All We Need is Love

Posted by presspass on
All We Need is Love

Click to view this email in a browser

val1_left1.gif val1_left2.jpg
All You Need is Love!
Happy Valentine’s Day


“All you need is love

All you need is love

All you need is love, love

Love is all you need”

The Beatles



Cynthia-star earringFebruary is American Heath Month and Black History Month. It also celebrate two significant holidays, Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day.

American Heart Month encourages us to take care of our hearts by motivating individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles to present heart disease.

Black History Month began in 1926 to celebrate Negro History Week because the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas, two Americans who shaped African American history were on February 12 and February 14th. In 1976, President Gerald Ford launched Black History Month.

Valentine’s Day, with its third century roots in the Roman Empire emboldens us to share the love. The Roman festival of Lupercalia, which celebrated the coming of spring and included fertility rites and other activities morphed into a minor Western Christian feast day honoring a Christian martyr named Saint Valentine. Today it is a commercial celebration of affection, love, and romance.

Presidents’ Day, originally established in 1885 to recognize George Washington, has since 1971’s’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, been a three day weekend honoring all Presidents.

The single message that I understand from all of these commemorations is the necessity for all of us to increase our love quotient. The times have been tough and everyone has been challenged. People are fatigued. We all are looking forward to hugging our loved ones again.

This month share your love in safe, simple ways. Love is more than romance. Everyone craves appreciation, attention, and approval. Write a note to a friend. Pick up the phone. Smile at a stranger. Leave flowers for a neighbor. Offer a compliment. Congratulate a success. Make a donation to charity. (We hope you’ll chose Be the Star You Are!®)

And don’t forget self-care. It may be the most important love of all.

For an hour of power focusing on health at home and staying safe as you navigate the pandemic, vaccine, and life, tune in to StarStyle ®-Be the Star You Are!® self-care special on the Empowerment channel,

To find other ways to share the love and survive the pandemic happily, read on.

Remember, love always wins, kindness always prevails, and smiles keep us happy.

Wishing you a very loving February. Wear your mask, keep your distance, and be safe and sound.

Sending virtual hugs,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556



karen kitchel with millennial book 2By Karen Kitchel

We often remember our spouses, kids, or special friends on Valentine’s Day. But how about reaching folks who may not know what it’s like to feel special? Keep it simple. Pick up a bag of little chocolate hearts and put them in your pocket.  Wearing your mask, when you are out for a walk or going to an appointment, look for someone whose holiday you can brighten. Maintain social distancing, smile, and say “Here’s a little treat for you, CATCH, and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!”  Toss the candy gently while you scatter Valentine kindness.

Karen Kitchel who penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, is the Kindness Coordinator volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. Valentine-Hearts-1024x630


Diya Hituvalli-headshotBe the Star You Are!® is thrilled to welcome our newest teen reporter to Express Yourself!™ Radio. Diya Hituvalli is a junior from the Bay Area. She is passionate about technology, speech, literacy, women-empowerment, and business. Her eclectic interests include mindfulness, exploring other cultures, and fashion.On Express Yourself!, her segment is called Silver Lining where she discusses elements of life with added humor. Tune into her debut show on Valentine’s Day where she offers the history of the celebration along with humorous trivia at 


Nihal Gill 2021If you’ve been sheltering-at-home, doing on-line school, and missing getting together with friends and family, two Be the Star You Are!® volunteers who are also reporters on Express Yourself! Teen Radio, Nihal Gil and Andrea Smith, spotlight how you can make this time a very happy and exciting memory. Try bringing a positive outlook, these tips are not just for teens but for anyone who wants to stay upbeat and happy during these trying times. Meet our youth reporters:

Nihal Gil offers activities that interest him and keep him excited. Hopefully they will encourage you as well.

  1. Play sports as it is important to stay active. His favorite sport is golf which he finds relaxing.
  2. Spend time with family. On the weekends, watch movies together or play board games.
  3. Volunteer to help your community.
  4. Game online with friends, cousins, and others to socialize safely and laugh more.

