ENTERTAINMENT

Keep Cool in Warm Months

Universal Remote

New Games

New Toys

3D Enabled Home Theater

Digital Music Sound Boost

Task Force DVD

Family Fun Football Game

Embrace Summer: Cool Things To Do In The Warmer Months

(NAPSI)—Have you been daydreaming about a beach chair in the sun all winter? Now that the long, sunny days are here—it's time to celebrate! There are plenty of fun ways to keep your cool during the summer months.

Here are a few tried-and-true tips:

• Outdoor games. Celebrate summer and gather your family, friends and neighbors together for some classic outdoor games such as flag football, Wiffle® ball, Frisbee® or tug-of-war. Whether you play the game in your backyard, park or at the beach, these games are fun for all ages.

• Enjoy a classic frozen snack. Pack up a portable cooler with your favorite frozen snacks before heading out for the day. Looking to try a twist on the ultimate summer favorite? Check out new NESTLÉ® DRUMSTICK® Sprinkled! sundae cones, coated in chocolate and scrumptious sprinkles.

• Embrace the spray. Set up your rotating garden spray and encourage your family to run through it. Make it a game to miss the spray—at least some of the time.

• Break out the hose. Bring out the hose and the sponges to wash the car or the dog. Keep the hose handy and finish your chores by watering the garden. Invite the neighbors over—a water fight may be the perfect ending to the afternoon!

• Connect on Facebook. The relaxing days of summer are the perfect time to connect with your family and friends, as well as others who share similar passions on Facebook. For example, if you are a fan of NESTLÉ DRUMSTICK sundae cones, you can have special access to coupons and promotions as well as share comments and fond memories with others at www.facebook.com/drumstick.

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Great Gadgets Make Pleasing Presents

(NAPSI)—The next time you need a gift for someone who's hard to shop for, this list of cool toys and tools may be inspirational:

• Do you know someone who still has a stockpile of cassette tapes, videotapes or even reel-to-reels lying around? You can bring him into this century with an Ion U-Record USB Music Archive System. This gift of modern computer technology can convert old-school audio files to MP3 files, which can be saved on a disk or directly on iTunes.

• If weird science is her thing, she'll probably appreciate the Transforming Solar Robot or Electro Plasma Lamp, which combines a lava lamp with a plasma ball radiating lightning arcs that you can follow with your hand for static electricity-induced, hair-raising fun.

• Is he a sci-fi or fantasy fan? If so, he'll likely love the Wizard's Wand Universal Remote that brings out the inner Merlin in anyone. Control any home entertainment systems with a flick of the wrist and a point of the wand.

• Do you have a dog walker on your gift list? Consider the ever-popular Poop Freeze. It can make those nightly walks with Fido a bit more enjoyable. The spray quickly hardens doggie droppings, making for a much less messy pick- up. It's safe to use outside and in and it's environmentally friendly.

• Big news for people who need to read small print: A handheld electronic magnifier that's small enough to fit in a pocket or purse but powerful enough to magnify print 11 times its original size can come in handy for anyone who needs to read fine print, pill bottles, instruction books and restaurant menus.

• For the aristocrats you know, there's the Laird & Lady gift set. It gives the recipient a genuine piece of land in the grounds of Dunans Castle in the Scottish Highlands-and Scottish landowners are legally entitled to use the title Laird or Lady.

• To let you really sock it to friends and family, there are "Super Hero Socks." While they don't actually impart superpowers, they can make anyone feel super as you tell him he's your hero.

Learn More

To learn more about these and thousands more gift ideas, you can visit www.x-tremegeek.com or call (800) 480-4335.

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Playing Pirates Has Never Been So Much Fun

(NAPSI)—One of the world's great adventures can be something your family can have fun with and feel a part of-without leaving home.

That's because you can now plunge into the action of the exciting "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies in an adventure game bringing the colorful film characters to life—in the whimsical form of LEGO bricks.

With "LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game," players can swashbuckle their way through many of the most memorable scenes from the first three films and even the new movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." The game can set children's imaginations sailing on thousands of build-and-play adventures. The game features:

• Exploration—Players explore familiar locations filled with interactive LEGO objects and encounter more than 70 characters while making their way through more than 20 levels.

• Combat—Intense sword- fighting moves give the mini-figures a brand-new pirate flavor.

