Beyond the Rhetoric


Join Me on Snapchat (I Don’t Know What I’m Doing)

May 2nd, 2016 by Michael Kwan

MichaelKwanBTR on Snapchat

The Internet can be a terribly strange and confusing place, full of both wonder and disappointment. The world of social media in particular can feel like it is in a constant state of flux. Facebook is very different today than when I joined it nearly a decade ago. It’s hard to believe that I joined Twitter eight years ago. And while I may be a little late to the face-swapping party, I’ve now hopped aboard the Snapchat train. And I don’t know what I’m doing.

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Sunday Snippet: Chelsea Handler

May 1st, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Chelsea Handler

“It’s been my experience that people who make proclamations about themselves are usually the opposite of what they claim to be.”

In the last few years, we’ve witnessed a significant changing of the guard among late night talk show hosts. Jay Leno is gone. David Letterman is gone. Jon Stewart is gone. Conan O’Brien, John Oliver and Stephen Colbert moved to different networks. These all represented opportunities where the industry could have moved toward greater diversity and yet most of these spots were re-occupied by more white men.

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Should Baby Change Tables Be Mandatory At All Restaurants?

April 29th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Baby change table

I’d done this hundreds of times before, but most of those were from the comfort and convenience of my own home. Most of those were in a situation that was (mostly) under control and where all the necessary accoutrements were close at hand. Not this time. And so, there I was hovering over the trunk of my car in the middle of a rooftop parking lot, under the dark of night with a slight chill in the air, changing my daughter’s diaper because she decided it was a good time to make a delivery.

Because, of course you can’t expect all restaurants to have baby change tables in their restrooms. But maybe we should expect it.

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Grammar 101: The Past Tense of Cost (Costed)

April 28th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

No one in their right mind thinks that Facebook is a glowing bastion for perfect spelling and grammar. Typos run rampant on the social network, and those can be more easily forgiven in such a casual context, but out-and-out errors still need to be avoided. Just the other day, one of my friends wrote that his lunch “costed” him $15, when he should have said that it “cost” him $15. Because “costed” isn’t a real word, right?


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What’s Up Wednesdays: 65 Easy Steps

April 27th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

In the grocery with our little helpers (by Jaro Larnos)

Based on the feedback I received from last week’s post, it seems everyone wants these hump day speedlinks to continue. So, here we are again. Kicking off the collection this week, Stevie Kinnear of Big Awesome Mess simplifies the process of how to take your kids to the store. It’s so easy that it only took her 65 easy steps to explain the process, with the last step instructing us to repeat steps 14-64 as needed. Does the kid want to be carried or walk?

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Make It Vancouver: A Revolution of Unique Handmade Items

April 26th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Make It Vancouver

Perhaps your dear grandmother used to crochet mittens and scarves for you and your siblings. Maybe your Uncle Jack labored for weeks in his woodworking shop to build a special toy chest, just for you. Tapping into that same sense of meticulous care and attention to detail, Make It Vancouver filled the PNE Forum this past weekend with nearly 200 artisan vendors selling a grand variety of handmade goods.

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Sunday Snippet: Ruth Chang and Hard Choices

April 24th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Ruth Chang, TED Talk on Hard Choices

“This response in hard choices is a rational response, but it’s not dictated by reasons given to us. Rather, it’s supported by reasons created by us. When we create reasons for ourselves to become this kind of person rather than that, we wholeheartedly become the people that we are. You might say that we become the authors of our own lives.”

When I was still going through school, I kept changing my mind about what I wanted to do with my life. Maybe I’ll be an accountant. Maybe I’ll be an architect. Maybe I’ll be a psychologist. I kept looking for reasons why I should pursue one career over another. Upon graduation, I stumbled (“accidentally on purpose,” as I like to tell people) into my career as a freelance writer. And then I found myself having to justify my career choice.

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Q&A with Questionable Taste’s Jeff Morin and Dylan Duarte

April 21st, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Questionable Taste Podcast

Was Superman Returns really as bad as you remember it? Do you think that people don’t give Mystery Men enough credit? Dylan Duarte and Jeff Morin tackle these questions in their brand new podcast series, Questionable Taste. They look at movies that may have received a bad rap over the years, defending the merits of films that may not have been so positively received. These rotten tomatoes might be certifiably fresh.

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