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Parents shun video-game play with kids

first_img“That game has bonded me with him,” he said of his 10-year-old son, Allen. “It’s like a whole new reality with me and him.” Overall, the survey highlighted how pervasive – yet age-related – interest in electronic gaming is today. According to the poll, in which only adults were questioned, 81 percent of children age 4 to 17 play computer or video games at least occasionally, compared with 38 percent of adults. Typically, both adult and child gamers play two hours weekly – half play more and half less – including about three in 10 who play five hours or more each week. Reflecting the technology’s relatively recent introduction, 59 percent of those age 18 to 29 play at least sometimes, double the rate for people age 50 to 64. There is little difference among users by race or region, with middle-income earners likeliest to indulge. “It’s something to take your mind off business and everything else,” said Todd Williams, 33, a salesman from Lexington, Ky., who estimates that he plays 10 hours weekly, especially interactive adventure games. “I guess it’s the time, which is seldom, that I spend alone.” Sales of games and gaming hardware are rising steadily, said David Riley, marketing director of the NPD Group, a market research firm. He estimates that video- and computer-game sales this year will total $19 billion in the U.S., up from $13.5 billion last year. Even so – and despite the publicity given to newer game consoles such as the Nintendo Wii, Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 – the proportion of adults saying they play electronic games was virtually unchanged from April 2006, when an AP-AOL poll asked the same question.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Besides those who simply don’t play the games with their children, an additional 30 percent say they spend less than an hour a week doing so. All told, about three in four parents of young gamers never or hardly ever touch the stuff. “I don’t think it’s good for them, the violence, the obsession,” said Karen Kimball, 55, of Hale, Minn., another nonplayer who estimates that her 17-year-old son plays 25 hours weekly. “No longer is it, `Let’s go out and throw a football.”‘ Those who game with their children are likelier to be younger, single and part-time workers than those who don’t, the poll showed. Among them is stay-at-home dad Marvin Paup, 33, of Golden Valley, Ariz., who says he plays 30 hours a week with his son and dozens more on his own. Their current favorite is “Halo 3,” a shooter game played online by thousands of players at a time. His state-of-the-art equipment includes an Xbox 360 console, surround-sound turned up “really, really loud” and a 65-inch wide-screen television, he said. WASHINGTON – Jesse Lackman says his son spends a dozen hours a week waging medieval combat across the dreary dreamscapes of computer games. Just don’t expect to find Lackman sitting beside him battling ogres and dragons. “It’s just such a waste of time,” said Lackman, 47, a power-plant operator from Center, N.D. “I tell him, `Do something that has some lasting value.”‘ Lackman’s avoidance of the digital diversions that captivate his 15-year-old son, Tyrus, is shared by many parents. More than four in 10, or 43 percent, of those whose young children play video or computer games never play along with them, according to an Associated Press-AOL Games poll released Monday. While experts debate whether electronic gaming is bad news or a blessing for children and their families, many parents are voicing their preference by never – or seldom – joining their kids when it’s time to slay cyber-scoundrels. last_img

