Tag Archives: games

First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks at the National PTA Conference

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks about her Lets Move campaign during a meeting of the National PTA in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, March 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Today First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the National Legislative Conference of the Parent Teacher Association on her Let’s Move! initiative~~a movement pertinent to the National PTA’s efforts toward fighting childhood obesity and promoting healthy lifestyles.

The three-day conference is designed to motivate ‘grasstop’ leaders from across the country and provide an in-depth look at the latest PTA Public Policy Agenda through a series of workshops, skill building trainings, panel discussions, and guest speakers.

Remarks by The First Lady at the National PTA Conference

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First Lady Launches Contest for Healthy Kids Games

Apps for Healthy KidsAP~First lady Michelle Obama challenged software and video game designers Wednesday to develop games and tools that get kids, especially 9- to 12-year-olds, excited about eating better and exercising more.

The carrot? A chance to share in $40,000 in cash prizes.

The Apps for Healthy Kids contest is part of Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to raise public awareness about the national problem of childhood obesity. One in three U.S. children is overweight or obese, putting them at higher risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure or other medical conditions.

Mrs. Obama said kids spend an average of seven and a half hours a day watching TV or playing with computers, video games or other devices.

Maybe you’ve seen those dance video games or those exercise games that families are playing together at home, or the ones that kids play using their mobile phones and home computers?” she said at the national Parent Teacher Association conference. “Those are the kinds of games that we’re talking about.”

More @

The Apps for Healthy Kids Challenge is a contest with the USDA to challenge professional and amateur developers to come up with games that incorporate nutritional information and promote healthy living. From dance video games to nutrition mobile applications, they’re challenging designers to come up with the next big idea to make healthy living fun. The App Challenge is just one of the innovative ways that the First Lady is working to help kids lead active, healthy lives and end childhood obesity within a generation, as part of the nationwide Let’s Move! campaign.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under Childhood Obesity, Children, Education, First Lady Michelle Obama, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized

A Disappointing Return to Political Games with Severe Consequences for Those Who have Lost Their Jobs

Posted by: BuellBoy

Written by Dan Pfeiffer is White House Communications Director
Cross-posted from WhiteHouse.gov

On Thursday, Democrats and Republicans came together in the House to pass an emergency bill that will temporarily extend benefits for American workers and small businesses. It showed that in times of great need, our elected officials can still set aside their differences to do right by the American people.

But just when we thought we were seeing progress, we have been confronted with a disappointing return to tactics that could be harmful to the American people, with Senator Bunning (R-KY) blocking the extension of several critical priorities for middle-class families. If Senator Bunning gets his way, hundreds of thousands of people could be ineligible for COBRA tax credits for health coverage created by the Recovery Act; 400,000 individuals who cannot find work will lose their unemployment insurance; thousands of small businesses will lose access to credit; transportation projects and public safety programs across the country would be halted; critical transportation safety personnel will be furloughed at a time of increased concern about the safety of our roads and highways; and 600,000 doctors across the country who care for our seniors and veterans could be subject to a 20 % pay cut, including 8,105 in Senator Bunning’s home state of Kentucky.

Make no mistake about it: this bill is too important to fall prey to the political games of one person. If Senator Bunning succeeds, it would have a devastating effect on millions of people as early as Monday.

There’s nothing wrong with someone taking a principled stand for something they believe in, but Senator Bunning voted to extend these same benefits in 2008. Over the past decade, unemployment insurance extensions have been passed as emergency measures under Republican and Democratic Congresses alike. So what we’re seeing right now is politics at its worst. It’s a perfect example of why so many Americans are fed up with Washington.

We need to think about how our actions will impact the American people, because they sent us here to work for them. We need to put an end to the gamesmanship, and do whatever is in our power to put Americans back to work. They expect and deserve nothing less of us.

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Filed under Economy, Jobs, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Senate, Uncategorized

Academy Launches College Oscar® Watch Party Contest on Campuses Nationwide

Posted by: Audiegrl

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today the launch of its first College Oscar Watch Party Contest on campuses nationwide. Participation is open to undergraduates from any college or university in the United States that offers a B.A., B.S. or equivalent degree.

Individual party organizers or groups of up to four organizers who register with the Academy will be responsible for organizing their respective parties and submitting recap materials after the event. A registration form is available for download at www.oscars.org. The deadline for registration is Friday, February 19, 2010.

Entrants will post up to 10 photos of their Oscar watch party on http://www.flickr.com and up to five minutes of video footage on http://www.YouTube.com, and submit URLs and a description of no more than 500 words to marketing@oscars.org. The Academy will select the best Oscar watch party based on the following criteria: enthusiasm (i.e., number of attendees, how the event was publicized); creativity (i.e., themes, decorations, food); and guest involvement (i.e., games, activities). The deadline to submit post-event materials is Monday, March 15, 2010.

The organizers of the grand prize-winning party, to be revealed later in the month, will each receive two red carpet bleacher seats at the 83rd Academy Awards® in 2011. Photos and/or video of the winning party will be posted on the Academy’s Facebook page. Organizers of two runner-up parties will also receive acknowledgment on the site, as well as official Oscar prize packages.

