Travel Gadgets For
The Whole Family
(NAPSI)—Getting the most out of your next vacation
may be easier with some of the latest electronic
gadgets. From navigating your way and keeping the kids
entertained to capturing those favorite vacation
moments, you may wonder how you ever traveled without
these latest gadgets.
Getting there: Take some of the
stress out of driving with a GPS navigational system,
ranging from $100 to $400. The TomTom Portable
Navigation System has a 4-inch LCD touch screen and
advanced audio system, and is available at most major
retailers, including Target, for $80. Better yet, GPS
units provide alternative routes around rush hour
traffic and can find the closest hospitals and gas
Entertaining the kids: Whether
traveling by plane, train or automobile, parents dread
the question "Are we there yet?" and undoubtedly want to
keep their kids entertained while en route. The Nintendo
3DS gaming device offers the latest in 3-D technology to
keep them mesmerized. The 3DS comes ready to play with
many games, including "Nintendogs + Cats," "LEGO Star
Wars III: The Clone Wars 3-D" and "Madden NFL Football,"
and it doesn't require 3-D glasses.
Don't leave home without your favorite movies and a
portable DVD player to keep your family entertained.
More affordable and convenient than laptops, portable
DVD players come with a built-in TV screen and typically
retail for less than $100. The Philips portable model
with a seven-inch-wide screen for optimal viewing has a
five-hour built-in battery and headrest mount.
Enjoying your time: For the readers
in the family, there's the Amazon Kindle with Special
Offers, retailing for only $114 at Target stores
nationwide. With a storage capacity of up to 3,500 books
and a glare-free screen, it's a travel essential for
those who love books.
Capture your summer vacation and create lasting
memories with Nikon's digital-meets-traditional DSLR
Camera, a lightweight digital SLR camera that is easy to
use and loaded with cool features. The 14.2-megapixel
digital sensor and HD video capabilities help you
capture high-quality photos and videos, making it a
great camera for both the novice or hobbyist
For savings, find a retailer that offers an
electronics trade-in service. Target has a program that
accepts used iPods, video games, cell phones, iPads and
even the original Nintendo DS, in exchange for store
credit toward any new gadget or electronics products.
Great deals like these give you the freedom to enjoy a
memorable trip while staying on budget.
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Getting The Most Out Of Summer's "Guilt-Tech" Pleasures
(NAPSI)—If you’re finding the summer heat too
oppressive and the kids are already sick of the pool,
you’re not alone. Many Americans are floating in the
same boat this year. And it comes as no surprise.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, the globe experienced the tenth warmest
May since record keeping began in 1880. So with the
mercury on the rise and your splish already splashed,
it’s time to get creative and amp up the indoor fun.
Stay cool, save money and enjoy the season using some
of the technology you already have in your home.
Savory Surfing—One of summer’s
best-loved guilty pleasures is undoubtedly eating.
There’s no faster way to spice up your summer menu and
bone up on cooking techniques than by surfing Internet
recipe sites or checking out your digital cable On
For example, want to cool down with a summer treat,
but you don’t have an ice cream maker? Your high-speed
Internet service enables you to connect to a video on
how to make delicious ice cream using the basic
ingredients and just a couple of resealable bags.
Or if you’d rather heat things up, the secrets of the
grill are yours with a couple clicks of your TV remote.
Simply check out “how to” programming On Demand to
reveal the tricks that will have you claiming the
neighborhood title of Grill Master Champ.
Movie Mania—Getting your summer
movie fix has never been so convenient. Binge on the
newest movie hits or relax with the classics. Everyone’s
favorite genres are On Demand on cable.
• Summer of Love—Get out the tissues
(and a bowl of that homemade ice cream) and love is in
the air! From the never-thought-it-would-happen to the
happily-ever-after, you can satisfy your craving for the
courtships, breakups and make-ups, not to mention
wedding cakes and wedding crashers.
• Family Fun—Curl up with the kids
and enjoy some old-fashioned bonding. Take your pick of
time-tested classics, nature favorites or the latest hot
hits your kids have been dying to see.
• Man Cave Movies—Reclaim the remote
and get in touch with your inner Neanderthal. With
gritty Western gunslingers, edgy Vegas grifters and a
few hungover best men, the gang’s all here for a good
For more information on how to pass the hazy days of
summer, go to www.thisiscable.com.
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The Neighborhood Video Store
(NAPSI)—Increasingly, consumers are finding that a
trip to their local video store might actually take them
to a supermarket or convenience store.
That’s because a well-known home-entertainment brand
is reinventing the movie night rental experience.
Blockbuster Express, owned and operated by NCR
Corporation, has launched over 9,000 movie rental kiosks
in the U.S. in the last two years.
