Archive for October, 2004

Date: October 30th, 2004
Cate: Meta
2 msgs

3750 new items

My feed reader has collected 3750 new items over the past two weeks. When I try to display them all, I see this:

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 8388608 bytes exhausted

Maybe it’s trying to tell me something.

Date: October 25th, 2004
Cate: Otherwhere
2 msgs

ObStarbucksPhoto

Even though it doesn’t seem to be cool any more, here’s a Starbucks photo in Shanghai:

Plus bonus McDonald’s photo:

Plus secret double bonus Ellen photo for Ann:

Date: October 21st, 2004
Cate: Otherwhere

Xian Shangri-La has free wireless

Hey! The Shangri-La “Golden Flower” hotel in 西安 (Xi1 An1 – Western Peace) has free, open wireless! Network name: “Shangri-La”. And it’s fast! Faster than the wired connection at the New Century hotel in Beijing, anyway. The only (minor) problem is that emperical evidence indicates that both connections are subject to the “great firewall of China”.

Date: October 19th, 2004
Cate: Otherwhere
4 msgs

My new girlfriend

Date: October 16th, 2004
Cate: Otherwhere

(Us – Jenny) in 北京

Date: October 16th, 2004
Cate: Meta
5 msgs

我們在北京

We are in Beijing! Flight was fine, hotel is fine, the internet exists and works! Jenny forgot her batteries! IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?

More as it develops….

Date: October 15th, 2004
Cate: Meta

再見

北京 – 西安 – 桂林 – 上海 -周庄 – 蘇州 – 無錫

We’re off! Updates from China? Who knows? Word of the day is on vacation, but there might be a few pictures if I have time and access. Otherwise, see you in two weeks!

And spammers, I won’t be around to delete your comments, so please save them for when I’m back.

Date: October 14th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Fang4 – Release, Let Go, Put, Place, Lay

放假 – Fang4 Jia4 – Vacation

I’m on vacation! And so is word of the day. Don’t panic, regularly scheduled programming will resume in November.

Date: October 13th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Tian1 – Sky, Heaven, Day

If “word of the day” had a name in Chinese, what would it be?

一天一字 – Yi1 Tian1 Yi1 Zi4 – One Day One Word

每日一字 – Mei3 Ri4 Yi1 Zi4 – Each Day One Word

今天的字 – Jin1 Tian1 De5 Zi4 – Today’s Word

這天的字 – Zhe4 Tian1 De5 Zi4 – This Day’s Word

Or something else entirely? I’m looking for a name that can be used, like the English “word of the day”, to refer to any individual entry, or the entire category.

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

– Nan2 – South

南瓜 – Nan2 Gua1 – South Melon — Pumpkin

西瓜 – Xi1 Gua1 – West Melon — Watermelon

Maybe this is why in Monkey Kung Fu the teacher refers to the things he makes the guy shave as part of his training as “pumpkins” even though they are CLEARLY watermelons.

And strangely 黃瓜 – Huang2 Gua1 – Yellow Melon — Cucumber. But… they aren’t yellow?!

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

– Hu2 – Fox

What I learned from I Wish I Had A Wife: if it’s raining while the sun is shining, that means a fox is getting married. What I found while searching for a reference to this: video from the wedding of Black Fox and Lady Cynthia. But then right after that of course languagehat had a pointer to the definitive information on the subject. Amazingly, it seems that almost every culture has some belief or saying about “sunshowers”, from “the witches are making butter” to “the devil is beating his wife”, except Chinese. And I’ve never heard any of them before.

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

– Pai4 – Faction, Send

is also used phonetically to say 蘋果派 – Ping2 Guo3 Pai4 – Apple Pie. There’s also 餡餅 – Xian4 Bing3 – Stuffed Pastry listed in my dictionary as meaning “pie”, but to Jenny 餡餅 is more general than “pie”, and can mean any stuffed pasty.

Date: October 10th, 2004
Cate: Meta
3 msgs

Vota Minutillo!

New! Minutillo.org and AdeleMinutillo.it.

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

– Fu2 – Prostrate, Hide

伏特 – Fu2 Te2 – Volt

安培 – An1 Pei2 – Ampere

電壓 – Dian4 Ya1 – Electricity Pressure — Voltage

But I can’t find a similarly descriptive word for amperage. Strange.

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

– Jia4 – Vacation

名人假期 – Ming2 Ren2 Jia4 Qi1 – Famous Person Vacation Time — Ritz Tours (Ritz Tours English site)

The arrival of the giant packet with our tickets and luggage tags has made the trip much more real…. we’re really going! In one week!

