Watch “Revolution Trilogy” 睇「革命三部曲」

Friday, 18 March, 2016

Director/producer/independent reporter Kempton Lam has made three full-length documentaries from 2004 – 2015. (Cantonese with English subtitles 廣東話、英文字幕) Collectively, the three documentaries are known as his “Revolution Trilogy「革命三部曲」. Kempton’s debut documentary Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命 has been collected by the Canadian National Archive since 2009. You can watch the three films at this YouTube Playlist (projected on your big screen HD TV or on your computer here). Enjoy!

Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命」 (full-length 2005) (read film & Canadian national archive info)

HKtv Revolution 「香港電視革命」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)

Umbrella Revolution: History as Mirror Reflection 「雨傘革命實錄:以史為鏡」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)


Heritage Minutes: “Boat People” Refugees

Tuesday, 20 June, 2017

Today is World Refugee Day and I want to say I just LOVE this Heritage Minutes: “Boat People” Refugees

Saw the news story last night on CBC National (more info)

P.S. I’ve fond memories of my late Choi Uncle who also played the role of the elderly Chinese man in the Heritage Minutes: Nitro. Instead of being paid for his role, he asked for a commissioned painting from CBC instead.


粉筆少女 The infamous Chalk Girl

Friday, 16 June, 2017

This is NOT my documentary but I really enjoyed the newly released Guardian documentary “The Infamous Chalk Girl” by San San F Young (web, @ssfyoung) (Producer, Camera, Director) so I want to share it here. Have a watch!

The Infamous Chalk Girl

P.S. My favourite scene is at the 20:45 mark and I left this comment: “This is a very touching scene to me. Chalk girl was asked what would she draw now?


2017 Princeton Valedictory Address “Our Unsung Heroes” by Ms. Jin Yun Chow

Sunday, 11 June, 2017
Princeton 2017 Valedictorian Ms. Jin Yun Chow

Princeton 2017 Valedictorian Ms. Jin Yun Chow

Before I quote an excerpt and link to the wonderful speech, here is an amazing story of Princeton 2017 Valedictorian Ms. Jin Yun Chow from Hong Kong. [HT Daisann]

In other words: Valedictorian Chow finds connection, purpose in language and life at Princeton

//“One day we were discussing the Old Irish word for mead (a drink made from fermented honey), which is ‘mid,’” she said. A classmate who is Australian and speaks Cantonese pointed out that “mid” was related to the Tocharian word — spoken in very old northwestern China — for honey, “mit.” Chow noted that in Cantonese, which preserves the oldest pronunciations of Chinese, the usual transliteration of the word for honey is “mat.”

“That one word’s journey — from Proto-Indo-European to the geographically distant languages Old Irish and Tocharian and from there into northwestern China and then Cantonese, which is spoken in southeastern China — was just so cool,” Chow said. “It confirmed that there are moments in esoteric academic study that aren’t so ‘ivory-tower-esque.’ If you’re open-minded enough you can make all these connections with everything else in your life experience.”//

Here is a link the video of Ms. Chow’s 2017 Commencement Valedictorian Speech “Our Unsung Heroes”. And here is a few excerpts from the prepared written text (not quite a transcript).

I would like to start by telling you a story about the most memorable moment I had with one of my own unsung heroes: Margaret Campbell at the Firestone café. A few weeks ago, I was waiting in line for coffee when I saw that she was holding a Kindle ebook. […] [K’s note: I LOVE this story but I don’t want to copy the whole thing here.] I walked away that afternoon with a tingling feeling in my stomach. I marveled at how easy it would have been to have walked away after getting my coffee, not stopping to chat and never learning about her amazing literary endeavors. I wondered how many interesting people I didn’t get to befriend over my four years here because I never gave them a chance to talk and never gave myself the chance to listen. […]

So what I want to say to you today, my friends, is this: slow down. Slow down and take the time to recognize your unsung heroes. […] adulthood will urge us to run faster, climb higher, become more successful; it will entice us to swim upstream through the river that is life itself, and it will tempt us to devote every free minute to advancing ourselves and our ambitions. I challenge us to be the salmon that swims downstream, taking the time to get to know and appreciate the people who surround us as we glide through the water. […]

One of my dearest friends put it best when he said that I am not generous enough with what he calls unscripted time. It is amorphous time that falls outside of the structural rigor of meetings, classes, meals and other obligations; it is unscheduled time that allows for organic, spontaneous and unscripted interactions. This is the time when instances of extraordinary candor crop up naturally, when episodes of exquisite tenderness surface unexpectedly, when heartfelt sincerity slips out spontaneously.


James Comey Testimony on President Donald Trump, Russia Investigation at Senate Hearing

Friday, 9 June, 2017

Former (fired by Trump) FBI Director James Comey‘s Testimony is an important teachable moment in history. Worth a watch.

