Life Coaching Notes on the Art of Possibility


The Art of Possibility” was written by Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and Rosamund Zander, who is a psychologist and painter. The two combined their unique professional and personal experiences to co-create a wonderful book outlining innovative paradigms to discover and embrace all the wonderful opportunities we have to create our most successful lives.


As a life coach I’d like to share just  a couple of their incredible insights for leading a more meaningful and fulfilling life: giving an “A” and making a contribution. 


Giving an A


On the first day of class at the New England Conservatory of Music, Zander announces to his class, “Everyone gets an A.”  There’s only one condition – students have to submit a letter, written on that first day but dated the following May, that begins: “Dear Mr. Zander, I got my A because…” In other words, students have to define what will justify an A grade at the beginning of the course.


Or in Zander’s own words, “An A is not an expectation to live up to, but a possibility to live into.”

Most people recognize that the main function of grades is to compare one student against another. While this may make grading easier, it doesn’t provide any real indication of a student’s performance or progress. What would happen, however, if we embraced Michelangelo’s famous assertion that inside every block of stone or marble dwells a beautiful statue – and we only need to remove the excess to discover the work of art within?


When this visionary concept is applied to the grading system, it quickly becomes apparent that it’s pointless to compare one student to another.  Instead, all the energy would be focused on chipping away at the stone, getting rid of whatever is in the way of a person’s developing skills, mastery and self-expression.


Giving an A at the outset levels the playing field so that we can move away from a place of measurement.  Suddenly, success is no longer a quantitative measurement – it’s a qualitative value.  This new level playing field allows people to communicate freely and easily, uninterrupted by the anxiety and fear of failure.  The grade is no longer an expectation, or obsession, to live up to.  Rather, it becomes a possibility to live into, which is a much more powerful approach.


Zander then states that giving an A “invites and recognizes a universal desire in people to contribute to others, no matter how many barriers there are to its expression.”


Making a contribution


Unlike success and failure, contribution has no other side.  Wake up each and every day with the question: “How will I be a contribution today?”  This will help you feel that every day you wake up, you’re making yourself a gift to others. You can visit Discover You Coaching to know more details about life coaching.


Declare yourself to be a contribution. Throw yourself into life as someone who makes a difference, accepting that you may not understand how or why.  Rewards in the contribution game are of a deep and rewarding kind. 


Fame Audit: Cameron Diaz

NAME: Cameron Diaz

AUDIT DATE: November 6, 2000

AGE: 28


EXPERIENCE: 22 movies since 1994


What can we say about a model-turned-actress whose career climax came (as it were) when she used artificial spooge as styling gel?

After an opening like that…really, not much.

Cameron Diaz is not the first attractive woman of middling talent to achieve career success as an actor. And she has succeeded — both financially (commanding $12,000,000 for the big-screen remake of Charlie’s Angels, and critically (in last year’s Being John Malkovich). She’s been featured on the covers of countless glossy rags, often proudly displaying the crack of her ass (as she also did at this year’s MTV Movie Awards). And every time you see that huge grin of hers, you just know she’s got the world on a string. Or, by the tail. Or something.

Especially now, in the blitz of publicity surrounding the release of Charlie’s Angels, as she turns up on TRL holding hands with her comely colleagues, and appears in promo after promo wagging her ass at the camera, doing the Robot, or cheerfully instructing a UPS dude to “feel free to stick things in [her] slot,” we really have to ask whether Cameron Diaz merits all the attention she gets.

The first claim that Diaz supporters will make is that she is beautiful. And, of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and who are we to say she isn’t? But in this beholder’s eye, Diaz isn’t really that pretty. In fact, she has a bit of the pug about her. Back in the My Best Friend’s Wedding era, one of the critics at Girls On Film described Diaz as having “a face like a shriveled pea” — a description we remember all these three years later because we thought it so apt at the time. A great body? Yes. That we grant. A pretty face? Eh, not so much.

