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 gc.ca), US (via cdc.gov), 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.

Cantonese chat re Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney to lead Bank of England

Wednesday, 28 November, 2012

(廣東話) 經濟分析師陳心田與獨立記者林錦堂講一講加國行長Mark Carney空降英倫銀行

(in Cantonese) Economic Analyst +Wallace Chan & Independent Reporter Kempton Lam chat re Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney to lead Bank of England.

Interviewing Sir Salman Rushdie from Calgary – Who is Joseph Anton?

Monday, 24 September, 2012

20120924 Sir Salman Rushdie

To many readers, Sir Salman Rushdie is most well-known, unfortunately, for his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), which lead to death threats made against him, including a fatwā issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in February 1989. To some film-loving Calgarians, Rushdie will also be known for his second novel, Midnight’s Children, the 1981 Booker Prize winning novel which was made into a movie that was premiered in Calgary International Film Festival last week.

So who is Joseph Anton? Rushdie answered, “Strangely enough, it is me. Because during those years, the police who were protecting me [from the fatwā] at these undisclosed locations needed to have a pseudo name to call me by so that they didn’t accidentally use my real name when they were at the local corner store. So they asked me to invent one. So I invented a name based on two of my favourite writers. Joseph Conrad. And Anton from Anton Chekhov. Put them together and that name lasted for ten years. Truthfully, I always disliked that name.” Rushdie used that name as his memoir’s title because he wants to give readers a sense of how strange it was during those ten years.

Rushdie initially wrote the book in the first person “in the ordinary” way. He didn’t like it. He felt it “too much self-regard, too narcissistic“. When he finally wrote it in the third person, he felt he could have “a little more distance” from himself. Rushdie said, “Also it was a long time ago, the story began in 1989, twenty-three years ago.” He felt there is enough of a difference between him now, and him then. So using the third person allows him to express the idea that the person he is now is different from the person he was then.

Rushdie’s new book is out, check it out from your bookstore or library, “Joseph Anton: A Memoir“.

P.S. It was an honour for me to hangout with Sir Salman. Many thanks to the wonderful Maria Quiban and the Fox LA crew for the great hangout.

Note: This article is cross-posted by me at examiner.com

Jan 22, 2013 Update: Here is the Hangout video with Sir Salman,

The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet

Wednesday, 16 May, 2012

I love interview shows like Charlie Rose by the insightful Charlie. The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet, hosted by Amanda and executive produced by Amanda and Demi Moore, since I had the pleasure to Google+ Hangout with Amanda, has quickly become one of my favourite interview shows! Yes, Amanda is that good!

Amanda de Cadenet Fox LA Hangout

In this episode (free online), Amanda interviews Lady Gaga, Portia de Rossi, Rita Wilson and Leslie Bennetts (author). Great episode to watch.

May 25, 2012 Update: Also check out the premiere episode with “Gwyneth Paltrow, Jane Fonda, Sarah Silverman, Zoe Saldana“.

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