Author: Michael Kwan

2014 Winter Olympics: This seems familiar

Wait. Haven’t we seen a couple of these guys before? Oh right, a few years ago when Vancouver won the bid for the 2010 Winter Games. The race is just as heated for the next one in 2014, and just as before, the options have been narrowed down to three locations. Two of these will sound pretty familiar to just about anyone in the Vancouver/Whistler area (or Canada, for that matter). According to, the three finalists are: Pyeongchang, South Korea Salzburg, Austria Sochi, Russia As you know, both Austria and South Korea were involved in the 2010 bid, so they already have quite a few of the pieces in place. In this way, they just had to change the date on a few documents, toss in a few extra selling points, and apply again. By contrast, Russia — despite having consistently impressive results at each and every Winter Olympic Games — has yet to ever actually host the games. Good times. Where do you think the 2014 Games are going? Voice your opinion using the comment form below. Oh, and FYI, the 2008 Summer Olympics are in Beijing, 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver/Whistler (of course), and the 2012 Summer Olympics are in London...

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What a week: Snow, Apple iPhone, Evo X…

It’s been a pretty eventful past couple of days, so I’ll just get down to business. In case you haven’t looked outside yet, it started snowing again. Like a ridiculous amount. And then it stopped as abruptly as it started fifteen minutes later. This was around 8pm tonight. We’ve been experiencing some very strange weather in Vancouver these past couple of months, with the two massive snowfalls we had and the ongoing wind storms that are destroying the trees in Stanley Park, ripping holes in BC Place Stadium, and causing all sorts of other headaches. Mother Nature is finally...

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Tear the roof off… literally.

The big news story in Vancouver today was the deflation of BC Place Stadium. The roof collapsed when somehow a tear formed in the balloon-like roof. Well, the air was let out and it pretty much collapsed on itself, soaking the interior with all sorts of rain and snow. Wow. I looked it up (a little self history lesson) and found that BC Place Stadium was completed only in 1983, so it’s not even all that old of a building. According to the official BC Place Stadium website, “the tear occured only in one panel and it is repairable. A replacement panel will be flown in here for early next week.” Thankfully no one was hurt, and no events — to my knowledge — have been cancelled or rescheduled. The next event is the BC Contractors Show (ironic, huh?), which takes place on the 23rd and 24th of this month. Anyways, I’ll let the pictures and video speak for themselves. For more videos of the deflation, check out this...

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Best lesser-known fighting games

When it comes to fighting games, it’s all too easy to point out the popularity of the legendary Street Fighter series, but are plenty of other versus-style titles out there that are well worth your attention. Over the past 15 years or so, we’ve seen plenty of innovation, but it was the mid 90s that saw some of the greatest innovation. Here are a few fighting games that may have flown under the radar. Fighting Vipers The look of this game may look eerily familiar and for good reason. It runs on the same Sega AM2 engine as Virtua...

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Dining out: The Fish House in Stanley Park

Dine Out Vancouver is just around the corner, but I’m lucky enough to have one of those Entertainment Books, giving me two-for-one entrees at a number of Vancouver’s classiest restaurants. Last night, I took Susanne out to the Fish House in Stanley Park for a nice romantic dinner, and overall, I would say that I was pretty pleased, but there are a few things that weren’t so great and/or not so expected. I know that Fish House is affiliated with The Cannery in East Vancouver (one of my favourite restaurants), but the ambiance is significantly different at the Stanley...

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Blog Tag: Five things about Michael Kwan

I’m not usually the type to reply to chain letters and such, but I’ll make an exception for the sake of the evergrowing blogosphere. I just got tagged by Ed Lau in a bloggy kind of way. The game is a little different than in the school yard, however, as I must disclose five things you may not know about me (because Ed did it before me, and John before him). So, uh, here they are: 1. Despite the “street racer” image that my car (a lightly modified Acura Integra) may have with some people, I have a squeaky clean driving record. If you head on over to the DMV (or I guess “Driver Services Centre” as ICBC calls it) and ask for my driver’s abstract, you will find that I have never had my license suspended… heck, there’s not even a speeding ticket on there. That’s right. No tickets. The only “mistake” on the record is a single at-fault accident. And that was a super minor fender bender 2. I’m known to be a gamer, but some people may be surprised to hear that I am almost obsessively Nintendo loyal. Through the years, I have gone through the following systems: NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Game Boy (original with puke green screen), GBA SP, and DS Lite. Maybe I should have bought the Virtual Boy to collect the set....

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Search engine optimization: hits #2

It’s been a tough battle with the almighty search engine for me, but it seems like I’m finally starting to make some progress. I got an unsolicited email the other day that I was just going to delete thinking it was spam, but it turned out to be a potential client who (I’m assuming) stumbled across my website advertising my freelancing writing services. So, I went on over to Google and, well, I saw something darn near miraculous. Let’s preface this story a bit. has been around since March 2006, so it’s understandable that the first few months...

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Blogging with my Wii

I am posting this entry from my Wii and it is wicked awesome, though the on-screen keyboard is a little cumbersome to use. It does have an option for predictive text, which is quite nice. I think I’m doing about 10 to 15...

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Video: Top ten ways to die in a video game

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m very big on video games. Heck, I’ve grown up squishing goombas and shooting hadoukens out of my hands. Luckily for me, I’ve also parlayed it into a career of sorts, writing for LoveToKnow Video Games, SpinTop Games, and — most recently — That’s why it’s with a little nostalgic tear in my eye that I present to you, the top ten worst ways to die (in a video game). You would think that such a compilation would include Doom. Nope. There are some rather strange choices in the list that I wouldn’t have considered (being killed by a weiner?), and a few that are included for reasons that wouldn’t dawn on most people (check out Halo bit in the clip). Anyways, here’s the vid. Agreements? Disagreements? What about Kitana’s kiss of death from Mortal Kombat II? RELATED POSTS: – Top Ten Video Game Weapons (Video) – Wii Review Roundup: Wii Sports, Rayman Raving Rabbids, Zelda Twilight Princess – Top ten signs you’re a Nintendo fanboy – Wii would like to...

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The cost of interior decor, or “I ain’t ever movin’ out”

I’ve written on something similar in the past, but it is a fairly prominent issue in my life (and in the lives of many 20-somethings in the Greater Vancouver area). Real estate prices are just too high for the average Joe (or Michael, as the case may be) to make their first foray. After all, a decent one-bedroom condo is going to run well over $200,000 if you want to stay in Vancouver / Richmond / Burnaby area. Of course, that’s not where the expenses end. Above and beyond mortgage payments, home insurance, and all that other jazz, you’ve still got to furnish the bloody place. Sure, they may provide you with appliances, but you need a bed, don’t you? And I wonder how much customization is available. Can you opt to not take their default drapes and get the blinds on your own? What about carpeting? Hardwood floors? Interior design can get pretty pricey. I really don’t want to wait until after the 2010 Olympics to get into the real estate market, but I want to stay in the Vancouver area. Maple Ridge and Mission aren’t exactly the most appealing options (to me). Then, where is my window of opportunity? If I wait too long — to take a poker analogy — I may be blinded out, so to speak. Sigh, the housing market is fierce. Maybe I...

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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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