Altitude Sickness – Effects and Prevention

Our eager tourist, headed for Peru, decides to cram as much as possible into his travelling schedule. Flying into Lima at sea level he catches a connecting flight to Cusco, jumping up 3400m in an hour. He’s got a headache when he wakes up in his hotel the next morning, but there’s no time to waste. Without delay he straps on his walking boots and heads out on the Inca Trail, a route that takes him up to 4200m at times on the way to Machu Picchu. He’s not feeling too good as the trekking group reaches the first high pass; in fact, he can’t even find the strength to lift his feet. Sinking to his knees with his head throbbing, the veins in his forehead bulge and, BOOOOOM! His head explodes like a balloon full of jelly.

OK, that last bit never happened. Nevertheless, being aware of the effects of altitude can make the difference between the trip of a lifetime and an unpleasant struggle.

What Causes Altitude Sickness?
Unfortunately, the might of modern medical research can still not fully determine the causes of altitude sickness. However, it is thought in general that the drop in density from the oxygen at higher altitudes means that the body can not get the supply it needs and proceeds to let you know about it.

Individuals can be affected at a range of different heights, but about 80% of people may feel affects at around 3000m above sea level. Although many will feel inclined to put themselves in the 20% minority and start waiting for pink froth to begin flowing from their mouth when they walk up a sea-side hill, effects (if they are felt or not) can be easily avoided and simple to deal with.

The First (And Hopefully Last) Step – Prevention
The first thing is to check the altitude of the region to which you will be travelling and ask your tour company for expert advice. Make sure the tour operator you choose is honest and responsible with regard to altitude. Your itinerary should not try to include too many drastic changes in altitude in a short time and should always leave a couple of days for acclimatization before starting trekking at over 3000m. Competent travel companies will try to plan your journey to gradually rise in altitude where possible; for example in Peru the optimum route would be Lima, Nazca, Arequipa, Cusco, Puno. This may not be possible due to time restrictions but your travel advisor will do their best.

In any case if you are not above 2000m altitude sickness is very unlikely. The speed of ascent is the most important factor; heading uphill as slowly as possible reduces the risk. As we mentioned before it also helps to take it easy for at least a couple of days after making the ascent to altitude before launching yourself into anything too strenuous. Heavier breathing in the thinner air also causes dehydration, so drinking plenty of water and staying clear of alcohol-fuelled nights as you get higher will prevent problems.

What To Do If You Get Sick
Prevention is obviously the best measure. However, if you could get any of the following symptoms above 2400m, including;

  • lack of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • insomnia
  • pins and needles
  • shortness of breath upon exertion
  • persistent rapid pulse
  • drowsiness
  • swelling of the hands, feet and face

Any of these could indicate that you are experiencing altitude sickness. Rest and drinking water are the best way to recover at the same height (chewing coca leaves or drinking coca tea where available is also a well recognised remedy) but if things get unbearable, descent is your only option. Painkillers won’t resolve the problem and sufferers should definitely not make a bid for higher altitudes.

Don’t let the fear of possible altitude effects cloud your adventures; remember that wherever you go in the Andes mountains as long as you take things steady you should have the time of your life.

How Companies Can Cut Costs on Business Travel

With countries just starting to get over the economic downturn that affected the world in 2009, companies that have survived are always on the look out for ways to cut costs. Business travel is one of the areas that take up a large amount of company spending. It is true that travel is necessary for businesses whether it is within the country or abroad. However there are ways to reduce on the costs of business travel and thus save your company money.

1. Use of technology. With modern technology now available like web conference and video calling, it may no longer be necessary to travel thousands of miles and spend thousands of dollars in order to attend a conference or be in the same geographically location with the person or people you are doing business with.

2. Use of one credit card to buy company travel. One major benefit of doing this is that the company will accumulate frequent flyer miles from different airlines and even from hotels which will eventually translate into various awards, like upgrades on the class of travel by an airline, free air tickets, free hotel accommodation and even airport transfers which may be a saving for the company.

3. Negotiate with airlines and hotels for special rates. It is surprising how many companies do not do this and yet the amount of money saved in business travel can be enormous if a company negotiated preferential rates with airlines and hotels many of whom are very ready to provide this if it will mean the organisation patronising their services.

