A solar-powered aircraft took off successfully from Abu Dhabi on 9 March 2015 in its first attempt to fly around the world without fossil fuel. Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg of Switzerland will take turns to pilot the plane dubbed Solar Impulse 2 (Si2). Piccard and Borschberg are the co-inventors of the Si2. The will take her for a spin to India, China and America before flying back to Abu Dhabi through South Europe or North Africa. The activities of the Si2 will be monitored by her control center at Monte Carlo of Monaco the Xinghua reported. Conor Lennon, communications manager of the Si2 project, told Xinhua that the control center is in charge of "meteorological data monitoring, air traffic control, mission control and flight strategy control", adding that many promotional activities would take place during the aircraft's stopover in Nanjing, China.
With a width of about 72 meters, the Si2 is wider than a Boeing 747 jet. She only weighs 2.3 tons which slightly heavier than a sedan. She employ more than 17,000 solar cells on her wings to power up four electric motors. Solar Impulse 2 is expected to complete the 35,000 km journey within five months.
This first attempt to fly using power from the sun reminds me of the first successful attempt to fly by the Wright brothers. While Orville and Wilbur are always depicted as a two-man team chasing a crazy dream, Piccard and Borschberg had a great team to support them. As long as their communication do not fail, the Swiss would be rescued if there is any failure. Nonetheless, it is still a courageous project that these two Swiss are taking. Their success would make air travel cheaper in future. It may pave the way for Gene Roddenberry's USS Enterprise. Leonard Nimoy should had seen this before departing.
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Three Tips from a Professional Gambler is base on quotes taken from Ivey versus Crockfords. Phil Ivey sued London casino Crockfords Club for denying him £7.7m which he won in August 2012. The casino withheld the money on the grounds that Ivey cheated.
Ivey used a system known as edge sorting to win the money at the baccarat table. The casino claims that this method is not a legitimate strategy because it defeats the premise of the game to nullify the gaming contract.
Cheung Yin Sun (Kelly) assisted Ivey to edge sort the cards by asking the dealer to turn the key cards for baccarat upside-down. The casino referred to Cheung as the unidentified woman.
Justice Mitting was impressed by that professional conduct Ivey maintains that he said the casino's case was "plainly unsustainable". The case is still on going. At this juncture the case points favorably to Ivey.
Julia Alvarez, 15, was left disfigured after jealous pair slashed her face. According to her statement two girls aged 18 and 16 pulled out knives and said: "Everyone says you are pretty. You won't look pretty when we have finished with you. People will call you Chucky (a heavily scarred character from a horror movie)."
Alvarez was walking home after visiting her friends when the incident occurred. She was left on the ground covered in blood. Passers-by called an ambulance to her rescue. One cut on her back alone required 20 stitches. Yeni, Julia’s sister, said "She says she wants to kill herself because when she looks in the mirror she so ugly now."
The Ravel Casino in Atlantic City did not believe that smoking is a complimentary product for gambling. Macau is following this footstep to put test this consumer preference theory. Market Watch warns investors in their 3 Oct 2014 report that strict curbs on smoking laid out in a recent statement by Macau's government information bureau will have a negative impact on share prices for casinos in Macau.
This recent announcement would completely ban all smoking in "mass areas," although some VIP lounges will still allow it. According to Barclays Research's latest forecasts the smoking rules are stricter than most economists had expected. Barclay initially interpreted the ruling to allow smoking at partitioned premium mass areas on the mass floor. "While previously we had expected just a low-to-mid-single-digit percentage impact to overall gross gaming revenue from the smoking ban (if premium mass areas can still smoke), we would now expect a higher mid-to-high-single-digit impact to overall Gross Gaming Revenue if smoking is not allowed in all premium mass areas as well," the firm said.
The Revel Casino opened in April 2012 and had struggled since it started operations. It started out by trying to achieve its niche market by branding itself as an upmarket resort-class casino. This posh concept of no smoking, expensive food and drinks did not appeal to the typical gambling crowd of Atlantic City. The $2.4 billion resort suffered badly from poor patronage. After operating for 10 months, it incurred a debt of $1.5 billion. It filed for bankruptcy on March 2013. In May 2013 the casino got out of bankruptcy by clearing $1.2 billion of debt in exchange for an 82% equity to its lenders. It is unfortunate that Macau had not learned from Ravel.
An unshuffled card game for mini-baccarat played at the Golden Nugget Atlantic City on 30 April 2012 was ruled illegal under state casino rules because the cards had been unshuffled. Superior Court judge James Isman had vindicated the Golden Nugget in his ruling on 14 June 2014. It should be noted that the New Jersey's Division of Gaming Enforcement fined the casino for the unshuffled cards.
