Posts Tagged ‘funny’
Besides the Mahabharata’s translation into Old Javanese (and other Southeast Asian languages) in the 10th/11th century, the first translation into a non-Indian language was into Persian, commissioned by Akbar in 1591.
The translator, Badāyūnī or Badāōnī, relates how it came to be:
The following considerations disposed the emperor to the work. When he had heard the Shāhnāmah, and the story of Āmīr Ḥamzah, in seventeen volumes transcribed in fifteen years, and had spent much gold illuminating it, he also heard the story of Abu Muslim, and the Jāmi’-ul-hikāyat repeated, and it suddenly came into his mind that most of these books were nothing but poetry and fiction; but that, since they were first related in a lucky hour, and when their star was in the act of passing over the sky, they obtained great fame. But now he ordered those Hindu books, which holy and staid sages had written, and which were all clear and convincing proofs and the pivot on which all their religion, and faith, and holiness turned, to be translated from the Indian into the Persian language, and thought to himself, “Why should I not have them done in my name? For they are by no means trite, but quite fresh, and they will produce all kinds of fruits of felicity both temporal and spiritual, and will be the cause of circumstance and pomp, and will ensure an abundance of children and wealth as is written in the preface of these books.”
So apparently, Akbar thought they (Hindu books) were more than mere poetry and fiction, and yet fresh, and he even believed (essentially) the phalashruti told in the books.
But the translator Badāōnī himself, an orthodox Mullā, doesn’t seem to have agreed with his emperor, or liked the job:
The Emperor sent for me and desired me to translate The Mahābhārata, in conjunction with Nāqib Khān. [...] The consequence was that in three or four months I translated two out of eighteen sections, at the puerile absurdities of which the eighteen thousand creations may well be amazed.
<!–(The sections are parvas. The “18000 creations” is a Muslim belief, and unconnected with the recurrence of the number 18 in the Mahābhārata.)–>
Besides finding sections full of “puerile absurdities”, he also found sections objectionable and disturbing to his Muslim sentiments. It led him to complain:
But such is my fate, to be employed on such works. Nevertheless, I console myself with the reflection that what is predestined must come to pass.
Akbar seems to have been merely amused by this reaction:
We thought that [Badāōnī] was an unworldly individual of Ṣūfī tendencies, but he seems to be such a bigoted lawyer that no sword can sever the jugular vein of his bigotry.
The rest of the translation had to be completed by others.
Some random cute or frivolous verses, dumped here so I can close those tabs. (Though inevitably I ended up opening more tabs…)
एकवस्तु द्विधा कर्तुम् बहवः सन्ति धन्विनः । धन्वी स मार एवैको द्वयोः ऐक्यः करोति यः ॥
eka-vastu dvidhā kartum
bahavaḥ santi dhanvinaḥ —
dhanvī sa māra evaiko
dvayoḥ aikyaḥ karoti yaḥ
If you’re too lazy to click, here’s a rough translation that loses the one-two-many-one-two-one play on words:
To split a single thing in two
There’s many an archer under the sun—
But Love’s the only bowman who
Can start with two and make them one.
There’s no “under the sun” in the original; I just couldn’t think of a better rhyme. :P
कमले कमला शेते हरः शेते हिमालये । क्षीराब्धौ च हरिः शेते मन्ये मत्कुणशङ्कया ॥
kamale kamalā śete, haraḥ śete himālaye,
kṣīrābdhau ca hariḥ śete — manye matkuṇa-śaṅkayā !
kamalā = Lakṣmī (I think, though one source gave it as Brahmā), śete = sleeps, manye = I guess, śaṅkayā = out of suspicion/fear, of matkuṇa = bedbugs :D
Originally saw here,[dead link] so see here or here.
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Bit off more than my mind could chew,
Shower or suicide, what do I do?
— Julie Brown, “Will I Make it Through the Eighties?”
If you are of the opinion that the contemplation of suicide is sufficient evidence of a poetic nature, do not forget that actions speak louder than words.
— Fran Lebowitz, “Metropolitan Life”
Razors pain you, Rivers are damp,
Acids stain you, And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful, Nooses give,
Gas smells awful. You might as well live.
–Dorothy Parker (several tentative suicide attempts, died of a heart attack at 73)
No one ever lacks a good reason for suicide.
– Cesare Pavese (who committed suicide, WTF?)
And of course no mention of suicide is complete without Maddox’s How to kill yourself like a man.
There are no results on Google for “LeechBlock saved my life”, but there are testimonials like “Leech block has changed my life”, “Leechblock just saved my life”, and “This application is saving my thesis, and improving my social life”.
