Know Your Picture Characters #52

May 2nd, 2011 by Wordsman

A. 移り気 B. 社交的 C. 心配性 D. 短気 E. 生意気 F. 楽天的

You may know your picture characters, but how well do you really know yourself?  Let’s see.

Theoman knows himself perhaps even better than he realizes.  He first noted that he is whimsical, and this trait above all else seems to have defined his responses.  The Japanese word for whimsicality is represented by characters meaning “movement” and “spirit,” calling to mind the image of a mind constantly in motion, flitting from one place to the next.  In this case, Theoman’s whimsical mind reversed his two answers.  He found C whimsical and A worrisome, but it turned out that they were the other way round.

A Fan ignored the instruction to relate his guesses to his own personality, which some might consider E, impertinent.  But he did his best to make up for it by telling a story about a table, which could in its own peculiar way tell us about the author himself.  Does he see himself as being like the table, the symbol of flatness, ever even-keeled, a personality trait that is not particularly well represented among this list?  Or does the saga of the table’s inevitable fall suggest a short-tempered individual ever teetering on the edge, as one finds at D? (Note: the word used here for “short-tempered” actually uses a character that means “short.”)  This second possibility seems more likely, as his usually reliable shotgun method failed to earn him a single correct answer this week.

Shirley, then, is the only contestant this week to get one right.  However, she may or may not be pleased to learn that her intuition was sharpest with regard to C, the worrywart.  Apparently knowledge of Scandinavian Angst is not to be scorned.  Her “whimsical thing” at the end of B and F is, sadly, simply a suffix used to turn nouns into adjectives.  Then again, by itself this character means “target,” and it is made up of components meaning “white” and “ladle,” so maybe the fact that none of these things seem to have anything to do with each other could be regarded as pretty whimsical (or speak to the whimsicality of whoever made the character up in the first place).  In fact, B and F are the sociable fellow and the optimist, respectively, making them probably the most well-balanced members of the group.  But where would we be without all the brazen, short-tempered, whimsical worrywarts to make things more interesting?

All this business about emotions and personality is pretty murky.  It’s time to get back to cold hard facts, and as facts go, none are colder or harder than numbers.  You may recall that, way back (roughly one year ago), we had a quiz on numbers.  It was our first KYPC challenge.  That quiz, though, only went as high as the number ten.  Surely you’re not satisfied with only knowing how to count that high!  It’s about time I expanded your horizons.  Those who are disturbed by large quantities of zeroes can stick to the small stuff, your hundreds, thousands, and ten thousands . . . that’s right, ten thousands!  While we in the west group our large numbers by the thousands (thousand, million, billion, etc.), traditional East Asian counting systems use ten thousand (ten thousand, hundred million, trillion, etc.)  Think of it as writing a comma every 4 zeroes instead of every 3.  But anyway, I’m expecting that these large, intimidating sums will be left to anyone who, say, happened to minor in math at a reputable educational institution at some point.

And for those of you who, like me, have trouble conceiving of what such giant numbers could possibly mean, try this helpful guide:

A hundred seconds is about how long it might take you to microwave your frozen lunch
A thousand seconds is about how long it might take you to bring a large pot of water to boil
Ten thousand seconds is about how long it might take you to watch a two-act play or a musical
One hundred million seconds is about how long it might take you to finish college if you came in with sophomore standing
A trillion seconds is about as old as the oldest known cave paintings
Ten quadrillion seconds ago is before the age of the dinosaurs

A. 億 B. 京 C. 千 D. 兆 E. 百 F. 万

Posted in Know Your Picture Characters | 6 Comments »

6 Responses

  1. A Fan Says:

    D. Two dinosaurs about to have a dinosaur duel. That could only have happened 10 quadrillion seconds ago.

    F. A slightly whimsical version of the table from last week’s quiz. That’s the surprise answer, 604,800, i.e., the number of seconds ina week,

  2. A Fan Says:

    Also, E. is the table at this exact moment, so the number is zero seconds.

    F. is the futuristic version, because the table top can now levitate. but not that far in the future, especially in Japan, where I think the trains levitate (unless that’s France, can we have a quiz about French next week?)

    Anyway, stop asking so many questions about tables.

  3. A Fan Says:

    Sorry. F. in the previous comment should be B.

  4. TheomanZero Says:

    B is one hundred million because it’s the only one I think I might have seen before.
    A is so complicated that it must be ten quadrillion. So that leaves D as a trillion.

  5. Dragon Says:

    A has to be the biggest number. Ten quadrillion or whatever. I mean, look at that thing.

  6. Shirley Says:

    D. to boil pot of water because it looks looks like I feel (about to get very annoyed) when I’m doing that. Watched pots never boil,you know.

    A. looks ancient, like dinosaurs.

    B. for the cave paintings because I love those paintings and B. is the cutest so I like it best.

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