January 22nd, 2006

krazy koati

I don't care too much for money

We're really getting into the serious holiday season -- the local news has been discovering new human-interest stories. One that caught my eye is there are lines forming at the banks to get fresh bills, this to put into the hongbao packets given to children as Lunar New Year presents. Particularly popular this year are the new polymer S$2 bills, which are replacing the paper bills, and the polymer S$10 bills introduced last year. Frankly, I suspect some of the local news people just like saying 'polymer bills'.

Singapore really closes for Chinese New Year, in a way it just doesn't any other time. This year is going to be particularly tough, since the holiday proper is next Sunday and Monday, but the public holiday is being extended to Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. This appears to be from the philosophy that a public holiday which falls on Sunday (many do, this year) should be celebrated Sunday and Monday. While I approve of public holidays in general, this one is irritating because the most convenient bus from my place to an MRT station is suspended for the holiday, and nearly all the eating places around me will be closed for some or all of the holiday. I'm going to have to stock up or I'll be down to eating a tin of Danish butter cookies for meals next Tuesday.

Over in the ridiculous news, there's a rumor that Viacom -- having spun off its television-producing wing to the new company CBS Paramount Television in order to focus more tightly on movie making -- may set up its own television unit. I mention this in case anyone is ever fooled into thinking there's some particular wisdom to the marketplace. I learn this from following Star Trek news. Star Trek book product and theme park products are CBS's domain, selling overpriced DVDs is still Viacom's responsibility, and nobody seems to have said what would be done with a new movie or TV series, as if anybody were going to make one anytime soon.

Trivia: The Corning company agreed in 1932 to release its new Pyrex cookware with only six-inch diameter skillets, rather than the ten-inch skillets more common with traditional materials, when a laboratory demonstration proved the ten-inch skillets were prone to exploding, due to thermal stresses when placed on the six-inch burners common on customer range-tops. Source: Why Things Break, Mark E Eberhart.

Currently Reading: The Best Short Stories of Ring Lardner, Ring Lardner.