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Casinos 101- How to Avoid Being Ripped Off

The casinos have mastered this art of deception from what I have seen.

The idea of cheating is likely as old as mankind, but some people/places have taken it to extremes. Large corporations build these huge fortresses with one thing in mind, taking your money. However, take a walk inside that world, and you will know first hand that those public policies are crap. Believe it or not, I once had a dealer tell me first hand that 50% of the people dealing at that establishment were card mechanics. If that doesn’t alert you, nothing will. There are so many things going on behind the curtain that it would amaze you. Their public policies for customer protection look great from a distance. Look carefully at the picture to your right for a perfect example of what some one once used. So, for those who want to know, here is a list of things to watch out for when you are headed to any casino.

AIDS Patient Zero – InfoBarrel

. Louis City Hospital, then transferred to Barnes Hospital (now Barnes-Jewish Hospital) in St.  

By April of 1982, 248 cases of the disease were reported nationwide with many others too afraid or indifferent to see a doctor.  A virus was isolated in 1983 by French scientists (as Europeans were also recognizing and treating patients with “gay cancer”, many of whom were decidedly not gay). 

There is an interesting correlation between homosexuality and the airline industry.  At least, there is a publicly perceived correlation as it pertains to airline flight attendants.

He led doctors to believe any of his sexual activities were strictly heterosexual, even claiming at one point to having a girlfriend (who failed to surface at the time).  [This female was found some time later and was found to be in perfect health, relative to HIV and AIDS, from which one can only surmise she and Rayford had no intimate sexual intercourse or such activities were rare enough she was not exposed to critical levels by whatever ailed him.]

Mr. . Memory Elvin-Lewis was kind enough to respond to this piece in person.

This doctor handled, and talked with (though reported as largely uncommunicative), Robert Rayford personally for a period during Rayford’s confinement, and also attended Rayford’s autopsy, confirming the KS diagnosis and noting the preservation of tissue samples that later were shown to carry the variant of the HIV-1 virus.

Instead, about the only thing that can be said of HIV is that its “Ground Zero” location was almost certainly Central Africa.  

First denying he was sick, he later willfully and maliciously spread the disease to unsuspecting partners.  After having casual sex in a darkened room once, a male interviewee later reported he had turned on a light in the room where Dugas lay naked on a bed.  This man spotted the lesions (Kaposi’s sarcoma) that were the classic earmarks of “gay cancer” on Dugas’ chest.  When he remarked upon it, Dugas replied sardonically, “It’s gay cancer.  Maybe you’ll get it.”

AIDS is what defined the decade of the 1980s, a decade that lived in fear beneath the penumbra of a certain and tortuous death from a highly communicable pathogen. It existed as “slim disease”; the condition was universally ignored though many Africans died after mysteriously wasting away.  In 1959, about the time the Manhattan Jamaican shipping clerk died of his rare pneumonia, a blood sample from a Congolese man was taken and preserved.  Years later, this proved to be HIV-infected.  This Congolese man’s fate is unknown (whether he developed full-blown AIDS and died from it or not).  Similarly, a preserved lymph-node biopsy specimen taken from a Congolese woman in 1960 later proved to be HIV-positive.

Gaëtan Dugas was a French-Canadian born February 20, 1953.  His life was on a collision course with history.  In 1972, Dugas first became sexually active.  [He would later claim he had over 2,500 sexual partners in his lifetime, whether all male is unknown.  He may have been bisexual.] 

But, it doesn’t end there. 

Gay and straight partiers alike finally found their Valhalla, however, in New York City in a crummy little club in the 1970s called Studio 54.  This rat hole was converted into a hot spot known all over the world.  Celebrities fell all over themselves to get in and be seen there.  Its allure was its faux air of exclusivity.  No club before or since carried the cachet of Studio 54.  Co-founded and owned by a cabaret-style, (almost a caricature) flamboyantly gay man, Steve Rubell, and a straight-laced heterosexual lawyer, this kitschy club defined hipsters in the Seventies. 

Gaëtan Dugas, the narcissistic and embittered flight attendant, alternately feeling morose and spiteful about his condition, was given the code name “Patient Zero”, the source of the AIDS epidemic in North America. 

The airline industry developed glamour.  The titillation of a sexy stewardess in uniform, pandering to any business traveler’s ego, was priceless.  These were women without boundaries, women who went anywhere, anytime.  Therefore, they must be promiscuous.  The unspoken possibility of sex with a globe-trotting gal was also alluring.  Married women were aggressively discouraged from working as stewardesses.  The single women, all within a certain preferred range of body type, height, and attractiveness, were wanton women (in the minds of the average male of the day).  Although morbid obesity was not the problem in the 1940s it is today, there were no “big girls” on board.

The commercial airlines recognized the goldmine presented by hiring female “stewardesses”.  Certainly, they were paid less.  There was also marketability in women that men did not have – women could be hawked by an airline as possible sex partners for the discriminating male traveler choosing its service over another.

Noe’s condition stabilized, but then flared up again in 1975 (coincidentally the same year a strange disorder called “slim disease” was reported in Africa for the first time, the beginnings of epidemic AIDS).  In addition to the respiratory condition and joint pains he developed motor skill problems and dementia before he died. 

