Author: Michael Kwan

Wi-Fi hazardous to your health

I was a little concerned when I came across this article on MobilitySite, because they’re saying that the increased use of the Wi-Fi technology — so many of us have switched to wireless networking these days because it’s so easier and no more expensive that its wired counterpart, security issues aside — has led to several health problems. Among those cited include headaches, increased fatigue, lack of concentration, and impotence. Okay, maybe not the last one, but you can get over that with some adequate therapy and drugs and stuff. Sorry, what was I talking about again? Oh yeah, lack of concentration… Granted, it may simply be a version of medical student syndrome, but I found that lately I have been feeling a little out of it. I often feel tired, although I know that I am generally getting an adequate amount of sleep. I may not be the healthiest diner in the world, but I wouldn’t say that I’m suffering from malnutrition or over-eating. My attention span may have suffered in recent years, but I blame that more on the overload of technology and entertainment than anything else. Most people in this generation have short attention spans, I find. It makes me wonder, though, about the adverse effects of Wi-Fi, given that so much more is being said about potential cancer-causing cell phone use. Could this be another...

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REVIEW: Over the Hedge

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but these computer-generated animation films are really starting to flood the silver screen. Sure, a few years ago, you may have gotten an odd one here or there, and for the most part, they were quite enjoyable if only for their relative novelty. I had a thoroughly good time watching the first Toy Story. I couldn’t help but chuckle at Woody Allen as an insect in Antz. And like just about everyone else on the planet, I couldn’t get enough of Mike Myers as an ugly green ogre in Shrek. This spring and summer, however, it seems like Hollywood has gone into overdrive with these flicks and they’re all starting to look a little generic. Between Ice Age 2, The Wild, Cars, and Ant Bully, it seems like we can’t go a week without a new computer animated film hitting up the local Silvercity, Colossus, Paramount, or the like. Well, although the girlfriend has been catching these technological marvels religiously, the first that I’ve watched this season is Over The Hedge, based on the syndicated comic strip by Michael Fry and T. Lewis who also wrote the screenplay. As expected, they’ve cast a good number of “real actors” to do the voices for this Dreamworks production, and I must say, I’m particularly pleased by the performances by Wanda Sykes (as a cheeky skunk),...

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Wii Launch Titles: 16 of them!

Okay, so this is still in the rumour stage at this point, but Wii Fanboy recently compiled a list of sixteen titles are scheduled to accompany the Nintendo Wii (formerly known as the Revolution) at launch. Even though a launch date and price (more on that in a bit) have not yet been announced for Nintendo’s next generation home video game console, the interweb is busting at the seams with stories about the not-so-powerful machine with ultra-innovative gameplay. The sixteen games that we think have a good chance of being launch titles are the following: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Wii Sports Red Steel Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam Madden NFL 2007 Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz Metal Slug Anthology Trauma Center: Second Opinion Elebits Marvel: Ultimate Alliance Blitz: The League Rayman Raving Rabbids SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab Disney/Pixar’s Cars Two of the most hotly anticipated of the bunch are Red Steel, a first person shooter-action title that takes you through the underworld of the Yakuza, involving guns, samurai swords, and a sense of honour; and Wii Sports, a series of pick-me-up and just have fun games that are destined to be party hits. If you poke around YouTube, I’m sure you can find a video of Wii Tennis with Shigeru Miyamoto himself. Regarding release date, the...

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Richmond Night Market

Summer may not have officially arrived just yet, but for many in the Asian community — particularly those of Chinese or Taiwanese descent living in the Vancouver area — it might as well have started because the floodgates to the “night market” have officially opened (as of this past weekend), letting in the army of counterfeit Gucci purses, late night dim sum, and shady electronics. The fad may have started with the night market in Chinatown a few years ago, but it really took off when they found a larger venue in Richmond. We saw it in the Lansdowne Shopping Centre parking lot, and then a large space near where River Rock Casino sits now, but today’s Richmond Night Market is located a little further east, along River Road between No 5 and No.6 Road. For the uninitiated, that’s right around the IKEA/Future Shop/Staples/Home Depot area on Bridgeport and Sweden Way. Just follow the convoy of cars as they slowly roll into the $3 and $4 parking lots. I haven’t been to the market this year, but have in year’s past. If you look around, you can sometimes find a good deal on some blank optical discs (CD-R’s years ago; more DVD+/-Rs and RWs in recent times), the occasional artsy puzzle, or some random clothing made in China. Caveat emptor, of course. The RCMP are saying that they will...