Then, there’s Diaz’s reputation as a comic actress — a veritable Carole Lombard for the millennium. Of course, Carole Lombard never had to share the stage with a terrier in a body cast. And other than the widely fêted There’s Something About Mary — in which she was upstaged by the dog, the spooge, the overly tanned neighbor, the retarded brother, Jonathan Richman, Chris Elliott, and Brett Favre — and Wedding — in which all she had to do was…not be evil, and sing really badly — Diaz’s comic career has been a series of misses interspersed with a tiny handful of hits. In The Last Supper, Feeling Minnesota, She’s the One, A Life Less Ordinary, Very Bad Things, and Any Given Sunday, Diaz plays variations of the same ice princess/cast-iron bitch archetype, only melting into a redeemed human being in some of the above. Far more often than she plays a sparkling, grinning comedy writer’s wet dream, Diaz plays a snarling, screeching ball-breaker. Don’t get us wrong — we’re not saying she’s any better attempting the latter than she is the former, but at least as a ball-breaker, she has more professional experience.

This week, Diaz added “leaping, kicking crime fighter” to the shortlist of types she’s played — although, really, in Charlie’s Angels, her ability to perform choreographed kicks while suspended in a body harness is secondary to her ability to wear a succession of low-cut outfits displaying the wide expanse of the chest where her cleavage most decidedly is not. (We like to call that area her “tat,” because…well, you get it.) And it’s not that we begrudge Cameron Diaz her rightful piece of the schlocky-action-movie pie; it’s just that we don’t think she deserves any girl-power props or disproportionate praise for her alleged comic gifts when all she’s really done for us lately is act as an animate mannequin for a teeny, tiny wardrobe.


  • Gets cast in a lot of big-buzz movies
  • She’s a brick house. She’s mighty mighty, lettin’ it all hangout.
  • No longer dating Matt Dillon


  • Name means “Shrimp Days” in Spanish
  • Reportedly [insert “sniff-sniff” gesture here]
  • Can’t actually act

Fame Barometer

Current approximate level of fame: Jennifer Aniston

Deserved approximate level of fame: Rebecca Gayheart

For more juicy gossip and reviews on the latest and greatest, hot from Hollywood, visit Hollywood Insider.

Cheating Husbands and Learned Helplessness

Why would anyone want to know if they had a cheating husband?

I’ll tell you why. They want to know the truth!

It’s Better To Know Than To Not Know

Maybe that’s you. Maybe you have come to the place where it is better to know than to not know, who is calling your spouse or who is calling your boyfriend or girlfriend. It is better to know the truth than to lie awake, night after night, tossing and turning as you wrestle with the fear of the unknown.

Or maybe you know, in your heart of hearts, that he is cheating. That’s better than not knowing! You can also hire a service such as Are You Cheating to prove your suspicions. Either way, it is better to get everything out in the open than to live in the dark.

The only way to move forward is from a foundation of truth. One Biblical saying is that “The truth can set you free.” Of course, a similar saying can be found in any book of wisdom across all of human existence. Why? Because it’s true. If we never face the truth we are actually moving backward and giving in to fear and hopelessness.Learned Helplessness

Learned helplessness is a term that comes from animal psychology that has also been accepted as a part of human psychology. Learned helplessness is “the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses result from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation” (Seligman, 1975). The details of the experiments that led to the insight of learned helplessness can be easily found with a Google search. But for the point of this article, allow me to summarize the results in three points:

  1. Research animals (dogs) that were not able to find a way to escape their pain (electric shocks) laid down and gave up. They “learned” their helplessness after trying many times to escape the pain and never succeeding.
  2. Of the dogs that were put in a similar situation later on, but with a way of escape built into the experiment, two-thirds did not even try to escape but laid down and gave up once again.
  3. However, one-third of the dogs that had seemingly learned to be helpless, overcame their helplessness and escaped. They had what researchers called an optimism that was realistic; they were able to perceive the source of the pain as “other than personal, pervasive, or permanent.”

Did you catch that third point? They were able to overcome their past depression and hopelessness to see beyond the current source of their pain and take action–they escaped. They believed (in some dog way) that the pain was not permanent and could come to an end.

In every experiment about learned helplessness, the common element was the subject’s belief about control. If they felt they could gain control, they were able to escape.

