The Book of Life – A Sweet Love Story


The movie was released during Halloween, but it was not a scary movie,

instead it was a sweet love story where two guys fell in love with the same girl and both tried their best to win her heart.


And I find it very rare that the movie with the scenes of the graveyard and tombstones actually portrayed gladness, not sadness.

The graveyard was full of vibrant colours, with many adults coming to visit their family members who had passed away, and the children happily playing around and laughing cheerfully. There were bright candles everywhere, and the scene was very warm and the connection between the living and the dead were homely and family-like.


The movie followed the lives of Manolo and Joaquin, the two boys who fought for the heart of the beautiful Maria. They traced very different path, while Manolo became a bull fighter to follow the family’s tradition, Joaquin joined the army, rose through the rank and became a hero. Their positions were very different, but their feelings for Maria were the same, and never changed. Now it’s up to Maria, already grown up to become a charming young woman, to choose who to give her heart.


Sound like a typical love story, and quite a boring one?

Luckily not. There would be nothing interesting, if the story only ended there. But behind the pure, untainted love, there is another layer, another story, a wager between the La Muerte, ruler of the Remember, the underworld where the souls of those who were still remembered stayed, and Xibalba, the ruler of the Forget, the underworld where the souls of those who were no longer remembered, stayed.


Those were two vastly different worlds, one filled with lights and music and happiness, while the other full of darkness and cold and sadness. And the wager was on the two guys, to see who would win the heart of the girl. So it was no longer a simple love story, but the outcome would have great impact on the order of the world. Unfortunately, the guys never knew about that until very much later, and as usual, it was not a really fair game.


The movie had very strong Mexican / Spanish characteristics.

The architecture, the setup, the colour, the music and the characters are distinctively Spanish. They also had Spanish accents. That made it quite different from the normal Disney fairytale, where the colours were pinkish and the characters all looked similar, like being drawn from the same blueprint.


The different drawing style gave the move an interesting edge, and the music was simply awesome. Manolo the bull fighter had a loving heart, and preferring belting out tunes with his guitar to fighting bulls in arena. There was not really a bad guy here, since both Manolo and Joaquin were just pawns in the game between La Muerte and Xibalba, and each of them had own strategy to win the game.


BOL_0101_beauty5K_c1_0 – CHANNING TATUM voices Joaquin, Manolo’s best friend and the town hero whose good nature competes with his ambitions and his competitive spirit.

As in almost all other fairytales, the movie had a happy ending, where both guys realised the truth that there was no point for them fighting over the girl, and they joined hand to defeat their real enemy. The order of the world stayed intact, and everyone was happy.


Of course, some of them were disadvantaged, but the overall outcome was still not bad at all. It’s like Zeus still ruling Olympus, and Hades ruling Underworld, like the fact since the beginning. And that is the beauty of fairytales. Somebody gets more, somebody gets less, but nobody gets nothing. A compromise that is happy for everyone.


Overall, it was a feel good movie.

Not so outstanding like Frozen, but got some interesting moments and was a nice introduction to the Spanish culture, which is deemed quite exotic and unfamiliar to most of the viewers, especially those who live in Asia or Australia. The movie was vibrant with strong, hot colours from beginning to end, and full of beautiful music. In fact, the music was so nice that I got impulsed to go to iTunes and purchase the OST shortly after leaving the cinema.


For those who are still not convinced, listen to this song and you will know what I meant:



It’s time to enter the maze

THE MAZE RUNNER A group of Gladers led by Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) react to a shocking discovery in THE MAZE RUNNER. TM and © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.

They were thrown in the maze.

They got stuck in the maze.

They got out of the maze.


Yes, that’s pretty much the backbone of the story. It was not the most sophisticated movie in the world, and the story is not the most innovative and creative story in the world either. But it does not mean it cannot be fun and entertaining.

The Maze Runner, 2014

The story was about a group of teenagers who found themselves pushed into the central of the maze, unaware of where they were and what happened to them, and had to regroup themselves to take care of each other and find the way out through the treacherous maze. However, despite their efforts, the way out seemed to elude them time and time again, until the appearance of Thomas and Teresa changed the balance and gave them some hope again.


This is basically a story of survival, the story of how those kids fought against the odds, made use of whatever tools available to them, grouped themselves together to take care of each other, built a mini society and took the roles in it, and continued fighting for a normal future outside the maze, to get back their old lives, which had been taken from them and which they had no idea how or why. It’s like watching survival, on the big screen, with kids as the players.


