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Question of the Day

Thursday, Sep 5, 2013

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

This. Is. Awesome.

Here’s good news for all you expatriates of Qo’noS.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security exists to help all of its residents, not just the human ones. Which is why, on their website, if you want to ask a question regarding a claim, you may, in fact, sign into the website in Klingon. So you may read the site, ask questions and get answers, even if your foreign language happens to be foreign enough to be from another planet.

Question: What else should the state consider implementing from science fiction?

I mean, I can’t be the only one slightly concerned about our lack of Sharknado preparedness.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        

  1. - Barton Lorimor - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 12:48 pm:

    By the way - I feel as if the folks at WBEZ should be made aware of this because it would make for an excellent story on “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me!”

  2. - Soccermom - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 12:49 pm:

    Bart, a Sharknado is simply not likely to happen here in Illinois. I think our preparedness should focus on the potential impacts of species-specific waterspouts that could spread Asian carp throughout our waterways.

  3. - OneMan - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 12:58 pm:

    Cars turning into Robots… Superman trashing Union Station and causing issues with high speed rail.

  4. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:06 pm:

    Illinois could fully fund its pension system like they did on Ceti Alpha V. Or was it Ceti Alpha VI? I always get those two confused.

  5. - NIref - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:12 pm:

    Writing “Don’t Panic” in big friendly letters on the cover of the FY2015 budget.

  6. - Elo Kiddies - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:14 pm:

    There would need to be fresh water sharks before we’d face any real risk. Come to think of it…

  7. - undercover - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:16 pm:

    Considering the lack of efficiency in how this agency is run and Illinois state government supposedly being so broke, I’d love to know who at IDES authorized this use of state resources. Call me a tight arse,but I think this is not at all an appropriate useof an employee or vendor’s time.

  8. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:17 pm:

    Asian Carpnado remains a real threat to this state, one we are not prepared for.

    As for the question …
    Where’s the Wookie translator?

    How about Yoda-ese. “Your claim status you wonder. mmmm. Finished it is not.”

  9. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:20 pm:


    Lighten up, Francis.

  10. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    Wow, that IDES thing is for real. Seems like some folks there have a little too much time on their hands.

    Perhaps a re-assignment to Tattooine or the moon of Endor would be in order.

  11. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:24 pm:

    I think we should work on a Jedi mind trick thing. Everybody would think state government is in great shape!!

  12. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:25 pm:

    Undercover - If you bothered to read the article you’d see that the language is included with the translator at no additional cost. But by all means, keep taking the lazy way out and just complain.

  13. - Roamin' Numeral - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:28 pm:

    1) Have the band from the bar at Mos Eisley play a grandstand show at the State Fair.

    2) Have the Monolith occasionally appear in the House and Senate chambers.

    3) Yoda on Pension Reform: “When Rule of 85 you’ve achieved, still go to work you must.”

  14. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:41 pm:

    Can we all agree the Klingon translator is stupid and unprofessional and should be taken down?

    I think I can get by without a few laughs at the unemployment office.

  15. - train111 - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:43 pm:

    Illinois Residents:
    Resistance is Futile–you will be assimilated

    MJM aka The Borg

  16. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:47 pm:

    Forget term limits, make the politicians wear red shirts ala Star Trek.

  17. - Reading Rainbow - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:52 pm:

    We should instal a deflector dish on the Statehouse because you can fix anything with a deflector dish and maybe a few tachyons.

  18. - Wensicia - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:53 pm:

    Well, if you’re gonna include the Klingons, you can’t leave out the Romulans. That’s discrimination.

  19. - Shark Cyclone - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    “Where’s the Wookie translator?”

    No need. Staff are already trained to LET. THE. WOOKIE. WIN. (his appeal for unemployment benefits.)

  20. - OldSmoky2 - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 2:12 pm:

    Wow - now if the legislature could only get its hands on a replicator…

  21. - Sheep herder - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 2:21 pm:

    Barton’s officiating of the blog has been fantastic so far. It reminds me of how John Oliver took over for John Stewart! Thanks for the updates while Rich is away.

