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Dream Green

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Empowerment
Dream Green

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“A dreamer dreams that everyone else in his dream must awaken before he can awaken.”

~ Ramana Maharshi

After my column, the Power of RE was published, I received numerous positive comments about how readers were implementing RE into their lives. It is gratifying to know that people read my articles, but I’ve always wondered what people do with the information they receive. 

Orinda resident, Kathy Boyle, showed me. She wrote: “I was intrigued by your ideas in your Lamorinda Weekly article about the Power of REhttp://lamorindanews.com/archive/issue1323/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-Trends-for-2020-Part-1-The-power-of-RE.html As I was reading your article, I was envisioning those ideas in the context of gardening and recycling in my everyday life.  But then that wonderful Cervantes quote inspired me to amplify the ideas to how I am trying to live my life, especially during these very odd times.” (“Take a deep breath of life and consider how it should be lived.” ~Miguel de Cervantes) 

An elementary school Resource Specialist for forty years, Kathy had learned the power and effectiveness of ideas being created as colorful bulletin boards for kids. Now in retirement, she uses doors, walls, windows, mirrors, and even the shower door as her special bulletin boards by designing colorful visual pages to inspire herself. She also crafts pocket cards to carry with her on her hikes in nature. Her innovations helped me re-imagine my dream for this 2nd part in the 2020 Trends series. Thanks, Kathy for sharing your talents and for reaching out. Your art has reinvigorated me.

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Green careers are on the rise. From Boomers to Generation Z, people are finally understanding the call of the wild. From watering vacation gardens to talking to struggling plants, jobs are waiting to be filled. Horticultural therapy and plant blogging can become full-time careers. As our climate warms and more natural disasters occur, it is time for everyone to wake up to dream green.

Growing up on our farm, to be “dirt poor” meant that we had plenty of land, but not enough money. I remember the first time I visited New York City when I was nineteen and witnessed tiny bags of “dirt” being sold for $5.00 and more. I telephoned home and told my Daddy that we could be rich if we packaged and sold our acres of dirt. He responded that there was a big difference between soil and dirt in our century. Healthy soil is rich in vitamins, minerals, and organic matter. Dirt doesn’t have any nutritional value and isn’t valuable for growing anything. Unfortunately, today soil has been stripped of its nutrients.  Erosion and deforestation have washed away one-third of the world’s topsoil. Crops are planted for yield, not for nutrition. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, if this negative trend doesn’t retreat soon, organically rich soil will be eliminated by 2050.

We have to dream green.

By embracing regenerative gardening practices, changing methods of farming and forestry, we can mitigate carbon and reverse the damage. We need to rebuild soil with organic matter, restore degraded soil, and reduce runoff. By composting, cover cropping, and no-tilling practices we can conserve wildlife and return to native soil. People are waking up to sustainability and the importance of caring for our environment. Composting reduces household waste by 40%. By growing organically, we revitalize the soil naturally. Planting cover crops of alfalfa, clover, beans, and mustard will control weeds and add nutrients to the soil. When planted in lawns, clover adds nitrogen to the earth, eliminating the need for additional fertilizer. 

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What about the greening of indoor spaces? Houseplants are connecting people with nature while cleaning the indoor air. Many young people have less income and live in smaller spaces. Succulents, bromeliads, peace lilies, snake plants, aloes, and fiddleleaf fig are easy to grow and long-lasting. Taking a class, attending a seminar, or watching how-to videos on YouTube are all terrific ways to learn more about growing nature inside.

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Pollution, pesticides, UV radiation, and climate change are all leading to the destruction of habitat for amphibians and wildlife. If your garden is silent, it is not healthy. We need the croaking of the frogs, singing of the birds, and the hooting of owls. They keep our gardens vital by dining on mosquitoes, beetles, snails, rats, gophers, and other pests. Plant ferns near water sources to protect frogs, toads, and turtles. Submerge water lilies to oxygenate the water while providing cover.

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Mushrooms are the trendy super-food of 2020.  Some species of fungi eat plastic and could help with rapid plastic decomposition. Edible mushrooms can prevent or treat hundreds of conditions. Although you don’t want to forage unless you are certain that a mushroom is not poisonous, if you want to grow mushrooms, inoculated logs can be purchased.

Being “woke” is a popular refrain these days. If we are going to dream green, we have to wake up to smell the roses. 2020 is the year that we must conceive unique sustainable ideas so that we achieve a world where we can breathe, live, and enjoy.

Implement the power of RE and dream green.

water lily.jpghttps://www.CynthiaBrian.com

 http://lamorindanews.com/archive/issue1324/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-2020-Garden-Trends-Part-2-Dream-green.html

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for January

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BE AWARE of coyotes. I have had numerous reports of coyotes jumping backyard fences or digging under them to grab cats, chickens, rabbits, and small dogs. Since the autumn fires, food is sparse. and the coyotes are roaming neighborhoods. 

READ this Asbestos and Natural Disasters Guide that covers the impact of wildfires on structures made with asbestos:
https://www.asbestos.com/asbestos/natural-disasters/

California-specific: https://www.asbestos.com/states/california

DRY branches from tree trimmings for kindling.

BRIGHTEN your landscape, porch, or balcony by planting primroses which come in a variety of colors. 

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REPAIR broken pipes and irrigation systems while you have time.

PLANT bare root roses and fruit trees. Follow instructions on the packaging. Soak roots for a full 24 hours and cut off broken roots.  Plant the bud union 3 inches above the ground.

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REPOT potted plants you received as gifts of the holiday.  Remove wrapping to allow for good drainage.  Trim spent blossoms, water, and fertilize regularly.

REEDUCATE yourself about mulch: https://www.akhomeshow.com/mulch-information-guide.php

REREAD The Power of RE and incorporate RE into your personal, business, and gardening goals and resolutions for the year. http://lamorindanews.com/archive/issue1323/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-Trends-for-2020-Part-1-The-power-of-RE.html

REST. It is winter and time for a break. Sit by the fire on non-Spare the Air days. Drink hot cocoa or hot mulled wine. Dream a green dream. 

Cyn-fireplace.jpghttps://www.CynthiaBrian.com

Photos and more: http://lamorindanews.com/archive/issue1324/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-2020-Garden-Trends-Part-2-Dream-green.html

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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 www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of her books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-storecyntha brian with books.jpg. 

