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Gambling: One of America’s Favorite Traditions

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When you think of American traditions, many different thoughts may come to mind, usually sports such as baseball or basketball or even holidays like the fourth of July. However, one tradition that many people tend to forget about is gambling. Since it is illegal in some states, people may not consider it to be as much of a pastime as a good ole’ American baseball game. However, it has been around for quite a long time and will continue to be a part of our culture for many years to come.

Gambling is one of America’s favorite traditions and has been a part of American history since the 1600s beginning with the pre-Colonial Native American Indians. Believe it or not, Native American Indians were actually avid gamblers. One of their popular gambling games was called “hubbub”, a game similar to craps.

The first wave of American Gambling that we encountered was in the 1600s when the colonists sailed from England to the “New World”, and then was made illegal in the New England Colonies. Later in the 1700s gambling had become a civic responsibility with all 13 colonies establishing lotteries to raise revenue.

The second wave of American Gambling occurred in the Wild West in the mid-1800s. The wave of gambling included the California gold rush, which set off a gambling spree in the west. While this wave of gambling was in effect, lynchings of professional gamblers began occurring in a fight to gain respect and to decrease their lawlessness.

Then, prohibition hit. The third wave of American Gambling beginning in the 1900s with the rise of the Casinos. The Prohibition on alcohol and gambling created incentive for organized crime and illegal “speakeasies”. During the Great depression, beginning in 1929, states began to re-legalize gambling to stimulate the economy. Then, in the 1930s the government started cracking down on illegal gambling operations to reclaim taxes.

In 1995, the first online casino began operations. However, today the government is cracking down on online casinos. In fact on April 15, 2011 the FBI shut down the top four poker websites in the United States.

American Gambling History
© 2012 Casino.org

Environmentalist. Consumer Tech Journalist. Science Explorer. And, a dreamer. I've been contributing informative news content since 2010. Follow me on all socials!

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Recreation

You May Have Been Playing UNO The Wrong Way And Here’s Why

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UNO clarified the rule that disallows stacking +4 and +2 cards.

Admit it or not, you have forged so many friendships, created so many enemies, and made so many memories while playing the game of UNO. However, the company that built the game and officially sells the trademarked UNO cards recently said that players have been playing the game wrong.

In a post from the company’s official Twitter account, the world famous card game manufacturer said that players have been making an illegal move in the game sneakily and clarified the ambiguous rules of the game. According to the official post, a player cannot stack a +4 or +2 card after another.

“We know you’ve tried it,” teased UNO’s tweet. Stacking a +4 or a +2 card has become a common strategy for UNO players around the world to get around the consequence of being thrown with a +4 or a +2 card. In the most common rule, when the player before you put down a +4 or a +2 card, you have to pick four or two more cards from the deck and skip a turn unless you have a +4 or a +2 car to transfer the consequence to the player after you.

But UNO clarified that this is the wrong way to play the game and to use the said special cards. “If someone puts down a +4 card, you must draw 4, and your turn is skipped. You can’t put down a +2 to make the next person Draw 6,” they explained in the tweet. This means that when the player before you put down a +4 or +2 card, you have no choice but to draw four or two cards from the deck and skip your turn, even if you have in your hand a +4 or +2 card.

The game, UNO, was initially developed in 1971 by Merle Robbins in Reading, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati and has become part of the Mattel brand since 1992. In the unpopular buy official rules of the game, the player will only win the entire game by being the first to come up with 500 points, usually earned throughout different rounds of the game. The total score can be achieved by being the first to play all of one’s cards and scoring points for the cards still held by the other players.

According to the game’s website, the deck consists of 108 cards with “four each of “Wild” and “Wild Draw Four,” and 25 each of four different colors (red, yellow, green, blue). Each color consists of one zero, two each of 1 through 9, and two each of “Skip,” “Draw Two,” and “Reverse.” These last three types are known as “action cards.”

The game becomes so popular that the brand has sold billions of decks worldwide and has remained to be one of the best selling card games of all time. There are also videos, movies, and shows that feature the game as well as a game show based on playing UNO. A slot machine has also been based on the game.

While there is no clear rationale behind the sudden clarification of the rules made by the brand, the tweet which was posted two days ago and has already garnered thousands of reactions and comments, have solicited violent and shocking opinions from fans around the world.

“My deck, my rules…someone’s eating this +24,” asserted by one Twitter user who seems to be shocked and angered by the clarification made by UNO. Another Twitter user said that the rule cleanup ‘completely ruins the game.

