Page 127. " Star light, star bright, he says "

"Star light, star bright" is a nursery rhyme first recorded in 19th century America. The rhyme is based on the belief that wishing on the first star you see will make your dream come true.

 Star Light, Star Bright,

First star I see tonight,

I wish I may I wish I might,

Have the wish I have tonight.

Page 133. " Some distant, foreign place "

Cambodian Rice Farming
Creative Commons AttributionCambodian Rice Farming - Credit: International Rice Research Institute
We never find out exactly where Oryx was born, although the clues Atwood gives strongly suggest that Jimmy's guess of Cambodia is correct.

Page 133. " She had a Hymenoptera face "

Oriental Wasp
Public DomainOriental Wasp - Credit: Avinoam Michaely
 Hymenoptera is the name given to the order of insects which includes ants, sawflies, wasps and bees. One shared characteristic is an ovipostor adapted for various purposes: inserting eggs in a host, sawing or stinging.

Alloxysta victrix
Public DomainAlloxysta victrix - Credit: SE Thorpe

 

Page 144. " people could send their spirits out like that "

The concept of Astral Projection appears in cultures and religions across the world. Astral projection describes the practice of allowing the astral body (spirit) to leave the physical body in order to travel the astral realm.