Beyond the Rhetoric


What’s Up Wednesdays: First World Problems

March 18th, 2015 by Michael Kwan


My shampoo and conditioner never run out at the same time. My hot coffee wasn’t so hot after I was pulled away to change a diaper. Kristen Lamb knows as well as anyone about the first world problems that we face. She recently had to deal with neutering a not-so-young cat, taking care of a not-so-well child and cleaning up a not-so-spotless home. She feels like crying sometimes, but then she realizes that she doesn’t have cancer, nor does she have Dengue Fever. Life isn’t so bad.

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Grammar 101: On Collective Nouns

March 17th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

In your writing, it is important to be mindful of subject-verb agreement. A singular noun corresponds to one form of a verb, while a plural noun correponds with a different form of a verb. He chooses, but they choose. Joan runs, but the cats run. This can be complicated with the introduction of collective nouns. These are words that describe a group (plural), but have the appearance of being singular.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Sample Photos and Video

March 16th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Samsung Galaxy S6 Sample Photos and Video

It’s something that many a tech enthusiast has been saying for a very long time: your standalone point-and-shoot camera has become practically obsolete as the cameras on smartphones are pretty amazing. And indeed, with all this talk of more processing cores and thinner profiles, one of the most important features on a modern-day smartphone is its camera. And that’s how I find myself looking at the Samsung Galaxy S6 today.

Set to launch in Canada on April 10, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is the company’s newest flagship device, alongside the fundamentally identical Galaxy S6 Edge. Of course, the biggest difference is that the S6 Edge gets that dual-curved display. I discuss both devices in the hands-on preview video, like how Samsung has abandoned the removable back in favor of a sealed aluminum and glass body.

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Sunday Snippet: Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)

March 15th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Chuck Palahniuk

“Don’t do what you want. Do what you don’t want. Do what you’re trained not to want. Do the things that scare you the most.”

Life is short. It’s a recurring theme here on Beyond the Rhetoric, particularly with the Sunday Snippet series, that we all need to make the most out of what little time we have on this planet. We want to be happy. We want to make an impact. We want to matter.

In order to accomplish these goals, sometimes we have to step outside of our comfort zones. Indeed, American novelist Chuck Palahniuk says we should aspire to do the things we don’t want to do.

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The Telltale Sign that Spring Has Sprung in Vancouver

March 13th, 2015 by Michael Kwan


When you live in the frozen part of the country, you can declare that spring has arrived when the snow starts to melt. Here in Vancouver, where it rains most months out of the year, we can’t rely on melting snow as our indicator. Instead, we have the good fortune of seeing so many of our city streets brighten up with pink cherry blossoms. Yes, the sakura trees are in bloom a little early this year and it’s a beautiful sight to behold.

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Grammarly Instantly Proofreads Your Work

March 12th, 2015 by Michael Kwan


It’s undeniable that there is a lot more to great writing than simply having perfect spelling and grammar. That being said, as you may have been able to surmise from the Grammar 101 series, proper grammar is still very important. This is especially true in a professional context.

And while there is no true replacement for having a highly skilled human editor go over your work, automated tools like Grammarly can pick up on mistakes that you may otherwise miss. Indeed, I find that editing my own work is the greatest challenge of all.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Cruise Control

March 11th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

What's Up Wednesdays: Cruise Control

Sometimes, we forget that the simplest things in life can also be the most important, the most rewarding and the most profound. As Andrew Tate points out, some of the greatest minds that this world has ever seen took long walks to promote creativity, improve health and boost productivity. Everyone from Charles Dickens to Charles Darwin went on long walks on a regular basis, as well as some “crazy old man” in Palo Alto, California.

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On the WAHD Lifestyle: Six Months Later

March 10th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

The WAHD Lifestyle Perspective: Six Months Later

When someone learns that I am both a full-time freelance writer and a full-time stay-at-home dad (SAHD), I typically receive one of two possible reactions. One group of people assume that my wife automatically takes on all of the baby-raising responsibilities and it’s effectively business as usual for me. These are the same kind of people that assume freelancing and working from home is like one extended vacation.

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