Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Six Major Factors For Selecting Winning Racehorses

Horse racing is without doubt a great sport and a great day out for the thrill and atmosphere even if you do not want to bet. However placing a bet (even a small one) is a huge part of it and the excitement of seeing your horse win a race then going to collect your winnings - no matter how small they may be - just adds to the buzz. But picking a winner is tough. Here are six things for you to look out for to help you pick those winners.

With a lot of horse racing on TV and the internet these days you can enjoy a "flutter" at any time though please never, ever bet with money you cannot afford to lose otherwise you'll soon be in trouble. Winning feel great, losing what you can't afford to be without is horrible.

So if you are going out for a day at the races or just want to enjoy an afternoon in front of the TV and have the odd bet then here are some important factors to take in to consideration when selecting a horse to place a bet on. I hope you find this overview helpful and there are some free systems as well for you to check out.

The Horse 
If you are at the races, go to the parade ring and take a close look at the horses. See how they react, how they look in themselves. Are they "on their toes", do they look lean and ready to go.

The Distance 
Some horses have a definite optimum distance for their races. For example some are out-and-out sprinters and run out of steam quickly if run over a distance too far for them. Some horses prefer longer distance races as they don't have the speed for sprinting. Look at the distance of the race and if the horse you are thinking of backing is suited to the distance by checking out its past performances.

The Jockey 
Who is riding your horse? This can make a difference. Is it a top jockey, is it a jockey associated with the trainer, has the jockey ridden the horse before. A top jockey is generally a good sign. Although they can't make the horse run any faster than it naturally can they have the knowledge and tactical experience in a race which can be crucial. Also take a close look at horses being ridden by talented apprentice jockeys who can claim a weight reduction.

The Going 
The underfoot (hoof?) conditions are extremely important. Do take in to account the "going" as it is called. Is it firm, good, soft, heavy etc. Horses have a definite preference for going conditions. Run on the wrong type of ground for them and they will almost certainly not run true to form.

To a certain extent your parade ring watching can give you a visual impression of the general fitness and well-being of the horse. Look also at how long it is since it last raced. A general rule of thumb is a race within the last month or so and the horse should be pretty much of racing fitness. A longer absence may indicate a training or injury problem and the horse may be on the comeback trail. Conversely many runs in a short space of time and the horse could be what is known as "over the top" and needs a rest.

The Course 
You may be familiar with the phrase "horses for courses". There is certainly more than a grain of truth in that. Horses do tend to perform well and win on certain types of courses or even specific courses. Some prefer flat, galloping tracks, some prefer galloping right-handed, some left-handed. Some prefer a "stiff" course perhaps running uphill as a test of stamina. If you see a C or CD by the horse's name in the race card it signifies that the horse has won at the course (C) or over course and distance (CD).

So there we have taken a brief look at six important factors for you to consider when selecting a horse to back. Just a small bet on each race can add to the fun and excitement though as mentioned previously please, please do not bet with money you cannot afford to lose.

Survival Movies - The Cream of the Crop and Those That Didn't Shine

Survival Movies, Best to the Worst!

The popularity of survival movies has really grown over the past couple of years. I have rated these movies in three different categories. The categories are: realisticness, survival value and entertainment factor. Each of these is on a A - F Grading Scale with A being best and F being worst. These ratings are all based on my opinion so you may not feel the same.

Waterworld - Realisticness - D Survival Value - D Entertainment factor - C+ 
The Earth is now filled with water, but some people believe there is still dry land on the earth. This is one of the many survival movies about the fight over resources. As in many movies, this is a fight between the protagonist (Kevin Costner) and the antagonist (Dennis Hopper) and his cronies (called the smokers). This movie is fun to watch but I don't feel it was realistic or offered much in the way of survival value.

The Postman - Realisticness - B Survival Value - C Entertainment factor - B 
I feel the reviews of this movie by critics don't give it justice. In this film, the United States is a very different place with little order. Many people have gone back to a dark ages style of living with no electricity, very little law, and a tyrant thug (Will Patton) trying to gain power. The protagonist (Kevin Costner), a drifter, finds a way to make a difference in the world even though he is originally only worried about his own livelihood and well - being. This was a very long movie, but I really enjoyed it and liked its sense of hope. I thought this movie offered decently realistic insight on what could happen with a breakdown of society and numerous years of lawlessness. It had a few areas that I think gave it some survival value, but overall, it was just one of the entertaining survival movies.

