“Some days, we write good stories. Some days, we just write paragraphs around great quotes” – New Quote I Love

Wednesday, 26 August, 2020

Here is a new addition to my collection of Quotes I Love.

Some days, we write good stories.
Some days, we just write paragraphs around great quotes from insightful young men
Today was one of the latter days” – Doug Smith‘s tweet on 20200825

20200825 TorStar story by Doug, “After the Jacob Blake shooting, some Raptors wonder if the NBA needs to send an even stronger message” (excerpt) Read the rest of this entry »


Dr. Anthony Fauci at Stanford Med Webinar

Monday, 13 July, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci & Dean Lloyd Minor in a Fireside Chat | StanfordMed LIVE – July 13, 2020

via CNN //Fauci: In 50 years, we’ll talk about coronavirus “the way we used to reflect on the 1918 outbreak”

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

Dr. Anthony Fauci called the global coronavirus pandemic “unprecedented” and “the worst nightmare.”

“One thinks about the worst nightmare of an infectious disease person who’s interested in global health and outbreaks – is the combination of a new microbe that has [a] spectacular … degree of capability of transmitting, and also has a considerable degree of morbidity and mortality – and here it is, it’s happened,” Fauci said while speaking during a webinar with the Stanford School of Medicine.

“Your worst nightmare, the perfect storm,” he added. “I think 50 years from now, people are going to be reflecting historically on this, the way we used to reflect on the 1918 outbreak,” Fauci said.//

via CNN: //US didn’t shut down entirely, and now country is seeing surging cases, Fauci says Read the rest of this entry »


Ditch #complicated #remdesivir #Patent2017 and focus on #GS441524 #Simpler #Safer #ancestor #Patent2009?

Thursday, 14 May, 2020

The following news is highly technical #Chemical #Pharmaceutical #Covid19 science. If I may share with you my trick and general approach to learning: I often try to read something and understand it as much as I can KNOWING I don’t know a LOT. Knowing what questions to ask and what we don’t know is part way to understanding/”some minor progress in understanding” new cutting edge science. To quote a Quote I LOVE by the Nobel Economist Ronald Coase when he was 100 years old, “You don’t know what you can learn until you try to learn.”

Have a read of May 14, 2020, Stat News, “Gilead should ditch remdesivir and focus on its simpler and safer ancestor” By Victoria C. Yan and Florian L. Muller  [HT Gabriel @gmleunghku for his RT this morning, I saw the STAT News op-ed but his RT put it more on my radar]

Here is an excerpt from //Opinion: Gilead has another antiviral that’s easier to make and safer to use than remdesivir. Why isn’t it giving that drug any attention? The world can only hope it isn’t for the sake of protecting its intellectual property.//

“The attractive profile of GS-441524 from both manufacturing and clinical perspectives raises this question: Why hasn’t Gilead opted to advance this compound to the clinic? We would be remiss for not mentioning patents, and thus profits. The first patent on GS-441524 was issued in 2009, while the first patent for remdesivir was issued in 2017.

We aren’t the only ones questioning Gilead’s strategy. We have spoken with a number of chemists, biochemists, veterinarians, and others who are also surprised that GS-441524 has remained out of the spotlight. Veterinarians we spoke to have noted that the strong antiviral activity of GS-441524 has resulted in a “miraculous turn of events” for cats infected with feline coronavirus, which was once considered a death sentence.

Given GS-441524’s optimal properties, we — along with the millions of people awaiting an effective treatment for Covid-19 — are left to wonder why Gilead isn’t giving it the same attention it is giving remdesivir. The world can only hope it isn’t for the sake of protecting its intellectual property.”

[NOTE: Do NOT take experts’ words blindly but let them highlight potentially interesting questions or where cutting edge science is]

P,S, In the 90s, I, for no good reasons that I can remember and may be I had too much money to waste/spend, subscribed to The New England Journal of Medicine for one full year! May be it was to broaden my understanding of medical science, better armed myself to read medical research, or simply to reduce my fear of reading research papers that I really know very little! I particular enjoy, if I remember right, reading the concluding paragraphs of many research papers talking about what’s “NEXT” for the researchers, what were their “unknowns”!