 By now, you may have known that this movie was actually adapted from the first book of a trilogy. That might be the reason why the story is not too lame, with a surprising twist in the end that opened up the story so that it could be developed further. There was no lack of actions, and the thrill level was kept high throughout the movie, as we followed the teenagers’ desperate efforts to find their way out of the maze, knowing that their days were numbered and the longer they delayed, the worse fate they would be suffering as their enemies were merciless, monstrous killing machines. However, I still feel that the movie is lacking something that can transform it from good to great. Maybe some star power, or potential star power (think Jennifer Lawrence or Shailene Woodley). Or maybe some romance to soften it down. I’m not sure. And I am also not sure whether this will just be a medium success or it will be a game changing franchise like Harry Potter or Twilight. But for the later to come true, there must be a major success in the second movie, as I did not really see it in this first instalment.


This movie introduces a new actress, Kaya Scoledario. She has starred in a few movies and TV series so far, but none very popular, and mostly small supporting role. This can be considered the first time she is in a lead role in a blockbuster, and according to the Hollywood formula, her future success will tie closely to the success of this franchise. So far, some have managed to ride on and become big superstars, while some have failed miserably and disappeared from the scene. Will she fail or will she success? Time will tell, but I feel even if the movies may not be huge success, it will still be enough for her to attain a certain level of star success and celebrity status. She is beautiful, she can act. What else  do you want to ask? Maybe a bit of luck, which is still on her side, at least for now.

THE MAZE RUNNER TM and © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.

She is an actress, and also a model. A simple search will throw up a lot of photos that she has taken for various ads and magazines, and so far they look really good. So, nothing to complain.


Her signature smile. Quite charming and heart melting. And her eyes have an amazing emerald shade.


More and more photos of this budding beauty for your viewing pleasure. Now you can forget what the movie is about altogether 🙂

The Blacklist Season 2: Lord Baltimore


So, after a long long wait, the Blacklist is finally back. And, oh it’s good.

The story continued what it left off in the finale of season 1, with Red continued chasing Berlin and those who works for him. This time, it is even more exciting, as Berlin is finally in town, directly turning the wheel and playing the cat and mouse game with Red. The rest of the characters are just the pawns in the chess game set up by these 2 formidable enemies. It’s something like Sherlock Holmes vs Professor Moriarty, and I love seeing it unfold that way.

The Blacklist
Photo from the episode “Lord Baltimore”

Compared to the first season, this episode is better constructed, with deeper plot, more twists and turns, and more punches. The integration of cyber criminals into the plot lends a fresh, modern touch to the story, and the double extraction is nicely executed, leaving me confused at times, which is good. And the best thing in this episode is the introduction of a new character, Red’s ex-wife, who, I believe, will play a crucial role in the game from now on. What Berlin does to her will force Red to be more decisive, determined, ruthless and quicker in his actions, as he is literally facing a time bomb, and things will surely get exciting soon.


Last but not least, you should watch the trailer of the next episode. It’s simply awesome, and it promises another thrilling episode coming your way next week.


Some more photos of the episode

How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk (Book Review)

Apart from the boring compulsory reading for my part time Masters course, which I hope to complete soon, I have been reading an interesting book called “How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk”.


(Click on the image if you want to purchase the book for yourself)

It’s a pretty interesting and useful book, especially for young parents and first time parents like us, who are quite clueless on what to expect, what to do and how to react when difficult situations happen. It teaches us how to react appropriately, how to control ourselves so that we won’t say or do damaging things, and turn things in our favour. It gives us plenty of tips which are easily applicable to our every day life as parents.

I have not finished the book yet, so I cannot judge how it is overall, but so far so good. Below are some tips that I got from the book. Hope you will find them interesting and useful for you as well.


1. How to help children deal with their bad feelings

– Listen with full attention

– Acknowledge their feelings with a word: “Oh”, “Mmm”, “I see”

– Give their feelings a name (but try not to repeat what they say exactly)

– Give them their wishes in fantasy


2. How to engage children’s cooperation

– Describe. Describe what you see or describe the problem

– Give information (but try not to give information that the kid already knows)

– Talk about your feelings

– Write a note

3. Alternatives to punishment

– Punishment should be avoided, it does not solve any problem, it only create new problems

– Instead of punishment, you should:

+ Point out a way for the child to be helpful

+ Express strong disapproval (Start the sentence with “I”, not “You”

+ State your expectations

+ Show the child how to make amends

+ Offer a choice

+ Take action (but not violence, more like remove or restraint)

+ Let the child experience the consequences of his misbehaviour (but not the beating)

+ Solve the problem together with the child

* Talk about the child’s feelings and needs

* Talk about your feelings and needs

* Brainstorm together to find a mutually agreeable solution(s)

* Write down all ideas without evaluating (don’t criticise or shoot down ideas, and do not judge any idea)

* Decide what suggestions you like, which you don’t like, and which you plan to follow through on

Again, if you want to purchase the book to explore it yourself, just click the image below.