`Golden Compass’ should find way to top of box office

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsIt is a cinch to cross the $100 million mark and should continue to play strongly through the holidays. A COUPLA GEMS: There is some terrific buzz about two movies in limited release. “Juno,” which opened in just seven theaters in L.A. and New York on Wednesday, will be tough to get a ticket to but if you succeed in getting a seat, it will likely be worth it. I’ve been reading all kinds of four-star reviews from critics who hate everything! Young actress Ellen Page plays the title role in this comedy about teen pregnancy with Michael Cera (“Superbad”) as the father of the baby and Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman as the prospective adoptive parents. If “Juno” isn’t playing near you, there’s a better chance that “Atonement” is, since it bowed today in 26 locations. This is an R-rated period piece starring Keira Knightley, James McAvoy and Vanessa Redgrave that has already been a hit overseas. FEAST OR FAMINE: “Compass” marks the second weekend in a row that there is only one new wide release in the marketplace. While it would seem to give most films a wide berth to make gobs of money, that was not the case last weekend. So, we have two weeks of lone new releases then next week we will have THREE with “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” Will Smith’s “I Am Legend” and “The Perfect Holiday” starring Queen Latifah. Then in two weeks, there will be FIVE wide newbies and they are all star-studded: “Charlie Wilson’s War” starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, the Nicolas Cage sequel “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” the romance “P.S. I Love You” with Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank, the comedy “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” and the highly anticipated Johnny Depp movie “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Can’t the studios learn to spread the wealth a little? The last time Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig teamed up for a film, it was a box office disaster. But their latest, “The Golden Compass,” will fare far better than this summer’s “Invasion,” which was critically savaged and just ignored by audiences. The sci-fi fantasy “Compass” from New Line Cinema is the weekend’s only new wide release and will bow in 3,000-plus theaters. The PG-13-rated movie has been heavily marketed and is the kind of fantasy flick that is out to capture “The Chronicles of Narnia” crowd. But I just don’t see it having a “Narnia”-level debut ($65.8 million). Instead, it will likely bow in the $30 million-plus range which, for Kidman and Craig, will be a vast improvement over the paltry $5.9 million “Invasion” opened with. LOSING THE THRONE: The arrival of “Compass” means that after two weeks at No. 1, “Enchanted,” Disney’s popular princess picture (try saying that three times!), will drop down to second place. The movie, starring Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey, has been holding well and is poised to pass $80 million in domestic grosses by Sunday. ONLINE PREVIEW: The first 10 minutes of producer Judd Apatow’s comedy “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” starring John C. Reilly can be viewed online beginning today at 3p.m. on MySpace.com, IGN.com, Rottentomatoes.com and walkhard-movie.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Coliseum Commission Rejects Latest USC Lease Offer

first_img “Instead, your proposal appears to ask USC to commit to a long-term lease and to rely on the commission’s ability to raise sufficient funds through naming rights and sponsorship programs in the hope that the commission will be able to make the necessary repairs to the Coliseum someday,” Dickey wrote. “Should you not be able to raise such funds, USC would be left to languish in an ever-deteriorating facility rather than the state-of-the-art college football facility USC envisions and to which the Southern California community is entitled.” USC’s lease to play its football games at the Coliseum ended with its Dec. 1 game against UCLA. Negotiations for a long-term lease were proceeding well until early October, when the commission notified USC it would need to raise rent by 10 percent — $108,000 a year — to cover costs handed down by the state, according to the Daily News. An impasse ensued, prompting USC to begin negotiations with Pasadena’s Rose Bowl for a one-year lease, beginning with the 2008 season, with an option for a second. Rose Bowl operators unanimously agreed Dec. 6 to delay making an agreement with USC, citing the need for UCLA, which has used the Rose Bowl as its home football stadium since 1982, to comment on a possible contract. USC has played at the Coliseum since 1923, the year the stadium opened. The commission is seeking to form a partnership with USC in selling naming rights to the stadium to pay for much of its renovation.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ But the commission balked at that offer, saying it would be unfair to taxpayers to give USC control of the publicly owned stadium. Noting that USC football generates about $62 million a year, USC would receive “gross revenues of more than $7 billion while paying not a single penny to the state in rent and not a single penny in taxes” over the course of a 50-year master lease. “We do not begrudge USC a penny of its money,” the commission letter states. “USC is a vital part of the community and we are all proud of its educational and football excellence. The university’s growing international stature and achievement enriches all of us. “All we want on behalf of the taxpayers who own the Coliseum is a fair deal and full cooperation from the university in our efforts to raise the funds necessary to improve the venue.” USC officials could not be reached for immediate comment. Earlier this week, Todd Dickey, USC’s senior vice president and general counsel, wrote in a letter to commission General Manger Pat Lynch that the commission had offered “no firm commitment on the part of the commission to repair and restore the Coliseum within any given time period.” The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission rejected USC’s latest lease proposal today aimed at keeping the Trojan football team playing at the 84-year-old stadium, but panel members said they believe progress is being made toward reaching a deal. After meeting behind closed doors to discuss the university’s latest offer, the panel sent a four-page letter to USC President Steven Sample saying it could not accept the proposal, but is “pleased to be making progress towards assuring our relationship endures for decades to come.” The university sent its latest proposal to the commission on Monday, offering to keep playing football at the Coliseum, but only if the commission committed to make repairs at the stadium. Under the USC proposal, the university would take over operation of the stadium and make the estimated $100 million in upgrades itself if the commission failed to raise money for them.last_img read more

