Good read – 20190322

Friday, 22 March, 2019

20190322 The New Yorker, Masha GessenJacinda Ardern Has Rewritten the Script for How a Nation Grieves After a Terrorist Attack“,

“Ardern, on the other hand, immediately showed that she had no time for the perpetrator of the mosque shootings.“Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand; they may even be refugees here,” she said. “They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence.”

These phrases are remarkable for what they do not contain: a promise to find the perpetrator and bring him to justice; any attempt to degrade him; any recognition of his desire to be seen, recognized, and fought. The opposite of terror is not courage, victory, or even justice, and it is certainly not “war on terror.” The opposite of terror is disregard for the terrorist.

In a later statement, Ardern made her policy of disregard explicit. Speaking to Parliament four days after the attacks, she said, “He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety. And that is why you will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless. And, to others, I implore you: speak the names of those who were lost, rather than the name of the man who took them. He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing. Not even his name.”

[…] In a nuanced response to a BBC interviewer, who asked if she was concerned about a rise in white nationalism in New Zealand, she said, “My call would be a global one. I’m very clear here to make the distinction that yes, this was an Australian citizen, but that is not to say that we do not have ideology in New Zealand that would be an affront to the majority of New Zealanders, that would be utterly rejected by the majority, the vast majority of New Zealanders. But we still have a responsibility to weed it out where it exists and make sure that we never create an environment where it can flourish. But I would make that a global call.”

[…] The most effective way to fight violence is to make the violence less efficient. Less than a week after the attacks, Ardern’s government announced a ban on military-style weapons. Even before the terms of the ban were worked out, Ardern encouraged people to begin surrendering weapons to the police, and at least several dozen people did. The gun ban thus became, at least to a degree, a matter of political agreement, rather than an emergency measure or a restriction imposed by the government.

This is what political leaders do in the face of a senseless tragedy: they grieve with their people, they think with their people, and they act together with their people. None of those tasks requires a declaration of war.”

xxx


Hillary Clinton at Code 2017

Thursday, 1 June, 2017

I think it is important to learn from mistakes. So I’m glad that Hillary Clinton hasn’t “moved on” and is giving people chances to learn from her mistakes because the stakes are high. I’ve been watching her appearance on Recode which the opinion piece based on and I don’t feel she acted like a sore loser.

Full transcript: Hillary Clinton at Code 2017

(full video) The former U.S. Secretary of State talks with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg about the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump and Russia, Russia, Russia.


Do you really own what you bought? New insights from Supreme Court decision Impression Products vs. Lexmark International

Thursday, 1 June, 2017

Supreme Court decision PDF file: Impression Products vs. Lexmark International

Wired, “The Supreme Court Just Bolstered Your Right to Repair Stuff

Impression Products vs. Lexmark International hinged on two points: Did Impression infringe upon Lexmark’s patents by (1) reselling cartridges in the United States when Lexmark explicitly prohibited reuse and resale, and (2) importing without authorization cartridges Lexmark sold abroad. Various courts split on these questions, and everyone from the AARP and Huawei to Costco and the Auto Care Association weighed in when the case finally reached the Supreme Court.

Why all the fuss? Because this wasn’t really about printer toner. It was about your ownership rights, and whether a patent holder can dictate how you repair, modify, or reuse something you’ve purchased. “This case raises important questions about the reach of American patent law and how much control a manufacturer can exert after its products have been lawfully sold,” the editorial board of The New York Times wrote in 2015. “Taken to their logical conclusion, Lexmark’s arguments would mean that producers could use patent law to dictate how things like computers, printers, and other patented goods are used, changed, or resold and place restrictions on international trade.”

Consider this: Countless people hack their Keurig machines to brew “unauthorized” coffee brands. Can Keurig sue them? Could Apple or Samsung stipulate that you can’t resell their products on Craigslist or eBay? Could John Deere claim that a repair tech is infringing upon its patent rights by repairing a broken combine without permission? Consumer rights advocates at the EFF and Public Knowledge worried that a ruling in Lexmark’s favor would “jeopardize independent product refurbishers and repair services”.”


Fact Check re Syrian children

Friday, 23 December, 2016

20161223-fact-check-re-syrian-children

(This is a post I shared on Facebook.)

My dear FB Friends, I had enough today. I refuse to stay silent seeing suffering children in Syrian or anywhere around the world being further insulted. I’m absolutely #BeggingYouToFactCheck your posts before you share anything (claims of photos of suffering Syrian children are fakes, radiation in our food in Canada or US, etc). Stop sharing things so quickly from a random “non-trusted” site. (It is hard to define “trust” but will you take a C$100 bet reports from this site will NOT be confirmable lies or fakes later?)

My last straw was seeing a long time friend sharing a post that claims photos of suffering children of Syria are fakes! Accusing they were photos of the same child in three photos.

I LOVE children as they are our future. Defenceless & suffering little children in Syrian or anywhere around the world don’t need some baseless accusations!

