Good Book (FREE) for a Good Deed: Creative Philanthropy Redefines Success

Wednesday, 19 December, 2012

Brett new book "Redefining Success: Still Making Mistakes" interview pix - 2012

A few weeks ago I video interviewed Brett Wilson (businessman & philanthropist, “Dragon with a heart”) to talk about his new book Redefining Success: Still Making MistakesBrett‘s team was very helpful in sending an additional copy of the book so I can give it to one of my readers! That means YOU my readers have a chance to receive a FREE copy of Redefining Success!

Good Book (FREE) for a Good Deed

After reading the Creative Philanthropy chapter in Redefining Success and some careful thinking, I’ve decided on a creative way to give the book away! Here are the rules for a chance to receive a FREE copy of Redefining Success for yourself or one of your deserving friend!

1) Share a true story of a good deed that you’ve done during this holiday season in Alberta.

2) Please keep your story short, may be 100-200 words max. If possible, please post a link to a photo or very brief YouTube video, etc to help tell your story.

3) There is no age restriction, so if your young children want to submit their stories, feel free.

4) Please post your submission here in the comment section under this post. Make sure you leave your contact email (visible to me only to contact you if you win).

5) Contest starts today and closes Saturday Jan 12th, 2013. And the winning entry will be announced hopefully within a week after the end of the contest.

P.S. A good book give away lead to one happy winner. I am hoping the shared good deed stories here will inspire us all to do more good!


CBC Dragon Brett Wilson redefines Success and talks Mistakes in extensive video interview

Saturday, 24 November, 2012

Brett new book interview pix - 2012

Over the last four years since June 2008, I’ve the pleasure to interview Brett Wilson (businessman & philanthropist, “Dragon with a heart”) many (see my 2008 pre-Dragons’ Den interview videos) and many times. I also slowly get to know Brett from industry events (we’ve met at Banff World Media Festival quite a few times (see 2009 interview)) and from his annual charity garden parties (thx Brett for inviting me & my better half). I can honestly say the “up close & in person” Brett is pretty much the same nice & straight talking no non-sense guy that many viewers of CBC’s award-winning Dragons’ Den have come to know.

Earlier this afternoon, I had the pleasure to conduct an insightful, open and frank video interview with Brett to talk about his Globe & Mail best-selling book “Redefining Success: Still making mistakes“! I hope you enjoy my interview with Brett as much as I in conducting it. Please share this article & video. And comment too.

note: this article is cross-posted by me at examiner.com

Brett & Kempton at 2010 Garden Party with book cover


Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything – First Look

Wednesday, 21 November, 2012

Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything by Carol J. Loomis - pix 1

Forty-two months! Thats how long I’ve been eagerly awaiting for Carol Loomisnew book “Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2012: A Fortune Magazine Book” (368 pages, on sale Nov 26th and online amazon.com & indigo.ca). Carol is Fortune magazine senior editor-at-large and a long time (40+ years) close friend of Warren Buffett! I am thrilled to see Carol’s book published and in my hands as it feels like having an insightful person who knows Warren really well to guide me through some important and insightful articles. It will take me some time to read & review the book, please stay tune for my detailed review. Until then, my first impression of the book is it looks awesome!

Long time readers of Warren‘s news and insights will be familiar with some of key articles in this collection and also see many (for me) new articles that are important but less well known. Carol has added many insightful commentaries before the articles to give us context and share with us her views. For example, the article “The Inside Story of Warren Buffet” (April 11, 1988) is Fortune’s first profile of Warren and Carol’s preamble explains what lead her to finally wrote the first profile about Warren after knowing him for 20+ years at that point! And then the afterword for articles like “Buffett Hits $200 million Downdraft” (Nov 17, 1994) reminds readers that Warren actually made money on the USAir investment (which many people may have an impression of it being a money losing investment).

P.S. Now, let me explain my wait of almost forty-two months in this postscript. You see, in April 2009, shareholders of Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway NOT physically presented at the annual shareholders’ meeting in Omaha were given opportunities to ask Warren & Charlie remotely in advance via email for the first time. And I jumped at the chance by emailing my question to Carol! Along with my question, I told Carol that,

I am a big fan of your Fortune articles about Warren and BRK. (I have taken the time to look up some of your older articles and really enjoy reading them.)”

