Malcolm Gladwell in conversation with CBC’s Eleanor Wachtel at Toronto Public Library (May 2012) and more …

Sunday, 15 July, 2012

Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author of Blink and Outliers celebrates 50 years of Jamaica’s independence. In conversation with CBC’s Eleanor Wachtel. Malcolm Gladwell’s books including his latest, Blink are available at Toronto Public Library.”

Pay special attention to Part 3 where Malcolm gives insightful (and some may argue harsh) assessment of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

Update: Bonus Malcolm clips. I found the following clips and I thought I might as well include them here.


Digital debate Bell vs Rogers + insights from CBC & Shaw at 2012 Banff World Media Festival

Monday, 25 June, 2012

#Banff2012 Day 1 - pix 05

An interesting debate between Kevin Crull, President Bell Media vs Keith Pelley, President Rogers Media plus — Kirstine Stewart, CBC and Paul Robertson, Shaw Media at 2012 Banff World Media Festival. Have a watch of the debate. This debate is particularly interesting in light of Gary Carter’s presentation at MPJC 2012.


Do The Den’s Dragons actually invest in anything? Techvibes v. CBC – Asking Dragons, Den entrepreneurs for deal data

Wednesday, 2 November, 2011

cbc-dd.jpg

** Techvibes challenges CBC‘s & Dragons‘ credibility **

As a long time fan (since 2006) of CBC Dragons’ Den, it is painful to see CBC‘s & Dragons‘ investment credibility being questioned in the Techvibes article “The Den’s Dragons didn’t invest in Notewagon after all. But really, do they actually invest in anything?” (emphasis added) which was linked by CBC Facebook Fan Club. Here is an excerpt from the last part of the article (emphasis added),

The second issue is that Dragon’s Den deals aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Even in the U.K., critics insist that the show is pure entertainment […] Just because a Dragon or two agrees to give entrepreneurs X number of dollars for a Y stake in the company, it doesn’t mean anything will actually happen after the cameras stop rolling. There’s due diligence and the added fact that Dragon money isn’t always pure.

** Gathering CBC Dragons’ Den Canadian deals data **

In Knowlton’s articleNotewagon is discussed and two UK articles are referenced before Knowlton challenges CBC Dragons’ investment credibility. You see, these questions are not new in UK and Canada. Early this year in March 2011, I was researching for an in-depth article about Dragons’ Den, planning to write about, amongst many topics, the deals the Dragons made on TV vs deals they actually closed. I was able to find some deal data for one dragon Brett Wilson (more on this later). I thought if facts & figures like actual deals closed and by what Dragons vs. TV deals made were published, people’s questions and doubts would have been addressed.

To get my research going, I sent the following questions to CBC Head of Media Relations, Mr. Jeff Keay on March 17,

1) I would like to find out the number of deals the dragons made on air for each of the Dragons’ Den season (including the current).
2) The number of deals the dragons closed after due diligence in each of the season.

I got a prompt reply the next day on March 18 from Jeff saying,

Checking. Back to you soon.

Unfortunately, I got no further respond after followup emails & voice mails to Jeff on March 22 & 28. In fact, Jeff never got back to me. I eventually had to give up on the story.

** Actual Closed Deals data from one Dragon

(former Dragon Brett Wilson) **

As I mentioned before, as far I can find, the only comprehensive actual closed deals data I found were published by former Dragon Brett Wilson. Again, as far as I can tell, no other Dragons have publicly published any actual closed deals data! 

Brett made public the number of deals he has done on TV (60+ deals) in three years, actually closed after due diligence (30 deals) and also the amount of money invested (over $4.5 million) in a Prairie Merchant (Brett’s company) Feb 28th, 2011 press release “Dragon With A Heart Leaves the Den” (emphasis added),

“After three years on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, doing 60 plus deals in the Den and personally committing over $4.5 million in final deals with 30 Canadian entrepreneurs, W. Brett Wilson, the lead deal making Dragon, confirmed today that he will not return for the show’s next season.”

** Deals data from Dragons, CBC Dragons’ Den, or

Den entrepreneurs with TV & actually closed deals **

To me, one way to positively addresses people’s legitimate concerns about “but really, do they actually invest in anything?” is to have the Dragons, CBC, or Den entrepreneurs with TV & actually closed deals to provide deals data (the TV deals vs. what Dragon actually closed what deals, amounts invested & percentage, etc) so that Canadian fans of the show, and potential Den entrepreneurs can have some transparency & credibility back in the Dragons’ Den deals and process itself.