Happy reading.

Dawn of the Planet of The Apes – Building on a good momentum


Don’t get me wrong, I did not mean that this second instalment is not good. Actually, it is quite a bright spot among the movies released this year. It built on the good momentum of the first movie (Rise of the Planet of The Apes), and rode on it to take flight.


The story was the continuation of the first movie, where the fever virus released from the lab started taking it toll on the whole human race. The same virus that made apes become intelligent turned out to be lethal for human, so the rise of the apes also meant the demise of human, and the balance was challenged seriously in this movie, setting the stage for a great war for survival that would tip the scale once and for all.


If the first movie was a hit because of the lovely story of how Caesar grew up from an infant to become the king of the apes, and the lives of those who were connected to him, the second movie focused more on how Caesar led the pack to overcome challenges and fight for survival. There were ups and downs, pains and losses, and the end of the movie could not be called perfect even though it was the best ending that we could think of, based on the events unfolded in front of our eyes.


Like the first movie, the main attraction this time is the story. It was thick and multi dimensional, with multiple twists and turns along the way. There were surprises that were unpredictable, which made the movie more interesting as we were not really sure what would happen next. There were also touching moments that moved me deeply as I watched them unfold.


This movie introduced a new character, Blue Eye, who was Ceasar’s son. He was very much like Caesar, not only in his appearance, but also his heart and his line of thought. Indeed, he was a young carbon copy of Caesar. Therefore, it saddened me a great deal when I saw him stray from the path that his father would want him to trace, but fortunately his conscience finally helped him find the way back and prove his worth and show the values he possessed that would make him the next leader. In fact, without him, the story would be a lost cause and nothing could be salvaged even if Caesar could overcome the odds to come back to save his apes. Therefore, I could not wait to see Blue Eye featured more prominently in the next Apes movie, and I have a feeling that Caesar will be phasing out gradually to give the spotlight for his son to shine in future battles.


If you recall the first movie, one of the main selling points is the evolvement of the relationship between Caesar and his caretaker. In fact, that was the happiest period in Caesar’s life, and it shaped his attitude towards and his thoughts about human. He was willing to fight human to protect himself and his pack, but he did not hate human. He found human capable of doing great things, both good and bad, and it was that mindset that brought him lots of problems, almost killed him but in the end eventually saved him and brought him back to his rightful place: The leader. He respected human, for he knew human could do incredible things, especially when being cornered. If he was given the choice, he would always try to get far from human and not pick fight, just like what he had done at the start of the movie. Unfortunately the situation was pushed far beyond the point of no return, and he could not come back in time to put everything into order again. He won the battle, but the price was too high, both in terms of casualties for his pack, and the new path that they had no choice but to continue walking till the end, with great caution and carefulness.


This time, the villain is not a man, but sadly an ape. And it was no normal ape, but Koba, Caesar’s right hand man. I must admit that I never liked him, both in the first and the second film. Even though he seemed to have changed when we watched him in the beginning of the second film, he showed his true colour again when the situation happened and the human showed up in apes’ territory again. His hatred for human really blinded him and led him to do crazy things, and to risk losing everything and even the lives of his kind. To tell the truth, I hate seeing apes being slaughtered, so I really could not bring myself to have any pity or compassion on him.


Once again, it was proven that when the franchises went down too low, the only way to salvage it is to go back to its origin and remake it all over again. And maybe it’s a good idea to stop at three, unless you have a story strong enough to last you longer than that (think Harry Potter). I don’t know whether this one can last longer than 3.

EMBARGOED FROM ONLINE FOR 3:01 AM EDT Malcolm (Jason Clarke) is followed by Caesar (Andy Serkis), Koba (Toby Kebbell) and Maurice (Karin Konoval) as he tries to make peace with them in a scene from the motion picture “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” CREDIT: WETA/20th Century Fox [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

Everything is good so far, and if the people behind it is not too greedy, they may want to close the curtain nicely, like what was done to the latest Batman movies, to leave a nice and lasting aftertaste and a good impression on the viewers so that they could give themselves a pat on their backs and move on to other projects with high spirit and great confidence.

