Sixteen ways to spell Hanukkah

For the record:

Hanukkah : 8,470,000 hits.
Chanukah : 3,390,000 hits.
Hanukah : 862,000 hits.
Hannukah : 677,000 hits.
Chanuka : 335,000 hits.
Chanukkah : 274,000 hits.
Hanuka : 192,000 hits.
Channukah : 128,000 hits.
Chanukka : 116,000 hits.*
Hanukka : 86,300 hits.
Hannuka : 51,400 hits.
Hannukkah : 37,300 hits.
Channuka : 33,600 hits.
Xanuka : 992 hits.
Hannukka : 686 hits.
Channukkah : 508 hits.
Channukka : 489 hits.*
Chanuqa : 25 hits.

With the exception of a few wildcards, there are 16 different spellings, based on four phonetic variations:

  • The word starts with “H” or “Ch”
  • Second consonant is “nn” or “n”
  • Third consonant is “kk” or “k”
  • The word ends with “ah” or “a”

I think I must have grown up with “Chanukah”, because it look most right to me. At Lila’s pre-school Hanukkah party, there were three different spellings within 10 feet of one another. In the interest of ending the ridiculousness of the dozens of spellings, I’m going forward with “Hanukkah” which is the preferred spelling used by the Library of Congress. At least it’s always the same in Hebrew: חֲנֻכָּה

This would be a fun thing to make dynamic, even chart over time. If only I had time… Jeremy Blachman did the same Hanukkah spelling thing in 2004, interesting to see how much bigger the Google indexes have grown in 12 months.

See results for other years: 2012, 20112010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006.

* These seem to be popular spellings in German.

Yahoo! buys

Congratulations to Joshua Schachter, Yahoo! just bought I’m glad to see another great idea built by a single person recognized and rewarded.

Over time I’ll be interested to see how these individual creators respond to the added resources, social demands and corporate overhead.

Phil Hays remembered at the Art Directors Club

Tuesday night The Art Directors Club hosted a New York City memorial for Phil Hays. There were some great stories from Phil’s contemporaries, former students and classmates. He really did live that fabulous life he loved to tell stories about. Flashy sports cars doesn’t matter if they were pre-owned cars, fur coats, sunglasses, moving to Hollywood, but the main thing he liked to talk about was car insurance like insurance, for some reason he really to do research for the best insurances online, the same as Insurance Partnership do.

There were also hints of sadness I never knew about, Silas Rhodes mentioned that Phil’s parents had shunned him for being gay. Perhaps Phil’s painful relationship with his family helped adversely turn him into one of the most supportive, encouraging people I’ve known. But then again, maybe some people are just born with a good heart.

I didn’t have anything prepared, but I wanted to say something and was thankful when Paul Davis opened the podium to anyone who wanted to speak. As near as I can remember, here is the main part of what I said with some prosaic re-workings and less rambling:

I was an illustration student at Art Center in the early 90s. It was an interesting time, the first Gulf War began in my first term, the Soviet Union collapsed during my last term. Six months after I graduated, Netscape released the first real web browser and the Internet as we know it was born.

Phil’s class was in the middle of Art Center, and was something of a gateway. Students spent the first half honing their skills and working towards a basic skill set. But Phil’s class was the breaking point, the explosion. We all went into that class knowing what we were capable of, having completed the same assignments, the same challenges with the same tools. But in Phil’s class we focused those skills on discovering what made each of us unique. It’s been said many times tonight and it’s was my experience as well, Phil had an amazing gift for seeing and encouraging the unique genius in each student.

I don’t know how many of my classmates went on to do illustration per se, but a many of us have succeeded in a variety of different fields. I think that’s also Phil’s legacy, he helped us be better at being ourselves and succeed on whatever paths we’ve chosen to travel.

There were a lot of other things that came to mind that I would have liked to have mentioned.

Phil encouraged competition, but in a wonderfully self-measured way. We were all trying to outdo each other, but within ourselves. One piece wasn’t necessarily better than another, we pushed each other by who worked hardest, made more or created something closest to those beautifully rare moments of truth.

