Books Set in Australia – Five Novels to Read Before You Travel

A trip to Australia is one that offers endless variety — you could spend your time partying in Sydney, you could make an adventurous journey to the Outback, or you could wallow in the many wineries on offer in several Australian states. Australia is a big country and unless you have months to spend there, you are going to have to make some decisions on how best to spend you time. To help you do that, here are some books set in Australia — five novels portraying different aspects of Australian life and history.

‘The Secret River’ by Kate Grenville

A story of Australia’s beginnings, William Thornbill and his wife Sal are sent from London to the fledgling colony of New South Wales in the early 1800’s. After some time in Sydney (very different from the Sydney of today!) they decide to try their luck on some land Will has set his eye on along the Hawkesbury River. The challenges they face from their environment, the local Aborigines and fellow settlers reminds us of how harsh the country was for those who decided to make it their home. There are some magnificent descriptions of the landscape as seen by an outsider, and the books gives a ‘warts and all’ look at the impact of settlement on Australia’s indigenous peoples.

‘A Town Like Alice’ by Neville Shute

While the first part of this novel is set in the Malayan jungle during WWII, what follows is a story that brings you to rugged, country Australia. If you want to know what life was like in a small outback town (more of a hamlet really) in the 1940’s and 50’s then this novel gives you a good idea. You are subject to the harshness of the landscape and the incredible distances involved, as Englishwoman Jean Paget travels to the heart of Australia to find a man she met whilst captured by the Japanese in Malaya. The language and attitudes, particularly in relation to Australia’s Aborigines, are true to their time and should be taken as such. But it gives a good indication of the realities of life in rural Australia, something which is still a strong cultural influence on Australians today.

‘Breath’ by Tim Winton

From the desert to the sea now in this novel by one of Australia’s most respected writers. This novel is set in Australia’s south-west corner, at a time when the area was more of a home for the logging industry than for the tourists and vineyards of today. Set mainly in the 70’s, this is a coming-of-age story about teenager Bruce as he seeks to overcome the boredom of country life with some high risk activities — like surfing off what can be a dangerous and deadly coastline, and developing a dark friendship with an older woman. As Bruce begins to grow up, both emotionally and sexually, we are treated to some of the most poetic and exhilarating descriptions you will ever find of the ‘religion’ that is surfing. And you too, will feel as if you have explored the rugged and beautiful coastline of this part of the country.

‘Bad Debts’ by Peter Temple

Peter Temple is one of Australia’s leading crime writers, and this novel is our introduction to his hero Jack Irish. — an inner-city Melbourne solicitor with a love of Australian Rules Football, gambling, and part time cabinet-making. This is Melbourne in winter, complete with its rain, pubs and shady underworld. Irish has barely been sober for a number of years after one of his dodgy clients murdered his wife, and now Danny, another former client, needs his help. But when Danny is killed, Irish discovers there are plenty of the city’s political elite who would like the past to remain undisturbed, and he is determined to get to the truth. Temple’s novels may not give you ‘sun and sand’, but you will be treated to as much genuine Australian vocabulary and city sub-culture as you can handle.

‘Summerland’ by Malcolm Knox

And finally to Sydney, and a novel that explores the life of the city’s idle rich. Four young Sydneysiders have been friends since they were teenagers, and living around the city’s northern beaches they have the world at their feet. They form two couples and spend every Christmas at Palm Beach, a popular holiday location for the affluent. But despite all this, their friendship is based on lies, as Richard finds out when he learns of the long-running affair between his wife and his best friend. If you’d like an insight into a live of the privileged few in Sydney, then this novel will take you there.

These novels are just a taste of many books set in Australia, but they are well worth reading in the lead-up to your travels or on the plane. Immersing yourself in a novel about the place you are going to will not only give you an insight into the place itself, but it will whet your appetite for your travels ahead, making it far more enjoyable once you get there.

Different Types of Card Games

There are limitless types of card games to be played. People think because two games use the same deck of 52-cards that they are similar games, but nothing could be more different than Barbu and Speed, or Pai Gow and Pinochle.

Here’s a list of twenty different kinds of card games, and some facts about them.

1.Bridge

Bridge is a popular contract bidding game. Bridge has a culture — there are websites, newspaper columns, and even radio shows devoted to bridge strategy. There is a world-wide obsession with bridge, even though it has been called the hardest card game in the world. With a complicated strategy and steep learning curve, to many bridge is not just a game, it is a lifestyle. I wish I were exaggerating.

2. Whist

Whist could be called “Bridge, Jr” — and though it is not as big a game as it once was, and is dwarfed in popularity by big-brother Bridge, Whist has never really died out. Card gamers love trick-taking games — beating out your opponent in such a visual way is one of the more exciting part of any card game. Whist has some of the complexity of Bridge without any bidding.

3. Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is something of a legend — a poker variation with a story as rich as a Spaghetti western. This version of poker, a drawing and betting game, was invented and then made popular by old time poker sharks in Texas, hence the name. This is easily the most popular poker variant right now, and is bringing more new people to card gaming than any other game.

4. Hearts

It is said that most of the professional poker tour players are hardcore Hearts players and that they bet big money on cutthroat games of Hearts in dark mysterious rooms during tournaments. Romantic as that may sound, it would make sense for these card sharks to love the game of Hearts – an otherwise childlike game of matching cards (and no bidding) usually turns into a competitive nightmare. Because of the game play, there are lots of ways to screw your opponents in Hearts. Trick-winning and passing card are big elements of Hearts.

5. Spades

People don’t realize it, but spades is a variation of bridge that simplifies the game even more than Whist and changes the outcome of the game as well. Spades is really popular in large groups, on college campuses, and in tournaments around the world. There may be as many variations of Spades as there are groups playing it — thanks to “jailhouse rules” which penalize tactics like point sandbagging and the existence of multiple versions of “house rules”. A strategic game you can play without paying much attention if you want.

6. Go-fish

This is the simple children’s card matching game we all remember from our childhood. You can play Go-fish with as many players as you have cards. Some people claim Go-Fish is a variation of Rummy but the simplicity of the game and the children’s game gimmick make it likely just some toy company’s creation. Strangely enough, Go-fish is known as Literature in some parts of the world. Write in if you understand that one.

7. War

Another children’s game (or time-killing game) War is a straight luck based game. Depending on the flop of the card, you either win or lose a war. Most people under the age of 30 learned War before they learned any other card game. You’ll see War played a lot in lines at airports.

8. Oh Hell!

Substitute your own dirty word for “Hell!” and you know this party game. Most of the fun is the fact that you get to cuss a lot and people laugh at you. What keeps this game popular is that it is a strict betting game. The object of Oh Hell! is to bid the precise number of tricks you will win. You have to take only the number that you bid, no more and no less. Play is precise, and because of the structure of the game, one player always blows it big time. There. That’s what’s fun. Screwing your opponent.

9. Blackjack

A skill game that in some casinos is the best bet you can make, if you can play a perfect hand. This is one of the most popular casino card game, and has a place in popular culture as THE “Vegas” game. The point is to build a hand that adds up to a total of 21 points without going over, and ending up with a higher number than the dealer. Players compete against the House directly, adding to the fun. Little known fact — there exists somewhere in this world a blackjack player’s hall of fame. Safe to say that this game’s got a cult following

10. Baccarat

James Bond’s favorite game (don’t believe the hype — it wasn’t poker or blackjack — read the books) Baccarat is a basic betting game. Players bet on who will win a given hand – the player, the banker, or if there will be a tie. Sure it looks easy, but Baccarat is a skill game. A small sidenote about Baccarat — the name comes from the name of the worst possible hand. This would be like calling your video poker machine “High Card Poker”. Just doesn’t have the same ring as “Royal Flush”.

