Showing posts from September 26, 2010

what's passive voice, active voice

Answer to yesterday's question is posted, at: what's active voice? passive voice?.

World of Warcraft Cataclysm + Addiction

World of Warcraft (WoW) players are all excited about the upcoming new system〈World of Warcraft: Cataclysm〉 amazonBy the way if you don't already, WoW is known as the most addictive game in existence. here's some quotes from Wikipedia: World of Warcraft, often referred to as WoW, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994...The third expansion set, Cataclysm, was announced at BlizzCon 2009,[10][11] and entered into closed beta testing in late June 2010.[12][13]With more than 11.5 million monthly subscriptions in December 2008,[14][15] World of Warcraft is currently the world's most-subscribed MMORPG,[9][16][17] and holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG by subscribers.[18][19][20][21] In April 2008, World of Warcraft was estimated to hold 62 percent of the MMORPG subscription…

active voice, passive voice

Perm url with updates:'s Passive Voice? What's Aggresive Voice?Xah Recommends:

Amazon Kindle. Read books under the sun. Review Xah Lee, 2010-10-02In writing, you know that there is passive voice and active voice, right? And the writing style guilds tell us, that we should use active voice. In the following sentences, can you tell which is active voice and which is passive voice?(1) At dawn the crowing of a rooster could be heard.(2) There were a great number of dead leaves lying on the ground.(3) It was not long before she was very sorry that she had said what she had.(4) The reason that he left college was that his health became impaired.Take 5 min to answer before you read on.The Language Log recently has a blog asking readers to identify passive/active voice. (Apparantly, they've been beating this horse for a while, but i only started to read Language Log last month.) Before i tackle the qu…

Bopomofo, Pinyin, IPA, Comparison

Perm url with updates:, Pinyin, IPA, ComparisonXah Lee, 2010-10-01Bopomofo (aka Zhuyin) is a set of symbols to indicate Chinese character pronunciation. It is used mostly in Taiwan. It was invented in 1912. It is very similar to Pinyin. Basically, symbols in each corresponds to the other.Bopomofo vs. Pinyin InitialsBopomofoPinyinExampleㄅb八 (ㄅㄚ, bā)ㄆp杷 (ㄆㄚˊ, pá)ㄇm馬 (ㄇㄚˇ, mǎ)ㄈf法 (ㄈㄚˇ, fǎ)ㄉd地 (ㄉㄧˋ, dì)ㄊt提 (ㄊㄧˊ, tí)ㄋn你 (ㄋㄧˇ, nǐ)ㄌl利 (ㄌㄧˋ, lì)ㄍg告 (ㄍㄠˋ, gào)ㄎk考 (ㄎㄠˇ, kǎo)ㄏh好 (ㄏㄠˇ, hǎo)ㄐj叫 (ㄐㄧㄠˋ, jiào)ㄑq巧 (ㄑㄧㄠˇ, qiǎo)ㄒx小 (ㄒㄧㄠˇ, xiǎo)ㄓzhi 〖zh〗主 (ㄓㄨˇ, zhǔ)ㄔchi 〖ch〗出 (ㄔㄨ, chū)ㄕshi 〖sh〗束 (ㄕㄨˋ, shù)ㄖri 〖r〗入 (ㄖㄨˋ, rù)ㄗzi 〖z〗在 (ㄗㄞˋ, zài)ㄘci 〖c〗才 (ㄘㄞˊ, cái)ㄙsi 〖s〗塞 (ㄙㄞ, sāi)FinalsBopomofoPinyinExample(Bopomofo, Hanyu)ㄚa大 (ㄉㄚˋ, dà)ㄛo多 (ㄉㄨㄛ, duō)ㄜe得 (ㄉㄜˊ, dé)ㄝê爹 (ㄉㄧㄝ, diē)ㄞai晒 (ㄕㄞˋ, shài)ㄟei誰 (ㄕㄟˊ, shéi)ㄠao少 (ㄕㄠˇ, shǎo)ㄡou收 (ㄕㄡ, shōu)ㄢan山 (ㄕㄢ, shān)ㄣen申 (ㄕㄣ, shēn)ㄤang上 (ㄕㄤˋ, shàng)ㄥeng生 (ㄕㄥ, shēng)ㄦer而 (ㄦˊ, ér)ㄧyi 〖i〗逆 (ㄋㄧˋ, nì)ㄧ…

Emacs Dev Inefficiency and Emacs Web 2.0?

