ve been relegated to the “Comments on Older Stories” section, which is hidden until you click it open. Currently, “Older Stories” means all the Mario-music related stories, and the one on Rekkaturvat. Todo: make it remember when you’ve opened that section, and allow you to click it closed again.

2. Remember how voting for Bush and extreme stupidity were highly correlated? Except they actually weren’t, the data was sourceless and probably made up? Well it turns out that it actually is true that voting for Bush and being extremely uneducated actually is highly correlated, according to the U.S. census.

3. All you people who responded to my plea to send in your feeds that break FoF: Thanks! I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve still got all those links, and will check them out next time I work on FoF. I think you probably all already understand that I work on FoF only in my spare time, but I will get to it eventually.

4. Yes, I did finally go and watch the new Mario piano video. Yes, it rules!

5. I posted a somewhat funny anecdote from JavaOne at Crummy.com. There’s actually lots more funny/interesting/mind bending (to a mega-geek) things like that from the conference, maybe I’ll post them one day. For example: Can you understand what this class declaration means, and why? It’s how Enum, the base class of all enumerated types, is declared:

class Enum<E extends Enum<E>>

There are some pictures from San Francisco and JavaOne available, at Ofoto.

6. PHP 5.0 is out. I have no idea if FoF works with it!

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

– Bi4 – Currency

錢幣 – Qian2 Bi4 – Coin

Tonight’s movie (The Thundering Sword, another tragic love story set in the martial world. Boy meets girl, girl accidentally almost kills boy’s sworn brother while both are attempting to steal magic sword, boy swears revenge, …) reminded me of the time I went to Design Continuum and they showed us the cell phone they designed for use in China, which featured a microphone that was a tiny square hole inside an etched circle, which they said was an example of how good their design process is, because they figured out that a square hole inside a circle had some sort of good connotation for Chinese people because of… well… the guy talking forgot the details, but the point was it was good, and they knew it was good, and they were smart. It wasn’t until a few hours later that it hit me: they probably did it because that’s what traditional coins look like! Every time you look at your phone, you are subtly reminded of money…

They also told us that they were asked to help redesign some consumer grade locks, and they figured out that people judge the strength of locks based on the KEY. If you make the key look really fancy, people assume the lock is strong! Apparently it worked, they advised the lock company to just put some serious looking plastic cladding on they key, and feature it prominently in the packaging, and sales went up like 8 billion percent. Neat!

Date: July 13th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
7 msgs

– Fen4 – Anger, Resentment

憤怒 – Fen4 Nu4 – Anger, Rage

Today I came home from work and Jenny had the TV turned on to the network evening news, but to a different network than the one we usually watch. She said it was because our normal one had this stupid story about a tiger that had escaped from some star’s home in Florida and she thought it didn’t deserve to be on the news, and got mad and switched. I guess the local news had been talking about the stupid star and his stupid tiger all day and she had had enough, so when the national news started with it too, she snapped.

So right as she was telling me this, the channel she had switched to finished up all their important news and went to, obviously, the tiger story! Her eyes flashed as the grabbed the remote and switched quickly to the one remaining network, which was showing some commercials. She spent the whole commercial break raving: “aren’t there actual important things going on?” “why does anybody care about this?” “they only let the national news have a half hour and they waste it on this, the local news already spent 5 hours today talking about this stupid story!!!”

The third network finished up with their commercials, and came back to close up the news: “finally tonight, the story of an unusual animal hunt going on in Florida today…”

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

– Yan4 – Swallow (the bird)

Tonight’s movie: 金燕子 – Jin1 Yan4 Zi5 – The Golden Swallow (the 1968 swordplay one, not the 1987 horror one). Overall, it was OK. It had an interesting premise: a guy frames the woman he loves for murder, to force her to come to him. I guess that’s how it works in the martial world! The movie really should be called 銀鵬子 – Yin2 Peng2 Zi5 – The Silver Roc, since it was more about the guy (Silver Roc) than the girl (Golden Swallow).

Interestingly, if you take and put the character for mouth next to it, you get – Yan4 – Swallow, the verb! Just like in English! Jenny tells me that this is a unusual way to say swallow though, its usually used metaphorically in poetry and sayings. The normal way to say swallow is – Tun1 – Swallow, Gulp.