In Carol’s email reply was where I first read of the mention of a possible book (the book that I am finally holding in my hands)! So, yes, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the book since Apr 2009, and that is about forty-two months! :)

P.P.S. Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed there is a stack of five books in the above picture. Can you guess the titles of the Warren related books in the stack? Find out how many you guess correctly by clicking here to see this picture.

P.P.P.S. If you have read this far, you might as well check out my review of Warren’s biography “Snowball” by Alice.

note: this article is cross-posted by me at examiner.com


Interviewing Sir Salman Rushdie from Calgary – Who is Joseph Anton?

Monday, 24 September, 2012

20120924 Sir Salman Rushdie

To many readers, Sir Salman Rushdie is most well-known, unfortunately, for his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), which lead to death threats made against him, including a fatwā issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in February 1989. To some film-loving Calgarians, Rushdie will also be known for his second novel, Midnight’s Children, the 1981 Booker Prize winning novel which was made into a movie that was premiered in Calgary International Film Festival last week.

So who is Joseph Anton? Rushdie answered, “Strangely enough, it is me. Because during those years, the police who were protecting me [from the fatwā] at these undisclosed locations needed to have a pseudo name to call me by so that they didn’t accidentally use my real name when they were at the local corner store. So they asked me to invent one. So I invented a name based on two of my favourite writers. Joseph Conrad. And Anton from Anton Chekhov. Put them together and that name lasted for ten years. Truthfully, I always disliked that name.” Rushdie used that name as his memoir’s title because he wants to give readers a sense of how strange it was during those ten years.

Rushdie initially wrote the book in the first person “in the ordinary” way. He didn’t like it. He felt it “too much self-regard, too narcissistic“. When he finally wrote it in the third person, he felt he could have “a little more distance” from himself. Rushdie said, “Also it was a long time ago, the story began in 1989, twenty-three years ago.” He felt there is enough of a difference between him now, and him then. So using the third person allows him to express the idea that the person he is now is different from the person he was then.

Rushdie’s new book is out, check it out from your bookstore or library, “Joseph Anton: A Memoir“.

P.S. It was an honour for me to hangout with Sir Salman. Many thanks to the wonderful Maria Quiban and the Fox LA crew for the great hangout.

Note: This article is cross-posted by me at examiner.com

Jan 22, 2013 Update: Here is the Hangout video with Sir Salman,


To “Read Before” or “Read After”, that is the question

Tuesday, 3 April, 2012

I have an interesting discussion with my friend DeAno. The main discussion point is this:

Given an upcoming movie, will you read the source material before or after you watch the movie?

Here are my comments:

- Don’t know why I do it but I read a ton of spoilers from the Wikipedia entries for the books some months ago. Fortunately I’ve forgotten most of the details now. :)

P.S. I think it can still be fun even if you know what may come from the books. Many people who watch the Harry Potter films are avid readers of the books and I don’t think their fun was spoiled much.

- Totally see your points in not wanting to know what’s coming next. Very different personal preferences I guess. And Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power Of Introverts has helped me understand why this difference in personal preferences.

Don’t know if you’ve watched these two movies but I loved their trailers so much that I didn’t want to wait for them on screen and ended up borrowing the play & novel to read before I watched the movies on the big screen! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_(play) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Notebook

In contrast, I watched English Patient, loved it so much and ended up getting the book and read it in two days.


Susan Cain videos – Quiet: The Power Of Introverts

Saturday, 31 March, 2012

Susan Cain - Quiet - The Power Of Introverts

Tonight, I’m excited to get Susan Cain‘s new 2012 book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” as an audiobook so I can listen to it while I drive! Susan also writes a blog.

The following are some videos of Susan talking about her book.

Update: I’ve finished “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” and would highly recommend it to anyone interested. Very insightful book.

