Archive for January, 2005

Date: January 31st, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Li4 – Stand, Erect

立方 – Li4 Fang1 – Standing Square — Cube

傅立葉 – Fu4 Li4 Ye4 – Fourier

Date: January 30th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Xiu4 – Sleeve

綠袖子 – Lu4 Xiu4 Zi5 – Green Sleeve — Greensleeves

Date: January 30th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Wang4 – Forget

This one is made of – Wang2 – Die, Escape and – Xin1 – Heart, Mind.

I wish I could 忘記 – Wang2 Ji4 – Forget The Forgotten. Awful.

Date: January 29th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Gai4 – Cover, Build, Construct, Imprint

鏡頭 – Jing4 Tou2 – Mirror Head – Lens, Scene

鏡頭蓋 – Jing4 Tou2 Gai4 – Mirror Head Cover — Lens Cap

And here’s your full Chinese/English photography dictionary.

Date: January 28th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Bi4 – Jasper, Blue, Green, Bluish Green

碧血 – Bi4 Xue4 – Blue Blood — Blood Shed in a Just Cause

– Jian4 – Sword

I’m guessing some cross-cultural confusion has corrupted the translated title of the movie we watched tonight. It was called 碧血劍 which, given the above expression, I’m guessing means something like “SWORD OF JUST BLOODSHED”. That would make sense given the story. But the real English title is Sword Stained with Royal Blood. There is no royal blood in this movie, so I’m going to say that somebody looked up the literal translation of the title, “Blue Blood Sword”, and figured that by Blue Blood it meant Royal Blood.

By the way, this was the 1981 version of the movie, and it was REALLY GOOD! It had a guy named IRON ABACUS, and a team of bad guys that fight using a technique called FIVE ELEMENT MATRIX, which can be upgraded when needed to OCTAGON MATRIX. The choreography was excellent, and as a bonus it was practially all Kuo Chui all the time!

Date: January 27th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Xian2 – Salty

The five tastes are:

– Xian2 – Salty
– Tian2 – Sweet
– Suan1 – Sour
– Ku3 – Bitter
– La4 – Spicy

Should we include a sixth? 旨味 – Zhi3 Wei4 – Umami. Jenny’s grandmother uses another word for this taste, pronounced Xuan1, but I can’t find it in any dictionary. And it might not be a completely standard word, because even Jenny’s cousin didn’t know what it means.

And you can add an “Umami” flavor to food by adding 味精 – Wei4 Jing1 – Flavor Essence — Monosodium Glutamate

Date: January 26th, 2005
Cate: Geekism
7 msgs

Enterprise mash-up

Have you noticed how all the episodes of Enterprise this season are just rehashes of episodes of original Trek? An upcoming one is going to be even crazier. They’re going for a mash-up! A combination of “THE THOLIAN WEB” and “MIRROR, MIRROR”! So get this: somehow the 22nd century Enterprise is going to ren-dez-vous with the 23rd century USS Defiant… IN THE MIRROR UNIVERSE! It’s got time travel .. it’s got evil versions of the crew (probably with beards)… it’s got Tholians… and it’s got a painstakingly detailed recreation of the original set! How can they go wrong?

So then.. what’s next?

  • A Piece of Mudd’s Tribbles
  • Return to Tomorrow is All Our Yesterdays
  • Assignment: Operation: Spock’s Brain: Annihilate!
  • Let Where No Man Has Gone Before Be Your Last Battlefield
  • Spectre of [Balance of (Devil in the Dark) and (Dagger of the Mind)]
  • For The City On The Edge Of Forever Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Squire of Gothos
  • If Nobody is Going to Mourn for Adonis, Can We At Least Get a Requiem for Methuselah?
Date: January 26th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Tang2 – Mantis

螳螂捕蟬黃雀在後 – Tang2 Lang2 Bu3 Chan2 Huang2 Que4 Zai4 Ho4 – Mantis Catches Cicada, Oriole Is Behind

The mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind.

