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Blood was streaming down her face like tears but more than that fresh dots of flecks of blood on her face rivers of pain tracing down the tracks of her cheeks.
The explosion was deafening, bright, blinding – airburst? She could not hear any screams, no longer could she hear their cries of pain.
Desperately she stretched out her Arms trying to hug her children, to hold them fast to her heart.
But all that were left were stumps, bright red, 朱, bleeding, burning 赤
He tried to tourniquet them. Was there any point? The red in her face was no longer inside her, it was on her, all over her.
Her eyes stared outward star struck by the blinding light. Could she even see?
They collapsed to the earth together.




紧张 jinzhang
坚持 jianchi

Jinzhang means tense, nervous; it’s literally tight+pulled.
Jianchi means persistence. Firm base on the left, grasp support maintain on the right.
Jin and Jian sound alike and look alike. They both have two vertical sticks on the left; that is a simplifaction of chen 臣 which is a picture of an eye turned 90% degrees looking down from its perspective but to the right from your perspective. The difference is jin has small+silk 小+幺 benath whereas jian has a clump of dirt tu 土 beneath it.


yet another Fine legal question or three

Could Tesla be legally liable to victims of accidents for marketing its vehicles as “self-driving”?
Could Tesla be legally liable to victims of accidents for marketing its vehicles as “assisted driving”?
Could Tesla be legally liable to victims of accidents involving its vehicles where the driver disabled software intended to force the driver to in fact drive the car?
Could Tesla be legally liable to victims of accidents involving its vehicles where the driver ignored software intended to force the driver to in fact drive the car?





Nixies, girl water sprites, doing handstands and acrobatics for the Emperor in his imperial robe to show the dragon emperor the tactics they will use on the COUNTERSTRIKE they are planning
NiXi is: upside down person on the long road is going BACK TO ATTACK



龙 long2 dragon
衣 yi1 robe, clothing

put together 龙衣y are representing the imperial robe, the Chinese Emperor was also known as the dragon. It’s a compound concept character not pictophonetic so there is no sound clue.


RARA AVIS Mnemonic to Transfer Knowledge to Long Term Memory

Interest: You’re likelier to remember whatever interests you.
Selectivity: Focus on the relevant ignore the irrelevant
Recitation: Read it Out Loud
Vivid Visualization: Close your eyes and imagine seeing it
Association: Link knew facts to known facts
Repetition: Rote learning is boring but effective




把 吧 巴 色 ba

You know how English has him (accusative) and to him (dative)? Chinese doesn’t do that. Nouns don’t decline, there is no case. How does Chinese express the idea of a verb happening TO something and changing the thing so affected? And that’s where ba comes in! It literally means “handle” What happened to the milk? “Me handle cow milk drink completed” is literally what 我把牛奶和了 says. “Me handle book place table on” is literally what 我把书放在桌子上 says. The “completed” 了 particle indicates the action was completed. Of course we translate those sentences properly as “I drank the milk up” “I put the book on the table.” In 我把书放在桌子上 maybe i didn’t use 了 because you or I next plan to pick the book back up: point is 了 here is a colocation. It’s not required but it usually appears to indicate the action resulted in a change of state – “I drank the milk up.” Here “up” functions like le 了 it indicates the completion of the action. Although English doesn’t have particles Russian does. le, ba, ma 了 把 吗 are particles. They mark grammar: state change, accusative case, questions. Notice also this ba has a hand determinant on the left 把. Mouthy ba 吧 is also a particle, it functions to form rhetorical questions and is easily translated with “, ok?” so for example “let’s start, ok?” 让我们开始吧 rang women kai shi ba. The other ba has no determinant and basically means “looking forward to, longing for”. 巴 also nominalizes words. Ba looks a lot like se 色 which means colorful, sex and is, I kid you not, a picture of two people having sex. See? Chinese is really interesting!


memory tricks

Odd numbers are black. Even numbers are white. 0 is grey, neither even nor odd.
In grids: x axis horizontal is numeric, y axis vertical is alphabetic.
Six locations: left front right back above below center self
directions: forward backward
time: past is behind and above. future is ahead, in front, and below
cold is down hot is up
dry dirt is down warm in the ground cold clouds of wet water are up high in the sky
fire is hot and up

Our common concern 多少的词

This is a frequency list of Mandarin Chinese syllables sorted descending without considering tones.

Anyone with a half brain knows what this is used for. Anyone who doesn’t know? Well, get a brain.

人之初 性本善

de 8722289
shi 7050291
yi 5869055
zhi 3185308
ji 2977951
bu 2943968
you 2746758
zhe 2602857
ta 2376365
ren 2318926
li 2308041
zai 2252027
le 2226721
zhong 2141356
wei 2092014
guo 1841775
dao 1788900
qi 1765121
wo 1749745
ge 1748292
di 1724350
yu 1713834
he 1635213
zi 1589345
xiang 1575940
da 1469164
jian 1451889
men 1391330
wu 1372087
xing 1359245
er 1353892
shang 1292610
ke 1254178
ye 1240777
chu 1221539
jing 1186243
hui 1181130
xian 1167460
jiu 1166024
jin 1163074
sheng 1150523
lai 1118779
jie 1109315
fa 1088739
xi 1082565
gong 1072260
fu 1056555
si 1055744
jia 1051033
yuan 1024450
shen 1006355
yao 988311
zheng 983292
zhu 958453
mei 933373
xin 918778
tong 909188
zuo 893830
shuo 884288
qu 884073
fang 874075
dui 870671
xiao 868443
shu 867809
cheng 857501
chang 849564
na 831925
ni 812061
hua 807991
shou 803601
yan 791181
guan 788407
hai 779180
qing 774492
yin 750738
hou 749405
duo 747728
xia 734342
ti 724525
dong 723244
huo 712024
jiao 703885
dan 700482
ying 698618
yang 698164
ming 696618
wen 695970
nian 695312
xie 686105
ju 685312
ba 679337
bei 670092
ru 669787
neng 665358
ci 657819
yong 652185
liang 639396
qian 638821
bao 620534
suo 604505
bian 597897
zhan 584585
dian 575699
hao 573206
xue 572292
xu 570666
fen 566699
dang 564806
ran 549902
wang 545917
dou 541323
bing 533163
ding 521121
jiang 511050
mian 503878
quan 503025
dai 497044
yue 491401
tian 489761
me 480720
gao 475204
hu 471675
kan 469240
jun 463498
fan 459450
ling 457865
wan 452252
she 433892
gu 432908
ban 429225
fei 427791
cai 427296
gan 426276
bi 421278
an 418511
zhen 418098
tai 412339
ben 411819
mu 408250
cong 405173
tou 400461
kai 398586
zui 392734
lian 389564
ma 388106
jue 384873
pi 376008
ri 363763
lu 362789
deng 356833
nan 356362
min 354208
liu 351731
san 349119
bai 349026
zu 344981
tu 341681
zhang 341340
gai 335105
hen 321875
que 321359
biao 320022
su 318074
ting 314552
chi 312261
wai 300896
lao 299072
ze 293345
chan 291680
zhao 289937
feng 289836
ya 289491
chen 288341
qie 287521
shan 284678
ping 281773
luo 281150
chuan 280973
gui 280303
shui 277968
mo 273029
zao 272008
zong 271651
lun 264565
kong 260769
shao 256246
cha 255265
du 248897
duan 247728
qiu 244599
sui 243720
tiao 242251
te 239091
zhou 239028
lei 238732
guang 238613
huan 232948
qiang 232291
nei 231331
mi 230299
gou 229650
bo 226232
tan 224714
zhuang 220567
yun 219022
gei 217815
zhuan 215756
ai 213586
kou 208960
zou 208069
han 203571
geng 202642
qin 199822
gen 196736
xuan 195599
lin 192140
man 188310
bie 188222
huang 184840
pin 184837
la 183642
pai 177618
po 176842
cun 173519
mao 170048
xun 169768
diao 167083
che 166297
lie 165597
rong 164398
chao 163164
kuai 163050
pian 158598
se 155077
tui 154449
kuang 153891
song 152392
hong 149967
tao 147601
sha 147176
chong 146742
a 143836
ceng 143033
lan 142369
can 141816
gang 140899
pu 138110
mai 137363
rang 136101
ku 132880
meng 132845
nong 131225
liao 130518
kao 130219
xiu 129816
ce 128686
chuang 125052
tang 122309
tuo 121320
suan 121239
mou 116225
pei 114110
zhun 113877
zen 112294
ne 112185
e 109896
pan 108530
qiao 105464
xiong 104841
tuan 104151
zeng 103042
peng 102631
pao 99236
huai 97699
pa 96735
hun 96486
cuo 94761
long 94753
nao 93398
kang 91959
ruo 89865
dun 87900
bang 87257
chou 85191
cao 84874
hei 84324
kuo 81713
chun 79748
shuang 76927
reng 75535
qun 74521
lang 73480
re 72069
nai 69877
sun 69029
miao 68770
zha 68234
nu 67922
kuan 67005
mang 65817
fou 64772
ou 64452
piao 63377
tie 62877
leng 62152
shei 61528
lüe 61411
ao 60455
ka 60440
zan 60431
zhui 59572
heng 58378
pang 57763
zang 55933
guai 55710
luan 55675
sai 55584
kun 53949
niu 52960
ha 52475
lou 52042
juan 51759
hang 51372
nin 51094
zhuo 51036
zhai 50407
sa 48768
wa 48764
ken 47955
fo 47038
cu 46527
rou 45636
za 44146
ning 44017
gua 43244
shun 42354
niang 40907
nuo 40022
cui 39761
en 37898
mie 37465
die 37329
zun 36597
zhua 36094
kui 35822
rao 33503
sang 32783
chui 32523
ruan 30350
sen 29533
sou 29413
niao 29319
rui 28898
cang 28725
sao 27351
teng 27136
shuai 26859
bin 25234
qiong 23167
qia 21271
kua 19956
gun 18003
run 16922
pen 16807
ca 15954
tun 14204
shua 13882
nie 12991
beng 12432
diu 11285
ang 10267
zuan 10064
nuan 9762
weng 8702
chai 7276
zei 7045
keng 6954
seng 6920
nang 6709
eng 6707
cou 5544
pie 5059
ga 5050
cuan 5002
o 4582
miu 4290
shai 4290
chuo 4140
jiong 4019
pou 3767
nen 3707
yo 3635
shuan 3605
nüe 2979
chuai 1829
zhuai 1396
cen 1069