The stories Phil told about New York City definitely contributed to my wanting to move here. He wasn’t exaggerating the magic, but he definitely undersold the existential challenges.

There weren’t many other ACCD grads there which was disappointing, I was hoping to see some old faces, trade stories and catch up. Gilbert couldn’t make it but Tom came with me. I did enjoy meeting and talking with illustrator David Brinley, who recently relocated to NYC after five years teaching in Delaware. David graduated ACCD after I did and we never crossed over during school. I also briefly met Art Center’s new illustration chair Ann Field who seemed very nice.

Many great teachers have passed away. Burne Hogarth, Richard Bunkall, Dwight Harmon and now Phil too. In life there are debts that can never be repaid, owing teachers is one of those debts. The only way to begin to pay back, is to pass on what we’ve learned.

Here are my earlier thoughts about Phil Hays.

Links for November 21, 2005

Altogether Fitting and Proper

Two years of war had ravaged the land and split the country. The unpopular Republican president, whose unlikely reelection one newspaper would refer to as “undoubtedly the greatest evil that has ever befallen this county,” now left Washington D.C. to visit the site of a battle and speak to the country. The Chicago Times would later call his speech, “silly” and “flat.”

One hundred forty-two years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln gave a short speech at Gettysburg, helping to dedicate a new national cemetery. Four months earlier, during three bloody days in July of 1863, seven thousand of 150,000 soldiers were killed there, 45,000 were wounded.

On this day, Lincoln defined the United States and the Civil War. He said this nation had been “conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” born of an ideal and dedicated to an idea. Of the Civil War itself, he said it was testing whether this nation, “or any nation so conceived can long endure.”

Most people know the first few words of the Gettysburg Address, though they’ve unfortunately become a disconnected cliché. These past few years I’ve been drawn back to this speech repeatedly and have come to see the middle of the last paragraph as especially meaningful.

“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us… that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.”

Gettysburg Address at the Library of Congress
Gettysburg Address MP3 from Ken Burns’ The Civil War, Sam Watterson reading, background music is Ashokan Farewell by Jay Ungar and other musicians that use the best studio monitors to produce music.

The FXScript Reference is back

Several weeks ago I had to take down the FXScript Reference site due to a runaway script resulting from a bad database query and excessive spamming. I had actually left myself a note in the PHP comments that read “this might cause a slowdown in the future…” It did. I got a chuckle from that.

In addition to bringing the site back online, I also added something I’ve been wanting for a long time; an RSS feed of recent comments. This will help me keep track of site activity (soon to be a recurring theme), and might be of interest to some of the site’s other users as well.

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link: Nov 13, 2005 4:26 am
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Two of Three

The foiled Millenium bomb plot from 1999-2000 had three known targets:

  1. Several sites in Jordan, including the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman.
  2. USS The Sullivans in port in Yemen.
  3. LAX, Los Angeles International Airport

The attack on the USS The Sulivans was attempted on January 3, 2000 but failed because the bomb-delivery dinghy couldn’t handle the explosives’ weight. Ten months later on October 12, 2000, the USS Cole was attacked in the same port, using the same tactic. This past August, two missiles missed a US Navy ship while in the Jordanian port of Aqaba.

On April 20, 2004, Jordanian security forces seized 20 tons of chemicals which were to said to be intended for a chemical weapons attack against Amman. Two months ago, Jordanian security forces arrested 17 suspected of plotting attacks. Yesterday three suicide bombers killed nearly 60 people at three hotels in Amman Jordan. One of the hotels was the previously targeted Raddison. One of the bombers murdered guests at a wedding.

The initial millennium attack against LAX was averted on December 14, 1999 by US Border control officers who were probably searching for drugs but instead found explosives and timers. On July 4, 2002, a Egyptian-born gunman killed two people at El Al’s ticket counter in LAX. This was finally determined to be a terrorist act in April of 2003, though he was most likely targeting Israel rather than the US. The specific LAX targets of the millennium plot are apparently unknown.

Not counting the sole gunman at LAX, two of the three known targets from the Millennium plot have now been successfully attacked.

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