How about you? Will you choose action and regain control over your emotions and your future? Will you take a step to either try to save your marriage or at least move on with your life?

Take Action

Which of the two reactions to the doubts, fears, and depression in your life will you choose? Only by taking an action to confront the source of your pain–to know the truth about the future of your marriage–can you get to the other side and escape the agony you are in of not knowing if it can be saved or if it is over.

Take that plunge, find the courage, and seek out the truth. I’ve been where you are! But I found a step-by-step course you and your spouse can go through in the privacy of your own home. It is written by professionals with over 1,000 testimonials of saved marriages to back them up.

So you think you need to hire a PI? Now what?

When someone mentions “Private Investigator”, all sorts of things come to mind. Mostly thoughts about some dark, dingy office hidden away in some back alley. Trench coats, booze in the desk drawer and unpaid bar tabs down the street at the local pub. Let’s face it – this is a romantic exciting lifestyle – at least it is if you watch TV!

But in real life, most people know nothing about what a PI is really all about. Hiring one is not something that you do everyday. How do you find one? Will I get ripped off? Is it expensive? These are some of the questions that you will have as you look through the phone book over the countless ads that you will find.

Here are some good basic tips that will help you out.

First of all, take a moment to visit your States Government web site and find out what the licensing requirements are for your state. By doing so you will have a better idea of what the requirements are for investigative agencies. For example, if Florida, you must hire the “agency” and not the individual “investigator”. Therefore, all licensed investigators must work for an agency. Even if it’s a one man operation – there must be an agency license and and individual investigator license.

Once you know the state requirements you should contact them and ask to verify that the license is valid. You can also inquire into whether there have been any complaints or charges filed against them.

The next thing you want to know about is insurance. Some states may not require an agency to carry insurance. You would want to hire one that has coverage so you should ask to see proof of insurance such as a certificate of insurance.

Another way to look for a good agency is to check with a State organization for investigators. If there is an active organization in your state, most top notch investigators will belong to it. You can contact them and look through their directory listing and more than likely find several agencies in your area.

Look at their website. Find out what areas they specialize in, and make sure they are able to handle your type of case. For example, Are You Cheating, is a company that can help you handle suspected infidelity.

You can ask for references, but don’t be surprised if you don’t get any. Most people who hire an investigator don’t want to talk about with others. You may get references from law firms and other professional businesses, but not from individuals.

It is not uncommon for investigators to work out of their homes. So you should not hold this against someone just because they don’t have a big flashy office with lots of overhead. Today, with computers playing such an important part of the investigators tool bag, it’s easy to work from a home office. This actually makes it easier for some investigators who work a lot of strange hours such as required for domestic cases and insurance fraud work. 

Ask a lot of questions. Go for an interview. You need to feel confident and comfortable that they know and understand what you are looking for. Every good investigator will “listen” to you and be able to offer you some ideas, suggestions and advice to help you with your needs.

Hiring an investigator doesn’t have to be a hard thing to do. Do some research and try and find someone that you feel good about. Then let them do what they are trained to do. Give them the time they need to properly do their job. Most investigations don’t happen overnight, so relax, let them do their job. You can always get status reports on the progress as they are moving along.

Good luck!

Anorexia Nervosa

Avoiding, eating the required quantities of food and hence associated weight loss that is not healthy and is excessive. It is common among people who fear unwanted weight gain which is unnecessary in most cases. Anorexia nervosa might be caused by too much exercise, excessive restriction of diet, etc.


  • Individuals who are underweight fear becoming obese.
  • Who have an abnormal body shape and do not comprehend the gravity of weight loss.
  • Menstrual cycles not occurring for 3 months.
  • Victims might not eat at all or if forced to eat, vomit all the food forcefully.
  • Unnecessary use of water pills, diet pills, laxatives, etc.
  • Feeling depressed.
  • Yellowish coloration of skin covered by hair.
  • Delirium, lack of judgment.
  • Dryness of the mouth.
  • Weakness of the bones.
  • Feeling cold when it is not very cold.
  • Atrophy in several areas of the body and
  • Loss of fat in the body.


