2019 Reith Lectures by Jonathan Sumption

Wednesday, 22 May, 2019

2019 Reith Lectures by Jonathan Sumption - Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 10.41.25 AM

I’ve been looking forward to listen to the 2019 Reith Lectures by Jonathan Sumption who recently retired from the UK Supreme Court. Lord Sumption “argues that a decline in the willingness of politics to engage with divisive subjects has been accompanied by an unwelcome rise in the power of the courts.”

BBC is putting up the 2019 Reith Lectures by Lord Sumption up one lecture a week, here is the list of lecture(s) already posted:

(21 May, 2019) 1/5. Law’s Expanding Empire

(more to come)


I. M. Pei – Great minds of our time

Friday, 17 May, 2019

I M Pei - Pix 01.jpg

RIP I. M. Pei 貝聿銘 (2017 – 2019). I picked up my copy of “I.M. Pei: A Profile in American Architecture” in the early 90s as I began my lifelong love of beautiful architectures. So thanks to Mr. Pei for your inspirations.

I like to remember the recently passed with their own words if I can, here he talked about the various challenges and ideas in redoing the Louvre.

I. M. Pei at MIT – Tech Day 1994

American Architecture Now: I.M. Pei, 1980

I. M. Pei: A Centennial Celebration – Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD)

Video description: //The GSD is proud to celebrate the 100th birthday of Ieoh Ming Pei, MArch ’46. Both I. M. and his wife Eileen Pei GSD ’44 studied at the GSD, as did their sons Chien Chung (Didi) Pei, MArch ’72, and Li Chung (Sandi) Pei, MArch ’76. Pei was also an assistant professor of architecture at the GSD. This event, with guests including Harry Cobb AB ’47 MArch ’49, moderated by Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of Harvard GSD and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, will focus on the formative years of I. M. Pei’s career as well as some of his special friendships, influences, and projects.//

P.S. There are some archival news footage of the building of Louvre in this clip.

(Hopefully more to be added later.)


Keanu Reeves & Warren Buffett have Love in common

Wednesday, 15 May, 2019

Keanu Reeves left Stephen Colbert speechless

Keanu Reeves left Stephen Colbert speechless on Friday night when the subject of death came up as he promoted two of his upcoming projects (third “John Wick” movie & third instalment of the “Bill and Ted” film series).

“After the late-night host asked him what happens if they aren’t able to write the song, Reeves responded: “Well it’s the end of the universe, it’s the end of the time and space continuum. It’s all over.”

“So you’re facing your own mortality and the mortality of all existence?” Colbert asked.

“Yeah,” Reeves nodded his head.

Colbert quickly followed up by asking Reeves what he thinks happens when we die.

The “John Wick” star thought about it for a moment before giving the profound response: “I know that the ones who love us will miss us.

As the audience said “Awwww,” Colbert appeared stunned. As a smile spread across his face, the late-night host said, “Wow,” before he shook Reeves’ hand for a moment and ended the segment.

Reeves is no stranger to tragedy. According to People, the actor lost his best friend to a drug overdose in 1993 and his girlfriend Jennifer Syme died in a car crash in 2001. Syme and Reeves previously had a child who was born stillborn in 1999.” [source text of this quote: Fox]

Watching Keanu’s insightful answer reminded me of a relevant Warren Buffett quote I read in his biography “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder which also comes down to LOVE:

“Basically, when you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you.

I know many people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them.

That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life. The trouble with love is that you can’t buy it. You can buy sex. You can buy testimonial dinners. But the only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you could write a check: I’ll buy a million dollars’ worth of love. But it doesn’t work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.

I’ve added Reeves’ quote and an excerpt of Warren’s quote to my long list of Quotes I Love.


Goodbye Agnès Varda (1928–2019)

Friday, 29 March, 2019

Goodbye Agnès Varda (1928–2019). In memory and honour of her passing (France24 video report), I’m watching her “Cléo from 5 to 7″ (Kanopy). Here are some reviews of her last film “Varda by Agnes“.

Cleo from 5 to 7 / Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962) – Trailer

Agnès Varda in her own words at TEDxVeniceBeach. //Inspiration and good mood: THAT’S CINEMA!//

Agnès Varda. Cléo from 5 to 7. 2004 (via European Graduate School Video Lectures) Read the rest of this entry »


Good read – 20190322

Friday, 22 March, 2019

20190322 The New Yorker, Masha GessenJacinda Ardern Has Rewritten the Script for How a Nation Grieves After a Terrorist Attack“,

“Ardern, on the other hand, immediately showed that she had no time for the perpetrator of the mosque shootings.“Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand; they may even be refugees here,” she said. “They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence.”

These phrases are remarkable for what they do not contain: a promise to find the perpetrator and bring him to justice; any attempt to degrade him; any recognition of his desire to be seen, recognized, and fought. The opposite of terror is not courage, victory, or even justice, and it is certainly not “war on terror.” The opposite of terror is disregard for the terrorist.

In a later statement, Ardern made her policy of disregard explicit. Speaking to Parliament four days after the attacks, she said, “He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety. And that is why you will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless. And, to others, I implore you: speak the names of those who were lost, rather than the name of the man who took them. He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing. Not even his name.”

[…] In a nuanced response to a BBC interviewer, who asked if she was concerned about a rise in white nationalism in New Zealand, she said, “My call would be a global one. I’m very clear here to make the distinction that yes, this was an Australian citizen, but that is not to say that we do not have ideology in New Zealand that would be an affront to the majority of New Zealanders, that would be utterly rejected by the majority, the vast majority of New Zealanders. But we still have a responsibility to weed it out where it exists and make sure that we never create an environment where it can flourish. But I would make that a global call.”

[…] The most effective way to fight violence is to make the violence less efficient. Less than a week after the attacks, Ardern’s government announced a ban on military-style weapons. Even before the terms of the ban were worked out, Ardern encouraged people to begin surrendering weapons to the police, and at least several dozen people did. The gun ban thus became, at least to a degree, a matter of political agreement, rather than an emergency measure or a restriction imposed by the government.

This is what political leaders do in the face of a senseless tragedy: they grieve with their people, they think with their people, and they act together with their people. None of those tasks requires a declaration of war.”

xxx


Life and times via Valedictory Remarks

Tuesday, 19 March, 2019

Biography and auto-biography are types of non-fiction books that I enjoy a lot in reading as I get to learn from the life and times of interesting people. I recently discovered and learned to love Valedictory Remarks from the UKSupremeCourt YouTube channel. Here are two video remarks I enjoy (Lord Sumption, Lord Neuberger, Lord Clarke) and I hope you will too.

Lord Sumption’s Valedictory Remarks

Lord Neuberger and Lord Clarke Valedictory Remarks


I would much rather feel comfortable and feel beautiful, than to feel uncomfortable, but look fantastic. – New Quote I Love

Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

I’m adding three quotes by Penny Marshall (the actress, director and producer who passed away yesterday) to my list of Quotes I Love. The first quote was thanks to Olivia Munn. The other quotes I discovered from imdb.

I would much rather feel comfortable and feel beautiful, than to feel uncomfortable, but look fantastic.” – Penny Marshall (1943 – 2018)

I want you to laugh and cry. That’s what I do.

I have a strange combination of fearlessness and massive insecurity.


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