Thus, by the late 1940s male flight attendants were not only undesirable, they were suspect as well.  Occupying a job with women that devoted itself to customer service, good manners, and fine grooming, the stewards garnered suspicions of being “queer”.

Both his wife and daughter developed an illness that mimicked his symptoms, and they died in 1977.   The swelling in his legs was bothersome, his genitals and legs were covered in scrofulous skin, and his testicles were severely swollen.  He was also emaciated (having lost much weight suddenly), and even though he was an African-American male he was considered “pale”.  He also had shortness of breath.  His symptoms led his caregivers at Barnes Hospital to conclude that one of his problems was lymphedema (a swelling caused by lymphatic problems).  This was only a tiny part of his health issues, however.

Certainly it was not Gaëtan Dugas (though, like Typhoid Mary over half a century before him, many deaths could be placed squarely on his doorstep). 

Without a precise diagnosis, Rayford’s cause of death was attributed to the catch-all vagary “loss of vitality”.  Intractable fluid imbalance and lung disease were listed as contributors.  An autopsy revealed a surprise – his body carried a very rare cancer called Kaposi’s sarcoma internally (though he had but one external lesion on his right thigh).  [Today, this cancer and its lesions are bellwethers of AIDS.] 

The End of Days was seemingly at hand.

The hedonism of the 1970s raged unchecked, and by the middle of the decade “gay” culture became pop culture.  Gay male partiers in the mid 1970s found an outlet on New York’s Fire Island.  Gay men rented time-share space in houses on the island and partied their summers away “in season”. 

Gay men realized the danger.  Many made the intuitive leap early that perhaps certain activities, such as anal intercourse, might be transmitting the causative agent.  Others flatly refused to believe that their lifestyles might be endangering the health of themselves and of others.  They felt it was a perceived backlash against gay men.  Higher-profile gay men (many closeted during their lifetimes) and activists within the gay community began dying as well as underground sub-culture members (the “Crisco, leather, and fisting” set).

The discrimination in the labor market meant the United States Supreme Court had to step in and force airlines to hire male flight attendants.  This happened in 1971 after nearly 20 years of female-dominated service.  Even then, the Court’s decision forcing US airlines to hire men was greeted with derision in the press.  It also raised homophobic fears of placing men in such a servile and sexualized role. 1952-1953).

In his wake, one of the unfortunate legacies he left was a renewed homophobia relative to male flight attendants.  They became a lightning rod for America’s fear and anger over AIDS and its links with homosexuality.  “Patient Zero”, Gaëtan Dugas, was reviled; in death he was even accused of bringing HIV to North America and spreading it around the country.

From a front-line perspective

The term “velvet rope” came into existence then – a red velvet rope (as one might see in a museum keeping patrons at a safe distance from a particularly priceless exhibit) became the literal and symbolic barrier between the plebes on the street and the hipsters within.  Each night crowds gathered outside Studio 54’s doors; admission was granted whimsically by a group of door men and many times by Steve Rubell himself. 

Dugas remained unrepentant.  He originally denied that whatever disease it was he had could be transmitted sexually.  His own words on the subject: “Of course I’m going to have sex.  Nobody’s proven to me that you can spread cancer.”  His depraved indifference to his sexual partners’ well-being was summarized with “It’s their duty to protect themselves.  They know what’s going on out there.  They’ve heard about this disease.”  The last element of his bitterness was voiced by his wish to take others with him: “I’ve got gay cancer.  I’m going to die and so are you.” 

Running Dugas to ground, however, was pointless.  At the time, there were no criminal laws penalizing the willful spread of a known fatal disease (since then, law changes allow charges of attempted and pre-meditated murder to be brought in many states against anyone who is HIV-positive purposefully engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse with an unwitting partner).

Gateway to the West

Finally, in 1968, the boy was admitted to St. Louis, Missouri) was the earliest confirmed victim of AIDS in North America.

There is an apocryphal story that Patient Zero was really Patient “O” (as in the 15th letter of the English alphabet, first letter of the word “Omega” for the last letter of the Greek alphabet, ?).  Furthermore, it was alleged that a journalist misinterpreted the “O” (for “?”), and instead wrote up his report, referring to the AIDS’ source as “Patient 0″ [“zero”] instead.

He started out as a hairdresser.  Wanting to travel, this French-speaking Canadian learned that flight attendants for Air Canada had to be bi-lingual.  He moved to Vancouver and learned English to qualify for the job.  He found work as a flight attendant on Air Canada.  This career choice allowed him the freedom to move around the world, visiting exotic locales, and meeting many strange men for anonymous sexual encounters.  In 1977, he was legally married in Los Angeles, California, in an illegal attempt to gain United States citizenship.

Homophobia was so great by the late 1950s almost no airlines in the United States would hire men as flight attendants – even Eastern and Pan Am stopped hiring stewards.  Stewardesses, however, were very desirable.  They were marketed as young, beautiful, and sexually available–this was hardly an acceptable career choice for any he-man.  In the same way that the sexual orientation of male nurses was suspect, only “pansies” wanted to be stewards.