Leading@Google: Susan Cain

The Secret Power Of Introverts: A Quiet Revolution

The power of introverts – Susan Cain’s TED Talk

Techcrunch, Keen On… Susan Cain

*** Book reviews:

* Canadian Business: Book review – Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

* Globe and Mail: Giving introverts permission to be themselves

* Guardian, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain – review

*** Here is a selected list of press mentions from Susan’s post:

CNN – Introverts Run the World — Quietly

The New York Times – In New Office Designs, Room to Roam and to Think

The Asian Age – Why Introverts are Quiet Winners

CTV News – Interview: Loud Society Fails to Capitalize on Introverts

TheCommentary.ca – Audio Interview / Podcast

The Introvert Entrepreneur – Audio Interview / Podcast

MSNBC – Video interview on The Dylan Ratigan Show

WNYC – Audio Interview on The Leonard Lopate Show

Vancouver Sun – Hate Networking?  Introvert Business Leaders as Good or Better than Extroverts

Popsop.com – Sshh Branding: The Quiet Revolution


3 simple questions The Hunger Games movie audiences should ask ourselves

Saturday, 24 March, 2012

First of all, I want to say I LOVE The Hunger Games (the movie) and happy to see it box office is going strong ($68.3m on Friday). At the same time, I think we, the audiences, can and should ask ourselves 3 simple but meaningful questions. Check out The Hunger Games Official Movie Trailer.

Question 1) What kind of world would let its children aged 12 to 18 fight to their death?

The movie only had a few short seconds of screen time to setup the “rationale” for why they select children aged 12 to 18 to fight to their death for 74 years in a row. It is up to us to ask more. Lets ask ourselves, will we let our children fight to their death? The sad answer is yes as I’ve learned from the news and books like “They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers“.

I’ve previously shared my views re child soldiers in my #Kony2012 post which I stated the focus should be less on the hunt for one bad man but instead addressing the much deeper and meaningful challenge of the demobilization and rehabilitation of child soldiers.

I’ve both books on my desk and will be spending more time on “They Fight Like Soldiers” to start.

The Hunger Games & They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children

Question 2) Do you find the violence in The Hunger Games so stylized that you forget that these are children being killed?

When I watched The Hunger Games yesterday, there were two young teens, probably less than 13, 14 years old, plus their mom sitting besides me. If I were a better reporter, I would have asked them after the film how they felt about it. During the show, the kids were already asking the mom questions and I would be interested to know if the mom explain or talk much afterwards and at at dinner time. I found this timely clip about the movie posted by Emory University.

Violence As Entertainment – The Hunger Games

Now, in a calculated stark contrast, David Cronenberg‘s A History of Violence is a film that has been designed to put violence front and center, strip away any stylization or pretence, and force us to face our guilt when “enjoying” the violence. Rolling Stone’s Travers put it this way,

Cronenberg knows violence is wired into our DNA. His film showed how we secretly crave what we publicly condemn.

Question 3) Does The Hunger Games (movie) make us question our love of reality TV or feel guilty of our current addition to it?

Lets not forget, The Hunger Games depicts a reality TV show where children aged 12-18 have been fighting to death for 74 years in a row! It just seems to me the movie lets the audience (yes “us”, as it you and me) get away free without any guilt. I agree with what EW writer Darren Franich wrote in his “‘The Hunger Games': What the movie missed about the book

“But there is one important aspect of the original novel [by Suzanne Collins] that is almost entirely absent from the movie: The darkly funny way in which Collins directly accuses the audience. As in, us. Weirdly, by turning the book into such a fan-baiting crowdpleaser, the movie version of Hunger Games seems to oddly miss the point of its own source material.”

You see, in The Truman Show, we the audiences are clearly reminded of who put Truman Burbank in his predicament in the first place. Yes, the viewers put Truman in the show! In Extras, comedian Ricky Gervais reminded us that we are very much accomplices in this celebrity crazed and reality TV mess.

*******

Note re question 1: I haven’t forgotten the shameful ways the US and Canadian governments have acted in the handling of one particular case of child soldier prosecution as I wrote in my #Kony2012 post.

Articles worth reading:

- EW, ‘The Hunger Games': What the movie missed about the book by Darren Franich
– MTV, ‘Hunger Games': Why The Movie Beats The Book by Josh Wigler
– Cinema Blend, 10 Big Differences Between The Hunger Games Movie And Book by Jessica Graberb
– “Roger Ebert movie review

Research info:

The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games full casts (imdb)
– Catching Fire (2009 novel)
Mockingjay


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