Gilead should ditch remdesivir and focus on its simpler and safer ancestor - pix

Gilead should ditch remdesivir and focus on its simpler and safer ancestor – pix


I don’t hate anybody! @SpeakerPelosi

Thursday, 5 December, 2019

20191205 Q-Do you hate the president? A-I don't hate anybody! @SpeakerPelosi - Screen Shot

#video #IDontHateAnybody via @LisaDNews

//Wow. That was an incredible moment as a reporter asked @SpeakerPelosi, as she was exiting news conf., if she hates the president.
She immediately pushed back, hard, at the idea.
Here’s what it looked like from the side.//

Well said by @SpeakerPelosi. I’m not religious but I do NOT hate anybody. I don’t hate President Trump. I don’t hate Ms. Carrie Lam. I don’t even hate the Hong Kong police who committed atrocities against HKers. Why? Because I know hate will end up poisoning my mind and heart and those politicians are seriously NOT worth it to poison my mind and heart.

Hate is a powerful lubricant on the slippery slope to “hell” (however you define it). Focus on the wrong doings and try to make positive steps to counter them, fix them, change them for the better … But don’t hate.

Watch full CSpan video link (timecode 19:09 ==> Q: “Do you hate the president?”).

Video excerpt via @cspan tweet

Q: “Do you hate the president?”

@SpeakerPelosi: “I don’t hate anybody…As a Catholic, I resent your using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone…So, don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.”

Here is an excerpt via C-Span (timecode ~19:30)

“I THINK THIS PRESIDENT IS A COWARD WHEN IT COMES TO HELPING OUR KIDS WHO ARE AFRAID OF GUN VIOLENCE. I THINK HE IS CRUEL WHEN HE DOESN’T DEAL WITH HELPING OUR DREAMERS OF WHICH WE ARE VERY PROUD. I THINK HE’S IN DENIAL ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION — ABOUT THE CLIMATE CRISIS. HOWEVER, THAT’S ABOUT THE ELECTION. THIS IS ABOUT — TAKE IT UP IN THE ELECTION. THIS IS ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. AND THE FACTS THAT LEADS TO THE PRESIDENT’S VIOLATION OF THE OATH OF OFFICE. AS A CATHOLIC I RESENT YOUR USING THE WORD HATE IN A SENTENCE THAT ADDRESSES ME. I DON’T HATE ANYONE. I WAS RAISED IN A WAY THAT IS HEART FULL OF LOVE AND ALWAYS PRAY FOR THE PRESIDENT. AND I STILL PRAY FOR THE PRESIDENT. I PRAY FOR THE PRESIDENT ALL THE TIME. SO DON’T MESS WITH ME WHEN IT COMES TO WORDS LIKE THAT. [CAPTIONS COPYRIGHT NATIONAL CABLE SATELLITE CORP. 2019] [CAPTIONING PERFORMED BY THE NATIONAL CAPTIONING INSTITUTE, WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS CAPTION CONTENT AND ACCURACY. VISIT NCICAP.ORG] “


Why does Costco shortchange loyal renewing customers?

Wednesday, 6 November, 2019

20191106 Why does Costco shortchange loyal renewing customers? - Pix 0120191106 Why does Costco shortchange loyal renewing customers? - Pix 02

I posted “Why does Costco shortchange loyal renewing customers?” as a comment on CostCo’s Facebook page yesterday. And Costco’s social media teams replied promptly (within the hour) to inform me my concerns have already been sent to the appropriate team(s). Will see what happen next.

===

For the record, here is “Why does Costco shortchange loyal renewing customers?” ,

Hi, We just had a rather #awful Costco Wholesale Canada membership renewal experience this past Friday. Ended up spending ~30 minutes talking to three (4) different customer service employees/manager with one of them even threatened me to stop writing down her name (I said I might want to complain about my experiences at some point). I was told I’m not allowed to remember their names in order to properly complain if I wish to. Is this normal and standard operating procedure of CostCo employees to threaten members who may want to complain with precision?
Can someone explain why does CostCo treat loyal customers WORSE than brand new customers? Shouldn’t renewal NOT be taken “for granted”? Is it wrong to think each renewal should be treated as EARNED?