The music scene was fueled by this gay celebration, none more blatantly than by a vocal group of disco hustlers calling themselves “The Village People”.  They dressed in favorite and stereotypical gay icon costumes – a policeman, a construction worker, a cowboy, a gay biker, and a Native American.  They were hugely successful for a short time with big sellers “In the Navy” and “YMCA”.  More subtly, Donna Summer performed her brand of dance music that was embraced by the gay community as was she.

He was admitted with multiple, and strange, symptoms (given his tender age).

He had a chlamydia infection (a bacterial venereal disease), clearly indicating he was sexually active.  His doctors also uncovered evidence of the herpes simplex virus and the virus responsible for Epstein-Barr.  Robert Rayford was not terribly forthcoming with his doctors, partly due to his retardation leaving him mostly uncommunicative, but also because he was embarrassed by something.

Molecular research shows the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s stemmed from a viral strain that had entered the US via Haiti about 1966.  Other strains have been isolated as well.  As in cases like Robert Rayford’s, the disease died with him (though he probably infected others, those people likely did not have access to the sheer number of sexual partners that, for example, Gaëtan Dugas had, and died before spreading it much). 

In conjunction with Studio 54, other bars for gay men to frequent thrived.  Another meeting place was the bath houses still found in many larger cities.  Once serving the utilitarian function for neighborhood residents to bathe (considering most homes up until the late 1920s did not have indoor plumbing) these quaint reminders of The Good Old Days were social gathering places for gay men.  They were prevalent in New York City and in San Francisco.  [Bette Midler, a great favorite among gay men, got her start singing in gay bath houses; her piano player in those days was songwriter/musician Barry Manilow).

Almost any medical professional worth his or her license, whenever a patient dies of a strange ailment, takes the precaution of preserving tissue and blood samples for future research.  It is extremely fortunate that some doctors going all the way back to the late 1950s had been so far-sighted.  Working backward and re-examining suspicious or otherwise unresolved deaths from contagion globally proved enriching in piecing together the history of AIDS. 

Certainly, the African-American teenager Robert Rayford (who had never been outside the city of his birth) was not Patient Zero, either – somebody had to give it to him in the first place.

Current scientific research is clear: sometime in the 1930s, a simian form of immunodeficiency virus mutated sufficiently and made the leap across species to become a contagious disease of people. 

Meanwhile, as a symbolic sign of the coming Armageddon, Studio 54 was forced to close its doors for liquor license violations and tax evasion; entrepreneurs Steve Rubell and his business partner were sentenced to short terms of imprisonment.  [Rubell later died of AIDS.]

This virus, after much international wrangling for recognition of discovery (with a particularly aggressive and bombastic US virologist lobbying for a claim that he had found it first–he did not) was later named Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV. 

False Positive

On October 31, 1980 – ominously enough, Halloween night – the French-Canadian gay male steward Gaëtan Dugas visited a gay bathhouse for the first time on a layover in New York City.

AIDS in the United States was isolated in pockets of contagion until the promiscuity (homosexual or otherwise) of the 1970s gave the disease a clear path of propagation in humans.  IV drug use, on the rise in the 1970s and early 1980s, also provided another avenue of blood-exchange necessary for the virus to thrive. 

Grethe Rask was a Danish surgeon who had traveled to Zaire in 1972 to lend medical aid for the sick there.  She returned to Denmark in 1976 and became relentlessly ill.  Her symptoms confounded her colleagues.  She died in December 1977.  Several years later in 1984, it was confirmed through testing she was HIV-positive.  During her time in Zaire, it was known she was directly exposed to blood – it is believed this was the source of her infection.

Dugas, meanwhile, knew he was sick.  He didn’t know exactly what was wrong, but he had developed the skin lesions, associated with “gay cancer”.  But one can’t spread cancer, of course, because cancer isn’t contagious.  He indiscriminately continued having sex with men as his whims overtook him.  His “advantage” was his mobility – as a flight attendant, he might be in any part of the US, Canada, or the world on a moment’s notice.  His bitterness about having gay cancer crossed over into his lackadaisical attitude about possibly harming others.

Dr. Memory Elvin Lewis

Dr. . many cases of AIDS have been autopsied that we didn’t even know had AIDS.”

Less Than Zero

Occasionally, medical mysteries initially thought solved are found later to have very different truths at their cores.

Air Canada

Update note:Dr. Kramer was a writer in New York and a part of the gay culture.  He, however, decided that merely watching his friends die quietly wasn’t enough. 

The teen seemed stabilized by late 1968 (when he was around 15 years old).  He had been transferred to Deaconess Hospital by then, and in March 1969, however, all of his symptoms reappeared and rapidly worsened.  His breathing labored; his white blood cell count (as part of routine blood work) was noted to have dropped dramatically.  The only thing concurred at the time was that Rayford’s immune system had been somehow compromised.  He developed a fever and died either in the late hours of May 15, 1969, or the early hours of May 16 (sources differ).  His primary physician recalled, “Eventually his entire body constituted almost one wave of hard lumps and watery swellings.”

Gaëtan Dugas fit right in with the gay community of the bath houses.  He was blond, voluble, and open.  Sex for him was a series of anonymous engagements, many times conducted hastily in bathroom stalls.  He took on whatever he felt like.  As well as many other men, he was developing what would become known as “The Clone Look”: close-cropped hair, largish but well-groomed mustache, muscle shirts, short shorts.  [The quintessential version of “The Clone Look” would be Freddie Mercury (rock band Queen’s lead vocalist who died of AIDS) after about 1981.] 

