Lets roast a duck Kempton Style – from beginning to end

Sunday, 20 January, 2013

Lets Roast a duck - Kempton Style

Lets roast a duck Kempton Style – from Beginning to End is a sequence of four videos showing how I made a simple & easy to make roast duck!

If I can make it, that means you can make it too!

– Lets roast a duck Kempton Style – initial prep – Part 1/4

Lets roast a duck Kempton Style – Flipping the duck – Part 2/4 Read the rest of this entry »

Snow Angeled Nine Homes – My submission for Good Book for a Good Deed

Saturday, 22 December, 2012

Snow Angeled Nine Home

In recent years, how many of us has made a conscious effort to get to know our neighbours a little? Something as simple as saying hello and getting to know their names? Not wanting to continue the cycle of isolation, when we moved into our area a few years ago, we made an effort to say hello to neighbours in homes surrounding ours. Yes, we are old fashion. How so? Well, we even delivered small gifts to our neighbours once in a blue moon! To our unsuspecting neighbours, over the years, we’ve shared with them small boxes of chocolate, Chinatown baked goods, home-made banana bread, and yes, a few times I even “shared” my special chicken (see video for a  making of) with them!

Back to today, so my next-door neighbour is away on holiday for a few days and asked me to clear snow for him so his tenant (an elderly lady) won’t be inconvenienced by his absence. Well, this days when I clear snow on sidewalks, I usually do both my immediate neighbours’ as well. Today, something inside me thought, why not clear a few more neighbours’ homes?! So I ended up very happily (yes, I need the exercise) Snow Angeled Nine Homes!

NOTE: To get the ball rolling, I am entering this story as the first entry to the “Good Book (FREE) for a Good Deed: Creative Philanthropy Redefines Success“.

Please submit your entry and I will disqualify myself once I see a first entry! If there is only one entry, you automatically win!

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!

Bullied bus monitor Karen Klein helped by Max Sidorov – One person can make a difference

Saturday, 23 June, 2012

Karen Klein (bullied bus monitor) and Max Sidorov (indiegogo campaign creator) on CBC

Jun 21, 2012, CBC News, “Bullied grandma in N.Y. bus video stunned by generosity – Toronto man’s fundraising drive for verbally abused senior nears $450K (with video)

June 22, 2012, CTV News, “Canadian campaign gives boost to bullied grandmother

* “Karen Klein gets an apology from bus bullies on ‘Anderson Cooper 360’

* “‘Well-wisher’ whose fund has raised $450,000 for bullied bus monitor gets his OWN site for donations

Max Sidorov - Lets Give Karen -The bus monitor- H Klein A Vacation! indiegogo.com campaign

It was really cool for Max Sidorov to create the indiegogo campaign (with an original goal of $5,000) to help give Karen a wonderful vacation. Sometimes (more often than we think), all it takes is one person doing the right thing at the right time to make the difference.

At press time (June 23, 2012, ~6:40pm MT), a total of $628,233 has been raised for Karen.

Karen Klein crowd funding campaign by Max Sidorov - $628,233

P.S. 22 June, 2012, CBC News, “5 cases of the spirit of giving going viral

Meaghan Buisson, BodyWhys, interview at 2012 Brett Wilson’s Garden Party

Friday, 22 June, 2012

It was wonderful for me to meet & interview Meaghan Buisson, Executieve Director of BodyWhys Youth Canada at the 2012 Brett Wilson’s Garden Party. Here is the interview video.

Note: This year’s charitable focus is Eating Disorders – “the slowest form of suicide” and “over 300K (net) was raised for #EatingDisorders – prevention/treatment”. And BodyWhys Youth Canada is one of Brett’s selected charities for the 2012 Garden Party.

Robbie Babins-Wagner, Calgary Counselling centre, interview at 2012 Brett Wilson’s Garden Party

Friday, 22 June, 2012

It was my pleasure to meet & interview Dr. Robbie Babins-Wagner PhD, CEO of Calgary Counselling centre at 2012 Brett Wilson’s Garden Party. Here is the interview video.

Note: This year’s charitable focus is Eating Disorders – “the slowest form of suicide” and “over 300K (net) was raised for #EatingDisorders – prevention/treatment”. And Calgary Counselling centre is one of Brett’s selected charities for the 2012 Garden Party.

Remembering Violet Large – Lottery winner who gave it away dies

Wednesday, 20 July, 2011

I was very much saddened after watching the news of the passing of Violet Large on CBC “Inspiring Lottery Winner Dies“.

Violet is a true inspiration to anyone who has heard her story. Here is an excerpt from The Chronicle Herald (emphasis added),

A Nova Scotian woman whose tale of generosity touched millions around the world has died.

Violet Large, 79, died Saturday in Colchester Regional Hospital after a battle with ovarian cancer.

The Lower Truro woman and her husband Allen Large became household names not for their July 2010 lottery win, but for what they did with the millions they received.

Despite the windfall, the retired couple continued to drive their old car and truck, and lived comfortably in their 147-year-old farmhouse.

And they gave away almost all of the $11.2 million they received.