Nihal Gil is a reporter on Express Yourself! Teen Radio with a segment called Spark the Interest. As a 16 year old sophomore at Turlock High School where he plays varsity golf, is involved in Key Club, and expresses his love for music by playing piano. He teaches STEM/Robotics to elementary students and has won an award for Outstanding Community Service. His goal is to spark in interest for health and wellness for teens globally.

heart logo.gif

andrea side-stairsAndrea Smith, presents fun, creative ways to hang out with friends safely during the pandemic. You can listen to a full hour of her tips at Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel:

  1. Socially distanced picnics! Set up a hangout at the beach or other nature place and have each person bring their own meal with their favorite foods! This is a great way to see your friends and eat delicious food all while staying socially distanced and safe!
  2. Socially distanced yoga! Sick of staying in your room during virtual school or work? Plan a yoga day with your besties to relieve your daily stresses and anxiety. Any park or beach would be the perfect location and of course staying 6 feet apart!
  3. Socially distanced painting session! Feeling like getting creative during quarantine? This is a perfect way to hang out with friends while doing something to spark your creative juices. Plan to meet in either a park or other outdoor location while staying socially distanced to have an awesome time!
  4. Birthday drive-through! Is it your best friend’s birthday coming up?! Plan a surprise birthday drive through for your friend and make him/her feel extra special on their big day! Have each person bring a gift and a card and leave it at the front porch of the birthday girl/boy.

Andrea Smith is a senior at Santa Margarita Catholic High school and will be attending Georgetown University in the fall of 2021. She loves the outdoors and is always up for a new adventure. She is extremely passionate about global politics through her devotion to Model United Nations. Andrea finds beauty in the simple things in life, is an avid swimmer, and also loves to share ways on how to live a happy and healthy lifestyle! She is a reporter for In the Spotlight and host on Express Yourself Teen Radio and looks forward to a career as a media personality.

SHARING THE LOVE: NEW WORLD—A Choral Production from St. Marys Glee CLUB

New WorldDespite the Covid-19 pandemic, widespread fires, power outages, political unrest, and cold and windy outdoor rehearsals, the Glee Club was able to come together to create this virtual choir video of Björk’s New World.


2016 Promo Banner bothshows-no pics
LIVE on Wednesdays from 4-5pm PT, be entertained, informed, amused, and educated on StarStyle-Be the Star You Are!. Then be inspired and motivated on

Sundays from 3-4pm PT, it’s Express Yourself! Teen Radio with our Be the Star You Are! star teen hosts and reporters.
You’ll meet authors, actors, artists, activists, musicians, poets, scientists, educators, and other creatives. Enjoy our upbeat, authentic, and fun radio parties on the Voice America Network Empowerment Channel or wherever you like to listen. 
Visit for our line-up of guests.
on air logo


We have suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials.

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases

2020 Amazon smile logo

2. Discounted books at Amazon:

Giving Assistant Icon 234x60

3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :

4. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE:

2020 IGIVE logo

5. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks and books at StarStyle® Store:


Cynthia Brian books banner 3

6. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle.



For 2021: Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:


Share the Love, Celebrate Black History Month, Be Heart Healthy, and Happy Presidents’ Day

With gratitude from Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556


Flag- Love is love

6 Essential Leadership Lessons Learned from Experience

Posted by presspass on
6 Essential Leadership Lessons Learned from Experience

To receive these weekly articles, subscribe here.

This blog is provided by Ron Riggio, author and Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology at Claremont McKenna College, as part of the International Leadership Association’s interview series.  It is a companion to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Becoming a Better Leader: Daily Leadership Development that aired on Tuesday, February 9th, 2021.  Ron recently published a new book called Daily Leadership Development: 365 Steps to Becoming a Better Leader.

How to turn experiences into valuable leadership lessons

What is Wisdom?