Date: October 8th, 2004
Cate: Regular

That took a lot longer than I expected

Remember Aaron’s filing cabinet? The lazyweb strikes again. Anonymously, even.

Date: October 8th, 2004
Cate: Geekism

Google browser-based DRM

This is what some of the best web engineers in the world can come up for image printing and download prevention. Recall that what they’re trying to do is impossible, so the fact that they’ve even made it difficult is pretty impressive.

I wonder if the Mozilla guys will consider the techniques Google’s used here to be bugs, and fix them in the next release?

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

– Di4 – Emperor

帝龍 – Di4 Long2 – Emperor Dragon

New dinosaur: 帝龍 paradoxus

More dinosaurs with strange Chinese/Latin names: Microraptor gui, Beipiaosaurus inexpectus, and my favorite, Liaoceratops yanzigouensis (Liao-ceratops Yan-Zi-Gou-ensis. But I can’t figure out what Chinese words those are, the only evidence is that it got its name from the place it was discovered. more clues here (pdf).).

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

– Yuan4 – Courtyard, Institution

There’s the Supreme Court, and there’s The People’s Court, and then there’s 最高人民法院 – Zui4 Gao1 Ren2 Min2 Fa3 Yuan4 – Most High People Citizen Law Court — The Supreme People’s Court.

Date: October 6th, 2004
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Bian4 – Debate, Aruge

辯論 – Bian4 Lun4 – Debate

I wonder why the big lies slide right by, but the trivial ones get immediately fact-checked.

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

– Hao4 – Number, Mark, Title

太空船一號 – Tai4 Kong1 Chuan2 Yi1 Hao4 – SpaceShipOne

安薩里X獎 – An1 Sa4 Li3 X Jiang3 – Ansari X Prize

(from this news story, and this one)

Date: October 4th, 2004
Cate: Regular

New member of AXIS OF EVIL

Iraq
Iran
North Korea
Denmark?!?!

Date: October 4th, 2004
Cate: Regular
1 msg

Photon Torpedoes… aWAY!!!!

Air Force pursuing antimatter weapons – Program was touted publicly, then came official gag order

The U.S. Air Force is quietly spending millions of dollars investigating ways to use a radical power source — antimatter, the eerie “mirror” of ordinary matter — in future weapons.

[...]

During the Cold War, the Air Force funded numerous scientific studies of the basic physics of antimatter. With the knowledge gained, some Air Force insiders are beginning to think seriously about potential military uses — for example, antimatter bombs small enough to hold in one’s hand, and antimatter engines for 24/7 surveillance aircraft.

More cataclysmic possible uses include a new generation of super weapons — either pure antimatter bombs or antimatter-triggered nuclear weapons; the former wouldn’t emit radioactive fallout. Another possibility is antimatter- powered “electromagnetic pulse” weapons that could fry an enemy’s electric power grid and communications networks, leaving him literally in the dark and unable to operate his society and armed forces.

Following an initial inquiry from The Chronicle this summer, the Air Force forbade its employees from publicly discussing the antimatter research program. Still, details on the program appear in numerous Air Force documents distributed over the Internet prior to the ban.

And here’s one of those documents: Propulsion and Power with Positrons.

(via)

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

便

便 – Bian4 – Ordinary, Convenient, Casual, Then

便飯 – Bian4 Fan4 – Ordinary Meal

My dictionary says that 便飯 can mean “a simple meal” or “potluck” (a meal where everybody brings a dish). Jenny thinks it actually is more the first meaning, just a simple meal of plain food, what my mom would call “catch as catch can”.

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

– Guo1 – Pot

Jenny finally got her big orange pot. She’s irrationally happy about this.

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

– Lu4 – Green

Yet another high strangeness movie: Save the Green Planet. I’m not exactly sure I’d say I liked it, but it definitely held my interest all the way through.

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

– Qiu1 – Autumn

We celebrated 中秋節 – Zhong1 Qiu1 Jie2 – Mid Autumn Festival today (a few days late) by going to Jenny’s sister’s place and eating lasagna and 月餅 – Yue4 Bing3 – Moon Cake. It was cloudy all night, but as we were just about to leave the clouds finally broke allowing us to see the moon! I pointed right at it.

Trivia: Jenny’s grandmother is named 嫦娥 – Chang2 E2, after the Chinese moon goddess, from a legend associated with this holiday.