Take Your Best "Shot" And Land A Spot in The Pro Football Hall Of Fame
(NAPSI)-As children across America put on their helmets and pads and take to the gridiron to play football, parents will fill the stands, cameras in hand, hoping to capture priceless moments in their children’s lives. One will also capture first prize in a football photography contest.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is looking for the best youth football photos from across America. Football fans are encouraged to pick up a camera and enter the sixth annual “Why Do You Love Football?” Photo Challenge. The image of a child’s first time taking the field to a player making a leaping catch to a cheerleader rooting for the home team could earn the winning photographer a trip to attend Super Bowl XLV in North Texas. In addition, the winner will receive a trip to the 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Celebration and have his or her photo displayed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for a year.
A judging panel consisting of Archie Manning, former NFL quarterback and father of two Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks; Peter Read Miller, Sports Illustrated photographer; and other prominent staff photographers and photo editors will determine the group of 14 finalists in each division. Once the field is narrowed, fans will make the final call by voting for their favorite photo from December 20, 2010, through January 7, 2011, via the contest website.
“Year after year I look forward to seeing how fans portray their passion for the game of football through their photography,” said Manning. “Each year the photos entered in the contest get better and better and I am looking forward to see what this year’s will produce.”
Making photography part of your day-to-day routine lets you capture memories that last a lifetime. Here are some sports photography hints that may help:
• Get to the game early so you can find the best place from which to take your pictures.
• Get panning down pat. When you move the camera in the same direction as the action, you get the subject in sharp focus and the background blurred.
• Vary your shutter speeds. Very fast shutter speed will get a stop action look. Slow shutter speeds will give the picture the appearance of motion.
• Prefocus your camera so you can get the shot as it happens, unless your camera has a “quick release” setting.
• Try to stay steady. Use a tripod or other sort of support to keep camera from shaking.
• Vary the angle at which you take the picture.
• Enter the contest. You can submit as many as 10 images each from September 2, 2010, to December 1, 2010, by visiting Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, at www.usa.canon.com/nfl and following the online instructions.
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Tips For A Frighteningly Good Halloween
(NAPSI)-Halloween’s popularity has become almost scary. Over the last few decades, it has morphed into a monthlong celebration of all things spooky. This is evidenced by the estimated $5 billion that consumers spend annually on costumes, decorations and festivities.
Luckily, you don’t have to break the bank to have a frighteningly good time this Halloween. With a little bit of planning, you can scare up entertainment options that are convenient, safe and economical.
For instance, during the month of October, one of the best bangs for your buck is the ghoulishly great variety of seasonal On Demand programming available from your cable operator.
Everything you need for your frightfest—from the hottest trends in decorating to quick tips on unique pumpkin carving—is available from the safety of your own home, when and where you want it, with a few clicks of your remote control.
Here are seven “spooktacular” suggestions:
1. Designer Digs—If you’re dying to turn your crypt into the coolest haunt on the street, heist tips from design experts who compete to create the best Halloween block party with themes such as the Haunted Mansion, kid-friendly Hansel and Gretel and elegant Sleepy Hollow.
2. Tempting Treats—Keep festivities on the sweet side with “how-to” lessons from the evil geniuses of the kitchen who whip up such delicacies as eyeball minicakes and gross-out tactile treats.
3. Smashing Pumpkins—Get video quick tips on edgy pumpkin carving and pumpkin art.
4. Terrifying Travel—Shackled to home? Hitch a ride and visit some of America’s most terrifying destinations.
5. Haunted Hunts—Need to do a little soul searching? Travel with the experts as they track down ghosts-before they spook the daylight out of you.
6. Macabre Marathons—Can’t resist dark basements? Vampires, monsters and werewolves (oh, my!) are easy to find (no flashlight required) in horrifying programming categories, including classic creepy movies, modern horror and campy cult favorites. Or satisfy your appetite for zombies and beasts with new original shows.
7. Hair-Raising Whodunits—Invite some of your favorite fiends over and put your grey matter to work solving favorite new and classic capers.
For more on fall and Halloween-themed how-to’s and favorite fright flicks, check out www.thisiscable.com.
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Ready For A Modern Day Treasure Hunt?
(NAPSI)--It’s time to turn an ordinary outing with your preschooler into a great adventure! Now, with the help of a popular TV show for kids and a high-tech game for all ages, parents and kids have the tools to get outside, get into nature and make their own discoveries.
The Jim Henson Company’s hit television series, “Dinosaur Train” on PBS KIDS®, embraces and celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains. The program encourages basic scientific thinking skills as the audience learns about life science, natural history and paleontology. It’s all seen through the eyes of Buddy, a preschool-aged Tyrannosaurus Rex. Buddy and his adoptive family of Pteranodons go for adventures on the Dinosaur Train to meet all kinds of dinosaurs in the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods and learn fascinating new facts about these incredible creatures.