Perm url with updates: Dev Inefficiency and Emacs Web 2.0?Xah Recommends:

Amazon Kindle. Read books under the sun. Review Xah Lee, 2010-10-01, 2010-10-04Xah Lee wrote:Starting Emacs Community?... Right now is a static site. No forum or any type of interaction. Am not sure what technology i can use with my hosted server to make it Web 2.0. Also, i wish to keep the html valid, but i think that's hopeless. Possibly i could start a forum using WordPress. Jonas Stein <> wrote:I think the community is very spread. There are many pages and most need more manpower.I would rather suggest to fusion some communication channels. One newsgroup with mirror to Mail (perhaps gmane?) would be fine. One wiki with easy public editing.All services should not be bound to one individual. It should be possible to pass the admin-job to someone else, if the maintainer has no more spare time for the project.I lik…

Taiwan, Politics, Tongyong Pinyin

Perm url with updates:, Politics, Tongyong PinyinXah Recommends:

Amazon Kindle. Read books under the sun. Review Xah Lee, 2010-10-01Xah wrote:John DeFrancis Idiot on Chinese LanguageIn the 1930s and 1940s, discussions on character simplification took place within the Kuomintang government, and a large number of Chinese intellectuals and writers have long maintained that character simplification would help boost literacy in China.[6]Percival P Cassidy wrote:Interesting. One of my KMT-supporting teachers in Taiwan insisted that the introduction of simplified characters was a Communist plot to render the people incapable of understanding their history and culture.The issue is very political, but the degree of your friend's opinion is quite out there.The politics of Taiwan is quite funny in the past 2 decades. When the nationalist party government the Kuomintang (KMT) was dictatorshipping Taiwain from about 1950…

video on demand and tech progress

Perm url with updates: Tech Progress and Video On DemandXah Recommends:

Amazon Kindle. Read books under the sun. Review Xah Lee, 2010-10-01Amazon now has Video On Demand. You go to the site, find the released movie you want, pay something like $4.00, then you can watch it on your computer screen. You need a fast internet connection.Pretty nice. Tech has advanced.My first computer that i bought was Macintosh IIsi, in ~1991. The computer costs $2k. It got 1 mega bytes of memory, 40 mega bytes of hard disk. CPU is Motorola 68030 at 20 MHz, with Motorola 68882 FPU. (gosh, i haven't heard of FPU for perhaps 10 years.) The monitor i bought with it is a high-end model, the AppleColor High-Resolution RGB Monitor. It costs $1k. It has a 13 inch (33 cm) diagonal. The viewable area is about 22 cm in width and height. It can display 640x480 pixels. Weights 22 kg.Today, your iPod amazon, which is palm-sized, got 8 giga bytes of data storage …

splitting blog vote

last week's vote result:Do you want this blog split into different blogs by subject?Yes = 1No = 4Undecided = 0this week's new vote is: What content would you like to see more?emacsother programing/computing/webdev topicsmathrandom pop, social, art, sex, politicsmore technical (e.g. emacs, comp lang tutorial)more rant/essay style writingprefer longer (e.g. 1 or 2 pages essay/tutorial)prefer short (1 paragraph emacs tips, etc)

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

Perm url with updates: Are From Mars, Women Are From VenusXah Lee, 2010-09-29Research says, woman uses 20 thousands words a day, while man only 7 thousand. See:〈Neuroscience in the service of sexual stereotypes 〉 (2006-08-06) By Mark Liberman. At:〈Sex-linked lexical budgets〉 (2006-08-06) By Mark Liberman. At:〈Gabby guys: the effect size〉 (2006-09-23) By Mark Liberman. At: Liberman is a linguist at University of Pennsylvania.If you don't have time to read them thru, here's a moral:There are many questionable people, many with PhD tattooed on their heads, and prey on the ignorant masses, usually for profit, often in the form of books and lectures. So, when you see attractive titles like the following, typically pop psych…

Geometric Pattern on Sphere and Torus

Perm url with updates: Autologlyph on TorusXah Lee, 2010-05-26Torus Autologlyph You can buy it at: is made by Henry Segerman.There's a brief description about this at: and Cubes StudyStereographic ProjectionAlgorithmic Mathematical ArtKnitting, Chinese Knots, Braid Theory

Art of Leonardo da Vinci


John DeFrancis Idiot on Chinese

Perm url with updates: DeFrancis Idiot on Chinese LanguageXah Recommends:

