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December 5th, 2012

12:40 am - Language is Weird!
Language is Weird!
Shouting Across Many Waters

The new Wii U video game console from Nintendo has a start screen which depicts crowds of virtual characters gathering and conversing in virtual space. This virtual environment is called 'WaraWara Plaza', and Nintendo tells us this is a Japanese term meaning 'bustling' or 'busy'. Back in June we were given the following definition: "Mii WaraWara, taken from the Japanese's "warawara" (the sound of things happening, in Japanese)." and also "Developers called it the "Mii Wara wara." (Japanese onomatopoeia for general noise of a crowd.)"


I love onomatopoeia, and I think this is appropriate, but Americans have expressed difficulty in pronouncing this imported term. But I find it VERY odd that Nintendo is working so hard to explain what they seem to think is a uniquely Japanese term. See, as a video editor I know better! The American term for artificial bustling crowd noise in sound editing is "Walla". When recording ADR (additional Dialog Recording) it's common to just repeat "walla" over and over to imitate crowd noise, although I've also heard "rhubarb" and "peas and carrots". You'll often hear about people hiring a "walla group" to come in and fake crowd noise in films.


So I'm convinced this is an example of Japan borrowing a term from English. I would translate the term for the Nintendo screen as "Walla Walla Plaza". Clearly they had some trouble with the "L" sound, and converted it accordingly. I've always heard that the editing term 'walla' was derived from the city name 'Walla Walla Washington'. That makes the double repetition of the name make perfect sense in English - whereas usually the odd repetitions in Japanese come off a little weird.

OK, so that all makes a kind of sense, more or less. Things get really weird if you ask how that city in America got named. That city was named after an indigenous American Indian tribe, and is supposed to translate to mean 'many waters'. Turns out even this explanation has a bit of controversy.


Powers himself believe that “wallie” came from the word wallim, meaning “down below,” which the Yosemite Indians (ed. Notes: Paiutes) “applied to the lower tribes with a slight feeling of contempt.” Powers noted that the Indians on the Stanislaus and Tuolumne used the term freely in conversing among themselves, (ed. Note; Possibly because they were talking about their tribe Walla Walla?) “but on the Merced it is not heard, except among Americans.” Power’s conclusions, while interesting, do not seem that persuasive.

A quick search through the most common words in the Mariposa and Tuolumne dialects, however, suggests only one word that resembles Perlot’s “oualai”, and that is oyea, which means “mean man” (Tuolumne: uyeayu). While the Mariposan word for earth, dirt, or world is walli, it seems to make no sense as a greeting. The Pomo word for the phrase “on both sides” is wa’li, Perlot used it as a greeting so often and so successfully that his friends jokingly called him “Mr. Oualai.”

So we have a long history where the term was being used in California at a time of rapid expansion in the States. It's funny to think the term was shouted when different cultures were trying to communicate on the same land where one day Hollywood editors would be using the term to describe faking communication in films. As an editor, I can use 'walla' to remove any actual language from a film soundtrack. Video games have always made extensive use of walla since using actual recorded speech is expensive and requires replacement for each language a game might be played in. Language is weird.

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May 9th, 2011

11:07 pm - Quantum Duck's Mutant of the Week!
I'm not normally one to do media references or fan art, but everyone has their indulgences. Here we can see mutant genes cause Cancer:

Current Location: home
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

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May 3rd, 2011

12:39 am - Another Mutant Rears it's Ugly Trunk:

I love it when I can do more painting and surface detail on my drawings. I think I kinda zoned out and spent a couple hours reticulating the skin here.

There have been more elephant trunks in the last few months of mutants than any other animal part! Am I having some kind of subliminal masculine artistic overcompensation kinda deal? Perhaps I'll just have to release a "Trunk of the Month" calendar next year.
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: deviousdevious
Current Music: The Golden Age - The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

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April 6th, 2011

11:31 pm - A Week Without Home Internet
Last Wednesday my internet connection went out. After a day, I called Comcast to have them figure out what had gone wrong this time. The things that had gone wrong are numerousCollapse )

At least my connection is now limping along, rather than dead. I really do hate my current ISP. I really wish any of the alternatives were much better. So far: all of my Houston internet connections have been crap.
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: TeeVee

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December 22nd, 2010

11:41 pm - Writer's Block: Good eats
What's your favorite holiday food? Is there any holiday dish you hate?

Egg Nog, yo! Egg Nog! Who doesn't love egg nog?!! (Apart from my brother, that is.)

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November 27th, 2010

04:52 am - Quantum Duck's Mutant of the Week!
It's now officially been a year since I began the process of creating the Mutant of the Week series! The first mutant was drawn on 11/29/09, after doodling a few during the Holiday week. I noticed the 'Star' section of the Houston Chronicle newspaper, and doodled the 'Starfish' mutant directly onto the star shaped page header on the newspaper. My son and I laughed about it for hours, and that got me thinking that I could do this as a way of keeping my brain sharper.

I suppose I could rest on my laurels after a full year of pretty decent work, but I actually have roughly 40 more ideas bouncing around inside me. Originally I figured being underemployed would give me lots and lots of time to work on these, but that all changed when I went and got a job this Autumn. We'll see how I can keep up the pace in the coming months.

(I think her trainer named her Coco.)

I added a fancy drop-down menu to the Mutants Web Page so it's easier to jump to mutants by name. I may even drop the increasingly distracting grid of thumbnails on that page after the end of this year.

In other news, I have list of many non animal puns which cry out for illustration, but I have no idea if I'll ever have enough time to do two series of illustrations. Perhaps I'll just sneak in a few here and there.
Current Location: home
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: The Bird and the Worm - Owl City

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November 12th, 2010

01:22 am - Long time no post
It's been far too long since I posted here. It's been weeks since I even made a mutant art post. Since I last wrote here I've said goodbye to a dear part of our family while she goes off to find her bliss in Japan, and endured the most profound pain a man can endure at the same time (kidney stones - which are like getting punched in the groin repeatedly - but from the inside.)

After that I got a job offer a small internet startup created by guys who used to do stage magic, dinner theatre, and independent film production -all the while booking petrochemical video gigs to make ends meet. Once I began to fit in there - and take on lots of extra work - I decided I could finally get that painful surgery that my kidney stone and crazy life had been putting off. It's been over a week since my surgery, and I'm finally beginning to feel totally human again. My body has reclaimed parts of itself that it had been avoiding checking up on for days.
Read more about gross body stuffCollapse )
Current Location: home
Tags: ,

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September 16th, 2010

11:16 pm - Writer's Block: Fall Fashion
What's your favorite trick for freshening up your wardrobe?

After I've worn my wardrobe a few times, I like to wash it in warm water with a (socially responsible) unscented detergent. That's fresh enough for me!

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September 12th, 2010

08:09 pm - Quantum Duck's Mutant of the Week!
Terrible puns return to center stage this week.

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: awakeawake

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September 5th, 2010

12:43 am - Quantum Duck's Mutant of the Week!
The solution for a warming world.

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished

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