The exact causes of the disorder have not been identified as of yet. However, it has been attributed to several factors that might cause the condition like

  • Hormones
  • Genetic Factors
  • Social conditions

The risk factors include:

  • Imposing strict rules on themselves.
  • Over attentive to details like weight, shape appearance, etc.
  • Problems related to eating during childhood.
  • Anxiety disorders as a child.
  • Thinking low of one’s appearance.

Prevalence: The disorder is highly prevalent in women especially among the women belonging to a family that gives more importance to self-respect. It can also occur in men.


Diagnosis involves a set of tests that confirm the disorder by testing for diseases like Addison’s, celiac, and inflammatory bowel disorders all of which might be responsible for the loss of weight.

If the patient is tested to be negative then the tests to find the cause of the weight loss and the extent of damage caused by weight loss are found out. They include:

  • Levels of Albumin.
  • Bone density check.
  • Complete Blood Count.
  • Kidney tests.
  • Liver functioning tests.
  • Protein levels check.
  • Thyroid function tests.
  • Analysis of urine sample.


Treatment of the patients is really a tough job, as the individuals do not realize that they have a disorder. Also, they do not approach the doctor until the condition of the disease is worse.

The Psychosocial treatment includes:

  • Improving social interaction.
  • Decreasing unnecessary exercise.
  • Following proper diet time-tables.
  • CBT.

Proper psychological support has proven time and time again to be beneficial in disorder treatment and recovery. Visit Estadt Psychological Services to find the right professional for you.

The somatic treatment includes drugs to aid in depression or anxiety and no reliable drugs to treat weight loss are available.

  • Antidepressants.
  • Olanzapine.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

In severe cases, hospitalization might be required to treat malnutrition and weakness.


Identifying the change in the individual and helping them understand the complications, talk therapy, healthy maintenance of weight, and diet are useful in the prevention of the disease. This might not be possible in all cases as early identification is difficult.


40% of the cases diagnosed in recent times are girls between the ages of 14-20.

Almost 1% of the women in the world have anorexia nervosa and they are majorly from the urban lifestyles

90% of the anorexia cases occur in women.


Rush 2013

This has to be the best race car driving film I have ever seen. Based on the true story of the British James Hunt and the Austrian Niki Lauda, whose rivalry fed many a media story in the 1970s, Rush focuses on this very phase of their careers and lives.


Born to wealthy parents, both Hunt and Lauda went against their families to pursue their car racing careers, and through their own narrative voices, both men’s fears and motivations are unraveled through the film. They are as distinct from each other as an outgoing playboy can be from a reclusive geek, and the manner in which they pursue ultimate victory is also very different, but they are both driven by ambition and passion, qualities which unite them. And somewhere along the way, mistakes are made – mistakes, which cost them both heavily (although the price Lauda pays is far more obvious).


Hunt is played by Chris Hemsworth, who has never looked better and has most definitely never acted better. He slips into the character effortlessly and surprises in many a moment with priceless expressions and excellent delivery of dialogue. He is instantly likable as Hunt, which is exactly how it is supposed to be. Lauda is played by Daniel Brühl, an actor who has never disappointed me in any films of his that I have seen (from Good Bye, Lenin! and The Edukators a decade back to the more recent, and more American, Inglourious Basterds). Brühl makes Lauda a difficult one to like, but an easy one to respect. He grows on you through the film, as he must have grown on Hunt in real life. Watching them both on screen is a pleasure and every scene is perfectly acted, directed, edited and timed.


Peter Morgan‘s screenplay is very well-balanced – and offers just the right proportions of drama, comedy, style and above all, the rush of the races. The driving scenes are well-shot but are also at times interspersed with actual footage, to push the adrenaline just that much more. The film is ably directed by Ron Howard, who I have always considered a very hit (Apollo 13, Ransom, Frost/Nixon) and miss (Far and Away, The Da Vinci Code and even *gasp* A Beautiful Mind) filmmaker. Here, there isn’t a note out of place, a scene too long, an emotion too high-strung. Definitely one of the best films he’s been at the helm of.