Against my own earlier post in stating I won’t spend my time to fact check my friends anymore. They are adults and should really do their own damn fact check! I decided to do one *last* simple #FactCheck. How long did this simple check take me to confirm my friend was dead wrong? Well, precisely less than 60 seconds! Typing a few words into Facebook search of all places! (Some checks take longer but this one is less than 60 seconds) I was able to confirm my friend’s shared accusation was untrue thus sickening.

I don’t have infinite time to fact check my friends’ posts but when I see things that are fishy, for those friends that I care enough, I may leave a tag comment #BeggingYouToFactCheck

I know I may risk pissing some friends off as some friends had told me they enjoy sharing stuff, including unproven medical claims with neither proper nor reputable sources or references.

Sorry my Facebook friends in advance. If you need to unfriend me after seeing one of my #BeggingYouToFactCheck tags, I don’t mean to insult you in anyway. But in our post-truth world, we are in danger of being drowned with fake news and lies that were reshared endlessly in social media like Facebook.

P.S. A few words about references and good sources, when you want to make an astonishing or extreme accusation, please make sure you have sourced the share from creditable media or double or triple sources things and not simply from a single FB page or .com sources that are align to your own political views.

Repeating what I wrote above: It is hard to define “trust” but will you take a C$100 bet reports from this site will NOT be confirmable lies or fakes later?


Uncensored Madonna Woman of The Year Speech & Billboard Censored/Edited out of sequence version

Wednesday, 21 December, 2016

In our post-truth world, I am so disappointed with Billboard for posting Censored/Edited  out of sequence version of Madonna Woman of The Year Speech. For the record, someone shared this Uncensored Madonna Woman of The Year Speech (16:28 vs Billboard’s 10:29) Here are some text transcript but neither are full transcripts as they haven’t included some part of her speech.

The Full uncensored Madonna speech  (16m28s) [HT Lola Larassa]

(Censored & heavily edited) Madonna Woman of The Year Full Speech | Billboard Women in Music 2016 (10m29s)

NOTE: I thought Billboard behaved badly and left this comment.

@Billboard While I appreciate the chance to watch this partial speech video, I am very disappointed re your misleading (frankly, I was going to say deceitful) claim this is a Full Speech. You should really have more respect for your own Billboard Woman of The Year! Or you don’t really give a flying beep because Madonna is a Woman (and not a MAN) after all.
The site Digital Music News has an article entitled, “I’m Madonna. And This Is the Blatant Sexism, Misogyny, and Constant Bullying That I’ve Faced…” which others have claimed is a full transcript of Madonna’s speech. I have no way to tell thanks to you!!! (update: After watching Lola’s version, the transcripts miss things too so they are not full transcript.)
@Billboard Has our post-truth world arrived early before January 20, 2017 and facts and truth really don’t matter to you anymore?!
P.S. Other commentator has written “beggars can’t be choosers” in thanking you for the video. Sure, having something to watch is great but I am not willing to give up “facts” for that yet?! I would rather watch a cell phone video of Madonna’s FULL & Unedited speech than your mangled version (which I suspect, given others’ transcript, you might have edited things out of sequence)! What the beep is wrong with you @Billboard?! Please don’t suck!

Bonus: RARE Madonna 1/2 hour Vogue B-Roll Footage [HT Lola]


Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy will ‘revolutionize’ treatment of brain diseases

Wednesday, 24 August, 2016
20160824 Dr. Michael Schwartz and Dr. Nir Lipsman

20160824 Dr. Michael Schwartz and Dr. Nir Lipsman

CBC News had a great Facebook LIVE Q&A session with neurosurgeons Dr. Michael Schwartz and Dr. Nir Lipsman from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. And a great news report (with video)  “No scalpel, no drill: Medical procedure to treat uncontrollable hand tremor a ‘game changer’“. Here is an excerpt,

“The technology “will open up a new era that will revolutionize the way brain diseases will be treated, eventually benefitting millions of patients,” says Dr. Kullervo Hynynen, director of physical sciences at Sunnybrook Research Institute. He also helped develop the technology. […]

Doctors hope to apply the technology in the treatment of other diseases like Parkinson’s and epilepsy.”

(Note: In the LIVE Q&A you can hear neurosurgeon Dr. Nir Lipsman talk about Parkinson’s disease and this new procedure at timecode 3:03.)

Here is a video “Neurosurgery – with sub-titles, ending with MR image” with subtitle text.

Reference: New England Journal of Medicine, August 25, 2016 “A Randomized Trial of Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy for Essential Tremor” (PDF file)

P.S. On a personal note, it may be way too early to speculate but I do wonder how far can the procedure go (its first pilot study published in 2013 as reported in NEJM), I do wonder openly/hopefully if one day it could be used to help patients with glioblastoma like my friend Maria’s husband Sean had unfortunately suffered. Well, after a quick search, I managed to find this 2014 study reported in NIH, “First noninvasive thermal ablation of a brain tumor with MR-guided focused ultrasound


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!


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