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Oprah Winfrey

Rent A Movie

Healthy Ideas Contest

New Game For Teamwork Learn Through Laughter Pac-Man Is Back

TV Quiz Show Games

Hi-Tech Holiday Gifts

How To Shine As A Giver

(NAPSI)-You could be known as having a gift for giving if you heed a few hints:

• Suit the present to the person—but with a creative touch. Got a bookworm on your list? Give a night-light, bookmark, bookends or bookstore gift card. For home gardeners, packets of seeds, garden tools or a vase in which to show off the flowers of their labor could be the way to grow in their esteem. Make sure children’s gifts are age appropriate.

• Give the best you can. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a gift but rather choose quality over quantity.

• Go for something unique. Give that traditional holiday symbol, a star. You could give star-shaped jewelry or a star for the top of the tree, but for a gift that transcends all demographics and socioeconomic boundaries, name a star for someone. It’s hard to find a more timely and inspirational idea.

For over 30 years, the International Star Registry has been providing gift givers with the classic and traditional opportunity of star naming. Countless celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift, Whitney Houston and Donald Trump, as well as dignitaries and royalty such as Princess Diana, have stars named after them. But naming a star after someone is not just for the famous—millions of everyday individuals also have stars in their names.

Naming a star is a way to give a personal gift that lasts a lifetime. The recipient gets a beautiful 12” by 16” parchment certificate with the star name, the dedication date and the star’s telescopic coordinates. You can even select the constellation, if you like. Also included is a comprehensive booklet by noted astronomer Dr. James Rickard with charts of the constellations, plus a larger, more detailed chart with the actual star encircled in red. Star names can also be featured on jewelry, also available from the firm.

All star names are published in the copyrighted astronomical compendium “Your Place in the Cosmos,” which is stored in a vault in Switzerland.

A star name can be great as a last-minute gift or for that hard-to-buy-for person. The star package arrives within five to seven days of ordering.

Learn More

For information or to place an order, visit www.starregistry.com or call (800) 282-3333.

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Easy and Affordabe At Home

(NAPSI)-As seasons change, people tend to spend more time at home with friends and family--and look for entertainment options that will stretch their dollars through the weekends.

Here are a few suggestions for families and couples on a budget:

• Turn Friday evening dinner into smorgasbord night. It’s a great way to use up all the leftovers in the fridge while not having to plan dinner. Just heat in the microwave or the toaster oven, and a variety-filled dinner is ready in minutes. Then dust off one of the classic board games in the closet, such as “Scrabble,” and get the kids’ competitive juices flowing by letting winners choose ice cream or cake for dessert.

• There are no lines and no late fees for films on the digital cable Movies On Demand lineup. Instead, enjoy a wide selection of movies anytime without ever leaving the couch.

With just a click of the remote, turn any night into date night with Queen Latifah and Common’s romantic comedy about love and other games, “Just Wright.” Girls night in? Grab some gal pals, put on some waterproof mascara and watch Amanda Seyfried’s “Letters to Juliet.” Instantly embrace your inner rock star with the misadventures of Russell Brand and Jonah Hill in “Get Him To The Greek.” Or supersize your family night with a comedy about an oversized pooch, “Marmaduke.” Pajamas and popcorn not included.

Renting the newest releases has never been easier. Many films are available the same day as their DVD release, so there’s no waiting in traffic, at store checkout or for the mail.

Movies on demand are never sold out or out of stock, and you always get the best seat in the house. With several choices in high-def, you can enjoy high-definition entertainment at your fingertips.

For more information, visit www.cablevideostore.com.

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New Contest Asks Kids To Share Healthy Ideas

(NAPSI)-It doesn’t take magic to live a healthier life, but a new contest uses some of the magic in kids’ lives to make a difference.

Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living is a national initiative that partners with parents to promote healthy lifestyles for kids and families. The initiative includes public service announcements by First Lady Michelle Obama and young Disney stars.

The initiative encourages young people to take control of their own health, fitness and nutrition and engage their families, schools and communities to do the same.