The fast-growing, family-friendly hide-and-seek game that combines technology with outside adventure is called Geocaching. Players hide and seek out containers called “caches” using a Global Positioning System (GPS) device. These real hidden treasures are typically small waterproof boxes and contain a logbook to sign and any number of tokens to trade. Each Dinosaur Train cache highlights one of the dinosaurs listed in the show’s online field guide and may also include figurines and stickers. Several museums, zoos and aquariums are also participating in Dinosaur Train geocaching.
Why Dinosaur Train and Geocaching?
Geocaching encourages children to explore their surroundings, use observational skills and have an adventure right in their own neighborhood. Geocaching with a grown-up can help children develop critical- and creative-thinking skills. Families can enjoy a Dinosaur Train Geocache adventure or any kind of field trip all year long.
To help plan your outing, here are a few hints:
1. Do your homework. Research the destination. Try visiting its website or calling to ask about guided tours, restrooms and eating facilities.
2. Teach your kids about your destination. Tell them the history; use maps and pictures. Discuss what will happen or what they’ll see. Let them know why you’re going to the particular place and its significance. The more they know, the more they’ll enjoy the trip.
3. Be prepared. Bring a backpack with first-aid equipment, a camera, paper and crayons. Have your children draw their favorite part of the field trip.
Learn more at www.PBSkids.org/dinosaurtrain and http://www.geocaching.com/dinosaurtrain.
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Celebrate Your Child’s Big Day With A Fairy Hunt Party
(NAPSI)-A delightful way to put a bit more magic into your youngster’s next birthday party or other celebration can be to give it an enchanted theme. That can be almost as easy as waving a wand when you heed three hints:
1. Decorate to Suit the Theme. You can get tableware, decorations and even costumes to enhance an enchanted pixie theme. Fairy wings for everyone, for example, can add a special touch to the experience.
2. Serve Fairies’ Favorite Foods and Drinks. Customize your menu with items such as Forest Fairy Trail Mix, which can be made by mixing 4 ounces each of assorted dried fruits, nuts, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, small chocolates and anything else you like in a large bowl. Miniature fairy-sized cupcakes or a larger cake featuring pixie dust sprinkles are popular, too. For quenching fairies’ thirst, a Perfectly Pixie Nectar can be made from peeled, seeded and cubed cantaloupe, juiced limes and honey, blended until smooth.
3. Have Enchanting Activities. This can include a hunt for evidence that fairies do exist, starting with a discussion of what each child knows about fairy mythology.
Build a fairy house. Start with a shoe box and two triangle-shaped pieces of cardboard for the roof. Encourage the children to decorate their houses to attract their favorite kinds of fairies; e.g., plant, animal, water, light or tinker. Fold one larger piece of cardboard in half and place on top. Glue leaves or flower petals on the roof as shingles. Draw windows and doors where you want them on the outside of the box. Have an adult available to help cut them out. Use light cardboard to craft furniture inside the houses and add tiny flowers to make splendid fairy-size centerpieces. Bottle caps, nutshells and toothpaste caps make handy pixie containers and dishes. Corks and empty spools make useful stools and table bases. Use jar lids as table tops, beds and bathtubs. Cotton balls make good pillows. Napkins can become curtains.
The hunt. Guests then find locations that they think will be attractive to fairies to place their houses. They can add “fairy food” such as raisins, berries, sunflower seeds, small foods, acorns for sipping tea, flower petals and leaves for making clothes, rhinestones, silvery shells or even nuts and bolts for tinker fairies.
Wait for fairies to arrive. Since fairies are very shy creatures, the children will need to leave the houses and concentrate on other activities like birthday cake, presents or watching a delightful film like Disney’s new “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue,” an all-new, original, full-length, CG-animated film available as a Blu-ray combo pack, a DVD or a movie download. In this film, the worlds of fairies and humans meet for the first time. Years before meeting Wendy and the Lost Boys, Tinker Bell met Lizzy, a little girl with a steadfast belief in the power of pixie dust and the magic land of fairies. Produced by DisneyToon Studios, it’s a captivating and exciting adventure for the whole family, featuring breathtaking animation, spectacular music and an all-star cast of voice talents.
Search for evidence of fairies. While the children are otherwise engaged, one adult can visit all the houses, leaving telltale signs that fairies have visited, moving items in the houses as if they’ve been used, removing the snacks and sprinkling a trail of fairy dust glitter and cinnamon (which is the scent of fairies). Tiny tinkling bells and pastel-colored chocolate kisses can be left in the houses as gifts from the fairies, too.
When the movie is over, the kids can check their houses to look for signs of fairy visits and share the evidence they find.
Learn more fun facts about how to find a fairy and make fairy food, and about activities such as building a fairy house at http://disney.go.com/fairies, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TinkerBell and on Twitter: @tinker_bell.
