Beyond the Rhetoric

 
 
 

My Happiness List (November 2016)

November 24th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

My Happiness List (November 2016)

Some people like to call it a gratitude list. They might even maintain some form of a gratitude journal. Some people might take this opportunity to give thanks, but we already gorged on turkey last month here in Canada. No, I think what I’m going to do today is borrow a page from Amber Strocel and call it a happiness list. It’s just so much more cheerful and positive, wouldn’t you say?

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The Most Important Thing I Learned at YouTube Content Lab

November 22nd, 2016 by Michael Kwan

The Most Important Thing I Learned at YouTube Content Lab

Last Friday, I made my way down to the UBC Robson Square campus with Stephen Fung to attend an invite-only workshop being put on by Google. At the YouTube Content Lab, we learned about how to create an effective content strategy for our respective YouTube channels. We tackled concepts like the “Hero-Hub-Help” approach to content programming. But as useful as those principles may be, they were not the most important thing I learned that morning.

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I’m a Fashion Blogger Now? (SKYE Footwear)

November 21st, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Powll by SKYE Footwear

From a professional and marketing context, I understand that it is usually in your best interest to approach a very specific niche. This is true if you want to have a successful YouTube channel, just as it is true if you want to have a successful mindset. But that comes from a commercial mindset, which might explain why I can sometimes be at a loss when people ask me what Beyond the Rhetoric is all about. Truth be told, it’s all about a lot of things. And one of those things is now fashion?

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Sunday Snippet: The Grand Tour

November 20th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: The Grand Tour

Jeremy Clarkson: “He was born in 1836. He was fired by Car Magazine, fired by Autocar magazine, fired by Scotland on Sunday, and somehow he managed to get fired by a Volvo dealership. Probably for driving too slowly. Ladies and gentlemen, James May!”

Following last year’s fracas with the BBC, we weren’t entirely sure what would become of Jeremy Clarkson. We were left wondering what would happen to Top Gear and how co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond would play into the mix. A lot has changed since last spring. Top Gear has new presenters and the “old” hosts have just launched their new program on Amazon Prime in the most glorious of fashions. The Grand Tour is everything that we wanted (which is mostly more of the same).

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Idiomatica: One and the Same

November 18th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Idiomatica with Michael Kwan

What you may have noticed with several of the Grammar 101 and Idiomatica posts here on the blog is that many errors stem from the same central issue. People are used to hearing certain words or phrases spoken in casual conversation, but they might not write them nearly as often. Then, thanks to the wonderful convenience of automatic spell check, the error fails to get marked as a mistake. And this is the case today with “one and the same.”

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On the Perception of Productivity

November 16th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Productivity

As I was working “the third shift” earlier this week, a thought occurred to me. I was getting a fair bit of work done for a client. Each task had a corresponding dollar value, so I was feeling especially productive. This was a very good feeling, until I realized that all this work came at the expense of neglecting all the other items I had on my to-do list that day. What I was actually doing wasn’t even on the to-do list I compiled that morning, because these tasks trickled in as the day went on.

And this got me thinking. Was I actually being productive or was I simply procrastinating by working on something else? Was I fooling myself? In other words, was my temporary sense of joy and positive self-worth the result of perceived productivity?

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Sunday Snippet: Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)

November 13th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There’s a crack in everything—
That’s how the light gets in.

I never really knew Leonard Cohen. I mean, I’d heard of his name, but my knowledge of the late Canadian singer and poet didn’t really extend beyond that. I didn’t know that his work was sometimes controversial, speaking out about politics and religion. I didn’t know that he was named a Companion of the Order of Canada or that he had been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. And then, he passed away last week.

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Grammar 101: Verses and Versus

November 11th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

Here we go again with a couple of words that sound exactly the same but have entirely different meanings. It’s an honest mistake, since only a single letter separates verses from versus. Adding in the fact that neither word is written all that often, plus the much more widespread use of the abbreviation vs. instead, it’s understandable that one would be used in error in place of the other. But you should learn the difference.

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