tian1 di4 xuan2 huang2, yu3 zhou4 hong2 huang1
heaven earth mysterious-black gold
flood, out of practice, uncultivated, desolate

Heaven and earth are mysterious black and gold.
The universe, flooded, desolate.

Memory Techniques

Visualise vividly
See it
Add Emotion

What makes something memorable
Involve all senses

Relate back to known

ONE GUN A Red point
TWO SHOE B Orange a line segment
THREE FLEA C Yellow triangle
FOUR DOOR D Green square
FIVE HIVE E Blue  pentagon
SIX BRICKS STICKS F Indigo hexagon
SEVEN HEAVEN G Violet seven pointed star
EIGHT GATE H Black octagon islamic 8 pointed star
NINE WINE I White  3×3 tictac toe board
TEN HEN J Grey a line segment with two pentagons at the start and end

Story Method
Person Action Object
Loci Palace

how SMALL is an otter? acronym

里 力 立 利 李 吏 厉 历 理 离 丽 例 礼

一 十 木 米 茶  本 未 末 来 林 森


Does invention follow fiction?

Science faction?


In the future the fact that gravity space and time are in fact the same phenomenon will be not only an established fact but also understood sufficiently that they will launch time probes into the past. These probes will move around time as much as they do through it, basically functioning like a remote viewing telescope broadcasting past images (us) into the future where they have receivers. After the future determines how to look into the past it then moves on to determine how to communicate with the past. What starts as mere observation portals, and possibly invisble ones, become communication devices. Then, the future works on not only observing then communicating into the past but also on temporal distortion: speeding up or slowing down the flow of time in localized areas.

Get obtain, possess, dirt. 得的地 得

Get obtain, must 得de/dei
Possess 的, de=’s di=aim 目的=mudi, intention
de=-ly di=land 地方 =difang place

Someone walking down a road beneath the sun at dawn pinches what ?
dirt that’s what Dirty di, difang de di


They obtained 得 dirt 地

and now it is the dirt OF 的

someone on their spoon beside the bright white sun. 的





































允yun3 permit it’s a picture of mom nursing a baby. she PERMITS it.

充chong1 fulfill the child is happy because it has FULLY fed.

弃qi4 abandon it’s a picture of a kid being held up in a basket and abandoned.


The first people to insult the police are also generally the first people to call the police for help. They hate the police, until they need them.

People who think they have all the rights, that the rules don’t apply to them, and that they can treat others like trash, use them and throw them away are about to find out: they can’t. The rules apply to you. You cannot abuse people.

Policing is a very difficult job physically and psychologically.

Even in a tyrannical regime, a police state, the police are people.



These characters all look a bit similar and some of them are even conceptually related. By learning them as a group they are easier to recall.

亦 Yi4: Also, Too

Also, Too: It’s a pictogram of a person carrying something under his arms He is ALSO carrying something else.


变 Bian4: Betray, Change, Rebel, Renounce

Change, Rebel, Renounce, Betray

is a combined composite character. On top is a persons Also carrying something; beneath is a hand. The idea is that the person is going back on their oath; this idea grew into the idea of change generally. To change, alter, but also to renounce, betray.


赤 Chi4: Scarlet, Red, Bare, Naked

Scarlet, Red, Bare, Naked赤

It’s a picture of a naked person on top (this portion deformed/simplified to its present form) above a fire, he is naked and heating himself. The fire’s flames are red so is the naked person’s heating body.


弃 Qi4 Abandon

It’s an infant in a basket, above two hands. Is that baby for sale? It is now! It means to abandon: baby in a basket, abandoned.

允 Yun3 Allow, Permit

It’s a combined concept character of a mother above nursing an infant below; she is PERMITTING and ALLOWING it.允



These are some of the logical connectors in Chinese.



只有。。。 if only … then (if)
只有。。。ONLY IF … then (if, and only if)
既是。。。  even if … there is still
尽管。。。但是 despite
。。。 no matter what … all
。。。 although … still
。。。 instead of … why not
。。。 only if/if not/unless … otherwise
。。。 except for … all
。。。 although … all
不是。。。就是 either … or

合 谷 容 浴

Though they look alike they appear to have no phonetic relationship and are likely associative compound characters (hui yi zi)

合 he2 to close join fit
谷 gu3 grain, valley
容 rong4 hold contain countenance
浴 yu4 bathe

盒 he2 box case
舍she2 residence

I’m going to hide from the U.S prosecutors!

I’m going to hide from the U.S prosecutors! In the USA! They will never think to look there!

How can any person be that stupid? Ok, granted, we’re talking about a pedophile pimp… even for that class of low life New Hampshire is a really stupid place to try to hide.

Well, stupid is as stupid does. How many blackflips will she do? Hint: she’s stupid. As many as the FBI wants! And if she doesn’t the prosecution will rip her throat out on cross examination.



