Author: Michael Kwan

The Words of the Year for 2018

Trying to sum up an entire year in one word (or term) isn’t easy. As you know, my guiding words are forward-thinking (though I did do a retrospective). By contrast, the words of the year chosen by major dictionaries look back at the year that was. What can we say about 2018? What mattered most? Here’s what they had to say. Oxford Dictionaries: Toxic While normally used in a similar context as poisonous and venomous, “toxic” was perhaps more connected to a cultural context in 2018. That’s partly why Oxford chose it as the word of the year. In...

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Sunday Snippet: Daniel Kahneman

Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it. Hello. My name is Michael Kwan and I have protagonist disease. Try as I might to the contrary, I still go about life as if I’m the main character of the story. Everyone else is just a supporting character or even a background actor. In this way, what’s important to me must be the most important thing, and everyone else should be working to support those wants and needs. They should be working exclusively to move my story forward. Intellectually, I know...

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Friday Favorites: Puzzle Games

I’m a lifelong gamer. More or less. It would have been some time in the mid-1980s that I picked up my first controller on the old Atari. Missile Command and Defender were my jam. Over the years, I’ve wielded the Diskarmor with Rygar, fought viruses with Dr. Mario, and shot marbles from a frog’s mouth in Zuma. And as much as I love my fighting games and my side-scrollers, puzzle games have always appealed to me. And so, for this first ever edition of Friday Favorites (should this become a regular thing?), we take a look at some of...

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Woebot Lists My Three Greatest Strengths

I’d like to think that I have a certain way with words. That’s partly how I got into freelance writing in the first place, after all. It’s what I do for a living. And while I don’t consider myself especially witty, I’m apt to throw out a dad joke or six upon occasion too. I get the best cringes. No one gets cringes better than I do. And yet these don’t appear to be my greatest strengths. Hello Woebot Described as “your charming robot friend who is ready to listen 24/7,” Woebot is a chatbot you keep on your...

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[VLOG] Our Family Holiday Traditions

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had a vlog, huh? While I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say this is some sort of Christmas special, I thought the festive season warranted a special episode discussing our holiday traditions. I never really paid much attention to these things until I became a parent myself. What do I want my daughter to remember best about her childhood as it pertains to this time of the year.   Bright Nights in Stanley Park With the noted exception of when she was only a few months old, I think Addie...

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Sunday Snippet: Emily Mortimer

It’s like jumping out of an airplane or something. Everything in your body is telling you not to, and that you shouldn’t, and that it’s an insane thing to do. And that it would be much safer not to. But then the minute you jump, there’s no going back. And there’s something kind of, there’s an incredible freedom about feeling of sort of no going back and it’s just me now and I have to do this and there’s no choice and I can’t back out of it. And then I think something kind of sometimes quite magical happens,...

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Masita Korean Restaurant (Burnaby)

When it comes to Korean food, two of my favorite places are Kimbab Cheonguk and House of Tofu Soup. Both of those are located along North Road near Lougheed Highway on the Burnaby-Coquitlam border. Along the Kingsway corridor near Metrotown, you’ll also find Potter’s Garden and Hanwoori. Me, I’m more inclined to hit Masita Korean Restaurant for a lunch special. Practically a few doors down from MYST Asian Fusion, Masita looks more like someone’s house than it does a place of business. To my recollection, it was a Vietnamese restaurant before being converted into the Korean restaurant it is...

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21 Secret Santa Gift Ideas Under $25

I’m participating in a couple of secret Santa gift exchanges this year with some fellow bloggers. Maybe you’ve got one as part of the annual holiday office party. Or perhaps you’re planning one with a group of friends. Whatever the case, these sorts of gift exchanges usually set a relatively modest spending budget. What can you get for less than $25 that someone would actually want? It’s not like shopping for a preschooler, and pretty much every full retail video game will cost much more than $25. Well, I’ve conveniently gathered up 25 notable selections for my under $25...

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Sunday Snippet: David Chariandy

You did not create the inequalities and injustices of this world, daughter. You are neither solely nor uniquely responsible to fix them. If there is anything to learn from the story of our ancestry, it is that you should respect and protect yourself; that you should demand not only justice but joy; that you should see, truly see, the vulnerability and creativity and the enduring beauty of others. Ever since I became a dad to a little girl of our own, practically every story of a father-daughter relationship has hit me right in the feels. And understandably so. That...

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The Best (Not Really) Christmas Movies for Action Buffs

You’re probably familiar with iconic Christmas movies like It’s a Wonderful Life and Elf. Maybe you’ve got a soft spot for animated classics like How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Usually films like these are intentionally sappy and offer some sort of moral in the spirit of the holiday season. See, the world wouldn’t have been better off if you were never born. See, even the evil hermit who steals all the gifts can learn the true meaning of Christmas. But what if you’re much more interested in explosions and superheroes and even more explosions?...

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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.