Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life – New quote I love

Saturday, 2 December, 2017

I’m adding this to my long list of Quotes I Love,

The wider world that perceives fashion as sometimes as frivolity that should be done away with in the face of social upheavals. The problems are enormous. The point is, in fact, fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you can do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization. Thats what I think.” – Bill Cunningham (1929-2016) from the documentary Bill Cunningham New York (low quality YouTube video excerpt)

Bill Cunningham: New York (quote on fashion) (Low quality YouTube excerpt)

I’m also watching this GREAT 2012 DP/30: The Oral History Of Hollywood interview and enjoying it so much!

DP/30: Bill Cunningham New York director Richard Press, producer Philip Gefter

3:05 Thanks to the filmmaker for his persistent in his 8 years effort to get Mr. Bill Cunningham to be featured in the doc. Bill is dearly dearly missed. The world is poorer without his special eyes in curating beauty for us and his charm and his insight.

6:01 “I basically stalked him [in 2001].” How cute! Again, so glad the filmmaker being creative to start the ball rolling. P.S. Thanks for another great and important interview.

Dec 2nd, 2017 update: I couldn’t get the song in the above Bill Cunningham New York clip out from my head so I ended up looking up the song. Have a listen. Enjoy!

Coldplay – Viva La Vida (starts at timecode 1:09)

Viva La Vida Lyrics (by Coldplay):

“I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can’t explain
Once you’d gone there was never
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world”

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Air Transat $295K penalty for tarmac delay deemed agency’s “publicity stunt” by Rights Advocate

Thursday, 30 November, 2017

Here is this reporter’s extensive video interview with Air Passenger Rights Advocate Dr. Gabor Lukacs re Air Transat Tarmac Delay $295,000 Penalty (legal notice of violation) (press release). An extensive timecoded-links (allowing user to directly jump into the video)  with extensive notes and transcripts of the interview has been included below for your ease of references.

[Note: the video itself should be the authority of what were said as accidental transcription errors are quite possible.]

0:18 Reporter (KL) asks Dr. Lukacs (GL) to explain the CTA’s (Canadian Transportation Agency) Air Transat Tarmac Delay $295,000 Penalty. How the $295,000 was likely decided? Is it a good decision for Canadian Air Passengers?

1:24 Dr. Lukacs (GL) sees the $295,000 penalty as a “publicity stunt by the CTA to support the government’s effort to pass Bill C-49 [commonly known as passenger bill of rights (CBC news article) (read the text of bill (searchable via Parliament), PDF image via CBC)].”

1:35 KL: Why would you say this is a “publicity stunt”?

1:38 GL: The CTA “pretends it has teeth, pretends it issues a big fine while in reality, the fine has been waived.”

1:46 KL: How come? On paper and the press release, Air Transat has been fined $295,000. Even around the world, BBC news has been reporting the same $295,000 fine.

2:13 GL: “According to the media release, Air Transat will not have to pay money that it pays passengers. In other words, it can take the amount of the fine and pay that to passengers. However, it comes out to $500 per passenger and Air Transat has already pay to many passengers $400 as I checked back in August [2017].”

2:40 KL: I see in the previous CTV report you sent me. Air Transat already paid $400 to some passengers. Now $500 is like nothing [not much more]?

3:00 GL: Two problems. 1) Under the law, CTA cannot waive or reduce the amount of penalty that has been set out in notice of violation. Once the notice of violation has been …

3:46 GL (2) The notice of violation has been botched. It identifies two violations and each violations can only carry a maximum fine of $10,000.

4:00 KL: Notice cites only two violations and it cites specific sections of the law (which the reporter admits he isn’t clear about them and their legal limitations) but from GL’s reading, each violations can ONLY be fined up to $10,000?

4:28 GL: “If they treat a WHOLE AIRPLANE LOAD OF PASSENGERS being locked without water and food and air as a SINGLE violation as it transpires from the notice of violation, then each of those violations can only carry $10,000 penalty. What I think is breach of each passenger’s right is a separate violation and therefore for each passenger [of the 590 passengers in total] the agency can issue $10,000 for a total of $5.9 million which makes us see how little penalty has been issued if you look at things properly.”

5:25 GL: Two simple questions for the CTA: Q1) How the fine was determined? Based on what calculations? Q2) What gives the agency any authority to waive the fine that has been issued under the notice of violations? GL is not aware of any such power in the Canada Transportation Act.