— Calgary Zoo example
In stark contrast, Calgary Zoo does things right and treat each member who decides to renew (some don’t renew) with full respect and work hard to earn each renewal. As a start, the zoo treats a renewing member EQUALLY as a new member and would NEVER shortchange/disadvantage a loyal existing member!

— CostCo: a multi-billion dollar entitled company?
Now back to CostCo, please correct me if I am wrong. When a NEW customer decide to take out a NEW membership on November 1st, his/her membership will expire in 2020 November 30th, correct me if I am wrong?
Now when we renewed on November 1st, we were told that our membership expired on September 30th! Major #fail with CostCo! In fact we were further explained, for ANYONE who “renew” within three (3) months of their previous membership expiration date, their membership expiration is the OLD date! So for example, members who decide to renew 89 days after expiration will have their membership shortchanged with 89 days LESS!
Fair? I don’t think so. This, to me and to be frank, is the actions of a multi-billion dollar entitled company that disrespect loyal customers because “it has always been done like this” or it is in the “terms and conditions” (which I tried to read “Membership Conditions & Regulations, and Privacy Policy” but is unable to find the exact exploitative legal language).

— More Training (not punishment) & Will CostCo start treating Loyal/Renewal customers with respect??
I will NEVER want anyone be punished for my stupid complains. Life is too short. Training may be. I want other customers be treated much better than I had been.
I take time to complain not just to benefit myself (sure, I want my complains fixed) BUT I take time to publicly complain in order to raise issues that I think companies like CostCo should think seriously and consider fixing.
I’ve laid out my complains and the issues (hopefully clearly and factually). Will CostCo review your corporate policy and START respecting all Loyal/Renewing customers reminds to be seen. Don’t take my words for it, Google or ask Calgary Zoo how they treat their renewing members and if they treat their loyal renewing members as good as their new ones and if they also shortchange their members because many are too busy to ask?


THR Podcasts (Sacha Baron Cohen, Gal Gadot, Ricky Gervais, Jessica Chastain, …)

Thursday, 18 July, 2019

 

THR Podcasts (Sacha Baron Cohen, Gal Gadot, Ricky Gervais, Jessica Chastain, ...)

THR Podcasts (Sacha Baron Cohen, Gal Gadot, Ricky Gervais, Jessica Chastain, …)

Here are a bunch of interesting podcasts from Hollywood Reporter (THR) starting with Sacha Baron Cohen, one of my most favourite and insightful comedians, and the one that started me on this interesting journey. Have a listen of any one or more of these podcasts as I copied and pasted from THR. Enjoy!

* ‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Sacha Baron Cohen (‘Who Is America?’)

Ricky GervaisJessica ChastainGal GadotStephen ColbertAaron Sorkin, Kate Winslet, Emilia ClarkeLin-Manuel Miranda,

Helen MirrenJulia Louis-Dreyfus, Meryl StreepRobert De NiroJennifer LawrenceMargot RobbieRyan Reynolds, Emma Stone,

Lady GagaJJ AbramsJulia RobertsTrevor NoahJerry Seinfeld,

Michael MooreJane FondaMatthew McConaugheyNatalie Portman,


In the quest to build a better battery

Friday, 14 December, 2018

I’ve always love and curious about battery technologies. CBC News has this interesting news article, “In the quest to build a better battery, a Canadian is energizing the field“. Will see how things pan out in the coming years with Canadian Don Sadoway, a professor of materials chemistry at MIT. (Prof. Sadoway “did both his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Toronto, receiving his PhD in 1977”.)

2012 Ted Talk Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy

2015 World Economic Forum, Unlocking Renewables | Donald Sadoway


Sad 2018 #HumanRightsDay #MichealKovrig #MichaelSpavor #MengWanzhou #Huawei

Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Dec 23, 2018 update: Global TV News, (with video) “Canada’s ambassadors urging allies to push for release of Canadians detained in China: Freeland

Dec 21, 2018 Global Affairs Canada Official statement: “Canada deeply concerned by arbitrary detention of two Canadians in China

Dec 21, 2018 update: CBC News, “U.S. , UK, EU] joins Freeland in condemning ‘arbitrary detention’ of Canadians and calls for ‘immediate release’

UK Gardian, “Canada demands China immediately release citizens detained in ‘retaliation’ arrests – US, UK and EU express support, after two Canadians held in seeming retaliation for arrest of Huawei executive