One such mystery concerned the AIDS epidemic in America.  As long as the killer remained comfortably within the gay community not much was done to investigate.  As soon as AIDS found its way into the heterosexual population, though, suddenly America’s interest in ferreting out the cause was paramount.  Panic stricken virologists and other epidemiologists worked feverishly to isolate the source of this sexually transmitted disease first endemic among homosexual men. 

In 1979, before Dugas was infected, a bisexual German concert violinist, Herbert Heinrich, died.  In 1989, after testing of medical samples from his body, it was learned he was HIV-positive. 

Dating America’s exposure to AIDS is irrelevant: AIDS is a global problem.  And continuing research has led to many more interesting facts about the spread of HIV.

Rayford lived in a brownstone in a poor neighborhood in St. Doctors, helpless to find the cause of death for the Noe family, preserved some tissue samples.  In 1988, further testing showed Noe, his wife, and his daughter had all been HIV-positive

Years later, once medical science, and particularly genetics testing, had reached a greater level of technological advance, a revision of the “Patient Zero” findings of 1984 seemed necessary.  What was learned by later research was both fascinating and horrific simultaneously.  It turned out, HIV had not only been in the world for over a century, but it had been in the United States as early as 1966. 

Because of the baffling nature of his case, doctors preserved several tissue and blood samples for later evaluation.  In 1987, eighteen years after his death, molecular biologists at New Orleans’ Tulane University tested specimens of Rayford’s preserved blood and tissues.  Their findings were stunning: a virus “closely related or identical to” HIV-1 was detected.  Further confirmation testing in 1989  proved Robert Rayford (African-American teenage male of St. Somewhere, there was a Patient Zero, the epidemiological well-spring from which this plague spewed forth.

A strange disease lurked among the gay denizens and creepers of the bath houses, though.  Men began dying of pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses, but only after drastically losing weight and developing horrific skin lesions on their faces, necks, backs, and chests.  This disease became known in the gay community as “gay cancer”.  It was particularly volatile, and it progressed rapidly.  Dugas caught it early, possibly with his first encounter in the New York gay bathhouse on Halloween 1980.

The very first air flight attendants (in the 1920s) were men.  These positions were desirable; the men who did these jobs executed their duties more like up-scale, futuristic train porters and ship stewards than as menials.  As with many professions in that era (especially in service jobs such as telephone operators, bank tellers, et al) the sky porters known as “stewards” were exclusively male.  World War I saw the shift from male to female telephone operators and bank tellers; with a dearth of male workers during World War II, employers turned to the fairer sex to fill their employment needs in the airline industry, too. 

Good investigative work requires dogged determination.  Running an enigma to ground can take years. 

Of a most enlightening nature was Rayford’s adamant refusal of any rectal exams.  It seemed that he may have been exposed to homosexual activity (assuming the submissive role in anal intercourse).  One of his attending physicians believed that he had been a victim of sexual abuse (a very likely scenario considering Rayford’s socio-economic background).  He could also have been “pimped out” against his will by someone who procured males to engage with him.  To date, this aspect of his life is unclear.

In 1976, a Norwegian sailor, designated with the alias “Arvid Noe”, died; his wife and nine-year-old daughter died the next year of the same wasting disease.  In 1961, the 15-year-old Noe had sailed on his first voyage to Africa.  He worked a merchant vessel that plied along Africa’s west coast from mid-1961 to mid-1962; during this voyage he was treated for gonorrhea.  He sailed again to Africa in 1964, with a port of call in Kenya in eastern Africa.  In 1966, Noe started suffering from chronic joint pain and recurrent lung infections.  By 1968, he could no longer pass a physical to sail, so he worked as a long-haul truck driver. 

The disease it spawned was rechristened, in light of its indiscriminate virology, to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS.  That same year that 248 cases of the disease were reported, local health departments in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta began investigating.

Of the 248 cases known before the detection of the virus, interviewing led to the shocking revelation that at least 40 AIDS victims had one thing in common: all had either had sex with a certain male, blond, gregarious Air Canada flight attendant, or they had sex with someone who did.  This networking connection was made in 1984, and it was critical – it meant medical and public health officials investigating the source of AIDS might have finally gotten the breakthrough they needed. 

AIDS now had a face.

As early as his 13th year or sooner, he was sexually active.  Beginning in 1966, he started having some physical problems that seemed chronic.  His legs swelled, and he developed sores on his genitals and body. 

As further incentive to not hire men as flight attendants, the death of a gay steward in 1954 became a scandal sufficiently great to lead to a rash of “fag bashings” (both gay men and lesbians were targeted) in Miami, Florida.  It was one of the nation’s worst anti-gay outbreaks in history. 

Omega Man

The criteria for entry were pure sadism: one night only women might be allowed in; other times, a sloppily dressed man might be sent away while another, looking exactly like that man but “famous”, would be let in.  Gay-themed parties were held there often, and casual sex in the bathrooms and the “exclusive” privacy lounge was common among attendees.

