粉筆少女 The infamous Chalk Girl

Friday, 16 June, 2017

This is NOT my documentary but I really enjoyed the newly released Guardian documentary “The Infamous Chalk Girl” by San San F Young (web, @ssfyoung) (Producer, Camera, Director) so I want to share it here. Have a watch!

The Infamous Chalk Girl

P.S. My favourite scene is at the 20:45 mark and I left this comment: “This is a very touching scene to me. Chalk girl was asked what would she draw now?


2017 Princeton Valedictory Address “Our Unsung Heroes” by Ms. Jin Yun Chow

Sunday, 11 June, 2017
Princeton 2017 Valedictorian Ms. Jin Yun Chow

Princeton 2017 Valedictorian Ms. Jin Yun Chow

Before I quote an excerpt and link to the wonderful speech, here is an amazing story of Princeton 2017 Valedictorian Ms. Jin Yun Chow from Hong Kong. [HT Daisann]

In other words: Valedictorian Chow finds connection, purpose in language and life at Princeton

//“One day we were discussing the Old Irish word for mead (a drink made from fermented honey), which is ‘mid,’” she said. A classmate who is Australian and speaks Cantonese pointed out that “mid” was related to the Tocharian word — spoken in very old northwestern China — for honey, “mit.” Chow noted that in Cantonese, which preserves the oldest pronunciations of Chinese, the usual transliteration of the word for honey is “mat.”

“That one word’s journey — from Proto-Indo-European to the geographically distant languages Old Irish and Tocharian and from there into northwestern China and then Cantonese, which is spoken in southeastern China — was just so cool,” Chow said. “It confirmed that there are moments in esoteric academic study that aren’t so ‘ivory-tower-esque.’ If you’re open-minded enough you can make all these connections with everything else in your life experience.”//

Here is a link to the video of Ms. Chow’s 2017 Commencement Valedictorian Speech “Our Unsung Heroes”. And here is a few excerpts from the prepared written text (not quite a transcript).

I would like to start by telling you a story about the most memorable moment I had with one of my own unsung heroes: Margaret Campbell at the Firestone café. A few weeks ago, I was waiting in line for coffee when I saw that she was holding a Kindle ebook. […] [K’s note: I LOVE this story but I don’t want to copy the whole thing here.] I walked away that afternoon with a tingling feeling in my stomach. I marveled at how easy it would have been to have walked away after getting my coffee, not stopping to chat and never learning about her amazing literary endeavors. I wondered how many interesting people I didn’t get to befriend over my four years here because I never gave them a chance to talk and never gave myself the chance to listen. […]

So what I want to say to you today, my friends, is this: slow down. Slow down and take the time to recognize your unsung heroes. […] adulthood will urge us to run faster, climb higher, become more successful; it will entice us to swim upstream through the river that is life itself, and it will tempt us to devote every free minute to advancing ourselves and our ambitions. I challenge us to be the salmon that swims downstream, taking the time to get to know and appreciate the people who surround us as we glide through the water. […]

One of my dearest friends put it best when he said that I am not generous enough with what he calls unscripted time. It is amorphous time that falls outside of the structural rigor of meetings, classes, meals and other obligations; it is unscheduled time that allows for organic, spontaneous and unscripted interactions. This is the time when instances of extraordinary candor crop up naturally, when episodes of exquisite tenderness surface unexpectedly, when heartfelt sincerity slips out spontaneously.


The Good Doctor from the creator of House with a Korean connection

Tuesday, 6 June, 2017

The Good Doctor - U.S. remake and South Korean original

I’m looking forward to watch The Good Doctor, an upcoming American medicaldrama television series, developed by David Shore (creator of House and U of Toronto law grad) and Daniel Dae Kim, starring Freddie Highmore, based on the 2013 South Korean series of the same name. See below for trailers of both series.

I’ve watched the first few episodes of the South Korean series and found it fascinating but also recognize there needs to be lots of changes in this remake to turn it something more to the taste of North American audiences. There are a lot of screen time spent on hospital politics in the South Korean series that it endanger patients so much that will be rather unbelievable. Shore created a great in House and I expect and hope he and his team would be able to create something interesting to watch with his own creativity and sensibility.

News report: Deadline, May 11, 2017, “‘The Good Doctor’ Drama Starring Freddie Highmore Picked Up To Series By ABC

The Good Doctor centers on Shaun Murphy (Highmore), a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome who relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital’s surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues.

The series also stars Antonia Thomas as Dr. Claire Brown, Nicholas Gonzalez as Dr. Neal Melendez, Chuku Modu as Dr. Jared Kalu, Irene Keng as Dr. Sarah Chen, Beau Garrett as Jessica Preston, Hill Harper as Dr. Marcus Andrews and Richard Schiff as Dr. Aaron Glassman.

Deadline, Jan 23, 2017, “ABC Orders Drama Pilots ‘The Good Doctor’ & ‘Doomsday’ From David Shore, Daniel Dae Kim & Carol Mendesohn

Written by Shore based on a South Korean format, The Good Doctor centers on a young surgeon with Savant syndrome who is recruited into the pediatric surgical unit of a prestigious hospital. The question will arise: Can a person who doesn’t have the ability to relate to people actually save their lives?