For a complete list of rules and regulations for the College Oscar Watch Party Contest, please visit www.oscars.org/watchpartycontest.

44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars® Main PageBack to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars® Main Page

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Children, Computers, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Facebook, Hollywood, Live Stream Video, Media and Entertainment, Movies, MySpace, News, Pop Culture, Students, Technology, Television, TV Shows, Twitter, Uncategorized, United States, US, Video/YouTube

Origins and Traditions of Hanukkah

Hanukkah (also known as Chanukah, Hanukah, Hannuka and the Festival of Lights) is an eight-day Jewish holiday that usually takes place between late November and late December. It commemorates the victory of the Maccabees, a Jewish rebel army, over the Syrians in 165 B.C.E., as well as the subsequent re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem. Jews around the world celebrate with eight nights of merriment. Traditions include lighting the menorah, exchanging gifts and enjoying treats cooked in oil.

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The History of Hanukkah

Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days and nights, starting on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar (which is November-December on the Gregorian calendar). In Hebrew, the word “Hanukkah” means “dedication.”

The holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Jews’ 165 B.C.E. victory over the Hellenist Syrians. Antiochus, the Greek King of Syria, outlawed Jewish rituals and ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods.

In 168 B.C.E. the Jews’ holy Temple was seized and dedicated to the worship of Zeus.

Some Jews were afraid of the Greek soldiers and obeyed them, but most were angry and decided to fight back.

The fighting began in Modiin, a village not far from Jerusalem. A Greek officer and soldiers assembled the villagers, asking them to bow to an idol and eat the flesh of a pig, activities forbidden to Jews. The officer asked Mattathias, a Jewish High Priest, to take part in the ceremony. He refused, and another villager stepped forward and offered to do it instead. Mattathias became outraged, took out his sword and killed the man, then killed the officer. His five sons and the other villagers then attacked and killed the soldiers. Mattathias’ family went into hiding in the nearby mountains, where many other Jews who wanted to fight the Greeks joined them. They attacked the Greek soldiers whenever possible.

Judah Maccabee and his soldiers went to the holy Temple, and were saddened that many things were missing or broken, including the golden menorah. They cleaned and repaired the Temple, and when they were finished, they decided to have a big dedication ceremony. For the celebration, the Maccabees wanted to light the menorah. They looked everywhere for oil, and found a small flask that contained only enough oil to light the menorah for one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days. This gave them enough time to obtain new oil to keep the menorah lit. Today Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days by lighting candles in a menorah every night, thus commemorating the eight-day miracle.

Hanukkah Traditions

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The Menorah
On each night of Hanukkah, the menorah is lit to commemorate a miracle which occurred after the Jews proclaimed victory over the Syrian armies in 165 B.C.E. When Jews came to rededicate the Temple-which had been defiled by the Syrians-they found only one small flask of oil with which to light the menorah. This flask contained only enough oil for one day, yet the lamp burned for eight days (by which time a fresh supply of oil was obtained).

  • In Israel, the Hanukkah menorah is called the Hanukiyah
    Menorahs come in all shapes and sizes. The only requirement is that the flames are separated enough so that they will not look too big and resemble a pagan bonfire.

  • Ancient menorahs were made of clay. They consisted of small, pearl shaped vessels, each with its own wick, which were arranged side-by-side.
  • Today’s menorah, which stands on a base from which the branches sprout, resembles the holy Temple’s menorah and started to appear towards the end of the Middle Ages.

Latkes at Hanukkah

Classic Potato Latkes

Classic Potato Latkes

The most popular themes throughout the Hanukkah dishes are the use of oil. The oil reminds us of the oil which burned eight days instead of one. Latkes are potato pancakes made from grated potatoes mixed with eggs, onions, and flour, then fried in vegetable oil. The texture is crispy on the outside and tender within. They’re served hot and often dipped in apple sauce or sour cream. The Maccabbee soliders ate latkes made from cheese, vegetables, or fruits which were brought to them on the battlefields. However, they didn’t eat potato latkes, as potatoes weren’t available until the 16th century.

Hanukkah Dreidel
The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter inscribed on each side. In America the letters stand for “A Great Miracle Happened There“. In Israel the letters mean “A Miracle Happened Here“. Each player receives a given number of coins or candy pieces. Before spinning the dreidel, each player puts a fixed proportion of the amount received into the “kupah” or kitty. Each player in turn spins the dreidel. When the dreidel falls, it will fall on one of the 4 letters. According to the letter, the following will happen: Nun – no win / no lose Gimmel – take all (from the kitty) Heh – take half (from the kitty) Peh or Shin – lose (what you deposited) The game continues until players have run out of ‘funds’ or it is agreed to stop (anyone losing all funds is out of the game). The dreidel game was popular during the rule of Antiochus before the Maccabees’ revolt, a time when soldiers executed any Jews who were caught practicing their religion. When pious Jews gathered to study the Torah, they had the top ready in case they heard soliders approaching. If the soldiers appeared, they would hide the holy scriptures and pretend to play with the dreidl. In Israel the dreidel is called a sivivon. The yiddish word “dreidel” is derived from the German word “drehen“, or “turn“.