Gamblers capitalized on it by increasing their bets from $10 to $5,000 per hand after seeing the same sequence of cards being dealt over and over again. Gamblers rode on a forty-one consecutive winning streak on this day. They were surrounded by casino security that was eager to find evidence to show that they were cheating. The security personnel was unable to spot the unshuffled cards because they were all focused on the wrong thing.
Policymakers resort to gambling as a panacea to be the cure for all economic ills but gambling addiction it the ugly side of the coin. USA Today is in the view that gambling states are addicted to easy money in its report dated 25 Sep 2014. The Editorial Board cited New Jersey are the prime example of the worst offenders in the world of gambling. "They are both addicts and pushers. They throw temper tantrums and upset settled policy when their fix of gambling revenue runs low."
New Jersey began offering online gambling last year to bring in more tax revenue as Atlantic City casino revenue took a sharp dive. Since the revenue from the online gambling was not much of a help, the state will come up with more gambling products. Governor Chris Christie has given the green light for casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting. A federal judge will hear Christie's argument on Oct 6 as a 1992 federal law banned the practice in all but four states where it previously existed.
Rotten gamblers, especially the whale bettors, could be mistaken for money laundering. This may be the outdated assumption of Chinese President, Xi Jinpin. His crackdown on corrupt officials and tycoons is starting to drain China. This almost 2 years blitz had caused the sale of luxury good to dwindle and the VIP rooms at Macau casinos to slow down. It had driven rotten gamblers to other gambling destinations. This is like sending away the goose that laid the golden egg to your neighbors. The claim of coming by a windfall from the casino is not that easy to justify with the generous amount of surveillance camera covering the casino. Coming up with the bankroll to make the amass the extraordinary win would be a great question mark.
The prolonged crackdown is now starting to squeeze the junkets in Macau. As the Chinese economy dragged its feet, the whale gamblers shy away. In Macau, whale gamblers will punt HK$1 million without second thoughts. Junkets who lend them money and settle their debts are not longer as flexible as debt recovery is not as easy. Authorities are digging junkets for information on Junkets are had left the industry. Chinese officials suspected of corruption who may be laundering money through Macau. The pressure is too much that, "I can't sleep at night. There are just too many problems," said one 54-year-old junket operator who didn't want to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. "I'm not optimistic for the future of the VIP junket industry here." Of Macau's 220 licensed junket firms, at least 15 have shut up shop in the big casinos this year the Reuters reported on 24 Sep 2014.
Guardian Cities asked readers to share photos of the most silly, confusing and dangerous signs. They posted the good ones on GuardianWitness. I have commented on some of the photos.
1 - You will be the big garbage dump when that happens.
2 - Berlin loves this park so much that they wanted everybody to know it!
3 - I wondered about the source of the water.
Singapore is considered a laggard to the casino industry in comparison to her neighbor, Malaysia. To make up for being half-a-century late Singapore decided to have two casinos. Other Asian countries - Vietnam, Korea, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Japan - are joining the bandwagon to intensify the fight for gamblers patronage. Like good foodies, gamblers will also travel the extra mile for a wager.
Macquarie, a leading financial services provider in Australia, "think the Singapore gaming market cannot grow." They noted that the gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the nation had plateau around $6 billion a year since 2011. "After three big years, tourist arrivals in Singapore have started to decline (down 3 percent year-to-July) and most importantly, Chinese visitors who form more than 50 percent of Singapore VIP volume have fallen by 29 percent year-to-date," Macquarie said. VIP volumes make up around 80 percent of the city-state's total gaming volume, it said [CNBC 23 Sep 2014].
Hermaphrodites is the biological term for an organism that has reproductive organs of both female and male sexes. Hermaphroditic plants are called monoecious, or bisexual. Hermaphroditic animals are mostly invertebrates and usually parasitic or slow-moving like snails. In humans, hermaphroditism is an extremely rare sex anomaly. A true hermaphrodite is an individual who has both ovarian and testicular tissue [Encyclopædia Britannica]. Today we have a rich knowledge on the subject but back in 1997 it was a different scenario.
A 7-year-old girl came to the Soho Square Dispensary for the Relief of the Infant Poor with her parents for treatment. The doctors' opinions differs. The first doctor's opinion was hernia but the second doctor's opinion was hermaphrodites. This case was documented as "the case of a boy who had been mistaken for a girl; with three anatomical views of the parts, before and after the operation and cure." The paper was sitting in the college's rare books library in the University of Kansas. In the early 2000s, Carol Warren — then a professor of sociology of the university — stumbled upon the report.