Shore executive produces via his Sony TV-based Shore Z alongside Kim, Sebastian Lee & David Kim. Shore Z’s Erin Gunn co-executive produces, along with Lindsay Goffman of Daniel Dae Kim’s 3 AD.

The original series, written by Park Jae-bum, aired on Korean Broadcasting System’s KBS2 in 2013. The Shore-created House, starring Hugh Laurie as the brilliant but flawed Dr. Gregory House, was one of the biggest medical dramas of the past two decades. It ran on Fox for eight seasons.

Deadline, Oct 6, 2016, “ABC Lands ‘The Good Doctor’ Medical Drama From David Shore & Daniel Dae Kim

Here is a trailer of the South Korean series

Here is a trailer of the ABC series.


The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge

Tuesday, 30 May, 2017

I’m watching this great talk thanks to Yann LeCun’s FB post. I’m also planning to read “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge” by Abraham Flexner (PDF via IAS). Fascinating stuff.

Robbert Dijkgraaf: “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge” | Talks at Google


Was Warren Buffett’s $150,000 1971 beach house (on sale/listed now for $11 million) a good or bad investment for him?

Sunday, 28 May, 2017

For anyone who bought a $150,000 beach house that is on sale for $11 million now could be consider a good investment. (Have a look of this video of the inside of Buffett’s beach house.) But for fame investor Warren Buffett, well, thats different. To Buffett, the same $150,000 in 1971 could become quite a different beast in 2017 over 46 later. In “The Oracle of Omaha is selling. This time it’s real estate” CNBC news reported in March 2017 (emphasis added),

He [Warren Buffett] paid $150,000 for the property back in 1971, which is about $900,000 in today’s dollars.

What you may be surprised to find out is that Buffet, one of the world’s richest people, took out a 30-year mortgage when he bought the 6bedroom, 7 bathroom seaside spot.

 

“When I bought it for $150,000, I borrowed some money from Great Western Savings and Loans. So I probably only had $30,000 of equity in it or something like that – it’s the only mortgage I’ve had for fifty years,” Buffett said.

He added, “I thought I could probably do better with the money than have it be an all equity purchase of the house.”

And indeed he did.

“That $110 or $120 thousand I borrowed, I was buying Berkshire then,” says Buffett.

The businessman says he was constantly buying Berkshire in the early ’70s, when the stock was around $40 a share.

“I might have bought 3,000 shares of Berkshire or something like that from the proceeds of the loan — so that’s [worth] $750 million [today].”

Yes, the 750 million dollars is a mind boggling number as Buffett earned that with the $120,000 he borrowed. In a sense, the $30,000 that he didn’t borrow could have meant $187.5 million if he bought BRK shares instead which is way more than the house list price of $11 million.

At the end of the day, Buffett, his first wife and family plus friends got a lot of enjoyment from the house over the years and that is more than mere “investment” and monetary return.

I remember reading Buffett gifting his three children some BRK shares (not a ton) through grandpa Howard. Warren’s three children could have been “rich” if they had kept onto their shares. BUT that would have been the wrong way to live lives as they have to experience their lives in their own ways instead of holding to “mere money” as none of us can take money away from this earth when we pass on.


Enjoy the process of your search – New Quotes I Love

Sunday, 14 May, 2017

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

Enjoy the process of your search without succumbing to the pressure of the result. Trust your gut. Keep throwing darts at the dartboard. Don’t listen to the critics and you will figure it out.” – Will Ferrell (1967- ) 2017 USC Commencement Speech (with video)

Will Ferrell USC Commencement Speech | USC Commencement 2017

P.S. For the record, Trump gave a commencement speech at Liberty University today. Totally day and night with the comedian giving the much more insightful speech of the day.


Alzheimer’s patients treated with focused ultrasound

Thursday, 4 May, 2017

Have a watch of the three video clips and read of the CTV News report, “Alzheimer’s patients treated with ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier

Canadian researchers have taken a key first step that could potentially lead to a whole new way of treating Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and University of Toronto are using focused ultrasound to safely open the blood-brain barrier in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, with the hopes this will help clear the brain of toxic plaque.

It’s an “out of the box” approach using patients like Karen Hellerman. The 62-year-old from Chatham, Ont. was diagnosed with early stage dementia.

Hellerman is losing her short-term memory and her ability to process complex tasks.
“Sometimes I can get it out, and sometimes I can’t and that disturbs me. “ Hellerman told CTV News. Her husband Neil knows there are no drug treatments to effectively slow or stop the disease.

“As her dementia gets worse, her physical state will get worse…it’s not a good thing. And she’s young, she’s gonna miss part of her life,” said Neil.

She is patient No. 3 in a group of six people with early Alzheimer’s disease, participating in the first study of its kind.

One of the biggest challenges in treating brain disease is getting drug therapies past the blood-brain barrier, which is like a protective “wrap” that surrounds even the tiniest blood vessels in the brain and acts as a “gate” to protect the brain from toxins and proteins that could enter through the bloodstream.

CTV News, “A group of Toronto doctors are trying to break new ground in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Avis Favaro has exclusive video.


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