Beyond the Rhetoric


Grammar 101: Maybe vs. May Be

July 11th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

Change one letter and you can completely alter the meaning of a word. We see this with “affect” and “effect.” And then you get more confusing situations like with “all right” and “alright,” but what if the only difference is the inclusion or omission of a space? Do you know when you should use “maybe” and when you should use “may be” instead? I’ve got a simple test to simplify the matter.

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Sunday Snippet: Elaine Lui (and Her Mom)

July 10th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Elaine Lui

“And her answer all the time was, ‘Why do you need to prepare for the good things that happen? They’re good. They won’t hurt you. Do you need advance notice for the arrival of happiness? Or would you rather have advance notice of the hard times? My job is to prepare you for the hard times. My job is to teach you how to avoid the hard times, whenever possible.’

So instead of fairy tales, the Squawking Chicken told ghost stories, some of which she experienced herself. Many of my life lessons came from Ma’s personal tales.”

As parents, we have this incredible burden to bear of preparing our children for the real world. This might start with deceptively simple tasks like sitting on your own, crawling, and figuring out how to shovel food in your mouth with a plastic spoon. We want our kids to be ready to face whatever lies ahead. And that’s what Elaine Lui’s “squawking chicken” of a mother tried to do by telling stories about the unsettled spirits of deceased children reaching out from within her closet.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: With Great Power

July 6th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

What's Up Wednesdays: With Great Power

As regular readers of this blog already know, I gather up and share some great blog posts every Wednesday. This week, we start off with Tara Jensen and her adventures with the Netflix Stream Team. One of her favorite shows is Orange Is the New Black. It didn’t interest her at first, but like me, she got drawn in to unique characters like “Crazy Eyes” Suzanne Warren above. Netflix binge-watching is dangerous business. I still need to finish season three, so no spoilers please!

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Marriott Napa Valley Hotel & Spa Room Tour

July 5th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Marriott Napa Valley

I’ve been to San Francisco a couple of times before, but I’d never ventured into the neighboring wine country. The good folks at Gigabyte, Intel and Corsair invited me — along with a few other tech journalists — out to Northern California last week to familiarize us with some of their new gear. That post will follow on Futurelooks soon. In the meantime, here’s a video tour of my hotel room at the Marriott Napa Valley.

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Sunday Snippet: Scott Meyer, Off to Be the Wizard

July 3rd, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Scott Meyer, Off to Be the Wizard

“Nobody has all the answers, because all the best answers generate more questions.”

After making it a point to read at least a book a month, I turned to my friends on Facebook and Twitter for some suggestions. I was looking for some lighthearted and decidedly geeky fare along the same lines of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. One friend said I should read Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer and it turned out to be radically different than what I had first anticipated.

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Did You Know? Five Fun Facts for Canada Day

July 1st, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Did You Know? Five Fun Facts for Canada Day

On this Canada Day, I thought I’d share some interesting and perhaps little known facts about our humble and polite little country. For instance, while the Dominion of Canada was formed in 1867, we didn’t receive our full independence from the Parliament of the United Kingdom until the Canada Act 1982.

Getting used to Canadian slang can be jarring for outsiders, so I’ll try to keep my Canuckisms to a minimum. Sorry about that, eh!

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On Opportunity Cost and the Value of Leisure

June 30th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

On Opportunity Cost and the Value of Leisure

Have you ever played The Game of Life? In the board game, the first decision you need to make is whether you want to go to school or you want to start working right away. Opportunity cost stares you in the face. By choosing to go to school (for a shot at a higher annual salary), you forego a few “turns” of earning. By choosing to work, you forego the chance to earn a higher wage. But that’s just a game, right? It’s not real life.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: The Night Owl

June 29th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

What's Up Wednesdays: The Night Owl

Every Wednesday, I gather up a selection of blog posts from around the web that I think are worth reading. Today, we start with Mike Vardy and his explanation as to why he writes well after 9 pm. As a night owl, he found that trying to rewire himself into a morning person just seemed counterproductive. For the most part, I agree, though the challenges of the third shift may beg to differ. Either way, you should work when you feel the most productive and the most creative.

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