Date: January 25th, 2005
Cate: Geekism

September

The September that never ended is ending.

(via)

Date: January 25th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
4 msgs

– Ba1 – Eight

There seem to be 五花八門 – Wu3 Hua1 Ba1 Men2 – Five Flower Eight Door – All Kinds Of, Myriad expressions involving numbers in Chinese, and for some cosmic reason, they usually include the number eight. Why? And where’s the canonical list?

Date: January 24th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Xuan3 – Choose, Select, Elect

In Chinese the word for menu is different from the word for menu!

菜單 – Cai4 Dan1 – Food List — Menu

選單 – Xuan3 Dan1 – Choose List — Menu

Date: January 23rd, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Cun4 – Inch

Looks like only about 4 inches so far. BLIZZARD 2005 isn’t quite living up to expectations. The TV even promised us THUNDERSNOW!

Date: January 22nd, 2005
Cate: Meta
6 msgs

Upgrades

Fixed the category pages, fixed the word of the day archive, fixed the word of the day quiz (try it! it’s fun!), removed some non-working links from the sidebar.

I also found this 2004 todo list. How did I do?

  • Get Master’s degree – DONE!
  • Go on big huge vacation – DONE!
  • Upgrade to WP1.0 – DONE! – even better, I’m at 1.2!
  • Enhance word of the day – not done.
  • Spam filtering – not done. Back on b2 I had a Bayesian spam filter which was working really well. When I upgraded to WP, it seemed I didn’t need it since the built in spam filtering was so good. That only lasted a few months. I’m told that WP1.5 has recalibrated the deflector harmonics or whatever to completely defeat current-generation spambots. We’ll see.
  • Feed on Feeds – release 0.2 – not done, I’m only at 0.1.9. But, I’ve released all sorts of features I hadn’t even thought of back then, like Atom, I18N, CSS and frames, and better SSL and HTTP authentication support.
Date: January 22nd, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Bao4 – Sudden, Violent

暴風雪 – Bao4 Feng1 Xue3 – Violent Wind Snow — Blizzard

Local news was going crazy promoting BLIZZARD 2005 all day. One weather man described the coming snow as “ridiculous” not once, but twice. Another said that this is going to be the biggest blizzard he’s seen in his 23 year career! Well. We’ll see.

Date: January 21st, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Liang3 – Two

Wait, what? Didin’t I saw two is ? Well guess what. Chinese has two versions of two. is kind of like “two” in English, is kind of like “a couple”. Except it isn’t optional. Any time you could say “a couple” in English, you have to say in Chinese. But there are some exceptions, like two and a half. In English you’d never say a “couple and a half”, but in Chinese, you do.

Date: January 20th, 2005
Cate: Otherwhere

Tired, Wired

Tired: Axis of Evil

Wired: Outposts of Tyranny

Date: January 20th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
3 msgs

– Lun4 – Argue, Debate, Opinion, Theory

危機 – Wei1 Ji1 – Danger Opportunity — Crisis

True or false? Pīnyīn.info: totally false! Commenters at langaugehat: NOT SO FAST!

Date: January 19th, 2005
Cate: Meta
6 msgs

A refinement to rel=”nofollow”

I’ve implemented a refinement to rel=”nofollow” that strikes a balance between denying any benefit to spammers, and penalizing legitimate comment posters.

If you post a comment to this site, and include an author URL, or any URLs in your comment body, they will have rel=”nofollow” slapped on them. But, after 10 days, rel=”nofollow” will come off and Google (or whoever) will follow your links and calculate rank appropriately. For the first 10 days, your comment is in a sort of probation.

The theory here is that I maintain this site fairly well, and although some comment spam does make it through the filters and appear on the site, I always delete it. I usually delete it the same day, so 10 days gives me plenty of time to take care of it before the spammer would begin to see any benefit.

The obvious next refinement would be a dead man’s switch, so that if for some reason I’m unable to come around and prune back the spam for more than 10 days, the rel=”nofollow” is applied universally as a fail-safe.