  22. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    Barton is right. Bull sharks swim in rivers. We have those, and tornadoes. We just need to be prepared.

    Or maybe drop a few bull sharks in the Illinois and let them eat the Asian carp.

  23. - Coyote Chris - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 2:26 pm:

    We still need an emergency plan to stop giant mutant grasshoppers that escape from a U of I science lab and stampede into Chicago. Peter Graves isn’t here to stop them now.

  24. - Secret Square - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 2:39 pm:

    “We should instal a deflector dish on the Statehouse”

    Actually, there already is one, sort of, on the Willard Ice Building (Dept. of Revenue). Twice a year (late April and late August) for several days right around noon, the glass roof beams a laser “death ray” right into my office in the Stratton Building. A few well placed mirrors could enable that thing to blow up satellites, missiles or asteroids…

  25. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 2:41 pm:

    OMG, I was telling someone about that movie just yesterday Coyote. Good times.

  26. - OneMan - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 2:46 pm:

    Do we have an effective plan to tax the aliens when they arrive?

  27. - homunculus - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 3:02 pm:

    I’m all for poking fun at state government, but IDES is the last agency in Illinois that should be making any jokes right now. Unemployment here is the second highest rate in the nation. I agree the translator should be taken down, and IDES should publicly apologize to the million unemployed citizens of Illinois, zero of which speak Klingon.

  28. - Norseman - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 3:16 pm:

    Even though it didn’t cost the agency any money, it does subject them to ridicule and criticism for being unprofessional. The administrators should have known better.

  29. - Norseman - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 3:20 pm:

    To the post, what we need is the equivalent of the Vulcan mind meld so we can try to figure out what is in the governor’s brain. We can then go the opposite direction.

  30. - the unknown poster - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 3:20 pm:

    Perhaps they should include Vulcan as well. Then employment counselors could advise folks to live long and prosper.

  31. - titan - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 3:33 pm:

    Teleportation could go a long way towards solving a lot of our public transport issues, as well as our highway congestion troubles.

  32. - Calhoun Native - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 3:54 pm:

    “What else should the state consider implementing from science fiction?”

    We already have a Sith Lord in charge of the House. I think we need to stop right there.

  33. - Skeptic - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 3:55 pm:

    Maybe they can adapt the principle of the TARDIS to the pension debt. For those that don’t know, the TARDIS (an acronym which stands for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space from Dr. Who) looks like a plain police call box (about the size of a large phone booth) but is vastly larger inside. So the pension debt might look large from the inside, but just go outside and it’s not big at all! Problem solved!

  34. - WhoKnew - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 3:57 pm:

    The lisp when speaking to Squeezy in Python is remarkable!!

  35. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 4:07 pm:

    Said one Klingon to the other in IDES’ parking lot (translated into English courtesy of the IDES website):

    “Everybody remember where we parked.”

  36. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 4:13 pm:

    =I think I can get by without a few laughs at the unemployment office. =

    What?!!!! And miss such classics as:

    “Take my Worf, please.”

    Data, trying to imitate comedians, Star Trek: The Next Generation.

  37. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 4:16 pm:

    =2) Have the Monolith occasionally appear in the House and Senate chambers.=

    But “It’s full of stars.”


  38. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 4:18 pm:

    This seems entirely appropriate:

    “Curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want.”


  39. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 4:21 pm:

    And I’ll bet that last quote was probably also spoken by the business analyst who was responsible for eliciting and prioritizing the translation requirements for the IDES website.

  40. - yinn - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 4:22 pm:

    I don’t think you can separate Klingon from the other languages in the Microsoft free translator service. I doubt if IDES even noticed until it was pointed out. I’d be much more concerned about lack of professionalism in face-to-face encounters with state employees. And at any rate you know what they say: Hagh or HoHqang.

  41. - Just Observing - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 4:23 pm:

    The article is not clear whether or not IDES has a choice as to what languages are included in the translation program. Asking the vendor to remove the program may cost more time and money.

  42. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 4:28 pm:

    =I don’t think you can separate Klingon from the other languages in the Microsoft free translator service. =

    I always suspected that Bill was a bit “out of this world” and now he’s proven it once again.