The Road - Realisticness - A Survival Value - B Entertainment factor - C 
While I didn't feel this was one of the survival movies that lived up to my expectations, I feel it accurately portrayed the emotional rollercoaster that an end of the world situation would create. The characters in this movie were not able to trust anyone around them, and they lacked the resources necessary to carry on a normal life, which could be an accurate outcome in a real societal breakdown. I think this movie, while being boring in some spots, felt very realistic and showed the dreary outlook of the main character (Viggo Mortenson) in a post apocalyptic world with no hope. On the survival value front, I thought there were some topics to take away from the story line that would be useful in real life. I felt that this movie allowed me to realize that striving for happiness and wishing to live life to the fullest despite terrible circumstances is key to beating the end.

I am Legend - Realisticness - C Survival Value - B - 
Entertainment factor - B This is another of the survival movies that I think showed great emotion. The main character (Will Smith) and his dog attempt to survive throughout this film despite the constant threat of zombies. I will say this movie has one of the saddest scenes in any movie I have ever seen, which makes the whole movie worth watching. This survival movie really shows you how important a companion is when you are lonely. Other than the importance of companionship, there were only a few survival lessons to be learned.

Book of Eli - Realisticness - C Survival Value - C 
Entertainment factor - B I felt Book of Eli with Denzel Washington and Mila Kunis was worth the watch. This survival movie showed how important being aware of your surroundings is. Also in a disaster ridden world it shows how there will be people that will take power any way they see fit. The use of religion to control people is what the antagonist (Gary Oldman) uses to gain power. If you are a Christian or are religious this is definitely an important movie to watch because it shows how people can use religion and the Bible for good as well as evil to push their own motives. Even so, in the end, this movie didn't show the Bible or Christianity in a bad light. I thought the lesson of being aware was the best survival value it gave.

Jeremiah Johnson - Realisticness - A 
Survival Value - B Entertainment factor - B Jeremiah Johnson (Robert Redford) is one of the best survival movies. This movie is about a man who wants to live as a hermit living off the land, who wishes to be left alone to do his own thing. This is the oldest movie on my list and also one of the best. I believe it has great survival value and is quite realistic. In one scene, Jeremiah Johnson finds a man who has been dead for a while with a note on him saying, "I, Hatchet Jack, being of sound mind and broke legs, do hereby leaveth my bear rifle to whatever finds it, Lord hope it be a white man. It is a good rifle, and killt the bear that killt me. Anyway, I am dead. Yours truly, Hatchet Jack." How can you not love this movie with a scene like that? This movie is great at depicting how to live off the land and be self - sufficient.

Castaway - Realisticness - B Survival Value - C Entertainment factor - B 
Castaway, starring Tom Hanks, is a family survival movie. There is some survival value to this movie like starting a fire or taking an abscessed tooth out with an ice skate. The main character is involved in a commercial UPS type plane crash that leaves him stranded on an island with no other survivors. It illustrates how ingenious people can be when they do not have the conventional tools for survival.

Into the Wild - Realisticness - A Survival Value - B Entertainment factor - B 
Into the wild is the true survival story of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) who gives up his ordinary life to roam the US and live in Alaska. This is an ultimate adventure movie that shows how Christopher lived all by himself in the Alaskan wilderness with only what he could carry on his back. This film offered good survival value, and it taught me something very important: never eat wild plants unless you know exactly what they are and if they are safe to eat.

Zombieland - Realisticness - D Survival Value - D Entertainment factor - A - 
This is really a comedic approach at the survival and zombie genre. While there is really no realisticness or survival value to speak of it, is very funny. This survival movie stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, and Emma Stone. During the film, they all come together to help each other survive a zombie infested world. In my opinion, one of the best cameos of all time occurs during this movie. Just watch and see!

28 Days Later - Realisticness - B Survival Value - C Entertainment factor - B 
28 Days Later is a survival movie starring Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins). After a virus wipes out almost everybody on the planet, a few survivors come together to try and find a safe place to live. This was a good movie that portrayed what could happen if an epidemic were to spread very quickly. This survival movie does not have tons of survival value, but it still provides insight on the possibility of a nation or worldwide epidemic.

Mad Max/Road Warrior/Beyond Thunderdome - Realisticness - D Survival Value - D Entertainment factor - B 
Mad Max, The Road Warrior, and Beyond Thunderdome are very entertaining and fun survival movies to watch, but they are very unrealistic. Mel Gibson stars as Mad Max, a man who lives in a post apocalyptic world who also tries to improve life for himself and others. There really was not much survival value in these movies, but there are cool vehicles with many types of weapons, which makes them entertaining.