Self Explanatory Chinese Characters (Indicative Characters) 指事字

To my surprise, there does not seem to be a comprehensive list of indicative characters on the internet. Indicative characters are more often called self explanatory characters in English but in Chinese are called indicative characters (指事字). We may also rightly call them ideograms. Indicative characters are abstract symbols, sometimes derived from pictograms, to express an abstract concept graphically. So for example an arrow, a dot. Most numbers are indicative characters because they are an abstract concept. Some of the indicative characters are inversions of other characters. They are self evident. The dots tend to be used to call attention to a particular aspect of a pictogram. Like pictograms, ideograms generally do not have a phonetic clue as to their pronunciation, though some do. Some ideograms are quite abstract others are referenced to pictograms. They are symbols, abstract expressions of an idea graphically represented.

一 one

七 seven

三 three

上 up

下 down

世 world (three generations of ten years each)

中 middle

之 possessive particle

乏 deficiency

九 9

二 2

于 at

五 five

亦 also

八 8

公 public

凶 pit trap disaster

刁diao knife in the mouth as symbol of the idea of wicked

xi a fledgling bird’s wing as a symbol of revision

刃ren4 edge of a blade

勺shao spoon dot is the depression for the food


千 1000

升 rise

叉 fork. dot is the food on it

只 only dots of speech from the mouth

员 employee

四 4

夏 summer (hundreds of people walking about)

太 too much (too big too heavy)

孔 kong

寸 cun inch

小 xiao small 3 dots of sand grains as symbol of small

尤 excellent outstanding; a lame man with an accentuated particularity (he was wounded in war)

尺 one foot long

屯 village, troop outpost; originally a sprout.

左left (work tool in left hand)

幻 huan fantasy

廷ting2 palace courtyard

旦 dan dawn

曰 yue tongue

末 mo tip (of a tree)

本 ben root (tree root)

朱 zhu red bark cambium of a tree, spiral rings of a tree; scarlet, ring.

氐di foundation (the roof of a clan is its foundation)

爻 trigram markings,

牟mou moo

牵qian to pull an animal on a tether, to lead along, to hold hands

犮right (two right hands of two people shaking hands, two hands clasping each other)

甘 gan sweet (sweet food on the tongue)

示 shi vision alter as a symbol of the idea of a divine vision of the divine; two+small=divine visions

臣chen government  minister (ju giant is a component of it; ministers are big and powerful people)

逆 ni contrary opposite backwards. inverted da big as symbol of retreat, backwards, going back.

凹 ao concave

凸 tu convex

习 xi wing of a fledgeling bird as symbol of the idea of revision, review, study

少 few xiao+negation stroke? not small, but few.夕 xi evening star venus or moon as symbol of evening

士 shi master

灭mie disaster


This list is definitely not complete.

The shou wen jiezi claims there are only about 150 indicative characters.

When do Countries War? USA, China, Russia

States sometimes go to war with former allies and sometimes make alliances with former enemies. Are there conditions which make wars between states less likely? Are there conditions which make alliances among states more likely?

When we think of war we are using an abstract concept to simplify our world as a kind of a lemma; of course, “the state” doesn’t reallye exist, but people do. What things make groups of people likelier to trust and trade? What things make groups of people likelier to fear, distrust, or even hate?

Abstractions of identity help to explain when groups are likelier to conflict or get along. Common points make conflicts less likely, and differences make conflict likelier. So the question of war in a sense is also the question of identity, of self as opposed to other.

What criteria do people use to identify themselves? Well, we are all human, so in principle we all could get along. Yet, even though we are all human some have different skin colors, others have different religious views, others have different languages, others still have different ideologies, different systems of government.

So, countries (abstractions from individuals) with common religions, languages, skin colors, and ideologies are likelier to get along as opposed to countries split by race, religion, language, and ideology.

Viewed in this light the USA and China may be doomed to conflict. Their ideologies and religions are quite different, so are their languages; and even race is to a larger extent than not different. All they really have in common is the desire to grow rich: they are culturally driven to acquire and enjoy property and to view property ownership as all important.

Viewed this way too the USA and Russia are likelier to get along than to conflict. Their religions are similar though not entirely the same; their racial composition is likewise similar, but not the same. Their contemporary ideologies are more similar than different. In short, the four splits, race, religion, ideology, and language are much less severe between the USA and Russia as compared to the USA and China or Russia and China. The Chinese-Russian relationship is thus more fragile, and the U.S. Russian conflicts are more illusory. It is likelier that the USA will be able to bring Russia into an anti-Chinese coalition than for China to bring Russia into an anti-USA coalition.

合作 hezuo = collaborate

hezuo collaborate

合 is a picture of a mouth on top with a dot of food or a word, and a mouth below. it is the idea of close/to close//mutual. Once you understand the underlying pictograph or ideograph’s logic the characters are much easier to remember.合 thus can mean “and” “with” “co”. It, like so many Chinese words doesn’t correspond exactly to one single English word. 作 is a person on the left and on the right is cloth which is spread out as a display or for sale. this zuo means to make or to do. There is another zuo which ALSO means to make or do and in the same tone to boot. Polysemicity is unfortunately a big part of Chinese so get used to sound alikes. So: “to do”+”together”=collaborate.


我们的公司会跟你们合作 our business will work with you.


c.f. he tong, contract.

Tangled Twisted and Tied Up in Knots (The STRUGGLE is real!)

纠结(jiū jié)STRUGGLE

Jiu1 means tied, twisted. On the left is the silk determinant since it’s usually ropes and on the right is stylized image of

丩 jiu1

two ropes twisted together. It occurs these days as a character component.

On the right is


jie2 which means KNOT. But jie2 is a polyphonic character and in the first tone means produce, solid, bear fruit.

Put together jiu1jie2 means STRUGGLE. We STRUGGLE to break the bonds of ropes tied together which bind us.


Ah the Strug Gull! My favorite Bird!


Circular Reasoning

Chinese has lots of words which could be translated as round, circle. None of them correspond exactly to the English word “circle”. But each in context is unambiguous. Here are some of them. Context words are italicized, these express the core of the Chinese word.

圈 round as in a roll, whether a rolled pearl curtain, a rolled mat, a rolled tortilla, a rolled up fist. quan1
轮 a round (measure word; just like English “a round of golf” e.g.) lun2
圆 round, circle, sphere yuan2
圜 round, circle, around, ring huan2
周 circle, circumference zhou1
围 encircle, surround, around wei2
entwine, coil around, around, round rao4
团 round, as in lump, as in ball; regiment tuan2
patrol, round as in the police made their rounds xun2

Advanced Vocabulary Terms

坚持 solid+support=PERSIST JIANCHI
节奏 festival+music=RHYTHM JIEZOU
原则 source+standard/norm=PRINCIPLE YUANZE
违背 disobey/violate+burdened back = WEIBEI VIOLATE
独处 solitary+reside/place = LIVE ALONE DUCHU
属于 category+there/at = TO BE CLASSIFIED AS shuyu
沉默 submerge+silence=taciturn CHENMO
功课 merit+course=homework GONGKE
眺望 gaze into distance + hope = SURVEY tiaowang
凝视 congea+vision = GAZE AT ningshi
替代 replace+represent=SUBSTITUTE tidai

Pro Testing is all the RAGE these days


罢 ba4 stop

Net on top (wang2)
big foot on the bottom walking out of the city below (qu4 – it is a deformed character due to simplification; memory trick? the si on the bottom is an arrow pointing his way out! not really: it’s deformed, but hopefully more memorable that way).

