Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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A Simple 3 Stage Blackjack Strategy

I love Blackjack, but if I’m honest, I get a little frustrated having to constantly consult the strategy cards.

I know why the strategy cards exist – to lower the house edge (put simply, the house edge is the percentage of money bet that the casino expects to win) to as close as 1% as possible.

But because the ultimate strategy must cover every possible combination of your cards and the dealer’s cards, I find them too complex to memorize exactly. The result is that I’m taking time away from the game to pore over the charts to see what the optimal move is. All of which reduces my enjoyment of the game.

And of course, this is only possible when I’m playing Blackjack online. If I were playing it at a real bricks and mortar casino, I’d be politely asked to leave before I’d made half a dozen bets!

The ideal Blackjack strategy would be easy to remember and apply, and result in a house edge of 1%. Of course, that ideal can’t exist, so all Blackjack strategies are a compromise between those two goals – simplicity and accuracy.

Any strategy is going to be more or less inclined towards one of these extremes. When choosing a strategy, your decision comes down to which end of the scale you want to be at – do you want an easy strategy with a lower chance of winning, or a complex one that means that the last 0.01% has been shaved off the house edge?

Personally, my ideal is one that is smack in the middle – a strategy that has an acceptable house edge, but which is so straightforward that I can just get on with playing and enjoying the game.

After studying the available strategy cards, I’ve devised a strategy that is intended to take players from beginner to high roller in 3 easy stages.

The beauty of this is that as you master each stage, you add on the next one when you feel ready, but you can always step back down again when you don’t!

The house edge is a little over the optimal, but the accuracy (ie the percentage of times it makes the right call) is around 98%. But what’s important is that it’s really simple to remember (even the third stage.)

Although not complex, it’s easier to present the strategy in tabular form. My website Fortune Palace (see link in the resource box below) is designed to provide strategies for popular gambling games aimed at all risk levels and styles of play. On my simple 3 stage Blackjack strategy page, I explain everything clearly and simply.

You’ll also find a straightforward guide to the rules and bets of Blackjack and – perhaps best of all! – you’ll get the chance to play Blackjack for free. I’m very confident of the effectiveness of my system. Once you’ve tried it, I hope you’ll agree that it’s the best of all possible strategies – it gives you a great chance of winning without having to remember endless charts.

And best of all – it keeps Blackjack fun! Happy playing.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

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Paintball -- Retreat to Win

Suppression is a way of distracting the opponent so that they fall short by not seeing the other team that is already starting to invade.  Suppression's goal is not to get rid of enemies.  Control and concentration are needed to keep a team member from shooting.

A team who uses suppression as a tactic should consist of three or more players.  Each member must know that their main objective is not to eliminate the other team's members; although that could be true in other events.  Movements during this game should be accurate and targets must be aligned in order to make sure that the opposing team is unaware of the suppression.  A steady target and aiming of fire from the suppression players must not be in unison to leave the enemies with a puzzled feeling.

When making an assault, two or more of the paintball players who are making the suppression constantly distract one of the opponent's players in order to disguise the players who are about to invade and attack the opposing team.  Suppression often conceals the other players and if done well, would eventually destroy the enemies who would have to retreat and could soon be eliminated when caught.

The other role that is played by the rest of the team is invading.  The players that are involved in the invasion must try very hard to hide themselves from the opponents while the suppression team is doing their job.  This requires patience, control, and discipline to keep from firing in order to save the position.  Make sure that with one shot severe damage to the opposing team is incurred rather than firing at one enemy player that did not realize the invader was there.

The invasion players target at least the majority of the opposing team's players.  Once they are in position to capture the flag, they must fire with great power and with full force.  Since paintball guns are really loud, as soon as players start hitting target it must be accurate as there is no turning back.  Enemies will know where the guns are firing from so the invasion team will have to incur damage all at once to keep the opponent from counter attacking.  This will be shown by the amount of paint that is shot at the other team.