The 7 Worst Mistakes People Make in their 30s


Another interesting article from Business Insider. As I am approaching my 30s, I feel that they are very true and applicable for me. I should keep watching out for them, so that 10 years later I will not look back and regret wasting my 30s not doing things I should have done.

How about you? If you are in the same age group, take a look at it, and look deep into yourself, reflect and see whether there is anything that you should change.

Have a good read, and a nice day. 🙂

Your 30s are typically a time for settling down, after using your 20s to take risks and find yourself.

Many 30-somethings are busy raising a family and rising through the hierarchy at work.

Those who have already been through that decade say that as their responsibilities accumulated, it became easier to neglect relationships and ignore opportunities that they would never get again.

Quora users discussed lessons they learned in the thread: “What is the biggest mistake you made in your 30s and what did you learn from it?

We’ve collected some of the best responses:

They abandon their loftier aspirations.

Twenty-somethings are often willing to settle for a job they are not passionate about, but before they know it, that job turns into their career. An anonymous poster writes that the biggest mistake they made in their 30s was that they got “addicted to a monthly salary,” in the sense that they settled for job security over career satisfaction.

If you’ve ever wanted to start a business or pursue a side project, it will only get more difficult as your responsibilities increase.

They put their career ahead of family and friends.

“Don’t just work. Make memories. The older you get, the harder it is to make meaningful relationships. Foster those while you’re young,” writes Microsoft product designer Michael Dorian Bach, who is now in his late 30s.

They neglect their health.

Bach writes that the pursuit of a career can also be a drain on your health. “Be healthy. That is priority 1. Don’t get into your 30s being slow and tired all the time. It sucks,” he says. Develop an exercise routine, and enjoy your mobility while you’re still young.

They miss the chance to have kids.

CEO coach Alison Whitmire shares a personal story about how she took getting pregnant for granted in her 30s and chose to pursue a new career opportunity instead of trying to have a child. Years later, after a failed pregnancy and then a failed marriage, she remarried and had a baby at 43. She realizes now that no one is ever adequately prepared to have a child, and if you want one, it’s best to do so before it’s too late.

They don’t spend enough time with their aging parents.

Entrepreneur and blogger James Altucher, who is now 46, writes about a particularly difficult memory for him: “When I was 34 I hung up the phone on my dad in an argument and never returned his calls. Six months later he had a stroke and died. A week before that he had emailed me to say hello but I didn’t return the email. I’m sorry, Dad.”

It can be easy to forget that your parents grow older as you do. Don’t take them for granted.

They don’t set up a financial foundation for the future.

Altucher writes about the many times in his 30s he bet practically all of his money on a business venture and then lost all of it. Altucher is doing well now, but he looks back on his failures as the result of recklessness.

As your responsibilities grow, it can seem like what you put into savings won’t amount to much come retirement, but it will only become harder to start saving in your 40s.

They stop having fun.

Just because you’re not in your 20s anymore doesn’t mean you need to give up enjoying life.Bach says he spent the early half of his adult life chasing money, and it only made him unhappy and more cynical about life.

Go on dates with your significant other. Take your kids on trips. Go to concerts with your best friends. Just don’t forget that the money you work to make is useless if you’re miserable.

30 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

From Business Insider, copy here for easy reference later. We will all need these tips sooner or later in our working lives.

smiling businesswoman at interview in office
business, career and office concept – smiling businesswoman at job interview in office

Some job interviewers ask tough questions to trip you up or to get you to reveal information you may be trying to conceal. Others want to get a better sense of your thought process or see how you respond under pressure.

Whatever the reason, you’ll want to be prepared.

In her book “301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions,” Vicky Oliver says in order to prevail, you need to “trounce your competition.”

“You could be competing against someone with three times your experience, or conversely, against someone who can do the job at half your salary level,” she says.

One of the best ways to stand out: have the smartest answers to the toughest questions.


Q: What is your biggest weakness that’s really a weakness, and not a secret strength?


A: I am extremely impatient. I expect my employees to prove themselves on the very first assignment. If they fail, my tendency is to stop delegating to them and start doing everything myself.

To compensate for my own weakness, however, I have started to really prep my people on exactly what will be expected of them.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: Will you be out to take my job?


A: Maybe in about 20 years, but by then, I suspect you’ll be running the entire company and will need a good, loyal lieutenant to help you manage this department!

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: You have changed careers before. Why should I let you experiment on my nickel?


A: As a career-changer, I believe that I’m a better employee because I’ve gained a lot of diverse skills from moving around. These skills help me solve problems creatively.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: What if you work here for five years and don’t get promoted? Many of our employees don’t. Won’t you find it frustrating?


