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What happens when you try to display text encoded in one character set in another character set? Garbage characters. I'm working on a migration module for gallery - to upgrade from one type of data storage to a completely different one. Along the way I keep learning about character sets and character set conversion. Here's a lovely set of words for something that I would rather not see - garbled, junky international text.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: (paraphrased)


文字化け: [mojibake] moji: character + bake: change/ghost.

亂碼 or 乱码: [luan4 ma3] “chaotic code(s)”, in Chinese.

крокозябра [krokozyabry]: The Russian term for mangled characters.

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Today’s word is “eggplant”


That coworker brought in more food today - this time it was eggplant in a spicy tomato sauce. It melted like butter in my mouth. So very delicious.

I know that you are too lazy to look it up, so here's a nice link to “eggplant.” It has lot's of translations. Did you know that eggplant is a berry?


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A coworker of mine brought some delicious Yemeni Jewish foods to work. There were a couple of salsa/chutney/curry things, which were okay, and זחוג, which was a paste of cilantro, garlic, “cumin-like spices,” and hot peppers. That was suprememly delicious. I'm not usually a fan of cilantro, but this was WOW.

I still have to ask him what it would go with - although I could eat it straight up on bread - the recipes online (I will leave the googling to you) give a lot of possibilities, but I'm thinking pita.

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dæven steike!


You know already that I collect odd words, but did you know that i specialize in embarrassing foreign words? You should hear my spanish translation of the “milk milk lemonade” song.

Anyway, swear in Norwegian all you want!

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You boys are crazy!

Continuing my string of random Asian characters, here is an exclamation that I heard a lot when I was growing up…

The full sentence was usually: “哎呀! Why are you boys awake? It is two AM!”

哎呀: [aiya!] Oh, Lord! Wow! WTF!

[ai1] /an interjection/hey/lookout/why etc/

[ai1] /an interjection/to express realization or agreement (yes, oh, right, etc)/

[ya5] /(final part.)/

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His cane says “Bad MF” on it.

座頭市 Zatôichi (2003)

There's a new Zatoichi movie out. I am excited. I don't know how I caught the original the first time, but there it was in black-and-white glory - a blind samurai reluctantly but thoroughly kicking ASS. I TiVOed and watched the next few Zatoichi movies, but somehow they stopped getting shown. The new trailer looks way awesome, though.

If you happen to catch one of the Zatoichi movies, watch for the sword to magically out of his cane and slice something in two in midair. It never gets old, as far as I am concerned.

The official site:

The (awesome) trailer:

Get yer Zatoichi background (and cool stuff) here:

Zatoichi movie reviews: http://members.aol.com/ZATO1CH1/

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Don’t you have anything better to do than look up “crotchless pants” in Chinese?

Apparently, I don't. Melissa sent me this story, which is… well, different cultures have different ways, and while pooping on the ground might seem wrong to me, who am I to- no, wait, that's gross.

Read about it on wcco's site: http://wcco.com/water/watercooler_story_258145321.html

[edit: link sadly offline, so I updated it to point at a google search for kaidangku.

Chinese characters thanks to http://www.tigernt.com/


開襠褲: kaidangku (open crotch pants)

[kai1] /open/operate (vehicle)/start/

[dang1] /crotch/seat of a pair of trousers/

[ku4] /drawers/trousers/pants/


开裆裤: kaidangku (open crotch pants)

[kai1] /open/operate (vehicle)/start/

[dang1] /crotch/seat of a pair of trousers/

[ku4] /drawers/trousers/pants/

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Thanks, http://www.tigernt.com/, you always know just what I want!

画廊 [hua4 lang2] /gallery/

美术馆 [mei3 shu4 guan3] /art gallery/

畫廊 [hua4 lang2] /gallery/

美術館 [mei3 shu4 guan3] /art gallery/

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“Ramen” means “noodles”

Tampopo/タンポポ (1985)
Writer/Director: Juzo Itami

ラーメン (ramen: noodles)

If you're me, you have survived on the magic of instant ramen noodles. If you are someone else, you may have at one point or another eaten ramen for several weeks because it was ridiculously cheap. You may have secretly loved it, since it was so basic and consistent. It might not have been gourmet food, but you really liked it for the first week- or at least a couple of days.

Unfortunately, a lot of stigma has been attached to ramen. It's the prototypical starving college student staple. Po' folks buy it by the case, and it never goes bad, which lowers it into a class with Twinkies and Spam.

The film Tampopo implies that in Japan, noodle shops are as ubiquitous as hamburgers in the United States. The noodles that they serve are called ramen, because ramen is simply a word for noodles. In Tampopo, fresh noodles are dropped into boiling water, then spooned into a bowl with soup stock, various vegetables and a little bit of meat. Imagine a deli for soup, where the cook assembles it in front of you, to order.

However, Tampopo is not really about noodles or even the noodle shop and the characters who find themselves connected (or not connected) to it. Tampopo is about the human relationship with food and its preparation. The movie has many storylines, which sometimes connect by a bare thread and sometimes happen completely independently.

Tampopo touches the whole range of human emotions. Laughter, anger, love, grief, lust, and - of course - hunger all wink at you from behind thin slices of pork and spring onions. If your mother passed away while cooking her final meal, would you eat it while it was still hot, or would you mourn her and let that meal go to waste? How gentle do you have to be to pass an unbroken egg yolk from your mouth to your lover's mouth - and how many times could you pass it back and forth with delicate kisses? Can you take pride in preparing simple food that makes people happy?

Okay, not every question asked by the movie is life-changing, but there is a lot of hidden depth, even in the broadly comic portions of the movie.

Noodles noodles? Delicious!

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