Blockbuster Express makes it easy for customers to
rent the latest new-release movies at their local
grocery and convenience store. Just like the
neighborhood video store, Blockbuster Express will
guarantee that the latest new-release movies are always
in stock, in some cases up to nearly a month ahead of
other rental kiosks and mail-order services, while also
offering a broad array of movies starting at only $1.
Unlike your old video store, no membership is
required and consumers can conveniently rent a movie
from one location and return it to any other location in
the United States.
This is great news for consumers who are looking for
inexpensive, convenient ways to entertain their family.
So the next time consumers head to the grocery store to
pick up a gallon of milk, it might just become a movie
night, too. To learn more, visit www.blockbusterexpress.com or call (877) 300-2128.
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The Child Within
(NAPSI)—Walt Disney once said, “I do not make
films primarily for children. I make them for
the child in all of us, whether we be 6 or 60.
In my work, I try to reach and speak to that
innocence, showing it the fun and joy of living;
that laughter is healthy; that the human
species, although happily ridiculous at times,
is still reaching for the stars.” No one set of
characters has helped Disney accomplish this
more successfully over the years than the
honey-loving, philosophical bear, Winnie the
Pooh, and his friends Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet,
Owl, Kanga, Roo and Eeyore.
With Walt’s goal foremost in mind, Disney
animators have revisited the wit and whimsy of
Pooh for the first time in more than 35 years to
craft a brand-new feature-length film, “Winnie
the Pooh.” Available for home viewing on Blu-ray
and DVD, the film is inspired by three stories
from the original A.A. Milne books and rendered
with Disney’s classic hand-drawn, watercolor-art
When asked why the Pooh characters are still
so universally charming, producer Peter Del
Vecho suggests, “’Winnie the Pooh’ resonates
with today’s audiences more than ever.” Maybe
it’s because we crave some relief from today’s
fast-paced world of constant connectivity or
maybe because, in spite of it all, we still
recognize the basic importance of imagination
and of relationships. Adds Del Vecho, “It seems
like everyone has at least one character with
whom they identify. And these characters keep it
“You can really define each friend from the
Hundred Acre Wood with one word,” adds director
Stephen Anderson. “Pooh is innocence. Tigger is
impulsive. Piglet is fear. Owl is ego. Rabbit is
control. Kanga is nurturing. Eeyore is
pessimism. They all possess core human values.
That’s what makes them so relatable and so
entertaining. No matter what age, when kids or
adults view the movie, they laugh while seeing
themselves in these characters.”
“With Pooh, there’s a clear-eyed human wisdom
that comes through in a very subtle way,” adds
Del Vecho. “He’s all about enjoying friends,
enjoying family and enjoying life.”
Tigger is a one-of-a-kind creature—exuberant,
with a famously springy tail. He acts on every
impulse and his boisterous manner and desire to
do things his way often lead him to leap before
“The wonderful thing about Piglet is that
while he’s frightened of everything, he still
goes out and faces the world alongside his
friends,” says Travis Oates, who provides the
voice of Piglet.
Owl (aren’t owls the wisest?) knows
everything-at least, he thinks he does, even if
his information (and spelling) often turns out
to be not quite right. It’s his effort to help
that often stirs up trouble in the Hundred Acre
Wood because he makes things up. He improvises
so that his friends won’t see how desperate he
is to be right.
Rabbit is the smartest of the Hundred Acre
Wood friends and is often the self-appointed
leader of the group. Rabbit can be stubborn and
often overreacts but his friends know he’s a
real bunny at heart—and always willing to hop to
Kanga (mother of Roo) is a warm and
protective creature. If Kanga were a person,
she’d be a busy mom who multitasks to
perfection. Roo is her wild, young adventurer
offspring who wants to go everywhere and try
everything. No matter the situation—or his
mother’s objections—Roo throws himself right in
the middle of all the action. Sometimes Kanga’s
mothering tries Roo’s patience but, in the end,
there’s nothing better for him than being
cuddled in his mama’s pouch.
Finally there’s Eeyore the donkey, who with
his gloomy approach to life, has proven to be a
relatable and beloved fan favorite. He doesn’t
see himself as gloomy; he just has low
Tony Award−winning songwriter Bobby Lopez,
who along with his partner and wife Kristen
Anderson-Lopez wrote six new songs for the film,
sums it up when he observes, “You love the Pooh
characters when you’re a kid because they’re
cuddly and soft and funny. And even though they
don’t continue to grow, they continue to offer
humor and I think you can love them at every
point in your life. You’re never too old to love
‘Winnie the Pooh.’”
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The Best Of
Country Music Compiled In A Single Album
(NAPSI)—A new album release is designed to hit the
right note with country music fans—particularly those
who want nothing but the hits.
