Author: Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: “Vsauce” Michael Stevens

If you look closely enough and you take the time, anything can be interesting to anyone, because everything is related in some way to something they care about. As a general rule of thumb, people hate boring things. They don’t want to watch boring movies, they don’t want to read boring books and they don’t want to attend boring events. They want to be engaged and entertained. Does this mean that you can only talk about socioeconomic policy with someone who is strangely passionate about socioeconomic policy? Vsauce creator Michael Stevens certainly doesn’t think so. Everyone has their preferences...

Read More

Healthy Family Expo 2017 (Promo Code and Giveaway!)

Everything changes when you become a parent. I know it did for me. We became so much more keenly aware of all the choices we were making, from nutrition to safety, education to exercise. I’m not a health nut, by any stretch of the imagination, but I do want what is best for my daughter. And it certainly helps when I can survey all these products in person, asking questions and getting answers directly from vendors. And this is also why I love the annual Healthy Family Expo so much. We’ve gone for the last two years and each...

Read More

Why Making Better Use of My Time Might Be the Worst Decision I Could Make

There’s not enough time. There’s never enough time. It’s a mantra repeated by nearly everybody in contemporary society. We feel like we are constantly being pulled in a hundred different directions. There’s always so much to do and the exhaustion never fully dissipates, especially if you are a working parent. And when you recognize that time is at a premium, you may feel like you should be trying to make better use of your time. I know I have. Some of these so-called “life hacks” are fairly common. Instead of listening to top 40 in the car, pop in...

Read More

Vlog #13 – Random Acts of Kindness

Pink Shirt Day got its start in 2007 when a couple of Nova Scotia teenagers noticed a fellow classmate getting bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. David Shepherd and Travis Price then bought and distributed 50 pink shirts to “stand up against bullying,” giving rise to anti-bullying days all around the world. For this week’s vlog, I went to the Metrotown to dole out some random acts of kindness in celebration of Pink Shirt Day. This follows the generous theme of donating to charity from last week’s vlog and I hope it’s a theme we can carry...

Read More

Sunday Snippet: Emily Haines, Metric

Sometimes it’s better to live through someone’s work than the person themselves, and to realize that every human being is flawed, but through art they can be perfect. Despite what the “Facebook version” of your friends might lead you to believe, we are all a little broken inside. As Leonard Cohen famously sang, there’s a crack in everything and that’s how the light gets in. Fellow Canadian artist Emily Haines has a similar perspective, except she also recognizes that art can be greater than the artist. And it is through their art that artists can achieve perfection. Perhaps it...

Read More

A Distinctly Canadian Journey

This journey, with its many arduous challenges and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, would be worth the sacrifice. Or so I’ve been told. Many a tale has been passed down, from generation to generation, of legendary greats who overcame the odds. They braved the harsh winters of the Great White North, fiercely battling the elements, with one another, and against fate itself. They were driven only by the promise, inspired by dreams of immense power and wealth immeasurable. They fully realized that for any one of them to make it, for any one of them to wield the heavenly gifts of...

Read More

What’s Up Wednesdays: Breaking Boredom

I once wrote that I never complain about boredom, because you literally have no excuse to be bored. Whether it’s productive or just for fun, there is always something to do. And it is in that spirit that I present this week’s collection of blog posts from around the web. Kicking things off, we have Sonia Simone points out the single biggest reason why so much content on the Internet is so boring. It’s because we fear judgement. We’re afraid someone won’t like it, so we don’t dare to be different. But the only way you’ll stand out is...

Read More

Vlog #12: So You Think You Can Dad

Yay! It’s story time! While we aren’t going to be whisked away on a grand adventure in Middle Earth (sorry Tolkien fans), we are going on a quick jaunt over to the local mall. I was over there a couple weeks ago with my daughter, as I am apt to do on a not so infrequent basis, when we were approached by a young man. He asked a poignant question, I gave an insufficient answer, and then I was inspired to shoot this week’s vlog!   Did you watch the video yet? You really should before you read any...

Read More

Sunday Snippet: Steve Prefontaine (1951-1975)

Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for the great. As we get older, as we get more established in our careers and more comfortable in our routines, we also have this habit of lulling ourselves into a state of complacency. We get set in our ways and we become increasingly unwilling to give up what we have in exchange for the opportunity at something better. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, as they say. The grass is always greener on the other side and it is impossible to achieve the...

Read More

This Is Blog Post #3500

Those of you who are relatively new around here might not know that I started writing things on the Internet way back back in 1999. It was just a hobby at the time, shared mostly with immediate friends. When I decided to hurl myself headlong into the business of freelance writing, I thought it was only appropriate to “relaunch” my writing in the form of a new blog. Thus, Beyond the Rhetoric was born. And here we are, some 3,500 posts later. Odds are that very few of you ever read my first blog post in this space back...

Read More


Michael Kwan
Hi, I'm Michael. By day, I'm a freelance writer. By night, I'm still a freelance writer. I'm also a proud father, a voracious foodie, an avid traveler, a gadget geek, and a thinker who thinks he might be thinking too much. Beyond the Rhetoric is a reflection of my eclectic entrepreneurial life.

Read more about me and what I can do for you.


Recent Tweets