  43. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 4:29 pm:

    (That reference was to Bill Gates–not “our” Bill. (Though he might be, too ;) )

  44. - Mongo - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 4:35 pm:

    In honor of Frederick Pohl of Palatine, I’d suggest Man Plus implemented as Legislator Plus.

  45. - Skeptic - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 4:53 pm:

    From the HTML: hideLanguages=ar,bg,ca,cs,zh-cht,da,nl,,et,fi,fr,de,el,ht,he,hi,hu,id,it,ja,ko,lv,lt,no,pt,ro,sk,sl,sv,th,tr,uk,vi,mww,fa,ur,ms”

    Which says to me that yes indeed, including Klingon was a conscious decision since it wasn’t one of the ones explicitly excluded.

  46. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 5:02 pm:

    Skeptic, we’d have to refer to the requirements to know for sure. It could be the result of using the “old” term for legal immigrants, with which I had no problem because the kids thought it made me cool (especially when I was able to produce a government issued green card that verified same), but seems to be considered politically incorrect today.

  47. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 5:07 pm:

    And I’ll add that if the programming was off-shored, there’s a good possibility that that’s why Klingon was not shut off.

    It’d be due to…well, a translation error, I guess. lol

  48. - Downstate Illinois - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 5:11 pm:


    I think you’re wrong. There’s probably more than a few unemployed nerds in Illinois that speak Klingon.

    I’m not going to complain until Jesse White starts printing the Rules of the Road in Klingon as well as Polish.

  49. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 5:15 pm:

    =There’s probably more than a few unemployed nerds in Illinois that speak Klingon.=

    Unfortunately, so right you are, DL, about our unemployed nerds.

    But then, we allegedly no longer have the necessary skills.


  50. - Sir Reel - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 5:28 pm:

    State leaders need a Vulcan mind meld. Now if only we could find a honest smart Vulcan.

  51. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 5:30 pm:

    I’ll also add (knowing a few at IDES) that I can think of only a few jobs that could be tougher than those they do on a daily basis. I certainly wouldn’t knock them for all their efforts to help our residents as best they can.

  52. - Kathryn - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 6:23 pm:

    If you call you get voice mail, seems to me they should hire more people to answer questions/assist the unemployed and cut the Klingon crap. Who was the Einstein that thought up this one?

  53. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 6:27 pm:

    =Who was the Einstein that thought up this one? =


  54. - lost in the weeds - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 6:40 pm:

    What about Blue Whales or Porpoises. Celebrate Diversity.

    Where is
    Indian (Asian) langauges

    Seems limited. Is this only what Microsoft’s translater can do?

  55. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 6:59 pm:

    Well, if anything, IDES has shown it at least tries to have a sense of humor, although surely some may understandably not take their “Klingon” reference about a serious Government service/matter quite that way….kind of makes you utter a sigh of relief that when on one of his Adventures, Captain Kirk acknowledges he’s from a State that begins with an “I”, alright, but happens not to be OUR Home State, but rather IOWA!!–(And yet the ultra-talented Kirk could probably have SPOKEN the Klingon Language, so that if he ever returns to Earth, IDES may have someone to serve in that regard YET…)!

  56. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 7:20 pm:

    =…kind of makes you utter a sigh of relief that when on one of his Adventures,….=

    Was that a reference to the “great ‘fan dance’ escape” COMMANDER Kirk had made once while meeting with the Romulans, I believe, at an undisclosed location a while back? If so, THAT Kirk I believe is busy learning Polish; not Klingon.

  57. - Wallendar - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 8:59 pm:

    My old agency has gotten very strange. Are there any serious people there anymore? Being unemployed, i.e. looking for a job is very serious at least it was when I worked there.
    One thing they need to do is bring back Job Service. Those terrible combined offices - employment and filing for unemployment never worked.

  58. - david starrett - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 11:18 pm:

    Women transforming into their mothers.

  59. - Demz - Thursday, Sep 12, 13 @ 11:44 pm:

    Soccermom brings a good point. We should prepare for Carpnado instead.

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