Hannah Arendt – Banality of Evil

Monday, 12 December, 2016

I found the 2012 movie “Hannah Arendt” about the real life political theorist/philosopher/reporter Arendt very insightful.

Love the Hannah Arendt Final Speech

Prof. Dick Bernstein on the Film “Hannah Arendt” | The New School (very insightful 42 minutes as Prof. Bernstein knew Arendt personally.)

Hannah Arendt’s Disruptive Truth Telling (1 hour 40 minutes)

With the horrible or worrying events around the world in our time, the ideas and lessons of Arendt are worth further investigating or studying.


Curmudgeons by Danny DeVito

Monday, 10 October, 2016

Curmudgeons is a short film (FREE on Vimeo) directed by Danny DeVito and produced by him and his son & daughter. As it is a ~15 minute short film, I won’t say anything as I don’t want to spoil anything. Enjoy. (Yes, I cried a little.)


Omran is alive. His older brother, 10-year-old Ali, is dead.

Sunday, 21 August, 2016

#ArcOfTheMoralUniverse Unfortunately, “on Saturday the story took an even more tragic turn when Omran’s older brother, 10-year-old Ali Daqneesh, died from the injuries he sustained in the blast that destroyed their family’s home on Wednesday.

We in the international community (Canada, US, UK, and others) failed the many Alis, Omrans, and Syrians in this war. They died and suffered under our watch. We, the member states of United Nations, love to *talk* Responsibility to Protect (RTP) doctrine but usually end with massive “Failure to Protect” unless our national interests (oil, other resources, our own securities) are at stake. Have we not learned enough from the tragedies in Rwanda and the Balkans in the 1990s? I hope/wish and agree that “Omran’s picture must be a turning point in Syria’s war“. And I will add my voice to urge our Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan to try to do what is right, on our behalf.

At the end of the day, there is no escape that Ali and many other Syrians had died in this war, and Omrans and many other Syrians suffered under our watch and we failed them. Whether we keep on failing our Syrian brothers and sisters, letting them die, allowing the refugee crisis to get even worse, or we say enough is enough and actually commit to stop this massive human atrocity, it is up to us “word citizens” to tell our governments what need to be done.

The arc of the moral universe may be long, but it decidedly and increasingly does not always bend toward justice. Why does that matter? Because it means that too many children will never get to grow up, period. Let alone grow up in a morale universe that bends towards justice.” – The Honourable Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella (1946 – ), Closing Remarks at Nuremberg Symposium – May 4, 2016

Ref1: “Brother of Boy Who Became Face of Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis Dies

Ref2: “Omran’s picture must be a turning point in Syria’s war

A week later another colleague from M10 hospital rang me and told me he had treated Omran, the young boy whose picture had gone viral on social media. To be honest, I had not seen the picture. He simply wanted to tell me that the boy had survived and he had treated his deep scalp wound and he was going to be discharged home.

I asked him whether he wanted to go on television and contacted the BBC and Channel 4. He was willing to do this but not to show his face, as he would surely have been targeted by the regime. To see him talking on my television brought a lump to my throat. He is the kindest and nicest human being I’ve ever worked with. He has been there from the start of the war and his only words on the television were: “Please help us.” […]

The picture of this little boy must be a turning point in this war. It must not be looked at and forgotten within 24 hours. I have pictures on my phone and in my computer of all the cases that I dealt with when I was in Aleppo. These images are far worse than the image of Omran. They are of dead and dying children. I have given lectures showing these pictures and have had people in the audience crying. Why has the world become heartless?

When President Obama talked about crossing the red line after 400 children were killed by chemical weapons outside Damascus in 2013, he was awaiting the outcome of a vote on action in the British parliament. In the end it was close, with 285-272 voting against military action against the Syrian regime. If the west had shown strong leadership, I have no doubt that the Syrian military hierarchy would have collapsed. George Osborne said prophetically: “I hope this doesn’t become a moment when we turn our back on all the world’s problems.” It’s not often that a politician gets it right, but he did then.

I packed my gas mask and spent six weeks in Aleppo just after that statement in 2013.

[HT Zohreen]

Story of Syrian boy moves CNN anchor to tears


20160817 Bolt, De Grasse, Spohia Lee (IEX), Susan Cain

Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

[HT CBC News’s video] Yes! These two bros! :) //These two! All smiles between Bolt and De Grasse as they cross the finish line http://bit.ly/2b0FOh2 #FriendshipGoals //