11. Solitaire

The most varied card game in the world. In England, they call this game Patience, and for good reason. Solitaire requires little set up beyond putting cards in specific places, and is usually played by yourself. Solitaire is another popular airport line waiting game.

12. Rummy and variations

There are lots of different kinds of Rummy, more than are probably written down on any list. I’ve written for a website that had me list 500 variations or other names for Rummy, so I’ll spare you the reading and just say there’s lots of kinds of Rummy. The more popular versions are called Gin Rummy, Liverpool Rummy, and Contract Rummy. The feature that makes a game a Rummy is a player matching identical cards into pairs and other groups. Some experts believe the Chinese game of Mahjong is part of the Rummy family, though I’d bet the Chinese are just fine with Mahjong as it is.

13. Pai Gow

This is an old Chinese domino game that has been passed down through the years as a poker variation. You’ll see Pai Gow at casinos in both as a poker and a domino game — it is probably the casino game that the least number of people understand. This is a game of fast bets, player versus dealer. Pai Gow strategy is just as rich as any other poker betting game, and the culture of Pai Gow is similar to the Blackjack culture — super-fast bets and edgy behavior at the margins.

14. Spoons

A silly card game probably invented to keep kids out of trouble, Spoons is a bluffing game (with some elements of matching) that uses simple kitchen utensils as an added play element. The first player in the group to draw a poker style four of a kind reaches to a pile of spoons in the middle of the table, signalling the other players to grab for one. Since there’s one less spoon than players, one player will be left out every time. So its a social interaction game, and not a game chock full of card strategy. its still fun. Great date night game.

15. Speed

Speed (sometimes called Spit) is a matching game that is unique because both players play simultaneously and as fast as they can. In Speed, a player tries to ‘get rid’ of his or her cards by matching them to cards placed face-up on the table. This is a face to face game, though there’s actually little interaction between the two opponents. The last few moments of any game of Speed reminds me of solitaire on fast-forward, with hands and cards flying around and rows forming and draining like water pipes. Strange game, Speed.

16. Crazy 8s

This is another children’s matching game, you could say it is cousin to the popular game Uno. The 8s in the deck of standard cards are considered “crazy” not because they need to be medicated but to indicate they are wild cards. In some variations of Crazy 8s, not just Wild Cards but other “rule cards” exist, making the game more complex for older players.

17. Slapjack

If you want to teach more complex card games to younger kids, Slapjack is the perfect vehicle. The object of Slapjack is to acquire the whole deck of cards by matching and slapping pairs. Kids like to slap stuff, and the game can be played over and over again.

18. Old Maid

You don’t need an “Old Maid” deck to play this kid’s card game — any standard 52 card deck will do. Just remove one of the Queens. Old Maid is a matching game where players find pairs You trade cards with your opponent until that player is left with the unmatched Queen. Matching games are popular, and the novelty “Old Maid” packs are fun for kids.

19. Cribbage

This is a hybrid board and card game with complicated rules that generally intimidates people, even hardcore card gamers. You play cribbage by forming groups of cards that are worth different point values, and moving a peg on a board that represents your progress accordingly. Requiring a specific board (or a quick hand with a pen and paper) cribbage isn’t the best travel game, but as fans of cribbage will tell you, no two games are alike. There are solitaire versions of cribbage, and other varieties of cribbage game play to choose from if you’re bored with the standard version.

20. Pinochle

Pinochle is popular because it is a trick-taking game that you play with a 48 card deck. In Pinochle, you try to make melds or tricks, much like in Gin, but there’s a really complex scoring system making the game fun to learn and to master. To be good at pinochle, you have to play for a number of years, and lose plenty of hands. Though it is less popular year after year, Pinochle is one of those “heritage games”.

Corn Sugar and Blood And the Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia

Chapter I

“Big Ange” and the Death of the Cleveland Mafia

In 1983, Angelo Lonardo, 72, one-time Cleveland Mafia boss, turned government informant. He shocked family, friends, law enforcement officers and particularly, criminal associates with his decision which was made after being sentenced to life plus 103 years for drug and racketeering convictions. The sentence came after a monumental investigation by local, state and federal agencies had all but wiped out the Cleveland Mafia.

“Big Ange” as he was called, was the highest ranking mafioso to defect. He testified in 1985 at the Las Vegas casino “skimming” trials in Kansas City and in 1986 at the New York Mafia “ruling commission” trials. Many of the nation’s biggest mob leaders were convicted as a result of these trials.

During his testimony, Lonardo told how at age 18, he avenged his father’s murder by killing the man believed to be responsible. He further testified that after that murder, he was responsible for the killings of several of the Porrello brothers, business rivals of his father during Prohibition.

Chapter II

Birth of the Cleveland Mafia

During the late eighteen hundreds, the four Lonardo brothers and seven Porrello brothers were boyhood friends and fellow sulphur mine workers in their hometown of Licata, Sicily. They came to America in the early nineteen hundreds and eventually settled in the Woodland district of Cleveland. They remained close friends. Several of the Porrello and Lonardo brothers worked together in small businesses.

Lonardo clan leader “Big Joe” became a successful businessman and community leader in the lower Woodland Avenue area. During Prohibition, he became successful as a dealer in corn sugar which was used by bootleggers to make corn liquor. “Big Joe” provided stills and raw materials to the poor Italian district residents. They would make the booze and “Big Joe” would buy it back giving them a commission. He was respected and feared as a “padrone” or godfather. “Big Joe” became the leader of a powerful and vicious gang and was known as the corn sugar “baron.” Joe Porrello was one of his corporals.

Chapter III

The First Bloody Corner

With the advent of Prohibition, Cleveland, like other big cities, experienced a wave of bootleg-related murders. The murders of Louis Rosen, Salvatore Vella, August Rini and several others produced the same suspects, but no indictments. These suspects were members of the Lonardo gang. Several of the murders occurred at the corner of E. 25th and Woodland Ave. This intersection became known as the “bloody corner.”

By this time, Joe Porrello had left the employ of the Lonardos to start his own sugar wholesaling business.

Porrello and his six brothers pooled their money and eventually became successful corn sugar dealers headquartered in the upper Woodland Avenue area around E. 110th Street.

With small competitors, sugar dealers and bootleggers, mysteriously dying violent deaths, the Lonardos’ business flourished as they gained a near monopoly on the corn sugar business. Their main competitors were their old friends the Porrellos.

Raymond Porrello, youngest of his brothers was arrested by undercover federal agents for arranging a sale of 100 gallons of whiskey at the Porrello-owned barbershop at E. 110th and Woodland. He was sentenced to the Dayton, Oh. Workhouse.

The Porrello brothers paid the influential “Big Joe” Lonardo $5,000 to get Raymond out of prison. “Big Joe”

failed in his attempt but never returned the $5,000.

Meanwhile, Ernest Yorkell and Jack Brownstein, small-time self-proclaimed “tough guys” from Philadelphia arrived in Cleveland. Yorkell and Brownstein were shakedown artists, and their intended victims were Cleveland bootleggers, who got a chuckle out of how the two felt it necessary to explain that they were tough. Real tough guys didn’t need to tell people that they were tough. After providing Cleveland gangsters with a laugh, Yorkell and Brownstein were taken on a “one-way ride.”

