EVENT: Best Friends Pet Adoption Festival – April 27th, North Hollywood

April 18, 2008

Abandoned pets… silent victims of America’s Home Foreclosures crisis

April 18, 2008

Click Here!

I first read this story and it just killed me:  Animals appear to be the unheard/unseen victims of the subprime mortgage fiasco here in America.

When family pets become foreclosure victims.
They’re found waiting on front lawns and locked inside foreclosed homes. Abandoned family pets are the latest victims of the mortgage crisis … and Best Friends is busy helping families keep their pets rather than leave them behind or take them to the local shelter.

More on this at the Best Friends web site:

Communities that are safe to animals are safe for people too.

April 11, 2008

How interesting.

To think that if a community can adopt an mind set around kindness and caring for animals, it’ll help itself thrive.  Just the simple act of harboring love for another creature – regardless of whether it’s human or an animal – can move a community to rid itself of crime and right itself.

The neighborhood strays and homeless animals in a town may very well symbolize a lot more than people believe.

<taken from the Best Friends web site>

Is it safe?
Click Here!Now the evidence is in: If a community is humane, then yes, it’s safe. And if it harbors cruelty to animals, it’s not safe for people, either.

In a recent prison survey in Chicago, 7 out of 10 people convicted of violent crime said they’d begun with animals. And dog-fighting is right up at the top.

That’s why Best Friends is working in a model program with Safe Humane Chicago to reach people, especially young people, before they’re drawn into the vortex of violence.

Last week, we told you about the launch of this joint program. This week, we visit a high school where young people have signed on to learn more about animals – and about how kindness to animals builds a better world for all of us.


John Chang speaks out on “21”

April 5, 2008

John Chang created a blog to contradict some of the mistruths in "21". 

If you don’t know who John Chang is, here’s an interview with him.

There’s also mention of the whitewashing of the movie "21", despite the actual blackjack team members being Asian.

And then there’s this:  "Of Card-Counting, Startups, and the Real Story of the MIT Blackjack Team"

INFO: James Grosjean & Beyond Counting

April 3, 2008

James Grosjean, Blackjack Hall of Fame inductee of 2006 has been writing this monster 600 page tome for the last 4 years or so called "Beyond Counting".  It’s actually a second version of a previous book, "Beyond Counting" that he wrote back in the 90’s that he published on 1000 copies of.  (And it’s since become legendary)

Anyway, he’s published some articles that are purported to be parts of the new Beyond Counting book (some of this is REALLY good stuff, albeit, it’s well known.  I think the manner in which he’s explained it all is what makes it so insightful) and here they are, taken from http://www.beyondcounting.com/articles.html:

  • Locking in a Tournament Win: Build a Better Surrender Trap – by James Grosjean and Previn Mankodi. At the end of a blackjack tournament, it is possible for the chip leader to overbet his lead, but then surrender to lock in a win if his opponent follows with a small bet. This article discusses the benefits and pitfalls of laying this "surrender trap." view article >>
  • CTR-Averse Betting – by James Grosjean and Previn Mankodi. The professional’s biggest problem is not bankroll risk of ruin but often the CTR constraint, which limits his daily buyin at the casino to $10,000. Under such a constraint, maximizing expectation often requires the player to underbet his bankroll, even underbetting his "Kelly bet." view article >>
  • 42.08% – by James Grosjean and Previn Mankodi. This article calculates the optimal Kelly bet for a player who knows that his bet card will be an Ace, which provides an edge over 50%. This risk-averse player will deviate from basic strategy when playing the Ace. view article >>
  • Scavenger Blackjack or Generalized Basic Strategy – by James Grosjean and Previn Mankodi. Players sometimes have profitable opportunities to get involved in the hands of the other players at the table, for instance, by doubling down for a player who has insufficient funds to double for the full amount. Determining proper strategy for this situations requires a deeper investigation of basic strategy. view article >>
  • Beyond Coupons – by James Grosjean. Contrary to conventional wisdom, many match-play coupons, free bets, and promotional chips should be played on games other than blackjack. The value of each coupon is calculated for each available game, along with the required strategies to extract the maximum value from each. view article >>
  • Discussion of case against Imperial Palace – by James Grosjean. (coming soon…) The author’s lawsuit against the Imperial Palace, where he was illegally detained and searched, resulted in a jury award of $99,999 in compensatory damages, and $500,000 in punitive damages. The author discussses his successful lawsuit, including excerpts from the public court testimony of all parties. coming soon…