Source: No more blackjack for Ben Affleck at Las Vegas casino (CNN)
'The actor was "banned from playing blackjack at the Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas," a source close to Affleck told CNN on Friday.
Affleck was "not booted" from the casino as other reports have indicated, the source said. Rather, the source says, he was asked to leave after casino security told him: "You are too good at the game."'
You ask me, this is much more embarassing for the casino than it is for Afleck. Because counting cards is neither cheating nor morally questionable, whereas most casinos will simply use multiple decks to thwart the practice and let people play. What I'm wondering is why the Hard Rock didn't throw eight decks into the hopper and then let Affleck (or whoever else) try counting as best they could? Because it messes with the mythos if you can't win at the table.
The Ukrainian troops built on recent advances into Slovyansk’s outskirts... But even with the military advances, the violence on Friday in Odessa, far west of the country’s restive eastern region, was a measure of how far events have spiraled out of the authorities’ control. It also added to pressure from Russia, which has long said it could intervene in Ukraine if it believed Russian-leaning residents were in danger...
An official in the city said 46 people had died as a result of street battles between pro-Russia and pro-Ukraine groups; many of the dead were pro-Russia militants who had retreated into a trade union building that was then set on fire."
So, thirty-eight or thirty-nine people died in a fire in a previously uninvolved part of the country, and eight or nine died in isolated incidents in the east, the part that is ostensibly in revolt. At this point, it seems like Putin has the pretense he's been looking for to invade, but analysis I've seen recently is that he'd much prefer not to do that, for a variety of reasons.
Seems reasonable to me. I don't know that I necessarily think that the West's sanctions on Russia are working, but they've certainly had a chilling effect on the Russian stock markets. If Russian businesses can't raise capital for new projects, that can become a very real deterrent to growth in the medium term--or sooner.
On the flipside, it seems that NASA now has no good way to resupply the International Space Station without Russian rockets. I grant you that in the long term that's both a solvable problem and a business opportunity for Elon Musk and SpaceX, but I wouldn't want to be hanging out in the ISS wondering where my next meal is coming from in the meantime.
***Today is May 4th, Star Wars Day, "May the Fourth Be With You..."
Leave it to a super-aggressive mega-corporation like Disney to own the world's most successful social media marketing campaign. I mean, when guys like Cory Booker are getting in on the act, you know it's world-wide.
(Sorry the Sci Fi fan boy in me can't resist) May The Fourth Be With You pic.twitter.com/50Zpk6Phxo
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 4, 2014
And here's the trailer for the new Star Wars cartoon, Rebels.
In deep love with Rocket Raccoon and then realized it’s cover is by @skottieyoung #comic #FreeComicBookDay pic.twitter.com/4iqQfrKhW8
— Jennifer Haight (@hipmamajenn) May 3, 2014
Yup. That was my favorite Free Comic Book Day book, too.
For what it's worth, I also really liked the new Amazing Spider-Man #1. But I don't know that I thought it was the world's best jumping-on point. It builds straight off of everything that's happened over the last five or so years, maybe a hundred issues of the old ASM and then twenty-something issues of Superior...
|This cover was great, but this issue wasn't|
nearly this shiny and happy.
Enough. I'm done.