Author: Michael Kwan

Screech is broke! Saved by the Bell star begs for donations

Whether you are willing to admit it or not, if you grew up during the 80s and 90s, there’s a good chance that you’d rush home after school each day to catch “Saved by the Bell”, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris and Tiffani Amber Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski. That said, the geek with the strange voice that always stole the show was Samuel “Screech” Powers as portrayed by Dustin Diamond. Well, it turns out that real-life Dustin is broke and is getting kicked out of his home in Wisconsin. Unless you buy a t-shirt. Diamond has set up a website — at — where he further expounds his story. He’s already expressed his woes on the Howard Stern Show. In a nutshell, he got served with a notice to foreclose, demanding $250,000 or the bank will take the house back. He got screwed by a lawyer-type, and is now desperate for funds. So, he’s asking you to buy a t-shirt. For $15 (plus shipping), you can a snazzy white tee featuring the Saved by the Bell star turned broke stand-up comic. For an extra five bucks, he’ll even sign the thing, giving you a priceless (well, $20) piece of autographed memorabilia. As this for real? I can’t say for sure. Contrary to popular belief, he can’t ask Michael Diamond (Mike D) of the Beastie Boys for a...

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WiFi music browsing and downloads with MusicGremlin

Get past the Rio-esque design of the MG-1000 and you’ll discover an incredibly portable music playing machine that can download new content on the go thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. Of course, you have to pay for MusicGremlin’s subscription service (MusicGremlin Direct) — currently fetching $15 a month — but that’s not much more than what satellite radio is asking for, and here you get to pick and choose your content. They’re calling this 8GB device the world’s first WiFi-enabled, service driven digital audio player. Find yourself in a wireless hotspot or set up an ad hoc WiFi network, and you’ll be able to browse MusicGremlin’s library in its entirety. They’re reporting over 2 million songs at this time, a fairly beefy selection if I say so myself. You can even share your DRM goodness with other Gremlin users nearby. The 2-inch QVGA display is colorful, the 802.11b connectivity isn’t the fastest but is fairly adequate, and it throws in USB 2.0, line-in, and FM radio for good measure. Plop down three Benjamins and you’ll be able to enjoy the wireless browsing and downloading on the go with the Gremlin MG-1000 WiFi DAP. Source:...

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Smart Car crash test video. Verdict: Goes for a tumble

Worried about the safety issues surround the Smart ForTwo from DaimlerChrysler (marketed through Mercedes-Benz in Canada)? If you’re an American looking to save a few bucks on your annual gas bill, while being able to squeeze into the tightest of parking spots downtown, the Smart Car just might be for you because they’re expecting to launch the golf-cart sized vehicle in the States pretty darn soon. We already have it here in Canada, of course, as well as certain areas in Europe. Check out this video of the Smart Car going for a head-on collision against a Mercedes S-Class. Let’s just say it goes for a tumble and I’m glad I don’t have a part-time job as a crash test...

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The perfect resource website is slowly, but surely, undergoing a site redesign. I hope to have the new look up sooner rather than later, so expect some fairly substantial changes to the main site in the days, weeks, and months to come. Whenever that happens, I’d like to expand the branding to other sub-websites, if you will. In a way, Beyond the Rhetoric can be thought of as the first of these, being the official blog of, but what other “sections” would be most valuable to the lookey-loo web surfing community? I’m totally up to suggestions and opinions on this matter, because, well, it is you, the internet surfing public, that will be served by these new sub-sites, if you will. They will serve several purposes, of course. For starters, I’d like to get my name “out there”, so that I become a little more prominent as a freelance writer and editor, being able to land a few more projects. Don’t get me wrong, I am thoroughly enjoying my time with Mobile Magazine and LoveToKnow, but I’m always itching for more. And hey, making a little coin along the way is more than welcome. This blog will remain as probably the most frequently updated section of the site, but I’d like to throw out a “resource” section or two. Some of the possibilities that I am considering include: Shakespeare: Helping...

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Motorola Q running Pocket NES

While there was a whole lot of hub-bub yesterday surrounding the launch of the Nintendo DS Lite, those of you who want to get your old school gaming on while still rocking the latest and greatest that technology has to offer… well, you guys just got a whole new toy to play with. Launched in the United States through Verizon Wireless, and seemingly available to Canadians through Telus Mobility (though it’s not on their website, I did get a flyer the other day telling me they had it), the Motorola Q is said to the be the world’s slimmest smartphone and this puppy sure has a whole lot of tricks up its sleeve. Smartphones are growing in popularity because they add so much more functionality to an otherwise strictly-for-communication device. Sure, SMS and MMS may be fun and all, but isn’t it great to watch some TV on the go with Slingplayer Mobile, rock the satellite tunes with XM Radio, and all the while keep up with your work-related things using light versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer? That’s what the Motorola Q smartphone is all about. Regular cell phones are so yesterday. Check out the video below of a user that got Pocket NES working on the Motorola Q. He’s playing a hit from a legendary sereis, and arguably one of the single greatest games of...

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Spiderman 3 – Video on the set!