It’s an associative idea character. Two ideas brought together to express a third.


罢手 ba shou – ba to stop, shou, hands; it means to stop as in quit as in surrender as in hands up!


罟 gu trap, implicate

Literally a net for trapping birds or fish; figuratively catch in the criminal drag net.

Net on top (semantic)
Gu character below (phonetic) = 10 mouths.
A pictophonetic character.

10 mouths caught in a  net: TRAP, IMPLICATE


Hope you like my blahg :/ cough cough
Rage, btw, is French for madness as in rabies.

“The night of the long knives” (Devil’s Diplomatic Dictionary Free Supplement)

“When they came for the Land O Lakes Butter Princess – I wasn’t a butter princess, so I said nothing.

When they came for Aunt Jemima – I wasn’t fake maple syrup, so I said nothing.

When they came for Uncle Ben – I wasn’t brown rice, so I said nothing.

When they came for me – I wasn’t Elizabeth Warren, so no one came for me.”

First, the land o lakes indian princess. this has long been the brunt of bad jokes and since the farmers coop don’t seem to be founded by or funding ndn issues i’m ok with it, though it was nice to see something other than genocide.

Then Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, the Cream of Wheat mascot is next on the chopping block.
Cui bono?



Devil’s Diplomatic Dictionary

“Right Side PAC”

Trump  can and likely will win the election. I anticipate the usual dismissive elitism of the governing class, which is one of the reasons he will win. Meanwhile, polls supposedly show Biden 14% ahead. Let’s suppose that’s true. So what? The ONLY poll that matters is taken on the second Tuesday next November.
Meanwhile, some republicans purportedly decided to start a pro-Biden super pac aww.
Even if true: so what? Even if not in fact spies or disinformation agents they will be in any case quickly branded sell-outs, traitors, RINOs, and deep-state with no future career. If sincere, and not a feint to disinform and gather electoral data, these pactivists  are people willing to cut their own throats rather than see someone else win — and there are very very few such people. There are however plenty of useful idiots. I wouldn’t put much hope or any trust in “Right Side PAC”.
Elections are 51% affairs thanks to focus groups and exit polling the modern campaign data frequency attacks. The incumbent has about 5% advantage just by being incumbent. Despite a ruined economy and no foreign military victory to Trumpet (me so witty). The election is in fact Trump’s to lose.
Biden Can win. But I have yet to see him elaborate an actual strategy beyond “let’s win those democratic states Trump stole”. This seems to be working in Michigan but failing in Ohio.
I honestly think Trump is likelier to win Despite the cratered economy and inbound death wave. Have you looked at the Florida infection rate recently?


Much of what passes for “news” and “reporting” these days is really just marketing fakery to push a given “narrative” “story”.


1) Generate a pseudo conflict e.g. by making an outrageous counterintuitive claim, preferably one which is unverifiable or at least difficult to verify. Many people are lazy and will never bother to do their basic research. (paradox, contradiction).

2) Use that false conflict to polarize readers, preferably viewers, into two or more hostile camps. Split people into hostile groups and stoke up their mutual rage at each other. Viewers are preferable to readers since they are less likely to think critically or analytically and are also less likely to try to verify claims, or even to know how to do so.

3) Spin off as many conflict stories as possible from the generated conflict into poutrage lamentation shock and horror. The “story” now has “legs”! It must be true!

4) Use search engine optimization and fake bot accounts on social media to push aspects of the story.

5) Use one polarized segment (your audience) to destroy another polarized segment (your viewers). Ideally use two disposable factions since you might miscalculate but their mutual destruction would nonetheless serve your hidden agenda.

Season with hidden agenda and conspiracy, whether political OR economic (who cares about the truth I just want to sell product / manipulate the stock price).

Must 须   XU1 需 Need


bi4xu1 must+must/beard (male as symbol of commanding obligation)


xu1yao1 Need+Want, Require+Desire = NEED

Winter snow NEEDS to be swept away by a man with a beard.
Women WANT bags and bottles of products.

Need and Must are both xu1 but have a different character.


Book Review: Pictogram Palace

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Learn more at:

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Varia 禁 楚

at the altar before the grove the priest made clear that which was PROHIBITED

that which was prohibited was made quite clear by the clear green blue burning brazier at the altar before those who would walk past the grove.


历史 li4shi3 history

HISTORY is a central LIne in her hand SHI3

the HISTORIAN has a chopstick in her hair: One LIne on one’s head

使 an ENVOY is an historian in the EMPLOY of the government SHI3

These look similar too but do not appear to be etymologically related to

更 geng1 geng4便 replace, change (the guard); more
便 bian4 pian4更 ordinary, plain, convenient; cheap, inexpensive

須 xiu

須 xiu

It’s a pictogram.
3 lines of hair on the left
2 dots for the mustache  on the bottom
eyeball in the middle on the right
line on top on right is a hair tie chopstick.

The man with the flowing BEARD tells you what you MUST do.


Must, to have to, to be obligated.

德 de Virtue, Germany



Path on the left, light of the eye it’s focal direction on top of the all-seeing eye in the middle. line underneath is the path, implying choice, heart underneath shows it is moral choice.

the light of the all seeing eye is on the path of VIRTUE it is guided by the heart.

Approaching Chinese through homophones YU2 于 余 与

Chinese is replete with homophones. Some seem to be cognitively related. Let’s have a look at the phoneme yu2, usually in second tone.

于 余 与 all three are yu2 and are high frequency connecting characters! AT, EXCESS, RECEPTION
与 AND  宇 yu3 universe (image: a child underneath the sky-dome!.

AT, In, From. Can also function as a question particle like ma at the end of a sentence, that usage however seems literary to me as opposed to colloquial.


Extra Surplus Excess, Left over goods. Image is a house under construction with surplus material scattered about. AT this House is EXTRA construction material.

与 yu2 yu3 yu4


AND yu3

This one is the idea of mutuality, especially the mutual relation of reception by the younger generation from the donation of the elder generation.


欲 yu4


宇 yu3


雨 yu3


疑 yi2 uncertain, doubt, suspect, disbelieve.

疑 yi2

Uncertain, doubt, to suspect, to disbelieve.

Originally this was the image of a man with a walking stick as a representation of the idea of inquiry as to the proper way.
Later a road was placed to his right to make the idea clearer.
Still later, a foot symbol was added beneath that man to make the basic idea really clear.
An ox also appears in some images again to express the idea of not knowing the way: the man is guiding the ox and neither know the way.
This was then stylized and simplified to its present form.
It’s meaning extended over time to include extensions of the basic idea of uncertainty, lack of knowledge, to include disbelief, doubt, suspicion.
However, it’s core meaning is: uncertainty, implying inquiry.
This is one example where CEDict, which in many respects is very good, doesn’t reflect the Chinese language with perfect accuracy, which is tough since Chinese meanings often carry allusions and extensions not found in Western counterparts.

Uncertain, doubt, to suspect, to disbelieve.

On the left is a stylized and standardized image of a man. The top left is his open mouth asking the way bi3 匕. Yes, that character means spoon, knife, but here it is reused visually. Beneath him is shi3 矢 arrow which represents his body, his hand, and walking stick. Arrows of course represent direction, intention, awareness, focus so this stylization makes sense pictographically (his body) phonetically (sound clue as to pronunciation) and semantically (arrow as symbol of the man on his way, intent on his destination).

On the right is a representation of these ideas: the path he is on, the ox he is guiding, The top right is an inverted arrow: this figure is often used to represent the head, a circle, it’s usually pictographic. Here it is a remnant of the ox which the man is guiding, the ox also does not know the way.

