The prettiest kitties are on display

The prettiest kitties are on display

Hundreds of cats from around the United States will converge on
San Jose to compete for

Top Cat

at the 21st Annual Tails
&
amp; No Tales Cat Show.
Hundreds of cats from around the United States will converge on San Jose to compete for “Top Cat” at the 21st Annual Tails & No Tales Cat Show.

The cats range from purebred felines to household pets that have been combed, fluffed and groomed to perfection.

The competition features 33 distinctive breeds from the popular Persian and Siamese to more exotic breeds such as the Ocicat and the mysterious Birman. It will also feature a Peoples Choice Award where spectators may vote for their favorite cats, as well as feature a coloring contest and activities for little cat lovers.

In addition to the judging activities, which will take place throughout the show, spectators will have the opportunity to see the cats up close while they are waiting to compete and ask the exhibitors any questions. There will also be a wide variety of cat-related items, such as grooming supplies, toys, cat trees and gift items for sale. On Saturday, children can participate in a coloring contest and have their art displayed at the show.

Proceeds from previous shows have been donated to non-profit organizations such the Winn Feline Foundation, Cat Purebred Rescue, Town Cats of Morgan Hill and the Humane Society of Santa Clara Valley.

Tails & No Tales Cat Club is a member of the Cat Fanciers Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the welfare of cats.

The cat show is open to the public Saturday, Jan. 8 from 10am to 5pm and Sunday, Jan. 9 from 9am to 5pm at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Road, San José. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $3 for children under 12. Info: (408) 778-6318 or [email protected]

Create your own toy or game

Children in grades five through eight are invited to get a team together to design a new toy or game for the third annual TOYchallenge.

TOYchallenge was started by Sally Ride, the first woman in space, and Smith College’s Picker Engineering Program to engage children in a fun engineering activity.

Hasbro toys; Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society; Smith College; and Sally Ride Science are sponsors of the challenge.

To get started design teams must find an adult coach at least 18 years old, and sign up before Jan. 7. The fee is $25 per team, and teams can choose from themed-toy categories such as “Games for the Family,” “Get out and Play” and “Remarkable Robots.” Teams must create and submit their entries by Feb. 16 for the preliminary round entry, consisting of a written description and visual presentation of their original toy or game concept.

TOYchallenge guidelines and registration forms are available at www.TOYchallenge.com. Both boys and girls in grades five through eight may participate, but at least half of the members of each team must be girls. All submissions will be judged on originality, creativity, engineering elegance, feasibility, design process description, team participation and clarity of communication.

Judges from organizations including the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Smith College, the Society of Women in Engineering and Hasbro will choose teams from the preliminary round to receive cash awards and advance to two National Showcases.

Preliminary round judging will be completed during National Engineering Week, Feb. 20-26. Category prize winners will be named at the National Showcases to be held at the San Diego Aerospace Museum on April 30 and the Sigma Xi Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C. on May 7.

All Category-winning teams will be featured on the TOYchallenge Web site and each team member will receive a Hasbro toy and game package, autographed books or similar prizes.

Two to three teams selected from the April and May National Showcases will receive all-expense paid trips to the TOYchallenge 2005 Final Judging and Awards Banquet, to be held at Hasbro’s world headquarters in Pawtucket, R.I. on May 13, where grand prizes will be awarded.

Last year’s prizes included a trip to Space Camp and the creation of personalized Hasbro figures in each team member’s likeness as well as a Thames & Kosmos Fuel Cell Car and Experiment Kit. All teams will receive certificates of participation. There will also be special awards for design, most educational, engineering, originality and team spirit.

Info: www.TOYchallenge.com

Free trees

Five free crapemyrtle trees will be given to each person who joins the National Arbor Day Foundation during January 2005 as part of the group’s “Trees for America” campaign.

Crapemyrtles are small, flowering trees with six-petaled pink or red flowers and with leaves that change from green to red, orange and yellow in the summer.

The trees will be shipped for planting between Feb. 1 and May 31 with planting instructions enclosed. The six- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced for free.

To receive the trees, send $10 for membership to “Five Crapemyrtles,” National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave, Nebraska City, Neb. 68410 by Jan. 31 or visit www.arborday.org.

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