The world’s best-selling multi-artist album series, NOW That’s What I Call Music!, has released the
highly anticipated fourth installment from the respected
and successful NOW That’s What I Call Country series of compilation albums. The collection includes 11
No. 1 singles.
If you believe that consumers vote with their
wallets, then music fans continue to vote in favor of
country music. Consider the following:
• Country music was the dominant music radio format
in the United States in 2010 with just over 2,000
stations around the country.
• According to the Country Music Association, Lady
Antebellum trailed only Eminem in Nielsen Sound Scan’s
top-selling, all-genre albums of 2010 as Need You
Now came in at No. 2 with just over 3 million
Though her third album, Speak Now, was
released only 10 weeks prior to the end of the year,
Taylor Swift finished 2010 as the third-best-seller of
the year with just under 3 million sold.
• And as if to prove that country fans and artists
are comfortable going “new school” when it comes to
sales, in terms of all-genre digital singles sales, Lady
Antebellum made the Top 10 with “Need You Now” selling
3.18 million tracks.
A Big Tent
Country music continues to be a “big tent” in the
entertainment industry with room for all kinds of fans.
Maybe you are the type of fan who was country “before
country was cool” and know the difference between a
dobro and a pedal steel. Or maybe you couldn’t tell the
difference between a honky tonk and a hoedown, but you
like the stories and the sound of the songs. Either way,
the creators of NOW That’s What I Call Country believe you’ll find something to like in this latest
The album features 18 hit songs from the superstars
of country music as well as the best new artists in the
Artists featured in the collection include Lady
Antebellum (“Hello World”), Blake Shelton (“Who Are You
When I’m Not Looking”), Sugarland (“Stuck Like Glue”),
Carrie Underwood (“Undo It”), Keith Urban (“Put You In A
Song”), Miranda Lambert (“Only Prettier”), Darius Rucker
(“Come Back Song”) and everyone’s favorite honky tonk
hero, George Strait (“The Breath You Take”).
Celebrated With A Sweep
To celebrate the release of the album, the label will
sponsor a sweepstakes. One grand prize winner will have
the opportunity to see and meet one of the NOW
Country Volume 4 artists of his or her choosing
live in concert. (Transportation not included and some
restrictions apply.) Other lucky winners will receive a
copy of NOW That’s What I Call Country Volume 4.
For more information, visit www.NowCountrySweeps.com.
A Multiplatinum Franchise
The NOW That’s What I Call Music! series is
a joint venture from EMI Music North America, Sony Music
Entertainment and Universal Music Group.
The NOW That’s What I Call Music! series
debuted in the U.S. in 1998 after the brand had been a
multiplatinum international success for 15 years. The
series has generated sales exceeding 200 million albums
worldwide, including more than 80 million copies in the
U.S. Every album in the numbered U.S. series has reached Billboard’s Top 10, and 14 NOW releases
have reached No. 1.
NOW That’s What I Call Country Volume 4 is
distributed by Universal Music Group Distribution.
To learn more, visit www.nowthatsmusic.com.
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4-H Revolutionizes Youth
(NAPSI)—With just two minutes until their next match,
members of 4-H’s AIR Strike 78 robotics team worked
feverishly to repair a broken chain on their robot when
the opponent called a time-out. They were relieved; they
now had 10 more minutes to get the chain and motor back
in place before their next match.
AIR Strike 78 is one of 60 4-H robotics teams across
the country participating in FIRST Robotics, a
competitive robotics organization for middle and high
school youth. Teams have six weeks to design and build a
robot to compete in a game that will challenge both
their engineering and sport skills.
4-H’s growing robotics program has inspired youth to
take an active interest in science, technology,
engineering and mathematics over the last few years.
With the newly released 4-H Robotics Curriculum, youth
of all ages are now engaged in robotics and engineering
concepts early on, which sparks an interest in pursuing
science careers and higher learning.
“The great achievements of our youth in robotics are
proof positive of what we’ve learned from the
longitudinal study conducted by Tufts University: Young
people in 4-H perform better in science, engineering,
technology and applied math subjects, and are more
interested in pursuing science careers than their
non-4-H peers,” said Donald T. Floyd Jr., National 4-H
Council president and CEO.
In addition to FIRST, 4-H’ers also participate in
robotics competitions such as the MATE (Marine Advanced
Technology Education) International ROV competition,
where youth build robots that tackle real-world issues,
like repairing oil spills completely underwater.
“Youth in 4-H have really jumped into robotics; 12 of
our 60 4-H teams were invited to compete at the national
level this year, and we expect those numbers to continue
to grow,” said Floyd. “Through their experiences in 4-H,
our young people are on the path to become the nation’s
next generation of great scientists and engineers.”
