"The Great Indoors"

Movie Madness Terry Crews "The VeggieTales" Math and Science Contest Florida's Cultural Scene "Coffee Shop" Movie Bedtime Routines $10 Million Contest

Majority Of Americans Plan To Explore
”The Great Indoors” And Stream TV This Summer

(NAPSI)—According to the 2014 edition of the Farmers’ Almanac, “the summer will be exceptionally hot across much of North America, with ‘oppressive’ humidity throughout the eastern half of the United States.” How do most Americans plan to cope? By seeking solace in the comfort of their homes and catching up on their favorite TV shows, made possible in part by the advent of the streaming media player.

In this “golden age” of TV, summer entertainment isn’t limited to the latest blockbuster at the multiplex. In recent years, television programming has begun to rival feature films to the point where TV now tops the list of summertime activities. In a recent omnibus survey conducted by Research Now for Roku, when asked what they do on summer days, 60 percent of consumers answered that they watch their favorite TV show, followed by read (47 percent), shop (33 percent), jog or hike (19 percent) and attend a sporting event (16 percent).

Many people consider TV a hobby just like attending sporting events, shopping, reading and exercising. Almost two-thirds (66 percent) of people revealed that they equate watching TV to a recreational or leisure activity, valued so much that even though consumers travel in the summer to escape their routines, they keep to their TV schedules. Ninety-two percent of people said they stay current with their favorite TV show when traveling while some use the trip to catch up on a TV show or series they’ve previously started watching.

What Is Streaming?

Streaming is a simple and affordable way to access entertainment on your TV through the Internet, providing accessibility and choice that empowers consumers to let them watch TV more easily than ever before.

By connecting a Roku® streaming player to your TV and home network, your TV becomes a “smart TV” and can now stream more than 1,500 channels of TV shows, movies, music, news, sports, food and more, all on demand. Thanks to the Roku Search feature, you can sort through this selection by searching for favorite movies, TV shows, actors and directors across multiple channels including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Crackle, HBO GO, M-GO and more.

Tips on how to take advantage of the benefits of streaming:

• Streaming players make it possible to get the most out of your cable and content subscriptions. Bring one with you on vacation; set one up at the family cabin or your home’s guest room for visitors.

• Beyond movies and TV shows, you can get news, listen to music and stay up-to-date on fashion and lifestyle trends. Or get off the couch to sharpen your knife skills and learn a new recipe for summer cookouts, or finally give yoga a try.

• Families with young children hungry for fun and educational videos while school is out can explore channels like PBS KIDS and National Geographic Kids. With streaming, it’s easy to monitor what they’re watching, plus there are no commercials to worry about!

For more information, visit www.roku.com.

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Movie Madness: Something For Everyone

(NAPSI)—Whether your family is into adventure, art, comedy, documentaries or magical realism, it’s time for Movie Madness—On Demand!

The cable Movies On Demand lineup for the summer and beyond includes many diverse and delightful flicks, such as “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Wes Anderson’s wacky take on a European hotel between the wars. Or taking place at other exotic locations are “The Lunchbox,” about a housewife in India whose mixed-up attempt to spice up her marriage yields surprising results; “Le Week-End,” a comedy about a long-married couple trying to rekindle their relationship with a trip to Paris; and “The Raid 2,” about an undercover cop trying to protect his family from Indian gangs.

The kids will enjoy “Rio 2,” a beautiful cartoon about birds and humans trying to preserve wildlife, featuring the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx and George Lopez.

If sci-fi suits your fancy, there’s “Snowpiercer,” set in a postapocalyptic world where the only people left on Earth live on a train circling the globe; “The Congress,” in which an aging actress preserves her digital likeness for future movies; “Under the Skin,” with Scarlett Johansson as an alluring alien; and “Transcendence,” about a man combined with a computer.

More thrills are in “Sabotage,” about an elite DEA task force that robs a drug cartel; “Among Ravens,” about a man who lost his memory; and “War Story,” starring Catherine Keener and Ben Kingsley, about a war photographer, her former lover and a young refugee.

