Pseudotranslations

Language R funny.

Sentence first

Imgur (pronounced “imager”), a popular image-hosting social website, has a fun thread on translation errors and substitutions in speech.

It starts with a user saying his Russian wife asked for a roll of inches when she meant a tape measure, and the comments soon filled up with more in this vein: some poetic, some amusingly absurd, a few resulting from memory failure in the speaker’s own language.

I did not know the words for ‘ice cubes’ in German so asked for ‘very cold water with corners’ (from user slimydog)

My dutch neighbor called a [merry]-go-round a horse tornado. (disguisenburg)

I have referred to Muffins as bread mushrooms. (zinvader)

When I was learning English I could not remember the English for Reindeer, so I called it a Christmas Llama. (Unusualpretense)

When I was learning Swedish and making plans with friends, I kept telling them “Smells good!” when I…

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Today’s top 10 Funky Winkerbean tropes

And now, today’s Funky Winkerbean trope list. Feel free to yell “Check!” after you read each one.

  1. Tone-deaf strip on a solemn holiday.
  2. Batominc misuses a literary technique (in media res) by abruptly abandoning rather than starting a story arc in the middle.
  3. Les whining about how hard writing is.
  4. Batominc doesn’t understand something (in this case, regression toward the mean).
  5. Batominc’s character who is an expert on the English language mangles a common phrase (“regressing back to the mean”).
  6. Cayla’s worried that Les’s procrastination will prevent the big Hollywood checks from rolling in.
  7. Prominent falling leaf because it’s fall, y’all!
  8. Grotesque rendering of the human arm and hand (panel 2, Les’s right arm & hand).
  9. Way too many motion lines (does Les suffer from Parkinsonism?).
  10. Character Moai (Cayla, panel 2).

See this post in context at Son of Stuck Funky.

Creative usernames and Spotify account hijacking

Really interesting. Sloppy specifications and a regression in Python bite Spotify “in the bum,” as Twitter user @danielsamuels put it.

Labs

Spotify supports unicode usernames which we are a bit proud of (not many services allow you to have ☃, the unicode snowman, as a username). However, it has also been a reliable source of pain over the years. This is the story of one time when it bit us pretty badly and how we spent Easter dealing with it.

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About that Band-Box at Luigi’s in Akron, OH

The text below was originally a comment on this Son of Stuck Funky post. The Band-Box is actually kind of an interesting antique. The first paragraph is an aside about some really bad food photography.

On the main page of that ostensibly positive review of Luigi’s is the worst photograph of pizza in the history of photography. Or of pizza. That pizza looks bad, too: misshapen & overcooked, with cheese slopped over the edge of the dough, and nothing like the photos on the Luigi’s website. That review photo can’t possibly be representative of the real product, or there’s no way this place could have stayed in business since 1949.

Sadly, there is no Google street view of “short” North Main Street, and this is about as close as you can get.

The Band-Box seems to be quite a rare item (search for “band”)—there are only 2 in all of Canada, only one of which is viewable by the public. I wonder if the one at Luigi’s is functional. Although it doesn’t answer that question, Roadside America has an entry about Luigi’s Band-Box.

As it turns out, the Band-Box at Luigi’s has badly deteriorated (again, search for “band”): the original figures have been replaced by a Barbie and numerous Ken dolls, and no longer move.

By the way, it’s surprisingly hard to find information about the Band-Box on the main (Web) Google search results page. A search for “band-box music mechanical” (without the quotation marks) on the Google image search is how I found all the information about it above.

It turns out that the best way to have an interesting discussion about Funky Winkerbean is not to bring up the foreground action in Funky Winkerbean at all. And for that, I thank Google and the lovely bloggers and journalists referenced above.

I stumped Google’s Bacon number

Search Google for Bacon number an actor’s name, and it should give you the degrees of separation between that actor and Kevin Bacon. Example:

Bacon Number Humphrey Bogart

  1. Humphrey Bogart’s Bacon number is 3
    Peter Lorre and Jack Nicholson appeared in The Raven.

But it fails for young actor Ryan Lee, who appeared in Super 8, even though it correctly calculates the number for his costar Zach Mills.

Hungry all the time

As I’ve striven not to exceed my calorie limit, consistent with losing 1 pound a week, I’ve really started to notice that I seem to feel hungry all the time. If I hit my target loss rate, this is going to last 77 weeks, or just under a year and a half.

So, yeah, I’m doubting my ability to keep it up. Gonna need lots of help from my support network!