A: I consider myself ambitious, but I’m also practical. As long as I am continuing to learn and grow within my position, I’ll be a happy camper. Different companies promote people at different rates, and I’m pretty confident that working for you will keep me motivated and mentally stimulated for several years to come.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: If you knew that things at your company were rocky, why didn’t you get out of the company sooner?


A: I was working so hard to keep my job while everyone around me was being cut that I didn’t have any time left over to look for another job. With all of the mergers that have been happening in our field, layoffs are a way of life. At least I gave it my best shot!

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: I see from your resume that you worked at CC&L for four years, and that’s terrific. But I also noticed that you weren’t promoted during that time. Why not?


A: CC&L is a great company, and thanks in part to my team’s contributions, they are doing very well these days. But that wasn’t always the case.

During the first two years that I worked there, people were being fired left and right, and just hanging onto my job was a feat.

Once the company began to turn around, [my boss] was offered a terrific job at a rival organization and it took CC&L six months to replace him and when they did, the new boss was eager to bring in his own people. Once again, I tenaciously hung on to my job, and, even though I was long overdue for a promotion, I really didn’t think that the timing was right for me to broach it. No one from the old staff was there to even vouch for my performance!

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: If you were running a company that produces X and the market was tanking for that product, what would you do?


A: I would search for new markets for the product while I spurred the engineers to change the product to make it more marketable to its original core audience.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: From your resume, it looks like you were fired twice. How did that make you feel?


A: After I recuperated from the shock both times, it made me feel stronger. It’s true that I was fired twice, but I managed to bounce back both times and land jobs that gave me more responsibility, paid me more money, and were at better firms.

The morale here is very high. I’ve been exposed to the “seamy underbelly” of this business, but I’m still passionate about working in it.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: Are you telling me that, now that you’re 40-something, you would be willing to start at an entry-level position just to get your foot in the door here?


A: Sometimes you need to take a step backward to move your career forward. Starting in an entry-level role would allow me to learn your business from the ground up.

The career that I’ve been in is so different than yours that I would love the opportunity to start over again in your field. The salary cut will be well worth it.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: You majored in philosophy. How did that prepare you for this career?


A: Philosophy didn’t prepare me for a career in architecture at all. But it did force me to become philosophical about my prospects. After two years of trying to figure out what to do with my life, I visited Chicago one weekend, and was absolutely spell bound by the gorgeous architecture all around me.

I came home, applied to architecture schools all over the country, and was accepted by one of the best. I’ve never looked back…this is definitely the career that I was meant to be in.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: What are the biggest risks you’ve taken in recent years? Which ones worked out the best, and which ones failed?


A: I used to work at a large, global PR firm where life was sleepy, but comfortable. It was a “white-shoe” organization; people left every night at 6 p.m. and our clients were big biotechnology companies that really trusted the top management of our firm. After a couple of years went by, I felt like I wasn’t learning anything new, and I confess that I began to feel bored. I thought that if I took a job at a smaller PR firm, I would feel more challenged.

I joined a small PR boutique that had only been in business for five years. This turned out to be a colossal mistake. The top management was terribly unprofessional, plus they didn’t have the contacts with newspapers, TV, and cable stations that we really needed to service our clients properly. I canvassed my own contacts, of course, but I was the only person in the entire firm who had any contacts! Promises were made to clients that couldn’t be kept. It was a fiasco.

After six months, I called up the large, global PR firm and begged for my old job back. Fortunately, they hadn’t replaced me.  They slapped by wrist for being disloyal, but they happily rehired me. I’ve been working there ever since, grateful, but bored . . . which is why I’m meeting with you today.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: What do you view as your risks and disadvantages with the position we are interviewing you for?


A: I think that with the home office located halfway across the globe, there is a very small risk that one might not have the chance to interact with the key decision makers as often as might be ideal. On the other hand, teleconferencing, email, faxing, and having a 24/7 work ethic will go a long way towards bridging the gap.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions



Q: From your resume, I notice that you interned at a small investment banking boutique. Did you pursue a full-time job offer with them? What happened?


A: Yes, I did very well at my internship, and I had originally assumed that I would come on staff once I graduated from college. However, BB&L drastically cut back the number of new hires they were planning. As fate would have it, they will not be hiring any of the interns they had last summer.

I love working at BB&L, and I brought some references with me today to show you that my job performance there was stellar. Still, in some ways, I consider this new turn of events to be a lucky break for me, believe it or not.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: We love women at this company, but our clients are Chinese and so we were thinking of hiring a man for this particular job.


