Blog – Frequently Asked Questions

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I recall 18-months ago asking a colleague if the children will ever tire of barking my name as I walk around the school. “No, never” was the response – and indeed, dozens of excitable Hong Kong kiddywinks continue to holler ‘MISTA THOOOM’ in my general direction, only to giggle and run away when I enquire as to what they may require of me. ‘Say What You See’ is certainly the order of the day. Every day.

Occasionally, however, an open-ended question will follow and, more often than not, the main concerns are one’s comparatively absurd height or hair colour, or the reasoning behind my surprise appearances in the local press.

I therefore felt it prudent to collate some of these queries and respond to them forthwith!

Mr Tom, why your hair is golden?
Child, the unusual pigmentation of one’s cranial hair follicles is due to the modest concentration of melanin present and a variation in the melanocortin-1 receptor (Mc1r gene), which is located on chromosome 4. It features an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance and is characterised by low eumelanin levels. Additionally, phenotypic expression for lighter skin and red hair are interrelated. Thus, in conclusion, Mr Tom’s hair is magic.

Mr Tom, why you is so tall?
Son, auxologists agree that height in homo sapiens, like other phenotypic traits, is determined by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Human height is 90% heritable and has been considered polygenic since the Mendelian-biometrician debate of 1918. The HMGA2 gene is the only one currently attributed with normal height variation. The lengthening of bones via cellular divisions is chiefly regulated by somatotropin secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. Whilst the cause of contrasts of statue between ethnic groups is inconclusive, Mr Tom simply looks tall, because you are so short.

Mr Tom, why you in the newspaper?
Mr Tom was exercising free speech and freedom of demonstration as enshrined in the Hong Kong Basic Law 1997 Articles 27-38 and the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966. The protest questioned the 1950 claim to Chinese sovereignty over Tibet and subsequent severity of repression by the aforementioned occupying power as detailed in a 1997 International Commission of Jurists report. Local media outlets publicised this campaign and one’s legally ambiguous detention because Mr Tom is a big hippy.

Mr Tom, why you dress like a chicken?
Mr Tom’s penchant for adopting the appearance of a gallus domesticus is chiefly for his and your own amusement. The selection of a domesticated fowl is poignant as it is traditionally one of the more comical members of the phasianidae family. Although egged on to consider alternative modes of dress, the choice is certainly impeccable. In conclusion, his fashion statement is indeed poultry in motion.

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