For a slice of life, there’s “Affluenza,” a coming-of-age movie with “Great Gatsby” overtones, starring Nicola Peltz; “Behaving Badly,” a different, comic take on coming of age, starring Selena Gomez; and “Louder Than Words,” in which David Duchovny and Adelaide Kane turn a tragedy into a way to help others.

More real are the documentaries: “Life Itself,” based on film critic Roger Ebert’s memoir; “A Brony Tale,” about men who love My Little Pony cartoons; “Cesar Chavez,” a biography of the civil rights activist and labor organizer; and “Video Games: The Movie,” chronicling the meteoric rise of video games.

For inspiration, there’s “Heaven Is For Real,” based on the book about a young boy’s near-death experience; and “Noah,” the biblical tale, starring Russell Crowe.

Finally, if you’re looking for comedy, you’ll get laughs from “Bad Words,” starring Jason Bateman as a spelling bee loser; and “Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club.”

These and other entertaining, insightful and inspirational new Movies on Demand are listed at www.rentmoviesondemand.com. Many are available the same day as the DVD and some even the same day as theatrical release. Enjoy the Movie Madness on cable.

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Terry Crews Brings His Voice To The Freshest VeggieTales Movie Yet: ‘Celery Night Fever’

(NAPSI)—He’s a no-nonsense action star in the Expendables films and plays the hilarious Sgt. Terry Jeffords on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” but behind the scenes, what Terry Crews likes to do most is sing.

“Believe it or not, I’m a huge musical fan—it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and any time I get the chance to do something that involves singing and comedy, I just go all out,” says the multitalented star. So Crews couldn’t have been more delighted than to be offered the starring role of Bruce Onion in the newest VeggieTales movie, “Celery Night Fever,” available now on DVD and digital download.

Although he may be best known for playing a tough guy, Crews says he has a genuine soft spot for VeggieTales. “The thing I love the most is that VeggieTales has really, really superpositive messages that your whole family can understand-there’s comedy for the adults and there’s comedy for the kids,” Crews said in a recent interview for the brand.

Playing the role of the slightly sinister (but secretly sweet) Bruce Onion realized a longtime dream of Crews’ since all five of his children grew up watching VeggieTales. “I’ve been a VeggieTales fan for years—VeggieTales has been a part of my family for a long time. You have different benchmarks for your career, and being a character in a VeggieTales movie is a huge accomplishment. It means so much to me!

“When I tell my family the other things I’m doing, they say, ‘Oh, that’s nice, Dad, that’s cool.’ When I told them I was doing VeggieTales, they went crazy,” Crews said. “They were jumping around, and I thought, ‘You know what? This is what makes it all worth it, just to be able to tell them their dad is now part of this whole legacy.’ “

Crews doesn’t miss a beat when he’s asked about his favorite VeggieTales character: “LarryBoy was one of our favorites-we would run around the house singing the ‘LarryBoy’ song all the time.”

In “Celery Night Fever,” Crews’ character Bruce Onion begins as a real-estate tycoon who is intent on tearing down the Veggies’ beloved Celery Park to put up a parking lot. But there’s a reason for his mean spirit, one that dates back to his days as a failed disco musician. Ultimately, Bruce Onion realizes that if God can forgive others, everyone should, and that forgiveness is one of the most important virtues there is. “Bruce finally opens his eyes, and it turns out he’s not simply a bad guy.”

While his character may be an onion, Crews says the lesson Bruce learns is important to humans, too—especially kids, because it will be meaningful throughout their lives. “Bruce is a guy who had been counted out in his life, and now he has a chance to get some revenge on the people he thinks slighted him. I’ve seen in my own life that people can get really successful by following a feeling like that, but the problem is that even when you no longer need it, you stay angry and bitter. It makes you vulnerable, and you have to learn how to forgive and move past it to be truly happy. That’s a message I want kids to see and learn—everyone needs to learn it!”

“Celery Night Fever,” the newest VeggieTales movie, is available now exclusively on DVD and digital download.