4. Have a company travel policy. Lack of a company policy on travel can lead to unnecessary travel abroad, including excessive spending on air travel and hotel accommodation. A company should have strict policies on when travel can be undertaken and by whom and staff members should be made aware of these policies. Also there should be accountability for any business travel done including reason for travel, class of travel, hotels stayed in and number of days spent on business travel.

5. If your company uses a travel management company to handle its travel and hotel bookings, it is important that they are aware of your company’s travel policy and its desire to minimise on travel costs. You should use a travel management company that is willing to work with you in minimising these costs. If possible compare the rates of several travel management companies to determine if you are getting the best rates available in the market. This comparison should be done on a regular basis. Also from time to time, you should ask your travel management company to issue you with reports of all the travel done by your company to help you monitor and know how much you are spending on travel.

The Tournaments For Poker Are Done For Magnanimous Causes Like the One For Darfur

Playing poker online may be the main reason for the heady success of online casinos the world over, but the casino game has been instrumental in helping with global issues. There is extensive popularity that it quickly became known to the entire world, especially during championships when lots of jackpots and prizes are being awarded to the lucky participants.It must be put in mind that the winnings are not totally consumed by the gambling pros of poker. The wins are also donated for noble causes like feeding hungry millions in devastated regions of the world. World problems like war, tribal conflicts, poverty, and hunger are a painful reality that takes lives each year. To bring peace to the war ravaged Darfur region of Sudan, poker champions Cheadle, Annie Duke and Norman Epstein got a fund for Africa up and running in 2006.The project pushed through involving a poker tournament which gathered many celebrities all over the world to raise money that went up way above $10,000 to aid suffering people who were left without food and shelter. Due to the presence of top celebrities in the show, more avid gaming enthusiasts are lured to be on the tournament to see the great personalities and to see how it feels to rub elbows with them.Almost $2.5 million raised!The attained success of such magnanimity was possible because of exceptional popularity of the casino game played over the internet, which gathered millions of participants from different parts of the world. Hundreds of thousands of participants are willing to invest their time in such game because they do not have to leave their rooms. From being just an entertainment for the seasoned gambler and the newbie, poker has come to benefit suffering humanity in impoverished Africa. During the initial day, the amount of money raised for the charity unbelievably went past the expected.The expected amount was somewhere between twenty thousand and thirty thousand dollars but an enormous amount of seven hundred thousand dollars astounded everyone. In the coming years following the inception of the charity tournament, almost $2.5 million has already been reached in the aid of the victims in Darfur. Furthermore, the group aims to raise more funds by moving around the world from Las Vegas to Monte Carlo.

