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Definitions of the word Geek

Chic to be Geek

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Cyber Grrlz The e-zine for girls with brains and a sense of humor  (smarter guys will like it too)!

Technology Mis-Quotes
Translation Mix-ups
Name That Computer... Contest!
Why do barber's poles ... ... have red and white stripes?
Year 2000 or Y2K

"!97/07/11 PDP a ni deppart m'I !pleH" would be typical humor of the late 1970's, Programmable Data Processor.  The conventions of the assembler in which PDP machine programs are usually written are such that, when visible to the programmer, the machine language of the PDP computer caused all the content to appear backwards.

A Chronological Timeline of Technology Mis-Quotes

1876 a Western Union internal memo "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
1920s David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio. "The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"
1943 Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM. "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
1949 Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science. "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
1957 The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall. "I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year."
1968 Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, commenting on the microchip. "But what ... is it good for?"
1977 Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
1981 Bill Gates "Who in their right mind would ever need more than 640k of ram!?"
1999 Al Gore, VP USA. "How could [Y2K] be a problem in a country where we have Intel and Microsoft?"

Why does the barber's pole have red and white stripes?

Before the 1700s, in addition to cutting hair, barbers throughout Europe pulled teeth, performed minor surgery, and practiced bloodletting (ouch, and I don't even trust my barber to make my sideburns even). During bloodletting, patients squeezed a pole to allow their blood to flow more freely. The pole was often painted red to mask bloodstains.

At the end of the operation the pole was wrapped in the white bandages used during the operation and put outside the shop to air. As a result, a red-and-white pole became associated with barbershops and barber guilds adopted it as their trademark.

Later, a knob was added to the top of the pole to symbolize the basin that was used to collect blood during bloodletting and whip up cream for shaving. In the USA, the color blue was added to the pole to match the flag's colors.

Just in case you really wanted to know.

Anonymous Quotation

"Trust the computer industry to shorten the term 'Year 2000' to 'Y2K'. It was that kind of thinking that got us into this situation in the first place."

Are you an individual who is concerned about the upcoming millenium and the effects it is going to have on -- Your bank statements?  Your stocks?  Your credit cards?  Your Social Security?  Your Taxes?  Your own computer?  Have you given any thought to the effects on financial statements and, hence, you, too?  Read on for what's New @ Eye on Y2K.


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Translation Mix-ups

The American Dairy Association's huge success with the campaign "Got Milk?" prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention the Spanish translation read "Are you lactating?"

Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer From Diarrhea."

Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign:   "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux."

Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick," a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "Manure Stick."

When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the labels of what's inside, since many people can't read.

Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious pornographic magazine.

An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I Saw the Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read "I Saw the Potato" (la papa).

Pepsi's "Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave" in Chinese.

The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Kekoukela", meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "kokou kole", translating into "happiness in the mouth."

Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as "it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."

When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you."  The company thought that the word "embarazar" (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant".

When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its "Fly In Leather" campaign literally, which meant "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero) in Spanish.