====

I’m sorry to say 2018 #HumanRightsDay (Dec 10th) was a sad day when former Canadian diplomat Micheal Kovrig (update: and Mr. Michael Spavor) were detained in China with no reason given. (China taking Mr. Kovrig as “hostage” over the arrest of Huawei CFO Ms. Meng Wanzhou?!) Where is due process? Where is rule of law? I understand he served as political lead on Prime Minster Trudeau’s visit to Hong Kong in September 2016, so on a personal note, I feel sorry for Consul General Mr. Jeff Nankivell and others in HK that Mr. Kovrig might have worked with in preparation of that 2016 visit.

How “lucky” Canadians must be to be stuck between two superpowers fighting a trade war? One superpower has a president that locks up human rights lawyers (including blind human rights lawyer) and makes dissidents “disappear”. The other superpower has a president who clearly sees himself above the law and has no idea of what “judicial independence” means. Even his former secretary of state recently said in public, “the president would say here’s what I want to do and here’s how I want to do it and I would have to say to him, Mr. President I understand what you want to do but you can’t do it that way. It violates the law.”

If there is #TeachableMoment in all this mess, it is that one must try to respect the rule of law, due process, and judicial independence. Even now it seems we really got used by both sides to fight their beeping trade war!
P.S. Incidentally, Trump/US government has imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum using Section 232 of U.S. trade law claiming our steel and aluminum are “threats to American national security”.

P.P.S. Former Canadian Amb. to China Mr. Guy Saint-Jacques has this to say:

===

This sentence (from a CBC News report) kinda highlights the difference between Huawei CFO Ms. Meng Wanzhou’s case and the trumped up detention of Mr. Michael Kovrig (currently on an unpaid leave of absence from the Canadian embassy): “China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday denied knowledge of the detention of a former Canadian diplomat, as Chinese citizens rejoiced over a Canadian court’s decision to release a top Huawei Technologies executive on bail.Read the rest of this entry »


The day White House spread doctored video

Friday, 9 November, 2018

Nov 16, 2018 update: CNN (with video) “Judge orders White House to return Jim Acosta’s press pass

====

The doctored video @WhiteHouse tweeted out by @PressSec. For the record.

RT //Even by the standards of their serial-lying selves, this is bad stuff.// via @ddale8

//PEN America is suing President Trump for banning certain journalists from covering the White House and threatening to revoke credentials; now he has gone a step further by revoking the press pass of @CNN’s @Acosta, in a clear attack on the First Amendment.// BBC News, “White House suspends credentials for CNN’s Jim Acosta

Very sad day!


Crazy Rich Asians – clips, songs & articles collection

Monday, 13 August, 2018

I LOVE the book (part 2 China Rich Girlfriend, part 3 Rich People Problems) so I’m thrilled & excited to watch Crazy Rich Asians on its opening day this Wednesday (Aug 15th, 2018). (Aug 15th night update: Just watched the movie and LOVED it!) (Note: May add more to this post later.)

CRAZY RICH ASIANS – Official Trailer 1

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Cast & Director Share Crazy Stories | THR

NBC Nightly News Extended Interview: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Actors And Director Discuss Film’s Impact

LA Times, The Crazy Road to “Crazy Rich Asians”

Awkwafina on Her Family, Her Name & Crazy Rich Asians

At press time the film has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97% fresh (when the review count is 39). Some extra info and film reviews:

– Kevin Kwan’s Instagram post, “[my dear friend Vivian’s] stories inspired me when I created the character of Rachel Chu and her family. Jon M. Chu, the director of “Crazy Rich Asians,” was one of the cousins Vivian had been talking about for so many years. I never dreamed that he would one day direct the film based on my book, a film with a heroine who is inspired by the women in his own family. Last night, it all came full circle in this photo – the first time Vivian, Jon, and I were all together in one place.

