Take a look at this picture. Can you guess what the man is doing? The online version of a Philippine newspaper provides this caption: “CEBU. Morning dew clings to the tips of rice stalks as farmer Alfredo Barraca fixes a strip of videocassette tape across his rice field in Balilihan town, Bohol. The buzzing sound created by the tape when struck by the breeze scares away maya birds that eat the juicy, unripe palay. (Allan Cuizon)”
“Palay” means grains of rice. This farmer has rendered scarecrows jobless. Instead, to protect his crops, he is saving discarded videocassette tapes from the landfill and finding one more use for them: to keep hungry birds away. Unwanted CDs and DVDs, pie tins also, have been hung in places for the same reason; sunlight reflected on their shiny surfaces supposedly shoos away pesky winged critters. But magnetic tape? I certainly would never have thought of using it in this manner, so far from its original context. I applaud the ingenuity of whoever thought of doing this. Can you think of other instances of repurposing?