President Obama Interview

David Letterman has a new Netflix show.  It’s not quite the same late night talk show format in his previous career but I think it suits him fine.  The first guest of this show is none other than Barack Obama.

There’s so much Letterman can talk about with President Obama but there’s clearly not enough time given the show’s format.  Obama speaks eloquently about a number of topics from family, Obama’s use of social media, the financial crisis, and even the current political system.  I find myself entranced at their conversation… so much so, I listened to it a 2nd time to digest the parts that I missed the first time.

I truly think 1 hour is nowhere enough time to cover all the topics that are of interest to Obama and in some ways interest to the US population in general.  I really look forward in seeing what Obama can do in the future to make his legacy even more enduring.

2nd Season of Bill Nye Saves the World

Looks like Bill Nye Saves the World has a 2nd season on Netflix now.

I’m amused by opening the season with a discourse on marijuana.  Is this Nye’s effort to engage the Netflix audience to open a broader national dialog into marijuana?  Nye approaches this subject from a scientific curiosity/inquiry viewpoint regarding the unknown effects of marijuana through the investigative reporting of groundbreaking Israeli scientific work into understanding the effects of marijuana.  Since marijuana is a Schedule 1 drugs/substance in the US, little is known about the effects on humans since controlled research can’t be performed due to it’s drug classification.  Using this scientific curiosity/inquiry approach is interesting to get the conversation started but ultimately the FDA/DEA will need to have one key question answered: Does marijuana usage lead to a “high potential for abuse”?  Without satisfactorily answering this question, the FDA can’t possibly condone further experiments to fully understand marijuana effects on humans.  Or can they?

Aside from marijuana, the other episodes also look to be interesting. From the quick synopsis of each episodes, there is one about cybersecurity, sleeping, and super resistant “superbugs.”

HK Comedian Cheuk Wan-chi on Netflix!?

This is such a great show.  On Netflix, I just finished a 2 part show that stars Cheuk Wan-Chi who is an Hong Kong comedian and media personality.

I’m very impressed with the translators who did this.  Both shows were in Cantonese but the subtitles were translated so well that the jokes and witty comments were spot on funny.   At the same time, some of the references she uses were lost on me because she’s from Hong Kong.  The crowd definitely understood so there’s a slight cultural gap.

Either way, it’s a great show.

 

 

Million Yen Women

Netflix clearly has interesting shows like House of Cards.

But have you watched Million Yen Women?  This is a Japanese 12 episode TV show.  The plot starts off with those “too good to be true” TV tropes where 5 random female protagonist rent a room from the male protagonist.  The male protagonist is a struggling author while the 5 female protagonist have various professions.  These kinds of “too good to be true” TV tropes are widely used and they usually end up as romantic comedies.  But I assure you, this show is not quite romantic nor comedic.

Admittedly, the first four episodes were pretty slow as the plot dabbled with the background of the women and man.  At episode five, the plot picks up and takes you for a ride all the way to the last episode where it has a very short denouement.  I think it ends pretty nicely despite the various unexpected plot twists.  I certainly didn’t expect three of the major plot twists to occur.

The character development is pretty significant for such short series.  The male protagonist’s character development is the highlight of the show but the development of the five female protagonist shouldn’t be discounted either.  Their interactions with each other gave a sense of realness which is a testament to the show’s great acting, writing and directing.  I certainly was attached to one of the female protagonist.  The writers gave her such a great thoughtful personality that she was extremely likable.

It’s a great show.  Spend 5 hours and watch it…

The Mind of a Chef

There’s this awesome PBS show called “The Mind of a Chef” that’s being shown on Netflix.  According to the website and wiki, it’s a documentary about a chef and his/her inspiration into cooking.  I’m currently watching Season 1 which stars David Chang of Momofuku Restaurant Group fame.  One of his restaurants apparently is a 2 Michelin Star restaurant.

Of the 10 episodes I’ve watched so far, his love of ramen is evident.  It honestly makes me want to go out to have some ramen and tsukemen at some of the local ramen shops in the neighborhood.  But as the show dives into his inspirations, I find his passion for cooking is amazing.  I was surprised that he even lectured at Harvard in the pork/buta-bushi episode.  Granted most of the biology was covered by microbiologists at Harvard but to go so far as to try to understand the process of what makes pork/buta-bushi unique at a scientific level shows passion.

I’m almost done with season 1.  I’m going to go find myself a hearty bowl of tonkotsu ramen…

(Dis)Honesty

I’ve heard of Dan Ariely from Freakonomics.  Freakonomics talks about his Behavioral Economics research quite “freakwently” (see what i did there!?) on a number of different topics that range from lying, dating, paying taxes and even quitting.

Imagine my surprise that there’s this Netflix documentary called (Dis)honesty: The Truth about Lies.  This documentary is an in depth dive about lying.  It’s like an extended TedTalk (a TedDoc!).  Ariely will talk about some principle from his research followed by real occurrences of the principle in action taken from society.  The behavioral experiments in the lab leads to more discoveries about the social interactions and gives potential insight on why lying/cheating/dishonesty happens.

This is a pretty great documentary about lying and dishonesty and their effects on the person committing the act of dishonesty.