Beneath is the foot figure zhi it represents the idea of his walking, that he is on a road and is also a pictographic remnant / standardization of the ox which was on his right.疑

止 zhi3 stop

路 lu4 road

正zheng1 upright

疋 pi3, ya3


Pangu (Chinese Pan-Atlas)

不知千年万年万年千年 I don’t know, thousands or tens of thousands of years?
终于终于醒过来醒过来 Finally finally awoke!
醒来是如此艰难 Awakening is like this, very hard.
擦一擦眼睛把世界看明白 wipe your eyes, look at the world, understand
清浊分明 混沌化开 distinguish clear from murky, chaos transforms and opens
清浊分明 混沌化开 distinguish clear from murky, chaos transforms and opens
从此有了阴晴暑寒 following this was shadow clarity heat and cold
从此有了兴替盛衰 following this was rise and fall, flourish and decline
从此有了日升月落 following this was sunrise and moon set
从此有了未来现在 following this was the future – now
从此就是天圆地方 following this then the round heaven, the square earth
从此就是五湖四海 following this then the five lakes, the four oceans
从此就是春华秋实 following this then spring flowers, autumn harvest
从此就是世世代代 following this then ages and generations
经历千载万载万载千载 experience a thousand loads ten thousand loads
一天一天站起来站起来 on one day – one day arose, stood up
一旦从梦中觉醒 following one dawn awoke in the middle of a dream
挺一挺腰杆把世界撑起来 standing straight, bearing a pole on the back, placing the world upright
生活起航 历史剪彩 life set sail! history’s ribbon was cut!
生活起航 历史剪彩 life set sail! history’s ribbon was cut!
从此有了阴晴暑寒 following this was shadow clarity heat and cold
从此有了兴替盛衰 following this was rise and fall, flourish and decline
从此有了日升月落 following this was sunrise and moon set
从此有了未来现在 following this was the future – now
从此就是天圆地方 following this then the round heaven, the square earth
从此就是五湖四海 following this then the five lakes, the four oceans
从此就是春华秋实 following this then spring flowers, autumn harvest
从此就是世世代代 following this then ages and generations

machine translation of poetry lol “Climbing Stork Tower”.

白日依山尽 bai ri yi shan jin
黄河入海流 huang he ru hai liu
欲穷千里目 yu qiong qian li mu
更上一层楼 geng shang yi ceng luo

Day after day
The Yellow River flows into the sea
Take it to the next level

Google… this is classical Chinese poetry. Not rap music.

Here’s my translation.

“The bright sun to the mountain goes

the yellow river to the ocean flows

the poor desire to see a thousand miles more

then climb up to a higher floor”

Maybe baidu does it better? Surprisingly it doesn’t do much better (usually does a better job than google translating Chinese).


Day by day

The flow of the Yellow River into the sea

in order to see far away

Take it to the next level


Maybe yandex??


Day by day
Yellow River into the sea
For a thousand miles
To the next level.


颂 song4 song

颂 song4 song

Song4 is a cognate. It means song in the poetic sense, ode, elegy, eulogy. Song in English also means poem but is rarely so used.

Gong1 public, duke, male on the left (phonetic) 公

Bei clam cowrie cash shell on the right 贝

(songs are performed in public for cash and are treasured)

+ 贝= 颂

螢 ying2 firefly

螢 ying2 firefly

火 火 huo3 fire
冖 mi4 cover
虫 chong2 invertebrate, creepy crawly flittiing flying
two fires on top, mi4 cover in the middle chong2 bug on the bottom fires represent
fire fire cover bug = firefly a pair of sparks in the dark a jar within to light the night firefly’s a real delight ying

Glowing. FIREFLY

How to memorize characters 看拆写比记 kan1 chai1 xie1 bi1 ji4

To memorize Chinese characters: look at them, then break them down into their componenents, then try to write them, then compare what you wrote with the character then remember all that.

Every character is a composite of sound and image to express an idea. It’s often to remember the meaning of the character than the sound since the characters are generally not phonetic. Likewise, it’s entirely possible to know a the meaning of a sound without knowing the character. Eventually however your knowledge of SOUND and IMAGE will line up! Especially if you know what the characters really mean using pictogram palace (free preview).

看拆写比 kan1 chai1 xie3 bi3 ji4

看 look at

拆 break down

写 write

比 compare

记 record, note, remember.

爰 yuan2 THUS 煖 nuan3 WARM

爰 yuan2

Pictograph of two hands pulling a thread as a symbol of the idea TO FOLLOW, THEREFORE, SEQUENCE, CONSEQUENTLY. Claws on top, hand on the lower right. Hand in the middle is a standardization, it used to be the thread, it’s a reuse of a character to depict something other than it’s main meaning.

暖 nuan3

The sun is on the left, Consequently it is WARM

煖 nuan3

A fire is on the left, Consequently it is WARM. This is a variant version of nuan3 暖 WARM.





秋 qiu1 愁 chou2

秋 qiu1

In the FALL we Burn 火 huo3 the Stalks of harvested grain 禾 he2; bonfires clear and fertilize the fields.

愁 chou2

In the Fall you WORRY  愁 chou2 ABOUT the coming winter.

做 versus 作 — a curious couple of characters!

做 zuo4

做 zuo4 is a VERY common character; it means to make, to do. Apparently it was coined recently since it does NOT appear in the liu shu tong, jia gu wen, or any other ancient sources.  Possibly it was coined to distinguish it from 作 zuo4 which ALSO means to make or do! Decomposing these characters may help.

This zuo4 做 should be understood as a hui yi zi, an associative compound character, person ren on the left and gu intentional on the right 故 gu4. 故 is a hand with a hammer on the left INTENTIONALLY hitting an old person to kill them and end their suffering. I promised you truth, not ponies.

ren+gu have no phonetic clue for zuo4 and so this 做 zuo4 must be an associative compound character and not a pictophonetic character. So this zuo4 做 means that which people intend to attain, and is make or do in exactly that sense.

Unlike 做, this zuo4, namely 作 is found in the oracle bone script. INTENTIONAL OBTENTION, INTENTIONAL ACTION. ZUO4


乍 zha4

stitched spread out cloth as a symbol of work SPREAD, STAND ON END, BRISTLING by extension AT FIRST, ABRUPTLY as a cloth which breaks

Later determinanents were added to distinguish meaning from metaphor.乍


作 zuo4


work is that which is done by people thus the ren, person, on the left is added to show not the product itself but the production thereof.作作


I hate to send you to look elsewhere but as a non-native speaker I must. Regarding the usage of the two zuo4 both of which mean MAKE, DO Angela Fang says…


秉 bing3

争 zheng1

zheng looks a lot like bing but its meaning is somewhat different.

bing3 means to grasp hold maintain秉

zheng1 means to contend fight contest争

both have a hand grasping in the middle coming from the right hand side. but bing3 just has he2 a grain stalk which that hand is grasping whereas zheng1 now features a second person ren2 abbreviated on top (it’s either dao1 knife or ren2 person, it’s abbreviated and polysemic, keyword daozitou). Originally that second person/knife was a hand and the two were contending for a slab of meat.


夬 缶 缺 It is CERTAIN that URNS are sometimes DEFICIENT…

缶 fou3

Pottery, jar, urn; it’s a mortar and pestle (or any other earthenware vessel), seen from the side. The mortar is on the bottom the pestle is on the top.缶

夬 guai4

Certain, decisive. Originally a foot on top a hand below indicating the idea of certainty through experience. Transformed to a large powerful men (da ren, fu ren) the foot now also represents his ring of authority on which he might bear his jade royal seal.夬

缺 que1

Deficiency lack absence; most often seen in 缺点 shortcoming default flaw.