I wouldn’t say that Rush is so good that it can not be missed – though in a year when film after film has disappointed me, this comes as a breath of fresh air – but I can say that it should not be missed. For pure entertainment and a lesson in sports history, I highly recommend it.


For more film reviews, visit Hollywood Insider.


Blades of Glory

Blades of Glory (2007) DreamWorks Distribution LLC

1 hr. 33 mins.

Starring: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Jenna Fischer, Craig T. Nelson, Luke Wilson, William Fichtner, William Daniels, Nick Swardson, Romany Malco

Directed by: Josh Gordon and Will Speck


Pointless formulaic silly-minded comedies—they must be the rage these days because they keep popping up more than a stubborn zit on a high school computer geek’s forehead. As for the manic master of these moronic farces—Will Ferrell—he’s simply safeguarding his investment as he continues to strut around in these redundant throwaway laughers. Much like Ferrell’s fellow Saturday Night Live alum Adam Sandler, they both enjoyed a cult following on Lorne Michaels’s long-running and groundbreaking NBC sketch comedy. Of course, the popularity of these comics stuck with them as they headed for greener pastures on the big screen.


The riotous Ferrell has milked situational movie comedies with moderate success. In Anchorman, Ferrell found satire in pompous newsmen and local news television. Talladega Nights poked wicked fun at the NASCAR circuit and its rabid fans. Now Ferrell explores the competitive nature of figure ice-skating in the wacky laugher Blades of Glory. Predictably goofy-minded and off-centered, Blades is a desired guilty pleasure for Ferrell fans that want to park their funny bones at the nearest skating rink. Although relentlessly ridiculous in its twirling figure-8 foolishness, Blades of Glory is a frozen, freakish farce that constantly tickles the numbing noggin.


Co-directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (along with co-screenwriters Jeff and Craig Cox) concoct a display of infantilism that strangely works on the scale of wayward hilarity. Blades of Glory doesn’t measure up on the “hearty hoot” charts in comparison to some of the other mindless free-spirited fare that Farrell and co-star Jon “Napoleon Dynamite” Heder have been involved with previously. Still, Ferrell and Heder give Blades the nonsensical and nutty allure to persist as an empty-minded vehicle for off-kilter gags. So if you don’t mind the inevitable scenario of watching “Ricky Bobby and Napoleon Dynamite lacing up their skates” then it’s suggested that you check your brain cells at the door.


Chazz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Heder) are rival skaters that end up teaming together in the long run. First, both men are subjected to being banned from the men’s singles competition after their well-known personal conflicts escalate into public feuding. Resorting to menial jobs that involve skating on a low level the guys eventually get back into the ice-skating game on a technical loophole—they can actually compete in the pair’s division. The question remains this: will the overly aggressive pot-bellied Chazz—a former world champion figure skater—learn to co-exist with his effeminate blonde choreograph-loving partner Jimmy? Clearly, the two combatants play like The Odd Couple meet the Ice Capades.


In order to ensure that Chazz and Jimmy click in championship form they are being trained by Jimmy’s tough-as-nails former coach (Emmy-winning actor Craig T. Nelson). In fact, the Michaels-MacElroy connection must prevail if they are to face the music and challenge the presence of a fanatical championship-proven brother-sister act (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler). Can Chazz and Jimmy conquer their differences and concentrate on the ultimate prize at large? Will this one-joke premise of a movie rise to the climatic occasion? How will our troubled tandem hilariously take on the self-absorbed skating siblings?


For the sake of offering a lazy conclusion, Blades of Glory is what it is…meaningless mockery meant to impishly ridicule the conventional nature of figure ice-skating. This is yet another sports-oriented chuckler where the random high jinks are thrown in to see if anything sticks to the wall of blind wit. Invariably, Blades of Glory certainly has its fair share of arbitrary gay-induced jokes and the smirking ice-skating sight gags are frequently palatable. The reaction to Ferrell and Heder basically playing the familiar schtick is a mixed bag—on one hand, it is a welcomed slaphappy occurrence to behold. However, Ferrell and Heder also flirt with grating on the nerves, too. The movie can be cheap and insulting at times but also surprisingly inspired in its inane presentation.