As part of the program, a new contest encourages kids to share their ideas for healthier living. Fifty lucky winners will be eligible for a free weekend trip to Walt Disney World where they’ll have the opportunity to interact with Disney Channel stars, celebrity chefs, and more!

The contest invites kids to share their ideas about living a healthier life at school, at home or in their community, in 250 words or less.

For example, the story can be about eating nutritiously and might include tips for making it fun to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.

Or you might write about physical activity and how to make it more fun to get 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Another theme is getting others involved; how to make healthy choices and inspire others to do so. What activities can you do together with your family?

Stories will be judged on the ideas for a healthier life, originality/creativity and leadership/ inspiration.

After kids have entered, they can check out more tips for healthy living on the site.

“There’s magic in discovering that healthy lifestyles can be simple and fun, especially when parents and kids have the right tools,” said Heather Mizrahi, Corporate Responsibility—Kids’ Health and Wellness. “We are thrilled to offer a wide variety of activities, tools and experiences that empowers families to find ways to live healthy lifestyles that work best for them.” Disney consulted with leaders in the field of nutrition, health care and fitness to develop this initiative.

For more information, visit www.Disney.com/healthyfun. The contest runs until December 1, 2010.

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New Video Game Encourages Teamwork

(NAPSI)-When you teach children teamwork, education experts say, you help them do better in school and in life.

Why Foster Teamwork?

According to a paper released by experts on child care at Sonoma State University, it’s important for kids to learn teamwork because it can help “promote respect, responsibility...creativity, exploration and experimentation.” In addition, teamwork can “improve communication and self-confidence.”

Teamwork and Family Fun

Fortunately, the whole family can work as a team and have fun doing it in a new game for Wii.

Players can now experience the fun and creativity of the snow-covered online playground of Club Penguin on a video game console for the first time.

Based on the popular virtual world that’s captivated millions in more than 190 countries around the globe, “Club Penguin Game Day!” features a collection of exclusive new minigames that will challenge and engage the whole family. Players create a penguin, join a team and participate in a series of events, including Sumo Smash, Puffle Paddle, Dance Off and Sled & Slide. Each time players complete a series of events and beat a challenge, they conquer a zone on the island. The ultimate goal is to work together with their team and conquer as much territory as possible.

There are 12 events and team-based competitions in single player, multiplayer and tournament modes that provide players with the opportunity to earn exclusive items.

Another feature lets players transfer their customized penguins via their Wii Remote to a friend’s Wii for use in game play. Once back on the original console, high scores, coins and customization items earned will merge with the player’s profile.

The game comes from Disney Interactive Studios and is for one to four players, ages 6 and up.

Where To Learn More

For more information, see www.disney.com/clubpenguingameday.

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Learning Through Laughter

(NAPSI)-Research shows that learning through laughter not only increases the enjoyment and engagement of a child, but can increase learning by as much as 67 percent.

“Laughter encourages a relaxed and positive attitude toward learning, reduces anxiety about failing and enhances creativity,” said chartered psychologist, author, lecturer and researcher Dr. David Lewis, who conducted the research. “In short, laughter helps the brain work better.”

This fun-driven approach is the philosophy behind “Pocoyo,” a new CGI-animated television series currently airing on Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. The preschool property from Zinkia Entertainment brings children into the exuberant world of Pocoyo (“little me” in Spanish), an inquisitive and fun-loving 3-year-old boy, and his animal friends Elly (the elephant), Pato (the duck) and Loula (his pet dog). Pocoyo uses music, dance and humor to help children “learn through laughter.”

For more information on “Pocoyo,” please visit www.pocoyo.com and for a truly interactive experience, join www.pocoyoworld.com. DVDs are available at www.ncircleentertainment.com and the merchandise at Toys”R”Us.

 

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Icon Celebrates 30 Years; Welcome To The Party

(NAPSI)-He was born of a simple, brown laminate cabinet plonked in the corner of a bustling arcade in 1980. Not much to look at, back then. But, of course, humble beginnings seldom are.

