We Came! We Saw! We Smiled! Las Vegas Philharmonic

Written by Robert LaGrone

Lights! Camera! Igintion! Why Do Carmakers Pay $600 to Place Their Autos in Movies?

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Greek gods! Beasts and birds! Shenanigans! Peace offerings! Toga parties! Tonight’s performance byrepparttar Las Vegas Philharmonic, titled “A World in Harmony,” was a veritable fun-house of images. I’ll try to limit my use of exclamation points.

The overture to The Thieving Magpie, by Gioacchino Rossini, can be described in one word: mischief. A maid is accused of stealing a silver spoon from her master’s house and is sentenced to death. Well, it is opera — but fortunately notrepparttar 137391 tragic kind, in which halfrepparttar 137392 characters die andrepparttar 137393 other half wish they could. Eventuallyrepparttar 137394 culprit is found to berepparttar 137395 bird named inrepparttar 137396 title, andrepparttar 137397 woman is exonerated. No word on whetherrepparttar 137398 magpie lives, though.

Nothing focusesrepparttar 137399 mind like an imminent deadline. The opera premiered in Milan on May 31, 1817, and Rossini later said, “I wroterepparttar 137400 overture to The Thieving Magpie onrepparttar 137401 day of its opening, inrepparttar 137402 theatre itself where I was imprisoned byrepparttar 137403 director and underrepparttar 137404 surveillance of four stage hands who were instructed to throw my original text throughrepparttar 137405 window, page by page, torepparttar 137406 copyists waiting below… In default of pages, they were ordered to throw me out ofrepparttar 137407 window.” Bothrepparttar 137408 overture andrepparttar 137409 overall opera were big hits that night, andrepparttar 137410 stage hands needed to manhandle onlyrepparttar 137411 scene props.

Speaking of working under pressure, Sergei Prokofiev composed his Violin Concerto No. 2 just before returning to live inrepparttar 137412 USSR in 1936. Stalin’s government wasn’t fond of avant-garde experimentation in music, and Russian composers weren’t fond of gulags. The concerto takesrepparttar 137413 standard three-movement form, contained no wild cadenzas forrepparttar 137414 soloist, and was “regarded by some as a musical olive branch torepparttar 137415 Soviet regime,” according to LV Phil Associate Conductor Dr. Richard McGee.

Award-winning guest violinist Chee-Yun took center stage for this concerto. Her arm pumped like a machine through rapid arpeggios inrepparttar 137416 energetic first movement.

The solo part was oddly separate fromrepparttar 137417 orchestral accompaniment. The relaxed second movement sounded more integrated and had a pleasant walking tempo. The allegro third movement had tricky ¾ rhythms that were often hard to follow. The finale contained a bit of unexpected percussion by castanets, bass drum, and muted cymbals. The end came unexpectedly, with Chee-Yun fiddling rapidly right torepparttar 137418 last staccato note. Both soloist and orchestra performed beautifully, but this concerto contains no melodies that will get stuck in your head like a Roger Miller tune. At intermission most of us were still humming Rossini.

Blackjack- Should You Count Cards?

Written by Tom McBroom

If you are likerepparttar average, recreational Blackjack player, you may play Blackjack in a casino a few times per year and you want to play in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and have fun.

But atrepparttar 137309 same time, you don't want to play a game whererepparttar 137310 odds are greatly against you and you want a good chance of beatingrepparttar 137311 house on any given day. And you're willing to invest a reasonable amount of time learning to play properly.

Does this describe you? If so, you're not alone. About 99% of Blackjack players can very likely be described as "recreational" players. If you investrepparttar 137312 few hours it takes to lean Basic Strategy and good money management you will reducerepparttar 137313 casino's edge down to about a half percent. This isrepparttar 137314 closest to playing even with repparttar 137315 house that you'll find in any game inrepparttar 137316 casino.

However, for those of you for whom playing almost even withrepparttar 137317 house is not good enough and you wantrepparttar 137318 edge, you must become a card counter.

It is an irrefutable fact that you can have an advantage overrepparttar 137319 casino in Blackjack by counting cards. There are dozens of books this subject and card counting has been mathematically proven - literally thousands of times - as a method to more accurately determinerepparttar 137320 odds that your next hand will have favorable cards.

The long-term advantage gained by card counting is about 1%, versusrepparttar 137321 one half percent disadvantage from simply playing Basic Strategy.

So why isn't everyone a card counter and why are casino Blackjack profits at an all- time high and climbing?

Two reasons: * Casinos have maderepparttar 137322 playing conditions very difficult for card counters. * Becoming an expert card counter requires hundreds of hours of practice and a monstrous bankroll. Even then, a small lapse in concentration atrepparttar 137323 table will wipe outrepparttar 137324 small advantage gained by counting.

This does not mean there aren't professional Blackjack counters who make a living playing Blackjack - there are.

However, to be able to make a full time living by counting cards, you'll need to be able to dorepparttar 137325 following:

* Spend hundreds of hours, and play thousands of hands, to learn to count cards expertly, plus learnrepparttar 137326 many subtle variations to hitting and standing that vary withrepparttar 137327 count.

* Play 100 hours plus per month of actual table time, with average bets of $50 - $100. You can probably double this amount of time - or more - to allow for breaks, finding good tables, changing tables and casinos frequently, travel, etc.

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