View this post on Instagram

More than ten years ago, my dear friend Vivian in New York started telling me stories about how she grew up in Northern California amongst all her cousins and how close knit they all were. As I moved to the US when I was eleven and had to leave behind my closest cousins, I was fascinated by the stories of her cool American-Born Chinese family, so different from my own, and her stories inspired me when I created the character of Rachel Chu and her family. Jon M. Chu, the director of "Crazy Rich Asians," was one of the cousins Vivian had been talking about for so many years. I never dreamed that he would one day direct the film based on my book, a film with a heroine who is inspired by the women in his own family. Last night, it all came full circle in this photo – the first time Vivian, Jon, and I were all together in one place.

A post shared by Kevin Kwan (@kevinkwanbooks) on

– Rolling Stone, Read the rest of this entry »


Work ethics of Tom Cruise (as seen in Mission Impossible 6 Fallout)

Monday, 30 July, 2018

You may or may not like Tom Cruise for whatever reasons but he does have impeccable work ethics as I’ve heard from other producers. Have a watch and listen to this! Footage of how Tom Cruise broke his ankle while filming his latest movie – The Graham Norton Show In particular, this part is “Why is why Tom Cruise gets paid the big bucks!

See how Tom works and his focus. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 6 Fallout BEHIND THE SCENES Movie B-Roll & Bloopers

To promote the film and it is a lot of fun to watch. Tom Cruise Forces James Corden to Skydive

xxx


Speeches by Robert Mueller

Monday, 30 July, 2018

Found these fascinating speeches by Robert Mueller. Mueller “is an American attorney who served as the sixth Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 2001 to 2013. A conservative Republican, he was appointed by President George W. Bush; President Barack Obama gave his original ten-year term a two-year extension, making him the longest-serving FBI Director since J. Edgar Hoover. He is currently head of the Special Counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and related matters.” (via Wikipedia)

Remarks from Robert Mueller III at Georgetown University 2014

Robert Mueller Tabor Academy Commencement Address Few words specifically on integrity (starting at time code 8m35s).

xxx


Higher Loyalty – James Comey

Friday, 20 April, 2018

Bought James Comey‘s “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership” the day it came out as a Kindle ebook and I’ve enjoyed reading it so far. And I got a chance to start reading the “James Comey’s memos” (PDF file) (via CNN).

Watched a whole bunch of Comey TV interviews and enjoyed all of them. Here are some samples.

And this BBC 22 minutes interview “James Comey on Donald Trump and the FBI

26 Apr, 2018 update: James Comey gets real in CNN town hall

xxx


Emma’s Silence #MarchForOurLives

Wednesday, 28 March, 2018

Emma’s silence” was Jaclyn Corin‘s, MSD student and one of #MarchForOurLives organizers, answer to the Twitter question “What was the most emotional moment during March?” I felt the same.

Emma Gonzalez’s powerful March for Our Lives speech in full

I watched the 3-hour event live and I was initially puzzled of the silence from the beginning to the end of the silence like many people. But in hindsight, it was the most powerful and emotional moment for me as it uses time, an abstract idea in itself, to share the horror the MSD students experienced that tragic day. In merely 6 minutes and 20 seconds, the time since Emma came out on stage till she spoke again after the alarm rang and she broke her silence,“The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest.” Emma concluded: “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”

If the #MarchForOurLives is to succeed, thousands and thousands of American students, youths, and adults have to keep on fighting for changes. While I’m less hopeful for adults’ abilities and determinations. Fortunately, today’s students and youths will become adults tomorrow and they will change the world!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead remains the top quote in my collection of Quotes I LOVE!

Again, here is Emma’s full speech transcript which I shared previously.

“In a little over six minutes, seventeen of our friends were taken from us, fifteen were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone in the Douglas community, was forever altered,” she said. “Six minutes and twenty seconds with an AR-15, and my friend Carmen would never complain to me about piano practice; Aaron Feis would never call Kyra ‘Miss Sunshine’; Alex Schachter would never walk into school with his brother Ryan; Scott Beigel would never joke around with Cameron at camp; Helena Ramsey would never hang out after school with Max; Gina Montalto would never wait for her friend Liam at lunch; Joaquin Oliver would never play basketball with Sam or Dylan; Alaina Petty would never; Cara Loughran would never; Chris Hixon would never; Luke Hoyer would never; Martin Duque Anguiano would never; Peter Wang would never; Alyssa Alhadeff would never; Jaime Guttenberg would never; Meadow Pollack would never.”
Then she stood in silence. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She said nothing. The crowd watched, also silent. A chant of “never again” started, and then faded out. Emma still stood. Finally, the beeping of an electric timer rang out. “Since the time that I came out here it has been six minutes and twenty seconds,” she said. “The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest.” She concluded: “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
[credit: speech transcript mostly from New Yorker with some corrections made near the end of the speech.]