Now that the X-Men movie trilogy is officially wrapped up (although Wolverine and Magneto spinoffs — prequels, actually, are said to be in the works), we need to refuel our superhero fix. Let’s cast aside Superman for just a moment — I know how many of you are itching about that movie too — and turn to Peter Parker and his webslinging ways. Comic book lovers of the world rejoice because I’ve come across this video (watch below) on the set of Spiderman 3 in New York. The Spiderman universe is actually just as popular as any other major comic book derived super hero out there, ranking right up there with the X-Men, Batman, Superman and others. We’ve fallen in love with Tobey Maguire as Spiderman and we can’t help but have a soft spot for Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson. For this third offering on the silver screen, your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman has to face off against the Sandman (played by Thomas Haden Church) and VENOM!!!!! Perhaps most interesting of all, Venom (aka Eddie Brock when he’s not covered in the black goo) is going to be portrayed by Topher Grace of That 70s Show fame. Yes, Eric Foreman. Anyways, here’s the Spiderman vid I mentioned above. It’s not much, but it’ll have to do until we get to enjoy Spiderman 3 in all its glory next...

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FREE: Electronic Gaming Monthly subscription

I came across this link — — a little earlier today, and they’re saying that I can get a one-year subscription to Electronic Gaming Monthly, a rather prominent video game magazine, absolutely free with no strings attached. Growing up, it had to be EGM and GamePro for all my video game news, reviews, previews, and cheat codes needs, but with the advent of the internet, most of the things published in these gaming mags is a little dated, compared to big websites like the IGN family of sites, Joystiq, Gamespot, and other resources. I figured it was worth a shot and filled out the form, so I’ll keep you posted as to whether I actually receive an issue (if I remember to update this entry; after all, it will take 4-6 weeks before I receive my first issue… at best). Now, I am not responsible for any external links that you may stumble upon through reading my blog — video game related or otherwise — and I in no way am affiliated with these people, but I just thought I’d pass this information onto you and from there you can do whatever you want. Take a chance… or don’t, see if I...

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Driver-oriented Maybach 51 destined for 2009

With the exception of their extra length, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish a Maybach from a standard-issue Mercedes based on the exterior looks alone. Open the rear doors, however, and you’ll quickly realize the substantial differences between the two sets of vehicles as the Maybach is a car to be driven in, not one that you purchase to actually drive yourself. That might be changing though, according to Auto Motor und Sport of Germany. Word is that Mercedes is working on the smallest Maybach to date – dubbed the 51 for its 5.1 meter length, following in the tradition of other Maybach models on the market – with an expected launch some time in 2009. Because of its smaller size, they’re calling this the most driver-oriented model in the Maybach lineup. Driver-oriented indeed, because the 51 will sport a V12 engine capable of between 500 and 600 horsepower. It might even rock the same platform as the W221 S-Class Mercedes. In addition to the four door sedan, there are rumblings of a coupe version as well, further pushing the driver-oriented nature of this new vehicle. While exact pricing is far from being confirmed, it is likely that the Maybach 51 will fall into the same range as the Bentley Continental Flying Spur (the world’s fastest 4-door production vehicle). Source: Leftlane...

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So, a crow flew into my house…

So, a crow flew into my house yesterday. Far be it for me to call myself a wildlife expert, but I didn’t think that these otherwise incredibly intelligent animals would just decide to fly into an occupied house with people in plain view. Maybe I should better explain myself. My mom was coming back from grocery shopping, and my brother sees her through the window unloading the trunk. As she walks toward the house, my brother makes his way over to open the door for her. As the door swung open, he discovers that there is a crow sitting on my doorstep. The little black bird tries to bolt through the entrance, but my brother slams the door shut. Unfortunately, the crow gets stuck somewhere in the middle (I don’t know how exactly, I was still in bed at the time), so my brother, Denny, is forced to open the door to let it out. Strangely, as soon as the door is open again, the crow flies straight into the coat closet and perches itself on a pair of sandals. My mom freaks out. My brother freaks out. The crow is, well, not looking so well, bobbing his (or her, we have no idea) head up and down, having trouble keeping his balance. With all this commotion, I am startled from my slumber and make my way down the...

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Feel the adrenaline rush

For some people, the idea of a good day is the stereotypical lazy Sunday afternoon. Cuddling up with a good novel under an old oak tree is an absolute dream. For me, though, and countless others, there is an intense urge to feel an adrenaline rush. I feed off of excitement — sometimes, at least — so for those of you in the Vancouver area, I’m totally open to a few budget-minded venues where I can get that monkey off my back. When I was younger, video games could provide that little bit of thrill. They still do, to a certain extent, but not quite as much as before. Personally, I enjoy racing games, but mostly only in the arcades where I actually have a set a pedals at my feet and a solid steering wheel in front of me. Shooting games are also fun, and as such, I’m very excited about the prospects of Red Steel for the upcoming Nintendo Wii. It’s been a while since I’ve gone, but for a while, I was addicting to go karting at TBC Indoor Racing, located in Richmond BC. The rush of actually racing, but in a safe, controlled environment, is quite inviting. From what I hear, it is head and shoulders above the outdoor racing track found near the Richmond Auto Mall. The speed at TBC is thrilling, the course...

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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.