Amazon Kindle. Read books under the sun. Review Xah Lee, 2010-09-28There's a linguist, dead, named John DeFrancis (1911-2009) . He's a well known expert specializing in Chinese language.I've read parts of his article before, perhaps the most famous one, titled 《The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy》. It contains a section titled “Six Myths”. Quote from Wikipedia:The Ideographic Myth: Chinese characters represent ideas instead of sounds.The Universality Myth: Chinese characters enable speakers of mutually unintelligible languages to read each other's writing. (Also, to the extent this is possible, this is due to a special property that only Chinese characters have.) Furthermore, Chinese from thousands of years ago is immediately readable by any literate Chinese today.The Emulatability Myth: The nature of Chinese c…

math tool: hand writing recognization: detexify

Detexify is a tool that lets you draw a math symbol and it shows you the code for LaTeX. The tool is created by Daniel Kirsch. At also: Math Symbols in Unicode.If you are a emacs user, you can set your emacs up so that any frequently used symbols can be entered by a single shortcut key, or a abbreviation. See: Emacs and Unicode Tips.

emacs ibuffer tip: mouse click to open file

In dired and Bookmark, you can use mouse click to open a file. But ibuffer, it marks the file instead. Here's how to fix it. Put the following in your emacs init file: (defunxah-ibuffer-keys () "Modify keymaps used by `ibuffer'." (local-set-key (kbd "<down-mouse-1>") 'ibuffer-visit-buffer-other-window) ) (add-hook 'ibuffer-hook 'xah-ibuffer-keys) Select the above code, then press 【Alt+x eval-region】, or restart emacs.This will make the mouse click open the file into a split pane. What if you want to open the file without splitting the window? Hint: find out the function name for opening the file in ibuffer. (use “describe-key”.)

Flatland and Ian Stewart's new book

Ian Stewart has a new book out.《Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities》 (2009) By Ian Stewart. amazonRead 1/3 of his 《Flatterland》 amazon in ~2002.See also: FLATLAND: A Romance of Many Dimensions, and Flatland: A Introduction (by Xah Lee) for many subsequent books and films on Flatland. It is one of my favorite book, say, in top 5, of all books in my life.Thanks to R Michael Underwood for the tip.

emacs manual mirror

Created the emacs manual mirror, with better css and html, at emacs manual is pretty bad today. Too much fat. See: Problems of Emacs's Manual.There are about 690 pages. If i spend 30 min to edit 5 pages a day, that'll take 138 days, or 4.6 months. Maybe that's what i'll do. That will be 69 hours of work.If you like to support the site, please paylpal donate $10 (to xah @, and i'll send you my complete tutorial, plus emacs and elisp manuals. Link is also much appreciated. Thanks.

firefox logo boobs

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Pattern Matching vs Lexical Grammar Specification

Perm url with updates: Matching vs Lexical Grammar SpecificationXah Recommends:

Amazon Kindle. Read books under the sun. Review Xah Lee, 2008-05-01This page is a personal note on the relation of pattern matching and lexical grammar specification, and their application in formal logic. Pattern matching here can mean textual pattern matching such as regex or list structure and datatype pattern matching such as in Mathematica.A Need For Lexical Grammar Spec LangIn computing, there's pattern matching. e.g. those in Mathematica, for pattern matching list structure and datatypes ( Mathematica patterns ) , and those in perl, for pattern matching strings. These pattern matching domain-specific languages are designed to match patterns, but i have realized, that they are rather unfit, when used as a mean to specify textual forms. In short, what i came to understand is that pattern matching facilities (may it be rege…

lisp logo

Perm url with updates: LogoXah Lee, 2007-12Here is a logo for the LISP programing language. SVG version: LISP_logo.svg.Here are smaller sizes:, , . The image is copyright © 2007 by Xah Lee. Feel free to use the logo for LISP language promotion.Note: This logo is a redrawing of a image found on the web. This one: Lisp Logo. I do not know who is its copyright owner. It appears to be a logo originating from (Association of Lisp Users). If you are its copyright owner, trademark owner, or designer, please contact me.Qi Language LogoHaskell LogoThe Emacs LogoXah's Java LogoLisp Needs A LogoThe Purpose of Logos and Tips for Good Logo DesignA Lambda Logo Tour (Functional Lang logo tour)

New lisp logos

New lisp logos:CLforJava logo. Clozure Common Lisp logo. For a gallery, see: A Lambda Logo Tour.