Casino, Sports Betting, and Lottery – A Comparison of the House Edge

The house edge, which is the commission that a gambling agent such as a
casino, a sportsbook (bookmaker), or a lottery administrator charges, is a
yardstick that measures how a specific gambling game is fair and reasonable.It is one of the most important factors that every player should consider whenever he/she is engaged in any type of gambling, inasmuch as it indicates how much of the money wagered goes to the gambling agent’s pocket and how much is redistributed to the winners. Indeed, a house edge cannot be zero since casinos, sportsbooks, and lottery administrators have to make some money in order to cover their expenses, and to make some profit as well. Yet, a high house edge simply means that the players are unnecessarily being ripped-off, and as a result, any gambling game with a high house edge should certainly be avoided by a
knowledgeable gambler.In this article, we shall compare, in the simplest way
possible, the house edges of a roulette, an evens-odd betting, and a Cash 3
lottery game as representatives of the three major gambling categories.The EquationThe easiest way to compute a house edge is to compare the actual winnings that are
paid by the respective agents to the winnings that would be paid in a
fair game or bet. A fair game or a fair bet is one in which no commission
is involved; an obvious model is a game between friends. Therefore, in
percentage form, the house edge is obtained by subtracting an actual game winning
from a fair game winning and dividing the result by the fair game winning,
finally multiplying by 100. Thus,House Edge = [ (fair game winning – actual game winning) / fair game winning ] *
100RouletteBecause of its simplicity and popularity, we shall consider the roulette as a
representative casino game. A European roulette wheel has grooves marked by the
numbers 0 to 36; the American wheel (also called Las Vegas wheel) has an
additional groove marked as ’00’. So, the European wheel has a total of 37
numbers, while the American wheel has 38. Internet casinos usually make available
the option to select the type of wheel the customer prefers, but the brick and
mortar casinos normally offer only one type. The winning number in a roulette
game is the number corresponding to the groove where a spinning ball lands.Now, consider a fair game in which 38 friends are playing the roulette at home,
and each one selects a number and places a $1 bet on the number (no two or more
players wagering on the same number). When the ball is spun and lands in a
groove, the number marking that groove will be the winning number.
The person who has selected this winning number collects all the money on the
table thus making him win $37. On the other hand, if the game were conducted in
a casino, the winner would be paid only $35. The difference between the two
winnings applied in the above equation gives us the house edge of a roulette game
as( 37 – 35 ) / 37 * 100 = 2 / 37 * 100 = 5.4%This means that every time you spend a $100 on an offline or online casino roulette, $5.40 goes to the casino and the rest is redistributed to the winners. Evidently, there are quite a number of casino games and the house edge varies
from game to game, many of them having a house edge less than that of the
roulette. For obvious reasons, a good gambler always prefers games that have low house
edges, while the casino itself loves those games with high house edges. For example,
the house edge of craps is 1.4% which makes it one of the most preferred casino
games by the players.Even-odds Sports BettingAgain, because of its simplicity, we shall consider an even-odds betting as a
representative of this category of gambling. By even-odds we mean that the event
(usually a sports game) has equal chances of going either way. An example is a
tennis match between two competitive players each of which has an equal chance
of winning the match.A fair bet, in this case, is just a simple bet between two friends who just
pick one of the tennis player as winner. If these two friends wager $1 each, the
winner will collect $2, thus winning $1. If instead the bets are placed
through a sportsbook, the winner will collect only $1.91, since the odds of an
evens game at most bookies and online sportsbooks is 1.91. If you are not familiar with the
decimal representation of odds, 1.91 is the same as 10/11 in UK notation and
-110 in US odds notation. Odds of 10/11 mean that you’ll win $10 when you wager $11; and odds of -110 mean that you have to wager $110 in order
to win $100. Anyway, since the winnings paid by a sportsbook is only $0.91, the house
edge of an even-odds betting will therefore be( 1 – 0.91 ) / 1 * 100 = 0.09 * 100 = 9%So, this is how sportsbooks make a living. Since several internet sportsbooks offer odds higher than 1.91 in order to lure
bettors, the house edge could be smaller than 9%, which is one of the things that the bettor should be looking for when searching for a sportsbook. On the other hand, if the bettor is
wagering on parlays the house edge would be significantly higher than 9%; for
big parlays, it could go as high as 40%.It should be apparent by now that the gambler is better off with casino games
than sports betting. It should also be noted that while the house edge could
be a major factor to consider while selecting a gambling game, it is by no means
the only one. For instance, one should consider the fact that casino games are
mostly games of chance, while sports betting also involves a learned decision in
selecting a pick, consequently leading to a higher probability of winning a bet.Cash 3Depending on the state you are in, this lottery game may be known by a
different name such as Pick 3, Play 3, Daily 3, etc. In this game, the player
selects a three-digit number from 000 to 999, and plays the number as a straight
or as a box. A straight play is a prediction that the number will come exactly
as selected while a box is a prediction for the number to come in any order. For
instance, if a player selects the number 672 and plays it straight, he/she will
win if the number drawn is exactly 672. Instead, if the player plays 672 as a
box, he/she will win as long as the drawn number contains a 6, a 7 and a 2, in
any order (276, for example). Obviously, a straight game pays much more
than a box game for the same amount wagered.Now consider 1000 friends (maybe in a club) selecting a number as a straight,
each for $1, so that all the 1000 possible numbers are covered. When the winning
number is drawn, the person who has selected that lucky number will be deemed a
winner and will cash in all the $1000 collected, so making him win $999. This is
a fair game. In the case of state lotteries, however, the winner will be paid
only $500 in most states. Some states may pay a little bit less, others may pay
a little bit more, but $500 is more or less the standard. The winner therefore
wins $499. The house edge for a Cash 3 game will therefore be( 999 – 499 ) / 999 * 100 = 500 / 999 * 100 = 50%This house edge applies not only to the Cash 3 game but also to all state
lottery games such as Play 4, Cash 5, Mega, Fantasy 5, Lotto, Power Ball, etc.
So, whenever you are playing the state lottery, remember that you are wagering
only half of your money on the actual lottery; the other half, you are
just giving it away. Where this other half goes is not the gambler’s concern,
since his/her main objective is to win some money in order to pay the ever
present bills, or to get out of a miserable life, or to change his/her
20-year-old car. As regards contributing to education and other noble causes,
there are other means of collecting money called taxes and charities.Unfortunately, many states do not allow casino games, and furthermore,
sports betting is illegal in the United States. The player is therefore left
with no choice but to cross state borders in search of a casino, or more
recently, to engage in online sports betting through the several offshore
internet sportsbooks. Nowadays, there is a plethora of trustworthy online
casinos and sportsbooks operating from Canada, the UK, Antigua, Costa Rica, and
so on.The ConclusionAs far as the house edge is concerned, it has been shown that casino games
are the best choice for the gambler. On the other end, any state lottery is a
pretty miserable game to play. Nevertheless, besides the house edge, there is
also the possibility of winning to consider.Casino games, like lotteries are mostly games of chance; the player just
selects a number or numbers and waits to see what luck brings him/her. There is
absolutely no basis to prefer one number to others. Some people try to analyze
previously drawn numbers in order to see the trend and predict the next numbers.
This strategy may work a few times, but not always. Keep in mind that it is the
players, and not the machines, who remember the previous numbers. In short, the
possibility of winning a roulette or the lottery entirely depends on luck.While there is little or nothing that a roulette or a lotto player can do to
initially select a possible winning number, the situation could be quite
different in the case of betting. With a lot of information and some assistance from
sports handicappers, it is possible to predict the outcome of a sports event
with more certainty than predicting a Cash 3 number.