Figure skating enthusiasts will probably get a kick out of the cameos of ice-loving icons such as Nancy Kerrigan, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, Sacha Cohen as well as old school vets Dorothy Hamill and Peggy Fleming. The supporting players contribute to the loopy spirit as intended. Nelson is gleefully menacing as the demanding coach that is determined to whip the boorish Chazz and anal retentive Jimmy into shape. Jenna Fischer (from NBC-TV’s “The Office”) effectively sparkles as Jimmy’s love-interest-to-be. Current SNL cast member Poehler and Arnett are deviously fun-loving as the vile opponents. As for the leading lunatics in Ferrell and Heder they convincingly ham it up as they only know how to do in delightfully dimwitted, free-wheeling fashion.


This is not what one would call a high concept comedy. Nevertheless, Blades of Glory offers a big finish on the ice as the sideline judges (mainly the audience) will ultimately decide the scoring on the cards. Hey, one can never get enough of watching Ferrell parade around in his briefs while screeching the catchy tune “My Humps”, right? Curiously for some, this may even sweeten the pot more. Go figure, huh?


For more in-depth reviews on your favorite Hollywood movies and television, visit Hollywood Insider.

Movie Review: Transformers (2007)

A review of the 2007 live-action movie version of the popular 80s cartoon, Transformers. 3.5/5

Millennia ago, a battle waged on the planet, Cybertron – a planet of bio-organic robots. The heroic Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, battled the evil Decepticons, whose leader, Megatron, wanted to capture the Allspark, a cube that gives unlimited power to whoever possesses it. The Autobots managed to launch the Allspark into space, but Megatron chased after it. He tracked it to Earth but crashed into the Arctic Ocean, freezing his system into lockdown. He lied there under the ice until 1850 when Captain Witwicky came across Megatron’s body during an expedition. His crew dug it up and the U.S. government took possession of it all the following years.


It is now the present day and we find Spike Witwicky, the great-grandson of Captain Witwicky, in high school. His father helps him buy his first car from a scrupulous car dealer. Spike finds a beat-up sports car and buys it. The car later turns out to be the Autobot Bumblebee, who was sent to protect Spike and Captain Witwicky’s glasses, which have the coordinates to the Allspark imprinted on them. The Decepticons show up to get the glasses, Allspark, and free Megatron. Optimus Prime and the Autobots land on Earth to join Bumblebee and regain possession of the Allspark before the Decepticons do. Spike and a girl named Mikaela join forces with the Autobots to outrun the U.S. defense department without harming any humans, battle the Decepticons, capture the Allspark, and save Earth from enslavement.


Director Michael Bay brings Transformers once again to the big screen, but this time it is live-action! Fans from the 1980s cult classic cartoon series, with a line of toys that has never ceased production ever since have long-awaited the time when their beloved cartoon would be given the live-action treatment. It took twenty years for the technology to become advanced enough to give an adequate portrayal of the robots. It was well worth the wait!


Hardcore, old school fans of the 1980s show and toys were against some of the changes in the live-action movie. Many of these changes had to be made based on trademarks, corporate red tape, age of the voice actors, technology, and other logistics. While some of the changes will not sit well with some fans, none are that bad as to ruin the movie experience.


To get the most enjoyment out of this movie, it is best not to compare it to the original series. In addition, it is best that the movie is seen in the eyes of an alternate universe unto itself, where the story is separate from that seen in the 1980s show. If that can be done, the movie will be a more fun ride.


The story is simple enough to be thoroughly enjoyable, yet complex enough to have some depth. It offers a fair balance to entertain everyone. The sci-fi element is enhanced by the fact that this more of a “them versus us” theme, similar to “War of the Worlds.” It has a bit more depth than the show of the 1980s.


Since the main characters are giant robots, it makes sense that a considerable amount of the $147 million budget is mostly spent on the robot effects. A mix of CGI (by ILM) and ten close-up props (by KNB Effects) is used, including Optimus Prime’s head, Bumblebee’s robot mode, Megatron’s legs, and Blackout’s feet.


