Author: Michael Kwan

Can You Disable the Autopilot?

I remember turning 16 and learning how to drive for the first time. My mom took me to the quiet part of a mall parking lot where I was far less likely to be a danger to those around me. Fair enough, I suppose. Having only been exposed to driving in a video game, it took me a little while to get used to pedal feel and more precise turning. It’s not like I could go full throttle and randomly crash up against a guardrail. After a couple sessions like this, she asked if I was ready to drive...

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Vlog #28: Vancouver Mini Maker Faire

Life is what you make of it. And you can make it with paint, fabric, metal, discarded computer parts, LEGO bricks… or you can use a 3D printer. Makers of the world (or at least in the general metropolitan area) united over the weekend at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire and I was there to take it all in for this week’s vlog. It’s not very often that you see so many creative people from so many different disciplines gather under a single roof. Resident 3D printing expert John Biehler was there at Mini Maker Faire to show me around...

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Sunday Snippet: Former Navy SEAL Chris Fussell

I had a great mentor early in my career give me advice that I’ve heeded until now, which is that you should have a running list of three people that you’re always watching: someone senior to you that you want to emulate, a peer who you think is better at the job than you are and who you respect, and someone subordinate who’s doing the job you did — one, two, or three years ago — better than you did it. If you just have those three individuals that you’re constantly measuring yourself off of, and you’re constantly learning...

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The One Time I Got Visibly Upset Over a School Report Card

See that cute kid reading the outlandishly enormous book? That was me, I think in grade 4. For the lack of a better term, I was a “nerd.” I think one of my favorite games at the time was Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, which might explain why I was posing with a gigantic book about different places around the globe. Report card time was never especially stressful for me, because I always got good grades. Always. A Note on Demographics and Environment I don’t say this to be boastful. If anything, my good grades made me...

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The Productivity Paradox (or the Mindset of One More Thing)

For better or for worse, I ascribe a great deal of value or importance to how productive I perceive myself to be. My sense of self-worth is heavily dictated by how much I get done, how much I am able to accomplish. When I look in the mirror at the end of the day, I want to feel like it was a day well spent and a job well done. Chances are that I’m not alone in this assessment. Curiously, I experience something of a productivity paradox whenever I sit down at my desk. It can go one of...

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Vlog #27: Hats Off Day in Burnaby Heights

I’ve attended Hats Off Day almost every year since moving to the neighborhood in 2011. It’s Burnaby’s biggest festival and it’s been voted Burnaby’s best festival. It is a chance for the merchants of Burnaby Heights to “take their hats off” to this community, which continues to evolve with each passing year. The nature of the street festival reflects that, as you can see in this week’s vlog. Something that I’ve mentioned before is that Burnaby Heights was traditionally a very Italian neighborhood, but these days you’ll find more pho and sushi restaurants along Hastings than pasta places. What’s...

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Sunday Snippet: William T. Riker (Star Trek: TNG)

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: And the unknown can be benign… or malevolent. Commander William T. Riker: Captain, one of the things I’ve learned on these voyages, and on this ship and from you, is that most life forms act out of an instinct for survival, not out of malice. Picard: It’s an important lesson. And I admire your lack of resentment, Number One. Riker: If you drop a hammer on your foot, it’s hardly useful to get mad at the hammer. In this episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Commander Riker has been infected with some unknown microbes. This...

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Photo Printing Made Easy with Amazon (Plus $1000 in Amazon Gift Cards to be Won)

Earlier this week, I came across a video where John Green discussed the legacy of things that we’ll leave behind for future generations (and historians). As great as digital cameras and digital photography have become, there’s something special about having something physical in your hands, something that will survive whatever becomes of the Internet. That’s where photo printing comes in and Amazon is making it easier than ever. You see, we have no problem creating mountains of content these days. If you’ve got an Amazon Prime Photos account, you’re already enjoying unlimited storage for all of your pictures. The...

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Where I Sit

Can you believe it’s already the end of May? Before you load up the family station wagon for the summer road trip, take a virtual journey with me as we visit with some terrific blogs and bloggers from around the web. As with most of these speedlink collections, there’s a little something for everyone. Kicking things off, fellow dad blogger Jason Greene explains how his parenting style is clearly illustrated by where he sits. This includes where he chooses to sit at the dinner table, just as much as where he sits in the living room for family movie...

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Vlog #26: Miniature Trains with Mega-Sized Dreams

Easily one of the biggest perks to being a parent is that you get to enjoy more kid-oriented activities without the slightest hint of embarrassment. Of course I’m singing along to these Disney songs because it makes her happy. Oh, just let it go already. That was the idea, anyway, when we decided that we wanted to ride some miniature trains in this week’s vlog. Too bad things don’t always go according to plan. I’m goin’ off the rails on a crazy train! Just for a bit of clarification, I am no Sheldon Cooper and I have no particular...

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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.



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