Ground Zero

He wrote myriad articles on the subject and penned a stage play, “A Normal Heart”, that did well.  In May 2014, this stage play was brought to the small screen.  It was presented as a movie on HBO starring Jim Parsons (of “Big Bang Theory” TV fame).  The story documented the earliest days of the AIDS epidemic in America told from the perspective of the New York City/Fire Island cohort.  It is engaging: it is what TV can do (but usually fails to do except in rare cases like this one).

His first months in the hospital were spent with his doctors cutting back on his water and salt intake, and they wrapped and raised his legs, all to cut down on his tissue’s swelling.  Despite this, the inflammation moved up his body and into his lungs.  Antibiotics were tried in varying dosages, but Rayford’s condition continued to deteriorate. 

Diverting conversations occurred between Rayford and his primary care givers when questioned about his sexual activities.  His doctors had not considered homosexuality initially, and all conversations, such as they were, seemed to be taken as referring to female sexual contacts.

A year earlier, a Portuguese man known only as Senhor José died under mysterious circumstances.  He was treated at the London Hospital for Tropical Diseases to no effect.  In later years, examination of preserved tissues verified he died of AIDS; the causative virus, HIV-2 was present, making him the first known confirmed victim.  Genetic research on the virus indicated he probably contracted the disease in 1966 in Guinea-Bissau (on the northwest coast of Africa).  Three gay men in California and six Haitian immigrants to the United States were later confirmed as AIDS victims from that same year.

By the 1950s, this homophobia was rampant, and in the conservative times of Eisenhower and McCarthyism, men were slowly pushed out of the steward jobs.

Author’s note

Larry Kramer was actively and aggressively involved with what was then known as “gay cancer” in the early 1980s when the disease first made its poisonous presence visibly known in the United States as “gay cancer”. 

The dubious distinction of being America’s “Patient Zero” – the first documented and verifiable case of AIDS in the country – belongs not to Dugas but to a mildly mentally retarded black teenager named Robert Rayford (born ca. Memory Elvin-Lewis, thank you so much for not only your contributions to science but to my humble efforts at disseminating it for general readership.  I truly appreciate it.

Gaëtan Dugas died in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, on March 30, 1984, at the age of 31.  His cause of death was kidney-failure brought on by his weakened condition from an onslaught of infections and ailments from AIDS.

Tracing backward from Haiti (the source of the US strain in 1966) put the disease firmly in Central Africa. . It was so unusual at the time . Louis, Missouri.  His mother’s name was Constance Rayford, and he had a brother named George.  Rayford was described as slender.  His retardation left him relatively uncommunicative from shyness. 

For one gay man, however, being a steward was all he’d needed to satisfy both his wanderlust and his physical lust. 

Dugas may have personally, and directly, been responsible for dozens of AIDS cases (and no telling how many more indirectly), but he did not bring AIDS to the US, nor was he the first confirmed AIDS victim.  As noted, several California men and some Haitian immigrants were found later to have succumbed to the disease before Dugas.

The direct lineage of HIV-1 was traced to two groups of mutations that formed in the primates that carried the simian version.  One of the groups was dated to between 1847 and 1907; another subgroup dated to between 1606 and 1871.  HIV-2 made the leap most likely between the date range of 1856 and 1922.  Thus, it can be seen some prototypical version of the AIDS virus can be dated to the early 17th century.

In the end one can see there is no modern-day “Patient Zero”.

Anal scarring also indicated repeated sexual penetration.

This makes little sense. 

Before Robert Rayford in the US, there was a possible case found in a dead Jamaican native named Ardouin Antonio.  He came to the US in 1927.  He was working as a shipping clerk for a clothier when he died at age 49 on June 28, 1959, in Manhattan.  He had developed a very rare kind of pneumonia, seemingly out of the blue.  Decades later the doctor who had performed Antonio’s autopsy was asked to re-evaluate the case.  Did he think Antonio possibly died of AIDS?  “You bet . Louis. 

“I’m Candy – Fly Me!”

This good person also kindly corrected some of the misinformation about Rayford via a personal e-mail and was also kind enough to forward professional papers on the subject.  One such paper, in Lymphology from 1973, gives, perhaps, the best clinical synopsis of the case.  Another article, entitled Documentation of an AIDS Virus Infection in the United States in 1968 (by the same doctor and others), is also a “must read” for anyone interested in the earlier origins of AIDS in America. 

And the real Patient Zero – the HIV-Adam or HIV-Eve – lived and most likely died there, somewhere in the Congo, unknown and unrecognized for the catastrophic role he or she would play in human history. 

The music was disco, the dance beat adapted from gay men and their party scene.  The mock S&M dance moves, the sweaty bodies, the throb of the music, the drugs consumed, and the fact that not just anyone could get in heightened its allure.

The Road to Zero

The Greek letter “?” always refers to the end of an event or series, not its beginning.  Dugas was “Patient Zero”, not “Patient ?” – if the intent was to use such a Greek designation, he would have been named “Patient Alpha” (“?” or “?”)  for “the beginning”.  It is known that Dugas from the earliest investigations, based on diagrams the CDC (and others) created interlinking sexual contacts among those diagnosed with or dead from the mystery disease, was referred to from the start as Patient Zero (not Omega or “O”).