I found myself pondering this question the other day and I think I have an answer: Wisdom comes from a combination of learning from experience, reflecting deeply on those experiences, and applying the scientific method (that is, trying to find objective support for what you have learned, and/or testing whether what you have learned, or what you think you have learned, is valid).

Here are some leadership lessons that I have learned from the combination of experience, observation, and what we know from the research literature on leadership.

  1. Be Authentic. It is critically important to let others know where you stand on issues. Dealing straightforwardly with others is the key to authenticity. Indeed, authentic leadership is becoming a very popular theory of leadership. Learn more about this here.
  2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. Arguably, the biggest mistake that leaders make is under-communicating. Many times leaders believe others know more than they actually do. Make sure to let others know what is going on – the direction the company is taking, any critical changes (particularly those that may affect them), and address any rumors that are going on with information that informs workers. It is nearly impossible to over-communicate.
  3. Don’t Be Stingy with Praise. Too many leaders dole out praise like it is money from their own pocket. Show appreciation for the accomplishments of others – and do it frequently. Research supports the idea that positive reinforcement is extremely effective, and under-used.
  4. The One Hour Rule. This is a more practical lesson and it comes from an informal policy at my previous institution. The “one hour rule” refers to a norm that typical department, committee, or team meetings should be scheduled for no more than one hour. If a longer meeting is needed, people are told in advance. What is the lesson for leaders from this rule? Use your time wisely. Don’t waste others’ time needlessly. If you can get it done in 15 minutes, get it done!
  5. Be Patient, But Not Too Patient. We all work at different paces, and sometimes people take longer to perform a task than we would, or complications arise that delay completion. Learn to be patient with others, but it is also important to not allow unnecessary procrastination. Leaders can cut followers some slack, but not too much.
  6. Be Kind, But Not Too Kind. Leaders need to be aware of the power dynamic and avoid being too overbearing. Kindness can go a long way toward building good leader-follower relationships. It is important, however, for a leader to not allow followers to take advantage of that kindness. More on this here.

What are some of your important leadership lessons learned from experience?

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

This article was originally posted on Psychology Today.


About the Author

Ron Riggio is the Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology at Claremont McKenna College. He is the author of more than a dozen books and more than 100 research articles and book chapters in the areas of leadership, organizational psychology, and social psychology. Ron is the former Director of the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College. He has served on the board of numerous journals and writes the Cutting-Edge Leadership blog at Psychology Today.  At the 2020 International Leadership Association’s annual conference, Ron was one of two people awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The Well-Being Revolution: Building a More Resilient Workforce

Posted by presspass on
The Well-Being Revolution: Building a More Resilient Workforce

Join me October 14, 2021 at 9am EST!

Well-being is in the midst of a revolution and the more organizations understand wellbeing – what it is, what it’s not – better they and their workforces become. I speak with Occupational Health & Safety and Well-being expert Kate Field to talk about well-being and what it really encompasses. As Kate puts it, well-being is not just “yogurt and yoga” and you’ll have to listen to know what that means. Kate will talk to us about how resilience in people and organization’s is created by trust and working together; bridging various groups instead of working in isolation. We’ll even get some pointers on how Business Continuity professionals can help with and contribute to, the wellbeing revolution.

If you want a better workplace, don’t miss my chat with Kate.