“What you’ve never had, you never miss,” Violet told The Chronicle Herald in November. Read the rest of this entry »

Brett Wilson video interview about his appointment to Order of Canada

Tuesday, 5 July, 2011

Brett Wilson at his Office

On June 30th, Brett Wilson along with a list of distinguished Canadians, was appointed to the Order of Canada. Here is my video interview with Brett to talk about his appointment.

Bose Founder Gifts Majority of Company to MIT

Saturday, 30 April, 2011

What a wonderful gift Dr. Amar Bose!

* “Billionaire Bose Founder Gives Majority Of Company To MIT

* “MIT is new majority owner of Bose – Founder of firm gives most of stock to his alma mater

* “Bose donates majority of company’s stock to MIT

Congrats Brett Wilson and Paul Fedak (Calgary’s Top 10 New Mavericks & Top 40 under 40)

Monday, 8 November, 2010

Congrats to Brett and Paul!

W. Brett Wilson, Calgary’s Top 10 New Mavericks. Here is an excerpt,

“It’s resulted in Wilson, a father of three, being one of the driving forces behind Brandaid, an initiative supporting microbusinesses in the developing world.

The group, which includes Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis, was involved in a recent initiative that saw Macy’s department store contract out work to 200 Haitian artisans to create unique artworks for sale at 25 U.S. Macy’s stores, creating full-time jobs in a country ravaged by the 2009 earthquake.

Wilson has also visited Afghanistan, where he recently went into business with a woman who pitched him an idea on the CBC show Dragon’s Den.

“I made a deal with a woman who is bringing orange blossom oil out of Afghanistan, turning that into perfume,” he says. “Our current byline is Perfume, Not Poppies.””

Dr. Paul Fedak, Top 40 under 40. (with video) Here is an excerpt,

“Fedak performs 140 heart surgeries a year, has made 73 contributions to leading biomedical journals and is a well-known researcher pioneering cutting-edge techniques to treat a variety of heart problems. “I want to develop new therapies and translate that from the lab into real life,” he says.

One of Fedak’s most recent innovations is Kryptonite sternal-closure, a technique that uses a type of bone glue dubbed “Kryptonite” to close the breastbone after it has been opened to perform heart surgery. The previous procedure, which has been around for 40 to 50 years, uses metal wires like twist ties to bring the breastbone back together.”

[note: see my previous entries about Paul and Kryptonite] [HT Libin Institute]

Jeff Skoll: Making movies that make change

Friday, 5 November, 2010

It is nice to learn more about Jeff Skoll‘s Participant Productions. In the TED video “Making movies that make change“, we hear Skoll talks about Participant.

Best way to spend $11.2m in lottery winnings – Good Luck Allen and Violet Large

Wednesday, 3 November, 2010

Best way to spend $11.2m in lottery winnings - Good Luck Allen and Violet Large

Nova Scotians Allen and Violet Large won $11.2 million on July 14. And CBC News today reported almost all of their winnings are gone now. Here is an excerpt from Toronto Star (emphasis added),

“Married since 1974, the couple does not live large. They don’t travel, they don’t gamble and they don’t buy what they don’t need.

“We have an old house, but we’re comfortable and we’re happy in it,” Violet said.

They spent 30 years in Ontario where Allen was a steel welder and Violet worked for cosmetics and chocolate companies. They retired in 1983 and returned to Nova Scotia.

“We were pretty well set, not millionaires, but comfortable,” said Allen, 75.

So when they hit it big in Lotto 6-49’s July 14 draw, they decided to give it all away.

Here is the July 22nd CBC News report with video, “Lottery-winning N.S. couple facing cancer“.

Here is the Nov 3rd report, “VIDEO: N.S. millionaires give away winnings

I want to send my warmest wishes to Nova Scotians Allen and Violet Large. And wish Violet the best of luck in her fight with cancer. Good health to you two and your families.

Allen and Violet, thanks for inspiring Canadians.

Nov 4 Update: CBC News, Would you give away your winnings?

UK Daily Mail, ‘What you’ve never had, you never miss’: Canadian couple who won $11.2m in the lottery give it ALL away to charity

Boomer’s Legacy in Calgary (tonight, June 22nd)

Tuesday, 22 June, 2010

Calgary entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Dragons’ Den investor W. Brett Wilson features a charity each year at his garden party. At the 2010 garden party tonight (June 22nd), the featured charity is Boomer’s Legacy (see also forces.gc.ca article), a foundation developed to directly aid the women and children of Afghanistan.

You can find more information about Corporal Andrew James Eykelenboom “Boomer” who was killed by a suicide bomber in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan on August 11, 2006.


June 23 Update: Brett’s Garden Party was fun.

me & Brett Wilson

At the same time, the party also had its very solemn moment. I’ve written more about what Maureen (mother of Andrew “Boomer”) told us at the party and what Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay said.

The $10 billion decade of vaccine

Sunday, 31 January, 2010

Via @BillGates, “Bill and Melinda Gates Pledge $10 Billion in Call for Decade of Vaccines (with livestream video)“,

DAVOS, Switzerland — Bill and Melinda Gates announced today that their foundation will commit $10 billion over the next 10 years to help research, develop and deliver vaccines for the world’s poorest countries.The Gateses said that increased investment in vaccines by governments and the private sector could help developing countries dramatically reduce child mortality by the end of the decade, and they called for others to help fill critical financing gaps in both research funding and childhood immunization programs.