Following the downpour of reactions from players on Twitter, UNO decided to post another tweet saying that the rule can also be used as a strategy.

“This is a completely valid move and the only sure way to assert your dominance at the table. See Also: House Rules, “ UNO wrote.

But players seem to be unfazed by the assertion of the dominance of the brand to the rules of their own game. As a response, a Twitter user bluntly exclaimed “your (UNO) rule sucks! “

Many responses to the tweet saying that no matter what UNO says, it’s the house rule that applies and that they will be playing the way that they want. Besides, “it’s not an Olympic sports.”

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Recreation

April Fools Pranks: You’ll Hate It Or Love It

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April Fools

April 1st is arguably the worst day of the year with April Fools being a somewhat acceptable reason to play, ideally, good-natured, fund, and perky pranks on family and friends. However, there just some who likes it a little bit further and may extend as irresponsible and insensitive.

But, whether you like it or not, you’ll have to endure April Fools until it passes. That is, of course, if you don’t work for Microsoft. According to a report, Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela sent a memo asking teams “not do any public-facing April Fools’ Day stunts.” He notes that “these stunts have limited positive impact and can actually result in unwanted news cycles.”

In a hyper-involved society that social media created, people are keen into dissecting every piece of information that comes their way, especially when it involves big names like Microsoft.

“I appreciate that people may have devoted time and resources to these activities, but I believe we have more to lose than gain by attempting to be funny on this one day,” says Capossela.

Caposella’s full memo here:

Hey everyone,
It’s that time of year when tech companies try to show their creativity with April Fools’ Day stunts. Sometimes the outcomes are amusing and sometimes they’re not. Either way, data tells us these stunts have limited positive impact and can actually result in unwanted news cycles.
Considering the headwinds the tech industry is facing today, I’m asking all teams at Microsoft to not do any public-facing April Fools’ Day stunts. I appreciate that people may have devoted time and resources to these activities, but I believe we have more to lose than gain by attempting to be funny on this one day.
Please forward to your teams and internal partners to ensure people are aware of the ask to stand down on external April Fools’ Day activities.

Other people are also chiming in the 500-year old tradition isn’t an excuse to prank family and friends about breakups, pregnancies, miscarriages, coming out, or sexual assault. “There are many ways you can celebrate April Fools’ without hurting someone mentally or emotionally. It isn’t hard to be kind to others.”

Given all that, you still can’t deny that April Fools jokes, that don’t happen to hurt others, are just too funny to pass. It’s been in our culture for 500 years for a reason!

And, some of the funniest we found on the internet are conveniently documented on Twitter!

TMobile

If you checked TMobile’s website, they had a one-day-only offering of their latest product, the TMobile Phone BoothE! Described as a vertical rectangular cube equipped with the latest technology that allows you to shut off all background noise to accept calls with obstruction and evesdroppers!

TMobile CEO made the announcement on Twitter saying, “Customer pain points come in all shapes and sizes!! For instance, trying to talk to someone on the phone when there’s non-stop noise all around you! Well turn that frown upside down and say hello to the NEW @TMobile Phone BoothE”

It’s obviously a hilarious joke about bringing back the phone booths to defeat the purpose the convenience of bringing your compact phone to make calls. At one point the video says, “You know it’s real because we placed an E at the end!” Absolutely hilarious!

Liberty Games

Liberty Games don’t only have one but three pranks in store this April 1st!

On their website, you can purchase a Star Trek Tri-Dimensional Pool TableOffice Simulator Deluxe Arcade Machine and Trump v Kim Nuclear Foosball Table each accompanied with a appropriate theme and concept that will have you laughing just by the thought of playing it.

The “Star Trek” pool table includes a “low friction polarized plasma atomic cloth”  and “photon-honed Gemulon V slate bed.” 

Features of the office simulator include special missions like feeding the fish, clearing printer jams and PowerPoint presentations.

The foosball table includes latex masks of President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un and can have pitch mines and a thermonuclear foosball as optional additions. 

Michael Clark on Twitter

This Twitter user has a clever way of incorporating public restroom’s toilet paper dispensers into his April Fools prank and it only involves a sticker paper.

He printed the words “Voice Activated! Just say, “Paper towel, please.” and sticked it into the dispenser.

He said the third step is to wait and we can only imagine him laughing when people actually start screaming at the dispenser and waiting for nothing.