The robots do look very good. For the diehard fans, the new designs of the robots are vastly different from their original counterparts. While the 1980s robots looked blocky, the new robots have more organic and humanoid bodies and faces which creates more of a wiry, alien appearance. It might take some getting used to by some viewers. Overall, the robots do look more alien-like, which is a positive considering that they really are aliens. The vehicle forms are updated with modern vehicle alternate forms based on present-day civilian and military vehicles.


The voice actors are a serious point of contention with diehard fans. Producer Don Murphy listened to feedback from Transformers fans and set out to hire some of the original voice actors from the cartoon. What we got were just two of the original voice actors. The biggest positive is that Peter Cullen once again voices Optimus Prime! We also got Charles Adler to voice the Decepticon Starscream. He voiced the Autobot Silverbolt in the show.


The biggest negative is that Frank Welker was not chosen to reprise the voice of Megatron. He and Cullen were auditioned personally by director Michael Bay, who worried that their aged voices would be noticeable. Welker’s voice was deemed to have aged too much and did not suit Megatron’s new alien look. Hugo Weaving received the role. However, Welker does reprise his role as Megatron in “Transformers: The Game” (2007). Welker’s Megatron is greatly missed.


The rest of the voice cast gives an adequate performance but no one stands out.


The human cast boasts several big names. Shia LaBeouf is the starring actor who plays young Sam Witwicky. Megan Fox plays Mikaela Banes. Veteran actors Jon Voight plays Defense Secretary, John Keller, and John Turturro plays Agent Simmons. Bernie Mac plays Bobby Bolivia, the used car salesman. And Anthony Anderson plays Glen Whitmann, a computer hacker.


The cast gives a great performance without many negative comments to be made.


At over two hours and twenty minutes, this is a very long movie. About a quarter of it is used on two side stories. One is Sam’s romantic interest in Mikaela and the comedic goings on related to that. The other is the small side track of Glen Whitmann, a computer hacker. The movie would have run smoother and faster without these two side plots. Also, there are quite a few humorous parts tossed in that detract from the Transformers side of the movie, which should be its focus. The humor is not overdone, so it is not entirely unwelcome. After all, it is based on a toy! There is some sexual innuendo but it is very small in retrospect and no nudity. Very few curse words are used in the film. It maintains a PG-13 rating, in case the parents out there are concerned.


Overall, “Transformers” (2007) is a fun and entertaining ride that provides plenty of action, sci-fi, and thrills that are sure to please old school Transformers fans as well as the younger generation of future Transformers fans.

Have you watched Transformers? What did you think? Check out more of the best movie reviews and Hollywood entertainment news at Hollywood Insider.

Definition of Outsourcing Reinvented

Outsourcing definitions abound, but most of these definitions carry the same essence. Similarly, consulting a dictionary for the definition of outsourcing would almost always yield a definition describing outsourcing as an act, of an established company, of availing the services of another firm to handle critical and non-critical business tasks. However, a more sophisticated definition of outsourcing would add another clause – that the outsourced company be an expert of the required services by the outsourcing company. Simply put, outsourcing is the corporate method of delegating processes, services, and transactions to a third party firm. In turn, these processes are done by the third party firm on behalf of the outsourcing client. Meaning, the third party firm represents the client in carrying out these business processes.


The definition of outsourcing and this is in partial consideration of the people involved in the outsourcing industry, can be stated as such: Outsourcing is a type of contracting whereby the outsourcing client provides the specifications and requirements of the business process to be outsourced. Although the outsourced firm complies with the requirements of its client, the management of the operations and its people is done independently by the outsourced firm. Hence, there is no ownership of the outsourced firm by the outsourcing company, nor is there a direct employer and employee relationship between the outsourcing company and the employees of the outsourced firm.


