Author: Michael Kwan

Linkin Park: Minutes to Midnight

I’ve been anxiously awaiting a new Linkin Park album for quite some time. While Reanimation and Meteora were pretty good in their own right, they were nowhere near as good as the original Hybrid Theory. “One Step Closer” is probably the best Linkin Park song ever recorded and it was also their first. Although it wasn’t named as such at the time, Minutes to Midnight was originally scheduled for release in mid-2006. And then it got bumped to the fall. And then they told us that it would hit shelves in “early 2007.” Only now do we finally get...

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Top Gear Coming to the USA

I hope this doesn’t result in me getting kicked in the chest by Ed Lau, because the source of this information is the same as what got me into that whole chest-kicking fiasco in the first place. Leftlane News is reporting that a US-specific Top Gear is apparently in the works, officially bringing the popular car enthusiast show to our side of the Atlantic. Naturally, there will be more of a focus on American cars rather than those from Seat, Peugeot, and Citroen, but the kicker is that we’ll get the same three hosts as the BBC British show:...

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2007 NHL Playoffs – First round predictions (East)

The 2007 NHL Playoffs are upon us and there is no time like the present for me to bust out my predictions for the first round of matchups. There are some excellent teams involved and some series are more difficult to decide than others. It is also quite notable that Calgary managed to fend off the Colorado Avalanche in their attempt to make the second second, as well as the strange twist of events in the past few days that led to the New York Islanders having a chance to play at least four games against the Sabres rather than the Toronto Maple Leafs (or the Montreal Canadiens). Anyways, on with the picks. Discuss them, debate them, and do whatever other D-word you can think of with them in the comments section below. Let’s start with the East. Buffalo Sabres (1) vs. New York Islanders (8) The Islanders snuck their way in there and they have been fighting for their playoff lives for the past couple of weeks anyways, whereas the Sabres have pretty much cruised into the post-season. Will this make a difference? I doubt it. Ryan Miller is sufficiently solid in net and with the high-powered offence led by Chris Drury, Daniel Briere, Maxim Afinogenov and Thomas Vanek, the Sabres are the team to beat this year. Sabres in five New Jersey Devils (2) vs. Tampa Bay...

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Meet the Robinsons

I’ve seen my fair share of cartoons in my day, but the ones that have inevitably captured my attention are the ones that are a touch on the violent side. I’m talking about Saturday morning cartoons like Spider-Man, Transformers, X-Men, and TMNT. At the same time, I can enjoy the odd 3D Pixar-style feature film like Open Season, and I was very pleasantly surprised by my recent adventure through the multiplex, watching Meet the Robinsons, a Disney animated flick voiced primarily by unknowns like Daniel Hansen, Laurie Metcalf, Don Hall, and Stephen J. Anderson. They did manage to snag...

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Making it big in Japan

I woke up this morning and went through my usual routine of perusing the different blogs I have bookmarked on my Google personalized homepage, when I discovered a post by Kumiko Suzuki stating that she had been inexplicably banned from Adsense. The reason that Google gave her was that “invalid clicks and/or impressions have been generated on the Google ads on your site(s).” Yup, click fraud. I haven’t known Kumiko all that long, but I’m pretty confident that she had nothing to do with elicit activity, so maybe someone was just out to get her, clicking on ads all day to get her banned. Who knows. In any case, Kumiko refuses to give up and her “cash quest” will continue. In what may be the most interesting turn of events, however, Suzuki has replaced the 160×600 Adsense skyscraper she was running in the left column with “Ads by Kumiko”, wherein she will place a banner advertising a blog or site that has been supporting her quest to make money online. I feel honored that she decided on Beyond the Rhetoric to be the first “free” ad, creating a fairly unique banner based on the one you see at the top of this...

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Vancouver Canucks clinch division title!