Chapter IV

Corn Sugar and Blood

“Big Joe” Lonardo in 1926, now at the height of his wealth and power left for Sicily to visit his mother and

relatives. He left his closest brother and business partner John in charge.

During “Big Joe’s” six-month absence, he lost much of his $5,000 a week profits to the Porrellos who took advantage of John Lonardo’s lack of business skills and the assistance of a disgruntled Lonardo employee. “Big Joe” returned and business talks between the Porrellos and Lonardos began.

They “urged” the Porrellos to return their lost clientele.

On Oct. 13th, 1927 “Big Joe” and John Lonardo went to the Porrello barbershop to play cards and talk business with Angelo Porrello as they had been doing for the past week. As the Lonardos entered the rear room of the shop, two gunmen opened fire. Angelo Porrello ducked under a table.

Cleveland’s underworld lost its’ first boss as “Big Joe” went down with three bullets in his head. John Lonardo was shot in the chest and groin but drew his gun and managed to pursue the attackers through the barbershop. He dropped his gun in the shop but continued chasing the gunmen into the street where one of them turned, and out of bullets, struck Lonardo in the head several times with the butt of his gun. John fell unconscious and bled to death.

The Porrello brothers were arrested. Angelo was charged with the Lonardo brothers’ murders. The charges were later dropped for lack of evidence. Joe Porrello succeeded the Lonardos as corn sugar “baron” and later appointed himself “capo” of the Cleveland Mafia.

Chapter V

The Cleveland Meeting

The trail of bootleg blood continued to flow with numerous murders stemming from the Porrello-Lonardo conflict.

Lawrence Lupo, a former Lonardo bodyguard was killed after he let it be known that he wanted to take over the Lonardos’ corn sugar business.

Anthony Caruso, a butcher who saw the Lonardos’ killers escape was shot and killed. It was believed that he knew the identities of the gunmen and was going to reveal them to police.

On Dec. 5th, 1928, Joe Porrello and his lieutenant and bodyguard Sam Tilocco hosted the first known major meeting of the Mafia at Cleveland’s Hotel Statler. Many major Mafia leaders from Chicago to New York to Florida were invited. The meeting was raided before it actually began.

Joe Profaci, leader of a Brooklyn, N.Y. Mafia family was the most well-known of the gangsters arrested. Within a few hours, to the astonishment of police and court officials, Joe Porrello gathered thirty family members and friends who put up their houses as collateral for the gangsters’ bonds. Profaci was bailed out personally by Porrello. A great controversy over the validity of the bonds followed.

Several theories have been given as to why the meeting was called. First, it was thought that the gangsters, local presidents of the Unione Siciliane, an immigrant aid society infiltrated by the Mafia, were there to elect a new national president. Their previous president, Frankie Yale had been recently killed by order of Chicago’s notorious Al Capone. Second, it was believed that the meeting may have been called

to organize the highly lucrative corn sugar industry. It was also said that the men were there to “confirm” Joe Porrello as “capo” of Cleveland.

Capone, a non-Sicilian was reported to be in Cleveland for the meeting. He left soon after his arrival at the

advice of associates who said that the Sicilians did not want him there.

Chapter VI

The Second Bloody Corner

As Joe Porrello’s power and wealth grew, heirs and close associates to the Lonardo brothers grew hot for revenge.

Angelo Lonardo, “Big Joe’s” 18-year-old son along with his mother and his cousin, drove to the corner of E. 110th and Woodland, the Porrello stronghold. There Angelo sent word that his mother wanted to speak to Salvatore “Black Sam” Todaro. Todaro, now a Porrello lieutenant, had worked for Angelo’s father and was believed to be responsible for his murder. In later years it was believed that he was actually one of the gunmen.

As Todaro approached to speak with Mrs. Lonardo whom he respected, Angelo pulled out a gun and emptied it into “Black Sam’s stocky frame. Todaro crumpled to the sidewalk and died.

Angelo and his cousin disappeared for several months reportedly being hid in Chicago courtesy of Lonardo friend Al Capone. Later it was believed that Angelo spent time in California with his uncle Dominick, fourth Lonardo brother who fled west when indicted for a payroll robbery murder in 1921.

Eventually Angelo and his cousin were arrested and charged with “Black Sam’s” murder. For the first time in Cleveland’s bootleg murder history justice was served as both young men were convicted and sentenced to life. Justice although served would be shortlived as they would be released only a year and a half later after winning a new trial.

Chapter VII

Rise of the Mayfield Road Mob

On October 20th, 1929, Frank Lonardo, brother to “Big Joe” and John was shot to death while playing cards. Two theories were given for his death; that it was in revenge for the murder of “Black Sam” Todaro and, that he was killed for not paying gambling debts. Mrs. Frank Lonardo, when told of

her husband’s murder screamed, “I’ll get them. I’ll get them myself if I have to kill a whole regiment!”

By 1929, Little Italy crime boss Frank Milano had risen to power as leader of his own gang, “The Mayfield Road Mob.” Milano’s group was made up in part of remnants of the Lonardo gang and was also associated with the powerful “Cleveland Syndicate,” Morrie Kleinman, Moe Dalitz, Sam Tucker and Louis Rothkopf. The Cleveland Syndicate was responsible for most of the Canadian booze imported via Lake Erie. In later years they got into the casino business. One of the their largest and most profitable enterprises was construction of the Desert Inn Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas. Dalitz would become known as the “Godfather of Las Vegas.”

Joe Porrello admired Milano’s political organization, the East End Bi-Partisan Political Club and, seeing the value in such influence, wanted to ally himself with the group. Milano refused. Later, Porrello was reported to have affiliated himself with the newly formed 21st District Republican Club. He hoped to organize the Woodland Avenue voters as Milano was doing on Mayfield road.

Chapter VIII

More Corn Sugar and Blood

By 1930, Milano had grown quite powerful. He had gone so far as to demand a piece of the lucrative Porrello corn sugar business. On July 5th, 1930, Porrello received a phonecall from Milano who had requested a conference at his Venetian Restaurant on Mayfield Road. Sam Tilocco and Joe Porrello’s brother Raymond urged him not to go.

At about 2:00 p.m., Joe Porrello and Sam Tilocco arrived at Milano’s restaurant and speakeasy. Porrello, Tilocco, and Frank Milano sat down in the restaurant and discussed business. Several of Milano’s henchmen sat nearby. The atmosphere was tense as Porrello refused to accede to Milano’s demands.

Porrello reached into his pocket for his watch to check the time. Two of Milano’s men, possibly believing that Porrello was reaching for his gun opened fire. Porrello died instantly woth three bullets in his head Simultaneously, a third member of Milano’s gang fired at Tilocco who was struck three times but managed to stagger out the door toward his new Cadillac. He fell to the ground as the gunmen pursued him, finishing him off with another six bullets.

Frank Milano and several of his restaurant employees were arrested but only charged with being suspicious persons. The gunmen were never actually identified. Only one witness was present in the saloon when the shooting started. He was Frank Joiner, a slot machine distributor whose only testimony was that he “thought” he saw Frank Milano in the restaurant during the murders.

Cleveland’s aggressive and outspoken Safety Director Edwin Barry, frustrated by the continually rising number of bootleg murders, ordered all known sugar warehouses to be padlocked. He ordered a policeman to be detailed at each one to make sure that no sugar was brought in or removed.