As a long time Dragons’ Den fan (since 2006) and champion of DD even before the show was launched in Canada, I hate to see people lose faith in Dragons’ Den‘s deals and its process. This is the 6th year of CBC Dragons’ Den and lots of Canadian entrepreneurs put their hopes on dreams into the show. Can you imagine if the deals are done on TV by Dragons for show only? And most deals fail to close? Imagine the Dragons ALWAYS can find reasons in due diligence phase to kill deals (small or big), will you still be interested in watching the show?

** Grounding Dragons’ Den popularity

with business facts & figures **

Looking back five years to 2006 when CBC just launched Dragons’ Den, I am still amazed how much Globe & Mail’s reporter John Doyle hated/trashed DD in its infancy even criticizing the set as “dark basement is, you know, dreary.” I will not forget my Oct 3rd and Oct 4th, 2006 articles jumping to DD’s defence when it was still an unproven show, long before DD is popular.

Now, over five years later and CBC Dragons’ Den is successful money making machine for CBC (with all the re-runs), I think fans of the show and potential Canadian Den entrepreneurs deserve to see their favourite show grounded with “actual closed deals” and actual business facts & figures and not just be satisfied by “TV deals”.


Happy 100th birthday, Marshall McLuhan in his own (and others’) words!

Thursday, 21 July, 2011

Marshall McLuhan - pix 00

Happy 100th birthday, Marshall McLuhan! [HT Gary]

Have a look of Open Culture,”Marshall McLuhan: The World is a Global Village

Marshall McLuhan – The World is a Global Village (CBC TV)

Check out “Tom Wolfe on Marshall McLuhan for His 100th Would-Be Birthday

Have a listen to CBC Jian Ghomeshi opening Q essay, “Jian on Marshall McLuhan’s 100th birthdayRead the rest of this entry »


Jian Ghomeshi – One of the best interviewers I know

Tuesday, 28 June, 2011

Jian Ghomeshi, Q TV

I don’t praise people easily but I just want to say if you have’t seen Jian GhomeshiQTV host, interview people, you are missing a lot. Jian is amongst the best interviewers I know (Charlie Rose, Mike Wallace, Ed Bradley嚴浩 (he is a film director but his TV interviews on RTHK 品味人生 were a great joy to watch)).

I am posting this short note because recently some stupid people played a copyright takedown trick to remove the QTv YouTube channel (but it is ok now)! I was excited to see QTv came back online because I really found out how much I love QTv.

Have a listen to my new favourite found this morning,

* Woody Allen interview podcast (mp3, time code 1:35 – 17:05)

Have a watch of my all time favourite video interview with the wise & legendary Leonard Cohen,

Leonard Cohen on Q TV


Australian Scott Jones & Canadian Alexandra Thomas – Kissing Couple in Vancouver Riot identified

Friday, 17 June, 2011

June 19th update: In our somewhat twisted world, this is absolutely amazing: “Canadian riot kiss couple turn down offer of millions by celebrity agents“.

To me, Alex and Scott are so level-headed that their actions are worth thinking about and possibly learning from. Would you or should you let “money” (even if it is millions) change your life out of the blue? Or will you strive to live the best life you can after working hard and applying the skills/talent/knowledge you have?

June 20th update: Oh well, it was nice to think Scott and Alex won’t try to cash in for a day. “Vancouver riot couple hire PR agency Markson Sparks in Australia“. I remember watching Ricky Gervais at Banff reminding us/warning us, the danger of making money off just “being famous” (having talent or skills are different, I am talking about simply “being famous” or “being a celebrity”).

***

"Kissing Couple" at Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot identified as Australian man Scott Jones and Canadian woman Alex Thomas

If all the facts check out, which I expect they will, then Scott Jones & Alexandra Thomas‘ “kissing photo” in the Vancouver Stanley Cup riot (shot by Rich Lam/Getty Images) will totally have my “vote” for photo of the year.

What a wonderful job Rich Lam has done in giving us all a tiny bit of hope out of this totally disgraceful mess. To me, Rich has definitely captured a perfect example of Henri Cartier-Bresson‘s “decisive moment“, good job Rich!

Have a watch of CBC News report (with video news report and Skype video interview of the father of Scott Jones) and CTV News report (with phone interview).

Have a read of TorStar for its excellent reporting and research, (emphasis added)

“How’s that for making love, not war,” astonished dad Brett Jones declared on his Facebook page, telling the world that the famous Romeo in a Vancouver riot picture is his son.

If you haven’t seen it, Scott Jones, 29, is lying on a street locked in an embrace with girlfriend Alexandra Thomas as they’re flanked by riot police Wednesday night.