Show Logo w Microphone.jpg

“Enhance Well-Being, Focus & Work Life Balance with Dr. Igor”

Posted by presspass on
“Enhance Well-Being, Focus & Work Life Balance with Dr. Igor”

Immerse yourself in the world of invigorating Rhythmical Breath Control practices that transform stress and anxiety, develop focus and efficiency and promote Well-Being. VoiceAmerica World Talk Radio Empowerment Show, LOVE LIGHT Host, Dr. Jean Marie Farish, welcomes prominent Guest, Dr. Igor Iwanek, Live Friday, February 12, 2021.888.346.9141)1 (9:00 Pacific/11:00 CST/12:00 EST). Dr. Igor will take live calls from listeners (USA callers dial 1.888.3469141; International Callers dial 001-480.5535760).  Dr. Igor’s programs draw on his expertise in the field of yogic meditation, classical music of the east and west, psycho-acoustics and Afro-Cuban music. Dr. Igor is a composer, left-handed pianist/keyboardist, and an NPR featured sound and well-being diplomat. A versatile performer, Dr. Igor feels at home both in Western and Indian classical musical traditions. As an internationally Certified Yoga of Sound Instructor, Dr. Igor has a keen appreciation for sound-body-mind interconnectedness and deep reverence for treasures of world’s contemplative traditions. He trained in Indian Raga under the amazing violinist Smt. Kala Ramnath and the legendary Gundecha Brothers. His compositions won competitions in USA, Japan and Europe.  As a well-being Diplomat, Dr. Igor helps people use their innate listening skills to explore the infinite wellspring of awareness and improve their quality of life.

Dr. Igor


Video Link..

Prune, Plan, Peruse

Posted by presspass on
Prune, Plan, Peruse


“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”

~ George Moore

Like most of us who have been sheltering at home for the past eleven months, traveling to foreign lands has not been part of my normal activities. At first, I was immensely disappointed to cancel my 2020 exotic trips, especially the one that would have reunited me with my European pen pal with whom I’ve been corresponding regularly since I was nine years old. That’s a long time to have maintained a close relationship across thousands of miles.

But, like so many, this past year has found me digging even deeper into communion with nature. I have been inspired by its majesty and motivated to respect our alliance with a stronger devotion by spending many hours outdoors in contemplation as well as work-mode.

A week ago, the hills were still golden brown but with the recent heavy rains, a lushness and verdancy have finally appeared.  February nights bring increased frost and freezing temperatures. We must cover our tender plants with burlap or cloth as protection.

frost on retaining wall.jpeg

The most necessary garden chore this month is pruning our fruit trees. It is essential to prune your peaches, pears, prunes, plums, apples, and apricots while the trees are dormant in winter. Sweet cherries are pruned in summer as they are susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases. All other fruiting trees need to be pruned to allow for increased sunlight to penetrate the branches which will in turn yield higher quality fruit. Pruning helps battle diseases while developing a better form for a healthier tree.

Pruning Asian Pear.jpeg

The tools you’ll need are a lopper, hand pruner, pruning saw, and long-handled pruning shear. You may need a ladder if your tree is especially tall but be very careful when using any ladder. Make sure to have a second person with you to hold the ladder since the ground may not be level. Sterilize your tools with alcohol or bleach mixed with water to avoid spreading any disease from plant to plant. 

By removing unnecessary limbs, you will be able to shape the tree while providing better access for any necessary spraying.  The increased sunlight promotes a larger size of fruit with a uniform ripening time. Insect infestation and other diseases are reduced through pruning because after a rain shower, the limbs will dry more quickly. Pruning appropriately will provide a more beautiful canopy without topping the tree. The sugar content of the crop is increased with the airflow and sun. Harvesting is easier. Pick up a book on pruning to read about the best methods for your various tress or watch online tutorials. If you feel out of your league, hire a professional arborist. Always gather the trimmings from the ground.  When dry, use as kindling, shred for mulch, or add to your green bin.

close up of calendula.jpeg

Although this month is not the time to plant annuals and perennials, it is the perfect time to plant any bare-root specimens including roses, berries, and fruit trees. Check out the selection at your favorite nursery or garden center. Follow the directions on the packaging for soaking the roots, light pruning, digging the holes, and filling. By late spring most bare-rooted plants are established and flourishing.

