Chinese: Until this week, I always thought 桌围 (zhuō wéi, lit. table around) meant around/round, because tables are often round and people often sit around tables. But the correct phrase is actually 周围 (zhōu wéi).

Food: About two months ago, for Chinese New year, Panda Express released their 8 Treasure Chicken Breast. According to their Director of Culinary Innovation, the dish “brings together a celebration of [their] roots with nostalgic Chinese ingredients, such as sausage and fermented black beans.” The sodium content is a little high (960 mg), but I think the dish tastes great (recipe here), and I’ll miss it when it comes off the menu on March 27.

I also had Eggs Benedict and some prepared food at Whole Foods, both for the first time. The former was good, but I felt a little barbaric mopping yolk off a plate with bread in a rather fancy restaurant setting. The latter was very good, but also rather pricey ($8.99 per pound).

Philosophy: In Existential Comics #266, a group of philosophers present their thoughts on life through the game of Jenga. Heidegger is obsessed with death and anxiety, Camus wonders if we should play at all, de Beauvoir thinks we shouldn’t question it, and the Buddha wants us to detach ourselves from material objects and silly games.

South Park: In S16E9 (“Raising the Bar”), one character says “we’re in the pipe, five by five.” I was surprised, thinking it was a reference to StarCraft, but the phrase actually originates from Aliens (see here). According to answers on Quora, the writers wanted a military-sounding speech pattern, so they concatenated an aviation term with a radio term.



Basketball: The Rockets have been dominating, and the competition for the playoffs in the West is tight. DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love started discussions on mental health, and Kawhi Leonard denied rumors of friction between him and the Spurs. Finally, Kobe Bryant won an Oscar, but given his existing stature, this doesn’t seem that impressive.

Board games: A friend recently purchased some games, including Power Grid (which I’ve wanted to play for a while), and Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 (though neither of us has played Season 1, one of the biggest names in the community since it was released in 2015). I hope we’ll play something next week, during Spring recess.

Chinese: A friend and I were talking about risk factors for getting one’s visa checked, and apparently, knowing machine learning has become one of them. Among people aged 25-44 working in Silicon Valley, over 78% of women and 70% of men were born outside of the United States. New words: 间谍 (jiàn dié, spy), 签证 (qiān zhèng, visa).

Music: George Ezra – BarcelonaParadisePretty Shining People; Macklemore feat. Kesha – Good Old Days.

Soccer: Manchester City has qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League, along with Liverpool, Juventus, and two-time defending champions Real Madrid. Last year’s final was one of the first full matches I’ve watched in a while, and although I was very impressed with Real, I felt really bad for Juventus (and Gianluigi Buffon, in particular).