Meanwhile, the six Porrello brothers donned black silk shirts and ties and buried their most successful brother. The showy double gangster funeral was one the largest Cleveland had ever seen. Two bands and thirty-three cars overloaded with flowers led the procession of the slain don and his bodyguard. Over two hundred fifty automobiles containing family and friends followed. Thousands of mourners and curious on-lookers lined the sidewalks.

Cleveland’s underworld was tense with rumors of imminent warfare. Porrello brother Vincente-James spoke openly of wiping out everyone responsible for his brother’s murder.

Three weeks after his brother’s murder, Jim Porrello still wore a black shirt as he entered the I & A grocery and meat market at E. 110th Street and Woodland. As he picked out lamb chops at the meat counter, a Ford touring car, its’ curtains tightly drawn, cruised slowly past the store. A couple of shotguns poked out and two lasts of buckshot were fired, one through the front window of the store and one through the front screen door.

The amateur gunmen got lucky. Two pellets found the back of Porrello’s head and entered his brain. He was rushed to the hospital.

Chapter IX

“I think maybe they’ll kill all us Porrellos”

“I think maybe they’ll kill all us Porrellos. I think maybe they will kill all of us except Rosario. They can’t

kill him – he’s in jail.” Thus Ottavio Porrello grimly but calmly predicted the probable fate of he and his brothers as he waited outside Jim’s hospital room. Jim Porrello died at 5:55 p.m.

Two local petty gangsters were arrested and charged with murder. One was discharged by directed verdict and the other was acquitted. Like almost all of Cleveland’s bootleg related murders, the killers never saw justice.

About this time, it was rumored that the Porrello brothers were marked for extermination. The surviving

brothers went into hiding. Raymond, known for his cocky attitude and hot temper spoke like his brother James did of seeking revenge. Raymond was smarter though, he took active measures to protect himself.

On August 15th, 1930, three weeks after James Porrello’s murder, Raymond Porrello’s house was leveled in a violent explosion. He was not home at the time since he had taken his family and abandoned his home in anticipation of the attack.

Four days later Frank Alessi, a witness to the murder of “Big Joe” Lonardo’s brother Frank, was gunned down. From his death bed, he identified Frank Brancato as his assailant. Brancato was known mainly as a Lonardo supporter and suspect in several murders. Brancato was acquitted of Alessi’s murder.

Chapter X

In March of 1931, Rosario Porrello was paroled from Ohio’s London Prison Farm where he had served one year for carrying a gun in his car.

In mid-1931, National Mafia “capo di tutti capi” (boss of all bosses) Salvatore Maranzano was killed. His murder set in motion the formation of the first Mafia National Ruling Commission created to stop the numerous murders resulting from conflicts between and within Mafia families and to promote application of modern business practices to crime.

Charles “Lucky” Luciano was the main developer of the commission and was named chairman. Also named to the commission were Al Capone of Chicago, Joe Profaci of Brooklyn and Frank Milano of Cleveland.

In Dec. of 1931, Angelo Lonardo and his cousin Dominic Suspirato were released from prison after being acquitted of “Black Sam” Todaro’s murder during a second trial. Because he had avenged his father’s death and (for the most part) gotten away with it, he became a respected member of Frank Milano’s Mayfield Road Mob.

The thirst for revenge had not been satisfied for members of the Lonardo family. It was generally believed

that “Black Sam” Todaro instigated and perhaps took part in the murders of “Big Joe” and John Lonardo. However it was believed by members of the Lonardo family that the remaining Porrello brothers, particularly the volatile John and Raymond and eldest brother Rosario still posed a threat because of

the murders of Joe and James Porrello.

On Feb. 25th, 1932 Raymond Porrello, his brother Rosario and their bodyguard Dominic Gulino (known also by several aliases) were playing cards near E. 110th and Woodland Avenue. The front door burst open and in a hail of bullets the Porrello brothers, their bodyguard and a bystander went down. The Porrellos died at the scene. Gulino died a couple of hours later. The bystander eventually recovered from his

wounds.

Several hours after the murders, Frank Brancato, with a bullet in his stomach, dragged himself into St. John’s hospital on Cleveland’s west side. He claimed he was shot in a street fight on the west side. A few days later, tests on the bullet taken from Brancato revealed that it came from a gun found at the Porrello brothers murder scene. Although never convicted of either of the murders, Brancato was convicted of perjury for lying to a Grand Jury about his whereabouts during the murder. He served four years after a one to ten year sentence was commuted by Governor Martin L. Davey.

In 1933, Prohibition was repealed. The bootleg murders mostly stopped as organized crime moved into other enterprises. Angelo Lonardo continued his crime career as a respected member of the Cleveland family eventually rising through the ranks to run the northeast Ohio rackets in 1980.

In early 1933, in a sequel to the tragedy of the large Porrello family, Rosario’s son Angelo, 21, was killed in a fight over a pool game in Buffalo. It was said that he and his Uncle John were there trying to muscle in on the corn liquor business.

******

Book Summary: Three Feet From Gold – By Sharon Lechter, Greg Reid and the Napoleon Hill Foundation

Napoleon Hill was way before his time. Think and Grow Rich and Outwitting the Devil are two of the best books I have ever read. According to Hill, you can control your mind and your attitude regardless of what happens to you. Once you truly understand that then success will be yours.

Why is this important to me?

I don’t want to waste your time. Three Feet from Gold is a good book and parallels what Napoleon Hill did when Andrew Carnegie tasked him to study success.

Three Feet from Gold is a story that Greg S. Reid was tasked to write a book by interviewing and meeting with highly successful people. The reason why the title is so strong is based on a true story where the Darby Family was digging for Gold and stopped. They sold their land and the new owners sought council from experts and struck gold. The irony is that the Darby’s were only three feet away from finding the Gold.

The main lesson here is not to quit. Thomas Edison tried thousands of different filaments until he found the right one when he created the light bulb. Most people would have given up. I do have a corollary where this principle is bad. Addiction with gambling is based on the same principle. People think they are close to striking it rich when they gamble. This is why Las Vegas can build billion dollar casinos and have them paid for in 5 years.

Three Feet from Gold is packed with great lessons which I will profile. For the sake of time, I will pick three and relate how they work through examples.

1. (P+T) x A x A=Success – This success stands for P is Passion, T is Your Talent, A is Associations, A is Actions. I have read a lot of material and this formula is right on. Basically because if any value is zero then you will not have success. You have to take action and WORK to achieve success and you have to solicit the knowledge of other through associations. If you do not do that then success will be fleeting.

2. Masterminds – Napoleon Hill in all of his works discusses the power of Mastermind groups. This book is a classic example. Greg was successful in writing because he had access to successful people and made them part of his mastermind. The concept is simple – multiple heads with varying backgrounds are better than one.

3. Subconscious Mind – I touch on this more from Napoleon Hills other works. The conscious mind is designed to be critical and cautious. If not then we would have been food to larger animals. Understanding the unlimited nature of the subconscious will open your abilities. A personal example may help. I was a horrible reader and in college had a sixth grade reading level. Using a concept known as Mental Photography has allowed me to overcome this limitation. The results for me personally have allowed me to increase my reading speed, comprehension and writing ability by more than 10 times. This is the power of using your whole mind. Napoleon Hill talks about this a lot in his work Laws of Success.

Three Feet from Gold is a good book if you are not familiar with Napoleon Hill’s work. It is a fast and easy read packed with great principles. If you have not read any of Napoleon Hills work then I suggest strongly that you read: “Laws of Success, Outwitting the Devil and Think and Grow Rich.” Those books have the power to change your life.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is (P+T) x A x A=Success. Understanding and doing daily behavior using this formula will bring you the success you want. Likewise, not doing each part of the formula will result in frustration and failure.

