"My timetable was always full with mathematics and science so I never had a chance to take other things like economics, visual art, or technical design." Sorry, I think I just lied. In fact I had chances, but I didn't take them because I thought engineering is the right one for me and was too obsessed to think high school as a university entry process rather than opportunity to learn about different things through taking different courses. Now that I'm on the senior year second semester, I realized I should've been more open to gaining wide range of knowledge.
Anyhow, my friend told me it was part of the Economics class to do virtual stock trading and compete who makes the most profit in short period of time. So just for the interest of it, I also started trading by using an iPhone app with a little hope to motivate myself to keep read the newspaper. Since the app only supports the NYSE and NASDAQ stocks, I also started to use Google Finance portfolio as a paper trading tool for the TSX, which is the market that Canadian media is obviously more focused on compare to the American one. With the virtual 100,000 USD and 1,000 CAD on my mind (not in my pocket), I made a weekly gain as shown on the attached list, through trading between the February 7th to 11th. Even though wrong prediction on Disney and Ford went down constantly and left me bleeding through out the week, the optimistic news of the success of the Egypt revolution changed the trend in the last hour on the Friday and barely passed the basis cost. Weekly gain of West jet (+16.2%) was pure luck, but I'm proud that I made right prediction on Fedex (+4.01%) and Amazon (+7.53%). This whole stock trading thing made me spend some times on reading the business section, so it's doing its purpose.
I like using my iPhone as an instant search machine. When I don't remember the name of the current French prime minister, I can go on to the mobile Wikipedia and find out within 20 seconds. If I'm hearing a music from the radio that I want to find out the name, I can go on to the Sound hound app and able to find out within 40 seconds. This could be looked as a bad influence of the modern technology, but I believe it's much better than forgetting things what you wanted to search and not gain that knowledge. Specially the name of the music, which could bother you for days, and that's brutal. Even though people have this good technology on their pocket, people should moderate themselves well.
Anyway, I'm writing this post because of the experience of a TV commercial that I saw few days ago. At the beginning of the ad, I was wondering which company would be promoting such a unique and positive message, guessing myself that it's probably the NGO related to the gender equality. At the end of the 30 seconds, I was kind of shocked when I saw the logo of the advertiser, which was quiet unexpected. Mattel, the maker of the Barbie dolls. Right after watching the ad, it made me to go on to the YouTube via iPhone to watch it again with disbelief. From personal impression, Barbie has been long time negative symbol of the beauty and encouraged the bad body image/eating disorder to many people. But on the last scene of the commercial, there wasn't a slim blonde doll with a bright smile, rather there was a woman pilot with a long mountain range reflecting on her visor, looking calm and ambitious. Also through out the entire thirty seconds, there wasn't a message related to the beauty, but only message of encouraging women to pursuit their dream regardless of the social and occupational gender stereotype. I might fell into the emotional side and the part of the advertiser's intent to change the controversial public image of the doll. Anyhow, the message from the commercial was clear and made me feel that it's something our society to keep challenge upon.
The first time I heard about this movie was probably through the CBC news, when the Oscar nominations of the year 2010 was just released. At that time I was curious because it was nominated but the name was unheard of and the main actor had a quiet familiar look. Then I forgot about it for a while because of the exams and so on, and until yesterday, when a friend asked me if I would like to go. I knew it was the chance, so I went and watched it. What an amazing film it turned out to be. Based on the true story of the George VI, but there were so much drama that makes you sympathize into the actors and the movie as a whole. The story line of the king trying so hard to improve the speech reminded me of the scene from the My Fair Lady, when Audrey Hepburn was being taught to speak like a noble woman. The King's Speech was an unique movie that gave me the feeling of watching a classical movie, not an old movie. The combined feeling of the visual and the soundtrack was outstanding and the choice of the famous classical pieces at the various scenes magically matched as if they were written for this movie. I still can't forget the last scene, when the Beethoven's piano concerto No.5 was played after the king giving the speech, which fit perfectly even with the name of the concerto, 'Emperor'. On the night of the Oscar, February 27th, I hope to see this British film receiving the best picture award.