Monthly Archives: January 2017

Playing Chicken In The Bridal Chamber

Decades ago, it was a tradition among the Chinese to engage in fowl play as part of the wedding ceremony for a newly-married couple.

After the formalities were done at the groom’s place, the wedding party would go to the bride’s home for the rituals at the maternal side. Accompanying their return to their matrimonial home would be a rooster and a hen, which would then be released under the newly-weds’ nuptial bed.  If the rooster emerged first, that “augured” the first-born child would be a son, if the hen came out first, then a daughter.

In Chinese these are called 带路鸡  (or ‘chua lor kay’ in Penang Hokkien)

These days I believe most couples would chicken out at the prospect of having two live specimens foul up their love nest; don’t worry there are lots of mock ones available.

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Pull On Your Spinning Cap

As kids, we made toys from anything we could lay our hands on.  Just needed to put on our thinking caps and get creative juices flowing.

A bottle cap was fair game material.   After flattening with a hammer, we punched two holes in it with a big nail.  Then a coarse string was threaded through those two holes, and the free ends then tied together.

Once ready, the string would be stretched between two hands to form an elongated loop and then the flattened cap would be whipped around until there was a good twist in the stringed loop.  Upon repeated pulling and releasing rhythmically, we got a spinning cap that oscillated back and forth.  That was fun.

Caution : if the string burst, the spinning cap could fly off like a circular saw blade.

The Big Picture

As CRT Television maxed out about 15 years ago (at 33″), manufacturers sought new technologies for larger screens.  One of them was the Rear Projection TV.

However to me, it was at best a desperate attempt to squeeze the last drop of juice from an antiquated set of know-how.  The screens were large, no doubt; with sizes going up to 60 inches diagonal (maybe even larger).   But they were huge boxes.  And the resolution, clarity and contrast were poor, to say the least.   Perhaps there was consolation to the owners who could demonstrably and unmistakably prove to their neighbours and visitors that they were people who could see the big picture….LOL.

I contemplated buying a set before, but the thought of having an Incredible Bulk of a box eating up half my living room was simply unbearable.