This must be a hui yi zi, that is an associative compound character since it’s clearly not a pictogram or a pictophonetic character




落 (each, river luo, fall; drop.)

各 ge2 each各
Mouth calls out. Foot then comes. EACH person comes when called.
stompmouth – foot on top of mouth: EACH is repressed!
EACH person has a foot and a mouth.
Don’t put your foot in your mouth.


洛 luo4 

the river luo洛
each person comes to the river luo.


落 luo4 fall, drop; la4 lag leave behind

fall, drop落
fall like leaves drop like drips

夅 jiang4 descend
降 jiang4 fall

夂夊 zhǐ foot and foot-right-kua 㐄

Time for some game theory!

弈论 bo2yi4 lun4

博弈 boy2yi4 games (of a competitive nature) gamble+ancient name for wei qi.

论lun4 theory (talking around the wheel)


囚徒困境 qiu2 tu2 kun4 jing4

prisoner+disciple=prisoner (qiu2tu2 tudi de tu)

kun4jing4 predicament (kun4 tired difficulty jing4 border place territory boundary)

kun4jing4 does not appear to indicate the idea of lemma.


旗 Flag (Qi2)

旗 qi2 flag

This character is the image of a flag. Originally the flag was on the left; the character was simplified and standardized to its present form. The person in stocks (cangue) on the left originally was the guard tower holding the flag. The sideways/abbreviated ren2 person character on the top right was originally the flag, and appeared on the left on top of what is now the slave in stocks (cangue). The bottom right character originally was the kit and equipment of the color guard.

Today it may be most easily remembered as a square flag on the left with it’s penannt on the top right and the standard bearers kit and equipment on the lower right. Alternatively, you may like to think of the man in stocks on the left as the guard, the flag as a tool (qi2) on the lower right and the image of the penant on the top right.

In any case, tool on the lower left is also a phonetic clue: it says qi2 just like this character. A flag is a tool of state power, which includes the power to imprison exile guard and defend.

It is a pictophonetic character. Note that phonetic elements generally also are pictorial and/or semantic.

Free supplement to “Devil’s Diplomatic Dictionary” Mole; Poetic License to Ill

Mole (n.)
An infiltrator spy or other disloyal person. A disloyal spy, sent from the infernal world, to root out spies. Example sentences:
“A cat bumps into a dead mole.” 瞎猫碰到耗子
Must we suffer the infected people infecting each other and then emerging like morlochs and moles from their cavernous infection centers to infect the rest of us?
Must we hunt them ruthlessly and remorselessly like barrow wights seeking to feast on our flesh?
Is poetic license nought but a hunting permit for the most dangerous game?
License to Ill (n.)
The capacity of those who are well, to know what and with whom to jokify.

病 bing4 sick QI LAI.

病 bing4

bing4 means sick. It’s a picture of one’s ribs as a symbol of interior, inside and it is on a sickbed. the bed is sideways, the feet of the bed are on the left and the head of the bed is on top. See? Easy!

Sideways Sickbed + Inside? 病字偏旁! 就起来!Bingzi pianpang! Jiu qi lai!


条件 , 情况: tiao2jian4 versus qing2kuang4

Tiaojian条件,  qingkuang情况: tiaojian is a condition, like as in the clause of a contract. but qingkuang is a more general condition, situation, state. They are not exact synonyms but they are similar.

tiaojian CONDITION (a strip 条 + a piece (of cowhide) 件).
Tiao: this is a STRIP it is a Foot on top of a Tree. The foot stands on a strip of the tree’s branches.
Jian: is a Person next to a Cow. Guess who is gonna get turned into a PIECE of Leather?

qingkuang circumstance
qing is Heart + Clear Colored Green-Blue = FEELING 情qing

Ice+Big Brother=SITUATION. 况kuang

It’s freezing cold out my big brother has a heart set on clarity. These is the SITUATION in which we find ourselves. 情况qingkuang

静夜思 Still Night Thoughts jing4 ye4 si1

床前明 quan2 qian2 ming2 yue4 guang1
是地 yi2 shi4 di4 shang3 shuang1
ju3 tou2 wang4 ming2 yue4
di1 tou2 si1 gu4 xiang1

bright moon light before bed
doubtful is frost on land
lifting my head, hopeful bright moon
bowing my head, thinking of home

持 chi2 C.lasp H.old I.t

持 = 手 + 土 +

chi2 is a hand on the left (手shou3) a clump of earth on the top right (土tu3) and a pinching thumb on the bottom right (寸cun4)

u a r
n n tu3
4 d


“On the Beach”: A memoir

千山 the flight of a thousand birds cut short
径人 the tracks and traces of ten thousand extinguished
孤舟蓑 an old man alone in a boat in a wet raincoat
fishes in the frozen Yangtze river

all smiles kids

日 ri SUN 旦 dan DAWN 正 zheng UPRIGHT 是 shi IS

You are 是 standing upright 正 under the SHIning sun 日 at dawn 旦 and it’s a really hot day. This then is SHI是 and it means: to be. Shi’s character is a symbol: it’s a picture of the sun at dawn on top of a picture of a foot. Chinese characters are highly stylized standardized and simplified pictures. The idea of this shi is a person standing upright underneath the dawning sun. Chinese verbs don’t conjugate. That means i SHI you SHI we SHI – it’s always shi! Chinese has the simplest grammar. Verbs don’t have to agree in number or gender because Chinese doesn’t have gender or plurals really or conjugations. Let’s be egoists. Wo is Chinese for I. You can remember it with the word ego, which sounds similar I guess if you slur the g softly like – aygho – wo. Chinese wo also rhymes with Spanish yo, which also means I. So “Wo Shi”. I am! You are: ni shi. We are women shi. Can you guess what adding -men to wo does? Yes, it makes the plural, but Chinese plural only exists for people, not things. So nimen is you plural. Ta means he, but since Chinese has no gender it also means she. Can you guess what tamen means? Yep! It means them. And just like that you learned all the conjugations of to be in Chinese whether in the past present or future! Singuler: Wo shi. Ni shi. Ta shi. Plural: Women shi. Nimen shi. Tamen shi. You also learned four characters:
日 ri SUN
旦 dan DAWN
正 zheng UPRIGHT
是 shi IS

春眠不觉晓 chun mian bu jue shao

chun mian bu jue shao
处处闻啼chu chu wen ti niao
风雨声 ye lai feng yu sheng
知多hua luo zhi duo shao

dormant in spring, not asleep at dawn
hear and there the calling cry of birds
evening arrives with wind rains sound
how much do falling flowers know?

Side Hustle: Similar looking pianpang

廴 yin3

long road. Sometimes reported as long legged strider, which does’t seem to be the case; this is also not a picture of a stylized and simplified hand overtaking a person. It is variant of

彳 chi4

road, walk to emphasize the road is VERY long.

辵 chuo4 ⻍, ⻎ or ⻌

walk abbreviated form: 辶 (may have one or two dots on top, may have a curve in the middle left depending on font). These four all seem to be expressing the same idea. It’s a road, and/or a person walking along it. Yin just happens to be a much longer road.

None of the above are t to be confused with

及 ji2

which is a hand on the right grabbing a person on the left, as a symbol of:
to overtake, exceed, catch up to. No road here, just a chase and a catch. Nor to be confused with

乃 nai3

thus, then, hence: mother’s breast as symbol of consequence. No road here either.

常尝 look alike. sound the same. similar meanings! 我常常尝试.

常尝 chang2

常 this chang2 means often, repeatedly.