• Unforgettable Scenes—Favorite scenes from the films are redone with mini-figures, in humorous LEGO video games style.

• Puzzles—Players will need all their pirate cunning to find the hidden treasures and discover the game's many secrets.

• Free Play—Building a collection of characters throughout the game, players use their distinctive abilities to access new areas.

• Single Player—and two-player co-op on one system. Play alone or join a friend or family member in the same room for two-player "drop-in, drop-out" cooperative action.

The game, by Disney Interactive Studios, can play on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system, the PlayStation3 computer entertainment system, the Wii console, Games For Windows—LIVE, the Nintendo DS family of handheld systems and the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system. It's rated E10+, so it's great for school-age children and a fun way for them to stay focused when school is out whether they are fans of the movies or not.

You can learn more and watch scenes from the game at www.disneyinteractivestudios.com.

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Pokémon Phenomenon Lives On

(NAPSI)—A new line of toys brings to life the experience of a Pokémon™ Trainer: to catch, trade and battle Pokémon.

The toys coincide with the successful launch of the Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version video games for Nintendo DS™ and TV animation series on Cartoon Network. More than 150 all-new characters from the brand-new Unova region are found in the video games, TV animation, trading card game and toy line.

The innovative new toy line from JAKKS Pacific incorporates the many ways kids like to play with Pokémon as inspired by the TV animation:

• Skill and action play, featuring the Pokémon Catcher and Pop 'n' Battle Launcher and target. The Catcher allows kids to catch micro-figures using a unique, retractable Poké Ball. The Pop 'n' Battle Launcher allows kids to launch and battle their favorite characters in a head-to-head competition with friends.

• Action figure play featuring figures and play sets based on the all-new characters from the Unova region.

• Trainer role play items and a collection of plush characters.

You can find the new toys at major retailers nationwide. For more information, visit www.jakks.com or call (877) 875-2557.

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Enjoying The 3D Experience At Home

(NAPSI)—Fans of 3D movies in theaters may want to focus their attention on a new way to bring home that experience.

A 3D-enabled projector offers the most viewing pleasure. It's the only way to get a movie-theater-like feel at home with the largest image possible. And now there is a 3D-enabled home theater projector that shows crisp 2D movies while wowing everyone with its engaging 3D effects that can be displayed on 100+-inch screens.

Larger-Than-Life-Size Fun At Home

Mitsubishi's Diamond HC9000D 3D-enabled projector is powered by an SXRD reflective liquid-crystal optical engine coupled with Mitsubishi's own 2D–3D processing technologies to create high-brightness, high-contrast images that can be described as true to their original content and simply awesome.

Plus, many people are excited about new movies, sports and video games that can be viewed in 3D. For example, the NFL's preseason games are broadcast in 3D and several companies have announced that they intend to broadcast the 2012 Olympics in 3D.

More information is available at www.mitsubishi-presentations.com.

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Three Tips For Getting The Best Sound Quality From Your Digital Music Files

(NAPSI)—If you're like most people, you love downloading music in a digital format so you can take your favorite tunes with you wherever you go, but you hate the poor sound quality you get from digital music.

It's not just your imagination that digital music doesn't sound as good as a CD. This is because music files must be compressed for easier storage and playback on mobile devices. CDs, with a file size of 1,411.2 kbps (or 1,411,200 bits of information per second), typically deliver over 10 times more fidelity than the same song in one of the most popular digital formats, like MP3, AAC and WMA, at 128 kbps. The act of compressing the audio file, in effect, strips some of the high and low frequencies that actually provide great detail and fidelity to a song, so what you hear sounds washed out and flat.

But there are ways to make your digital music sound better. Here are a few tips:

1. Bitrate Size: When choosing an MP3, AAC or WMA format, look for files that deliver music at 192 kbps. That's a nice compromise between file size and audio quality. Online music retailers, including iTunes, have begun carrying titles at a higher bitrate already.

2. CD Ripping: The audio experience of a CD ripped at home versus a professional system is substantially different. To optimize the quality when ripping CDs on a home computer, choose either 2x or 4x speed to burn your disc. Burning at the maximum speed can cause instability in the recording, which leads to pops, clicks and gaps in your ripped music. Also, make sure the CD-ROM drivers are up to date, and use a computer with a powerful CPU, as ripping is a processor-intensive activity.