In America, the results of further research led to the conclusion that Gaëtan Dugas had not been the true “Patient Zero” after all.

***

Concern for dying gay men was not paramount on America’s mind.  As more cases of the mysterious killer emerged, the name was changed from “gay cancer” to “gay-related immune deficiency” (GRID).  This, at least, was an open recognition that whatever was causing the disease was compromising a body’s immune system.  It didn’t explain, however, the rather esoteric choice of gay men (and soon discovered, IV drug users) by an unintelligent, non-sentient pathogen as victims.  It wasn’t until the first heterosexual cases of “gay cancer” emerged that the disease was examined more closely.

The Best Casinos for Blackjack in Las Vegas

The Best Casinos for Blackjack in Las Vegas

It has one of the highest concentrations of quality casinos and entertainment in the city. Some casinos use 8 decks and a shuffling machine to increase the house odds (or casino’s odds) and to make card counting almost impossible. Many tourists never leave it during their stay.

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Player’s cards are cards offered at many casinos to gamblers who want to earn perks when they play. This means if you hit a blackjack and your bet is $10 you’ll be paid $15 at a table with a 3:2 payout, but you’d win just $12 at a 6:5 paying table.

If you’ve heard of Las Vegas, then I’d bet you’ve heard of the strip. With small decks, you’ll probably be seeing the better odds of 3:2, more and more, you’ll start to see rates of 6:5. What is the strip? It’s about a 4 mile stretch of a street on Las Vegas Boulevard South. Other Las Vegas casinos play with just one deck with small bets to attract players. Depending on how much money you play with, you can earn quite a bit of complimentary gifts and discounts at restaurants, stores and theatres.

The odds in blackjack vary as much by casino as they do by table

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Negative Effects of Gambling

Negative Effects of Gambling

? Gambling at the cost of one’s job results in a decline in the quality of his professional life. Sports betting and arbitrage betting are the other types. Thus, gambling can have a grave economic impact which is difficult to reverse.

? Problem gamblers and addicts tend to abuse their family members. On giving a serious consideration to the negative effects of gambling, we realize that it is best avoided.

? As gambling leads to increased criminal activities, in a way, gamblers add to the burden on prisons and the legal system.

? People continue gambling with the greed of winning money. Forget satisfaction or peace, it is not even refreshing in the real sense. They engage in gambling activities at the cost of their time with family and friends. The National Council of Problem Gambling (NCPG) describes this type of gambling behavior as problem gambling.

? Gamblers often exhibit mood swings and a strangely secretive behavior. The addiction leads people to continue with gambling irrespective of whether they earn or lose in the deal. Some take to substance abuse to supplement the high they get from winning huge sums while gambling. Because of this, they land in worse situations and take the wrong decisions in life.

? Similar to how an individual keeps consuming substances like drugs or alcohol to experience an altered mental state, he continues to gamble. Over time, it becomes a habit, and eventually an obsession that can’t be overcome. It only leads to a thoughtless expenditure of money and valuables.

? Children of parents who are problem gamblers or gambling addicts tend to feel abandoned and angry, further increasing stress and leading to strained family relations.

Gambling = Thoughtless Expenditure + Waste of Time

? Gambling is practiced as a means of recreation. The addiction gets on to the gamblers to such an extent that they fail to think wisely before acting. The two go hand in hand. Their debt keeps building and it may reach an amount that exceeds their capacity to repay.

Games offered in casinos, table games like poker, Red Dog, and Blackjack, as also electronic games like Slot Machine and Video Poker are some of the common types of gambling. The stress of risking huge amounts of money or the frustration after losing it can increase the tendency of abuse in gamblers. Their mental state can even lead to suicidal tendencies.

? Gambling can lead to criminal activities. It causes a decline in his/her work performance, thus hampering his career.

? The addiction to gambling can leave one in bankruptcy. According to the National Research Council, 10 to 17% of the children of problem gamblers have been abused and so have 25 to 50% of the partners of problems gamblers.

? The stress from gambling may lead to health issues like ulcers, stomach problems, muscle pains, headaches, and problems with sleep.

? Gambling has proven to be addictive. Due to lost mental peace, they may ill-treat their spouse and children. Betting is a mentally taxing activity, and as one goes on risking more and more money, anxiety starts building.

? According to a research by NCPG, 76 percent of problem gamblers are likely to have a major depressive disorder.

Compulsive gambling leads to bankruptcy

? Research has shown that gambling can lead to harmful behavior in people. It soon becomes a habit that can’t be broken.

? Studies show that children with a sibling or parent addicted to gambling, are more likely to take to substance abuse.

? An Austrian study said that around 1 in 5 suicidal patients had a gambling problem.

? Substances of abuse are served at casinos and in pubs and clubs, thus increasing the likelihood of gamblers consuming them. In spite of the losses incurred, they continue betting. A recreational activity is supposed to be refreshing and relaxing, but something like gambling is contrary to the very purpose of recreation. The decision to gamble money is based on three parameters namely; how much to bet, the predictability of the event, and the conditions agreed upon, between the gamblers. Card games, coin tossing, and dice-based games are some non-casino based forms of gambling. To add to the so-called merry atmosphere, gamblers often smoke or drink while playing.