Besides pruning and planting bare-root, February is a terrific time to plan for all-season enjoyment and splendor. Recently a delivery was made by someone who hadn’t been to my garden since the summer before the pandemic. His first comment to me was: “Your landscape is so beautiful and colorful… it’s like falling into a chapter of Alice in Wonderland.” I expressed my thanks for his sweet compliment, although in my mind I was thinking “winter is the ugliest time of the year in my garden.” 

nemisia- fern.jpeg

I decided to look at my yard through a different lens…fresh eyes, as if returning from a vacation. Sometimes when we rarely leave our cocoon, we fail to recognize the evolution of the cycles of attraction. As I walked around my property, I saw what he saw—a hillside covered in sweet-smelling narcissi, rows of pink Bergenia, waves of purple sage, shimmers of calendulas, bushes of azaleas, rhododendrons, and roses, trees of camellias, groves of ferns, mounds of nemesia, orchards of citrus, crocus, calla lilies, and daffodils popping, and the soaring orange plumes of birds of paradise all in full glorious bloom.  Even in the middle of winter, my garden is teeming with interest and vibrancy. 

close-up Mexican sage.jpeg

Take a walk around your garden and make notes of where you need more wit and whimsy. Know where the sun rises, moves, and sets throughout your landscape. Do you need to add or extend irrigation? Do you have a favorite color palette, or do you prefer a cacophony of color authentically unique to you? 

Guara with pink flowers.jpeg

Once you understand your wants and needs, pour a cup of tea, cover yourself with a cozy throw, and peruse a multitude of garden catalogs that showcase bulbs, annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, grasses, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Research what plants will be best suited to your terrain and micro-climate. Make a wish list noting the months to order, when to plant, and when to expect the show. By creating a calendar of flowering events, your garden will boast attractive appeal all year long. For a dramatic night environment, make sure to add outdoor lighting and lanterns to highlight trees, paths, fences, and walls. 


Here are a few catalog favorites that you can order:

White Flower Farm:

John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds:

Plant Delight Nursery, Inc.:

Bluestone Perennials:

The Whole Seed Catalog:

Renee’s Garden Seeds:

Proven Winners Shrubs:

David Austin Roses:

Garden Catalogs 2021.jpeg

Your general state of happiness is connected to how much you enjoy your home. With these garden catalog treasures, you can travel the globe without leaving the safety of your house. Prune, plan, peruse, and dream on. 

Happy Gardening! Happy Growing! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Roses for Valentine .jpeg

Photos and More:

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at

cynthiua-book shelf.jpeg

Buy copies of her best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD.

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia Brian- Unique talk radio copySMALL.jpeg

Resilience Through Relationship (w/ Rina Singh)

Posted by presspass on
Resilience Through Relationship (w/ Rina Singh)

Join me October 7, 2021 at 9am EST!

Resilience isn’t just about technology components are available or ensuring business operations continue, it’s also about personal resilience. I speak with resilience expert and the creator and host of the popular podcast RESILIENCEPOD, Rina Singh. Rina will talk to us about four (4) key tips organizations and individuals can foster to help build a sense of resiliency by developing relationships in our professional and personal lives. These tips will seem simple and logical but without the hard work and continuous effort, resiliency cannot be pursued. Rina will also talk to us about Business Continuity Institute’s (BCI) Women in Resilience (WiR) initiative, where she is the Vice-Chair.

Don’t miss a truly enlightening and inspiring discussion to help you become more resilient.

Show Logo w Microphone.jpg

Go, Dog, Go! * Adaptation of the Classic PD Eastman book, With Quality Animation and Story

Posted by presspass on
Movie Reviews
Go, Dog, Go! * Adaptation of the Classic PD Eastman book, With Quality Animation and Story