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Inspiring Children To Follow Their Dreams
(NAPSI)-For young girls, dance can offer many benefits—from improved endurance and flexibility to enhanced confidence and strength. It can also help young girls learn how to reach for their dreams.
In the “Angelina Ballerina” storybooks by Katharine Holabird and Helen Craig, young dancers are introduced to the joys of dance. Angelina demonstrates a positive work ethic as she pursues her big dream of becoming a prima ballerina. Along the way, she encounters fun, adventure and some obstacles, but in the end, her passion for dance always shines through.
In the new CG animated PBS KIDS series, “Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps,” Angelina follows her dreams with grace and determination, capturing both the joys and frustrations of growing up, and demonstrating that life isn’t a perfect ballet.
To raise awareness of the benefits of dance, the “Angelina Ballerina Stars of Tomorrow” program (AB Stars) was launched by HIT Entertainment with the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx, N.Y.
In tandem with the new series and the launch of the program, HIT Entertainment and Lionsgate Home Entertainment are releasing a DVD titled “Angelina Ballerina: Love To Dance,” and Mattel has launched a new line of Angelina Ballerina toys. Penguin Young Readers Group will release three all-new Angelina Ballerina picture books based on “Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps,” including “Angelina’s New Dance” and “Angelina’s New School” for 3−5 year-olds, and “The Nutcracker Sweet,” for readers ages 5−8. Angelina will also share her love of dance in a new stage show, “Angelina Ballerina The Musical.”
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Game Gets Families Active Indoors
(NAPSI)-It’s getting colder and wetter and the days are getting shorter, but that’s no reason the whole family can’t relive the fun of being outdoors all year-round. Even if caught snowed-in you don’t have to be caught hibernating when you can turn your own living room into an active life room.
A new game, ACTIVE LIFE EXPLORER, can help. Players take on the role of a treasure hunter and explore exotic locales. Stop a getaway train, catch a bandit on horseback, run across a falling bridge, escape a dark mine on a cart and more. You control the action by running, jumping, hopping and skipping so it can be a fun way to get everyone active and their hearts pumping.
Here’s a look at some of its fun features:
• There are multiple modes of gameplay. You can play themed tours in the story-based Treasure Adventure mode or take on individual challenges in the Free Play mode for lots of replayability.
• There’s a lot to explore—24 action-packed activities that can get the whole family moving with jungle, Western, underwater, flying, snow themes and more.
• There’s plenty of fun for plenty of people. You can play with up to four players simultaneously with both cooperative and competitive challenges or take turns exploring with as many as eight players with the game’s Party Mode.
• There’s an ACTIVE LIFE Mat Controller, a specially designed mat controller bundled with the game so you can jump right into the action with a Nintendo Wii. The game is also available as a stand-alone.
• Using the ACTIVE LIFE Mat Controller to play is also a great, functional fitness tool, which you can make part of your family’s fitness routine that’s both a great workout and enjoyable for all skill levels-in fitness and gaming.
Developed by NAMCO BANDAI Games; explore more online at www.namcobandaigames.com.
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A Whirlwind Of Fun With A Beloved Cartoon Character
(NAPSI)-Young gamers today can have their own adventures with a crazy character parents may remember from when they were growing up: The Tazmanian Devil. The famously frenetic Looney Tunes cast member is part of the legendary Looney Tunes legacy that spans some 80 years.
Having already appeared in numerous cartoons and movies, now Taz is making his return to video games with his new game "Galactic Taz Ball." It is now available for the Nintendo DS, is rated "E" for Everyone and best suits kids ages 6 to 13 years old.
In the game, Taz gets caught up in an evil plot by Marvin the Martian. He--and the young players--find themselves on a whirlwind journey of exploration, platform challenges and puzzle solving. Marvin is on a mission to steal the Earth's landscape for Mars, while hungry Taz is on a journey to find a giant chicken leg in the sky. It's a lighthearted crusade across barren deserts, tropical jungles, ice-covered terrain and beyond. Taz, one of the most popular characters in the Looney Tunes family, just might inadvertently defeat Marvin and save Earth along the way.
With two distinct game-play modes, "Galactic Taz Ball" provides double the entertainment for kids.
"Overworld" is an action 3-D game mode with unique but intuitive track ball controls using the stylus on the bottom screen. Players can accelerate Taz into a tornado, moving fast enough to destroy objects and enemies, while exploring unique landscapes and solving fun puzzles.
"Underworld" lets players move Taz by prodding, pulling and pushing him and his surroundings with the stylus. Marvin's machinery and tools found in the underworld assist in Taz's motions, helping players pass each level. With two game-play modes and three distinct difficulty settings, players are sure to have a blast.
"Galactic Taz Ball" is published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) and developed by WayForward Technologies.
You can learn more at www.galactictazball.com.
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