Date: July 12th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
4 msgs

– Yan3 – Flow

衍變 – Yan3 Bian4 – Flow Change — Evolution

Lately the 衍生 – Yan3 Sheng1 – Flow Birth — Derivative works off of Feed on Feeds have been popping up like wildfire. Or spreading like mushrooms. Just this past week three seperate people sent me links: to a Safari sidebar version, to “afraabr”, an automated blogrolling system, and to SimpleAggregator, a complete rewrite of FoF, mutated to use PHP and Python.

Date: July 11th, 2004
Cate: Geekism
2 msgs

SimpleAggregator 1.0 – Feed on Feeds mutated

Hey all you people who want me to rework Feed on Feeds to use Universal Feed Parser: guess what! It’s done! But not by me! Ludovico Magnocavallo started with FoF, completely disassembled it, and then put it back together in a totally new form: SimpleAggregator 1.0. He’s refactored the code, integrated a template system, redone the UI, and through the use of UFP, now supports every feed format ever invented.

I haven’t actually run this new aggregator, because I don’t quite have the technology to line up all the requirements (All the requirements of FoF + InnoDB + PEAR + Python + some Python modules + whatever the requirements of UFP are). And that is the reason why I’m not going to go this way in FoF: I want to remain 100% PHP and keep the external requirements down to a minimum. But for those of you who already have really well configured servers, you might want to check it out.

Date: July 11th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Shi4 – Generation, Lifetime, Age, Era, World

世界 – Shi4 Jie4 – World

世界級 – Shi4 Jie4 Ji2 – World Grade, World Class

New London also has fireworks. After the Hartford ones were so good, we thought we might try the New London ones since everybody says they’re the best around. I did some poking around the web today and found that these fireworks are done by the famous Grucci family, and is supposed to be their second biggest show of the year. (I wonder what’s the biggest?) The “SailFest” website asserts over and over that these fireworks are WORLD CLASS, confirmed by Grucci’s 2004 schedule. (apparently the official classes of fireworks are City, State, National, and WORLD) Three barges! 22,916 shells! Should be good, right?

We got there ridiculously early, around 4 o’clock. All the parking lots were full, but we managed to find parking on the street within easy walking distance of the water. We went down to the water, but couldn’t find where the fireworks barges were parked! Were we in the wrong place? Are they further up the river? What’s going on? People were already starting to fill in, so we figured we better claim some land now, rather than continuing to explore. We randomly chose to sit at the end of Amistad Landing, facing the Electric Boat plant, where they assemble nuclear submarines. After a few hours of waiting, a tugboat came along and positioned one the of the barges right in front of us! PERFECT SPOT! We randomly chose the precise closest spot on land to where the barge was going to be parked. The other two barges were also positioned nearby, in a row. (around this time we saw Dad pass by on a dinghy!)

After waiting the remaining 37 billion hours or however long it was, the show finally got started. It got off to a really good start, lots of action from the three barges, plenty of new and different fireworks. They had many more types than Hartford did, some really really big ones, color changing ones, lots of ones that MIRV which I especially like, and some that made very video game-esque cartoony explosions. Mostly the show was pretty slow and not that violent, but very pretty. Finally they started bringing out the big ones, and the loud ones, and started shooting lots at once. I thought to myself, “this must be the warmup for the finale! it’s really starting to get pretty good!” And then… it was over? What? Really? How can that be it… it was only 20 minutes long? This is world class?

For the record, Jenny thought they were better than Hartford. Whatever. The main display was better, but the finale was weak. And the finale is everything.

I wonder where the absolute best fireworks are? Maybe one year we’ll go to Tarragona, Spain where they actuallly have a five night fireworks COMPETITON. (…google google google…) I might not need to go that far… Montreal has a fireworks competition, too.

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

– Dan4 – Bullet

We saw Bullet in the Head tonight. From the review: “Love it or hate it one thing is for certain, John Woo’s violent Vietnam War tale is a film that can’t easily be dismissed.” Guess what. I’m dismissing it. BORING.

Oh, one more thing: In Chinese it’s called 喋血街頭 – Die2 Xie3 Jie1 Tou2 – Flood Blood Street.