“We must make this the decade of vaccines,” said Bill Gates. “Vaccines already save and improve millions of lives in developing countries. Innovation will make it possible to save more children than ever before.”

Listen to the many insightful examples and stories Melinda Gates told at the press conference. Very inspiring stuff!

Banking service can be provided to the poorest people in the world. Melinda gave an example in Malawi. An organization the foundation supports taking a large truck into a rural area (a mobile banking unit), giving them ways to safely save their money (so money are not stolen or literally being eaten by rats). Scanning people’s finger prints, giving them a smart card so they can access their money. The mobile unit goes out to the village twice a week and people line up to deposit their money (200 Kwacha which is US$1.40). When the time school fees are to be paid, the people then have the money to pay their child’s school fees to send them to school.

Amazing and inspiring stuff!

3 crystal clear cases why social entrepreneurship is an economic development tool

Monday, 23 November, 2009

Insightful blog entry, “3 crystal clear cases why social entrepreneurship is an economic development tool“.

Have a listen to my March 2008 chat with Marie So and Carol Chyau, co-founders of Shokay (one of the 3 featured cases).

[via Austin]

Lunch Etiquette?

Monday, 6 July, 2009

Are there any precedence that might have raised any concerns over comments and conducts by previous Warren Buffett charity lunch winners? I just hope my suspicious is wrong here as there is probably no way to impose any “lunch etiquette”. Hmmm …

Warren Buffett Lunch Winner: I Won’t Profit From Stock Tip Windfall’

P.S. Here is something less serious and more fun. Warren selling mattress at Nebraska Furniture Mart.

[via CNBC]

Brett’s Garden Party: 777 Run for Sight, Canadian Tenors, and the beautiful Sarah McLachlan

Monday, 29 June, 2009

Last week, I had had the pleasure of attending Brett Wilson‘s yearly charity Garden Party. Each year, party guests are invited to make a donation to a featured charity. And this year over $100,000 was raised to fight blindness through 777 Run for Sight where Norma Bastidas is “running 7 ultramarathons [over 100 km each] in 7 continents in 7 months to raise funds for the blind and the visually impaired.” (see my earlier blog entry here)

It was very enjoyable listening to The Canadian Tenors performing at the party. And the highlight of the party for my better half and me had to be listening to the beautiful and accomplished Sarah McLachlan performing with the Tenors (singing Tenors’ Hallelujah) and then performing a few solos. Sarah’s performances were just beautiful and wonderful for us as it was our first live & really up close performance by Sarah!

Now, I first met Brett and Sarah at the 2009 Banff World TV Festival award ceremony where I also interviewed Brett.

Sarah, Brett & me

So to me, Sarah & Brett seems to be more than just friends, but then only they really know!  :) :) In person, Brett & Sarah are just super nice and very friendly people. I think it is in part of our Canadian DNA to be nice and friendly. :)

P.S. The following are better quality videos [recorded elsewhere] of the songs we had the pleasure to listen to at the party that evening. Enjoy.

$2.1 million Warren Buffett lunch

Sunday, 28 June, 2009

A Hong Kong based hedge fund manager paid $2.1 million for a lunch with Warren. Some of the questions he asked, he could have found out from reading Alice’s biography about Warren “The Snowball“.

777 Run for Sight

Wednesday, 24 June, 2009

The journey to fight blindness. A step by step account of running 7 ultramarathons [over 100 km each] in 7 continents in 7 months to raise funds for the blind and the visually impaired.

This is truly an amazing effort! Check out Norma Bastidas’ website and her blog. Read and see some photos of Norma running 100km in Antarctica in this 2009 Jan entry!

Here is a bit of information about Norma from her site,

“Norma Bastidas is a self-supported ultramarathon runner, a woman out to make history, and a single mom on a mission. Born in Mazatlan, Mexico, Norma has been living in Canada since 1993 and currently resides in Calgary with her two sons, Karl and Hans.

The self-described “Mexican running wild” is about to embark on a grueling, record setting journey in support of Operation Eyesight Universal, cnib and Foundation Fighting Blindness

Starting in January 2009, Norma will set out to be the second person in history to run seven of the planet’s most unforgiving environments on seven separate continents in one year. Norma will be running through the thick jungles of Brazil and the driest deserts in the world all in support of the blind and visually impaired.

Although this journey will take her around the world, the cause is something that hits home for Norma. Two years ago, Norma’s oldest son Karl, now 13, was diagnosed with Cone Rod Dystrophy, a progressive condition with no cure.”

2008 CIFF: Interview with Ragnar Bragason – Director of “Children” & “Parents”

Saturday, 20 September, 2008

Ragnar Bragason, Iceland director of “Children” & “Parents“, did improvisation with six cast members for over a year before they shoot the film. And he shot the pair of the films Children and Parents together.

Here is a short interview and chat with Ragnar before the screening of Children.

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