A: Why is that, exactly? It seems to me that I am probably more qualified to handle this position than anyone, man or woman.

My father’s career as a diplomat took our family around the world seven times, and I even spent my junior year abroad in the Far East. I would need far less training than an American man who grew up here and has never worked outside our borders.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: Can you describe your dream job?


A: This is my dream job and that’s why I approached you about it in the first place. I am excited about the prospect of helping your promotion agency upgrade and fine tune your loyalty programs.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: Why did you take so much time off from work, and why do you wish to get a job now?


A: When I first had the twins, my husband was working 24/7, and I really needed to be there to raise the kids. But during that time, I really missed working.

Fortunately, I kept my hand in the business during those years by consulting for several of my ex-clients.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: How many skis are rented each year?


A: There are 250 million people in the U.S. Let’s suppose that the number of skis is 15% of that, or 37,500,000. Of those, let’s figure that 21,175,000 of them own skis, leaving the number who rent at 9,325,000. Then let’s add the number of tourists who ski, say, 1 million. So the grand total of renters would be 10,325,000.

Now let’s assume that the renters who live here take three trips a year, so three times 9,325,000 is 27,975,000 and add that with 1 million is 28,975,000.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: What would you do if you really wanted to hire a woman under you, and you knew the perfect candidate, but your boss really wanted to hire a man for the job?


A: I’d recommend that we perform an on-site “test,” by hiring both candidates on a freelance basis for two weeks each.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: What if you worked with someone who managed to take credit for all your great ideas. How would you handle it?


A: First, I would try to credit her publicly with the ideas that were hers. Sometimes, by being generous with credit, it spurs the other person to “return the favor.”

If that doesn’t solve it, I’d try to work out an arrangement where we each agreed to present the ideas that were our own to our bosses. If that doesn’t work, I would openly discuss the situation with her.

However, if the person taking credit for my ideas was my boss, I would tread cautiously. To some extent, I believe that my job is to make my superiors shine. If I were being rewarded for my ideas with raises and promotions, I would be happy.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: How many hours a week do you usually work, and why?


A: I work pretty long hours most of the time. With the extra time, I try to find ways to “add value” to each assignment, both my own and the firm’s. When our clients read our reports, I want them to think that no one else could have possibly written them, except for our company.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: Does a company need B players? Or is it better off only having A players on staff, and why?


A: I believe that a company needs both A and B players. When you’re pitching new business, you want the A players on the front line. But behind the A players, you need the B players who can hammer out the details of the projects and stick with them on a day-to-day basis. Having too many A players on the team leads to ego clashes and a disorganized, anarchical way of doing business.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: Are you better at “managing up” or “managing down”?


A: If you aren’t good at “managing up,” you rarely get the opportunity to “manage down.” Fortunately, I’ve always been quite good at self-management. I’ve never had a deadline that I didn’t meet.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: This ad agency is a TV shop. But I see from your resume that you have far more experience handling print. You’re weak on TV compared to other candidates. Why should I hire you for the job and not someone else who has the credentials that we’re really looking for?


A: One thing I learned from these ad agencies is that print and TV are only mediums. The real thing that we offer clients is our ideas. And a strong, solid award-winning idea will work just as beautifully in TV as in print.

So while I may have fewer TV spots on my reel as other candidates, hopefully you’ll agree that my ideas are stronger than theirs. Hire me for my ideas, and when you do, I promise you that they will translate seamlessly into TV.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: Would you rather get permission from your boss before undertaking a brand-new project, or be given enough rope to “hang yourself”?


A: During my first week on the job, I would ask my boss how she would prefer me to handle projects. If she indicated that she wanted a take-charge person under her, I would take the ropes. If she told me she wanted me to run ideas by her first, I would comply. I think the real challenge is being able to adapt to your work environment, and I’m flexible.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: Please give an example of the most difficult political situation that you’ve dealt with on a job.


A: I was hired by a woman who was on her way out. She asked me to be her “fall guy” on a number of assignments. I just learned to drop the assignments off with my boss on the day that they were due, and when the managers would ring me up, I would recommend that they simply follow up with her. This kept me out of hot water with my boss and with her superiors.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: Let’s discuss a time when you missed a significant deadline.


A: I would absolutely love to, but honestly, it’s never happened.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: Did you ever make a mistake that cost your company money?


A: I suppose that asking for name-brand vodka at the Christmas party, instead of the generic swill that they normally serve, doesn’t count, right? No, really honestly, I’m delighted to report that I never made a mistake that cost my company money.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: Is it more important to be lucky or skillful?


