Beyond the Rhetoric


What’s Up Wednesdays: Capture the Magic

August 31st, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Istria’s Motovun by Steffani Cameron

It’s Wednesday, so we’re going on another journey through the Internet in search of great blog posts. Now fully engulfed in her “full nomad” lifestyle, Steffani Cameron looks back at her travels through Croatia earlier this year. In particular, she was entranced by the quiet solitude of towns like Hum, population 17. With a landscape “littered with abandoned ruins,” it is practically impossible to capture the magic of the area’s history and culture in mere photos and words.

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Grammar 101: Lightning and Lightening

August 30th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

When Muhammad Ali said that he “handcuffed lightning,” he was not referring to dying his hair blonde. He was referring to a fast flash of great electrical power that he was able to harness and tame for his own purposes, speaking symbolically of his boxing prowess. He did not handcuff “lightening.” It’s just one letter, but it makes a world of difference.

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Sunday Snippet: Penn Jillette, Libertarian

August 28th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Penn Jillette on Libertarian

“There are two things that I always believed about modern politics. One was that everyone who had ever run for major office was smarter than me. And the second thing was there was no one worse than Hillary Clinton. Both of those things have been disproven by Donald Trump.”

Hey! Isn’t that the guy who goes on stage with that other guy who doesn’t talk? No, not Jay and Silent Bob, the magician types. That’s right. Here is one half of the Penn and Teller duo, except this one has become much more politically outspoken in recent years. With the US election right around the corner, you can be sure that Penn Jillette has an opinion or two to share about the two remaining candidates.

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Justifying My Defensive Position

August 26th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Justifying My Defensive Position

Maybe I’m just a naturally defensive person. Maybe I value the validation of others a little too much. Maybe I’m drawn to lifestyle choices that call for a little more justification than the more commonly taken paths. I’m not sure. Whatever the case may be, I oftentimes find myself in a position where I feel compelled to defend myself and my decisions.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Tell Better Stories

August 24th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

What's Up Wednesdays: Tell Better Stories

It’s Wednesday again, so let’s get over those hump day blues with another speedlink. We have Britany Robinson starting things off with some advice on how you can tell better travel stories. Whether you’re recounting the terrific Tuscan dinner you had in Florence or the Napa Valley wine tour you just took, just skip the beginning. Not too many people are going to be interested in how you chose to pack your bag and which route you took to get to the airport. Get to the juicy bits right away!

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Grammar 101: Electric vs. Electronic

August 23rd, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

Why is it that we can ride around on electric bikes, but we play on an electronic drum set? Why can we shave with an electric razor, but we send messages through electronic mail? The difference between the two terms may sound rather inconsequential. It might feel rather arbitrary, but there is a clear distinction to be made.

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Sunday Snippet: Daigo Umehara

August 21st, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Daigo Umehara

“Above all else, the main point I want to make is that I don’t just want to win. I want to keep winning, to stay on top of my game. While seemingly similar, I want to show you that these are highly different goals, to the point where they can be at odds with one another. Some may consider winning as the end goal, but producing a result and continuing to produce results are fundamentally different in nature.”

Many of us go through life chasing a carrot on a stick. That carrot gives us a sense of purpose, a sense of direction. But even if we are so fortunate as to finally get that carrot, it doesn’t feel quite so satisfying once we have it in our hands. Suddenly, our life can feel like it lacks purpose, like it lacks direction. The goal shouldn’t be just to grab one carrot. It’s to keep going after bigger and more impressive carrots.

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Idiomatica: Runs Like Stink

August 19th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Idiomatica with Michael Kwan

In the first ever edition of Idiomatica last month, we looked at the phrase “pardon my French” and how it came to be. No one ever said the English language made a lot of sense. Idioms like that demonstrate just how far modern usage has strayed from the more literal understanding. Perhaps another good example is when you say something “goes like stink” or “runs like stink.”

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