[HT IEX Trading] “Woman Behind ‘Flash Boys’ Exchange Approval Preps for Next Fight” //A native New Yorker, [Spohia] Lee graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering, and experience working in cryogenics, solar energy and thermodynamics labs. Long before Lee helped IEX take the first steps toward its biggest goal, she had worked on creating a walking device for paraplegics for her undergraduate thesis. She wasn’t keen on taking an engineering job in a far-flung locale, so she decided to attend law school at New York University. She held jobs at electronic broker Investment Technology Group Inc. and spent 10 years at Liquidnet Holdings Inc., which operates a private trading venue.
‘Stronger Stomach’
“She’s clearly got a stronger stomach than most general counsels,” said Tyler Gellasch, a former SEC official and securities lawyer who heads the Healthy Markets Association, an investor advocacy group. “It’s clear she has helped shape their strategy in a way that says, ‘We’re going to be smart, we’re going to take on a fight, and, frankly, we’re not afraid to lose.’”
The SEC’s approval — which gives IEX license to operate on par with the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market and other exchanges — comes with several prizes, including the ability to list companies and a greater voice in oversight of the entire $25 trillion U.S. stock market. The regulator’s blessing came against vocal opposition from those large exchange operators, and other market players including Citadel LLC, which argued IEX’s 350-microsecond “speed bump” on orders would amount to putting a pothole on the superhighway of the U.S. stock market.//

[HT Susan Cain]  //During the seven years it took me to write Quiet, I really had no idea whether anyone would read it, once it was published. People often ask me how I dealt with that uncertainty. The answer is Read the rest of this entry »


Christian Louboutin – Great minds of our time

Monday, 1 August, 2016

I was introduced to the luxury footwear designer Christian Louboutin thanks to my late French friend Laurent as he happened to know Christian as a family friend. Here are a few videos I am watching today.

An Audience with Christian Louboutin: Full-length video | NET-A-PORTER.COM (published Nov 25, 2011)

Christian Louboutin Addresses FIT Graduates (published May 23, 2014)

Christian Louboutin Interview | NET-A-PORTER.COM (published Nov 13, 2009)

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I wrote and shared this entry in memory of Laurent Jean Philippe Ravalec, my late and awesomely unique French friend, where one of our last video chats (which I documented here) happened in November 2015 just a day after the horrible Paris attack.

Talking to my French friend Laurent about Food (published April 7, 2012) is another video of us chatting about our common love: food!

Laurent, I miss you my friend!


父親節快樂 Happy Father’s Day – 與 Simon 談書法的創意 Talk Chinese Calligraphy Creativity with Simon

Sunday, 19 June, 2016

父親節快樂! Happy Father’s Day! In 2013, I had the pleasure of LIVE chatting (unedited LIVE streaming) with my father about Chinese calligraphy creativity.

與 Simon 談書法的創意 Talk Chinese Calligraphy Creativity with Simon

My father has taught me, by personal examples, how to maintain life-long curiosity and learning. Dad LOVEs to learn. And he is a much better teacher than I ever will be. I sometimes lack the infinite patient that he seems to have.

During the LIVE chat, dad told me (amongst many things), on a purely calligraphy level, Dr. Sun Yat-sen 孫中山, Chinese revolutionary, first president and founding father of the Republic of China, loves to write the four Chinese words 「天下為公」 (The world is a Commonwealth). A photo example of Dr. Sun’s writing: 孫中山在故題的「天下為公」四個大字。(Google image search of 孫中山 Dr. Sun’s 天下為公 samples.) And Chairman Mao’s 毛澤東 loves to write the five words「為人民服務」五個字. (Google image search of 毛澤東 Chairman Mao’s「為人民服務」samples.) We had some fascinating discussions on top of the calligraphy in the LIVE video chat.

After my chat with dad talking about 鄭板橋’s words「難得糊塗」, the curious me (thanks dad!) conducted some research Zheng Xie 鄭板橋 (formally 鄭燮) and ended up reaching out to Dr. Lee Shew-Hua in Taiwan to ask her if she could kindly share her PhD thesis with me. As Dr. Lee had conducted her research 20+ years ago, she didn’t have an electronic copy of her thesis. But after finding out which pages/section I am most interested in, she was so kind to arrange and scan an excerpt of her Phd thesis 李秀華博士 〈鄭板橋書法之研究〉博士論文 (4.5 MB, PDF image file) for me. As all PhD thesis are in public domain, I am now sharing Dr. Lee’s PhD thesis excerpt 李秀華博士 〈鄭板橋書法之研究〉博士論文 on this Father’s Day to celebrate the teachings and inspirations by fathers from around the world.

Thanks Dad! Thanks for your continue teachings and inspirations! You rock!

Happy Father’s Day! 父親節快樂!

P.S. Upon further research, I found this Chinese TV show about Zheng Xie 鄭板橋. Enjoy.

《老梁故事汇》 20151023 郑板桥的糊涂人生

There are two Chinese series: 扬州八怪 YouTube playlist and 鄭板橋外傳


Watch “Revolution Trilogy” 睇「革命三部曲」

Friday, 18 March, 2016

Director/producer/independent reporter Kempton Lam has made three full-length documentaries from 2004 – 2015. (Cantonese with English subtitles 廣東話、英文字幕) Collectively, the three documentaries are known as his “Revolution Trilogy「革命三部曲」. Kempton’s debut documentary Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命 has been collected by the Canadian national archive since 2009. You can watch the three films at this YouTube Playlist (projected on your big screen HD TV or on your computer here). Enjoy!

Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命」 (full-length 2005) (read film & Canadian national archive info)

HKtv Revolution 「香港電視革命」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)

Umbrella Revolution: History as Mirror Reflection 「雨傘革命實錄:以史為鏡」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)


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