尝 this chang2 means taste try attempt.

they both have “esteemed” shang4 尚 (still, yet, to hold in high esteem; we Still go Toward that we Esteem 向xiang4) on top as the phonetic clue. The semantic key is the other part, for chang2 often we see a hanging curtain, which is often opened and often closed, i.e. a doorway’s curtain. 常

The other chang2 which means taste try attempt has a cloud underneath it; the cloud symbolizes the idea of changeability and possibility, possibly better weather, possibly worse weather, possibly shade, possibly sun. The great hall of heaven has a billowing white cloud underneath it may be a nice way to remember chang2 taste try attempt.尝




辛苦 xinku 幸福 xingfu

This is Xin1. It’s a picture of a dagger used to inflict corporal punishment on prisoners. So it means pain, painful, spicy-hot like chilis but most frequently is seen in xinku which means to work very hard. PAIN, HARDSHIP, HARD WORK, SPICY-HOT

N.asty XIN1

This is Xing. It looks like Xin. It sounds like Xing. But it means the exact opposite: Xing is a picture of two prisoners bound by shackles at the feet, who are about to be absolved and released and thus are LUCKY


临 lin2 FACE OVERLOOK ARRIVE 监 jian1 HARD JAIL SUPERVISE DIRECT CONTROL (look alikes with similar significations)

临 lin2

监 jian1


This is a highly stylized and simplified picture of a person bending over and inspecting, examining, objects. The person is on the top right, his eyeball has been simplified to two sticks on the left, the objects he is inspecting used to be three kou which were also a simplification of the picture of objects, now it is a weird horizontal ri and a dot on top. This simplification might be easier to write but is so deformed from the original as to be barely evident even to the trained eye.


Likewise terribly simplified. It’s a picture of a person kneeling down looking into a dish. The dish is on the bottom and is the only element which isn’t deformed. The bamboo tip on the right top is actually ren person. The two lines on the left are a stylized simplification of his big ol eyeball.

氐 底 氏 shi 派 民 foundation background clan party nation

氐 di

dao di

氏 shi

派对 pai dui

民族 min zu

These vocabulary look alike but sound different yet all concern constituents of the state.

氏 shi

clan. image was originally of a man bowing to the ground. now is a cliff and a war-dart, the idea that this clan resides at a cliff and is armed.

氐 di

foundation; name of an ancient tribe. It’s an image of the roots of a tree; or those with war-darts residing at the base of a certain cliff. the dot is ideographic indicating the idea of the lowest point of the root system of the clan, whether that root system is of a literal tree or a metaphor of the family tree.

底 di

background foundation base: the literal broad cliff where the people who call themselves the tribe dwelling at the base of the cliff live.


到底 dao di

fundamentally, in the end, in the final analysis reached the base of it all, the root of it all


民族 min zu

body+dart=nation. the nation is an armed body.

flag+person+arrow=race, ethnic group (usually, a minority). Armed people with a flag. They are not merely a group of relatives they are also politically organized.

派对 pai dui part (social, not political) but

派 pai means streams of thought, intellectual currents, by extension school of thought; but also clique, sect, faction. It is a tributary river next to another river. Without the three dots of water on the left determinant it means tributary


Connected Clashing Characters (Dissonance)

答含 he2 gei3 da2 han2

gu3 su2

容溶 rong2

合 he close 

mouth on top with something inside it as a dot below another mouth. two people kissing as symbol of closed

盒 he box

the noune form of the verb he close

给 gei give

a cognate! hold it close and kiss it because it is very lonely.

答 da answer reply return 荅


bamboo box; i suppose the bamboo symbolizes a

含 han

keep, suck on; lit. to contain in one’s mouth

谷 gu

valley, grain (grain comes from valleys).


custom convention popular coarse vulgar


hold contain countenance



Apparently these are mostly combined concept characters (hui yi si 会意思). I don’t think language drift can explain these dissonances. Some are of course pictophonetic (形声字). Anyway they are all frequent and easily confused and should be memorized by rote. Repetition is the mother of learning.


Tall Bridge for Emigrant Chinese 乔桥侨 q.uite i.mpressive a.ltitude o.ver

齐匀习 qi2 yun2 xi2 yu3 shao2 diao1
桥乔侨 qiao2
轿 jiao1 jiao4 jiao1


齐qi means level, neat, even; it is a synonym of yun 匀, which means equally distributed. 匀 Yun seems more about weight and equality whereas qi齐 seems to be more about surface areas and equal  heights.

匀yun looks like 习xi which is a fledgling birds wing as symbol of the idea of training and practice. 羽yu is the literal wing, it is a pictogram. 勺shao is a spoon with an object the dot of food on it. 刁diao is a daggar held in the mouth. These are look alikes only. They have different etymologies.

齐qi Level also looks a lot like jiao 乔 Tall. Jiao乔 means tall


乔桥侨 qiao2

乔Tall 乔

桥Bridge 桥

侨Emigrant 侨


娇轿骄 jiao

娇Pampered 娇

轿Arrogant 轿 he’s on his High horse with a War Chariot

骄Sedan Chair 骄 she’s on her High Horse carried aloft by four friends – or are they coolies?

艰 jian1 : difficult, hard, hardship

艰 jian1

stumbled on a stubborn stump in the ground looked down grabbed with my hand HARDSHIP is J.ust I.ncredibaly A.nnoying, N.o? JIAN1

Hand+Stopped*Staring = 艰

It’s composed of of hand on the left you4 and stopped & staring person  gen on the right. The eyeball is simplified to the same character as the sun.

艮 gen

this is a picture of a person stopped and staring down and backward. eyeball on top, two legs below x (or is it Y?) at the bottom is the root they are stumbling over.

良 liang

良 liang  good : it’s a picture of a pot of food. The dot on top indicates the lid’s handle. A big pot of fresh food as symbol of good, fresh, much.

带常堂 Belt Often Great-Hall 鱼龟黾 蝇 fish frog toad fly (easily confused characters…)


belt often great-hall

dai4 chang2 tang2

Belt and Often look similar but are different in sound and meaning. Belt has an image of the belt as three lines through one line on top. Beneath is 巾 jin cloth

In contrast “often” has the abbreviated form of shang 尚 on top as a sound clue.

Tang, hall, as in great hall, room, has the symbol for earth beneath the abbrievated form of shang 尚.

fish frog toad fly

yu2 gui1 min3 ying4

需要,隔离,and 买到。

需要 require,

隔离 separate


Rain on a beard? Snow sweeper MUST Xu1. 需
Booze on top of a girl? WANTS Yao1 要
隔Sideways Mountain+Tripod Pot= Ge2 SEPARATE (Mountain are different from dinner pots) 隔
Brain box on top of a sexy ass w/ swinging tail below? UNICORN, LEAVE li2 离
Big head on a roof with nothing on top? BUY mai as in my 买
Arrow hitting the earth on the left, swords on the right? REACH, TO Dao 到

乂义 丈 史 吏 使更 便 govern justice husband historian civil servant ambassador more convenient

乂义丈史吏使更便 in this character series we see the unfolding of an abstract concept into its various concrete instances. Meanings: govern justice husband historian civil servant ambassador more convenient. Details follow.


regulate govern control “x marks the spot”. yi4


justice. this is simplified. revolutionary justice is execution: it doesn’t just look like a skull and crossbones. yi4

丈 zhang

Literally ten feet but much more frequently as zhangfu, husband. zhang4

史 shi

Originally an ambassador who would go to the neutral zone between (中) two armies. So it is a distortion of zhong1 (中). In modern Chinese: a historian. shi3

吏 li

Memotechnique: Mr. Li is a civil servant. 李先生 是一位 吏

Although the name li (李) means plum tree the term li means civil servant, functionnaire, bureaucrat. li4

使 shi3

Ambassador. To differentiate the ambassador from a mere historian or civil servant administrative scholar the human determinant is added to the left. 大使馆 dashiguan embassy. shi3

更 geng

This is the night watchman he bears a drum and beats out the time every Two Hours. By extension: exchange, rotation. The idea is that of the night watchman so it’s meaning requires a bit of context. The guard walks the central () field (田) between two competing armies. His patrol rounds are TWO HOURS; CHANGING (of the guard). geng1 One civil servant walks the field at two a.m. to sound the night watch of the changing of the guard.