The Boundless Vistas of Jazz Pianist Hiromi

She goes by Hiromi, the only identification needed for the Japanese wizard of the keyboard who is ranked as the number one instrumentalist in her native land. Her award-winning gold albums showcase eclectic arrangements and compositions influenced by every musical genre that strikes her fancy. In “Beyond Standard” released in 2008, she even fuses jazz, classical, rock and avant-garde in such familiar compositions as “Clair De Lune,” “Caravan,” “My Favorite Things” and “I’ve Got Rhythm.” In this and all six of her CDs and two Live in Concert DVDs, her over-the-top energy propels each number to the outer limits.

“I always give everything I’ve got and I look for that in the musicians I work with,” she says. “I play each concert as if this is the very last I’ll ever give. Fate gave me the opportunity and I must not waste it, so I play my very best to thank the audience for being there.”

Hiromi refuses to put a name on her style. A child prodigy, she began studying classical piano at age five, but her world expanded at eight when her piano teacher introduced her to jazz. She credits that “very special” teacher, Noriko Hakita, with pointing her in a wide open direction. By twelve, she knew that she wanted to be a professional musician and within two years she performed with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

It’s no coincidence that the influence of jazz pianist Chick Corea, along with those of Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, and Ahmad Jamal, bursts forth in her music. Upon meeting and hearing the then-seventeen-year-old in Tokyo during a tour, Corea invited her to play with him the next day. Their friendship and musical attunement pulsates on “Duet/Chick Corea and Hiromi” recorded live at Tokyo Blue Note.

After spending several years writing jingles for Nissan and other Japanese companies, Hiromi began studies in earnest under Jamal at Berklee College of Music in Boston. There she perfected her capacity for extracting energy wherever it exits. She proclaims that the energy inherent in classical works by Bach and Liszt is every bit as influential to her keyboard virtuosity as is that projected by powerful athletes like Michael Jordan.

Following “Another Mind,” her debut album of 2003, she released “Brain,” “Spiral,” and “Time Control.” Each is unique for intellectual pairing of swing, jazz, be-bop and rock influences and song titles that invite visual challenges. “Old castle, by the river, in the middle of the forest” appears in both “Spiral” and “Duet.” Like many of her original compositions, the piece was suggested by the places she visits throughout the world.

While she is off on her current international tour with the explosive Stanley Clarke Band, fans can luxuriate at home with “Places to Be,” a collection of songs she wrote while traveling. The locations she incorporates within range from Sicily, Bern, and the Azores to Cape Cod and the Las Vegas she captured from the daytime, gambling and show girl perspectives. It’s a given that the vistas of Russia, Spain and points in between will inspire new keyboard creations.

Nightlife in the Dominican Republic

For many people, vacation is one of the few times they can unwind and have a great time. Because of that, there is a focus on nightlife when someone is visiting a new area. If you are getting ready to go to the Dominican Republic, you will be pleased to know you will be able to participate in an amazing nightlife. There are parts of the DR that light up after hours, and you will be able to spend hours out on the town.

There are many options when it comes to nightlife in the Dominican Republic. You can go dancing, listen to live music, or hit the casinos. You will be able to fill up your nights doing exactly what you want to do. There are truly options for everyone.

If you want to have drinks by the beach, the Aura Beach House in Juan Bolio is a must. This is one of the most popular bars in the area. It attracts a diverse crowd, from wealthy people to young people just looking for a good time. With the perfect atmosphere and talented DJs, this club is a must. You will be able to dance the night away, or sit and have drinks. Since it caters to many different age groups, it also caters to different styles. You can relax or go wild.

If you want to have a wild time without limits, there is a club you can visit that is certain to deliver. Occidental Grand Punta Cana is the home of the Disco Mangu. This is a great place to go if you like a wide variety of music and you love to dance. You will be able to have a night full of drinks, dancing and fun when you go to this club.

Santo Domingo is another great place to spend the late hours. You can go to the Atlantis World Casino to try your luck at gambling. After you get done there, you can go to one of the many clubs in the area.

La Masia is one of the best clubs in Santo Domingo, thanks to the live music. When you visit the club, you will get to hear music from actual musicians instead of watching a DJ spin a record. You can listen to jazz music, along with other music. You will get to have a taste of the Dominican Republic and its musical culture when you visit this club.

If you are traveling to the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, you might want to try the Crazy Moon. This dance club is one of the most popular in the area, and for good reason. This club has a lot to offer. You will be able to dance the night away with throbbing beats, and you can hang out at the bar and get a little rest in before you start dancing again.

If you want to travel from one club and restaurant to the next, Boco Chica is the perfect place to go. You can go to Calle Duarte, which is the main street, and wonder through the area. Bars, restaurants and shops line the street and you will be able to have drinks, grab a bit to eat, or get some shopping in.

The Dominican Republic is the place to go if you are looking for a fun nightlife. You will be able to pack your nights full with all of the fun you can find in the area. You will be able to go to exciting bars and clubs, and also take in some great casinos. If you love to go out at night, you are sure to find something you will enjoy in the Dominican Republic.

Superstitions On The Roulette Table – The Meanings of Numbers

Number Meanings From 0 To 36

0 – The number 0 is one of the most significant numbers, but when it comes to roulette it’s the number that gives the house the edge so it’s not a lucky number for us, it’s a lucky number for casino owners.

1 – They say that one is the loneliest number, and that rings true even on a roulette table as the number 1 is a part of the french orphans bet. This number can represent strength. It can also represent new beginnings, which are more than welcome after a streak of bad luck.

2 – The number 2 is all about balance. According to the Pythagoreans, the number 2 is the most unlucky number, in fact they declared the second day of each month to represent the god of the underworld, Hades. In the Far East, however, they consider the number 2 to be very lucky.

So – how’s that for balance?

3 – They say that the 3rd time’s the charm, which isn’t always necessarily true while you’re at the roulette table but we’ll take any help we can get, right?

4 – Remember the Pythagoreans who thought that the number 2 was evil and unlucky? They also believed the number 4 to be a perfect number. It represents many things such as the four seasons, the four directions on a compass, the four winds and the four elements (Earth, Wind, Fire and Air.) The Irish believe in the luck of a 4 leaf clover. Have you ever found a four leaf clover on your way to a roulette table? Me neither.

5 – According to mystical numerology, the number 5 carries with it an aura of uncertainty. It’s very rare to find any certainties in life, especially in a casino, so perhaps this characteristic is true of all numbers on the roulette table.

6 – Some believe that six is a symbol of luck, but what happens when you have the number 6 three times in a row? We’ll talk more about the significance of this at the end of the article.

7 – There are seven colors in the rainbow, but just three on a roulette table. Red, black and green. Seven is often refereed to as being the luckiest number.

8 – In Asia, 8 is a lucky number for several reasons. First of all, the number 8 looks like the infinity symbol which is of great significance to Asian cultures, and also the way it is pronounced in Chinese sounds similar to the word for “wealth” or “prosperity.” I’ll take wealth and prosperity over good luck any day of the week.

9 – Known as the number of magic, heaven and the Creator. 9 is also the amount of lives that a cat has. In Japanese, the number 9 sounds similar to the word for “pain”, which is a contrast to the Chinese number 8 which we just learned about.

10 – They call it a perfect 10. In Sikhism, there were 10 gurus so this is a very significant number to them. In the Bible, Egypt was cursed by 10 plagues. One thing that’s becoming clear as we explore all of the double meanings that these numbers have is that it really just depends on how you look at things.