Rocket-car blasting into town

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Admission to the airpark is free. “It’s a pretty neat deal,” Ed Shadle, the car’s driver and co-owner said of the event. “We’re going to go down there and have a fun day.” In pursuing the record, Shadle and car co-owner Keith Zanghi wanted a sleek aircraft frame from which to build the car. “I knew it was a very fast airplane – even fast by today’s standards,” Shadle said of the F-104. “It has an inlet design that’s perfect and it’s shaped like a pencil. It’s long and fast.” The team hunted around and found the airframe it could use in a scrap yard in Maine. Into it the team installed a rocket engine that can provide up to 50,000 horsepower. PALMDALE – An airplane that once took part in America’s fastest manned test flight is returning to the Antelope Valley for a brief visit – this time as a rocket-car geared toward setting a land speed record. A former F-104 Starfighter jet that was flown at Edwards Air Force Base during its Golden Age of flight testing has been converted into a rocket-car known as the North American Eagle. The goal for the North American Eagle team is to top more than 800 mph and in the process reclaim for the United States the land speed record. The current record of 763 mph was set in 1997 by Andy Green of the United Kingdom. The car and the team behind it will be at the Palmdale Plant 42 Heritage Airpark on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The airpark is located at 2001 E. Ave. P, between 20th Street East and 25th Street East on the north side of Avenue P. Shadle wrote to the Air Force to find out about the airframe’s history and was surprised to discover it had a very rich history. It had been used in the 1950s and 1960s for training and chase support for the X-15 rocket plane tests. The list of pilots who flew the airplane is a who’s who of the Antelope Valley’s aerospace heroes – a list that includes Chuck Yeager, Scott Crossfield, Pete Knight, and Joe Engle. Crossfield had told Shadle that he had made dozens of “dead-stick” landings – landing without engine power – to train for landing the X-15. The X-15 program set a record for the fastest manned flight when Knight hit a top speed of 4,520 mph in 1967. The public display at the airpark is being held in conjunction with planned tests of the car on El Mirage dry lake in San Bernardino County from June 6 to 8. The testing at El Mirage will be limited to speeds no higher than 400 mph. That is the limit of the speed the car’s tires can handle. Speed is also limited by the fact the test-run strip is about 4.5 miles long and it will take a couple of miles for the car to slow and stop. Ideally, the team will have raised enough cash and tackled the technology hurdles in time to make a record attempt on July 4, 2007, Shadle said. james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

SKY-GAZERS LEFT IN DARK AFTER NORTHERN LIGHTS NO-SHOW

first_imgThe Northern Lights captured by Rory Adam Porter.Sky-gazers were left disappointed after traveling from across Ireland to see the spectacular Northern Lights above Donegal at the weekend.An alert was put out that the aurora borealis or Northern Lights would be visible in the skies over Donegal and the North-West.The amazing dancing lights, normally only seen around the Arctic Circle, were expected to move further south between Thursday and Saturday. NASA and Astronomy Ireland were among groups and organisations who alerted the pubic to the natural phenomenon.Hundreds of people travelled from across Ireland including Dublin and Roscommon to catch a glimpse of the lights.But they were left hugely disappointed when the lights failed to materialise.The lights went dim when ejections from the sun slowed down and the earth’s magnetic field pulled all the light Northwards back towards the Arctic Circle. One disappointed light-hunter travelling around Malin Head in Co Donegal tweeted “The only lights I can see are the headlights of other cars looking for the Northern Lights.”Veteran Northern Lights gazer and photographer Adam Rory Porter said he met lots of people in Donegal who were extremely disappointed.“It is not an exact science and even people in NASA were quite confident of a good lights display in more southern skies.“I met a lot of people who had traveled from down south hoping to sees the lights but it was just not meant to be.“I felt so guilty because I had been reading these forecasts from NASA and it looked like there was a good chance of seeing the lights but the ejections from the sun just slowed down. “The reality is that if you want to be almost guaranteed to see the Northern Lights then you have to travel to Iceland or Norway and that’s quite expensive.“It took me five or six warnings to see the lights myself but it was certainly worth waiting for,” he said.The aurora borealis occurs when highly charged electrons from the solar wind interact with elements in the Earth’s atmosphere leaving amazing light shows of various colours.SKY-GAZERS LEFT IN DARK AFTER NORTHERN LIGHTS NO-SHOW was last modified: January 13th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:adam rory porterdonegalNASAnorthern lightslast_img read more