The speech video with subtitles.

March 29, 2018 Update: Vice News, “Hoaxers Say Survivors of Mass Shootings Are “Crisis Actors”” //”This isn’t a fucking conspiracy. This is real life, and people are fucking dying.”
Immediately after the tragedy in Parkland, conspiracy theorists claimed that the school shooting was staged, and that survivors were actors.//


#MarchForOurLives in DC and around the world

Sunday, 25 March, 2018

I’m so inspired by the students who spoke today at  #MarchForOurLives in DC yesterday and so many sibling marches around US and even the world (including Calgary, Canada and UK)!

Check out a live blog reporting by UK Guardian, “March for Our Lives: hundreds of thousands demand end to gun violence – live” and CNN live blog with video clips report, “March For Our Lives: A Rally To End Gun Violence | NBC News

Watch live: March for Our Lives

Video and transcript of Emma González’s short speech.

“In a little over six minutes, seventeen of our friends were taken from us, fifteen were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone in the Douglas community, was forever altered,” she said. “Six minutes and twenty seconds with an AR-15, and my friend Carmen would never complain to me about piano practice; Aaron Feis would never call Kyra ‘Miss Sunshine’; Alex Schachter would never walk into school with his brother Ryan; Scott Beigel would never joke around with Cameron at camp; Helena Ramsey would never hang out after school with Max; Gina Montalto would never wait for her friend Liam at lunch; Joaquin Oliver would never play basketball with Sam or Dylan; Alaina Petty would never; Cara Loughran would never; Chris Hixon would never; Luke Hoyer would never; Martin Duque Anguiano would never; Peter Wang would never; Alyssa Alhadeff would never; Jaime Guttenberg would never; Meadow Pollack would never.”
Then she stood in silence. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She said nothing. The crowd watched, also silent. A chant of “never again” started, and then faded out. Emma still stood. Finally, the beeping of an electric timer rang out. “Since the time that I came out here it has been six minutes and twenty seconds,” she said. “The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest.” She concluded: “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
[credit: speech transcript mostly from New Yorker with some corrections made near the end of the speech.]

2018 March 25 Sunday update:

* “.@delaneytarr: I believe the strongest thing we have going for us is that this is a youth’s movement, this is led by the youth and this is led for the youth.

* “@delaneytarr The BEST gov teacher a kid could ever ask for” : jeffrey foster ‏ @mrjefffostermsd Almost start time @Emma4Change @delaneytarr @Ryan_Deitsch Let’s change the world #NeverAgain #MSDStrong

*WaPo Perspective, “Emma González and the wordless act that moved a nation

The scene was brought to mind Saturday, on that impressive outdoor Washington stage before the countless faces at the March for Our Lives demonstration, as Emma González, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who has become one of the most prominent voices in the #NeverAgain movement, went on with her speech — and then, for a few minutes, didn’t.

It was one of the day’s most galvanizing moments, and a reminder of how little we appreciate in this Tower of Babel culture that the most powerful message can be the one we don’t try to put into words. After naming the dead in the Parkland, Fla., massacre, and identifying, like Hamlet, experiences they never would get to see, González simply stopped talking. The rest really was silence.

The absence of language, the extended pause for contemplation, remains a rare thing in public discourse, and even rarer onstage. A moment of silence is the ritualized form of respect we employ on many occasions to mark tragedy, but it’s usually only a moment. González’s silence was an act that felt, in its way, radical. It was as if she dropped the mic — yet a mic was still in front of her. The silence went on for about five minutes, and, as cable news cameras swept the crowd, you could tell some people did not know quite what to do with themselves. Gonzalez fixed her gaze into the distance, as if she were concentrating on something out of our normal range of perception; at times, she trembled and wiped away a tear. In the crowd, some people started to chant, or applaud, perhaps because the rule in this society seems to be that if there is a vacuum of noise, someone has to make some.

