We pave the sunlit path toward justice together

Thursday, 30 October, 2014

Adding this to my long list of Quotes I Love,

We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.” – Tim Cook (CEO of Apple), in “I’m proud to be gay” (2014, Oct 30th)


University of Calgary research leads to brain cancer clinical trial (with video)

Tuesday, 14 October, 2014
Interview pix with lead researcher Artee Luchman, PhD, and oncologist Dr. Greg Cairncross.

Interview pix with lead researcher Artee Luchman, PhD, and oncologist Dr. Greg Cairncross.

Please see embedded my in-depth video interviews with lead researcher Artee Luchman, PhD, and oncologist Dr. Greg Cairncross (director of SACRI) in the following press release from the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute (SACRI).

note: The researchers’ Clinical Cancer Research paper can be found at this link, “Dual mTORC1/2 Blockade Inhibits Glioblastoma Brain Tumor Initiating Cells In Vitro and In Vivo and Synergizes with Temozolomide to Increase Orthotopic Xenograft Survival“.

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October 14, 2014

University of Calgary research leads to brain cancer clinical trial

Researchers at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute (SACRI) have made a discovery that could prolong the life of people living with glioblastoma – the most aggressive type of brain cancer. Samuel Weiss, PhD, Professor and Director of the HBI, and Research Assistant Professor Artee Luchman, PhD, and colleagues, published their work today in Clinical Cancer Research, which is leading researchers to start a human phase I/II clinical trial as early as Spring 2015.

Researchers used tumour cells derived from 100 different glioblastoma patients to test drugs that could target the disease. When these human brain tumour-initiating cells were inserted into an animal model, researchers discovered that when using a drug, AZD8055, combined with Temozolomide (TMZ) – a drug already taken by most glioblastoma patients – the life of the animals was extended by 30 per cent.

“Shutting off vital tumour growth processes can lead to the death of human brain tumour-initiating cells. Our research has identified a key process in brain tumour growth that we were able to target with AZD8055,” says Luchman from the university’s Cumming School of Medicine and a member of the HBI.

Interview w Artee Luchman, PhD, Lead Researcher – UC research leads to brain cancer clinical trial 

Researchers used the new therapy to inhibit a pathway in the cancer cells known as mTOR signaling – putting the brakes on this pathway, combined with the current standard therapy, caused more of the cancer cells to die. Scientists are now working with investigators at the NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC-CTG) to start a Canadian clinical trial that may eventually include glioblastoma patients across the country.

“Discovering new pathways and therapies that can be tested in the clinic provides the greatest hope for brain cancer patients and their families,” says Weiss, leader of the university’s Brain and Mental Health strategic research priority.

Interview w Dr. Greg Cairncross, oncologist – UC research leads to brain cancer clinical trial 

Glioblastoma is the most common and deadly form of brain cancer among adults. The progression and complexity of the tumours are often difficult to treat. The median survival for patients is 15 months, with less than five per cent of patients surviving beyond five years.

University of Calgary researchers including Luchman, Weiss and Dr. Greg Cairncross – director of SACRI, and leader of the Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) ‘Therapeutic Targeting of Glioblastoma research program at the university – are now working with cancer researchers Dr. Warren Mason (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto) and Dr. Lesley Seymour (Director of the NCIC Clinical Trials Group’s Investigational New Drug Program), and drug manufacturer AstraZeneca, to plan a clinical trial testing a similar, but newer, drug related to AZD8055 (called AZD2014), in combination with TMZ, in patients with glioblastoma.

“This is an important initiative – to test new drugs, being developed for other types of cancers in the laboratory to identify which are most promising for testing in patients with glioblastoma. NCIC CTG is excited to partner in the development of this clinical trial, which will be funded by a grant from the TFRI as well as grants from Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute to NCIC CTG,” says Seymour.

The study was funded by the Alberta Cancer Foundation, Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions and the Canadian Stem Cell Network.


Women’s Horizon (好風景) documentary film review

Tuesday, 9 September, 2014
Women’s Horizon (好風景) HK documentary

Women’s Horizon (好風景) HK documentary

Documentary title: Women’s Horizon (好風景)

Directors: Jo Ho Ka Wui (何嘉滙) and Bryan Chang Wai Hung (張偉雄).

Casts: Kitman, Esther, Kai Kai (佳佳), Charlene, Chan Hei (陳熹).

Film rating: **** out of 5

Film review:

Women’s Horizon (好風景)  is documentary that recorded the different small slices of lives of five Hong Kong women from 2010 fall to 2012 spring. In 58 minutes, the filmmakers were successful in getting the viewers to see how the five women living their lives and for this reviewer, to care about them all. The filmmakers were careful in telling/reminding the viewers by putting up slides on screen part way through the film stating “We are not comparing or judging. We don’t want the audience to generalize all Hong Kong women either. This might only a be a tiny part of their life. Going in front of the camera may cause hesitation or glossing over issues, We want to capture that brief moment of their sincere reality.