? A majority of those addicted to gambling have substance abuse disorders.

? Additionally, rehabilitation and public assistance systems are taxed.

? They start borrowing money and take secret loans. The addiction has negative effects on one’s physical and mental health and it proves to be detrimental to one’s social, personal, and professional life. The addiction robs a gambler of all the productive time and leads to loss of efficiency at work. Some go that way to forget the sorrow of losing big sums when gambling.

You could be at gunpoint or holding the gun. This proves to be detrimental to their social and family life. Rehabilitating the gambling addicts needs money and time, and the process is not very easy. Addiction to gambling, coupled with substance abuse can make the gamblers physically abusive towards their family. The greed never ends and they keep betting more and more. The skill of a gambler lies in weighing the three parameters and making a decision about what amount should be staked and how much should be expected in return.

? Apart from absence at work and drop in efficiency, a common observation is that gamblers tend to steal money and engage in fraudulent behavior to recover from financial losses incurred when gambling, or to get more money to bet.

? Addiction to gambling has been linked with substance abuse. Thus, gambling practices cause a huge financial burden on the families of the affected and on the society at large.

? People who fall prey to gambling tend to remain away from their families and waste money on other bad practices. The effect is similar to that of having a drug or a drink, which is why gambling changes one’s mental state and mood.

Gambling refers to the betting of money on an event with an uncertain outcome, with the intent of winning additional wealth. It can drag you into crime, gambling isn’t fun.

? The costs of treating compulsive gamblers are huge. They tend to stay away from their near ones, resulting in distrust between them and their loved ones.

? According to a study by the George State University, 50% of the problem gamblers commit crime. Six to eight million people in America are estimated to have a gambling problem.

? According to the University of New York, in people with alcohol use disorders, the chances of developing an addiction to gambling are 23 times higher.

Initially, one looks at gambling as a way to run away from life’s problems, or from stress, anger, and loneliness. A study by the same university suggested that 73% of the individuals who are imprisoned are found to be problem gamblers.. In the following sections of this Buzzle article, we discuss the negative effects of gambling on the individual and society.

Mental and physical health problems, financial issues, and conflicts in the family are among the common negative effects of gambling. When they lose the money they had risked, they further gamble to recover the lost amount and it becomes a vicious circle even they can’t escape from.

? Over time, the practice of gambling starts becoming a habit and begins to have damaging effects at psychological, physical, and social levels

Biggest Gambling Countries In The World

H2 Gambling Capital has released the list of biggest gambling countries due to average gaming losses.

Gaming Losses Per Adult: $517

Gaming Losses Per Adult: $568

Gaming Losses Per Adult: $1,174

Era of Online Gambling

Gaming Losses Per Adult: $568

Top Online Gambling Mistakes. According to business advisory firm MAG Consulenti Associati, the electronic gaming makes up half of Italy’s total gaming revenues in first half of 2011.

Australia

Gaming Losses Per Adult: $553

Gaming Losses Per Adult: $553

Gambling’s Famous Icons

Gaming Losses Per Adult: $1,288

Australia: Biggest Gambling Country in the World

Finland

Singapore

Gaming Losses Per Adult: $1,288

The potash-rich province of Saskatchewan is home to the biggest gamblers in Canada.

Singapore offered the very first casino some years ago which then became the world’s third largest-gaming center after Macau and Las Vegas. In this country, gaming companies bet people on whether the central bank’s interest will increase or not. Reportedly, over 75 percent of adult Canadians took part in the games last year in which the most popular games are lotteries and Scratch and Win cards.

Gaming Losses Per Adult: $1,174

Gaming Losses Per Adult: $517

Interestingly enough, the country’s national lottery company, Veikkaus, belongs to the government and is operated by the ministry of education. Furthermore, the slot machines named pokies are the most favorite game in Australia with an estimated number of 75-80 percent of problem gamblers. Otherwise, Australia is the only country that allows online bets on sports but prevents gamblers from using the Internet to place bets during live games.

Italy

Canada

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Las Vegas is well-known as the gambling industry of the world; however, American people are not the biggest gamblers on Earth. Although the government has imposed an entry fee of S$100 ($80.50) for citizens entering the casino, the country’s gaming revenue is expected to hit $6.4 billion in 2011 and outpace Las Vegas.

The most favorite gambling activity in Italy is electronic gaming machine. Most profits go to education, arts and culture.

Australia is the craziest country when it comes to gaming and gambling

Betting With The Law Of Attraction

I’m not big on betting, but it is entirely possible to bet using your feelings as a judgment call.

Simple.

By asking yourself the question “how will I feel about this?”, you will always get a perfectly aligned response from your emotional guidance system.

By half-time it was 1-1. You may know it with a different name (gut instincts for example), but simply put the emotions that you feel, are always a perfect match to what you are currently attracting.

If I get a distinct feeling of “positiveness” then the game will be a success and will win.

If I feel pretty bad about the game then it will either be a draw or a loss.

If I feel nothing and am completely neutral, then I don’t make a decision.

Because I watch my team play, I am emotionally attached to the game. Second half started and the opposing team took the lead and made it 2-1. “your emotions are a load of rubbish!” … “they can’t predict the outcome!”.