更 geng

This is the night watchman  By extension: more. His patrol is two MORE hours. One civil servant walks the field (田) at two a.m. to sound the night watch of the changing of the guard. geng4

便 bian

Convenient; euphemism for using the toilet because it is ORDINARY and CONVENIENT to USE THE TOILET

Memotechnique: some guy at 2 a.m. off to the side of the night watchman taking a piss in the woods. This is why he is not an ambassador historian or civil servant! bian4

便 pian

Cheap, inexpensive. Pian2. CHEAP things cost a penny pianyi. Cheap things are convenient.

“See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” is a bad translation.



“The words of Confucius: Do not look at that which is improper, do not listen to that which is improper, do not say that which is improper, and do not do that which is improper.” Analects


子曰、非礼 勿视、非礼勿听、非礼勿言、非礼勿动。
Zǐ yuē, fēilǐ wù shì, fēilǐ wù tīng, fēilǐ wù yán, fēilǐ wù dòng.


Bright day is how short? So short.
Thousand years full of hardship
Vault of heaven so vast
Thousand thieves too grand
Two tresses hang from her temples
One half’s already frost
Heaven’s emperor doesn’t see jade maid
grand laugh falls on a million threshing floors
I wish to seize six dragons
Return the vehicle suspended by Shangri La
The big dipper pours fine wine
Heaven’s dragon drinks a draught
fame and fortune undesired
one stays by the face of light







You will know the truth

and the truth will set you free.

I never said you would like the truth.

I also never promised riches, or even survival.

Be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves.

Getting My Goat: KFTG.

羊 goat
羊肉 goat meat
群 crowd
群众 masses
海洋 ocean
海洋馆 customs house
怎么样 how about
不怎么样 not much
一样 same thing
样子 appearance face visage
各种各样 any type, any kind, i.e. assorted
样式 type, style
榜样 example, model
模样 look style fashion of appearance
样品 sample specimen
照样 as usual
氧气 oxygen
二氧化碳 carbon dioxide to be continued and colorized



饲养 它们在农场里饲养动物




佥: 检, 俭, 捡, 剑, 脸, 险, 签, 验 J.udgement, I.nspection A.nd selectioN

qian1 all

检 jian3 check inspect examine

俭 jian3 frugal thrifty

捡 jian3 collect gather

剑 jian4 sword

脸 lian3 visage face

险 xian3 danger

签 qian1 signature

验 yan4 examine inspect

佥 is a simplified character. The simplified form resembles a box of lots as in draw straws. In Chinese culture such lots were used not only for divination but also were used by courts when issuing sentences of judgement. Thus the idea of the image is inspection selection judgement. These are all final -ian and  initial j,q,x are the most frequent initials. Words that rhym with IAN and imply inspection selection and judgement are indicated.

佥 ALL – looks like an A on top of an L.
Depicts a box of lots. ALL have a destiny, a fate. qian1



捡 HANDs ALL PICK UP things such as cast lots. jian3

剑 ALL KNIVES may be used as SWORDS jian4

脸 BODIES: ALL have a FACE lian3


签 BAMBOO brushes are used in ALL SIGNATURES qian1




qin2jian3 dilligence

lian3hong1 blush

保险bǎoxiǎn insurance
fēngxiǎn risk
màoxiǎn adventure
wei1xian3 danger

qiānshǔ signature
qiānzhèng visa

化验Huàyàn chemical test
jiǎnyàn test
考验kǎoyàn  ordeal
试验shìyàn experiment
yànshōu check and accept
验证yànzhèng test and verify

12 earthly branches mnemonics


Zi chǒu yín
mǎo chén sì
wǔ wèi
shēn yóu
xū hài

z ch y m ch s w w sh y x h

zun cho-clown
12 noon-woo
yo hshu spear

one-son ugly-clown
target-tiger mortise-mao
clam-cutter snaky-baby
12-noon not-yet
lightning-god candle-cause
seven-spear big-boar

zee cho yin mao chen
see woo way shen shoo
yo hi

北斗七星 the Seven Stars of the Northern Dipper Ursa Major

北斗七星 bei dou qi xing ursa major

天枢  SKY PIVOT (贪狼 voracious wolf) 
天璇 HEAVENLY JADE (巨门 big gate)
天玑 SK PEARL (禄存 lucky deposit) 
天权  HEAVENLY POWER (文曲  cultured song) 
玉衡 JADE MEASURE (廉贞 incorruptible chaste)
开阳  OPEN SUN (武曲 martial song)
瑶光  JADE LIGHT (破军 broken army)
左辅 LEFT AID (洞明 bright cave) 

真 zhen1 其 qi2 具ju4

These three characters look alike and are high frequency, they are good characters for judgement.

真 zhen1

is originally an image of two people at a food pot: the food is represented by the cross on top and it is GENUINE. The two people transformed into two hands beneath the food pot is the square in the middle. They are inspecting the food to make sure it is GENUINE
Newbies REAL

其 qi2

this is a high frequency example of a rare method for forming characters: 假借 iǎ jiè or “borrowed” “phonetic loan” characters. It’s an image of a woven dustpan, but that character was “borrowed” to represent the same sound in the more general context of IT HIS HERS THEIR SUCH THAT
Basket on top, 2 graspy hands below.

Intellectuals IT



is the image of two hands (the dots below) handling a pot of food on top (the square with lines). See hanziyuan thereto.


家具 jia1ju4 furniture
面具 mian4ju4 mask
具 ju4 tool

So here is a sample sentence using all three:

我不是魔鬼,我是真的。 其他的人穿面具,我没有。

真 real
生活的其他的人 the lives of others
面具 masks

List of Chinese huiyizi (associative idea characters)

Hui yi zi are those characters formed by combining two other characters to express some meaning common to both; the canonical example is ming, bright, congming de ming. It’s the image of the sun and moon together in the sky; the two brightest objects representing together the idea “bright”.

This is a list of Chinese huiyizi. I do not know with certainty whether it is complete, it likely isn’t since around 15% of Chinese characters are huiyizi.

Unfortunately I have yet to find a really good translation of hui yi zi: it literally means “meeting idea characters”. I translate it as associative idea characters, which is the concept, but unfortunately there seems to be no canonical term for them in English, even though they are an important character class and are why students have difficulty pronouncing characters. If you know you are looking at a huiyizi and not a picto-phonetic character you are likelier to recognize its’ meaning and even to recall its pronunciation.

I have not yet added definitions of these terms to this list. This post is thus just a placeholder for now.


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O.bserve M.y G.lorious NET罒

It is the observant eye of providence looking upon the glorious realm for any who violate law entrapping such in a NET.

It is both EYE and NET.

Gaze of gauze.


Cover, Shade.

Net Eyeball on top.
Excellence zhou underneath.


Beware my powerful purpose.


lao2gong4 jie4ji2

the working class


who has power in the farmer’s stall? grass+roof+power=work

gears TOOL (picture of ancient chinese spade-fork).

jie RANK
(at the foothills outside the city +
insert, introduce  — overlapping scaled armor=

(honored scroll of thread+overtake=Degree)


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