Tweeting The Mona Lisa

As many of you know, Twitter limits you to only 140 characters in each "tweet." That doesn't sound like much... but if you try you can cram a good deal of data in those 140 characters! In fact, Quasimondo figured out how to tweet a pretty good version of the Mona Lisa!

The technique was pretty clever: Tweet in Chinese! Twitter allows you to use UTF8 characters, which means if you pick a language with a lot of possible letters -- like Chinese -- you can encode a great deal of data into one single letter. If properly encoded, you can cram 210 bytes of data into 140 Chinese letters.

So, the guy came up with a way to sketch the Mona Lisa in about 200 bytes, then encoded it into 140 Chinese letters. You can see the results below, which look pretty cool. The English translation is a tad odd, however:

The whip is war
that easily comes
framing a wild mountain.

Hello, you in the closet,
singing--posing carved peaks
of sound understanding.

Upon a kitchen altar
visit a prostitute--
an ugly woman saint--
who decoys.

lonesome mountain valley,
your treasury: a dumb corpse and
funeral car, idle choke open.

exactly what you would call nervous.
Well, do not suggest recalcitrance
those who donated sad.

The smell of a rugged frame
strikes cement block once.

Where you?
Cape. Cylinder. Cry.

Interesting... It makes me wonder what the Tao Te Ching would "look" like... It also makes me wonder what kind of word salad we would get if we "translated" corporate logos into Chinese...

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