These stunning animal heads caught my eye at the weekend.
Skull carving or carving bone, is an authentic part of Balinese tradition which in the past ensured that no part of an animal that was hunted for food was wasted. Today, the master craftsmen spend 10 years honing their skills so that they can continue to produce these extraordinary pieces that will last forever.
Sadly, most of these local artists can not make their passion their profession as they are often not recognized for their talent. And that’s where Skull Bliss came in. They have created a website of the most beautiful cow, ram, horse and buffalo skulls, so that art connoisseurs and even ordinary people from all over the world get the chance to know about this outstanding work and possibly even own one.
I could certainly find room for one!
Skull Bliss are currently offering a $30 discount on any order if you quote the code DEARDESIGNER
Shipped worldwide with DHL Express.
Last week, I posted a Spanish rice recipe — these burritos happen to be the main dish I use it for. Back in Cali, one of my favorite “fast food” places was Rubio’s, a West coast chain that specializes in fish tacos and the like. Their langostino and shrimp burritos were ...
In Shanghai, Tom Mazanec recently came across a listing for a kind of tea called Tiě Guāngyīn 铁光阴 (second from the bottom in the photo), which he thought might be a knockoff of the famous Tiě Guānyīn 铁观音. The picture was taken at a restaurant near Fudan University called Xiǎo Dōngběi 小东北 (the name of the restaurant [Xiǎo Dōngběi sīfang cài 小东北私房菜, at the top of the menu] is rather endearingly translated as "The small northeastern dishes").
As explained in Wikipedia:
The tea is named after the Chinese Goddess of Mercy Guanyin, who is known in Japan as Kannon and in Korea as Guam-eum. Guanyin is a female embodiment of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva. Other spellings and names include "Ti Kuan Yin," "Tit Kwun Yum," "Ti Kwan Yin," "Iron Buddha," "Iron Goddess Oolong," and "Tea of the Iron Bodhisattva." It is also known in the abbreviated form as "TGY."
None of her names has a -g at the end of the first syllable.
Guānyīn 观音 is commonly understood to mean "hearing the sounds (i.e., cries) of those who are suffering", whereas guāngyīn 光阴 means "time" (not a specific time, but the idea of the passage of time), so there's no semantic overlap between guānyīn 观音 and guāngyīn 光阴. The confusion between the two must be purely phonological. Except for the final -g of the first syllable of the second rendering, phonologically the two versions are identical, right down to the tones.
So here's what happened. Many speakers of Mandarin do not distinguish between -n and -ng. We've had it happen right here on Language Log recently; see the beginning of this comment.
What happened in this case is that the person who wrote the menu was thinking guānyīn 观音 but pronouncing guāngyīn. Consequently, to match the sound in their head, they wrote guāngyīn 光阴 instead of guānyīn 观音. This phenomenon of writing words with the wrong characters because of topolectal pronunciation differences has existed for as long as the script has existed. It is a verification of the primacy of speech over writing.
Some of my students from Taiwan and the mainland, including those who have graduated from the best schools, routinely mix up -n and -ng. It's a very common error among Mandarin speakers of diverse backgrounds. I even know excellent teachers of Mandarin who occasionally mix up these two endings. Usually I don't want to embarrass them by pointing out the confusion, but in very special circumstances when I do mention it, they can't tell the difference.
"Arirang" (Hangul: 아리랑) is arguably the most famous Korean folk song. Indeed, "Arirang" is so well-known that it is often considered to be Korea's unofficial national anthem. Yet no one is sure when the song arose nor what the title means.
Here is one version of the song (there are many variants):
Arirang, arirang, arariyo.
Arirang, crossing over the hill,
My dear who has abandoned and left me
Has not even traveled ten miles before having feet pains.
We see that it describes the difficulties experienced by the protagonist while going over a mountain pass. That's not much to rely on if we're going to use internal evidence to determine the meaning of "arirang", particularly since nearly half of all the words in the song consist of nothing more than "arirang" or a slight variation thereon.
