Archive for November, 2005

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

– Yu3 – Useless

Useless thing of the day: A website for a business that has the hours of operation…. WRONG! It would be better not to post them at all if you aren’t feeling up to the task of keeping them up to date.

By the way, is apparently either an old or unusual word that means “Useless”. The more normal way to say it would be 沒用 – Mei2 Yong4 or 無用 – Wu2 Yong4, both of which mean “Without Use”. So I guess even is pretty .

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

– Yang2 – Feign, Pretend

中文.com says that this one is derived from a person (人) in sheep’s (羊) clothing.

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

– Gui3 – Rail, Track

軌道 – Gui3 Dao4 – Track Path — Orbit

What’s this? Trains and spacecraft both travel on tracks? I wonder if this has anything to do with Astrotrain?

Date: November 27th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Yan2 – Inflammation, Infection, -itis

喉炎 – Hou2 Yan2 – Throat Inflammation — Laryngitis

Date: November 26th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Pao3 – Run

賽跑 – Sai4 Pao3 – Competition Run — Race

Two of my friends ran in the Manchester Road Race this year. I did it about 10 years ago so I figure that means I’m all set for life.

Date: November 25th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Que1 – Lack, Scarce, Run Short

缺席 – Que1 Xi2 – Lack Seat — Absent

Date: November 24th, 2005
Cate: Mobile

Turkeys and snowman

Date: November 24th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Zhi1 – Weave, Knit

編織 – Bian1 Zhi1 – Knit

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

– She4 – Pardon

Marshmallow narrowly avoids the death penalty.

Date: November 22nd, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Qiong2 – Fine Jade, Excellent

瓊脂 – Qiong2 Zhi1 – Jade Flat — Agar Agar

Welcome to Agar Agar day! It’s Agar Agar, the algae extract so nice they named it twice! Agar Agar, which has many uses: Stablizing and coagulating, can be widely used in producing drink,icecream,sugar,canned food,meat products etc, as coagulant, densifying agent,emulsifyingagent,keeping fresh agent, stabilizing agent ,floation agent! Agar Agar, primary ingredient in many octopus-themed desserts!

Date: November 21st, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Chang3 – Cliff, Factory

Finally saw the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Not good. Needed more Walken.

Date: November 20th, 2005
Cate: Mobile

Meanwhile



at the bottom of the tower

Date: November 20th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ang1 – Filthy

骯髒 – Ang1 Zang1 – Filthy Dirty — Filthy

I never noticed how dirty of a word is. It’s made up of – Gu3 – Bones and – Zang4 – Bury. has bones in it too.

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

– Mao1 – Cat

貓王 – Mao1 Wang2 – Cat King — Elvis

That’s right, Cat King. For dinner tonight Jenny made us ELVIS SANDWICHES: Bread. Lots of butter. Bananas. Peanut butter. Honey. BACON. Stack it all up, and FRY IT. Yes!

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

– Zuan1 – Drill, Bore, Probe

My dental hygenist wants me to be able to experience the pleasant sensation of a professional dental cleaning any time I want in my own home, so she gave me my VERY OWN DENTAL PROBE! How thoughtful!

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

– Jin1 – Towel

餐巾 – Can1 Jin1 – Meal Towel — Napkin

Meal towel! I like it! It sounds like you’re a really messy eater.

Date: November 16th, 2005
Cate: Geekism
3 msgs

Google Base: wha?

I don’t get Google Base at all. From the announcement: “This beta version of Google Base is another small step toward our goal, creating an online database of easily searchable, structured information.”

Isn’t that just the web, minus the structured part?

Isn’t the whole genius of the web the realization that the structure isn’t necessary?

And isn’t the very reason for Google’s riches the fact that they figured out how to do the “easily searchable” part without the structure? That they figured out that even when a billion people who are definitely not interested in tagging or categorizing or structuring anything just start cobbling together half-broken HTML pages on whatever topics they like that it SELF ORGANIZES?

Google Base just feels like a throwback to the earliest thinking about online systems, like Xanadu or Cyc or CompuServe or something. Or maybe the semantic web people have infected Google and all is lost.

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

– Pei2 – Accompany

陪審團 – Pei2 Shen3 Tuan2 – Accompany Investigation Group — Jury

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

– Qin2 – Zither

口琴 – Kou3 Qin2 – Mouth Zither

Just the other day Jenny and I were talking about how insane the comments on the two mario music posts have become. In fact, Jenny is near the breaking point. I was telling her how a while ago it passed from the merely absurd to the truly surreal as the progression of requested instruments becomes more and more ridiculous. I said “So what’s next, ‘I need this music for harmonica!!! please email me back!!!!’?”

And then today there’s this:

MADDIE:

I NEED THE HARMONICA TAB MUSIC FOR THIS

It’s really the all caps that makes it PERFECT.