The interruptions were respectful, though, and eventually, as González steadfastly held her tongue, the hubbub died down. We were left with the image of a young, grieving woman, drawing our attention not to herself but to something more abstract: to time — the amount it took for a killer to mow down her classmates and teachers.

[…] González touchingly reminded us that a profound dialogue doesn’t always require them.

WaPo, “They came, they marched, they inspired

WaPo Perspective, “The March for Our Lives will last a few hours. Its impact will last a generation.

WaPo, “The 6 most memorable speeches at the March for Our Lives in D.C.

WaPo, “Picturing the March for Our Lives

CNN, “Slacktivism is over. The #NeverAgain movement is about what’s next

March 26, 2018 update:

March for Our Lives organizers send message to Congress – Fox News Sunday” (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Delaney Tarr and Cameron Kasky appeared on the show to talk)

xxx


Best Actress Frances McDormand talks Inclusion Rider before global Oscars audiences

Monday, 5 March, 2018

So far this UK Guardian article gives the most in-depth discussion re Inclusion Rider: “Woman behind ‘inclusion rider’ explains Frances McDormand’s Oscar speech – Professor responsible for concept spotlighted in McDormand’s acceptance speech tells the Guardian how it can boost diversity” (emphasis added)

In an interview late Sunday night, [Dr. Stacy] Smith said she was shocked and grateful to hear that McDormand had given a shout out to her work.

“I’m utterly elated,” she told the Guardian by phone. “It’s a complete surprise.”

Smith said she had worked with attorneys to create specific contract language and has already been in touch with numerous actors interested in the idea.

“The real goal is to counter bias in the auditioning and casting process,” she said, explaining that the contract could also stipulate that if the film ultimately failed to meet the requirements, the distributor would have to pay a “penalty” to a fund that supports female directors and other underrepresented groups.

Smith said A-list stars could use inclusion riders to ensure proper representation and inclusion of women, people of color, LGBT people and people with disabilities.

“The goal is that talent can take the inclusion rider and adopt it in ways that make sense for their values and their beliefs,” she said.

(note: I will include more info re Dr. Stacy Smith’s TED talk on The data behind Hollywood’s sexism below.)

THR has a good informative article on IR too: “What Is an Inclusion Rider? Frances McDormand’s Oscars Speech Explained

Frances McDormand’s Oscar 2018 Acceptance Speech for Best Actress

Frances McDormand – Oscars – Best Actress – Full Backstage press Q&As (at time code 0:46 VF asks Ms. Frances McDormand to explain the last two words of her acceptance speech “inclusion rider”)

Dr. Stacy Smith’s TED talk on The data behind Hollywood’s sexism (TED talk with time-coded transcript) Read the rest of this entry »


Toxicity proxy for NRA – First National Bank of Omaha, Enterprise Holdings, Hertz Cut Ties With the NRA

Friday, 23 February, 2018

Seems like an interesting proxy for the toxicity of National Rifle Association (NRA)? Can this perhaps be the end of the beginning for the NRA? Time will tell.

CNBC, “First National Bank of Omaha and car rental company Enterprise bail on NRA after customer outcry

Car rental company Enterprise and First National Bank of Omaha have severed their relationship with the National Rifle Association.

First National Bank of Omaha said Thursdsay it will not renew a contract to issue its NRA-branded Visa credit card.

“Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA,” a bank spokesperson told CNBC. “As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card.”

The website advertising the card disappeared on Wednesday, less than one day after advocacy group ThinkProgress reported the bank’s support of the pro-gun lobby. The bank and car rental company were used by the NRA to promote its membership through discounts and bonus deals.

CNN, “First National Bank of Omaha will stop issuing NRA Visa card

AdWeek (Brand Marketing), “A Major Bank and 3 Car Rental Companies Cut Ties With the NRA – First National Bank of Omaha and Enterprise Holdings have ended their programs

I LOVE Norman Rockwell and you can’t be more America than NR! This play on a famous painting really shows how ridiculous the idea of arming teachers is!

20180223 NRA x Norman Rockwell

2018 Feb 23, 2:25pm update: WaPo “#BoycottNRA: Hertz is the latest company to cut ties with gun lobby as movement gains steam

Hertz Tweet: “We have notified the NRA that we are ending the NRA’s rental car discount program with Hertz.