There are hundreds of theories of the origin and meaning of "arirang". In "What Does Arirang Mean? The Theories on the Etymology of Arirang" (5/24/15), the author examines nine of the theories, which ascribe the song's origin to dates ranging from the first c. BC to the late nineteenth century AD and which contend that the title is based on the personal name of two different heroines, that it means "I Part from My Dear", that it means "Our Escape Is Difficult", that it means "My Ears Become Deaf", that it means "Mute and Deaf", that it is a Classical Chinese onomatopoeic expression signifying the grunts of laborers, that it signifies "Russia, America, Japan, and England" (!), or that it is the name of a hill. The phonological transformations that are required to get from many of these terms and expressions to "arirang", quite frankly, require considerable imagination.
A conspicuous feature of all nine of the theories (out of hundreds of possible conjectures) presented by the author of this blog post is that they all focus on the Chinese characters, terms, and phrases from which they allegedly derive.
This post appears on the blog of Kuiwon / 歸源 / 귀원, the pen name of a Korean-American who reads Classical Chinese texts as a hobby. The main purpose of his blog is to present translations of Chinese works written by Korean authors. His pen name, Kuiwon / 歸源 / 귀원, is a giveaway, since, in Classical Chinese, it means "returning to the source".
The author's orientation is made all the clearer in his conclusion:
Arirang is by any measure a unique and integral part of the Korean cultural patrimony. One reason why it is so popular is that it seems to be an expression of “pure” Korean culture. For that very reason, the song plays well to the tendencies unfortunately held by many Koreans today: (i) that only the “pure” parts of the Korean cultural patrimony are worth preserving to the neglect of others and (ii) that Korean culture ought to be portrayed as wholly distinct from its neighbors. In particular, many who hold such notions often like to minimize sinitic influences on Korean culture and portray them as being limited to the upper crust of previous generations of Koreans. This attitude, however, is certainly regrettable and would be amiss even with Arirang. Indeed, most of the more accepted, conventional theories on the song’s etymology point to Sino-Korean or Classical Chinese. These explanations, though hypotheses, demonstrate that Korean cultural patrimony without its sinitic elements would paint an incomplete and hollow picture of the Korean experience throughout the ages.
It would be interesting to hear from readers who may be aware of different theories about the origins of the word "arirang", especially those which are not linked to Sino-Korean morphemes.
Whatever it means and whatever its origins, "arirang" is hugely evocative.
[h/t Michael Rank]
I think if I had seen them coming, I would have been able to pull up my big-girl loin girds and do that. But they came from behind, and suddenly there we were, less than a foot apart and in conversation already.
Ten years of refusing to interact down the drain, because now they can say, "How was I supposed to know you didn't want to interact? We had a perfectly fine conversation at Wiscon 39!"
- supports the new Drive REST API
- added partial sync
- major code refractoring: a lot of dead code removed, JSON-C is not used any more, API-specific code is split from non-API-specific
- some stability fixes
- slightly reduce number of syscalls when reading local files
- bug fixes
Also, just like the old app, Grive2 does NOT support:
- continuously waiting for changes in file system or in Google Drive to occur and upload. A sync is only performed when you run Grive, and it calculates checksums for all files every time;
- symbolic links;
- Google documents.
Install Grive2 in Ubuntu or Linux Mint via PPA
If you don't want to add the PPA, you can download the deb from HERE (for Ubuntu 12.04, you'll also need yajl2 - get it from HERE) but installing the debs manually means you won't receive automatic updates.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grive
Arch Linux users can install Grive2 via AUR (it's actually the old "grive" package, updated with the new Grive2 fork).
For other Linux distributions, see the Grive2 GitHub page.
mkdir -p ~/grive
2. Next, navigate using the terminal into the newly created "grive" folder:
(replacing "SUBFOLDER" with the name of the subfolder you want to sync)
grive -s SUBFOLDER
To see all the available options, type:
What group does the term "boy band slash" refer to?
slash about NSYNC
slash about the Backstreet Boys
slash about New Kids On The Block
slash about any boy band past or present
slash about a different set of music groups I will list in comments
I have been told, "Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride." Abby, is this true? If so, how can I gently let her know I can't be in her wedding for fear of never being married myself, because her wedding will be my third trip to the altar as a bridesmaid? -- ENOUGH ALREADY
DEAR ENOUGH ALREADY: I don't know where that saying came from, but my advice is not to dwell on the negative. There is another old saying that could apply here. It's "three times is the charm." In other words, if you agree to be your best friend's bridesmaid, it's possible you could meet your future husband at the wedding. Which one you choose to believe is up to you.
Gimmie a U!
Gimmie an S!
Gimmie a... nother U?