If LeechBlock isn’t working for you, you can try more extreme solutions like (on Mac) Freedom and SelfControl. (Found via this post.) But for me, right now, with my current level of work and self-awareness and other devices being employed, LeechBlock seems to be just about sufficient. (Although I do wish Safari were an even worse browser than it is.)
If not, you need to see this (besides needing a bun to bite Benny Lava): [Make sure you read the subtitles before, not after the corresponding sounds.]
Unsolved mysteries of our time (or the 1970s):
Why doesn’t Cathy eat breakfast?
If anyone can tell me what the National Dairy Council wanted us to think, I’d be much obliged. (They have managed to include a dairy product in every kind of food shown!)
It turns out I’ve watched only 108 of the IMDb Top 250.
Update: There have been changes in the Top 250 since this post; The Dark Knight is now No. 1 with a rating of 9.5 :D
Part of the problem is that good movies keep slipping out of the list; look at some in the last 20:
231. 7.9 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
234. 7.9 Strada, La (1954)
236. 7.9 Dolce vita, La (1960)
237. 7.9 Shaun of the Dead (2004)
239. 7.9 Roman Holiday (1953)
240. 7.9 His Girl Friday (1940)
241. 7.9 Brazil (1985)
242. 7.9 Network (1976)
244. 7.9 Once (2006)
(I’m not saying all of those are great; just guessing that anyone thinks at least some of those are :))
My numbers are better at the top:
10 of the top 10,
36 of the top 40 (WALL-E and the 3 LotR movies),
39 of the top 50.
But only 59 of the top 100.
Update [2009-08-02] Currently, of the “endangered” movies I listed last time,
Pirates of the Caribbean is out,
La strada is safely in at 212,
La dolce vita: 246,
Shaun of the Dead is out,
Roman Holiday: 241,
His Girl Friday safely in at 213,
And I’ve seen:
71 of the top 75 (Up! (2009) and the three LotR movies),
87 of the top 100 (getting there!),
142 of the top 250
AINDERBY QUERNHOW (n.)
One who continually bemoans the ‘loss’ of the word ‘gay’ to the English language, even though they had never used the word in any context at all until they started complaining that they couldn’t use it any more.
Before encountering computers, I had always seen the word ‘deprecate’ in contexts from which I understood that it was synonymous to disparage, deplore, condemn, belittle, derogate, and so on.
The computing world uses “X is deprecated” to mean that the feature X is discouraged, often because a recommended replacement has been found for it — thus X is obsolescent, and while using it will work currently, it is expected to stop working in the future, so one is recommended to avoid using it.
With the rise of technology and the decline in reading, many people have encountered the word solely in the latter context, and have taken it to mean something that is “old”, and for which a newer replacement exists: Thus I see people announcing, with no sign of self-deprecation, that “This blog is deprecated”.
A pretty good Autotools tutorial (presentation/PDF) that already tells you more than you would like to know (which, alas, is probably less than you need to know).
Ars Technica describes it as
Autotools, an intractably arcane and grotesquely anachronistic cesspool of ineffable complexity that makes even seasoned programmers nauseous.
2008-04-01: Found these:
Stop the autoconf insanity! Why we need a new build system.
What is Wrong with Make?
Make alternatives: “SCons is my preferred tool in this category and also my preferred build tool overall.”
It was (is) a fundamentally misguided idea to make up a new limited language for use with make, then another one for automake, and another for autoconf. Who has heard of m4, really? And tools that add an extra script (and sometimes a language!) for creating the input to this vicious chain are even worse. One of the useful lessons from the Lisp people is that is really easier, and better, to use a real language than to make up and parse and understand a limited one.
The sooner everyone moves away from the make/automake/autoconf madness the better.
SCons is written in Python, uses real Python for its files, and might be the future. Or it might suck. It’s too early to tell; it has only been around for a decade or so.
Not Ubuntu 7.10 “Gutsy Gibbon” v/s Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger”, but a real gibbon v/s real tigers:
We do not realise the extent of our association of the content with its “form”, I think. The Porn… site, for example, is distinctly a porn site. It is helped by the words of course, but take the words away, and still something remains… is it simply a matter of image sizes and colours?
has several errors.
Here’s the image:
and although I had seen it thousands of times, I hadn’t really noticed it until I saw it for a moment in Lessig’s corruption video. The errors in the Devanagari and Kannada scripts are immediately obvious; the New York Times ran an article about the error (they knew of only the Devanagari and a Japanese error).
Apparently, the original author has lost his source files, and no one knows how to fix it (seriously), so they have been either simply giving up, or using the ingenious argument that the logo is appropriate, as the existence of errors is characteristic of Wikipedia.
More procrastination material.
This post sums up my situation perfectly.
It’s probably even more appropriate now than it was a year-and-a-half ago.
We went to a temple today.