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How a Panic Disorder Evolved into Scientific Theory

The Theory of Evolution is the widely held notion that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor. The theory is anchored on the premise that “homo sapiens” or modern man came from an ape-like ancestor. It made it seem possible that even people might just have evolved quite possibly from apes and destroyed the prevailing and conventional facts on how the world began and how men were created. This theory was well-documented and studied by the first of the evolutionary biologists named Charles Darwin.

Charles Robert Darwin was born on 12 February 1809 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire into a wealthy and well-connected family. His maternal grandfather was a china manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood, while his paternal grandfather was Erasmus Darwin, one of the leading intellectuals of 18th century England. Darwin himself initially planned to follow a medical career, and studied at Edinburgh University but later switched to divinity at Cambridge. In 1831, he joined a five year scientific expedition on the survey ship HMS Beagle.

Darwin worked on his theory for 20 years. After learning that another naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, had developed similar ideas, the two made a joint announcement of their discovery in 1858. In 1859 Darwin published “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.”  During his teenage years,  Darwin suffered from a mysterious and debilitating condition that various authorities attributed over the years due to bad nerves, tropical disease, arsenic poisoning, intellectual exhaustion, dyspepsia, and other complaints. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, Darwin's symptoms were most likely a form of panic disorder aggravated by agoraphobia.

Panic disorder, which affects an estimated 13 million Americans, manifests itself in unexpected attacks of extreme anxiety, with symptoms including rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling, sweating, nausea and dizziness. Some victims feel as if they are losing their minds or are about to die. Many become so obsessively worried about subsequent attacks that they make major changes in their behaviors, shunning whatever situation the could prompt another panic attack. It is twice as common in women as in men. It can appear at any age; in children or in the elderly. Often, it is manifested more strongly among young adults. Darwin was 27 when his illness first became severe.

Not everyone who experiences panic attacks would develop panic disorder. Many people only have one attack but never have another one. For those who do have panic disorder, if left untreated, the disorder can become very disabling. Panic disorder is often accompanied by other conditions such as depression or alcoholism, and may lead into phobias, which can develop in places or situations where panic attacks have occurred.

A lot of people who suffer from panic disorder can be successfully treated without resorting to the use of any medication. However, when medication is needed, the most commonly-prescribed class of drugs for panic disorders are the benzodiazepines (such as clonazepam and alprazolam) and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs antidepressants. It is rarely appropriate to provide medication treatment alone, without the use of psychotherapy to help educate and change the patient's behaviors related to their association of certain physiological sensations with fear. Most specialists agree that a combination of cognitive and behavioral therapies are the best treatment for panic disorder.

The key symptom of panic disorder is the persistent fear of having future panic attacks. If one suffers from repeated (four or more) panic attacks, and especially if he or she have had a panic attack and are in continued fear of having another, these are signs that you should consider finding a mental health professional who specializes in panic or anxiety disorders.

Relaxation techniques can further help someone go through an attack. Techniques include breathing retraining and positive visualization. Some experts have found that people with panic disorder tend to have slightly higher than average breathing rates. Learning to slow the breathing rates can help someone deal with a panic attack and can also prevent future attacks. Anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed, as well as antidepressants, and sometimes even heart medications such as beta blockers that are used to control irregular heartbeats. A support group with others who suffer from panic disorder can as well be very helpful to some people. It can't take the place of therapy, but it can be useful and comforting.

Experts believe that the great scientist Charles Darwin might not have revolutionized biology if not for the disorder he dealt with. He became a scholarly hermit that produced a very controversial theory while he was then under a “mysterious” condition. The symptoms of panic disorder arose shortly after he started a secret notebook that, 22 years later, would become his book-length elaboration of one of the greatest contributions ever made to science.

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Will New Batteries Make Laptops Truly Mobile?

Copyright 2006 Titus Hoskins

Current laptops or notebook computers have one major obstacle to overcome: short battery life.

Despite their sleek style and ever increasing higher performance levels, laptops have never been truly mobile. With batteries averaging around 3 to 5 hours of usable power, most laptops are limited in the amount of time they can spent away from the warm electrical embrace of a wall plug-in.

As most laptop owners will attest, running out of power when you're sending that all important business email or watching your favorite movie has always registered high on the annoyance meter. In today's lingo - it sucks big time!