6:00 GL: Whatever penalty they [CTA] put in the notice of violation, they cannot after the fact … waive part of [the fine]

6:13 KL: You are saying CTA has no power to say, within the $295,000 fine, if Air Transat has or will pay any amounts to passengers, those amounts can be deducted from the fine. (It should be NOTED that in this CTV August 4, 2017 news “Air Transat offering $400 to passengers stranded in Ottawa“, Air Transat has already “offered monetary compensation ($400) as a gesture of good faith” long before the hearings and the new “penalty”.)

6:41 GL: Further discussions about the fine calculations and maximum penalties.

7:11 GL: If CTA counts each passenger as a separation violation, then it is only $500 per violation, then by CTA’s own guideline, it would be exceptionally low! If treated as 590 separate violations, then it would be unreasonable in each case to fine the airline only for $500.

7:38 GL: Personally GL thinks each passenger should be treated as a separate violation but if one looks at the notice of violation, it is NOT how the notice reads.

7:50 KL: Ask about precedent setting power of such a big and high profile case.

8:13 GL: Discuss the numerical side of the fine calculation … vs the actual “Notice of Violation” (the legal foundation of the fine as the reporter understands from GL’s explanation) which states TWO violations. […] Either way you look at it, the penalty doesn’t make sense! TWO violations: Max $20,000. If seen as 590 separate violations, then the fine should be close to a few million dollars!

9:08 KL: Some passengers were unhappy of the CTA’s penalty. The reporter imagines himself in the shoes of the trapped and locked up passengers (for over 5 hours) and he would be unhappy with a $500 “penalty” or compensation!

9:37 GL: Very troublesome.

9:43 KL: What do you expect to see happen? Air Transat has no problem agreeing with CTA’s determination and paying the penalty. Are there any recourse for passengers that got stuck on those planes?

10:49 KL: How will a challenge benefit those affected passengers? Will the passengers be able to get more [monetary compensation]? Individually negotiate a higher amount …

11:07 GL: The message has to be clear that “the penalty is issued and waived at the same time”! ‘We issue the penalty but also waived it is what happened! “Thats what I would like to put a stop to.” […] “The agency cannot play fast and loose to show some good statistics that we issued a big amount of penalty but at the same time say we are not collecting it, we are waiving the amount. Thats dishonest. Thats a form of intellectual dishonesty. Something that borders on fraud to the public because the public hear, ‘Oh, there is a big fine issued.’ but actually the fine is not being collected. So if you are ti fine a person, the fine has to be collected.”

11:59 KL: Just to clarify. Is GL using waive because money paid or to be paid to passengers, etc can all be deducted from the $295,000 fine? Sooner or later, with whole bunch of deductions, Air Transat may not pay anything or very little as fine to CTA?

12:39 GL: “Yes. And there is an important issue of the Rule of Law here! That if the law says the agency can NOT waive penalty, then the agency cannot waive penalty. There is nothing in the law that permits doing this. So it is difficult to understand how this came to be. And what type of arrangement, what type of communication took place between CTA and Air Transat that lead to this outcome. What negotiation took place? It is troubling. I’m concern that something inappropriate happened in the background.” […]

13:41 KL: Obviously, you have no evidence that Air Transat and CTA had made any backroom deal or anything?

13:49 GL: The timing looks suspicious that they waive the penalty and Air Transat is going to comply. The way that the amount seems to be very close to what they already paid. It looks suspicious. We don’t know for sure but one thing I like to make sure that this type of backroom deal is not possible because the law doesn’t permit that. So even if they want to make this kind of backroom deal, the law is there to ensure that if a fine is issued then a fine has to be collected.”

14:22 KL: You want to appeal because of the precedent setting power of cases like this?

14:32 GL: “It is MORE than precedent setting power. It concerns the Rule of Law. The Parliament decides to grand the agency certain power, the agency cannot overstep those boundaries. If they issue a notice of violation, the have to stay within the confine of the law. The law says they can issue notice of violation. Nothing in the law that would allow them to rescind a notice of violation on the basis of some amount that has been paid. Thats not the power the enforcement officer has. The notice of violation has been issued at that point. They become functus officio. They’ve done their jobs.”

