Wednesday, March 01, 2006

African school funded by opens soon

Malawi School Construction Nearly Complete, Teachers Being Hired

The rainy season has made it challenging, but the school in Malawi being built with funding from is almost finished. Word is out in surrounding villages that teachers are now being hired for the school that will open next month.

Over thirty villagers worked all winter on the school. As the local Project Manager interviews prospective teachers, crews are working on the final touches -- drains around the building, latrines, painting and decorating the classrooms.

The project, named “New Hope for a New Generation”, will provide education and opportunities for the children of an impoverished African village. Although they likely have no idea what a slot machine is, never mind the Internet, their lives will be forever changed by the generosity of the popular all-slots web site.

“We’re so happy that the community is able to make such a big difference in the lives of so many people,” said Manager Hannah Morante. “People tell us all the time that they choose to play slots at because they know it is a different kind of online casino.”

“The whole village has pulled together to get our school built,” said vigilant Project Manager, Tereza Mirovicova. “We had one man that didn’t understand the spirit of the project and tried to get things for himself only. Luckily the Village Headman and his family understood and helped us.”

In the school garden, volunteers have planted maize, sweet potatoes, peanuts and casawa to feed the students that will soon fill the new school. The maize, a staple in Malawi, is now over 2 metres high and ready to harvest just as classes begin.

Brokeback Mountain is both critics’ and the odds makers’ choice for this weekend’s Oscars

Best Supporting Actor hard to call but predicts it won’t be a gay cowboy

Although not everyone is ready to see a gay romance dominate the Oscars, Brokeback Mountain is an obvious favorite with both critics and odds makers. favors the controversial picture to win at 1-10 odds (odds at as of March 2, 2006).

Although is a little bit of Las Vegas online, they’re offering better payouts than Vegas hotels on Brokeback Mountain. The Las Vegas Sun reports that the Wynn Las Vegas, for example, put the movie's odds at 3-5.

“I know some books have shortened the odds on Brokeback Mountain this week,” said Manager Rene Quesada. “We’ve still got it at 1-10 though – a pretty good payout if you think Hollywood is ready to honor a gay cowboy movie. If not, you could go with Crash – but a three dollar bet only wins two.”

Brokeback Mountain has already won the Directors Guild Award the Producers Guild Award and the Golden Globe. Since 1989, when the PGA came into existence, nine pictures have won all of these awards and eight of the nine have gone on to win the Academy Award for best picture.

Odds makers seem to doubt Best Supporting Actor will go to a gay cowboy. Jake Gyllenhaal is only given 7-2 odds for his role in Brokeback Mountain while George Clooney is at 2-3 for Syriana, as is Paul Giamatti for Cinderella Man.

Although some critics argue that she really played a Supporting Actress roll in Walk the Line, Reese Witherspoon is an obvious winner in the Best Supporting Actress.

“Reese Witherspoon for Best Actress – that’s a no-brainer,” said Quesada. “At odds of 1-6, we’re seeing a lot of players putting money on her.”

Complete odds for this weekend’s Academy Awards are updated daily at where other entertainment props on American Idol, The Amazing Race and Survivor Panama are also posted.

Amazing Race Wagering Shows Sensible Choice Not Always the Most Popular

Despite the Odds, Players Favor Blond Bombshells to Win

The odds may favor two more experienced traveling duos, but players are true to form in putting their money on two sexy sisters. While odds favor the smart, young and athletic Ray and Yolanda at 7-2, and Barry & Fran (5-1) who have been traveling the world together for forty years, PO punters are nevertheless putting their money on two attractive but inexperienced travelers. Danielle & Dani are relative long shots in the contest at 7-1.

“It wouldn’t be much fun if we all bet on the obvious favorites now, would it?” mused Manager, Tim Williams. “I guess our players figure a pretty face and a tight pink t-shirt could come in handy in this race!”

According to the CBS web site: “Armed with bold personalities and a fearless attitude, the duo believes that anything is possible with good looks and thick accents, which they aren't afraid to use if it helps them to win the $1 million prize.”

In it’s ninth season, Amazing Race returns to its original format after an experiment with families racing against each other last time out. It’s back to teams of two racing around the world, never knowing where they'll go next or what they'll have to do once there. There are four sets of friends, three dating couples, two married couples, and two couples comprised of family members. The eleven teams will be asked to perform various duties while they travel around the world. Those who can't keep up with the quick pace will be eliminated from the competition as the weeks go by until just one team remains.

“The odds will change every week as teams are eliminated,” said Williams. “A smart bet early in the game – that’s how to clear some coin on this.”

Current Odds on the 9th Amazing Race:

Ray & Yolanda: 7-2
BJ & Tyler: 4-1
Fran & Barry: 5-1
Danielle & Dani: 7-1
David & Lori: 8-1
Jeremy & Eric: 11-5
John & Scott: 6-1
Joseph & Monica: 8-1
Lake & Michelle: 7-1
Lisa & Joni: 10-1
Wanda & Desiree: 6-1

In setting the odds on each team, odds makers consider their travel experience, physical condition and personality traits. Odds on the Amazing Race will be posted at and updated daily throughout the series. also posts odds on American Idol, Survivor Panama, Donald Trump’s Apprentice, Survivor Panama and the 2008 Presidential Election.

The Amazing Race 9 premiered on CBS on February 28 and, following its special two-hour premiere, will air regularly on Tuesdays at nine.