11 – The number 11 has been considered to be a number which represents internal conflict. Another fitting feeling that we’ve all probably experienced while at the roulette table, trying to figure out what our lucky numbers for the day will be.

12 – The number 12 is very significant across many cultures historically. There are 12 months in a year, thus 12 signs for the zodiac calendar but if you’re into Tarot cards you will know that 12 is the number of the hanged man. Uh-oh!

13 – Just as seven is lucky, 13 is often considered to be it’s counterpart as an unlucky number. Western superstitions dictate that to dine with 13 people at a table is unlucky, perhaps in reference to the Last Supper.

14 – We’ve already looked at a couple of words who’s pronunciation in Chinese and Japanese sound like other words, but try this one on for size. In Chinese culture this is an unlucky number because “one” “four”, when said, sounds just the words that mean “want to die.” Sorry for being a little morbid, we’re just the messengers.

15 – This number has some meaning for anybody who believes in equality amongst all people. Susan B. Anthony fought her entire life for women’s rights, and her birthday was on the 15th day of February. We’re not really sure what her lucky numbers were, or if she was even a fan of roulette, but thanks to her efforts there’s a little girl out there somewhere today who’s spinning a roulette wheel for the first time and she’s not going to let anybody hold her back from her dreams! Isn’t that sweet?

16 – It was the 16th amendment to the US constitution that made it lawful for the government to collect taxes from us, so this one is certainly a lucky number for a lot of people sitting in public office, don’t you think?

17 – In Tarot, the 17th card is the card of the stars and it represents hope. You know, like “Boy, I really hope this Voisins bet pays off.”

18 – Eighteen is the legal voting age! In many Canadian provinces, it’s also the legal drinking age and thus the age at which you can finally enter a casino to put your lucky numbers and number meanings to the test for real.

19 – According to the Qur’an, 19 is the number of angels which are guarding Hell. On the other hand, it’s also the title of the debut album from the beautiful songstress Adele, who’s voice has captivated millions worldwide. In Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, 19 is a mysterious number. Finally, it’s the last year that one is a teenager, still so young and ready to grab life by the horns. A great candidate to be a lucky number, if you don’t mind the whole 19 angels guarding hell thing, that is.

20 – A group of 20 of something is called a “score”, and scoring is what we’re all looking to do when we sit down at the roulette table so the number 20 gets our stamp of approval when it comes to choosing a lucky number!

21 – This is the drinking age across most of the United States of America. Yee-haw! 21 grams is the weight of the soul, according to some research that is generally considered to be absolutely meaningless and without merit – so.. there’s that too.

22 – There’s a Jay-Z song in which he rhymes the words “two”, “too” and “to” 22 times. If hearing Jay-Z say two a bunch of times makes you feel lucky, look no further than 22 as your ultimate luckiest number.

23 – The 23 Enigma is a belief that most events that happen are somehow connected to the number 23. Perhaps you have heard of the Jim Carrey movie called The Number 23 that deals with a man who becomes obsessed. If so, then you can’t you haven’t been warned about obsessing over this number!

24 – There are twenty four hours in a day, but they seem to pass a lot faster when you’re on a winning (or losing) streak. I wonder why that is?

25 – The Book of Revelation said that there were 25 thrones.

26 – There are 26 red cards and 26 black cards in a regular deck of cards. Red and black, sound familiar? Some people will actually use a deck of cards to help them choose which color to wager on in roulette.

27 – European roulette is a popular version of the game that features a single zero, rather than a double zero. Why does this matter? There are 27 countries in the European union, so could this number be lucky for someone who’s playing European roulette?

28 – The atomic mass of silicon is 28. We’ve all seen our share of silicon sitting around the roulette tables, especially in Las Vegas, and it’s often there as a form of good luck charm it seems, so take from that what you will!

29 – Tom Waits sings songs about people who are down on their luck, and just so happens to have a song called “$29.00”.

30 – Thirty minutes, half an hour, the length of the average mind-numbing sitcom and also the amount of silver ounces that it took to convince Judas to betray Jesus in the Bible. It’s up to you to decide if this number will betray you, or lead you to silver and gold.

31 – This is a lucky number for musicians because there are 31 triads in music theory. It’s music to the ears to hear that roulette ball drop into the right slot, that’s for sure.

32 – Here’s another one for the music fans. In his lifetime, Beethoven completed exactly 32 sonnets for piano.

33 – It’s said that Alexander The Great could have died at the age of 33. That certainly makes this a lucky number if you were one of his enemies.

34 – The number 34 has various significances across cultures, generally seen as a lucky number since 3+4=7.

35 – 35mm film is popular both for motion pictures as well as for photography. It’s also the former Jersey number of retired Chicago Blackhawk’s great Tony Esposito. If you’re under the age of 35 and you want to be President of the United States of America, you’re out of luck since it’s the minimum age that one must be to run for President.

36 – The 36 Views of Mount Fuji are a famous collection of paintings by a Japanese artist named Katsushika Hokusai. It’s also, of course, the highest number on the roulette table and one of either 37 or 38 total numbers when you include the zero or the double zero, depending on which style of Roulette wheel you’re playing on. The American wheel has two zeros, whereas the European roulette wheel has but one.

The Devil’s Game

We’ve seen that a lot of numbers have their own spiritual significance in numerous religions and faiths, but why is roulette nicknamed “The Devil’s Game”? Well, we mentioned that the number 666 had some significance much earlier on in our list, and the reason that this relates to roulette is quite simple. If you add up all of the numbers on the roulette board, you’re left with… You guessed it… 666, the Number of the Beast. Sometimes, however, you’ve just got to put on your pretty shoes and dance with the devil.

What Are Your Lucky Numbers?

Have any of these tidbits changed your lucky numbers? Knowing number meanings can be a fun exercise, but it’s important to remember that the roulette table is random and there’s just as much of a chance of the roulette ball landing in any given number’s slot as it has of landing on any other number. Unless, of course, you decide to believe in some of the superstitions and facts that we’ve laid out in this article, of course, in which case anything’s possible!

How to Keep From Treating People With Disabilities Differently

Workshop Goals

To understand the history of American attitudes and legislation regarding people with disabilities;

To learn how to properly assist individuals with disabilities in a courteous and respectful manner;

To practice providing assistance to people with disabilities, both fellow employees and museum guests.

In order to gain the most out of the presentation, please:

  • Listen with an open mind;
  • Be respectful of each other;
  • Challenge your thinking;
  • Be willing to learn something new that you can use on the job!

Challenge Activity

Bean Bags

  • Place a bean bag on your head
  • Move to the music!
  • If your bean bag falls off your head, freeze until another player, without losing his/her beanbag, retrieves the fallen one and replaces it on the frozen person’s head.
  • If the rescuer loses his/her beanbag, then he/she is also frozen until another person appears to rescue them both.

What is the object of the game?

How do you “win”?

What is the advantage of picking up a classmate’s beanbag?

What is the Definition of a Disability?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in several key areas including: state and local government services, places of public accommodation, employment, telecommunications and transportation.

The individual with a disability is a person who (3 part definition):

  • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  • Has a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have the impairment; or
  • Being regarded as having such an impairment.

What is considered a disability?

The ADA does not list conditions that are considered disabilities; however it does list those which are not included.

Not covered by the ADA are homosexuality, bisexuality, transvestism, transsexualism, compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, other sexual behavior disorders.

The ADA does not cover individuals who are currently engaging in illegal drug use.

