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If something fracks up your terminal, just type in 'reset' and everything should be good again.
after a terminal gets clobbered (like after you cat a binary file by accident), this is the only way to get it back without re-starting it.
If you bork your terminal by sending binary data to STDOUT or similar, you can get your terminal back using this command rather than killing and restarting the session. Note that you often won't be able to see the characters as you type them.