A: I think that it’s more important to be lucky, although being very skilled can help to create more opportunities. Certainly, [at my former job, my boss’] confidence in me inspired the decision makers at our firm to trust that I could do the job. But clearly, I also happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: When do you think you’ll peak in your career?


A: I come from a long line of healthy, hardy, mentally active types, and so I confess that I never even think about “peaking” in my career. That having been said, I do think it’s important to have some self-knowledge, and to recognize when one is past one’s prime.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions


Q: Have you ever been so firm that people would describe you as “stubborn” or “inflexible”?


A: When women are firm, they are sometimes pinned with these unattractive labels. I am not shy or mousy, so probably one or two people I’ve worked with might have thought that I was “inflexible” on a given assignment. But this adjective never came out about me on any kind of a performance review, and neither did the word “stubborn.” I believe that, all in all, I’ve managed to be firm and flexible.

Source: ”301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

iWatch – Rumours, Speculations and stuffs

From Business Insider, just so that later I can look back and see how much of the rumours turned out right in the end.


Apple will reportedly release an “iWatch” this year.

The smartwatch will be Apple’s first major new product in a new product category since it released the iPad in 2010.

Prior to releasing the iPad, computer companies had tried repeatedly to make tablets. None of them really worked. Apple’s design and operating system clicked, and Apple has now sold over 200 million iPads.

Similarly, many computer companies have taken a crack at smartwatches and none of them have yet to get it right.

Will Apple be the first to get it right? We’re not sure, but here are some clues about what Apple is planning. We’ve gathered all the details on the iWatch here…


What will it be called? Everyone is saying “iWatch” which sounds likely. Apple has trademarked “iWatch” in 5 countries.


See here.


We expect it to run on a modified version of iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system.


It will have a 2.5-inch rectangular screen. Or maybe it will be round…


So far, there is no definitive answer about what the iWatch’s screen will look like.

Reuters reported, “Apple will introduce a smartwatch with a display that likely measures 2.5 inches diagonally and is slightly rectangular.”

But Brian Blair of Rosenblatt Securities was in Asia and said it will have a round face.

Who to believe? In general we would side with Reuters, which has a track record of being right. But a 2.5-inch screen would be big and bulky. A round face makes sense since Apple has started making more round icons in iOS, its mobile operating system.

For now, this is a toss up! We lean rectangle since it makes more sense.


Apple is reportedly planning multiple models of the iWatch, presumably for men and women. Current smart watches are one size fits all, and they tend to look silly on slender wrists.


See here.


What exactly will it do? The iWatch will supposedly be very fitness oriented. It will track steps taken, hydration levels, sweat, and heart rate. It will probably also tie with the iPhone to deliver notifications and updates.


It’s going to be loaded with sensors to track your movement. The WSJ said the iWatch “will include more than 10 sensors including ones to track health and fitness.”


See here.


Apple reportedly has athletes like Kobe Bryant testing the iWatch now for fitness purposes.


See here.


It also went on a hiring spree to get medical experts.


A quick look at the medical experts, via Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac:

Roy J.E.M. Raymann, an expert in sleep research. His LinkedIn bio doesn’t list him as an Apple employee, but it does say this: “Main topic of research is states of performance and how to optimize rest and activity. Why are some people able to perform at peak level for weeks in a row? What is the difference to be able to perform and willing to perform. What is the role of sleep, motivation, physiology. How can we optimize sleep?”

Ueyn Block, who came from C8 MediSensors. It seems like C8 Medisensors shut down. It was developing a continuous, non-invasive glucose measuring system. C8 was working on a product that you wore and it gave a read out every 8-10 minutes. Block was an engineer at the company.

Todd Whitehurst, hardware director at Senseonics. Senseonics is also working on a wearable glucose monitoring system. It works with a smartphone to provide data for a user.

Dr. Michael O’Reilly, formerly Chief Medical Officer at a company called Masimo. Masimo developed hardware that worked with the iPhone to measure your pulse. The company says of itself, “[Masimo] develops and manufactures innovative noninvasive patient monitoring technologies, including medical devices and a wide array of sensors.”

Nancy Dougherty, of Sano Intelligence. Gurman says of Dougherty, her past work ”included a health metric-reading wearable patch and ingestible, Bluetooth-connected smart pills for monitoring dosages and scheduling.” At Sano, Gurman says she was developing a wearable sensor system.

Ravi Narasimhan, formerly in R&D for Vital Connect. Vital Connect makes monitors you stick on your skin to track your health. Gurman says Narasimhan focused on “measuring respiration and activity levels and wearable medical devices.”