 

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

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk * Adorable selection of stories that teaches lessons about nature and friendship

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Kids
Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk * Adorable selection of stories that teaches lessons about nature and friendship

Munki and Trunk: Ain’t no mountain high enough, river wide enough, or banana big enough to tear these two apart! Our brave, curious monkey and big-hearted elephant live together in the jungle, as children imagine it: a playground with vines to swing on, trampoline mushrooms to bounce on, and a crew of jungle buddies to share endless adventures. Munki and Trunk explore their world together, facing fears, having fun and helping friends in a comedy adventure that s brim-full of heart, and built on a bedrock of friendship. Includes 8 tree-crashing, rock-smashing, water-splashing, fruit-mashing episodes! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Brad M. comments, “Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk is an adorable selection of stories compiled onto one DVD. The fun adventures that Munki and Trunk experience are simple, yet engaging to watch. These best friends sure know how to have a good time!” Ethan P. adds, “I like this DVD because it is cute and funny to watch.  It makes me smile through all eight episodes, each around seven and a half minutes.” Cadence G. wraps it up with, “I like this film for its animation, but I typically enjoy films that have dialogue (which this doesn’t). The characters are cute, especially the hedgehog with his spunky attitude. I also like how colorful the scenes are. It is nice to see a change of scenery, since I’m often surrounded by snow, living in northern Minnesota.” See their full reviews below.

 

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk

By Brad M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

https://youtu.be/JPkwCFToCWk

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Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk is an adorable selection of stories compiled onto one DVD. The fun adventures that Munki and Trunk experience are simple, yet engaging to watch. These best friends sure know how to have a good time!This compilation of episodes follows two main characters, Munki and Trunk, as they explore the world together. Along the way, these jungle animals learn lessons about nature, their friendship, as well as their own unique qualities. The protagonists quite often face their fears with one another and help them grow as individuals.

An interesting part of the world the characters live in is how they communicate through noises and actions, rather than actual words. Brent Dawes, the voice actor for Munki, and Alison Lambole, the voice actress for Trunk, are terrific at making the animal noises comprehensible for the audience. I love how bright and fun the animation in this show is. The jungle and characters all have a very playful vibe that keeps the audience super intrigued with each adventure. For example, each tree is animated with a particular texture that is incredible to look at. One issue I have with the DVD is how repetitive it is, but I believe that is effective for younger viewers. The two goofballs (Munki and Trunk) are amazing at bringing creativity to really simplistic scenarios. For example, the two characters are chasing a rainbow and decide to run through it. When going through the rainbow they change colors like a chameleon and then end up swimming up the rainbow,

 

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk has many lessons to teach viewers. My favorite is that each animal is their own individual, yet they all get along and coexist so well with one another. I think we can use this in our lives – to not worry about other people’s perceptions of us, because we should all be kind to one another regardless. Another moral of these stories is how effective teamwork is in problem solving. It seems that every episode has some type of roadblock or obstacle to overcome, and only when the two friends stand together they can prevail over the problem.

 

I give Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk 4 out of 5 stars and recommend for kids 2 to 8. It is available now on DVD, so go check it out!

 

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

https://youtu.be/-AzQ3aKoo_c

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I like this DVD because it is cute and funny to watch.  It makes me smile through all eight episodes, each around seven and a half minutes. Jungle Fun with Munk and Trunk DVD is approximately 60 minutes long.  The adventurous episodes include:  “Hot Stuff,” “Rainbow Rising,” “Bubble Trouble,” “Copycat,” “Hypno-Munki,” “Boing Boing,” “Sticky Situation,” and “Midnight Run.” Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk is about an elephant and a monkey who live together in the jungle.  They have adventures that range from comedy to scary situations.  Munki is a very curios and friendly monkey, while Trunk is a big-hearted, kind elephant.  They are friends with everyone in the jungle and very nice to other animals in need.  The jungle is their playground.  The vines are their swings, the mushrooms are their trampolines to bounce on.  The graphics are super amazing and the colors are very bright. The animation can be compared to Disney’s animated movies.  The forest looks so realistic; it looks like a real forest with real animals.  The music and theme song are very pleasant and delightful to listen to.  There is no dialog in this DVD.

My favorite episode is “Rainbow Rising,” because it is very funny.  It’s about Munki and Trunk finding berries that makes their skin or fur look blue.  They go around showing every one that they are blue.  Then, the blue wears off and they get upset.  Munki and Trunk soon see a rainbow.  They play in the rainbow and soon it makes them change colors, so they are happy again.  There are multiple morals for different episodes but the overall moral is about accepting people for who they are, with their perfections and flaws. Nobody is perfect and true friendship is about accepting each other for who they are.  Part of the lyrics from the theme songs says, “Ain’t no mountain high enough, river to wide enough, or banana big enough to tear these two apart!”  Munki and Trunk are completely different animals, but they are still inseparable best friends.

 

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars because and recommend it for ages 3 to 18.  Adults can enjoy this DVD with their children as well. It is available now so look for it.

 

Jungle Fun with Munki And Trunk
By Cadence G., KIDS  FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

https://youtu.be/uNQjK7X80aw

 

I like this film for its animation, but I typically enjoy films that have dialogue (which this doesn’t). The characters are cute, especially the hedgehog with his spunky attitude. I also like how colorful the scenes are. It is nice to see a change of scenery, since I’m often surrounded by snow, living in northern Minnesota.This DVD is a collection of episodes about the jungle adventures of two friends—a monkey named Munki and an elephant named Trunk. They have fun together and meet new friends, but always seem to get in a little bit of trouble. They discover really cool things in the jungle and luckily can use many of the things they find to have some fun.

In one episode the elephant (Trunk) and monkey (Munki) start out being too hot, so they find different ways to cool off. They try to find shade and find themselves getting to a place that has snow, where they roll a huge snowball to try to get the hot spot cooler. At another time, they have fun changing colors and use grapes to turn purple, but then the rain washes away the colors. After finding a rainbow, they and other animals start changing colors. In their next adventure, Munki and Trunk find themselves in space because they chewed too much bubble gum. They start copying each other and get all the animals around them involved. Munki winds up hypnotizing all of the animals so they start acting like monkeys. In other adventures they find a plant that has a liquid that causes them to turn into Jello. They lose control over their bodies, while another liquid sticks to everything. There’s an ostrich that appears throughout the film that is always trying to protect her eggs.My favorite part of the film is the music, composed by Andries Smit, because it is very catchy. It’s exciting and upbeat. It brings out the happiness of the characters. Some episodes on this DVD are a bit cheesy, but would probably appeal to a younger audience. I found myself laughing at one point when Munki and Trunk are squished in a bubble and get stuck in a tree. It is also fun to see all of the animals change colors and watch how excited they get. Listening to the animals just make noises gets a little annoying, but the animation, done by Infinite Studios, is great and gives lots of personality to the characters.