Your emotions are always a perfect reflection of what’s coming.

As I was practicing this in a recent match I was watching, I noticed a horrible feeling within me. If they feel good, good things are coming. If they feel bad, bad things are coming.

“How do I feel about this game?”

If you start removing your attention from the logical mind and stop using your mind to make the decisions, then by relying on your emotions, you will very quickly begin to see that your emotions are always a perfect match to what you’re attracting.

I’m an avid football (soccer) fan and I always enjoy watching my team play on television. Before the game begins I will ask myself…

It was an uncomfortable game and didn’t bring me any joy. All of your thoughts are created from past experiences and so your logical mind is working within your limited belief system.

Is it possible to successfully place a bet and win it using the Law of Attraction? I’ve proved it possible.

If you feel good, you’re attracting good things into your life.

If you feel bad, or neutral, then you’re attracting unwanted things into your life.

Within each and every one of us is something called an Emotional Guidance System. The end result was a draw, 2-2.

Your emotions are your best method of making accurate decisions. I knew before the game started that it wouldn’t. I’ve started practicing using my emotions to determine how the game will end up, before the game has even kicked off.

In the opening 10 minutes, we scored a goal and were 1-0 up. So, I knew straight away that my team was going to lose or draw.. This helps me greatly in my decision making. My logical mind started to kick in…

How does all of this fit in with betting on events?

When you remove the logical mind and really listen to what you’re feeling, you will always have access to the most accurate answer, since your feelings are an indication of what you’re moving towards. It felt horrible and was definitely unwanted. Your logical mind can only make decisions upon what it already knows

Top 10 Reasons For Visiting A Casino

Top 10 Reasons For Visiting A Casino

Someone decided to visit the casino and bring their partner, relative, friend or colleague along.

Over the course of a few weeks, I conducted a very brief survey, asking randomly chosen casino visitors one simple question. This is another very common reason for visiting a casino. A few people attended the casino to watch and learn how to play some of the casino games.

Reason 2: To eat and drink.

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Reason 5: Employment. The question was, “Why did you visit this casino today?” Besides receiving an odd look every now and then, I managed to get a range of different reasons why people visit casinos.

Reason 1: To gamble. Written by casinoguide.ws and popularcasinos.net This document may be freely redistributed in its unedited form and on the condition that all copyright references are kept intact.

Reason 10: There was no solid reason 10, but a collection of funny, strange and weird answers such as “I needed to use the bathroom” and “Someone owes me money”.

Reason 7: Someone brought me here. This is not a reason that you’d expect to come up too frequently in people’s minds, but it is nevertheless true. Many people decided to venture down to the casino because they were feeling bored and did not know where else to go, or what else to do on a Friday or Saturday night.

So as you can see, people don’t just visit casinos in order to gamble, but for a variety of interesting reasons.

Reason 4: To socialize. Many people go to a casino because they work there, be it as a dealer, showgirl or a waitress.

Reason 8: To learn how to play the games. Catching up with friends and socializing was another very common reason for visiting a casino.. Be it the couple who decided to meet at the casino on a date or the single man or woman who is hoping to meet someone interesting, casinos are apparently great venues for meeting interesting new people.

Reason 6: Boredom. While some singles and couples attended the casino to enjoy a few drinks at the bar, others were more interested in dining out at the casino restaurant.

Copyright © 2005. Whether it’s to see a comedy, magic, singing or dancing show, entertainment is a major factor when it comes to drawing casino visitors.

Reason 9: Romance. Not suprisingly, this was the main reason as you can probably guess by looking around the game tables and slot machines.

By: Adel Awwad

Reason 3: Entertainment

Sports :: How to Make Money Betting on Horse Racing

Sports :: How to Make Money Betting on Horse Racing

I spend my time knowing the Southern California race tracks

While there is no guarantee that anyone will win consistently by betting on horse races, recent developments in computer software and handicapping methods have reduced the amount of financial risk. In addition, track the performance of each horse and knowing whether the performance of the horse is improving with maturity or declining with age. In addition, I suggest that you concentrate on only one or two race tracks every horse betting season. Make money betting on horse racing by learning how to handicap the horses properly by reading the articles on this site. In addition, many of these blogs feature online-discussion forums on which you can swap information about effective betting methods and systems.. You will find that most horse racing blogs are moderated and maintained by experts who have developed reliable handicapping systems and are more than willing to share secrets with subscribers. You will also need to know how each horse performs in a variety of weather and track conditions and whether there is a synergy between the horse and a particular jockey. I use “How to ‘Place Bet’ on Favorites for a Living” by Mohammed Ali. You will find the “Daily Racing Form” available at most newsstands, at horse racing venues and by direct-mail subscription as well as online downloads.

Finally, use online resources, such as TwinSpires, to make bets online and receive free tips on handicapping

You might also read online blogs about horse racing in order to make money by betting on horse racing. By handicapping the horses and race conditions and studying the various mathematical models, you may make money betting on horse racing.

In addition, I suggest that you review all race results on a regular basis by studying copies of the “Daily Racing Form.” This newspaper can be instrumental in teaching you how to handicap properly and win more money. In addition, I suggest using a system that has been proven. I do not use a computer software to make money on betting on horse racing