The rising interest in robotics within the
110-year-old organization is representative of 4-H’s
progression and ability to remain relevant in the lives
of today’s American youth. While 4-H has been known
historically for its agricultural and healthy living
activities through after-school clubs across the
country, it has evolved to include a more diversified
science program that allows youth to explore interests
in a variety of programs, from animal and environmental
science to rocketry and renewable energies.
As AIR Strike 78 and other 4-H Robotics teams wrapped
up their pit stops between matches at the national FIRST
Robotics Championship, they knew that it’s not always
about winning and losing.
“This is an amazing amount of knowledge here,” said a
member of the Camdenton (Mo.) 4-H Laser robotics team.
“Just the hands-on experience, I mean; you can never get
this in a classroom. It’s an experience like no other.”
For more information on 4-H Robotics and the new 4-H
Robotics Curriculum, visit www.4-H.org.
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Play Well Today And Live Well
For Years To Come
(NAPSI)—According to noted experts supported by
recent research, playtime actually prepares kids for
their futures. Perhaps one of the best places to see the
benefits of play in action is in the halls of some of
the institutions educating the toymakers of tomorrow.
For example, at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s
Toy Design program, where students create toys that
entertain, educate and inspire kids, Chair Judy Ellis
sees the lifelong benefits of play firsthand. “Our
incoming students all need to be able to think
conceptually and translate those ideas into action. When
children have access to toys that respect their
imagination and intelligence, it can foster these
abilities from an early age.”
While all kinds of play can deliver these benefits to
children and adults alike, construction play—building
with blocks, sticks or bricks—seems to be gaining in
popularity in part because of its perceived ability to
develop motor skills, problem solving and creative
To help encourage this new generation of builders,
LEGO Systems created LEGO Master Builder Academy, a new
program that teaches the techniques of model designers
via a yearlong toy subscription. Children learn
successful building methods such as locking and model
stability while they play; at the same time, they learn
transferable skills such as how to conceptualize, design
and create on their own.
This curriculum has been carefully developed to
strengthen, test and reward core building skills by an
elite group of designers known as the LEGO Master
Builders. They hold one of two important jobs: They
either design the many LEGO sets sold each year, or they
design and build all the spectacular, one-of-a-kind
models on display around the world. “The No. 1 question
I hear from parents and children alike is ‘How can I
learn to build like a Master Builder?’” says Erik
Varszegi, a Master Builder based in the U.S.A.
Varszegi offers parents these tips, also found on www.LEGOmba.com, to help teach kids about design and
building in order to bring their ideas to life, all
while having fun:
• Put it on paper—he uses special
graph paper to design models, but any graph paper or
lined paper will help kids translate their ideas into
reality-whether it’s building a sandcastle or making a
one-of-a-kind cake, it’s easier to translate scale and
proportion once you’ve seen it on paper.
• Assemble the elements—gather your
bricks, ingredients, art supplies, whatever pieces you
need to make your creation; have them in one place so
you can plan your approach and make any adjustments
before you dive in.
• Make mistakes—remember, you’re
experimenting and creating, so there’s no such thing as
a “right” answer. Take chances and keep a fresh eye on
what you’re making. Some of the world’s best inventions
have been a result of a “mistake.”
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Improving Your Odds Of Playing Better Games
(NAPSI)—Game players want a variety of ways to enjoy
their favorite pastime. Just as music lovers like to
sample music before buying it and movie lovers like to
rent a DVD before considering a purchase, some gamers
prefer to rent games or take new games for a free
test-drive before committing to buying them.
Those who play games even casually love to have a
variety of choices and the ability to easily find top
games. According to eMarketer, 115 million video gamers
are playing online at casual game websites.
Fortunately, you can take online games for a
test-drive, as you might view a season of a television
show on Hulu, rent it—as you might rent a DVD with
Redbox—or buy as you might through iTunes.
For example, WildTangent allows gamers to play top
games free for hours by showing a 30-second commercial
before game playing begins. Players can also rent games
for a fraction of the purchase price when free play is
finished, which is a big plus for people who like to
play many games and don’t feel the need to own them all.
If you really love the game after playing for free or
renting it, you can decide to buy it. One hundred
percent of your rental applies toward ownership of the
Playing games online can make life more fun for the
whole family—especially at sites that offer kids games,
family games, casual games and enthusiast games.
Interested in trying a hidden object or match 3 game?
Maybe you need a little action or adventure in your
game? Or perhaps you prefer the old arcade games or need
more of a challenge with brainpower games? WildTangent.com offers thousands of hot online
games, adding new games each week for every kind of
The site is one of the largest and most trusted
online game services in the world. You can find game
tips and highlights on Facebook and twitter at www.facebook.com/WildTangentGames and twitter.com/PlayWildTangent. For more information or
to start playing, visit www.WildTangent.com.
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