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A New Contest Can Make Math And Science More Engaging

(NAPSI)—Students and teachers who have a love of science or math and a knack for self-expression just might get a “bang” out of a new contest.

Called “Express Your Selfie,” the contest encourages students, teachers or anyone with an interest in education to submit a selfie with their favorite Texas Instruments (TI) technology. The winner will receive a set of graphing calculators for the math or science class of his or her choice and a videoconference call, in class, from Emmy-nominated actress Mayim Bialik.

Bialik not only plays a scientist on the hit comedy “The Big Bang Theory,” but is a neuroscientist in real life. “I relied on my TI graphing calculators to gain a deeper understanding of abstract concepts in science and mathematics while earning my neuroscience degrees,” Bialik said. “Using the ‘selfie craze’ to capture students’ creativity and imagination will hopefully open their eyes to the captivating world of science and mathematics.”

How to Choose A Graphing Calculator

If you don’t have a graphing calculator but have one on your school year shopping list, here are some tips for choosing the right one:

• Ask Your Student’s Teacher: A graphing calculator may be among the most important purchases you make for your student. Ask your student’s teacher what he or she will be using in the classroom.

• Check High-Stakes Exam Acceptance: All major exams, both national and state, have strict calculator acceptance policies. Make certain the calculator you plan to buy is accepted.

• Think Long Term: Quality graphing technology will last students from middle school through high school and into college. Think about what math and science courses your student will be taking, be it geometry, algebra or advanced-level chemistry, so that one purchase can last for years.

How to Participate in the Contest

From now through Sept. 21, 2014, anyone over the age of 13 can submit a selfie with his or her favorite TI technology on Twitter or Instagram, using the caption “I make math/science...with TI.” Entrants must include the hashtag #tiselfiecontest. You can see the submissions and view the official rules online at www.tiselfie.com.

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Florida’s Cultural Scene

(NAPSI)—The sandy beaches of Sarasota County, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, are just the tip of the iceberg for visitors craving cultural attractions.

Known for its architectural innovation, the region is drawing travelers to the SarasotaMOD Weekend festival this fall (Oct. 9-12, 2014). Celebrating Sarasota’s pioneering architecture movement, visitors will be treated to guided tours as well as gatherings with architects, authors, critics and designers (www.sarasotaMOD.com).

• Then there are the four dynamic days at the Ringling International Arts Festival the following week, Oct. 15-18, which features emerging artists on the grounds of the Ringling estate. Visit www.ringling.org/events/series/ringlinginternational-arts-festival.

• In mid-November, visitors can chalk one up to the Sarasota Chalk Festival, Nov. 10-17 (http://chalkfestival.org), where artists use the street pavements as their canvas. And visitors will watch amazing sand castles be built at the Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition, Nov. 14-18 (www.siestakeycrystalclassic.com).

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A New Movie Brews Up A Tale Of Love And Coffee

(NAPSI)—A new movie offers a fresh take on the eternal struggle to find love, success and the perfect cup of coffee.

Airing on the UP network, the movie “Coffee Shop” tells the story of Donavan Turner, a smart, independent, 20-something woman looking for just the right blend of happiness in her life. The role of Donavan is played by fan-favorite actress Laura Vandervoort (“Smallville,” “V”). Describing the role, she said, “It’s about a character [Donavan] who is trying to find her place in the world and ends up falling for someone she never expected falling for.”

The ensemble cast also includes Cory M. Grant (“Nashville,” “All My Children”), Rachel Hendrix (“October Baby,” “The Perfect Wave”) and Jason Burkey (“October Baby,” “A Long Way Off”), with Jon Lovitz (“New Girl,” “Saturday Night Live”) and Kevin Sorbo (“God’s Not Dead,” “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”).

Turner owns a hip neighborhood coffee shop in a quaint, scenic beach town and her specialty is matching people to their perfect, new brew. While she’s been less than successful fixing her love life, Donavan enjoys her work and has the robust support of her sister Becky (Hendrix), Becky’s boyfriend Kevin (Burkey) and the wonderful, eclectic family of her coffee shop regulars. Unfortunately, she’s keeping a secret from them all. The new bank owner, Frank Miller (Lovitz), won’t extend her loan and she’s facing immediate foreclosure.

