Friday, May 16, 2003

'care and encourage'      'SARS storm'

"Did you miss me last week?" asks the Formosa Five. "I'm back!"

(Because each Chinese word can have many different meanings, superstitions in Taiwan are often based on homonyms.)
  • The number 4 is unlucky because it sounds the same as "death."
  • The number 9 is good because it sounds like "long-lasting" or "eternal."
  • Clocks are never given as gifts because "to give a clock" sounds like "attend a funeral."
  • The word for "fish" sounds like "surplus," so fish is equated with abundance.
  • Pineapples are lucky for business because the Taiwanese word for "pineapple" sounds like "prosperity comes."

  • "Am I crazy?" asks Brainylady. "I bought mystery yarn!"

    There's a guy who sells yarn on the sidewalk a block from my office. (Don't you wish you had a yarn vendor on your street?) Yesterday, I bought four good-sized balls of really pretty blue ... something. There was no label. Looks like cotton. Does anyone else out there ever buy unlabeled yarn just because it's pretty? Is there a cotton test? I figure I'll just knit a big swatch and put it through the wash to see what happens. Barring any laundering disasters, I'd like to make a toddler-sized summer sweater with it. I considered trying the infamous boatneck shell, but I figure mystery yarn may not be the best for that. Plus, I'm afraid I may not have the patience to knit a grown-up-sized garment yet. Since I don't get too much time to knit, I prefer quicker things.

    There was a funny column in The Age yesterday about celebrity eugenics. Just think of the possibilities!

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