Woooooohoooooooooooooo! By narrowly defeating the San Jose Sharks earlier today (Mattias Ohlund was credited with the game-winning goal in overtime), the Vancouver Canucks have officially clinched the Northwest Division title and can look forward to playing the 6th-seeded Dallas Stars in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. GO CANUCKS GO! Update: Darren Barefoot found some head-to-head stats that compare the Canucks and the Stars. Looks pretty even. It’ll certainly prove to be an interesting playoff series, and while there are no “weak” teams making the second season in the West, I’m pleased to see that the Sedins and Luongo will be taking on the Stars, rather than someone like the...

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Inexpensive Business Cards

As I continue to expand my freelance writing business, I have started to consider getting a few extra professional things done. I got someone to redesign the main freelance writing site at, and as I have acquired a few local clients that won’t be paying through PayPal, I have had to develop some letterhead so that I could send out a professional-looking invoice. The next logical step, it seems, would be to get some business cards printed, so I can use them during in-person interactions (though the bulk of my communication is still via email and instant messenger)....

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How did you find Beyond the Rhetoric?

Now that this blog has been around for one year, having migrated over to the WordPress platform for a couple of months, I think it’s fitting that I do a quick retrospective to see how this blog has grown to what it is today. I’m not sure if this is because of the departure from GoDaddy’s ugly QuickBlog software, because I’m getting better at optimizing my articles, or because of my participation and guest-blogging for John Chow dot Com, but there has certainly been a steady increase in traffic for about two months now. I remember when my Technorati ranking was well north 100K. Today, it sits in the 25k range with 375 links from 153 blogs. Not spectacular, to be sure, but a vast improvement over where I used to be. Things are going well, but there’s always room for more improvement. So, as per my daily routine, I logged into Google Analytics to see what’s up, but instead of just looking at the past week, I looked at the past month to see where the traffic has been coming from. The top five referral sources are: – Google (32%) – John Chow dot Com (11%) – Mobile Magazine (11%) – Direct (10%) – My own freelance writing site (6%) – Other (30%) I’m glad to see that I’m getting traffic from the search engines, because it shows...

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The beauty of transliteration

Sometimes, when you translate things from one language to another, much of the meaning is lost. To counter this, many companies avoiding a straight translation altogether and opt for a transliteration. For the uninitiated, transliteration is when you take a word and “sound it out” into the other language. It is through transliteration that we get terms like chow mein and sushi. Sometimes the transliteration brings about less than favorable results though. While wandering through the H-Mart Korean supermarket, I came across a whole lot of instant noodles. Growing up, I ate a lot of the Nissin brand, but nowadays, I’m a little more adventurous with my instant noodles, trying just about any brand I find. Some are better than others, but the transliteration on his package takes the cake: Toilet humour is the not necessarily the best kind of humour, but it’s pretty good when it’s...

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At the 2007 Vancouver International Auto Show

Over at BC Place Stadium, yes the place that had a deflated roof, they’re hosting the 2007 Vancouver International Auto Show. This car show has gone through a few different names over the years including the Pacific International Auto Show and the BC International Car and Light Truck Show, but I think the current choice makes the most sense. After all, it falls right in line with the bigger car shows on the circuit, like those in Detroit, New York, and Geneva (though the last of these has a “Motor” show and not an “Auto” show). My brother, who works at Metro Ford, hooked me up with a couple of free tickets so I took in festivities on Tuesday prior to dining at a Korean supermarket near India Gate Restaurant in downtown Vancouver. Because it is far from being one of the more prominent car shows, there were no new unveilings (to my knowledge) under the dome at BC Place, but there was still plenty to see. Here are a few articles I wrote for Mobile Magazine regarding what I saw at the show: Volvo C30 With the Deceiving Center Console Suzuki SX4 WRC Concept with the Giant Wing Funky Speedometer on Mini Cooper S Video: Crazy Paintjob on T-Rex Super Trike is Hot! Ford Shelby GR-1 Dipped in Chrome Chrysler’s Giant Touchscreen Showcases Concept Cars Turn Signalling in...

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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.