A short-term condition is generally is not a disability. The test is whether the impairment markedly limits major life activities when assessing the duration, scope, and impact of the impairment.

Small Group Activity

Divide into small to discuss your experiences and examples of instances you have assisted co-workers or museum guests with the following disabilities:

  • Physical
  • Sensory
  • Intellectual or Developmental
  • Emotional
  • Invisible

Remember that each person’s situation is unique!

Physical disabilities: a limitation on a person’s physical functioning, mobility, dexterity or stamina; a short list of examples:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Amputation
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spina bifida
  • Musculoskeletal injuries (eg back injury)
  • Arthritis
  • Muscular dystrophy

Sensory impairment: a limitation of one or more of a person’s senses; including:

  • Hearing Loss
  • Tinnitus
  • Limited vision/Blindness
  • Loss of Smell
  • Spatial awareness

A person could be born with the impairment or could it could develop throughout the lifetime.

Intellectual disabilities – significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers social and practical skills. Originates before age 18 years. Affects approximately 3% of the population.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

Emotional

  • Mental illness has nothing to do with intelligence.
  • Mental illness is a condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, and ability to relate to others.
  • Results in a diminished capacity for dealing with everyday life
  • Can include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and personality disorder.

The Invisibility of Disabilities

Be sensitive that disabilities come in a variety of types, and each person is an individual

The impact of a person’s disability may not be easily seen.

Person may be perceived as lazy, when in fact, the disability impacts his/her ability to learn, work, and function.

Teachers and peers may see only behavior problems or uncooperative behaviors, rather than accommodating the disability.

A Brief History of Legislation

1964 – Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act

1973 – Rehabilitation Act, Section 504

1990 – Americans with Disabilities Act – First comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities.

History, continued

2008 – ADA Amendments Act

Expanded definition of the term disability to include individuals with amputations, intellectual disabilities, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, Muscular Dystrophy, and cancer;

Strikes a balance between employee and employer interests;

Overturned two key Supreme Court decisions (Sutton vs. United Airlines, Inc. and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. vs. Williams), where lower courts had found individual’s situation did not constitute a disability, therefore the question of discrimination had never been addressed.

American Attitudes – FDR

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

32nd President of the United States from 1933 to 1945.

Had suffered paralysis as a result of Polio.

Although the his use of a wheelchair was common knowledge, the wheelchair was not shown by the media.

Gather Your Thoughts

How do you feel about the cloaked FDR statue?

What do you think is more important: to respect President Roosevelt’s wishes OR to reflect modern views of people with disabilities?

How could this spectrum of opinion be reflected in the workplace?

As a manager, how do you work to bring understanding and acceptance among your staff, while following current ADAAA guidelines?

Let’s examine recent examples of people with disabilities who have achieved celebrity status!

Stevie Wonder

Born prematurely in 1950 in Michigan. Suffered retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), due to too much oxygen in the hospital’s incubator.

Began playing instruments at an early age and signed with Motown Records at age 11. Has had an amazing writing and recording career.

Celebrity spotlights can aid in bringing important issues into the spotlight.

Jim Abbott

Born in 1967, in Flint, Michigan, without a right hand

Baseball star for University of Michigan

Played in the 1988 Summer Olympics

Played Major League Baseball, and pitched a no-hitter in 1993 as a NY Yankee.

Amy Purdee

Born in 1979 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Contracted meningitis at age 19, resulting in double amputation below the knees and kidney transplant

Paralympic Athlete in Snowboarding – Bronze Medalist

Terminology Over Time

Crippled – an invalid and derogatory term that is no longer acceptable to describe people with disabilities;

Retarded – a medical term that can be used as a slur; no longer acceptable in everyday language:

Handicapped – something that hampers or hinders, such as in a race; no longer used in referring to people;

Normal people – avoid using this term when making a comparison, as this implies a person with a disability is not normal. Everyone is unique and has their own identity and abilities;

Person with a Disability – “people-first” language that focuses on the individual, not their condition.

Using People-First Language

American Psychological Association Style guide

  • Person’s name or pronoun first
  • Description of impairment or disability second
  • Descriptors should not modify or limit the person

Examples:

  • A boy with Down’s Syndrome, not “the Down’s Syndrome boy”;
  • Sydney has a hearing impairment, not “the deaf girl.”

Discussion: What Do You Do?

On the Job Situations You May Encounter

A guest arrives at an event with a cat in a stroller. She claims the cat is a service animal. Do you allow her entrance?

A group of 60 children is moving from the 1st floor exhibit to the 2nd floor through the only staircase in the wing. One child is on crutches. As the group’s tour guide, how do you handle the transition between floors?

What Do You Do?

Guidelines to Follow

  • If the guest claims the cat is with her as a service animal, the cat can be permitted to accompany her into the event. She does not need to produce any paperwork to justify the service animal.
  • Review the options with the student’s teacher/chaperone. If the child wishes to take the elevator, suggest a small group of students and an adult accompany her, so she does not feel alone or singled out.
  • Ask the guest if he would like to sit or hold onto in a chair inside the ride.

Employees with Disabilities: What is Reasonable Accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is assistance or changes to a position or workplace that will enable an employee to do his or her job despite having a disability.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship

Examples of Reasonable Accommodations

  1. Providing a chair for a cashier who uses crutches so he or she can sit when not assisting customers.
  2. Reserving a parking space close to the entrance for an employee who has difficulty walking because of loss of a limb.
  3. Providing instructions and information in writing for an employee with hearing loss.
  4. Permitting a staff member to bring a service animal to work.
  5. Allowing an employee with tinnitus to play background music to help block out the ringing in his ears.
  6. Allowing more frequent work breaks or providing back-up coverage when an employee with a disability needs to take a break.
  1. Providing specialized equipment for an employee who has lost a hand or finger, such as a large-key keyboard, a one-handed keyboard, a trackball, a touchpad, or speech recognition software.

  2. Flexibility in scheduling to allow an employee with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to attend counseling sessions or offering a later start time to a staff member with a spinal cord injury who has a lengthy personal care routine.
  3. Decreasing distractions, providing information in writing, breaking down complex assignments into small steps for a person with a traumatic brain injury.
  4. Making sure equipment is within reach for an employee who uses a wheelchair.
  5. Adjusting the height of an office desk for a staff member who uses a wheelchair, and ensuring the space is not obstructed by wastebaskets or other items.

Unacceptable Practices

Examples of A Record or History of Disability

Examples:

  • An employer refuses to hire a qualified candidate due to a history of mental illness, even though the person has recovered sufficiently to perform all essential functions of the job.
  • A dentist refuses to treat a patient because he was diagnosed as having HIV, even though the diagnosis was proven to be incorrect.
  • A retail outlet fires a woman who is pregnant, because they assume she will not be able to work during the busy holiday season.

Unacceptable Practices

Regarded as Having an Impairment

Examples:

  • An employee has controlled high blood pressure, which is not substantially limiting. However, his employer fears that the employee will suffer a heart attack and reassigns the employee to a less strenuous job.
  • A person with a severe burn or scar does not actually have a disability. He may be regarded as having a disability when he faces discrimination based on people’s attitudes toward him.
  • An overweight candidate for a bus driver position is not hired because the employer assumes (without conducting tests) that she will not be able to move fast enough in case of an emergency.