15:13 KL: Would you worry about unintended consequence that if you challenge the decision, and then the court agree with you that the fine can be $20,000 maximum which amounts to next to nothing?

15:31 GL: “It would show how inadequate the legislation is for sure. And it will also uphold the rule of law. The Rule of Law as a principle is more important than any kind of Air Passenger Rights. It is a far bigger, it is the corner stone of democracy. If we abandon the Rule of Law as a principle for some financial benefit, then we loose the backbone of our society!”

15:56 KL: Thats an interesting claim. Will see what GL decides in the coming days. Thanks a lot Dr. Lukacs for explaining the decision to me and the viewers. This, to me, is an important and precedent setting and obviously you mentioned Rule of Law is at stake here.

16:21 GL: Thank you very much.

P.S. Traditional news media like CBC, CTV, Global, TorStar, BBC have done different reporting of this story (some including background and some with passengers interview). Worth a read and watch.

P.P.S. Since this reporter first wrote about the 2009 Supreme Court of Canada “Grant v. Torstar Corp., 2009 SCC 61” decision,  this reporter has tried his best to keep the idea of “Responsible Communication” in mind in all his reporting.


Who is your “Leonard Cohen”?

Friday, 10 November, 2017

Insightful author Susan Cain (I wrote about Susan with videos here and here) posted some questions at the end of her Facebook post yesterday. She talked about her crazy love for Leonard Cohen as she recently flew to Montreal to attend a concert that marks the anniversary of Cohen‘s death (a Jewish tradition to mark the end of a year of mourning). Here are Susan‘s questions:

Do you have a person like this [Leonard Cohen] in your life, who embodies things you want to say or do or be? Who is your person [Leonard Cohen]?

Here is my answer:

For me it is kinda a bunch of people instead of one person. I’ve a list of people that I call “Great Minds of Our Time” as they all inspire me in some ways. Here is my eclectic list of people from physicist to shoe designer, each very awesome in their own ways: Richard Feynman, Warren Buffett, Ronald Coase, Bill Cunningham, Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen Cook, Uli Sigg, Steve Wozniak, and Christian Louboutin.


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 to 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.


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.//


Was Warren Buffett’s $150,000 1971 beach house (on sale/listed now for $11 million) a good or bad investment for him?

Sunday, 28 May, 2017

For anyone who bought a $150,000 beach house that is on sale for $11 million now could be consider a good investment. (Have a look of this video of the inside of Buffett’s beach house.) But for fame investor Warren Buffett, well, thats different. To Buffett, the same $150,000 in 1971 could become quite a different beast in 2017 over 46 later. In “The Oracle of Omaha is selling. This time it’s real estate” CNBC news reported in March 2017 (emphasis added),

He [Warren Buffett] paid $150,000 for the property back in 1971, which is about $900,000 in today’s dollars.

What you may be surprised to find out is that Buffet, one of the world’s richest people, took out a 30-year mortgage when he bought the 6bedroom, 7 bathroom seaside spot.

 

“When I bought it for $150,000, I borrowed some money from Great Western Savings and Loans. So I probably only had $30,000 of equity in it or something like that – it’s the only mortgage I’ve had for fifty years,” Buffett said.

He added, “I thought I could probably do better with the money than have it be an all equity purchase of the house.”

And indeed he did.

“That $110 or $120 thousand I borrowed, I was buying Berkshire then,” says Buffett.

The businessman says he was constantly buying Berkshire in the early ’70s, when the stock was around $40 a share.

“I might have bought 3,000 shares of Berkshire or something like that from the proceeds of the loan — so that’s [worth] $750 million [today].”

Yes, the 750 million dollars is a mind boggling number as Buffett earned that with the $120,000 he borrowed. In a sense, the $30,000 that he didn’t borrow could have meant $187.5 million if he bought BRK shares instead which is way more than the house list price of $11 million.

At the end of the day, Buffett, his first wife and family plus friends got a lot of enjoyment from the house over the years and that is more than mere “investment” and monetary return.

I remember reading Buffett gifting his three children some BRK shares (not a ton) through grandpa Howard. Warren’s three children could have been “rich” if they had kept onto their shares. BUT that would have been the wrong way to live lives as they have to experience their lives in their own ways instead of holding to “mere money” as none of us can take money away from this earth when we pass on.


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