 

The message of the film is to trust your friends. Munki and Trunk show that you can get through almost any sticky situation by working together and using the problem as the solution.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this DVD to ages 4 to 8. The DVD is available now, so look for it.

 

 

Rebalancing Society Across the Public, Private, Plural Sectors

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Business
Rebalancing Society Across the Public, Private, Plural Sectors

This blog is provided by Dr. Henry Mintzberg. It is The Basic Point section from Dr. Mintzberg’s book, Rebalancing Society, Radical Renewal Beyond Left, Right, and Center ©2015 and used with permission. In his book, Henry shares seven observations. If you would like to find out more about each of his points, you can purchase his book here. Dr. Mintzberg is the author 20 books, including Simply Managing and Bedtime Stories for Managers, which have earned him 20 honorary degrees. This blog is a companion to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, Rebalancing Society: Radical Renewal, Beyond, Left, Center, Right which aired on 1/21/20.

 

Enough!

Enough of the imbalance that is destroying our democracies, our planet, and ourselves. Enough of the pendulum politics of left and right, as well as the paralysis in the political center. Enough of the visible claw of lobbying in place of the invisible hand of competing. Enough of the economic globalization that undermines sovereign states and local communities. Have we not had enough exploiting of the world’s resources, including ourselves as “human resources”? Many more people are concerned about these problems than have taken to the streets. The will of people is there; an appreciation of what is happening, and how to deal with it, is not. We are inundated with conflicting explanations and contradictory solutions. The world we live in needs a form of radical renewal unprecedented in the human experience. This book presents an integrative framework to suggest a comprehensive way forward.

The Triumph of Imbalance

When the communist regimes of Eastern Europe began to collapse in 1989, pundits in the West had a ready explanation: capitalism had triumphed. They were dead wrong, and the consequences are now proving fateful.

It was balance that triumphed in 1989. While those communist regimes were severely out of balance, with so much power concentrated in their public sectors, the successful countries of the West maintained sufficient balance across their public, private, and what can be called plural sectors. But a failure to understand this point has been throwing many countries out of balance ever since, in favor of their private sectors.

Welcome to the Plural Sector

There are three consequential sectors in society, not two. The one least understood is known by a variety of inadequate labels, including the “not-for-profit sector,” the “third sector,” and “civil society.” Calling it “plural” can help it take its place alongside the ones called public and private, while indicating that it is made up of a wide variety of human associations. Consider all those associations that are neither public nor private—owned neither by the state nor by private investors—such as foundations, places of worship, unions, cooperatives, Greenpeace, the Red Cross, and many renowned universities and hospitals. Some are owned by their members; most are owned by no one. Included here, too, are social movements that arise to protest what some people find unacceptable (as we have seen recently in the Middle East) and social initiatives, usually started by small community groups, to bring about some change they feel is necessary (for example, in renewable energy). Despite the prominence of all this activity, the plural sector remains surprisingly obscure, having been ignored for so long in the great debates over left versus right. This sector cannot be found between the other two, as if on some straight line. It is a different place, as different from the private and public sectors as these two are from each other. So picture instead a balanced society as sitting on a stool with three sturdy legs: a public sector of respected governments, to provide many of our protections (such as policing and regulating); a private sector of responsible businesses, to supply many of our goods and services; and a plural sector of robust communities, wherein we find many of our social affiliations.

Regaining Balance

How do we regain balance in our societies? Some people believe that the answer lies in the private sector—specifically, with greater corporate social responsibility. We certainly need more of this, but anyone who believes that corporate social responsibility will compensate for corporate social irresponsibility is living in a win-win wonderland. Other people expect democratic governments to act vigorously. This they must do, but they will not so long as public states continue to be dominated by private entitlements, domestic and global. This leaves but one sector, the plural, which is not made up of “them” but of you, and me, and we, acting together. We shall have to engage in many more social movements and social initiatives, to challenge destructive practices and replace them with constructive ones. We need to cease being human resources, in the service of imbalance, and instead tap our resourcefulness as human beings, in the service of our progeny and our planet.

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, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

 

About the Author

Henry Mintzberg is a writer and educator, mostly about managing originations, developing managers, and rebalancing societies, which is his current focus. Henry sits in the Cleghorn Chair of Management Studies at the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University in Montreal.

He has authored 20 books, including Simply Managing and Bedtime Stories for Managers, which have earned him 20 honorary degrees. Henry co-founded the International Masters Program for Managers as well as a venture CoachingOurselves.com, novel initiatives for managers to learn together from their own experience, the last in their own workplace.

Henry may spend his professional life dealing with organizations, but he spends his private life escaping from them—mostly in a canoe, up mountains, and on a bicycle. You can find out more about his adventures on mintzberg.org, which includes his blog.

Photo by Airam Vargas from Pexels

 

Dolittle * Great CGI, Cinematography and Visual Effects

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Movie Reviews
Dolittle * Great CGI, Cinematography and Visual Effects

Dr. John Dolittle lives in solitude behind the high walls of his lush manor in 19th-century England. His only companionship comes from an array of exotic animals that he speaks to on a daily basis. But when young Queen Victoria becomes gravely ill, the eccentric doctor and his furry friends embark on an epic adventure to a mythical island to find the cure. Dominic D. comments, “Wow! The long anticipation of Dolittle is well worth the wait! A big two thumbs up for director Stephen Gaghan, for knocking this action-packed, comical, fun-loving film out of the ball park!” Arjun N. adds, “Dolittle does little in terms of original storytelling, but this reboot offers colorful ambiance and magical performances. Anyone interested in big budget family entertainers is sure to get their money’s worth on a matinee.” Katherine S. has another take on it, “What a terrific movie!  The dialogue among the characters is so much fun and the cinematography, costumes and visual effects are so beautiful and well done.” Jude A. adds, “Dolittle is a roaring, barking and chirping fantasy adventure story with great humor and special effects…Unfortunately, even though the film is not very long (an hour and 41 minutes), some scenes seem very slow and the film feels a lot longer than it actually is. The movie is very comedic and has some laugh out loud moments, but sometimes the humor seems a little forced and unfunny.” And Sahiba K. wraps it with, “Unfortunately, Dolittle left me confused because its storyline is all over the place. There are too many plot elements to follow and they do not tie together cohesively in the end.” Their full reviews are below. You decide.