Date: July 9th, 2004
Cate: Regular
1 msg

If I can see it, I can copy it

The U. S. Army has published to the web a report on Operation Iraqi Freedom, “On Point”. It’s the report you’ve heard about that reveals how the famous toppling of the Saddam statue was staged, among other things. The surprising thing is that it starts with this disclaimer:

This document has security features enabled to prevent printing, downloading, cutting and pasting. Printable PDF files will be released at a later date, and links will be posted when they become available.

And it’s true! The document is “protected” by exactly the same amateur-grade mechanisms that a 14 year old would use to stop you from stealing his Pokemon secrets. Setting aside the extreme technial ineptitude in their attempt, and the fact that what they are trying to do is fundamentally not possible anyway, you have to wonder what their motivations are. What kind of convoluted thought process could possibly lead to even wanting to try to do something like this? I can’t fathom it.

Working around these laughably ineffective mechanisms is left as an exercise to the reader. Or you can just get the copy of the report from GlobalSecurity.org, they’ve mirrored the entire thing, minus the script-kiddy-esque context menu blocking and half-broken Javascript redirection tricks. (aside: I wonder what these bogus countermeasures do to the accessibility of this document? Are they not required to comply to some accessibility guidelines?)

(via)

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

– Cao2 – Groove, Trough

Got to play EyeToy Groove today. It’s great! I bet Sumana would like it. It’s a lot like ParaParaParadise, one of those dancing games you see everywhere now. But instead of moving your feet, you see yourself on the screen, and you have to reach out and swat these little icons as they appear in time to music. Even Jenny played and seemed to enjoy herself.

Date: July 8th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Bao3 – Full, Satisfied

Jenny came home from her trip to New York with Judy feeling very from Chinese noodles and Korean food.

Date: July 7th, 2004
Cate: Regular
3 msgs

MESSY-78 EXCLUSIVE!! MUST CREDIT MESSY-78!!!

After being told several times recently “we’re out” or “we don’t have that”, I’ve been informed by an anonymous, highly placed counter clerk at McDonald’s that she “thinks maybe” they are phasing out the only reasonable sauce for McNuggets: “Pure Honey™”! It still appears at the official sauce list, and I haven’t seen a press release yet, but I’m sure with a change as big as this, we’ll see something soon.

I see this as the worst change in fast food since Subway abandoned the U-cut.

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

宿

宿 – Su4 – Stay the Night, Lodging

宿舍 – Su4 She4 – Lodging Residence — Dormitory

When Jenny and her sisters are speaking in Chinese, I have a knack for asking “what did that mean?” at just the wrong time, when they were saying something they don’t want me to understand. 宿舍 was the expression I didn’t recognize tonight, and I asked Judy what it meant. She wouldn’t tell me. I asked Jenny. She wouldn’t tell me either! This expression must be really good!

Now it’s word of the day time and Jenny knows that she has to either tell me what this one means, or I’ll be here another half hour thinking of something different for word of the day, so she told me! But by now I’ve forgotten the context so I don’t understand why 宿舍 is word forbidden.

Date: July 5th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
19 msgs

– Pin1 – Assemble, Spell

拼音 – Pin1 Yin1 – Spell Sound — Phoneticize, Pinyin

Pinyin is the “romanization” system used to write Chinese words with English letters. This site, China, and the ISO use “Hanyu Pinyin” for romanization. Of course it’s not so simple, obviously there has to be a pinyin war: in Taiwan, the government prefers Tongyong Pinyin, and people on both sides of this argument write long articles on the merits of their respective positions.

Making things even more complicated, in Taiwan kids are (still?) taught the Zhuyin phonetic system, which has its own alphabet (the first four letters are ㄅㄆㄇㄈ, pronounced Bo Po Mo Fo, which is sometimes used as a nickname for this system). You learn these phonetic symbols first, and then as new words are introduced, they are annotated with these symbols, so you can figure out how to pronounce them. Kids books, like 世紀恐龍 – Shi4 Ji4 Kong3 Long2 – Century Dinosaur, the Chinese/English dinosaur book Leonard gave me, also use these symbols next to each Chinese character to help kids pronounce ones they haven’t learned yet.

This all came up today because Judy is helping Sharena learn to read and write Chinese, and looking for information on which system to use. Her decision: go with ISO (ISO 7098, if you want the official word,) and use Hanyu Pinyin.