Looks like sticking this cookie cake to the ceiling has addled some brains.
After all, what red-blooded American could forget how to spell the good ol' USA?
I mean, besides these ones?
I feel like this one was getting close:
The underline on the S really sells it.
Well, however you (mis)spell it, here's to all those who've given their lives for this great country: the United States of...
Psst. Guys. You spelled "'MURICA" wrong.
Thanks to Carrie D., Dave G., Heather O., & Scott D. for the memories.
Changes in Fedy 4.0:
- fully native GTK3 UI;
- rich plugins list with icon and description;
- ability to search the plugins list;
- easy overview of what's installed and what's not;
- easy way to undo tasks;
- tasks continue to run when the window is closed;
- revamped plugin system to make it easier to write plugins (with a JSON formatted metadata file);
- for plugins downloaded from third-party sources, Fedy now tries to detect and prevent malicions commands from running.
If you want to add your own custom plugins, simply add them to ~/.local/share/fedy/plugins (you may want to check out some existing plugins HERE).
To download the source, report bugs, etc., see the Fedy GitHub page.
su -c "curl https://satya164.github.io/fedy/fedy-installer -o fedy-installer && chmod +x fedy-installer && ./fedy-installer"
I'm putting this post up quickly as it's a long holiday weekend here in England, and I'm not officially back in the office until tomorrow. Today's three songs are in honor of what I hope will be a fine May morning, but it's still too early to tell.
Above, "May Morning Dew" (audio only), beautifully sung by the amazing Kris Drever, who's from Orkney, Scotland. The song comes from Storymaps, Drever's album with the Irish banjo and guitar player Éamonn Coyne.
"The 21st of May," an American spiritual performed by the wonderful American roots trio Nickle Creek: Sara Watkins on fiddle, Sean Watson on guitar, and the brilliant Chris Thile (of Punch Brothers) on mandolin. (The double bass player is uncredited.)
The photos here are of the Hound in a sunny corner of the garden on Saturday morning. ("Well," she's saying, "you got up and left the bench, so now it's MINE.")
Today, our village holds its annual Two Hill Race: an off-road course that goes up and down Chagford's two tall hills, Meldon and Nattodon. (Pictures from a previous Two Hills Race are here.) I'm not crazy enough to attempt to run it myself, but we'll be there to cheer friends and neighbors on their way.
Whether it's a holiday where you live, or a regular Monday morning, I hope it's a good one.
Michael Rank has an interesting article on Scribd entitled "Chinese telegram, 1978" (5/22/2015).
It's about a 1978 telegram that he bought on eBay. Here's a photograph:
A preliminary note before providing the transcription and translation of the text: Chinese telegrams are sent and received purely as four digit codes. The sender has to convert a character text to numbers and the recipient has to convert the numbers back to characters in order to be able to read the message. I will describe the process in greater detail below.
The characters in blue on the telegram were written by the person who decoded the numbers.
Note that they consistently wrote chǎng 厂 / 廠 as what looks like a "T".
Here's what the telegram says (it's a typical business message; personal messages tended to be much shorter):
Yíshuǐ zhì gé chǎng gōngxiāo kē
wǒ chǎng xiàn yǒu ruǎnpí báiyóu èr dūn
duō zhǔnbèi fāchē yùn guì chǎng jīn lái
diàn xiàng guì chǎng qiúyuán zhū dài gé shǒu-
tào gé guì chǎng shìfǒu cún yǒu huò
yǐbiàn wǒ chǎng bèi kuǎn qǐng sù diàngào
Notes: 字 (third charater from the right in the next to last line) is an error for 存 (字 is CTC 1316 while 存 is 1317). And ruǎnpí báiyóu 软皮白油 is a kind of softening oil for leather.
Michal L. Wright translates the telegram as follows (with some very minor changes):
Yishui Leather Factory Sales and Marketing Division
Our factory currently has over two tonnes of leather softening white oil just about ready to be sent to your factory by truck.
Today we are sending (this) telegram to your factory seeking help (regarding) pig(skin) belt leather and glove leather.
Does your factory have the goods? In order that my factory may prepare funds, please send a telegram right away to inform us.