Sufganiyot – Hanukkah Jelly Donuts
Sufganiyot, fried foods recall the oil that burned in the temple

Sufganiyot, fried foods recall the oil that burned in the temple

Sufganiyot are jelly doughnuts without the hole. They’re dropped into hot oil without being shaped and come out in odd, funny shapes, then covered in powdered sugar and/or cinnamon. Sufganiyot are particularly popular in Israel, where they are sold on stands in the streets over a month before Hanukkah begins. Some great recipes can be found here.

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Helpful Information and Related Articles

The White House Hanukkah Celebration 2009
Hanukkah Food and Entertaining
Hanukkah Decorating
Hanukkah Gifts and Cards
Hanukkah Games and Songs


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Rio de Janeiro Wins 2016 Olympics Vote + Conservatives Revel In Obama’s Olympic Bid Failure

Party Time in Rio

Party Time in Rio

Rio wins 2016 Olympic Games in landslide over Madrid

story @


as predictable as the sun rising in the east….
**44-Update** “Conservatives Revel In Obama’s Failure”

conservatives-olympics-1002-cropped-proto-custom_1Just minutes after the news broke, RedState’s Erick Erickson took glee in Chicago – and, by extension, Obama’s – rejection.
“Hahahahaha,” he wrote. “I thought the world would love us more now that Bush was gone. I thought if we whored ourselves out to our enemies, great things would happen. Apparently not. So Obama’s pimped us to every two bit thug and dictator in the world, made promises to half the Olympic committee, and they did not even kiss him.”
Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, meanwhile, wrote that the news effectively ended the Obama campaign motto of “Yes We Can” by dawning in a new slogan: “No, You Can’t.”
“This is a big win and a massive relief for taxpayers,” she wrote. “But Chicago cronies are not going to take this well. Gird your loins.”
The National Review Online called the episode an “embarrassment for Obama,” before adding the predictable conservative ribbing: “If he can’t work his personal magic with the Olympians, why does he expect it to work with the Iranians?”
The Drudge Report — topping them all — blared the headline: “THE EGO HAS LANDED
WORLD REJECTS OBAMA: CHICAGO OUT IN FIRST ROUND.”

more @: HuffPost

Posted by TheLCster
**44-Update**
COPENHAGEN DENMARK–

Shock in CHI-Town

Shock in CHI-Town

The City of Chicago was dropped from consideration on the first ballot by the Olympic organizing committee… full story here

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Gibbs: Is Steele Rooting For Brazil To Get Olympic Games?

Posted by Buellboy

RNC Chairman Michael Steele

RNC Chairman Michael Steele

Huffington Post—Pushing back against criticism that the President is too busy to stop in Copenhagen to pitch Chicago as a host site for the 2016 Olympics, the White House played the patriotism card on Tuesday.

Asked about remarks by RNC chairman Michael Steele accusing Obama of leaving Congress directionless on health care by making the trip, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs shot back by suggesting that Steele was rooting for Brazil to win the Olympic bid

“Who is he rooting for?” Gibbs asked. “Is he hoping to hop a plane to Brazil and catch the Olympics in Rio? Maybe it’s Madrid?”

More @ Huffington_Post_Logo


Related Story: Dems: Boehner, Who Criticized Obama Olympics Bid, Took World Tour In August

Boehner went to Mongolia as part of an August trip around the world, and point to a report claiming Boehner didn’t hold any traditional health care town-halls this summer.

“It’s the height of hypocrisy for Boehner to criticize President Obama for his brief overseas trip to support the United States’ 2016 bid, when Boehner took a two week trip around the world while refusing to hold a single health care event the entire month of August,” DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer emails. Read more: The Plum LineGreg Sargent’s blog

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Filed under 2016 Olympics, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Sports

Olympics Plea: Obama’s Risks, Possible Reward

Posted by Buellboy

Chicago Olympics 2016

Chicago Olympics 2016


Associated Press/Julie Pace—President Barack Obama’s decision to fly to Denmark to support Chicago’s Olympics bid elevates the Games to an issue of national importance – and exposes him to political risks as well as rewards at a critical point in his presidency.

Obama’s presentation in Copenhagen on Friday will be the first time a U.S. president has appeared before the International Olympic Committee to lobby for an Olympics. Obama initially had said he couldn’t make the trip because he needed to tend to the health care debate at home.

As the White House announced the change of heart on Monday, there seemed to be increasing confidence that the votes could be stacking up Chicago’s way to host the 2016 Summer Games. If Chicago does come away the victor in the four-way race – Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo are the other contenders – Obama could get a political boost for helping to deliver the Games to his adopted hometown and for handing the U.S. a fresh source of national pride.

More @ Associated Press

This is the President’s plea on November 21, 2008

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