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.


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. :)


Instant Pot DUO-60/DUO-Plus-60 Design Flaw

Thursday, 11 May, 2017

Let me make a few things clear. I enjoy cooking with my iPot (Instant Pot). I even admire the inventor/entrepreneur/company that makes iPot (have a read of this enjoyable and insightful 30th Jan, 2017 Globe & Mail news article “Ottawa entrepreneur’s Instant Pot has attracted a devoted following of home cooks“). I think it is awesome to see Canadian inventor/entrepreneur making a name and money from a great product in US, Canada and around the world.

At the same time, I think it is important to point out problems, or design flaws when we see them. Customer feedbacks are good ways for companies to learn to improve their products over time.

I talk about a design flaw for my Instant Pot DUO-60 in the following video. And then I realized Instant Pot had come out with a newly designed DUO-Plus-60 around April 2017 which unfortunately has the same design flaw (based on unboxing video I watched)  I identified in the video. It is a bit disappointing the design flaw isn’t fixed with the new DUO-Plus-60.

Instant Pot DUO-60/DUO-Plus-60 Design Flaw


Arrival – my random thoughts

Friday, 5 May, 2017

If you haven’t seen Amy Adams & Jeremy Renner‘s Sci-Fi film Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners (2013) and Sicario (2015)), go watch! I’ve written an extensive post with many video links here.

Here are my random thoughts:


Alzheimer’s patients treated with focused ultrasound

Thursday, 4 May, 2017

Have a watch of the three video clips and read of the CTV News report, “Alzheimer’s patients treated with ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier

Canadian researchers have taken a key first step that could potentially lead to a whole new way of treating Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and University of Toronto are using focused ultrasound to safely open the blood-brain barrier in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, with the hopes this will help clear the brain of toxic plaque.

It’s an “out of the box” approach using patients like Karen Hellerman. The 62-year-old from Chatham, Ont. was diagnosed with early stage dementia.

Hellerman is losing her short-term memory and her ability to process complex tasks.
“Sometimes I can get it out, and sometimes I can’t and that disturbs me. “ Hellerman told CTV News. Her husband Neil knows there are no drug treatments to effectively slow or stop the disease.

“As her dementia gets worse, her physical state will get worse…it’s not a good thing. And she’s young, she’s gonna miss part of her life,” said Neil.

She is patient No. 3 in a group of six people with early Alzheimer’s disease, participating in the first study of its kind.

One of the biggest challenges in treating brain disease is getting drug therapies past the blood-brain barrier, which is like a protective “wrap” that surrounds even the tiniest blood vessels in the brain and acts as a “gate” to protect the brain from toxins and proteins that could enter through the bloodstream.

CTV News, “A group of Toronto doctors are trying to break new ground in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Avis Favaro has exclusive video.


Hobbyhorse Revolution – North American premiere at Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival

Thursday, 4 May, 2017

Hobbyhorse Revolution sounds like an interesting film and I hope to watch it soon. CBC Radio show As It Happens has a 22 minutes story on this documentary as it is having its North American premiere at Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival (two more screenings on May 4th and May 6th, 2017).

Hobbyhorse Revolution (Official trailer)

Hobbyhorse Revolution (Official trailer #2)

Here is the info from Hot Docs,

Once the plaything of children, the hobbyhorse—a stick with a horse’s head—takes on greater importance and symbolism for a group of Finnish teens who organize flash mobs and post videos dedicated to the object of their devotion. The (mostly) girls who practise competitive hobbyhorse dressage and show jumping are not horsing around. With backs straight, shoulders square, knees up and toes pointed, these fantasy athletes are part of an underground scene and sport that’s taking hold of a new generation of riders—who also happen to be the ride. With a punk rock attitude, these hobbyhorse rebels use make believe and social media to challenge what’s considered age-appropriate or different. Bullies be damned. Hobbyhorse Revolution catches a trend in its infancy along with the imaginative and brave pioneers who refuse to be categorized or kept down for being true to themselves and their passion. Angie Driscoll

As a bonus, here is a video of “Making a hobbyhorse

There is definitely beauty in the movements reminding me of feet of ballet dancers.

LET US HOLD EACH OTHER” from windna’s YouTube channel.

past comes back to life


Handmaid’s Tale, a new Hulu TV Series

Monday, 1 May, 2017

Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is now a Hulu TV Series. This is especially chilling in our horrific age of President Trump.

PBS, “In dystopian ‘Handmaid’s Tale,’ a warning for a new generation not to take rights for granted” (with transcript)

In dystopian ‘Handmaid’s Tale,’ a warning for a new generation not to take rights for granted

Margaret Atwood and Elisabeth Moss on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

In dystopian ‘Handmaid’s Tale,’ a warning for a new generation not to take rights for granted

Elisabeth Moss Describes A ‘Fictional’ Totalitarian, Right-Wing Regime

The cast of The Handmaid’s Tale

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