 

Dolittle
By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 9

https://youtu.be/Yye3TBrTOWo

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Wow! The long anticipation of Dolittle is well worth the wait! A big two thumbs up for director Stephen Gaghan, for knocking this action-packed, comical, fun-loving film out of the ball park!  The film, although perhaps a little lengthier for younger kids, keeps viewers on the edge of their seats while they take in all the adventure, suspense, laughs and emotion that this film offers. I left the theater with an appreciation of the quote, “It’s truly by helping others that you can help yourself!”The film follows the life of quirky veterinarian Dr. John Dolittle, of Victorian England, who has a sure connection with animals. Dr. Dolittle becomes reclusive, hiding behind the walls of Dolittle Mansion following the death of his beloved wife Lily. His only companions since her death are his furred and feathered friends that the animation department has excelled in giving anthropomorphic qualities to.  Dolittle is quite content with his lifestyle, void of humans, until he has to make a decision when the very ill Queen of England calls on him to help save her from sickness. Dr. Dolittle appears to be the only person able to bring the Queen the secret antidote to reverse the symptoms of her sudden illness. The doctor, along with his humorous animal crew and new young, self-appointed assistant, set sail in search of the cure which will save the Queen from dying. They encounter several obstacles while on their journey, which adds to the suspense, adventure and comedy of the film.

 

The star of film, Robert Downey Jr. as Dr. Dolittle plays his role well. He also is one of the film’s executive producers. Hats off to the very lengthy list of animators who bring Dolittle’s friends to life and make us laugh at each of their personalities. The animatronics are by far my favorite part of this movie. It was also super fun to try to identify the many voices behind Dr. Dolittle’s menagerie. I especially love the voice of Craig Robinson who plays Kevin, the squirrel with an attitude. The locations also deserve mentioning. Landscapes are lush, bright and so captivating, which adds such so much to this film.

The message in Dolittle is all about relationships. You have to have a sense of imagination to appreciate the connection between Dr. Dolittle and his animal friends, but the message is clear that no matter how diversified living things are, we can find a way to connect, communicate and appreciate one another. The film writers gathered together a variety of different characters that show that no matter what their limitations, they can interact with each other and build heartwarming friendships. This film allows us to open up our minds about differences and promotes positive interactions.

 

I give Dolittle 5 out of 5 stars and, if I could rate it higher, I would! I recommend it to ages 5 to 18. Dolittle is the perfect family film and adults will love it as much as kids. Dolittle opens January 17, 2020 in theaters. This is a film that you do not want to miss…mark your calendars!

 

Dolittle

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

https://youtu.be/XCoxmKiJ8SQ

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What a terrific movie!  The dialogue among the characters is so much fun and the cinematography, costumes and visual effects are so beautiful and well done.Dolittle takes a new spin on the infamous tale of Dr. Dolittle, who is of course the doctor that speaks to animals. The story begins at Dolittle Manner, which is an estate provided to him by the Queen of England for serving as her veterinarian. Dolittle Manner is a sanctuary open to all animals until his wife passes away on an adventure and Dr. Dolittle closes it and isolates himself from people.  As the Queen falls ill, Dr. Dolittle is convinced to go on an adventure to find a cure to help save the Queen before it’s too late!  

The movie trailer does not do this movie justice as I was not overly excited to see movie before going to the screening. My feelings changed greatly after I watched the movie. The writing is very clever with the dialogue for the animals. Everything they say is witty and playful. I also love that the animal characters  aren’t stereotypical, as they all need a lit bit of fixing. There are some magnificent actors in Dolittle, such as Robert Downey Jr. (as Dr. Dolittle), Harry Collett (as Stubbins, Dr Dolittle’s self-appointed apprentice), Emma Thompson (as the parrot Polly and Dr. Dolittle’s advisor), Rami Malek (as the funny gorilla Chee-Chee), Octavia Spencer (as the enthusiastic duck Dab-Dab), Tom Holland (as the sight-challenged dog Jip), Craig Robinson (as the wise-cracking squirrel Kevin) and Selena Gomez (as the giraffe Betsy). My favorite character is Kevin since he made me laugh the most.The messages of this movie are about perseverance and the importance of family and friends to help you overcome obstacles. Dolittle has no bad language, but it does have some mild violence and action scenes, primarily among the animals.

 

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 14. Adults will also like this movie. This movie opens in theaters January 17, 2020. Check it out.

 

Dolittle

By Jude A., KIDS FIRST Film Critic, age 13

https://youtu.be/UeiC2wq7E2Q

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Dolittle is a roaring, barking and chirping fantasy adventure story with great humor and special effects. The film has amazing CGI and the animals look completely real. The movie also has very creative dialogue that fits each of the characters very well. The film has very vibrant colors and beautiful landscapes. Unfortunately, even though the film is not very long (an hour and 41 minutes), some scenes seem very slow and the film feels a lot longer than it actually is. The movie is very comedic and has some laugh out loud moments, but sometimes the humor seems a little forced and unfunny.Dolittle follows the retired Doctor Dolittle (Robert Downy Jr.) after his wife passes away from a ship-wreck. An odd boy named Stubbons (Harry Colltett) seems to have the same animal talking abilities as Doctor Dolittle himself and becomes his apprentice. When the Queen of Buckingham Palace (Jessie Buckley) falls gravely ill, Doctor Dolittle, Stubbons and the rest of the animal gang embark on a journey to attain the cure for the Queen to preserve the land they live on and the animal’s sanctuary.

 

It is difficult to cast people for this kind of film, because we’re dealing with lots of animals and I think the casting is amazing! The voice-overs for the animals really make a big difference because they add humor, drama and suspense. The dialogue is very creative and fits each animal very well, making them seem very real. For the most part, the dialogue is very entertaining and creative. However, some lines try to force the humor and come off as not humorous at all. Robert Downy Jr.’s performance is spot on, but his accent seems a little off and inconsistent throughout the film. It seems as if he is trying to be too exotic and it doesn’t work.Dolittle fits the PG rating. It has some action and possibly scary creatures that could be frightening to younger viewers. The message of the film is about helping other people, even when it does not benefit your personally. It also points out that when something gets in your way of reaching your goal, don’t give up, figure out a new way to reach that goal. Be creative. Think outside the box.

 

Dolittle did not soar as high as the parrots do in the film so I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It has amazing visuals and CGI, but forced jokes and slow scenes. I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18. Dolittle opens in theaters January 17, 2020. Look for it.

