Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bowing to Greet, Etc.

In the last few years, people have more reasons to bow instead of shake hands, more so in greeting. Note the proliferation of hand sanitizers. You might consider the upcoming New Year's Eve encounters and face-to-face opportunities with the new year.
  • Avoid physical contact that spreads illness-inducing germs.
    A few months ago, I had a bout of digestive illness. Thankfully, the severity lasted only a few days. Web info indicated that contagiousness could last a few weeks. It seemed prudent and considerate to greet people with bows rather than handshakes. OTOH, I haven’t quite resolved how to greet long-time friends with whom I’ve greeted more heartily since forever.
  • Avoid awkwardness of the level of appropriate physical contact. Limp handshake? Strong handshake? Strong handshake accompanied by the other hand? Embrace? Kiss? Air kiss, which can resemble a gently blown kiss? Fist bump? Dap?
  • At events where people are eating, exchange greeting bows instead of engaging in food smears or needing to wipe hands first, which tend to be less than cleanly effective.
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowing
Bows are the traditional greeting in East Asia, particularly in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, and Vietnam. In Taiwan, China, and Vietnam, shaking hands or a slight bow have become more popular than a full bow.

Bows can be generally divided into three main types: informal, formal, and very formal. Informal bows are made at about a fifteen degree angle and more formal bows at about thirty degrees.
While researching bows, I’ve run across various differences among different nationalities. For example, the “wai” bowing in Thailand involves exhaustive social settings and societal hierarchies.
Some other images share similarities: the slight bow and palms together, some hands closer to the face than others.
Team sports, which I sporadically watch on TV, display additional contact, such as high fives and butt slaps, particularly communicating “good job”, “congratulations”, and “thanks”. For more demonstrative celebratory contacts, actions include individual embrace and hoist, all-hands team hoists of the hero, and Gatorade keg hoist and dump onto coach.

For demonstrations of contact and no-contact greetings, watch “20 Handshakes”. (Glimpses of bows are at 0:54, 1:00, and 1:07.) Watch “Professional Fist Bump” for an MD's advocacy of fist bump over handshake.

One charming gesture of thanks is Justin Yoon of Notre Dame bowing to two teammates when he successfully kicks a field goal. A video snippet of the ritual is in "FB vs Navy Highlights". The field goal segment starts at 1:08, with the ball clearing the posts at 1:10 (?). The bows and naration occur from 1:13 to 1:15. (Whew! I hunted high and low on the web to find any video that I could cite!)

Alas, Notre Dame's season ended November 29—no more field goal bows till next season. During my searches for images and videos of post-field goal bows, I did manage to scrape up some articles that had such bow pictures. An article that includes a good Justin bow is “Notebook: Kelly getting a kick out of Notre Dame freshman Justin Yoon”.

Another article with a good bow picture is “Yoon Finding Comfort Level
Daly, Kizer and Yoon have a unique celebration when a field goal is made … The three players do a Sensei Bow.
Hmm, the Flickr Sansei bow seems “deep”, with the hands much closer to the face than in the Notre Dame pictures. I Googled “korean bow greeting” for images, thinking Justin’s Korean heritage might exhibit some such characteristics. Well, I see images of lots of bowing, no greeter palm meets, some handshaking.

After poking around the web about bows, and discovering lots of different conventions, I’ve decided that simple is good. 1) Face the other person. 2) Bring palms together. 3) Bow slightly. Look friendly by making eye contact and smiling during the bow.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Hammacher Schlemmer Mmy Oh Mmy

Thus far, I've received few catalogs in the mail, unlike a long, long time ago in a residence far, far away. I'm guessing postal carriers don't mind the trend of fewer catalogs to lug around and deliver to recipients ("occupant" and otherwise named), who many might instantly dispose of theirs without giving them (catalogs) a glance.

WRT my article title, I'm kidding about the snail mail catalog I received last month from Hammacher Schlemmer. The cover claims "Offering the Best, the Only and the Unexpected for 167 years". Hmm, I don't believe I've ever heard of this consonant-rich (gimme an "m") company before. I paused at the slogan's weirdly capitalized nouns. I wondered if the capitalizations are a psychological gimmick for slowing the readers down and have them pay closer attention. Their slogan (or variant) pops up a LOT in their product webpages and video clips.

Gotta say, I consider HS's e-commerce website to be pretty impressive! Each page that I visited displayed reviews, suggested related items, and image enlargement capability. In many cases, the product pages included video links.

Note: No one is paying me for my good or bad words about Hammacher Schlemmer ("HS" in much of the rest of this article).