The Chinese telegraph code consists of 10,000 four digit numbers from 0000 to 9999. Some telegraph operators could memorize hundreds and, in exceptional cases, a thousand or so of the numbers, but all the others had to be looked up, and that took a lot of time. It is relatively easy to look up the numbers at the receiving end, but at the sending end it requires analysis of the shape of the characters because they are arranged according to radical and residual strokes, by the four-corner system (N.B.: this is a totally different four digit identifier than that of the telegraph code; I learned it, but exceedingly few non-professionals ever did), or some other shape-based system.
I should mention that, in the century and more since the Chinese telegraphic code came into use (the first iterations were created by a Danish astronomer and a French customs officer in the early 1870s), there have been many different refinements and revisions, with a variety of arrangements and orderings.
When I first went to mainland China in 1981, every post office had a telegraphy section. I was utterly fascinated by how the operators worked, and I would spend hours observing them. I was astonished by how often they had to look up characters in their dog-eared manuals, and how frequently they had difficulty because they were unable to analyze the shape of the character correctly. Sometimes it would take several minutes or more to find a refractory character, and they often had to huddle by asking someone else for help. Since many of the smaller post offices only had a single operator on duty at a time, this meant that they would be stymied until someone who could look up the number of the character joined them.
After several years of watching telegraph operators in China, I never ceased to marvel at how monumentally inefficient a system it was. My old colleagues in Chinese language and script reform told me several times that, when Premier Zhou Enlai travelled, his biggest expense was telegraphy. I don't know if that is true or if it was an exaggeration, but I heard it from men like Zhou Youguang and Yin Binyong who were reliable sources of information about such matters pertaining to Chinese writing.
About twenty-five years ago, I was approached by international banking officials and law enforcement agencies who were forced to rely on the telegraph code to identify the characters of Chinese personal names. Individuals scattered across the globe from different topolectal backgrounds would romanize their names in the wildest possible assortment of completely nonstandard, ad hoc ways, but those in banking and law enforcement who were charged with an exact identification of the individuals with whom they were dealing told me they needed to know which characters were used to write the names, regardless of the romanizations. They asked me if there were any other alternatives to this method of using the telegraph code, because it was obviously giving them a heap of trouble. I advised them to hire people who were proficient in pinyin and arrange the telegraph code according to the sounds of the characters in pinyin because that would be the fastest and easiest way for them to look up the numbers. I don't know if they followed my advice or not.
Wm. C. Hannas, in Asia's Orthographic Dilemma, p. 313 recounts:
I once knew a man who because of his unusual profession had learned enough Standard Telegraphic Code to speak simple Chinese sentences in numbers. If you asked him, "Nǐ hǎo ma?" (how are you?), he would reply, "2053 1771 1170" or "0008 1170," depending on how he felt.
Similarly, I knew a distinguished Buddhist scholar, Edward Conze, whose language specialty was Pali, who would regularly refer to Chinese characters by their Mathews' Chinese-English Dictionary number. Conze probably had mastered several hundred characters in this fashion, and he always had a twinkle in his eye when he rattled off the numbers. I also knew a couple of Sogdian Buddhist specialists who employed the same method for referring to Chinese characters. I suspect that, among serious Buddhist scholars who didn't know Chinese, this was a common method for referring to specific characters when Mathews' dictionary was pretty much the universal standard for Anglophone sinology. Now that pinyin is widespread and it is easy to use it to look up characters in various electronic devices, I don't think anyone is memorizing Mathews' numbers any longer.
Chinese characters aren't as scary as they used to be before pinyin and computers, but they're still "damn hard", in the words of a well-known sage of Chinese language and script studies.
Ooooh, long weekend, baby! So, whaddaya figure:
Grill up some hot dogs?
(By Sen Cakes)
Or go straight for the mini pies?
(By Karen Tack & Alan Richardson, tutorial here)
Mini-pie cupcakes, that is. The "cherries" are M&Ms!
So clever, it makes my brain hurt a little.
Well, whether you're spending this weekend catching some waves:
(By Fun With Fondant)
Taking a road trip:
Or just finishing your Friends binge on Netflix:
(By Karolyn's Kakes)
I hope my fellow Americans will keep in mind why we get the long weekend,
...and take a moment to remember our fallen heroes.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone.
2. Not only did I get a decent amount of stuff done at work today, I also did some translating this morning.
3. I remembered to do my weekly report on time. (It's supposedly due Saturday nights, but I never have time to actually do it at work, and a lot of times I mean to do it when I get home but then forget.)