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

Inside Black Mirror from co-creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones

Friday, 2 November, 2018

Black Mirror is one of the best anthology science fiction television TV series on air (on Netflix) right now. I just LOVE it. Now thanks to UK Guardian, we get to look deep inside Black Mirror with insights from co-creators, awesome master class with Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones!

Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones: Inside Black Mirror – (87 minutes)

Nov 5th, 2018 Correction: While I wish Charlie and Annabel are co-creators, I should correct and state that they are co-show runners while is Charlie the creator of Black Mirror according to the book info of Inside Black Mirror (available Nov 20 2018) they are plugging.

//[via Amazon] About the Author
Charlie Brooker (Author)
Charlie Brooker is an award-winning writer, producer and broadcaster whose career has spanned television, radio, print, and online media.

Brooker is the creator and writer of Black Mirror, whose fourth season launched on Netflix at the end of 2017 and won a BAFTA Craft Award and has recently picked up three BAFTA TV Awards nominations. The critically acclaimed, mind-bending anthology series originally launched on Channel 4 in 2011 and over its four seasons has collected awards including Primetime Emmys® for Outstanding TV Movie and Outstanding Writing for a TV Movie, Producers Guild of America, Rose D’or, BAFTA, International Emmy® and Peabody.

Annabel Jones (Author)
Annabel Jones is a long-term collaborator of Charlie Brooker’s. She serves as co-show runner and executive producer on Black Mirror. Previously Jones executive produced a number of shows presented by Charlie Brooker including three series of the BAFTA-nominated BBC Two satirical review Weekly Wipe; all seven editions of the annual shindig Charlie Brooker’s End of Year Wipe, which won a BAFTA for its 2016 edition; How Video Games Changed the World; Newswipe, which won the 2009 Royal Television Society Award for Best Entertainment Programme; Gameswipe; and the How TV Ruined Your Life series for BBC Two.

Jason Arnopp (Co-author)
Read the rest of this entry »

‘Reflections on the Rule of Law in a Dangerous World’: The 2018 Sir David Williams Lecture by The Rt Hon. Beverley McLachlin

Friday, 26 October, 2018

Sir David Williams Lecture 2018

On Friday 19 October 2018, The Rt Hon. Beverley McLachlin delivered the 2018 Sir David Williams Lecture entitled “Where Are We Going? Reflections on the Rule of Law in a Dangerous World“. (more info: downloadable audiophotos)

Sir David Williams Lecture 2018

Sir David Williams Lecture 2018

If you’re the smartest person in the room – New Quotes I Love

Thursday, 10 May, 2018

It has been more than a month since I added new quote to my long list of Quotes I Love. Here are a few from Financial Times journalist Simon Kuper (twittertweet & source: FT article “My life tips for graduates: embrace your ignorance – ‘Avoid all house-price talk, diet talk and name-dropping. It will save you years’”),

If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” – Simon Kuper

When you discover you were wrong about something, don’t fight it. Treasure the moment: you’ve learnt something.” – Simon Kuper

I like the following quotes in My life tips for graduates very much as well but not quite in the “LOVE” level so I’m including them here in this post for now (I may change my mind later),

“Just shut up and listen. Whenever you think, ‘I know about that’, you don’t. When you hear yourself saying something you’ve said before, don’t bother. When someone worthwhile tells you something about North Korea, don’t sit there waiting till you can interrupt with your one factoid about North Korea. Pre-rehearsed anecdotes will keep you dumb.

“Also avoid all house-price talk, route talk, diet talk, name-dropping and current-affairs clichés. Over a lifetime, this can save you years.

Listen hardest to people younger than you. They are ignorant and generally have lowly jobs, but their fragments of knowledge will be more cutting-edge than yours. If you’re ever tempted to kid yourself that your knowledge will hold good over time, listen to aged relatives recite the race theories they picked up in the 1940s.””

J.K. Rowling’s writing advices

Tuesday, 30 January, 2018

Keeping track of these inspiring writing advices by the very awesome J.K. Rowling. So cool that Rowling would reach out to people she doesn’t know at all.

Mashable, (2018/01/27) “11 times J.K. Rowling tweeted awesome writing advice

Love these tweets: 20171112 “Don’t write me. Write like you. Nobody else can do that. Finish that book x”

20150815 “Don’t you dare let their laughter extinguish your ambition. Turn it into fuel! Big hugs from one writer to another x

20150815 “Do what I did: pretend you want to do something else and write on the sly until you’re free to do whatever you want!

20180122, “When rereading last week’s work, the trick is to stop for a biscuit just before your blood sugar levels drop to ‘every single word of this is worthless.’

20160325, “I pinned my 1st rejection letter to my kitchen wall because it gave me something in common with all my fave writers!

20160325, “By popular request, 2 of @RGalbrath’s rejection letters! (For inspiration, not revenge, so I’ve removed signatures.)