Things get further complicated when Donavan’s ex-boyfriend returns to declare his love just as her clashes with Broadway playwright—and tea drinker—Ben Carson (Grant) get interesting. Ben is in town writing his new play for his producer (Sorbo).

With love brewing and financial ruin bubbling around her, Donavan realizes that her identity and self-worth are not defined by what she can accomplish alone. Instead, Donavan—and her community—can accomplish more together, which leads her to make choices she may not have before.

“’Coffee Shop’ is a fun, modern, single-gal drama that puts main character Donavan-played by super-actress, the beautiful Laura Vandervoort—at a particular crossroads in her life, personally, professionally and spiritually,” said Sophia Kelley, senior vice president of programming, UP. The film is directed by Dave Alan Johnson. He recently wrote and executive produced the Hallmark Movie Channel film “Christmas With Tucker.” He also recently executive produced the feature film “October Baby.” In addition, Birmingham-based popular singer/songwriter Mandi Mapes contributed an original song, entitled “In Your Arms.”

“Coffee Shop” will make its world television premiere exclusively on UP on Sunday, September 14 at 7:00 p.m. EDT/6:00 p.m. PDT. It will also air on Friday, September 19 at 9:00 p.m. EDT and Monday, September 29 at 9:00 p.m. EDT.

UP is the television network dedicated to uplifting viewers with original and premiere movies, reality and dramatic series, comedies and music specials.

To learn more, visit www.UPtv.com.

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Tips On Helping Children Sleep

(NAPSI)—Clinical psychologist Dr. Michael Breus, one of the nation’s top sleep experts, has some advice to offer parents. Known as “The Sleep Doctor,” he’s a widely recognized leader in this ever-evolving field and perhaps best known for his appearances on Dr. Oz, CNN, Oprah, “The View” and “The Doctors.”

Dr. Breus notes that “peaceful sleep is essential for everyone; it refreshes energy and enhances creativity and productivity in our daily lives.” According to the National Sleep Foundation, daily sleep needs range from 12 to 14 hours for 1- to 3-year-olds; 11 to 13 hours for ages 3 to 5; and about 10 to 11 hours for 5- to 12-year-old children.

Using characters from Disney’s newly released animated classic Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition on Blu-ray to illustrate, Dr. Breus offers six important steps. “By following these tips,” he says, “I’m certain families will have better luck with their kids’ bedtime routines and ultimately get a better night’s rest themselves.”

1. Be consistent. Going to bed and waking up at the same time (even on weekends) will help your children keep Maleficent’s evil henchmen out of their dreams.

2. Use Flora’s gift of beauty. Help your children finish up whatever they’re doing, clean up their toys and make the room neat, comfortable and ready for sleep.

3. Use Fauna’s gift of song. While everyone’s getting ready for bed, sing a few favorite soothing songs while they bathe, brush their teeth and put on pajamas.

4. Use Merryweather’s gift of true love’s kiss. Dim the lights, turn on a night-light and read a book. If kids still have trouble quieting their busy brains, try the “relaxation game.” And then give your little ones that loving kiss good night.

5. Embrace Maleficent’s color of darkness. The color black is best for sleep, though most children like a little light at night. Keep in mind that some night-lights (LEDs, for example) contain “blue light” and that can actually keep a child awake by preventing the brain’s production of melatonin, which starts the engine for sleep. So make sure your child’s night-light is one that filters out blue light.

6. Follow Sleeping Beauty’s name, Aurora. She is so named because she fills people’s lives with sunshine. When children wake up in the morning, stop by a sun-filled window or take them outside for 15 minutes of brightness. Sun exposure helps reset their internal biological clocks each morning. Parents can also leave the window shades open so the child can wake with the morning light.