Based on P.D. Eastman’s best-selling, classic children’s book (over 8 million copies sold), Go, Dog. Go! follows six-year-old Tag Barker on her adventures in the city of Pawston, a fun-loving community of dogs on the go. Tag is a skilled mechanic and loves anything that goes. With her ingenuity and creativity, Tag can go as far as any plan will take her with her best friend Scooch Pooch by her side. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kyla C. comments, “Throughout the series, I am impressed time after time with its amazing animation. While it is colorful and fun; it is also fairly realistic. The dogs look so real and cute, I want to hug them! Something that makes this show even more special is the creative way that it uses so many elements from P.D. Eastman’s original book and creates a whole new world out of it.” Katherine S. adds, This new series will not disappoint all of the Go, Dog, Go! lovers as there is a reference to almost every storyline in the book. Also, the characters’ names are hilarious. Instead of grandpa it’s grandpaw and there is a group of singing dogs called the Barkapellas.” See their full reviews and interview with Adam Peltzman, Executive Producer below.


Go, Dog, Go
By Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

The creative TV series Go, Dog, Go! based on the book by P.D Eastman is completely satisfying. Every element of traditional animated shows is used to create a brand new, originally entertaining series. With intriguing animation and impressive voice-over acting, Go, Dog, Go is a must-see for young viewers! Each of the nine episodes follows Tag Barker (Michela Luci) in her adventures through Pawston with her friend Scooch Pooch (Callum Shoniker). Together, they solve problems and have fun. There are two individual stories per episode, with the same general characters. The antagonist is primarily Frank, (David Berni), who stands in the way of Tag and Scooch.

Throughout the series, I am impressed time after time with its amazing animation. While it is colorful and fun; it is also fairly realistic. The dogs look so real and cute, I want to hug them! Something that makes this show even more special is the creative way that it uses so many elements from P.D. Eastman’s original book and creates a whole new world out of it. All of the main story parts are included and more are added such as a doorbell shop, a racecar track and so much more. All these locations and lots of extra events are important to the story. One of my favorite aspects of the film is when the dogs sing. It’s very clever and funny. The creative story is amazing, but the acting is even better. With such cute, specific-to-character performances, I almost wondered if these characters are real! There is only one minor issue that most likely isn’t noticeable to little kids – some of the episodes are repetitive. Most of the time, the series doesn’t change the plot very much from one story to the next. That doesn’t make much of a dent in my overall enjoyment of this series however.

The message that Tag, Scooch and all of their friends convey is that teamwork and kindness are best. They work together to problem solve and help out dogs around town. Sometimes there are additional themes for individual episodes.

I give Go, Dog, Go! 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7. You can watch Go, Dog, Go on Netflix beginning Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

Go, Dog, Go!

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13


Yes! The classic book by P. D. Eastman is now an animated series. Go, Dog, Go! has such clever dialogue and references to the book, high quality animation and is very fun to watch

This series is about a dog named Tag Barker (Michela Luci) and her adventures throughout her town, Pawston. There are big dogs, little dogs and even a dog party in a tree. On Tag’s adventures, we meet her family and friends as well as new friends like Scooch Pooch and Gerald the Mail Dog as she helps to solve problems along the way. This new series is based on P. D. Eastman book, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, so this story is not only relevant to the kids of today but to their parents as well. I grew up with this book; my brothers grew up with this book; and my dad grew up with this book. My whole family grew up enjoying this book! And this new series will not disappoint all of the Go, Dog, Go! lovers as there is a reference to almost every storyline in the book. Also, the characters’ names are hilarious. Instead of grandpa it’s grandpaw and there is a group of singing dogs called the Barkapellas. The animation is so colorful as there are red dogs, blue dogs, green dogs, yellow dogs, purple dogs, and, pretty much, dogs of every color of the rainbow. I also enjoy seeing a town full of dogs riding bikes, trikes, blimps, boats and cars.  My favorite voice actress is Michela Luci, who plays Tag, because she brings so much energy to the role.

There are many positive messages throughout the show, like helping others, perseverance and friendship.

I give Go, Dog, Go! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. Adults will love all of the references to the book. This show comes out on Netflix January 26, 2021.