Without heavy hands nor trying to sensationalize things, the film gives viewers windows to the women’s work lives, family lives, their aspirations, their disappointments, their dating/love lives, and more. And at one point, we felt like an intimate participant along Kai Kai’s political protest and can emphasize the changes she must have gone through since the beginning of the film.

Watching the film, there are many scenes with Kitman, Esther, Kai Kai, Charlene, and Chan Hei that put a smile on my face, made me laugh out loud, got me thinking, felt sad, and got me scared for what I saw on screen. These are signs of a good documentary.

As far as this reporter knows (plus checking with Jo), Women’s Horizon is possibly the first Hong Kong documentary that wishes/plans to come back to revisit the same documentary subjects in a few years time (if the documentary subjects are willing to participate). Jo mentioned to this reviewer in an video interview that she and Byran were inspired and influenced by the British Up Series when they were planning the documentary in 2010. As a big admirer and lover of the Up Series, this reviewer hopes Jo & Byran’s wishes will come true and viewers will have the pleasure to learn more about Kitman, Esther, Kai Kai, Charlene, and Chan Hei in a few years.

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Women’s Horizon (好風景) film outline,

“[Women’s Horizon (好風景)] Paints a portrait of five unique Hong Kong women. Kitman, a big fan of online sweepstake;; Charlene, a dance instructor and urban fashion shop owner;; Esther, growing up in in a christian community aspiring to live the life within the church;; Chan Hei, was an advocate for the fair treatment of sex workers and is employed at a bookstore;; Kai Kai, Representative of the League of Fanling North Villages and Residents. The documentary recorded their lives from 2010 to 2012. It represents a history of their growth, a reflection of their temporal moods and aspirations for the the future. The images filmed are like five mobile mirrors into individual lives revealings their feeling intentionally or unintentionally. The documentary is not aiming to judge but solely at catching a glimpse of the women’s innermost feelings in this era.”

Here is a trailer,


Guide to Michael Lewis’ top 6 “Flash Boys” videos – Is U.S. stock market rigged?

Monday, 14 April, 2014
Flash Boys cover and TOC

Flash Boys cover and TOC

Flash Boys” is a brand new (published March 31, 2014) book by famed writer Michael Lewis (author of The Big Short and Moneyball) about how the U.S. stock market is “rigged”! Yes a U.S. stock market that is “rigged” so much that big investors (managers of multi-billion dollars pension or mutual funds) to small investors (individuals that invest their own RRSP and 401(k) retirement money) are being electronically “scalped” and scammed. Without further delay, here is a guide to Lewis’ top 6 “Flash Boys” videos. Lewis has done a bunch of media appearances to promote this book. Seeing and hearing Lewis explain things in his words is a ton of fun. You will get to learn how Brad Katsuyama, a Toronto-born former Royal Bank of Canada trader, becomes the reluctant hero in this tale.

1) CBS 60 Minutes March 30, 2014 video segment: The first and most important “Flash Boys” video is the  must watch! All 14+ minutes are highly watchable, insightful, and may make you really angry once you understand some of the ways people rigged the market against investors! The last three out of four of the 60 Minutes Overtime clips add only a little bit of information and can be skipped. CBS has also provided a full transcript of the segment on the same page.

2) April 1st, 2014 live CNBC debate: The ‘epic’ debate on high-frequency trading between Michael Lewis, Brad Katsuyama and William O’Brien (BATS Global Markets exchange president) is another must watch. The debate was so heated and engaging that some traders on the NYSE exchange floor stopped to watch. (note: Some errors were made by both side and one critical factual error was important enough that BATS was forced to issue a correction on April 4th, 2014 “under pressure from the New York Attorney General’s office“.)

The reactions to the debate at the end of this Marketwatch article is worth a read too.

3) Charlie Rose (April 2nd, 2014 video): Charlie Rose did an wonderful job in this 25+ minutes chat giving viewers some great insights. Rose is seen by many as someone who sets the gold standard of conducting engaging and insightful one-on-one interview. Highly recommended. (April 22nd update: Watch full 50+ mins March 31st show on CharlieRose.com)

4) Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers” with Stephanie Ruhle and Erik Schatzker (April 2nd, 2014 video): The fun starts early when Lewis tried to explain how the U.S. stock market is rigged using a casino example and the poker players are cheated. The hosts didn’t seem to enjoy the example when they, themselves, were set to be the cheated players!

5) Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance” (April 3rd, 2014 clips): You can watch different clips from the show here, here, here, here, and here. Just wish the hosts asked Lewis and Katsuyama better questions in the show.