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

– Shi2 – Rock, Stone

They placed this 石片 – Shi2 Pian4 – Stone Sheet — Slab of granite today at the former World Trade Center site, ceremonially beginning construction on the new Freedom Tower. When completed, unless it is leapfrogged by some other building, the 1,776 foot tall Freedom Tower will be the tallest building in the world. It is planned for completion in 2009 — five years from now.

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

– Sheng1 – Sound, Tone, Fame

I like my fireworks very 大聲 – Da4 Sheng1 – Big Sound — Loud. The Hartford ones are sometimes loud, sometimes not. We did our normal thing, stopped for Pho on the way, brought it down the the river directly across from the barge where the fireworks are lanched from, ate, sat, waited. In retrospect, the combination of hot sun and hot, spicy soup might not actually be optimal. Anyway, the fireworks show started off slowly, and was one of those silly ones where they try to set it to music. (why bother?) In between each song there was some sort of voiceover, we couldn’t hear what they were saying but did notice that one of them was spoken by George W. Bush. How unamerican… and on the fourth of July!

The show plodded along, more about prettiness and finesse than raw destructive power. Oh look, that one looks like a star. Great. Just when I thought this year was a bust, the finale hit. Wow! I think it was… wait for it… “BEST FINALE EVER”! They used a simple and effective technique: just launch a million of those ones that go up a short distance, and then explode with a bright flash of light and a huge BOOM, surrounded by a constantly refreshed field of colorful ones. It started at machine gun speed, and went up from there until all the blasts ran together, like static but with explosions, and the sky became a sea of fire. Even the finale had a finale, an important point that many fireworks-show-planners miss. Just when you think they’ve already got the volume up to eleven, there is a brief pause and they turn it up to one hundred and eleven, launching still even larger shells at ten times the previous rate. Jenny put her fingers in her ears, the ground shook, children cried out in pain, it appeared as if the world was ending. Excellent!

On the way back home, I told Jenny that in the future, there’d be video games so good that when you kill the end guy, the explosion would be just like that. She told me no, that will never happen. That made me really angry.

Date: July 4th, 2004
Cate: Geekism

UFP 3.2 supports EBCIDIC

Mr. Mark has updated his Universal Feed Parser. Apparently “previous versions of Universal Feed Parser naively used a regular expression on the raw byte stream to find the encoding attribute”. Using a regex to find the encoding attribute? How shameful! What kind of moron would do that?

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

– Xi1 – Rhinoceros

Really, 犀牛 -Xi1 Niu2 – Rhinoceros. (the second word means “Cow”.)

This is today’s word because it appears in this expression: 心有靈犀 – Xin1 You3 Ling2 Xi1 – Heart Has Soul Rhinoceros!?!?! Jenny says it means something a little like “great minds think alike”: it’s used when two people happen to do the same thing, because of some sort of spiritual or psychic link.

Full disclosure: It didn’t appear in any of my dictionaries, but according to SYSTRAN, it looks like 靈犀 might mean “cleverness”, which makes this expression slightly less strange.

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

– Qin1 – Dear, Intimate

親切 – Qin1 Qie4 – Friendly, Gracious, Hospitality

Yes Virginia, you can meet nice people over the Internet! Today, our last day in SF, we went over to meet up with Leonard (from crummy.com) and (Cogito, Ergo) Sumana who turned out not to be scary at all, (Leonard’s invitation to come over for dinner came as sort of a surprise to us anti-social types,) but actually both incredibly nice and lots of fun! Jenny and I were even almost quick-witted enough to keep up with their constant stream of jokes, deep ideas, references, bits of nonsense, and random associations. Sometimes we were even able to tell which were which. We took some pictures but didn’t bring the required wire to get them out of the camera and onto the internet, so they’ll have to wait.

After getting back to the hotel, I did some quick Googling and was disappointed to see that The Whiskey Rebellion Activity Zone has been deleted from IRS.gov, but then rejoiced when I found an archived copy, thanks to The Wayback Machine.

Now it’s late, and our flight leaves early in the morning. Good night!

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

– Fan1 – Big Winnow Basket

There’s another, phonetic, way to say (and write) San Francisco in Chinese: 三籓市 – San1 Fan1 Shi4 – “San Fan” City.