Given the definition of outsourcing, one is compelled or more appropriately, led to think how this innovative business solution started. Outsourcing goes way back thousands of years ago with the manufacture and trade of various goods. With the formation of small communities and the emergence of a trading society, people with specialized skills began to exchange their respective services for goods such as foods and tools. From woodworking and blacksmithing, people would barter their products or sell them for other products of equivalent value. This ancient form of outsourcing also evolved along with the advancement of society – evolving into the modern factories where the raw materials are sourced from a supplier to be manufactured by a different company. But, far from being a need to fill a lack, modern-day outsourcing is driven by other reasons: cost savings, highly skilled manpower, increased productivity, and opportunity to allocate time and effort to more important aspects of the business.


If at all the current definition of outsourcing and modern outsourcing practices are to be considered, there is one common thread among them – dynamism. From freelancers specializing in various skills like writing, customer service, and decorating, outsourcing also crossed over to other disciplines like finance. Accounting and computation of taxes are done by a freelance accountant, lawyers are hired to defend for a client, and there are advertising agencies to market products and services. However, the definition of outsourcing also evolved on a much larger scale. Companies solely dedicated to performing commonly outsourced business tasks have emerged, giving a new dimension to the outsourcing processes. The dynamism of its definition and its processes make outsourcing the way of life for modern businesses.


To get more information about outsourcing and remote offshore staff leasing, visit Solvo Global.


Before You Fire Someone

One of the biggest drags on productivity is an employee who under-performs in their job. When someone’s not pulling their share of the load, you’re not getting your money’s worth from them, and probably not getting the job done.


Still, before even the most justified firing, most managers experience a slow, agonizing burn of their patience for a long time. Then one day, the pot boils over and in a fit of anger, the boss fires someone on the spot.


Big mistake!


To make firing a substandard performer as swift, clean, and painless for everyone involved, be sure to follow these ten steps.


Be clear about job performance expectations. Ideally, you have written guidelines for what work is to be done, and how it is to be done. You can’t hold someone accountable for unstated standards.


Provide timely, thorough and helpful feedback. Your primary goal is to help someone get up to speed, not build a case for dismissal.


Along with your coaching, document your observations. Keep a record of both progress and specific shortcomings.


Formally review performance in a scheduled face-to-face meeting. Explain to the employee that his or her performance is not acceptable and is not progressing as it must. Be specific. Cite examples.


After laying out your performance observations, give the employee an opportunity to provide you with information. Maybe the training was inadequate, the instructions confusing, the equipment deficient. Listen with an open mind. Be fair. And offer to be of help. Accept that you may need to play a very active role to help someone catch up to where they need to be.


Give the employee who is not making progress the opportunity to transfer to someplace else in the company, especially if he or she acknowledges that the job isn’t going well, and probably won’t. A poor performance in one area does not make someone a poor performer. They may be toiling in frustration because they are in the wrong job for their talents, skills, and interests.


Following your performance conversation, provide the employee with a written record of your review. Put a copy in your files, and send one to the human resources department.


Give the employee a reasonable opportunity to right the wrong. Sometimes simply bringing the deficient performance to someone’s attention, and letting them know that it matters, is all that it takes to get a wayward employee on the right path. Or you can even take him to a motivational speech event with the team.


Monitor progress closely. If you don’t see sustained correction, again, formally review the performance and be clear that continued employment is predicated on working up to your published standard. Don’t be oblique. At this point, deliver a clear ultimatum: Do the job as prescribed or you won’t have it. Period.


If, after coaching, encouraging and fairly evaluating the performance still lags, pull the plug cleanly and without delay. Don’t let the wayward employee linger in their post. When it’s time to make the break, do it directly, quickly, and clearly. Thank the person for trying, wish them well in a position that is better suited for them. And then see to it that they depart for their new and inevitably better life.

One other thing. With new hires who quickly don’t look as good on the job as they did in the interview, correct sooner rather than later. And be prepared to fire in the same manner.


Quickly intervene the moment you detect that the new employee is off course. If, after providing ample feedback and support, you don’t see serious correction, act swiftly. No one is served by prolonging the prelude to the inevitable. The sooner you cut a subpar performer, the sooner you can devote your energies to getting someone better suited into the position and performing at full throttle.


If you have a probationary period, use it; don’t wait. Do everyone a favor and eliminate the misery sooner rather than later. That is always in everyone’s best interest.