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  • FL MORRIS / 2009
    Johnny Boonkong makes green papaya salad at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand during a Thai Songkram Festival. The local Thai community celebrates Songkram, or the Thai New Year, tomorrow at Kapiolani Park.

Sample paint cards color a kid’s world

With names like Blushing Princess, Bouncy Bouncy, Sorcerers Hat and Hunny Pot Purple, Disney paints tap into the whimsy of youth. But more than the paint itself, the free sample cards that are displayed in home improvement stores like Home Depot are a favorite at my house. I’ll often grab a few of them when I enter the store to keep the kids busy while I cruise the aisles of things I don’t want them to touch. We use them as color flash cards and trading cards while in the store. Then at home, we’ve gathered enough of the Mickey Mouse-shaped swatches that we’ve used small piles of duplicate colors to play Memory and Go Fish. — Donica Kaneshiro

The Force is with U.K. graphic designer

I once had a chance to buy a limited-edition, screen-printed Obama "Hope" poster when Shepard Fairey was still just a semi-sought-after artist and not the huge star he has become. When the poster sold out a day later, I regretted not buying it. Now I try to jump on every chance I get to own a piece of art that has a unique message or vision or just plain looks good. The newest semi-sought-after artist I’m obsessed with is Olly Moss, a graphic designer from the U.K. who’s making waves in the graphic design community with his alternate movie posters. His style is reflective of Saul Bass with the cleverness of Banksy. He created the "Star Wars" posters pictured here, which sold out within minutes of being put up for sale on (yes, I missed those, too). You can check out his other works at — Joe Guinto

Book offers superior snark

Anyone can respond to rudeness with the basic all-American "eff u" or describe an obnoxious person as a certain body part. The witty, the sophisticated and the erudite express such sentiments in far more interesting and memorable terms. "The Snark Handbook: Insult Edition" (Skyhorse Publishing, $12.95) is an entertaining overview of the art of the insult, featuring classic one-liners: "He is as good as his word — and his word is no good." Author-editor Lawrence Dorfman includes lists of insults from Shakespeare’s plays and salutes some of the modern masters. Be warned: Start reading this handy little book and you’ll want to read on through to the final insult. — John Berger

Egg timer dives right in water

This timer that thinks it’s an egg makes me feel like I have X-ray vision, helping me boil eggs perfectly every time. The oblong-shaped gadget, made by Burton Plastics, uses temperature instead of minutes to gauge cooking time. Just drop Egg-Perfect Eggtimer in the pot with the eggs and turn the stove on. You can then tend to other kitchen tasks and when you hear the water boiling, watch the color change from red to black as it reacts to heat as an egg would. When the dark tone hits the line for soft, medium or hard, its work is done. Pick one up at Williams Sonoma for $6. — Ruby Mata-Viti

Thai festival is a feast

The local Thai community celebrates Songkram, or the Thai New Year, tomorrow at Kapiolani Park. The Thai temple in Pearl City sponsors the celebration and all the church ladies turn out to prepare food for sale. The dishes are slightly different than what’s prepared for Western tastes in local Thai restaurants. It’s more like what you’d cook for a big family gathering. Put in an order early for kanom krok, a coconut-rice pancakelike dessert. They’re made fresh and there’s often a 30-minute wait because orders back up. Also, try the guay tiew (the Thai version of pho that’s simmering in big pots), gai tod (fried chicken) and my favorite — moo dad deaw, a fried fatty pork jerky that tastes like Thai bacon. — Craig Gima

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