20160325, “I wasn’t going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen.

Read this tweet chain in full: “10. The time she replied to this tweet about the importance of completing a writing project.

Mashable, (2018/01/30) “J.K. Rowling revealed how she plans her books on Twitter. Take notes, people.

2018/02/01 Update: Add this to my list of Quotes I Love!

20171112 “Don’t write me. Write like you. Nobody else can do that. Finish that book x”

Amy & Rory introduce 13th Doctor – Jodie Whittaker!

Monday, 17 July, 2017

Wonderful Doctor Who news! I created a video of Amy & Rory introduce 13th Doctor – Jodie Whittaker! Enjoy!

Amy & Rory introduce 13th Doctor – Jodie Whittaker!


The Death of Jacintha Saldanha, Kate Middleton’s nurse – My Lessons Learned

Friday, 7 December, 2012

Everyone were shocked when hearing the tragic news of the suspected suicide of mother-of-two Jacintha Saldanha, one of Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton’s nurses prank called at the King Edward VII Hospital. I feel the pain from reading the statements & reactions from the key parties including Jacintha’s family, King Edward VII Hospital, St James’s Palace. The beautiful occasion of an expecting birth is now forever remembered along with the tragic death of Jacintha.

To me, every human life on earth is precious and I feel we must try to find some lessons to learn from this tragedy. I will group my observations & lessons learned into three categories: Media, We the Public, and Us as Individuals.

*** Media ***

After the tragic news was announced this morning. Many people online went up in arms to demand the Australian DJs who prank called the hospital be punished and even fired. To me, prank calls to the royals or famous people (click to hear the Australian DJs’  call & read the transcript) happen around the world regularly (including a Canadian DJ prank calling the Queen). The prank calls are usually treated as silly fun. And sometimes the unfortunate victims would even laugh along with the prank callers afterwards.

With the worldwide report of the initial prank call and the knowledge that Kate’s private health information was released, I can understand the tremendous pressure and embarrassment Jacintha must have felt inside her. Once the prank call was made successfully revealing Kate’s private patient information, the media at large had no choice but to report it.

To be honest, I did question in my mind why private patient information was released so easily but I am not trying to lay blames here. (note: If I have time, I may write about how Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily and magazine Next Magazine have been crossing some serious and harmful “journalistic” lines in recent years in a future article.)

My lesson learned: I don’t know if Jacintha was ever singled out directly by any press in UK or anywhere for the hospital’s releasing private health information to an unverified caller. In hindsight, it is a tough call for the press to make. Whether to single out any individual? Or to put the focus on the system instead? More importantly, would the public be better served by laying out the challenges and some possible improvements? These are bigger freedom of press issues. Coming back to the prank calls, while we have a tragic death today, I would not blame the prank callers.

Note: By the way, for private financial or health information, stop short of not release any sensitive information over the phone to anyone, one solution is to restrict the release of information only to confirmed & verified registered phone number by dialing out. Call out by using a confirmed phone number on file (e.g. the patient’s home/work number on file, or calling the bank at its number on the back our credit/bank card) thus avoiding prank/fraud.

*** We the Public ***

By “We the Public“, I mean us as a collective, as a group of people. How “We the Public” react to the original prank call and the tragic aftermath of the prank call. (timeline) When I heard the hospital released private patient’s info so “easily” to a prank caller, I felt a bit angry of the hospital. And now, I am deeply saddened for the death of Jacintha. I can also imagine the guilt the two DJs must feel now. And the expecting parents Kate & William being saddened by this tragic news.

My lesson learned: Be more forgiving of others’ actions/mistakes. If we didn’t criticize the hospital as much, would nurse Jacintha felt less pressure? Of course, I am not blaming the media on reporting the breach of privacy, but I have to wonder. We are all humans and sometimes our actions have unfortunate or even tragic consequence that are out of our control.

*** Us as Individuals ***

I want to state clearly that neither the expecting parents nor the hospital has blamed or want to punish Jacintha. St James’s Palace stated that,

At no point did the palace complain to the hospital about the [hoax] incident. On the contrary, we offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses involved at all times.

And the hospital stated that

Jacintha “was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. The hospital had been supporting her throughout this difficult time.

My lesson learned: Ultimately, we are sometimes our own worst critique and we, collectively, have to learn to be more forgiving of ourselves (our own actions/inactions/mistakes/words ... etc etc) A big part of me think, only if Jacintha had forgiven herself more, this wouldn’t have happened.

*** Concluding thoughts ***

Every single one of our lives is precious. Talk to your parents, friends, talk to anyone, call a suicide help line in your area for help: UK (via NHS), Canada (via, US (via, or wherever you are!

Killing yourself is NOT a solution. Remember the friends, families, communities you will hurt and leave behind.

P.S. I read that Jacintha is a mother of two. Jacintha’s children are in my thoughts tonight.

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