Sure, things are improving, as new technology come on stream (dual-core processors, hyper-threading) users are getting longer battery life from their laptops. But even as laptops become smaller and more efficient, short battery life is still a limiting factor for most laptops.

Fully loaded power sapping gaming laptops have been hardest hit by this problem. Try playing a game or watching a movie on battery power at your favorite beach for any extended time and you will see why laptop batteries are in dire need of an overhaul.

Laptop manufacturers are no doubt aware of this issue and may be relieved help is on the way. Actually, the solution to the power-challenged laptop is already here.

Once more, new technology comes to the rescue.

Short battery life for laptops and for all handheld electronic devices will probably be solved by two new energy sources: micro fuel cells and printable solar cells.

Micro fuel cells can use such fuels as alcohol or methanol and offers ten times the power of conventional batteries using only 1/20th the weight. Perfectly suited for laptops or notebook computers. It actually burns fuel which can be quickly replenished by merely refilling its reservoir or replacing a fresh fuel cartridge. As everyone knows, recharging a conventional cell battery takes hours, this new battery will only take seconds to recharge or rather refuel.

One of the major leaders in this new technology is MTI with its Micro's Mobionฎ cord-free power pack which will probably replace lithium ion batteries. These use direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC). Expect these creatures to be in almost 22% of all of handheld devices by 2011. And if these new micro fuel cells are embraced by the buying public; you can kiss your lithium ion battery goodbye long before that date!

Read more info on Micro Fuel Cells here:

Even more promising is printable solar cells that folds out or can be wrapped around or built into a laptop, giving them a renewable energy source and power. One of the leaders in this new technology is Konarka. They produce a flexible lightweight photovoltaic plastic material that will give any device solar energy.

As sunlight is not always available, Konarka technology uses all types of light, including indoor light, to produce electrical energy. These inexpensive printable solar cells could have many applications, including a source of power for laptops. Cheap, renewable and plentiful.

Read more on Photovoltaic Solar Cells here:

What we will probably see in the future is a hybrid of the two technologies, micro fuel cells and photovoltaic solar cells, working in tangent to give laptops an energy source that never runs out. Unlimited power available anywhere, anytime.

Micro fuel cells and printable solar cells will give laptops the freedom and power they need to be used anytime, anywhere. These new energy sources will finally make the laptop truly portable. It will also make the Internet truly wireless, mobile, and available everywhere.

Perish the thought!
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

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Baseball Games On The Radio Are A Home Run

It's often said that there's something special about listening to the hometown broadcast of a baseball game on the radio. Now, no matter where they are, baseball fans can follow the fortunes of their favorite team.

Thanks to satellite radio, it's possible to listen to all the live-action coverage of the team of your choice, even if you are on the road or have moved far away from your hometown.

2006 marks the second year of an 11-year broadcast and marketing agreement between Major League Baseball (MLB) and XM, the official satellite radio network of MLB.

MLB games are carried live on XM channels 176 through 189, with Spanish play-by-play and call-in shows on MLB En Espanol (XM channel 190).

In addition to live game coverage, there is a varied menu of baseball-related feature programming available, such as Baseball Beat, a daily roundtable discussion with the top national and local baseball beat writers sharing the stories coming out of their city and teams.

For those in a fantasy league, Fantasy Focus, hosted by sportscaster Jeff Erickson, is a show with reviews of the best and worst fantasy players and advice to callers about how best to manage their teams.

Cal Ripken, Jr., the legendary Baltimore Orioles shortstop and record holder for most consecutive games played, hosts an exclusive, weekly show called Ripken Baseball. From the major leagues to youth baseball, all topics are under discussion. Plus, listeners can e-mail questions.

It's even possible to start the day with a baseball-only show-Baseball This Morning. This news-magazine-style show features leading sportscaster Mark Patrick and veteran player, manager and broadcaster Buck Martinez with MLB news, scores, statistics, player information and a guide to upcoming games on XM.

Said Eric Logan, executive vice president of programming, XM Satellite Radio, "Baseball fans have grown up listening to games on the radio, and now we can hear games from all across the country whether we're in the car, at home or at the ballpark."

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