Apollo 11: Quarantine * Unique Film Sure To Allure Space Fans, History Buffs And More

Posted by presspass on
Movie Reviews
Apollo 11: Quarantine * Unique Film Sure To Allure Space Fans, History Buffs And More

Apollo 11 astronauts spend three weeks in medical quarantine after safely returning to Earth in the summer of 1969. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Apollo 11: Quarantine is a uniquely relatable found-footage style film that is sure to allure space fans, history buffs and everyone else, too! The creators of this film have pieced together parts of old footage from newsfeeds and other sources to tell a grand story of astronauts in quarantine.” See his full review below.

Apollo 11: Quarantine

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14


Apollo 11: Quarantine is a uniquely relatable found-footage style film that is sure to allure space fans, history buffs and everyone else, too! The creators of this film have pieced together parts of old footage from newsfeeds and other sources to tell a grand story of astronauts in quarantine Now, more about that story! The film follows the crew of the Apollo 11 spaceflight that first landed humans on the moon (Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins) in their 21-day quarantine in the summer of 1969. Scientists weren’t sure if they had made contact (and maybe even brought back) dangerous lunar microorganisms like bacteria, so the astronauts had to be contained and swabbed and scrubbed down regularly. But the Apollo 11 crew weren’t as isolated as you’d think: they kept contact with the outside world through a pane of thick glass. This film shows the activities that went on during those 21 days and how much patience and emotional strength the astronauts had to show; it took a lot of resilience for the roving moon-explorers, but they pulled through!

To the fun stuff, now! Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins are the lead “characters” in the film. Todd Douglas Miller brilliantly edited together all of the individual incredible clips. Besides the editing, the music and small intercut scenes of footage shot in the 21st century both help create the ambiance for the film. I also have to say that the audio work is quite interesting; I didn’t think that audio from the late ‘60s was surround sound or stereo. I watch the film with headphones on and was surprised that the audio in parts of the film (like when the crew uses walkie-talkies) goes from one ear to the other. Quite modern for the mid-to-late 20th century! ApolloApollo 11: Quarantine promotes the message of resilience and sticking through anything that comes your way. The film shows exactly how difficult it was for the crew of Apollo 11 to be quarantined for 21 days, interacting with the outside world through a glass pane or capsule. But they pulled through, and President Gerald Ford congratulated them with a proud speech on Day 21 of their quarantine, the last day.

I give Apollo 11: Quarantine 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Adults will enjoy this film as well. Apollo 11: Quarantine will be released exclusively in IMAX™ on January 29, 2021, and on Premium On Demand on February 5, 2021.

Movie Review: Blizzard of Souls * A Cinematic Masterpiece and Oscar Submission from Latvia

Posted by presspass on
Movie Review: Blizzard of Souls * A Cinematic Masterpiece and Oscar Submission from Latvia

Based on true events and the novel by Aleksandrs Grins, which was forbidden in the USSR, the film follows a coming-of-age story of a sixteen-year-old Arthur. After the loss of his mother, he enlists to fight in WWI with dreams of becoming a hero, but after surviving the brutalities of trench warfare and the loss of his family, he wonders if his efforts in battle were futile and if hope is only to be found in rebuilding a family and a home as Latvia itself is born from the atrocities of war.

Blizzard Of Souls was directed by Dzintars Dreibergs and written by Dreibergs and Boriss Frumins. The film was produced by Inga Pranevska and Dzintars Dreibergs for KULTFILMA, and associate produced by Gatis Sniedziņš. Ilona Bičevska serves as International Producer. It was edited by Gatis Belogrudovs and composed by Lolita Ritmanis. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “A cinematic masterpiece and the Oscar submission from the Baltic nation of Latvia, Blizzard of Souls will take you through a rollercoaster of emotions while providing you with a thorough history lesson!” See his full review below.