 

Dolittle

By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

https://youtu.be/upkIJ9CnEqE

 

 

Unfortunately, Dolittle left me confused because its storyline is all over the place. There are too many plot elements to follow and they do not tie together cohesively in the end. Most of the characters have vague back-stories which are presented in ways that prevent any character from becoming fully developed.The story follows the grief stricken Doctor Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) who is mourning the death of his wife. He lives alone with his animal friends including Chee-Chee (Rami Malek), a gorilla and Yoshi (John Cena), a polar bear. When the Queen of England (Jessie Buckley) falls ill, she calls upon Dolittle for help. To save the Queen, he must embark on a perilous journey to find a mythical healing fruit.

 

Robert Downey Jr. has the quirkiness and personality to play an eccentric individual like Dolittle. However, his potential is overshadowed by his perplexing accent which feels forced and thus, his voice does not match his emotions or actions very well. Rami Malek plays my favorite character, Chee-Chee, and gives him a sweet, loveable personality. Unfortunately, due to the excess of poorly developed characters, Chee-Chee’s character arch seems irrelevant even though he is one of the better characters.The graphics are well done in some aspects but not in others. The gorilla, polar bear and the parrot all look realistic and have features that add to their cuteness. Other animals such as the dragonfly and the ostrich do not look realistic, which disrupts the mood, making it cartoonish, and contributing to the chaos I felt when viewing the film. Moreover, the graphics in exciting scenes, such as those that take place on the ships, are noticeably done in CGI and thus the realistic aspect is not achieved.

 

The saving grace is the creative incorporation of the animals. I enjoyed the scenes where Dolittle uses his gift of animal communication to ask for help, whether to solve the mystery of the Queen’s illness or to run away from the antagonist.

 

The message of Dolittle is that the best way to help yourself is to help others. However, this message is stated by the narrator at the end and is otherwise loosely relevant to what happens throughout the film. I give Dolittle 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Check out Dolittle when it opens in theatres January 17, 2020.

 

Dolittle
By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

Dolittle does little in terms of original storytelling, but this reboot offers colorful ambiance and magical performances. Anyone interested in big budget family entertainers is sure to get their money’s worth on a matinee.The reimagining of the Dr. Dolittle franchise follows the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.), famed English doctor and veterinarian, who hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his collection of exotic animals for company. When the young queen (Jessie Buckley) falls ill, her daughter Rose (Carmel Laniado) asks a reluctant Dolittle to set sail to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his humanity and courage and gaining a young, self-appointed apprentice Tommy Stubbins (Harry Collett).

Robert Downey Jr. brings his signature charisma and his posh British accent to fill the energetic void left by January releases. His conversations with his animals are seamless; keep in mind, he’s talking to larger-than-life CGI constructions. Regarding the big ensemble cast voicing the animals, they’re all great if a little bit reliant on star power. You wouldn’t know big list actors are voicing the animals without background research or watching the credits. However, there are a few noteworthy exceptions including Rami Malek’s Chichi, a paranoid gorilla, which is greatly characterized and developed. Emma Thompson brings her acerbic demeanor as Poly the parrot. I also enjoyed John Cena and Kumail Nanjiani, as Yoshi and Plimpton, the bickering and bantering polar bear and ostrich that serve as the film’s comic relief. Finally, the film has impressive child performances from Harry Collett, who previously acted on Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and Carmel Laniado, both of whose screen presence holds well alongside Robert Downey Jr.

I enjoyed the special effects as they are truly impressive to look at, even a bit too flashy at times. The director Stephen Gaghan blueprints the film in an honest way. However, his writing is trope-ridden and uninspired, at times hodgepodging rather than creating. Don’t expect a developed plot, even if some good messages prevail.

The message of this film is about allowing friends to carry your back as Dolittle realizes his reclusiveness is unhealthy and decides to be better. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters January 17, 2020, so check it out.

 

Seize the Moment, Life Is Full of Surprises

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Empowerment
Seize the Moment, Life Is Full of Surprises

Seize the Moment, Life Is Full of Surprises

An excerpt from Being Here…Too, Short Stories of Modern Day Enlightenment

Being Here...TooAs I raced to the hospital to see my wife Holly, all I could think was, Please don’t die. When Holly and I started dating, neither of us thought we would ever get married. We were both in our 50s and had no idea that we would end up in a passionate and enlivening love affair. Now happily married for more than five years, we are on a great adventure together.

This past January, Holly went to California to handle some family business. I was very surprised when she called me from the hospital.

“Hi Honey, I’m in the emergency room. You know those headaches I’ve been getting? Well, I have a really bad one and now I can’t see out of my left eye.”

I’ve heard the expression, “It was like a bucket of ice water poured over my head.” But in that moment I actually experienced the sensation. It’s an understatement to say I was terrified by the news.

“The doctors say that I have a brain bleed.”

A brain bleed – Oh my God!

My mind went into hyper-drive, filling in with largely inaccurate details from television shows and movies.

I immediately thought, A brain bleed must mean a stroke! Will she be paralyzed? Will she die?

Reflexively, I panicked. But, even in the midst of receiving this horrifying news, I knew that panicking wasn’t going to help Holly. So I listened. I told her I loved her and I would get there as soon as I could.

What happened next was a whirlwind of all the things that needed to be handled to get me from one coast to the other so I could be with her; schedules, airline tickets, calling friends for support, a hastily packed bag.

Later that day, in the car to the airport, when I was no longer distracted by things that needed to be done, my mind automatically started to run its list of worst-case scenarios of what was going to happen. But fortunately for me (and for Holly) I’ve been practicing being here. It has been such a simple practice that I had no idea how well the “muscle” of being present would withstand the stress of potentially losing my beloved wife.

I took a breath and looked out the window. I noticed a light green Prius, a dark grey Mercedes and the clouds in the sky. I watched a motorist’s face as he drove past and noticed the street signs.

From time-to-time my eyes would lose focus and I would be seeing the beginnings of a horror movie in my mind, one where I had lost Holly, one where she died before I got there. But whenever that happened, I simply drew my attention outward to see the world outside my window.

It’s a six-hour flight from New York to San Francisco. The airline offered “private viewing” services where I could use my iPad to stream a movie they provided. I soon realized that the alternative was torturing myself with a different kind of private viewing – watching my mind’s repetitive, increasingly disturbing films about what might happen to Holly and what would happen to me if I lost her. So I put on my headset, fired up my iPad and chose an action film. A comedy was next and I welcomed the distraction.

When I arrived in San Francisco, I was met by Holly’s cousins and immediately rushed to the hospital. As I entered her room in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit, I was shocked to see Holly looking so gravely ill. It seemed to me that she was hooked up to every conceivable medical machine and device possible and I started to cry. We locked eyes and I went to her and hugged her as tightly as I dared. She looked happy to see me and surprisingly calm. Standing by the bed I held her hand. I was so grateful she was still alive, her hand warm in mine.