6) Live Talks LA – Michael Lewis in conversation with Malcolm Gladwell – Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (April 10th, 2014): This will likely be a very insightful conversation as one can reasonably expect from a chat between two best selling authors and wonderful story tellers. I just checked with Ted from Live Talks LA and was informed that this video will be posted hopefully tomorrow (April 15th) on Live Talks LA’s official YouTube channel first and later on video pages here and/or here. (April 18th, 2014 update: The video is now posted and it is great! Have a watch!)

7) Bloomberg – Book TV: Michael Lewis Takes Viewers’ Questions on His New Book “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt.” Added on April 22nd.

8) Michael Lewis: the stock market is rigged – video interview (UK Guardian) Added on April 30th, 2014.

Note: As Lewis and Katsuyama said many times, “High-Frequency Trading (HFT)” is too wide a term and hard to define so it is better to use terms like “high speed computerized scalping” where unfairness is built into the structure of the market (which is bad, very bad) vs “high speed computerized trading” which has reduced trading costs and enhanced investors’ trading experience over the years!

Additional video and audio clips:

* CBC News in-depth interview with Katsuyama (April 4th, 2014). Worth a watch.

* April 9th, 2014 CBC radio audio clip of Lewis (2:10 – 28:09) and a ~50 seconds short clip explaining “how High-Frequency Trading makes stock markets more like rigged casinos“.

* Here is a brief video clip of Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger saying (in May 2013), “I think it is very stupid to allow a system to evolve where half of the trading is a bunch of short term people trying to get information one millionth of a nanosecond ahead of somebody else“.

Additional references that worth a read:

* “Digging Into The Cliffhanger That Ends the New Michael Lewis Book“, April 7th, 2014. Recommended interesting tidbit of information for readers of the book.

* “Lewis Calls Flash Boys Blowback ‘Thoughtless’” April 2, 2014 Bloomberg Businessweek

* March 10th, 2014 SEC S-1 filing of Virtu Financial where it talks/brags about “As a result of our successful real-time risk management strategy, we have had only one losing trading day since January 1, 2008.” [HT CNBC Bob Pisani’s “Michael Lewis’ ‘Flash Boys and high-speed trading“]

* “High-Frequency Traders Set for Curbs as EU Reins In Flash Boys“, April 13th, 2014 Bloomberg News

* “The need for speed is costing billions New York’s attorney general explains his investigation into high-frequency trading“, April 3rd, 2014, by ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN (New York’s attorney general)

C-Span – Q&A: Michael Lewis “The Big Short” – Added on April 22 (video uploaded on April 5, 2010)

NOTE: This article is cross-posted on examiner.com by me.

July 22nd, 2014 Update: An hour long video chat between Michael Lewis and Conan O’Brien

“Conan talks with Michael Lewis, the author of Flash Boys & Moneyball on Wall Street’s desperate need for oversight, why the financial market should look for a responsible, overpaid “son of bitch,” & how he gets pumped up by listening to the “Frozen” soundtrack.”


Money is the cheapest thing – New Quote I Love

Sunday, 2 February, 2014

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

Money is the cheapest thing. Liberty/freedom is the most expensive.

If you can, check out this fun and deeply insightful documentary “Bill Cunningham New York” (trailer):

You can also check out Bill’s video work at NYT. And Bill is definitely one of the Great Minds if Our Time!

[HT Saw this great brief note about the doc by Kathrin]


Happy 57th birthday, “Long Hair”, Leung Kwok-hung!

Wednesday, 27 March, 2013

I want to wish “Long Hair”, Leung Kwok-hung, happy 57th birthday, good health and all the best! Here is my 2005 documentary “Long Hair Revolution” filmed only two months after his election to Legislative Council of Hong Kong. I’m happy to say my first documentary has been added to the federal government “Library and Archives Canada” permanent collection in Ottawa.

Long Hair Revolution 長毛革命 @ national archive of Canada


Happy 92nd Birthday to “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof. Kelly Gotlieb

Wednesday, 27 March, 2013

eps02 with Prof. Kelly Gotlieb, Father of Computing in Canada

Happy 92nd Birthday to Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb, (Wikipedia) “Father of Computing in Canada”, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto. I am happy to be able to reach Kelly today to wish him happy birthday, good health and all the best!

In recent weeks, I had the honour and pleasure to interview Kelly extensive twice, once via video using Google+ Hangout On Air, another time using Skype audio. Have a watch & listen. Enjoy. Happy 92nd birthday Kelly!

eps02 chat with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof. Kelly Gotlieb (Ref original article)

Interview with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof Gotlieb re Google Car, Google Glasses, Alan Turing (Ref original article)


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