Dr. Breus notes, “For tips two through four, I recommend ‘The Power Down Half-Hour Technique,’ which I created for children, with 10 minutes spent on each of the activities mentioned. The consistent routine helps calm them down and unconsciously signals the brain to get ready for sleep. Roughhousing and other similar ‘fun games’ often initiated by parents who haven’t seen their children all day usually result in poor sleep.”

Finally, here are three rules for napping for infants and toddlers:

1. Set a specific nap time, or make it three to four hours after they last woke up.

2. Have a consistent pre-nap routine (it will not be as long as the pre-bedtime routine).

3. Let children soothe themselves to sleep, even when napping.

For more sleeping tips and information from Dr. Breus, visit www.TheSleepDoctor.com.

For more information about the Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, visit www.movies.disney.com/sleeping-beauty.

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Frontier Communications, DISH Team Up To Support Revitalization Of Small Cities With America’s Best Communities Contest

More Than $10 Million Will Support Innovation And Growth In
Rural Communities Over Three Years

(NAPSI)—Frontier Communications (NADAQ: FTR) and DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH) have launched America’s Best Communities, a $10 million prize competition to stimulate growth and revitalization in small cities and towns across Frontier’s 27-state footprint.

At recent launch events in small towns across the country, including Dallas, Pa.; Charleston, W. Va.; Terre Haute, Ind.; Troy, Ohio; Newberg, Ore.; and Minden, Nev., Frontier and DISH emphasized their commitment to supporting sustained economic success for rural communities, many of which have faced tough times in recent years.

America’s Best Communities will help address the need for growth, they said, by identifying and investing in innovative ideas that small cities and towns can use to build and sustain their local economies. The winning ideas then become available as a road map for growth for all rural communities across the United States.

“This contest is designed to challenge a community’s brightest and most innovative thinkers to develop meaningful strategies and plans that will transform their town or city,” said Maggie Wilderotter, chairman and CEO of Frontier Communications. “Whether ideas come from an individual or a group, visionaries in a community can effect powerful transformations. And the $10 million in support from Frontier and DISH is just the tip of the iceberg. As businesses join together to support their local community through the America’s Best Communities contest, there will be a multiplier effect that will expand the size and impact of the prize. Frontier is offering qualified applicants the resources they need to be their own agents for positive change.”

“DISH got its start serving remote areas of Colorado, so we understand the innovation and entrepreneurialism that spring forth from America’s smaller communities,” said DISH CEO Joe Clayton. “Every small community has a story to tell and we want to help create an opportunity for the best ideas that lead to thriving communities to be identified and shared.”

America’s Best Communities is a multistage, three-year contest that provides $4 million in seed money and other support to assist communities as they develop growth and revitalization plans, and $6 million in prize money to the top three communities. Municipalities with populations of 9,500 to 80,000 and located within Frontier’s 27-state footprint are eligible to apply. Those with populations less than 9,500 are encouraged to join forces and collaborate with adjacent communities to become eligible.

Communities must apply by January 12, 2015 to qualify. Judges will then select up to 50 qualified applicants in February 2015, each of which will be awarded $35,000 to develop their plans and proposals. These communities will then have seven months to leverage resources and track progress, submitting their final proposals in September 2015.

Up to 15 semifinalists will be selected in November 2015, and will attend America’s Best Communities summit in January 2016 to present their proposals. In early 2016, eight finalists will be selected and will be awarded $100,000 each. The prize money awarded to the eight finalists will be used to implement the communities’ plans and bring them to life, while sharing their stories—and successes—along the way.

The America’s Best Communities top three competition winners—those with the most innovative, effective proposals—will be awarded $6 million in grand prizes in October 2017.

More detailed information on eligibility and how communities can apply can be found at www.americasbestcommunities.com.

“Frontier is committed to the small cities and towns we serve, and one of the best ways to demonstrate that is through our new America’s Best Communities prize competition,” Wilderotter said. “We’re excited to see which ideas rise to the top and how they will help not only an applicant’s local community grow and thrive, but how the proposals can benefit all communities across America.

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