Some of the catalog offerings became entertainment for me as fodder for a blog article rather a trigger to acquire such items. BTW, I'd written a related article about gadgets in December 2009. The HS catalog reflects more modern times and items, the most prominent type (to me) being drones of varying sizes and purposes.

Bugaboo?

□ Bug-sized drones
Imagine—a drone that can float mistletoe, a quadcopter that is small enough to bug nearby people, and a similarly small "palmcopter".

□ Bug sucker and destroyer
Alrighty then! Bug out! Get a bug vacuum to suck it into place to meet its Maker! Check out the accompanying video. It's way more expensive than a flyswatter, but looks well-designed. Comes with AC battery recharger.

Getting pumped for Star Wars?

□ R2D2 humidifier
R2D2 blows his top! The same page also offers a link to the Darth Vader humidifier. R2D2 is short and squat, and the Darth Vader model is only the helmet. These humidifiers don't measure even a foot in any dimension—pretty small, imho, for the price pushing $100 each.

□ Star Wars-theme slippers, a la bunny slippers
Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and Yoda head these slippers. Maybe youngsters are out of luck for fit. Available sizes: "S (Men’s 7-9; Women’s 8-10) or L (Men’s 10-13; Women’s 11-14)"

Want convenience in holiday tree setups?

□ Popup and pullup artificial trees
Spare yourself from expending decorating time for hanging ornaments, lights, and other doodads. How about a spring-sprung popup tree, or a fancier Kincaide popup tree. How about a some-assembly-required pullup tree that's available with bulbs only, or a fully decorated one? Links for convenient storage bags ($29.95) are also offered in the product pages.

Are you a tee partier (golfer)?

□ Spectacles for spotting golf balls
Wear these glasses to spot golf balls easily. The page has three positive reviews, the oddest one recommending others purchase these glasses even though she hadn't yet tried them out.

Ready for retro for telling time?

□ Faceless, bracelet-like watch
LED watches are back! Not the 70s LED watches with black background that you need to press a button to view the digital time. No! These watches are continuous, textured bands, and you need to press a button to view the digital time! At least the older digital watches displayed the entire time on one row. For the HS watches, "The top row displays the hour and the lower row the minute ...". Zoom in images to see the innovative numerical displays!

Do the Locomotion?

□ Hoopy loopy skates
These portable people movers transport the riders like a hybrid between skateboards and skates. Video shows locomotion. Reviews are mostly positive. "Supports up to 200 lbs. Ages 8 and up." I noticed riders wearing helmets, but not pads. Oh, to be young again and fearless of falling while moving fast!

Tired?

□ Digital tire gauge
This gauge is lots fancier than the metal ones, with a price to match. Go-o-o-leeee! I've gotten sticker shock! The pencil-shape metal ones are a lot more expensive than in the old days of costing only a buck or so, with shops sometimes giving them away! Check out the Amazon page for tire gauges and weep over the metal ones!

□ Air pump
This pump looks like it's part battery-operated drill. For that matter, part of the description says "operating similarly to a cordless drill". Has digital readout, light, and psi-settable stop-pump capability.

Kitchen gadgets!
Some of these items make me think of faddish gadgets from the past, such as hot dog cookers and butter melters.

□ Battery-operated, self-stirring cup
Press the handle's button on the cup to activate the stirring mechanism.

□ Battery-operated spinning fork
Rotate the set of tines on the fork by pressing the handle. (The image does not clearly show how, and the page does not include a video.) Spins at 22rpm—slower than any vinyl records, for speed perspective.

□ Stanley Cup-shaped air popcorn popper
This popcorn air popper looks like the ice hockey trophy. I've always thought the trophy shape itself to be somewhat odd, compared to loving cup trophies. A little history of the Stanley cup explains its shape resemblance to a dairy milk can with a long neck. Hmmm, I know lots of air poppers can be had for lots less. Just Google "air popcorn popper".

□ Flameless marshmallow roaster
Hooboy! Use this electrical hybrid of toaster and fondue-ish community appliance to make s'mores the first-world way! Yet, with the mild statement "All pieces hand wash easily", somebody will need to hand wash, rather than toss the appliance parts into a first-world electric dishwasher. Love the video of the indoor campers and hearing the narrator say "Hammacher Schlemmer", which sounds like "hammacker schlammer", with the two names seeming to rhyme as they roll off the tongue.

□ Tabletop fireplace
Even though this wee fireplace is not a kitchen gadget, it's similar to the marshmallow toaster because it's small and emits heat. Good to put these two items close together in this article. Dimensions are a compact 11 x 14 x 5 1/2, yet weighs 8 1/2 lbs. The peewee appliance and replacement fuel are pretty pricey, imho. Curiously, the 24-second video is silent and "lifeless", in contrast to the marshmallow roaster one.
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