Fast-forward to today, 30 years and a cultural phenomenon later, and the iconic Pac-Man is the most recognizable video game character of all time.

How does such an icon who has achieved everything celebrate his 30th birthday? Simple. Throw a giant party and invite everyone.

Enter “PAC-MAN Party,” Pac- Man’s latest gig in a laundry list of hit titles spanning as many gaming platforms as there have been bad hairstyles since its first release.

A Nintendo Wii exclusive, Namco Bandai’s “PAC-MAN Party” is a collection of more than 45 minigames and challenges that will call on every trick Pac-Man has learned over his 30 years. Play as the icon alone or with up to four friends for motion-controlled games of racing, eating, giant snowball rolling and more.

With curling, tennis and golfing also among the litany of sporty and fun minigames packed in, it’s clear no one throws a party like Pac-Man.

The game has three modes of play:

• Story Mode—Explore all the game board worlds and meet familiar faces and new characters.

• Minigame Mode—A quick fix for those wanting the immediate rush of competition.

• Party Mode—A more in-depth party experience that has up to four friends traveling across different themed boards in a race to collect the most points.

But being the ever hard worker that Pac-Man is, “PAC-MAN Party” comes packed with the original arcade versions of “Galaga” and “Dig-Dug.” And, of course, the original “Pac-Man” we first fell in love with 30 years ago under the neon lights of 1980s arcade America.

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Delightful Ways To Demonstrate Your Smarts And Skills

(NAPSI)-It doesn’t have to be challenging to find a fun way to spend a family night at home playing games or to create great party entertainment.

That’s because you can now challenge everyone to two of the most popular game shows on television. “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune” are available for the Wii and Nintendo DS.

The “Jeopardy” game features more than 2,400 clues presented by Alex Trebek, as up to three players test their knowledge.

The “Wheel of Fortune” game is voiced by show hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White and follows the show’s format by putting up to three players at the wheel to solve more than 8,000 word puzzles to win virtual cash.

You can order the games and learn more at www.thq.com.

 

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High-Tech Holiday Gadgets For Less

 

(NAPSI) - Here's the lowdown on high-tech holiday gifts that can give you a reputation for having the gift of giving:

• Moving ideas. A new generation of movement-based video gaming promises to bring the whole family together in the living room, literally putting you in the game and on the screen. Rather than have you passively sitting on the couch and mashing buttons, the new Move Sports Champions Bundle ($99.99) for Sony PlayStation 3 uses a camera and unique controllers to track movements and put players into the action. For Xbox 360 fans, the newly released Microsoft Kinect ($149.99) also uses a camera system to get your family moving around. Kinect doesn't require any special controllers. Instead, it turns your body itself into a real-life remote.

• Blu-ray at home or away. After you've expended some energy playing video games, you might want to try some more restful entertainment, and Blu-ray players are making it easier than ever on the eyes. According to the Consumer Electronics Association and the NPD Group, more than 65 percent of American households have an HDTV set but only 11 percent have a Blu-ray player. With the RCA 10" Portable Blu-ray player-available exclusively at Target for $299.99-you can unleash the full potential of your HDTV set at home or take it on the road for a family trip.

• Making memories. Share your old-school musical tastes with the kids this year and maybe even try their tunes on for size with a Crosley turntable with wireless speakers ($199.99). You can even convert songs from vinyl records into MP3s. Next, capture holiday memories with a Kodak EasyShare 12.0 MP Digital Camera ($99.99), which lets you wirelessly transmit photos to a Kodak 7" Pulse Wi-Fi digital frame ($114.99), creating an instant digital slideshow on your wall or mantel.

Acquiring all this may be easier than you realize. Shopping at a store such as Target, which offers affordable electronic and gaming options, lets you stock up on holiday essentials in one simple trip.

Giving great gadget gifts this holiday season doesn't have to break the bank. You may be amazed how many bits you get for your buck these days.

 

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