“She had actually been injured,” Brett Jones told the Star Friday morning from his home in Perth, Australia. “She had been knocked down by a shield” from the riot police.

“He lay down next to her to comfort her. She was crying and he just kissed her to calm her down.” [Kempton’s note: What a lovely moment.]

Even as a young boy, said Brett Jones, Scott demonstrated his “gentle side for other people. I’m not surprised he would comfort Alex.”

An update from TorStar “‘I can’t believe that’s us,’ says woman in kissing photo“, (emphasis added)

“At first Alexandra Thomas couldn’t believe that was she and her boyfriend on the ground sandwiched in between riot police on a calamitous Vancouver street.

“When I first saw it, I thought, ‘No way, that’s not … I can’t believe that’s us,’ ” said Thomas in an interview with the Toronto Star this morning. “Then I looked some more and realized, that is us. That’s a very revealing picture of us.”

[…] Thomas said this morning that everything happened so fast that there was just massive confusion all around.

“I was trying to understand what was going on. The photo was definitely not something we expected to happen,” said Thomas.

The couple is leaving in three days on a trip to California, before Scott heads back to Australia. Thomas said the response from her friends and family has been overwhelming.

“When I saw that picture I couldn’t believe it and then I looked at it more and realize it’s quite artistic and really something beautiful.”

[…] Jones senior can see that the couple’s now-iconic photograph may follow them for the rest of their lives, for good or ill.

“Relationships do buckle under that pressure unless you have the ability to be very centred. Even if it wasn’t Scott, the guy who took the picture captured a moment in time that is iconic.”

Brett Jones has also counselled Scott not to buckle to the doubters, rampant on the skeptical, know-it-all Internet, who say the photograph was staged.

“Tell your story as it happened and there’s nothing you can do about them,” he told his son. “I think it’s amazing.” [Kempton: Wise counsel from a great dad!]

Jun 17, 8:40pm update: CBC has snapped up the Canadian exclusive video interview with Scott & Alex, “EXCLUSIVE: Vancouver riot’s ‘kissing couple’ tell their story“. Enjoy this 13+ minutes interview. What a lovely couple.

Jun 18, 12:02am update: CBC, “‘Kissing couple’ witness rushed to help – Canadian woman hit by rioter, then knocked down by riot police

Finally, I think we humans are an optimistic species. We gravitates towards hope and love even when (may be especially) the world around us seems to be falling apart and failing us. The photo reminds me of the dialogues and images in the opening of the movie “Love Actually”.

Scott Jones & Alexandra Thomas - Kissing Couple in Vancouver Riot identified

P.S. I am still waiting for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other national political leaders to come out (not just a press release) and deliver an address/speech to try to turn this mess into a teachable moment and share some lessons learned.


CBC Rex Murphy on the Vancouver riots

Friday, 17 June, 2011

CBC Rex Murphy on the Vancouver riots - pix 02

I don’t agree with CBC Rex Murphy too often. But I think Rex’s opinions in his insightful piece last night (June 16th in The National) on the Vancouver riots were right on. Also have a read of my preliminary Top 10 Canucks Riot Lessons – Turning the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot into a Teachable Moment.

Here is an excerpt from Rex‘s National Post Full Comment piece “Punish those who tore the heart out of Vancouver” (looks like the same speech as he said on The National, emphasis added),

Those clod poles, ne’er-do-wells, vandals, punks, thugs and assorted clueless dolts who smacked people around, piled on others, fought with and sought to injure police, set fire to cars, broke into stores, trashed and looted at will in Vancouver Wednesday night — all are a pathetic pack of cowardly destructive losers. An older generation, not bent by the winds of political correctness would rightly have called them the scum of the earth.

There aren’t any excuses for what they did. None. None. At. All. If these whiny, pampered, useless sacks of skin even try to claim it was because their team lost, then they haven’t got the intelligence of a ball of mud. Fools don’t need a motive to be fools, and destructive and threatening fools, such as those who rioted Wednesday night in Vancouver are no exception to this rule. This kind of fool will riot when “his” team wins as easily as when it loses, the game was just a convenient trigger.

[…] Vancouver deserved better Wednesday night. Canada deserved better. Even the Canucks, who had a long worthy go of it up to the final games, deserved better.

The rioters are a third-rate band of losers who still managed to cast a shadow on what should have been — win or lose — a wonderful night for all the country. Everyone in Canada who loves hockey and Canada despises these people.

CBC Rex Murphy on the Vancouver riots - pix 04

CBC Rex Murphy on the Vancouver riots - pix 05 Read the rest of this entry »


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