“Honey, I’ve gotten back more results.” She said. “The bleeding in my brain has been caused by something else. I have a brain tumor.”

I did my best to keep the room from spinning and to keep myself there with her. Her hand in mine anchored me as I digested the news that no one wants to hear. I pulled up a chair and sat. We had a brief discussion and decided that, whatever happened, we were going to live as fully as possible in this moment and, despite all temptations, would not travel down a black hole to a tragic future that hadn’t happened yet.

It’s one thing to make that decision. It’s quite another to live it. Luckily, Holly and I had tools. We’d learned skills for being present and honed them over the many years of attending seminars on Instantaneous Transformation. In fact, throughout her month-long stay in the hospital, I was repeatedly surprised that “scary” things were actually delightful moments when seen through a different lens.

For example, after Holly’s first brain surgery (she’s had three) they brought her back into the Intensive Care Unit where I was with her as the anesthesia wore off. As she awoke, her eyes fluttered open and she looked at me. Then Holly mumbled, “kiss me” in French. Oh how sweet she was. I kissed her face and then she spoke even more French to me.

While Holly is American and English is her first language, she lived in France for a time, and speaks French fluently. But the nurse nearby didn’t realize that Holly was talking to me in a foreign language and thought her speech was badly garbled. I could tell the nurse was alarmed, afraid that this new disability was an unwanted result of the surgery.

“Oh, no, it’s not garbled.” I said. “It’s French!”

I turned back to my wife and did my best to reply in my terrible, broken version of that language.

Suddenly, I was afraid. I thought that the surgery had somehow broken her ability to speak English. As I was smiling at her and kissing her face, I was also frantically trying to figure out how quickly I could learn French so we could communicate.

Then the nurse did something brilliant. She said, “Holly, I don’t speak French. Speak English.” Holly said, “Okay.” And to my great relief, my French studies were put off indefinitely.

During Holly’s recovery from each brain surgery, it was crucial that she have as little sensory input as possible. This meant the room she was in needed to be dark and quiet.

As I was determined to spend every waking moment with her, that meant I was not provided with any of the usual distractions from my mind’s machinations. Television and conversation were not options. Fortunately, I had my laptop computer with me and, as an attorney with my own law firm, I could work remotely.

As Holly slept, I dove into my work. Emails were read and responded to. Legal research was done and briefs were drafted and filed. I was able to serve my clients and give my mind constructive work to do to keep it from going down painful fantasy paths. I was able to respond via text and email in a timely way to all of the wonderful caring friends and family who were, figuratively speaking, there at our side. Of course I’m human and occasionally I would get side tracked and start to despair, but when this happened, I realized that being upset wasn’t helpful – not to me and certainly not to Holly. So it wasn’t too difficult to come back to the moment and get back to work.

Our mutual decision to get interested in what was happening around us, especially the people we were meeting, was incredibly valuable. We engaged with everyone we met: doctors, nurses, and cleaning staff. Because it was the Neuro Intensive Care Unit, Holly was frequently examined, questioned, medicated, and having blood drawn. Each interaction was an opportunity to not just exchange meaningless pleasantries but a chance to be with someone and really listen to him or her. Each moment was a chance to operate as if we were exactly where we wanted to be rather than dream of the day when we could get out of there.

As a result, Holly and I could hear the experts tell us how things were without editing in our heads to make it better or worse than it was. This allowed us to make fully informed choices based on facts, not decisions driven by our fears. This was crucial when Holly’s surgeon told us that the first surgery, while helpful in removing fluid that was causing pressure on her brain, was not completely successful.

“I was not able to get enough material in the biopsy for the pathology lab. I need to go back in. Without the material, we won’t know the genetic makeup of the tumor and won’t be able to properly treat it. I understand if you want to go back to New York to have this done.”

Holly didn’t want to wait. She also intuitively trusted this man.

“You’re part of my team. I trust you to go back in and get it done,” she said with a smile. And within a week the second surgery resulted in a successful biopsy, and the material was sent to the lab.

As a result of our training in being here, Holly and I actually enjoyed engaging with people. Whether they were changing a bedpan or part of the surgical team, they were all highly qualified professionals and fascinating beings. We got interested in their lives and included them in ours. We didn’t let the circumstances of Holly’s illness narrowly define us as only a patient and the patient’s husband. We were still whole beings with many interests and unlimited possibilities.

After Holly underwent numerous tests, scans and two brain surgeries, she was cleared for travel, and we returned to New York where we met with a new team of doctors. They hoped Holly could start treatment for her tumor right away. Unfortunately, due to complications, she required yet another surgery. They told us we could do it soon or wait a short time. Holly turned to me and said, “Carpe diem, baby.” (That’s Latin for “seize the day”.)

Holly is currently recovering and doing very well. The experts now believe that Holly’s tumor is something she can live with over time, a chronic condition rather than a life threatening one. Our relationship remains strong and we remain committed to seizing the day. For fun, we even got matching “carpe diem” tattoos, and have planned several trips together. I’m not certain what will come next but then, none of us are. In this moment, there is love, happiness, and the adventure continues as we seize the moment and encounter our next series of life’s surprises.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, podcast/radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here podcast or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, is available on Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com and everywhere books are sold.

Books by Ariel & Shya Kane

The Power of RE

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Empowerment
The Power of RE

Winter in the Sieras.jpg

LAMORINDA WEEKLY | Digging Deep with Cynthia Brian Garden Trends for 2020, Part 1

Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-Trends-for-2020-Part-1-The-power-of-RE.pdf[1/6/2020 6:49:00 PM]

 

Cynthia Brian

Published January 8th, 2020

Digging Deep with Cynthia Brian

Garden Trends for

2020, Part 1

By Cynthia Brian

“Take a deep breath of life and consider how it should be

lived.”

~Miguel de Cervantes

 

A new year, great cheer, time to eliminate the fear

of getting dirty and starting a garden. So many people

confide to me that they have “brown thumbs.” I don’t

believe it is possible. There are only those who have not

tried, tried again. There is no failure in the garden.

Failure is fertilizer. Every time I have a plant that does

not do well, I send it to the compost pile where it will

renew my garden. Pledge to get down in the dirt this

year and experiment with plants. Once you have

success, you’ll be hooked on gardening, and your

vivacity will soar.

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To help you get into the swing of things, I’m

offering you the top trends that are predicted for 2020

that have been formulated by the Garden Media Group.