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Recreation

Meditation App Beats Actual Yoga And Relaxation Classes In Terms Of Revenue, Usability, And Popularity

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Meditation Apps beat actual classes

The benefits of having a good night sleep are endless. However, despite knowing the positive impact of napping, some don’t get enough sleep regularly. There’s a magnitude of reason as to why people are having a hard time dozing, and naming them is an entirely different story. In this article, will focus on different apps that can help you get those Zs right away and how this meditation applications become too accessible to the extent of overshadowing yoga and relaxation classes.

With the advent of technology, sleeping and wellness apps are no exception. Today, smartphones can send you happily off to dreamland. Through different apps installed on people’s phone, they tend to receive hundreds of notifications daily, and an app which serves as a reminder to have a regular and healthier sleep habit is becoming a trend; from the traditional self-help and to do’s devices to relief apps that can help humans achieve their full health potential.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of 3 adults do not usually get their recommended hours of sleep each night. By not getting the right amount of sleep, it would lead to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, heart disease, stroke and worst, death. Also, sleeping for below seven hours is related to an impaired immune system, a decrease in cognitive performance, an increased risk of accidents, according to Healthline Media.

Meanwhile, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommend that adults should need to sleep for at least seven hours each night regularly. This is to promote optimal health and well-being. Promoting regular sleep patterns and healthy sleep habits is called ‘sleep hygiene.’ Methods associated with sleep hygiene include going to bed and rising at the same time daily, avoiding large meals, too much caffeine intake and alcohol before bedtime, and avoiding nicotine altogether.

Introducing a sleep app to your sleep hygiene routine may also help you to accomplish those seven hours of bliss. Today, the highest revenues made by purchasing sleep apps tells us that people relied mostly on these technologies to get a good sleep.

In the recent study done by Statista on the leading Android health apps worldwide based on annual revenue, it shows how fast sleep apps are getting into the market and how they change the way people live. One of the leading relief apps today is ‘Calm’ which is founded in 2012 by Michael Acton Smith and co-founded by a serial entrepreneur Alex Tew. It is a free meditation and a sleep app designed for both Android and Apple subscribers.

It had gained popularity into the world of wellness apps in the year 2017 when Apple recognized it as the ‘app of the year.’ In 2018, its sales tripled to almost 40 million dollars, jumping to 60 million dollars at the end of the year.

Headspace, another meditation app which uses a series of cartoons to illustrate meditation principles, followed ‘Calm’ with 37 million dollars annual revenue. Simple Habit, a 5-minute guided meditation app designed to help busy people cope with stress and live better, is next in line with a 25 million dollars profit.

The Calm app is free, which is one of the primary reasons why it has attracted subscribers from all over the world. If you ask me, where did all the profit come from? It is because the company charged 60 dollars a year for subscriptions to access the full library of meditation, music/lullabies, and sleep content. The payment includes features such as audio programs like ‘7 days of sleep’ and ’21 days of calm’ that guide users through a daily routine of 10 to 15-minute sessions for relieving stress and anxiety.

Now the question is, what forces people to rely on meditation app instead of an actual stress-relieving session like yoga, exercise, and other self-help meditation classes?

Not too long ago, people used CDs or tapes to help them sleep, but now they depend on apps. But the former is not portable; imagine how difficult it is to carry CD players on your business trips. The latter, however, offers easy access and convenience to the users. Just by downloading the app, you can carry it via your phone anytime and wherever you decide to go without any trouble.

Moreover, the app has also gained popularity due to a cultural shift away from overworking. These are good for people who try to manage stress by overstraining themselves from work, relationship, school, politics, and even personal life. The founder, Acton Smith, himself thinks that one of the stressors last year is ‘Donald Trump’s presidency and he makes some people angry and frustrated,’ which increased sales for the app.

‘Learning to be more mindful and relaxing and calming people has proved to be particularly popular this year.’

Today, Calm ranked 50th among top grossing apps on IOS which is one spot behind Dropbox. It is already becoming a ‘full-time’ relief app which provides audio meditations, sleep and relaxing stories which can be accessed early in the morning, on office hours, during a coffee break, and especially while traveling.

The said shift is something investors hope to capitalize on and put to market. Though there is a business purpose, it becomes a venue for people to be more fit and have a healthy lifestyle. In ten years or more, this will be a global brand set in a multi-billion dollar business but with a goal to help people reduce their stress levels, and improve their mental, as well as, physical health. After all, the app is becoming a sensation, and this is something which celebrities, executives, business people, children, and workers are doing now and will continue to do so in the future.

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