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Comment Re:Done in movies... (Score 4, Insightful) 225

Everything in TFS apparently comes from testimony (which may or may not be accurate, and may or may not be accepted as a fact by the court),

One of the two police officers who dangled him over the balcony confessed to it in court, so as far as mere testimony goes, that's pretty good.

Comment Re:duck or... (Score 4, Informative) 29

That's 10^13 kg, of course.

So, it's heavier than a duck - in fact, since ducks average only a little over a kilogram, and the worldwide population of ducks is likely only on the order of a billion or so, it's heavier than all the ducks in the world put together.

On the other hand, its density implies it would float.

Hmm, I'd recommend burning it, just to be on the safe side. Perhaps the Sun can see to that.

Comment Re:Surely, that's no pun (Score 2) 156

Yuen-Ren Chao was not protesting against pinyin (which didn't yet exist) or any other romanization scheme when he wrote the Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den. In fact, he was a key proponent of "National Romanization" (Guoyu Luomazi), one of pinyin's precurors.

He mostly intended it as a linguistic joke - if you've ever read any of his works, he can be quite amusing - and as a demonstration of how Chinese has changed over the millenia. In ancient Chinese, the poem would be more or less comprehensible (although still a little odd here and there), but in modern Mandarin, so many sounds have converged together, that it just sounds like gibberish.

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.