These trends help you choose plants, products, and

services that assist you to survive and thrive in the

outdoor world of Mother Nature. Who knows, with so much information you may become an influencer, or

even a trendsetter yourself.

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Dive in. Read the research and have some fun with regreening our Earth.

Currently, more than 50% of the world’s population resides in cities. By 2050, that number will grow

to 70%. With so much connectivity and urban living, people are hungry for nature. Because of urbanization,

it will become increasingly imperative for cities and businesses to design tranquil, plant-filled spaces for

people to refresh and enjoy. We live in the age of social media, and parks, forests, water elements and

sustainable edible gardens are critical not only for recreational purposes but to get away from the hustle and

bustle of urban living. People with knowledge of plants are in demand.

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More trees will be planted as a cost-saving strategy to improve the health of communities while

controlling stormwater runoff, reducing air pollution, and mitigating the heat. Green environments will

become the norm with green businesses assisting in the education of the public about the necessity of

becoming stewards of our planet.

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We currently live in a throw-away society of major consumption. Many of us remember the days when

appliances lasted 20 to 30 years. My mom’s washing machine lasted 45 years! Today, we are lucky to get

seven to 10 years before replacement. When I was a girl, I learned to sew and made all my clothes. Today I

mend torn clothing and alter my wardrobe to replicate current fashions. I don’t toss them. Since 1970,

global consumption tripled with only 9% of consumed materials reused. This material “mismanagement”

contributes to 67% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It’s easy to reuse, repurpose or re-engineer items

we already have to create new items we need.

 

Just today I was rereading a letter from my cousin who wrote to me about how he called my dad

“Superman” because he was one of those farmers who always stopped to help anyone in distress and could

fix anything and everything with baling wire and electrical tape. Daddy did more with less and he taught his

growing family to do the same. Repair, reuse, recycle, repurpose, remake, renew! We were all doing these

things before it was in vogue. Now the “re” everything is trending. It’s the power of RE.

When you buy a plant, either return the plastic container or reuse it. A major goal for 2020 is minimal

waste.

Are you looking for a great job or second career? Consider horticulture. Did you know that in 2018,

gardening in America grew to an industry of $40.6 billion according to Euro Monitor? By 2023, gardening is

expected to reach $49.3 billion, meaning that more labor will be necessary.

 

The next generations will need to learn to grow more food. Encourage children to seek an education

that will offer them expertise in urban agriculture, environmental sustainability, or garden installation. Start

on the job training now at home, in your backyard. Give your kids seeds to plant, weeds to pull, and areas

to irrigate. Allow them to grow a few vegetables to make a pizza. They’ll be happier, healthier, and will

become automatic stewards of our soils.

 

As we begin 2020, take a deep breath and walk around your neighborhood. Consider the importance

of the flora around you. What can you do personally to be more sustainable and regreen our planet?

I’ll have more information for you in my next column. Until then, remember that failure is fertilizer and

do your part to implement the power of RE.

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for January

RECYCLE unflocked Christmas trees without any stands by the curbside on your regular garbage service day. Remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel, and trimmings. For trees over 8 feet, the collection company requests that you cut them in half. 

RETURN grass clippings to your lawn. Grass mulching can fertilize the soil and minimize the amount of water needed to keep your yard green and healthy.

PRUNE roses and crape myrtles throughout this month.

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REVISIT the wonders of winter in the Sierras, in the vineyards, or public gardens. 

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RE-BOOST your vitamin C with fresh fruit from citrus trees. Ripening for the next two months you will enjoy sweet navel orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, and Clementine.

REDEEM a planting offer from David Austin roses for 15% off with Offer code UKA or UKB before March 6 at www.davidaustinroses.com

PERUSE spring catalogs for ideas on planting then regift them to a fellow gardener. 

PROTECT plants from frost or freezing by covering with burlap or tarps.

HARVEST potatoes and beets.

REPLENISH bird feeders with nutritious seeds keeping our avian visitors nearby while supplementing their dietary requirements during the cold season.

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REFRESH your vitamin D requirement by spending 15 minutes outdoors daily.

RESOLVE to utilize the power of RE in 2020.

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Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy New Year!

Photos at: http://lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1323/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-Trends-for-2020-Part-1-The-power-of-RE.html

Cynthia Brian.jpg

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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 www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of her books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

Cynthia Brian books banner.jpg

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

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Molang: Season 3 DVD * Amazing Adventures, Each With Its Own Moral

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Kids
Molang: Season 3 DVD * Amazing Adventures, Each With Its Own Moral

Join Molang, a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, and his best friend, Piu Piu, a poised, timid, and reserved yellow chick, as they explore everyday life. Despite their many differences, Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a special friendship. They have amazing times together ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Whether performing in a rock band, becoming superheroes or enjoying a hike with friends, Molang and Piu Piu embrace every daily adventure together. No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with warmth and humor. Embark on 52 adventures with Molang and Piu Piu! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “Molang: Season 3 is about a white, round bunny named Molang and a little, yellow chick named Piu Piu.  They have amazing adventures together that always teach them something new.  No matter what happens, Molang and Piu Piu always laugh even through tough times.” See his full review below.

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Molang: Season 3 DVD
By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 11

 

https://youtu.be/w0SV4REnVIQ

I like this DVD because it is very cute and nice to watch.  Every story has its own moral and they are all very interesting.

Molang: Season 3 is about a white, round bunny named Molang and a little, yellow chick named Piu Piu.  They have amazing adventures together that always teach them something new.  No matter what happens, Molang and Piu Piu always laugh even through tough times.  There are 52 episodes of different stories.  The DVD is about three hours of unforgettable fun.  The main menu consists of two features, “Play All” which plays everything and “Stories,” which play each episode.

My favorite episode is “Santa” because it’s about how Santa comes to Molang and Piu Piu’s house to give them presents.  When Santa is about to put the presents under the tree, the tree falls on Santa and knocks him out.  When the tree falls, it makes a loud noise so Molang and Piu Piu wake up to see what happened.  They see Santa knocked out, so they decide to take the gifts to every one to save Christmas.Another one of my favorite episodes is “The Long Trip.” This episode is about how Molang and Piu Piu are flying a kite and a bird hits the kite which causes the bird to fall on the ground.  Molang and Piu Piu take the kite off the bird’s neck and they realize the bird can’t fly any more.  They get in the car with the bird and follow the bird’s family so the bird can reunite with his family.  The graphics are pretty good.  This animation reminds me of looks the Hello Kitty animation.  The colors are vibrant and the background has different patterns and colors.  The voice over is funny because is just gibberish; there is no dialogue going in these stories.