3. Audio Enhancement Adaptor: Both of the above tips will help; however, you will still experience some audio degradation from the compression process. If you use an iOS device such as an iPad or iPhone, another way to optimize your listening experience is with a simple and sleek add-on device that connects to the bottom of your iPad, iPhone or iPod and restores the audio cues that were buried during the compression process, delivering an incredibly immersive and rich surround sound experience. A great one is the SRS iWOW 3D audio enhancement adaptor and it works with headphones, external speakers and even in the car. The difference is amazing...it's like going from a B&W television to color. It's a surefire way to get the most out of your digital music files.

For more information, visit www.srslabs.com/store.

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Help Cheer Up A Hero

(NAPSI)—Even the greatest heroes need to relax now and then. For U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan , however, quality, safe entertainment is, at best, difficult to get. Traditional activities such as baseball and softball games are at a high risk because of IEDs, snipers, mines, bombs and other terrorist activities. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology and good-hearted citizens, they can get entertaining DVDs.

Patriotic Americans can donate new and used DVDs to be shipped to the nation's fighting men and women. The DVDs will be available at all bases in Iraq and Afghanistan for the entertainment of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

The aim of the project, known as AMVETS Task Force DVD, is to ultimately have hundreds of titles in rotation at each base.

To donate, you, your agency, club, organization or business can send a new or good-quality used DVD to AMVETS Task Force DVD, 1395 E. Dublin Granville Road #222, Columbus, OH 43229, or call(877) 726-8387, ext. 4031.

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Fun Family Project

(NAPSI)—Quality time with your family can often mean lending a hand. Do-it-yourself projects are a great way to spend time with dad while creating a fun activity everyone can enjoy. All you need are the right tools and a few simple instructions. For instance, building jumbo field goal posts for a paper football game can give the family hours of entertainment year-round. Here is a step-by-step plan on how to score big with your kids by kicking it through the goalposts.

Tools needed:

• Drill press

• Miter saw

• Drill driver and bits

• 1-inch Forstner bit

• Measuring tape

• Glue

• Note—Project can be completed without a drill press or miter saw by substituting a drill and handsaw, respectively.

Supplies needed:

• At least 60 inches of dowel, 1 inch in diameter

• 2 x 6 lumber cut to 14 inches long

• Screws

Directions:

1. Cut two pieces of dowel at 22 inches. These are your upright goalposts.

2. Cut another piece of dowel at 22 inches. This is your horizontal goalpost.

3. Cut another piece of dowel at 12˝ inches. This is your upright support beam.

4. Lay the horizontal goal-post on your workbench. Then, use a pencil and make two marks on the post exactly 1 inch in from both ends.

5. Use the drill press with the Forstner bit to drill half-way through the dowel on your marks. This is where the uprights will be attached. A Forstner bit is used to bore a precise, flat-bottomed hole.

6. Flip the goalpost over and make a mark in the center of the post, 11 inches from either end. Drill halfway through on your mark.

7. Apply glue and piece the two upright goalposts into the two side drill-outs.

8. To secure the upright goalposts, predrill from the underside of the horizontal goalpost into the middle of the upright dowels and screw in.

9. Apply glue and place the upright support beam in the center drill-out.

10. To secure the upright support beam, predrill and screw in from the top of the horizontal goalpost.

11. Use the 1-inch Forstner bit to make a hole through a piece of 2 x 6.

12. Apply some glue, place upright in 2 x 6 and let dry.

13. Paint or stain as desired.

For more project ideas of all levels, visit the Craftsman Experience live in Chicago or on the Craftsman Experience tab on the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/craftsman.

The Craftsman Experience, located at 233 W. Huron Street, is the ultimate DIY playground, bringing visitors face to face with tools, live demonstrations and hands-on workstations. Clinics and demos are hosted by organizations that share their expert skills and talents in auto repair, woodworking, garage storage, and lawn and garden care. From Thursday-Sunday, the Craftsman Experience is open to the public.

If you don't live in Chicago, don't worry! The projects are streamed live over the Craftsman Facebook page. There, you can also find a schedule of upcoming events so you can tune in online. For more information on Craftsman tools, visit www.craftsman.com.

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