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How To Get Paid to Go to Las Vegas (Once)

My flight is at 7:25. At 6:30, instead of being at the airport, I'm mashing on the buttons of a video poker machine at The Tropicana, playing $125 hands of video poker. I haven't become a compulsive gambler-- I just found out about a casino loophole worth hundreds of dollars, and I'm trying to cash in before heading back to San Francisco.

The loophole is a promotion that several casinos have implemented to draw in new business. The terms are so favorable to the player that, with correct strategy, it is virtually impossible to lose any significant amount of money, but very easy to win hundreds.

Here's how it works at Cosmo, a new casino on the strip with very straightforward promotion rules: if you lose $100 playing machines, they will refund your $100, which must then be played through once. Most people will play this promotion suboptimally, making the promotion worth only around $20. Many more will succumb to compulsive gambling and lose the $100 refund as well.

72 Hour Fast - Part 3

On Jumping on Entrepreneurship

71 hours, 58 minutes into my 72 hour fast: I sat at the dinner table, my plate of food steaming in front of me. I didn't know how my stomach would take food, so I decided to start with small, easy to digest foods: Olives, raisins, grapes, assorted nuts, steamed broccoli and some salsa for dipping. I had some chicken prepared and ready to go on the grill, but I was going to give that another hour or so.

Sitting in my chair, I leaned over and inhaled deeply. When you don't eat for a long period of time, your sense of smell intensifies. I had gone to a grocery store earlier that day, and it was intoxicating. Walking into the store was like walking into a brick wall. I was inundated with smell, I just stopped and stood in the entrance, eyes closed, taking it all in. Charlie did the shopping, and I just ran from display to display, leaning over and inhaling deep.

I had two minutes left in my fast, and I spent it with my eyes closed, lost in smell. My phone hit midnight, and I began to eat. I was unsure how my stomach would accept food, so I wanted to take it slow. I ate my dinner nut by nut, raisin by raisin, olive by olive. It took me about an hour to finish my plate, but I enjoyed every bite of food to its fullest. I'd let the grapes sit in my mouth for up to a full minute, absorbing the taste, before biting just enough to let the juice leak out into my mouth. I'd finish cleaving the grape in half, and let the two halves wander around my mouth, saturating my taste buds with flavor. The broccoli dissolved in my mouth, and when ever something was dipped in the salsa my tongue was overwhelmed by the sensation. As I neared the end of my dinner, I grilled a chicken breast. I cleaned my plate of the first course just as the chicken finished, and I probably spent thirty minutes on the single filleted breast of chicken.

I learned a lot from my fast, but not all of it I can put into words. A good deal of it was just learning more about my body, becoming closer and more in tune with it.

The first and most obvious thing I learned was that I can go three days with only water without radically modifying my daily schedule. I led and participated in a parkour conditioning session, I juggled, I biked to and from campus several times, and I led a Taekwondo class. I got an average amount of sleep each night and only took one nap.

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