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LA Report: Six Flags Magic Mountain

On my last full day through the Los Angeles area, we decided to rent a car and take the half-hour or so drive out of Hollywood and into Valencia, California. There really isn’t much to see along the way other than some random hills, trees, and random buildings, but this (relatively) short drive wasn’t about the travelling, it was about the destination. We opted to rent a car (from Enterprise, no less), as when we looked up the trip through the LA area’s public transit system (Metro), it was a two-hour ride that involved multiple transfers. Where were we...

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LA Report: Jimmy Kimmel and Tom Cruise

Jay Leno wasn’t the only celebrity that I managed to spot while on my four-night excursion through California. Nope, his show wasn’t the only one that I got to catch. In following with the late night trend, I so happened to be walking past the El Capitan Theater on Hollywood Boulevard when a couple of the show’s representatives reached out and asked if I wanted to be a part of the live audience for Jimmy Kimmel Live! Without too much hesitation, I replied with a “Why not?” and signed up myself up to come back in a couple of...

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LA Report: Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Welcome to part three (I haven’t decided how many total, we’ll see) of this series reporting on my recent trip to the state of Cawl-lee-foorn-yeeah (sorry, jokes about the Governator don’t really transfer well in print). Today, I’ll chat it up a bit about my experience catching a live taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at the NBC Studios in Burbank. We got in line outside the studio doors at about 2:30pm, with probably 30 or 40 people ahead of us already. The doors were scheduled to open at 3:30, with the taping to commence an hour later. Luckily, we were the last couple of people to grab a seat to kill off that hour before the doors open (they had the standard concrete/asphalt garden with some withering plants outside the studio doors). Well, eventually we managed to find ourselves inside Studio 3, and let me tell you, it was quite chilly. They told us during the studio tour — which I discussed in a previous entry here on Beyond the Rhetoric — that they had to keep the temperature down for a number of reasons. With the hot lights overhead, it can get quite warm on the stage (I guess you could call it a stage) for the guests and Jay. (Side note: the couch found on The Tonight Show isn’t your standard issue furniture. They’ve...

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LA Report: NBC Studio Tour

On Day Two of my trip through the Los Angeles area, we headed over to NBC Studios in Burbank, California. Located at 3000 West Alameda Avenue, these studios are home to high profile shows like Access Hollywood, Days of our Lives, and a good variety of programming for Telemundo. Before getting in line to watch The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, we went around the back of the building and into the gift shop. There, we signed up for an hour-long studio tour that would take us behind the scenes, from the production of props to the actual studios...

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LA Report: The Stinking Rose

Well, I arrived back in Vancouver late Saturday night from my trip to Los Angeles, California. The weather co-operated with us for the most part for the four nights and five days we spent down there. As promised, here is the first of several entries regarding my travels, and they will proceed in roughly chronological order. Today, I will write about where we had dinner on the night of our arrival in Hollywood. While its name may not be the most attractive or mouth-watering out there, The Stinking Rose is one of those gems that is certainly worth a visit if you happen to be down in the Los Angeles area. Known as “the garlic restaurant” (garlic is sometimes known as the stinking rose, hence the restaurant’s namesake), you’ll find that just about everything on the menu involves the breath-stinking-ing (yes, I know that’s not a word) ingredient. We started with the Bagna Calda appetizer, which is basically oven roasted garlic cloves soaked in extra virgin olive oil. Easily spreadable across their foccacia bread, this was a sign of how the evening was going to go. Myself, I opted for the Garlic Prime Rib, which as you can guess, is your fairly standard (but large) cut of prime rib topped with roasted garlic cloves. Other options include Forty Clove Garlic Chicken, Garlic Meat Loaf, Niman Ranch Porterhouse Pork Chop...

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Going going back back to Cali Cali

In the immortal words of the Notorious B.I.G. (aka Christopher Wallace), “I’m going going back back to Cali Cali.” I’m taking a short vacation over to Los Angeles as of tomorrow morning, so Beyond the Rhetoric will be a brief hiatus until my return on Saturday. I fully intend on posting an entry or two based on my California Dreams, so to speak, which will include watching The Tonght Show with Jay Leno, (hopefully) being a contestant on the Price is Right, and darn near puking all over myself at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Too bad I don’t have an E3 pass, otherwise I’d be all over the equivalent of Christmas morning for video gamers...

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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.

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