 

There are multiple morals, but the main moral of this show is that we should treat each other equally and learn to get along. Even though Molang is a bunny and Piu Piu is a chick they still are best friends.  Just because they are different doesn’t mean they cannot get along and have fun together.

I give Molang, Season 3 DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 18, plus adults can enjoy it with their children too. It is available now from NCircle Entertainment so look for it.

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Molang: Season 3

By Nathalia J, KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB5jHZt_ppk&feature=youtu.be

This animated, unique, funny and creative film takes you along adventures that will make you
laugh and wish you were part of Molang and Piu Piu’s world. I must say, Molang and Piu Piu love
ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary on a daily basis. Get ready for amazing adventures,
each with its own moral. This film follows Molang, an accommodating, nurturing, kind and happy round fluffy rabbit and his
best friend, a little duck that loves quack time named, Piu Piu. Despite their many differences, Piu
Piu and Molang enjoy their special friendship. Whether it’s helping a delivery worker or exploring
a haunted house, joining a competition or joining a rock band, they embrace every day adventure
together. No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with warmth and
humor.
The lead characters in this film are the hilarious and wild Molang and his goofy and tiny friend Piu
Piu. Throughout all episodes you meet new characters. Many characters are recurring, such as
the neighborhood watch group.
My favorite episode is “Top Model,” because it brings so much humor. It’s one of the opening
episodes and really starts off the show with a bang. I savor this episode specifically because of
one scene when Molang and Piu Piu call all the models and take their photos. The faces on the
bunny are hilarious.
This film disregards bad language; every adventure in this mirthful and amusing DVD is safe.
There are several important messages in this DVD including never stop believing in yourself even
when others are fearful, be honest and work hard. The main message is that, although Molang
and Piu Piu are different, they got along just right.
I’d give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 11. This film is available on DVD
now. Make sure to check it out

6 Key Recommendations To Address Current Business And Social Challenges

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Business
6 Key Recommendations To Address Current Business And Social Challenges

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

The following blog is a republish of an article appearing in Forbes written by Maureen Metcalf. It is a companion to the International Leadership Association Interview Series that is beginning this week with Pat Dambe’s interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, titled Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship.

 

For the last five years, I have attended the International Leadership Association (ILA) annual conference and written about what I’ve learned during this experience. The twenty-first conference was held in Ottawa, Canada. The theme was “Leadership: Courage Required.”

I was named a fellow of the ILA in 2019. This article reflects my experience with the presenters and participants at the conference. I share this experience with you because I value the insights I gain, and I believe that we, as leaders, need to come together in our thinking and actions to influence our organizations. To do this, we need to learn from the best models, frameworks and people who are already making a significant impact. We need to cocreate the future we want to leave for generations that follow.

The conference opened with a reception at the Canadian Museum of History. Considering the entire arc of history, we are walking the planet at a time when our actions have a disproportionate impact on the future. Early people impacted us, and what we do will have a larger legacy. The principle among many indigenous peoples that this consideration should extend to the next seven generations reminds us our actions matter in the long term.

  1. We are continually hearing about polarization, the strengthening of the extremes and subsequent weakening of the “middle” or more balanced ideas. I left the conference reenergized because of the research and the actions I saw to reduce polarization and rebalance our companies, communities and countries. This can be done by bringing constituents from for-profits, governments, co-ops, nonprofits, nongovernment agencies and others together to address our biggest challenges. I recommend continually seeking out people with different points of view when you are making difficult decisions and actively working to understand what smart people who perceive the world differently see that you may have overlooked. Below are lessons from people who are solving these problems in their contexts.  A great example of this model playing out is the partnership between a large jewelry company and the government of an African nation, as discussed by a conference panelist. Diamond mining is funding a major investment in the country’s ability to build infrastructure, educate the population and grow 21st century business ventures. This case study illustrates that the theoretical framework is transforming a country in Africa. If it can work at this scale, it can certainly work on a smaller scale in our communities and companies.
  2. Another example of bridging significant societal differences is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The commission documented the historic abuse of indigenous children in residential schools and offered 94 Calls to Action for all levels of government to take to repair the harm done to indigenous peoples and create space to move forward with reconciliation. Answering these calls requires a great deal of work to build trust and take the best interests of the overall country into consideration along with the interests of individual constituent groups. While most of us aren’t involved in redress for abuses, I recommend we take to heart the spirit of truth, respect and fairness to all people. Different people with different perspectives create stronger solutions to complex problems.
  3. Innovation happens when we are curious about difference, yet research indicates that about half of those surveyed don’t want to follow a leader who was a different gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. The unwillingness to follow a leader of a different political party goes up to about two-thirds. To me, this data is a call to action — we need to see differences as the opportunity to build a more innovative and holistic future. If we discount people or don’t understand their perspectives, we create less robust solutions. We all lose!
  4. Women in leadership are an integral part of business and society. In addition to numerous panels, presentations and workshops led by women, we heard from the first female prime minister of Canada and several successful female leaders and businesswomen, two of whom received lifetime achievement awards.  These women were the first in their organizations and have worked tirelessly for decades to continue to impact their fields. They serve as advocates, role models and people who break stereotypes. They exemplify what is possible when we stay committed to our purpose and work together to ensure we can create a better world. We have read for years now that the inclusion of women is required to deliver innovative and robust solutions to challenges and bottom-line results. We have many female role models to inspire us with their experiences.
  5. Peace starts from within. It is contagious. We can build peaceful organizations when we start small, with how we manage our own feelings, as well as starting big with significant research about what creates peace in our evolving world. The process of being self-aware, managing our emotions and meeting anger with curiosity is key.
  6. Character can be defined and measured. During a time when many of us are disappointed in the leaders and institutions we have trusted, there are robust frameworks and models that offer organizations a way to talk about leadership character, hire for it, test it and develop it. If the saying “What gets measured gets delivered” is true, it is important to have these measurement tools to provide us a path to elevate the conversation about character.

If we want to tackle the issues in front of us and act purposefully so future generations prosper, creative destruction is required. We need to disrupt ourselves, our mindsets, our behaviors, our cultures and our systems if we are to cocreate the future that is possible for all of us. The inspiring news is that we have thought leaders, academics, business leaders, public sector and nonprofit institutions and political leaders aligned with solving issues. Who is serving as a model in your life to move forward?

 

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, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Maureen Metcalf, CEO of the Innovative Leadership Institute, is a renowned executive advisor, coach, consultant, author and speaker.

Photo by Johan Bos

 

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