Date: January 19th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Tuan2 – Dumpling, Ball

馬鈴薯 – Ma3 Ling2 Shu3 – Potato

Why does it take three words just to say Potato? Usually two is enough.

馬鈴薯糰 – Ma3 Ling2 Shu3 Tuan2 – Potato Dumpling — Gnocchi (recipes)

Date: January 18th, 2005
Cate: Meta

Rumors on the Internets

The rumor was true!

Date: January 18th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Na2 – Take, Get, Hold, Carry

拿破崙 – Na2 Po4 Lun2 – Napoleon

炸藥 – Zha4 Yao4 – Explode Medicine — Dynamite

拿破崙炸藥 – Na2 Po4 Lun2 Zha4 Yao4 – Napoleon Dynamite

Very good! But strangely blue and orange. (the first and second rules don’t apply to me)

Date: January 17th, 2005
Cate: Meta

rel=”nofollow”

A very interesting rumor, apropos to my previous post. Implemented. Die, spammers, die.

Somebody should do a plugin for this. I don’t have time right now.

Date: January 17th, 2005
Cate: Meta
4 msgs

Texas Hold ‘Em

Texas Hold ‘Em is a very popular variety of Poker. I mention this only because I had a half-baked idea about comment spam offense.

Texas Hold ‘Em is one of the topics I get the highest volume of comment spam on. Spammers spray weblogs with comments including links to their own Texas Hold ‘Em sites, hoping to boost those sites in the rankings at search engines. Then they make money when people click through from searches to those sites. Often their sites are completely useless and simply redirect to other sites, or to nowhere, or are just full of ads but with no real information.

So I thought: why not hit them where it hurts? If I post a story titled “Texas Hold ‘Em”, with links to legitimate resources, that story will probably rise fairly far in the rankings, pushing their sites down. Also, my links to legitamate Hold ‘Em resources will help push their rankings up, also pushing the spammer sites down. And it will help people who are searching for information: it will make them a little more likely to end up at a “real” result, and less likely to end up at some bogus useless site propped up only by spammed links.

What if I did this for all frequenly spammed topics? And,what if lots of people with weblogs did this? Would it result in a world where a search for “debt consolidation” resulted in tons relevant hits to good advice and genuine, not-for-profit services, instead of page after page of “debt-consolidation-info-dotcom.com”? And would comment spammers realize this, and understand that every weblogger they annoy may become another crusader in the new info wars, redirecting more traffic with one well-resarched post than they can with months and years of mindless spamming?

Probably not. But I did say the idea was half-baked.

Date: January 17th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Pu1 – Strike, Beat, Rush

撲克 – Pu1 Ke4 – Poker (card game)

We played poker over at Nate’s place while Frankie and Sangi went insane running around in circles. It was sort of strange, because we played “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM”, the variety of poker preferred by my loyal spammers. But it turned out to be fun, expecially because I won. Probably was beginner’s luck.

This just in! It seems Chinese doesn’t have any expression for “Beginner’s Luck”! At least I can’t find any and Jenny can’t think of any. I can’t believe they never noticed the phenomenon. The closest I can come is this sort of direct translation: 初出道人的運氣 – Chu1 Chu1 Dao4 Ren2 De5 Yun4 Qi5 – First Come Out Way Person’s Luck.

Date: January 16th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Si1 – This

宙斯 – Zhou4 Si1 – Zeus (also known as 天神 – Tian1 Shen2 – Heaven God)

And here’s all the rest.

Date: January 15th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Tan3 – Level, Straightforward

泰坦 – Tai4 Tan3 – Titan

惠更斯 – Hui4 Gen1 Si1 – Huygens

Here are the Chinese names of the rest of Saturn’s moons. And if you start from one page back, you can find all the Chinese names of all the moons of all the planets. If you just want the names of the planets, I did that already.