Courtesy

Gum chewing – Do not chew gum when speaking to people with hearing loss. It makes you more difficult to understand

Stand in front – When speaking to people with hearing loss, stand directly in front, so they can see your lips

Paper and pencil – Have a paper and pencil ready, in case communicating through written word may be more effective than spoken word

Sit down – when speaking to a person in a wheelchair, take a seat! Looking upward may hurt their neck, and it is common courtesy to be at eye level.

Ask if the person wants help before acting – Do not assume that someone needs help. Have the respect and courtesy to ask how you may help, and then follow directions

Be patient – Do not roll your eyes, cross your arms, or rush a person who needs extra time.

Use people-first language – always refer to the person first and do not use their situation as a descriptor.

End of Session Quiz

You are at the Information Desk and a guest in a wheelchair has a question. What is the most courteous way to approach the interaction?

An employee you are managing has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She begins to walk with a cane, and is able to perform her job functions as school group facilitator in the laboratory. Discuss what types of accommodations can be made for her.

A child who uses crutches wants to watch the Dive Show at the Kelp Tank. All the seats are filled and many patrons have filled the open viewing area. How do you accommodate the child, so he can see the show?

List 3 new pieces of information that you learned, which you can use on the job.

1- Information Desk

Invite the guest to the side of the counter that is wheelchair accessible.

Sit at the chair, so you are eye-level.

Answer his questions respectfully.

Ask if the guest needs any assistance.

Ask if he is familiar with the location of the elevator.

2- Employee Accommodations

Review the employee’s job duties and discuss if any accommodations need to be made at this time, such as reassignment, additional time for tasks, use of a chair while working.

Make a plan to review her situation as needed, to see if any accommodations or a reassignment needs to be made.

For example, an employee who lead the student experiments in the laboratory could be reassigned to the Information Desk to answer the telephone with a headset.

3- Viewing the Show

  • Given that the situation involves a child, consult with the student’s parents or chaperone.
  • Ask if the child would like to sit by the tank or in the bleachers.
  • Show the family where the seating area for people with disabilities is located.
  • If someone is sitting in that area, respectfully work with the guest to find a spot for the child. Posted signs indicate that the are is reserved for people with special needs.
  • If there is no wiggle room, ask if the child would like a chair to sit, or ask a guest if they would mind moving over to accommodate the child.
  • Remember that you are responsible for the guests during the dive show. Feel empowered to make the situation pleasant for the guests, in a courteous manner. Call your supervisor if you need additional assistance.

Malaysia Casinos

When you think of Malaysia the first thing that comes to mind is vibrant colors, spices and the tropical weather of a never-ending summer. Malaysia is a very popular destination for tourists around the world and for a good reason, it offers just about everything you can wish and hope to do on a vacation in order to have fun, relaxation, excitement as well as trying your hand at becoming rich over night in the famous Malaysia casinos at the Genting Group.

The Genting Group is situated about an hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia on the top of one of the mountain peaks of the Titiwangsa Mountains at 2000 meters above sea level. Genting Group is one of the most famous resorts in Malaysia; it has the largest hotel in the world boasting 6,118 rooms, which beats the MGM Grand of Las Vegas, which has 5,690 rooms and is the second largest hotel in the world.

Genting Group also shelters the only legal Malaysia casinos and where you will be delighted to find every game you can think of and more. There are 426 game tables and 3,140 slot machines open 24 hours a day for the entertainment of the guests.

The best way to enjoy all the luxurious facilities the Genting Group resort has to offer is to stay in their hotel for the duration of your vacation; you can have access to the casino 24 hours a day and when you decide to explore Malaysia you can jump in a car and head to Kuala Lumpur as it is a short drive away.

Besides the beautiful casino, the Genting Group resort offers everything a five star hotel promises, swimming pools, shopping arcade, a variety of restaurants and even a theme park that is similar to the Disney World, which your children will simply adore irrelevant of the age group.

In Malaysia casinos you have to be 18 years of age to gamble or enjoy any alcoholic beverage. Do not venture in other casinos besides the one available in the Genting Group, as they are not government approved and therefore not legal. However, once you visit the Genting Group resort and its casino it is unlikely that you will wish to spend your time and changes of winning anywhere else in the country. Malaysia’s only casino is build to provide all the entertainment you can hope for and who knows this may be the right place where lady luck may smile down on you too.

The Myth of the Hot Sports Betting Handicapper

The most prevalent means of sports service marketing is some variant on the theme that so and so is “red hot” and you should therefore pay him your money and follow his plays. The crooked services do this by coming up with all sorts of confusing and contradictory rating systems and hyperbolic descriptions for their games. How many times have you heard a handicapper brag about being “16-2 on his 500 star MWC underdog plays of the month” or saying that his “Southern Conference total of the month is 60% lifetime”?

Basically, the bottom feeders of this industry can slice and dice their statistics all sorts of ways to make themselves seem “hot”. Or they can do what a lot of them do, and simply lie about their performance. When I was first starting out as a sports handicapper there was no such thing as the Internet (at least as it exists today) and I had to rely on a scorephone for line and score updates. This scorephone was sponsored by a group of touts not noted for their veracity, and you had to sit through a few pitches for their 900 numbers before you got to the scores. A bit of a Faustian bargain, to say the least, but it was an effective way of keeping up with scores in the pre-Internet dark ages.

So one night we’re at a party thrown by some kid that we didn’t like too much. My crew and I were racking our brains to think of some mean pranks to pull on the guy. Someone got the idea to rack up some 900# charges on our mark’s phone bill. Since there’s no such thing as 900# directory assistance, I resulted to the only 900# I could remember – one of the touts from the scorephone that had drilled his digits into my memory through the sheer force of repetition.

For the sake of argument, I decided to write down the tout’s NBA plays. I had less faith in his handicapping ability than I would in a prognostication based on a divining rod or Ouija Board, but since I wasn’t paying for the call I figured I’d just see how the guy did. I wrote down his plays and checked his performance the next morning.

To his credit, the tout went 5-3 on his 8 plays. By any criteria a 5-3 night is a solid performance. Later that day I called the scorephone and waited for the tout to start crowing about his 5-3 night. Much to my surprise, the tout didn’t say a word about his 5-3 night. That’s because he was too buy bragging about his mythical 7-1 performance the preceding day.

Now, I understand that the revelation that boiler room touts like about their performance is on par with “pro wrestling is fake” or “the games at the fair aren’t on the up-and-up” as self evident truths. The point I’m trying to make, however, is that the desire to be the “hot handicapper: is so great that the tout felt he had to embellish a solid performance the night before.

So despite the fact that some handicappers like about their performance, what’s wrong with trying to ride the hot handicapper? Plenty-it’s not only an ineffective way to evaluate a handicapper’s abilities, it also has a number of statistical and theoretical shortcomings.

The simplest way to explain what I’m talking about is to borrow a disclaimer that you’ll hear on every commercial for a mutual fund: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results”. The sports gambling milieu, like those of stocks, commodities and other financial instruments, is a marketplace and subject to a number of the same tendencies of other financial institutions (what economists call “market dynamics”).

The fact that a sports wager’s success or failure is dependent to a degree on the “whims” of a marketplace (of odds and pointspreads) and to a greater degree on other external events outside of the bettor’s control exacerbates what is already a matter of simple logic: what a handicapper does over a period of time (be it a day, week, month or season) has no intrinsic correlation between a handicapper’s performance one year and the next. In other words, the sports gambling marketplace and the random patterns of events that act upon them don’t care if I hit 60% last year. If I don’t do my work, crunch the numbers, get good prices to bet into, and catch a few breaks along the way I may end up beaten regardless of how well I performed in a subsequent period of time.