User Comments - auntie68

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Posted on: Lesson Preview, New Team Member
September 21, 2008, 11:52 AM


bababardwan says  
11 minutes ago


I'm guessing that your last entry is Klingon for "to be or not to be "?


Well, that's what think I cut and pasted from the product description page... I don't know any Klingon, so the transliteration could have been "two plates of cold Hainanese chicken rice, chop chop!" in Klingon, and I wouldn't have known any better.

Henning and changye are the people to ask about Klingon and Star Trek matters... I think I should try to learn Atreides Battle Language (Frank Herbert) or Atevi (C J Cherryh) before trying to tackle Klingon, going by my reading habits.

Posted on: Lesson Preview, New Team Member
September 21, 2008, 11:35 AM

TaH pagh, TaH be'

Posted on: Lesson Preview, New Team Member
September 21, 2008, 10:06 AM

Heh heh. changye, as a native speaker of Japanese, would you agree with my suggestion that our new teacher, Pete, tackle agglutinative languages with truly bold confidence by doing Finnish and Turkish at the same time as Japanese? He'll become the "World Agglutinative Language Expert" in no time! I'm not joking any more now, I think he can swing it, based on the Mandarin which I heard in this introductory podcast...

Posted on: Lesson Preview, New Team Member
September 21, 2008, 05:46 AM

Dear Peter Braden, I am so excited and happy that you're on board. You are already inspiring me to want to try and become as fluent as you are (hah hah hah... maybe in 8 years!). You can be sure that I'll appreciate everything that you do. Thanks for sharing your personal experiences. May I ask what other languages you know?

Posted on: Street Food Buffet
September 20, 2008, 02:55 PM

@eyux: The Chinese word 饼 for "cookies" is confusing. It can mean anything from a kind of griddle cake, to a Western-style cookie, to the kind of flakey pastry which is known as "piah" (the Hokkien word for 饼) in Penang, Malacca and Singapore, where the full name of the "flakey pastry + bean paste thingey" is 豆沙饼 (or "tau sar piah", in the local Chinese dialect).

My gentle warning to anybody who is trying to keep kosher or observe halal : Most types of 饼 are made with a lot of pork lard! 

@bababardwan: Regarding food safety and street hawkers, I think you just have to follow your instincts. I would not hesitate to get my tummy used to Chinese street food if I were planning to spend -- say -- a year there, but for a short trip of maybe a week or less, I would give it a miss. I would happily run the risk of contracting hepatitis for a year or two of delicious street food, but not for a short business trip. The system does need some time to adjust to new germs, and I think I could probably handle Shanghai street food after about two weeks of on-and-off stomach upsets.

It's really a question of what you feel that you are ready to handle. I don't like eating food that is served to me by a man who is smoking a cigarette. Or street food served up by a hand which has just received a filthy banknote (and even given change!!!), or which was freshly prepared at the kerb of a busy street with no way for me to know whether the meat had passed inspection. It's really up to you! Don't be afraid to try anything which looks really good, but don't let anybody shame you into eating something which you wouldn't touch in your home country! HTH.

Posted on: Prescription Drugs and Overseas Chinese
September 20, 2008, 02:07 PM

Dearest siciliazhang, your post really touched my heart. I hear you. First, I am very relieved that my rough "Pak Soekarno + Pak Soeharto" analysis didn't hurt your feelings in any way.

Don't care what people say. Here I need to borrow the words of one of the greatest writers born in Asia in this century: Aren't you and I both members of "bumi manusia", after all? You are not "stateless". Everything that your parents and your grandparents taught you is very precious, it is "real" culture even if it is different from the culture of today's China.

I don't know whether you consider yourself to be "peranakan cina" (like me!). Or even if you prefer to consider yourself a "totok". But overseas Chinese like you and me will always be "anak semua bangsa". In a positive way. Not like in the book.

Attitudes will change, we are already "meeting" each other here on CPOD. People who are not born in "Nusantara" will not understand, but soon such things will not matter. Take care! I wish you all the best!

Posted on: F1 in China
September 20, 2008, 12:44 AM

Dear garry, now this is the REAL sound of F-1:

This sound clip has been around for a very long time. If it disappears from this site, just google "deng deng formula one". I believe that the sound is an original work by Daniel Malmedahl.

Posted on: F1 in China
September 19, 2008, 10:26 PM

Oops, pretzellogic, ignorant people like me shouldn't be allowed to use technical terms! I was only referring to "oval racing"; I know that there are some brilliant tracks in North America which challenge the teams in every way.

Regarding "downforce", all I dare say is that whatever aerodynamic thing you do to enable Kimi Raikkonen to take a "slow" corner faster than Lewis Hamilton, Kimi will have to pay for on the straights, all other things being equal. But I know myself well enough to know that I may have things completely the wrong way round!

Here is a nice quote about downforce from :

Planes use their wings to create lift, race cars use theirs to create downforce. A modern Formula One car is capable of developing 3.5 g lateral cornering force (three and a half times its own weight) thanks to aerodynamic downforce. That means that, theoretically, at high speeds they could drive upside down.

And the link:

Posted on: F1 in China
September 19, 2008, 03:44 PM

[Oops, sorry, I deleted my own post. It was silly, to be honest... Sorry again!]


Posted on: F1 in China
September 19, 2008, 06:37 AM

Dearest changye, I don't think that the Chinese translation for Formula One is excessive.

If you consider that "Formula One" is actually a very precise set of specifications covering everything from aerodynamic features, weight distribution (and absolute weight limit), cambre (camber?), materials, centre of gravity, degree of torque, degree of flexion, tire hardness, and of course the engine specs. They even specify the temperature parameters for the fuel when it enters the car during refuelling.

It's the kind of mind-boggling detail which can't be expressed without complex mathematic formulae which use too, too many Greek symbols. Fortunately, ordinary petrolheads like me can enjoy F1 without knowing the maths behind any of these rules.

Changye, as a trained structural engineer, this should be a breeze for you... just imagine the demands on every race director and technical director, given that every F1 track (unlike American-style oval racing, which is arguably about going round and round in circles) has sections which flatter different combinations of aero/ engine power (ie fast sections, vs slow, high-downforce sections).

The thing which makes it exciting for me is that the teams are not allowed to adjust their "aero package" during the course of the race. So they have to find settings which will enable them to win the race.

I remember being happily lost in dense detail when I had dinner with a friend's son-in-law who was a trained aerodynamicist who was curious about F1...

Again, thanks.