Blizzard of Souls

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

A cinematic masterpiece and the Oscar submission from the Baltic nation of Latvia, Blizzard of Souls will take you through a rollercoaster of emotions while providing you with a thorough history lesson! With echoes of 1917, Blizzard of Souls has masterful editing and cinematography, incredible sets and locations, and a talented cast, but falls a bit short on explaining major events in the First World War.

KULTFILMA took inspiration from true events and the novel by Grins to create Blizzard of Souls, which follows a teenage boy named Arturs Vanags in Russian-controlled Latvia (around the 1910s). Arturs’ father was a highly decorated commander of a regiment of the Latvian army, and his brother Edgars is focused on carrying on that legacy. He’s not exactly a fighter, but when his mother is killed by the Germans, Arturs, his brother, and his father conscript in the national Latvian Riflemen battalions of the Imperial Russian army in hopes of getting revenge and finding glory. He experiences many loves and losses in battle, after which he, among other soldiers, grows weary of the Tsarist cause and feels forgotten. Arturs must decide whether to stay with his regiment or defect and join his comrades in fighting the Latvian War of Independence and start his life all over again. As you can see, there’s a lot happening in the film, and it’s an intriguing plotline. Though I am a history buff, I’m not at the top of my game when it comes to Latvian war history, so I was really hoping for some time or battle markers; all of the battles seemed to blend together, save for the final conflict Arturs is involved in – the Battle of Cesis.

The cast and crew shine in this Baltic beauty. Oto Brantevics and Raimonds Celms play the brothers Vanags, with Oto as Arturs and Raimonds as Edgars. Raimond is a more experienced actor, but Oto really shines in his performance, with perfectly toned emotions and dialogue. Their on-screen father is played by Martins Vilsons, whose cerebral, tough personality gives way (at the perfect time) to paternal love. And the Vanags’ friends in the film, Mikelsons and Konrads, are played by Jēkabs Reinis and Gatis Gaga, who excel in their supporting roles with pointed humor and emulating the characters’ focused, yet free personalities. Behind the scenes, Dzintars Dreibergs directed the film meticulously, with a keen eye on historical accuracy and believability. The music in the film, which majestically introduces and drives the action in each scene, was composed by Lolita Ritmanis. The soundtrack is definitely one of my favorite parts of the film. Another beautiful element of Blizzard of Souls is the cinematography by Valdis Celmiņš; viewers can tell that each shot was thoughtfully planned out. There is a large part of one battle sequence that was shot and edited in one take, which really helps the speed of the film.

The message of Blizzard of Souls is one of growth; Arturs grows from a young boy to a mature hero throughout this film and has to make many tough decisions along the way. It’s a positive and relatable message, as we all grow as people throughout our lives. There are some scenes for parents to watch out for though; there’s a lot of blood and gore, some nudity and profanity (given the culture of trench warfare).

I give Blizzard of Souls 5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. Adults will enjoy this film as well. Blizzard of Souls is out in theatres and on DVD now!

‘Presilience’ Part 2 – w/ Dr. Gavriel Schneider

Posted by presspass on
‘Presilience’ Part 2 – w/ Dr. Gavriel Schneider

Join me August 12, 2021 at 9am EST!

Part 2 of my talk with Dr. Gavriel Schneider on Presilience. Presilience is a different way of viewing resilience, in individuals and organizations. Join me as I talk with acknowledged subject matter expert on human centric and Integrated Risk Management, Safety and Security, Dr. Gavriel Schneider. Dr. Schneider has extensive senior level management and leadership experience, and talks to us about how the current compliance-based resiliency approach of organizational leaders needs to change. Presilience is about the ongoing use of skills in a way to better your response to risk, whether it is an opportunity, crisis or emergency. It’s not just the commonplace way of utilizing risk management to create a ‘response plan’; it allows you and your organization to be better positioned even after you’ve experienced an adverse situation. It’s another real eye-opener of a chat, so don’t miss this episode and don’t forget to check out Part 1 which aired 2021-07-08!

Show Logo w Microphone.jpg

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email