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

– Hun2 – Wonton

餛飩 – Hun2 Tun5 – Wonton

They made some EXCELLENT Wonton Noodle Soup today! Shrimp and pork home-made wontons with butter noodles (butter noodles? tasted like regular noodles to me.), in a very simple broth with some fresh scallions, cilantro, and dried onions. WOW!

Date: November 13th, 2005
Cate: Mobile

The four of them

Date: November 13th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Jing1 – Crystal

Are you ready for the Five Friendlies? And even though they were just revealed yesterday, Wikipedia already has an article.

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

– Chen2 – Period, Time

Finally 小時 – Xiao3 Shi2 – Small Hour – Hour makes sense! It’s because the actual unit, 時辰 – Shi2 Chen2 – Hour Period was (not in use any more) two hours long. So one hour is just a “small hour”. See Wikipedia for the entire table of obsolete units of Chinese time.

Date: November 11th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Quan2 – Fountain, Spring

噴泉 – Pen1 Quan2 – Spray Fountain — Fountain

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

– Te4 – Special, Unusual, Extraordinary

特別 – Te4 Bie2 – Unusual Difference — Special

特點 – Te4 Dian3 – Unusual Point — Feature

I’ve added some new feaures to the dictionary while you weren’t looking. The ★’s represent the relative frequency of the words in Chinese text, so that when you look up rug and see that there are three ways to say it, you can immediately figure out which one is the most common. Also, right next to the link to 中文.com, there is a link to that word’s entry in Word of the Day, if it ever was one, so you can see what brilliant and inspring things I had to say about that particular character.

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

– Jian1 – Double, Twice, Simultaneous

Got Gradius V! It’s great! And it has “helping”!

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

– Xie4 – Leash

Unleashed: Jenny contends that it was fine, I contend that it just wasn’t that good. I will however agree with video store guy’s synopsis: “Jet Li’s best English language film”.

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

– Shuang3 – Clear, Open, Refreshing

Another Chinese flavor: 爽口 – Shuang3 Kou3 – Refreshing Mouth — Fresh, Refreshing. We had some sort of Malaysian wild vegetable that had this flavor today at Szechuan Delight.

Date: November 6th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Bian4 – Change, Alter, Transform

Today I’m searching for Chinese magic words. I’m not having much luck! What I mean is words like “abracadabra”, “hocus pocus”, or “presto” — sort of generic magic words. The closest I have come so far is this reference to as a translation of Abracadabra.

Even Jenny doesn’t know any. She did mention that even in Chinese you still can say 芝麻開門 – Zhi1 Ma5 Kai1 Men2 – Sesame Seed Open Door — Open Sesame, which is cute.

Date: November 6th, 2005
Cate: Regular
1 msg

Gawking

I took a bunch of pictures at Sleeping Giant today, but you’ll never see them unless you rummage through the archives of the Mobile section. There really should be a “today’s pictures” thing or something. But until then, here they are:

Date: November 5th, 2005
Cate: Mobile
2 msgs

Lookie-loos

Date: November 5th, 2005
Cate: Mobile

More leaves

Date: November 5th, 2005
Cate: Mobile

Autumn at the tower

Date: November 5th, 2005
Cate: Mobile

Hangers on

Date: November 5th, 2005
Cate: Mobile

Foliage = on

Date: November 5th, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
3 msgs

– Bian1 – Bat

– Bian1 Fu2 – Bat

After seeing Batman Beyond I have concluded that the obvious joke “Batman Beyond? Yeah more like Batman B MINUS!” doesn’t quite go far enough.

Date: November 3rd, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Zhan1 – Gaze, View

How do you say Viewtiful in Chinese?

Date: November 3rd, 2005
Cate: Regular
1 msg

Am I too late for the 4:30 autogyro to Siam?

Surprising possible future of the day: A world populated by infinitely intelligent AIs, with a crippling flaw: they only know things you can learn by looking at public domain works!

Prompted by two things. First, this quote by a Googler on Google Print:

We are not scanning all those books to be read by people. We are scanning them to be read by an AI.

Then, this blog post today by Google:

The world’s libraries are a tremendous source of knowledge, much of which has never been available online. One of our goals for Google Print is to change that, and today we’ve taken an exciting step toward meeting it: making available a number of public domain books that were never subject to copyright or whose copyright has expired. We can show every page because these books are in the public domain.

Date: November 3rd, 2005
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Chuang2 – Bed

is also listed as meaning “Couch” in my dictionary but Jenny quite emphatically insists that this is wrong. But you can say 沙發 – Sha1 Fa1 – Sofa.

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

– Ying1 – English, Brave

Amazing I haven’t done this one yet!

英國 – Ying1 Guo2 – English Country — England

英文 – Ying1 Wen2 – English Language — English

And here, amazingly, is your Chinese/English guide to British Food! Never be caught not knowing how to say “Kidney Pie” in Chinese again.