Date: January 14th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Man2 – Eel

鰻魚 – Man2 Yu2 – Eel

But then again there’s also – Shan4 – Eel?

Date: January 13th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Ying4 – Hard, Inflexible

I thought I was going to be all cool and be the first to report on the mysterious new “Pocky G” but it turns out I’m the last to arrive at this party. Oh well. For those even later than me, it’s just regular Pocky with an extra hard and crunchy stick.

By the way, ALL NEW POCKY! DEBUT!! (more)

Also by the way, while I’m here, 硬體 – Ying4 Ti3 – Hard System — Hardware, 軟體 – Ruan3 Ti3 – Soft System — Software. But only in Taiwan! In China, it’s 硬件 – Ying4 Jian4 – Hard Piece — Hardware and 軟件 – Ruan3 Jian4 – Soft Piece — Software.

Date: January 12th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Bai1 – Break (with both hands)

It’s cool that there’s a word for “break with both hands” and it’s doubly cool that the word is made up of two hands (手) surrounding separate (分).

Date: January 11th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Qian4 – Yawn, Lack, Owe

Why is it that the same word means “Yawn” and “Owe”?

欠!!

Too tired to figure it out now.

Date: January 10th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– An1 – Quail

Today: 卡拉OK – Ka3 La1 O K – Karaoke, 麻將 – Ma2 Jiang1 – Mahjong, 火鍋 – Huo3 Guo1 – Fire Pot — Hot Pot, and 鵪鶉蛋 – An1 Chun2 Dan4 – Quail Eggs. I hid upstairs.

Date: January 9th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Bu4 – Frighten

恐怖 – Kong3 Bu4 – Terror Frighten — Terrible, Horrible

This Chinese love song is 恐怖. The chorus sings “I love you like a rat loves rice”. Here are the full lyrics.

Date: January 8th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ka1 – (Onomatopoeia)

In Chinese, when you hang up on somebody it doesn’t go *click*, it goes *喀擦* – *Ka1 Ca1*.

Date: January 7th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Qin1 – Encroach, Invade

侵略 – Qin1 Lue4 – Invade

Date: January 5th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Qi4 – Utensil, Device, Tool

機器人 – Ji1 Qi4 Ren2 – Machine Device Person — Robot

I, Robot didn’t pass.

Date: January 5th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ji2 – Reach, Attain

及格 – Ji2 Ge2 – Reach Standard — Pass

After watching Collateral, Yvonne asked me “Do you like it?” I said “Meh. C-.” She said “So at least it passed.”

Date: January 4th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Wang4 – Absurd, Fantastic

妄想 – Wang4 Xiang3 – Absurd Belief — Paranoia

代理人 – Dai4 Li3 Ren2 – Substitute Manager Person — Agent

妄想代理人 – Wang4 Xiang3 Dai4 Li3 Ren2 – Paranoia Agent (seems to mean the same thing in Japanese and Chinese) is the name of an anime series that Walde left over here ages ago and we finally got around to watching tonight. It’s very dark and surreal, and really good! It’s by the same guy as Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers which I also liked. I suppose this means we should watch Perfect Blue, huh?

Date: January 2nd, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
3 msgs

– Xi1 – Rare, Hope

希臘 – Xi1 La4 – Greece

Middlesex has provided me with a great way to pass the time while waiting to get better. I’m still sick with the same cold that scuttled our new year’s plans! And it doesn’t seem ready to go away, even still. I don’t think anyone from work reads this, but if you do, don’t expect me there tomorrow.

Date: January 2nd, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Bei1 – Cup

Yvonne’s here this week and is planning to cook all sorts of exotic sounding food like 三杯雞 – San1 Bei1 Ji1 – Three Cup Chicken.

Date: January 1st, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Peng1 – Sound of Crashing, Thunder, Bang

This is the way the year ends — not with a – Peng1 – Bang, but a 嗚咽 – Wu1 Ye4 – Whimper. We both caught some kind of sickness over Christmas, and now we’re stuck at home on New Year’s Eve.