June 8, 2017 Full James Comey Testimony on President Donald Trump, Russia Investigation at Senate Hearing

Politico, “Full text: James Comey testimony transcript on Trump and Russia

NY Times, June 9th, 2017 “Calling Comey a Liar, Trump Says He Will Testify Under Oath

WaPo, “There’s no indication Comey violated the law. Trump may be about to.


The Good Doctor from the creator of House with a Korean connection

Tuesday, 6 June, 2017

The Good Doctor - U.S. remake and South Korean original

I’m looking forward to watch The Good Doctor, an upcoming American medicaldrama television series, developed by David Shore (creator of House and U of Toronto law grad) and Daniel Dae Kim, starring Freddie Highmore, based on the 2013 South Korean series of the same name. See below for trailers of both series.

I’ve watched the first few episodes of the South Korean series and found it fascinating but also recognize there needs to be lots of changes in this remake to turn it something more to the taste of North American audiences. There are a lot of screen time spent on hospital politics in the South Korean series that it endanger patients so much that will be rather unbelievable. Shore created a great in House and I expect and hope he and his team would be able to create something interesting to watch with his own creativity and sensibility.

News report: Deadline, May 11, 2017, “‘The Good Doctor’ Drama Starring Freddie Highmore Picked Up To Series By ABC

The Good Doctor centers on Shaun Murphy (Highmore), a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome who relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital’s surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues.

The series also stars Antonia Thomas as Dr. Claire Brown, Nicholas Gonzalez as Dr. Neal Melendez, Chuku Modu as Dr. Jared Kalu, Irene Keng as Dr. Sarah Chen, Beau Garrett as Jessica Preston, Hill Harper as Dr. Marcus Andrews and Richard Schiff as Dr. Aaron Glassman.

Deadline, Jan 23, 2017, “ABC Orders Drama Pilots ‘The Good Doctor’ & ‘Doomsday’ From David Shore, Daniel Dae Kim & Carol Mendesohn

Written by Shore based on a South Korean format, The Good Doctor centers on a young surgeon with Savant syndrome who is recruited into the pediatric surgical unit of a prestigious hospital. The question will arise: Can a person who doesn’t have the ability to relate to people actually save their lives?

Shore executive produces via his Sony TV-based Shore Z alongside Kim, Sebastian Lee & David Kim. Shore Z’s Erin Gunn co-executive produces, along with Lindsay Goffman of Daniel Dae Kim’s 3 AD.

The original series, written by Park Jae-bum, aired on Korean Broadcasting System’s KBS2 in 2013. The Shore-created House, starring Hugh Laurie as the brilliant but flawed Dr. Gregory House, was one of the biggest medical dramas of the past two decades. It ran on Fox for eight seasons.

Deadline, Oct 6, 2016, “ABC Lands ‘The Good Doctor’ Medical Drama From David Shore & Daniel Dae Kim

Here is a trailer of the South Korean series

Here is a trailer of the ABC series.


Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture (audio)

Monday, 5 June, 2017

Bob Dylan‘s Nobel Lecture (audio from VIMEO) (emphasis added)

//I had a natural feeling for the ancient ballads and country blues, but everything else I had to learn from scratch. I was playing for small crowds, sometimes no more than four or five people in a room or on a street corner. You had to have a wide repertoire, and you had to know what to play and when. Some songs were intimate, some you had to shout to be heard.

By listening to all the early folk artists and singing the songs yourself, you pick up the vernacular. You internalize it. You sing it in the ragtime blues, work songs, Georgia sea shanties, Appalachian ballads and cowboy songs. You hear all the finer points, and you learn the details.//


HongKongers, iMac, iPod, and HomePod

Monday, 5 June, 2017

You would be wrong to think this is a post about Apple’s iMac (introduced in 1998, 18 years ago), iPod (introduced in 2001, 15 years ago), or even HomePod! Quoting (iGuardian News introducing HomePod on June 5, 2017, that is just today). to illustrate what I really want to talk about.

“Introducing the HomePod

The HomePod has seven tweeters and four-inch woofer; it has an A8 chip living inside it, and uses that to make the sound “spatially aware”. That’s a feature Sonos has too, letting the speakers adjust their output to, say, push the vocals down the centre of the room while bouncing the bass off the wall. […]”

Instead, the focus is Etymology!

“Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. By extension, the term “the etymology (of a word)” means the origin of the particular word.”

Some months before the word HongKonger started to be accepted as a word by dictionaries like Oxford to describe “a native or inhabitant of Hong Kong, I had already started to use it like that. One thing that I’m still insisting is to spell HongKonger with a capitalized “K” (instead of the dictionary version of “Hongkonger”).

Which brings me back to how we spell iMac, iPod, and HomePod with the capitalized “M” for iMac, “P” for iPod, and then “H” plus “P” for HomePod. At the end of the day, the rules of how we spell words are determined by human convention. And dictionaries are tools that reflect our usages of words. So I will keep on spelling HongKonger(s) with a capitalized “H” plus “K” just like HomePod and I will wait for dictionaries to catch up. :)


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