Tag Archives: gambling

One of my pet peeves – Bad Dice

pet peeve
noun informal
something that a particular person finds especially annoying.
“one of my biggest pet peeves is poor customer service”

Do you have any pet peeves? You know, those actions or situations that just make you crazy. Why can’t they get it right? Of course, possibly the most frustrating aspect of the pet peeve is that very few other folks share your feeling. At least, that seems to be my experience.

This is one of my pet peeves. It may seem very insignificant to you and maybe it is, but I find this really bothersome. You can be the judge. Is this totally neurotic of me, or does it indicate something that just isn’t right with the world?

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My pet peeve is the graphic depiction of dice – done incorrectly. I don’t know when I realized that there are correct dice and incorrect pictures of dice, but ever since I noticed it, incorrect depictions of dice make me crazy. Following are two examples:

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This is in the McCarran airport in Las Vegas.

I bought the shirt below at the theater in New York where I saw Guys and Dolls, Damon Runyon’s classic story about gamblers who get involved in a giant dice game. I couldn’t believe the dice.

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The truth of it is utterly simple.

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This is an accurate die. Notice that on the sides exposed you can not add up to a total of seven.

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As you can see: They continued on the soundtrack album

When a die is constructed correctly whatever number is on the top has a corresponding number on the bottom that adds up to seven. So, if there is one on top, the bottom number is six. Two on top, five on the bottom. So simple. But apparently not easy for some artists.

The ad agency that created the sign in the McCarran Airport in Las Vegas couldn’t take the time – to get a pair of real dice – in Las Vegas. They screwed up their illustration.

Likewise, the company that produced the Guys and Dolls shirt – about gambling – couldn’t be bothered with getting a pair of real dice to reproduce on its product. Also, while I don’t have a photo, they used the same shot on the marquee outside the theater where it was performed.

Sorry, but I find this kind of carelessness intolerable.

There, I got it off my chest. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Feel free to share your thoughts on this in the comment section below.

For the record: Yes, I gamble. Regular readers know that I go to Las Vegas around four times a year. Have been playing there since the late 60’s. When I first went there, all I played was craps, betting against the dice and laying the odds. I don’t any longer. Video poker is my game now.

Tony

 

 

 

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Filed under dice, gambling, Las Vegas

Study links intelligence and chess skill

For the record I got very involved in playing chess in my younger years. I loved the game’s many facets and spent hours poring over the board. Ultimately, I gave it up to play backgammon. I found the element of chance in backgammon to be more appealing. That random aspect coupled with the fact that a lot of people played backgammon for money won me over. That was never the case in chess.

Intelligence – and not just relentless practice – plays a significant role in determining chess skill, indicates a comprehensive new study led by Michigan State University researchers.

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The research provides some of the most conclusive evidence to date that cognitive ability is linked to skilled performance – a hotly debated issue in psychology for decades – and refutes theories that expertise is based solely on intensive training.

“Chess is probably the single most studied domain in research on expertise, yet the evidence for the relationship between chess skill and cognitive ability is mixed,” said MSU’s Alexander Burgoyne, lead author on the study. “We analyzed a half-century worth of research on intelligence and chess skill and found that cognitive ability contributes meaningfully to individual differences in chess skill.” Continue reading

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Filed under brain, brain exercise, brain function, chess, Healthy brain

What is a Yoga Trick for Getting to Sleep Quickly?

Regular readers know that I started doing yoga more than 30 years ago while in my 30’s. I did it religiously for the first couple of years, then slacked off some. But, I never stopped doing yoga. I use yoga techniques when I do stretches on bike riding breaks. The yoga breathing sends oxygen-rich blood to my leg muscles and refreshes them to extend the ride.

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I wrote previously about being in Las Vegas on a trip with my girlfriend and dealing with the huge portions of food being served. Another difficulty of being here is that your mind gets going gambling and then when you finally get to bed, your brain is still in high gear.

This Royal Flush is the kind of hand that can keep a player from falling asleep.

This Royal Flush is the kind of hand that can keep a player from falling asleep.

What to do?

Going back to my practice of yoga, the one technique that I have carried forward and used probably every day of my life is breath control. I think it may have saved my life on more than one occasion.

If you aren’t familiar with breath control in yoga, I will share my experience. I learned from a yoga teacher that I was dating, there may well be other further techniques that I don’t know about.

What I do is called diaphragmatic breathing in which you lower your diaphragm by extending your stomach outward (making a potbelly). This is done to a count of five and the result is that the inhaled air reaches deep into the lungs which doesn’t occur in regular breathing. You can hold the breath for a beat or two and then exhale to a similar five count.

Besides sending oxygen-rich blood around to your muscles and brain, this also has a wonderful stilling effect on your mind as well as your body. Remember, when you are stressed, you breathe shallowly – your breath comes in short pants. The yoga breathing is the opposite of that and has the opposite effect. It calms you down.

Whenever I find myself stressed in any way, the first thing I do is to relax and breathe diaphragmatically. This slows my racing mind down and allows me to make clear decisions as opposed to panicked ones.

Now you know the first part . I recently took a yoga class from The Great Courses. In this class, the teacher extended the yoga breath which I have described. In her version, you inhale diaphragmatically to a five count, then, instead of exhaling, you expand your chest and inhale for a further five count. This results in considerably more oxygen getting into your system and also has a stronger impact on slowing your breathing and heart rate.

While practicing yoga breathing concentrate only on the breath you are taking and nothing else. Feel the oxygen entering your lungs and circulating through your body as you inhale. Release the waste air on the exhale thinking only of that. Clear your mind as you fill and empty your lungs.

I have found that using this new technique at night can result in putting me to sleep in no time. It really relaxes me and takes me right down.

If you are having trouble getting to sleep or would just like to fall asleep faster, I suggest you try it.

Finally, because so many readers are concerned about their weight and waistlines, a good night’s sleep is very helpful in controlling your weight. When you sleep badly, or too little, you are more likely to be snacking on sugary, calorie-filled, confections in the afternoon to get an energy boost. So, a good night’s sleep can help you cut down on bad snacks, too.

Tony

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Filed under sleep, yoga