Marcelo Lamego, formerly CTO of Ceracor. According to NetworkWorld, Lamego has 70 patents, developed a hemoglobin monitor for Ceracor


How much will it cost? We’re guessing ~$300. We’ve seen estimates that range from $200-$1,000+.


See here and here.


How many can Apple sell? Apple will reportedly manufacture 3-5 million per month initially.


See here.


The iWatch should be out in October according to multiple reports.


See here and here.


Apple might already have people wearing the iWatch out and about right now. This was a tweet from someone in Cupertino, where Apple’s HQ is located.



The Fault in Our Stars – A Beautiful Book Adaption



There are two things that I want to admit. First of all, I have never read this book. Not before watching the movie, and not even after watching it. And secondly, I have seen more than my fair share of failed book adaptions into the big screen. Yes, it’s not easy to make a successful book become a successful movie.


There are pros and cons of making a movie based on a book. The good thing is, you have a solid story line to base on, and a ready fan base who love the book and will be queuing up to see how the movie interprets their favourite book. The bad thing is, you are easily overwhelmed by the content of the book, you want to bring in anything, and you find all the details worth shooting. You end up losing focus, and the movie becomes draggy and boring. It’s tough job to condense and rewire the book to become something that can be shot on film. Or you can end up on the opposite situation: Cutting out too much details until those who have not read the book find the movie hard to understand and the flow non continuous.


Luckily, this movie manages to avoid both extremes, and walk a thin line that is just nice. There are enough details to entice the audience, and the teen love story is given enough time to develop naturally and comfortably. I can feel the chemistry between the two sick teens growing every minute, in a very modern and today’s manner, with all the current hypes of SMS, chats, calls and emails, and at the same time still classically romantic and heart melting (think of roses and candle lights and swings, everyone). And I genuinely feel happy for them, seeing them finally find something in life to cheer them up, so that they have more motivation to fight to live and to lead a normal, healthy life.


It’s a beautiful love story, but unless you are from another planet, you will at least know that both of them have cancer, and most of the time the stories about cancer patients do not end well. This is not a fairy tale, and John Green, the author of the book, did not want readers to think so either. Moreover, it would be a crime to give those patients false hope that the tumours will just disappear one fine day by themselves. John Green did not create false hope. He faced the hard truth heads on. And he did it in a very compassionate way, building characters who confront the disease, fight and keep their spirits high, live each day to the fullest and make each moment count, and by that, building wonderful role models for those who are in the similar situation to relate and to lift their spirits up, and for those who read the book to appreciate what they have and treasure it, value it more. That’s the true beauty of the story, which manage to be transmitted quite wholesomely and fully into the screens.


First and foremost, some credits should be given to the main actor and actress, for their efforts to portray the souls and emotions of the characters. It really takes lots of serious work to do so. After all, movies like this only shine on the cast’s performance. There is no explosion, no breathtaking CGI, just the performance shining through and keeping audience on their seats. And I must say that the 2 stars of this movie managed to do it quite successfully. They are not huge stars yet, just up and coming stars, but they have potential, and if they continue working hard and choosing roles wisely and carefully, and leading a good life with no scandal, it will be just a matter of time before they join the top tier and become the go to guy and girl of directors and producers.


Another aspect that I love about this movie is its amazing cinematography; There are many good shots, there are some great shots and there are a few money shots. The scenes in Amsterdam are simply beautiful. And the every day life moments are shining with sparkle of brilliance as well.


All in all, it’s a beautiful movie, crafted with heart and lots of love. It’s not a blockbuster and it may not earn the studio millions of bucks, but who needs a blockbuster here when the small story about the love of the 2 youngsters has enough fire and power to win hearts and move invisible mental blocks that separate people.

Film Review The Fault In Our Stars
This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Ansel Elgort, left, and Shailene Woodley appear in a scene from “The Fault In Our Stars.” (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, James Bridges)

Another wining point of this movie are intelligent dialogues that make normal moments incredibly cool. One example to boot, the gesture to hold the cigarette without lighting up at all.


So, for those romantic movie fans, rush out to the cinema and grab the ticket to watch this lovely movie before it is swept off by the insane Transformers. It’s worth the time and the money. It may make you leave the cinema with tears in your eyes, but will also give you moments of laughter and also a newfound appreciation of the value of your life.


Click on the link below if you want to purchase the book from 🙂 (it’s really worth it)

The Fault in Our Stars

And as usual, a few more photos to keep the sweet moment a little bit longer.







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