“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman


By Eric Abrahamsen, published

  • The New York Sun carries a review of a new book about Marco Polo's travels in China and Mongolia.
  • The National Library's project to reprint rare works from pre-Qing times is making progress: they've got a complete reprint of the Siku Quanshu (36,381 volumes) and the Yongle Canon (30,000 volumes), and the Dunhuang Manuscripts and the Zhaocheng Tripitaka are not far behind. If this is what the librarians are spending their time doing, I guess we can shelve our complaints about the impossibility of checking a book out of the library.
  • Is it that time of the year already? The 2007 Wealthy Writer's List has been unveiled (English summary here), and the suspense is finally broken. Guo Jingming takes top place with 11,000,000 yuan in royalties, followed by some famous academics and many unfamiliar names. Poor Jia Pingwa comes in last, at number 25. What a waste of time this is. And yet, we link to it.
  • Lastly, the Mirror publishes a list of untranslatable words and phrases taken from the book Toujours Tingo, apparently we were too late with our niubi entry. Some of the words really do seem untranslatable ("Tartle - Scottish: to hesitate when you are introducing someone whose name you can't quite remember.", "Pisan Zapra - Malay: the time needed to eat a banana.") others seem to have been chosen just for their weirdness ("Bayram Degil Seyran Degil Eniste Beni Niye Optu? - Turkish: there must be something behind this. Literally 'it's not festival time, it's not a pleasure trip, so why did my brother-in-law kiss me?'")


# 1.   

the mirror list makes me think pictionary in other countries is much more interesting than in the states.

i dont know many times i've needed the word Baling, so thank you philippines. Baling - Manobo, Philippines: the action of a woman who, when she wants to marry a man, goes to his house and refuses to leave until marriage is agreed upon.

flipyrface, November 9, 2007, 2:47p.m.

# 2.   

The National Library's valiant attempt to reprint rare pre-Qing works made me think: Gosh, there really ought be a day to commemorate the work of hard-working librarians and archivists everywhere.

And guess what...there is!

April 17th is National Library Workers' Day (NLWD, for those of you in the know, see here for more details: http://ala-apa.org/about/nlwd.html)

But our favorite bibliomuses won't have their holiday to themselves.

In 2008, U.S. taxpayers will find their tax deadline shifted to April 17 (because the usual date, April 15, falls on a Sunday, and Monday, April 16 is Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia). Also, depending on the year, April 17th is sometimes Passover and sometimes Easter or Good Friday and always some Syrian national holiday.

It is also (according to a website dedicated to bizarre American holidays) "National Cheeseball Day".

One can't help but think that Prez. Bush is the perfect man to throw out the first official cheeseball on this auspicious day.

For those of you looking for a reason to celebrate, check out this list, courtesy of some high school students with a glorious sense of humour:


I'm slightly upset that I missed:

Nov. 1 Plan-Your-Epitaph Day and Nov. 9 Chaos-Never-Dies Day

but greatly look forward to following faux-holidays:

Nov. 18 Occult Day (which I will be spending with B.L."Zee" Bub, Ronnie James Dio and the Chinese rock band "Tongue")

Nov. 25 National Parfait Day (just happens to be my birthday)

Nov. 27 Pins and Needles Day (we're waiting for it on...ouch, stoppit!)

Dec. 8 National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day (on which day I will be thankful)

Dec. 30 Festival Of Enormous Changes At The Last Minute and National Bicarbonate Of Soda Day (Need we say more? Burp.)

 Cindy Carter, November 12, 2007, 12:46p.m.


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