MetLife Tweet: “We value all our customers but have decided to end our discount program with the NRA.

Symantec Tweet: “Symantec has stopped its discount program with the National Rifle Association.

Avis tweet: “… effective March 26, Avis and Budget will no longer provide the NRA member discount.~Susan

2018 Feb 25 Update: WaPo has a great article with detailed timeline of the falling of the dominos, “NRA lashes out at boycott movement as United, Delta and other corporations cut ties

Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United airlines on Saturday morning might look trivial: The end of flight discounts to the NRA’s annual convention, which few outside the gun rights organization likely knew existed before they became boycott targets.

But in abandoning the NRA, the airlines followed car rental giants Avis, Hertz and Enterprise, the Best Western hotel chain, the global insurance company MetLife, and more than a dozen other corporations that have severed affiliations with the gun group in the last two days. […]

First National Bank of Omaha, one of the largest private U.S. banks, may have been the first to respond publicly to the boycott calls. The bank had previously advertised the “Official Credit Card of the NRA,” according to the Omaha World-Herald — a Visa card with 5 percent back on gas and sporting good purchases.

2018 Feb 25 update: CNN, “Opinion: The NRA’s worst nightmare is here

2018 Feb 28 update: CBC, “Walmart, Dick’s restrict gun sales as corporate America does what Congress hasn’t – Relatives of mass-shooting victims encouraged by Dick’s decision to stop selling assault-style rifles

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Molly’s Game – insightful interviews, TIFF Q&A, and trailer

Sunday, 7 January, 2018

I really enjoyed Aaron Sorkin‘s Molly’s Game (starring Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera). Love how Sorkin saw and got more out of Molly Bloom‘s stories than just those in her book “Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World”. (note: this Vanity Fair article is worth reading, “Inside the Viper Room: Hollywood’s Most Exclusive Poker Game“) Here is a trailer and then a ton of in-depth interviews, TIFF Q&A, and other insightful clips that I have or plan to watch. Enjoy!

MOLLY’S GAME – OFFICIAL TRAILER [HD]

DP/30: Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin

DP/30: Molly’s Game, Jessica Chastain

DP/30 Abbreviated Chat: Molly’s Game, Idris Elba

Molly’s Game – TIFF World Premiere Q&A – Aaron Sorkin and Jessica Chastain Read the rest of this entry »


Cybersecurity of Voting Machines

Tuesday, 5 December, 2017
Dr. Matt Blaze's House testimony on the security of voting machines.

Dr. Matt Blaze’s House testimony on the security of voting machines.

#VotingMachines #eVoting It worries me that some form of e-voting was used in last Calgary municipal elections and more are being studied to be potentially used in the future. (Case of I don’t know enough.) As someone who has been following e-voting and development of secure voting machines for decades (a company I used to work for had a team that develop e-voting system), I have my serious reservations with e-voting and voting machines and want all levels of Canadian governments (city, provincial, federal) to study slow and proceed very very very carefully!

To learn more, I’m watching UPenn’s Dr. Matt Blaze‘s House testimony on the security of voting machines.

Cybersecurity of Voting Machines (26m45s)

More of Dr. Blaze‘s testimonies here at these timecodes: 35m30s ; 54m19s ; 1h5m56s ; 1h30m30s ; 1h44m02s ; 1h48m25s and following individually video links to specific timecode segments.

Read the rest of this entry »


Fashion Exhibits – Thinking of Bill Cunningham

Friday, 3 November, 2017

If things work out and time permits, I’m looking forward to visit a few museums’ fashion exhibits featuring the likes of Mariano Fortuny (checking out Fortuny‘s famous Delphos gown up close). And I’m real excited and ready to be overwhelmed by a massive Christian Dior collection! With these fashion thoughts in my mind, I can’t help but imagine what if the late Bill Cunningham was still alive, how cool would it be to be a fly standing on the shoulder of Bill and listen to his thoughts and insights when he check out these exhibits! Miss you still Bill!

P.S. As part of my research to write this post, I found an hour long interview with Bill. Enjoy.

(Hour long 2003 interview with) New York Times Photographer Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham: Words of Wisdom (a nice excerpt I found online last year)

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