7 Myths About Casino Parties

There are many myths and misconceptions about holding a casino party. This article will address seven of the most common ones.Myth # 1 – Casino Parties are Illegal
While gambling is not legal in most states, casino parties are legal in every state, although some may have restrictions if the purpose is for fund raising. Gambling consists of an exchange of real money for chips or other considerations. Casino fun parties utilize play money and chips given to participants without an equal exchange. Therefore it’s not really gambling, because you’re not really losing any money.Myth # 2 – Casino Parties are Expensive
Compared to other forms of live entertainment, a casino party is a bargain. Even movie tickets can run more than $10 each. Concert tickets are often over a hundred bucks each, not including the outrageous 20% “Convenience Charge” that Ticketmaster imposes on each ticket. Broadway plays or shows in Las Vegas are often exorbitant as well. Most casino parties typically cost twenty to thirty dollars a person. Pretty reasonable, if you ask me.Myth # 3 – Casino Parties are Difficult to Manage and Organize
Nothing could be further from the truth. Most times the casino rental company will provide a Pit Boss who will run your event, manage the casino dealers, and facilitate prize giveaways. The casino company needs three things for you to provide:
o Location
o Attendees
o PrizesMyth # 4 – It’s Challenging to Find an Ideal Location
Finding a good location for your casino party will help to ensure your success. But it doesn’t have to be elegant or expensive. We’ve managed casino theme parties inside and outside, in garages, warehouses, hotels, empty office buildings, private homes, clubhouses, veteran’s halls, basements, community centers, and even under a pole barn in the middle of a farmer’s cow pasture. Location doesn’t seem to matter for the people attending the event.Myth # 5 – I Don’t Have Enough Guests for a Casino Party
Yes, we’ve done quite a number of casino events for over a thousand attendees, but we’ve also done a lot for just 20 attendees. You’re able to adjust the number of tables needed to the amount of attendees expected. It’s not unusual for small casino nights to have just two or three tables.Myth # 6 – We Don’t Know How to Play the Casino Games
Most casino fun party dealers will explain how to play the game. Some might even teach a simple system for betting. Casino parties always have attendees that have never been in a casino or have gambled. The only thing the casino dealer can’t guarantee is that you’ll win when you go to a real casino.Myth # 7 – Casino Parties are Not Good Fund Raisers
Casino Party Fundraisers are actually one of the most profitable fund raisers available. In a three hour event, your group can literally make thousands of dollars, even the first time. Casino Fund Raisers often have multiple avenues of income.