Red Dawn - Realisticness - B - Survival Value - B Entertainment factor - A+ 
Red Dawn is not just one of my favorite survival movies, but also one of my favorite movies It has quite a few stars before they were household names (Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey). The Russians and Cubans have taken part of Colorado and are rounding people up, whom they believe to be threats, into camps. A group of high schoolers get together and live in the woods. They badge themselves the "Wolverines" and try to take back the land that was previously theirs. This is a great movie that provided survival value in the way of outdoor living, hunting and fishing. The other thing I love about this movie, that others have also expressed, is that when you finish watching this movie, you feel extremely patriotic and proud of the great people that live in the United States.

Rescue Dawn - Realisticness - A Survival Value - B Entertainment factor - C 
This survival movie is the true story of Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale), a German American fighter pilot whose plane is shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War and captured. I believe this film gives you a picture of how the living conditions in prisoner camps were. Additionally, it shows how important having a strong - will is when you need to get out of a seemingly dead end situation. There are many scenes in this film that have survival value, especially when they escape from the camp and must live outdoors and survive in the wild.

Alone Across Australia - Realisticness - A Survival Value - B+ Entertainment factor - B+ 
This is survival documentary is not well known, but still provides pretty great survival value. The only reason I saw this was because I attended a small independent film festival in my town. This is the story of Jon Muir and his dog that set out on a trip across Australia with only him, his dog, and what he could carry on his homemade cart. This is a great look at survival and has the highest survival value out of any of the survival movies I have reviewed. Out of all the movies I've ever seen, this film probably has the saddest scene because what happened in the movie was what happened in real life. If you get a chance, definitely watch this documentary. The only problem is it is difficult to find and usually expensive because of its rarity.

Write Better Hip Hop Lyrics - Enhance Your Rap Skills And Write Awesome Hip Hop Lyrics

Before You Start

Your rap is a lot more than just a bunch of words put to a beat. It is an extension and expression of who you are as a person.Your thoughts, beliefs, personality, and sense of humor, are all part of your rap and will influence how you go about writing. Before you start, take stock of these traits as they will have an impact on the choices you make when practicing the skills below. A simple brainstorming exercise will work, but the deeper you go in understanding yourself the easier it will be once it comes time to write.

Your Story - The Beginning

Content is what you talk about inside your rhymes. The topic matter. It may be anything from your personal experiences, to something somebody said, to something you dreamed up. Whatever you decide to rap about, ensure that it's something you know well. Attempting to write about something you are not familiar with or something you do not believe in will making writing difficult and could alienate your fans.

The Text

If content is whatever you talk about in your rhymes, flow is the words you select and the way you arrange those words to state it. Deciding which words to utilize or how to arrange those words is as easy as being attentive to the way you talk to others and in what way you communicate with yourself. What words do you use in a than others? What areas of a story would you emphasize that others don't? These differences are what make you unique and in rap, what enable you to get paid.

Time To Spit

You started using your subject matter, converted it to words and arranged them to a sheet of lyrics. Time for you to perform. Delivery will be the performance area of rap. It's everything from the tone of your voice, to the energy you bring, to the way you inflect certain words. You can be ironic, frustrated, laid back, paranoid, or straightforward. You could slur words together, or pronounce each syllable. Test with various styles and see which comes most normally to you personally.

Putting It All Together

As you probably already see, these skills are related. They depend on, reference, and expand upon one another. The way you deliver the words will depend on which words you select, which are influenced by what you may choose to talk about. You need to consider this relationship when writing. If you get stuck or aren't sure where we can get started remember, everything starts with you and what you are about so be yourself.

Creditability - It Is More Than Just Good Grammar, Dictation, Debate, and Teleprompter Readings

Not long ago, I was in Beverly Hills, CA at the Starbucks in the old Wilson's House of Suede building; it's directly across from Sony Music. There I met and up-and-coming hip hop music writer and he told me that so often the Rap Artists lost credibility with the industry due to their improper use of grammar when it wasn't necessary at all, it's just that they had never developed good grammar skills, and that's where he came in, as he was able to take their song, rewrite it without diminishing the words or the beat with strong use of the English language and perfect grammar. Okay so let's talk because that's not all he told me.

You see the gentleman was also a lawyer with a USC Law Degree and he represented some of these artists keeping them from blowing their once-in-a-life-time deal. He also explained this entire theory of his about grammar to me using my own area of knowledge as a writer, explaining how proper use of grammar could make or break the credibility of an author, to which I wholeheartedly concur.

Next, he explained that speech writers for CEOs, and heads of state often had expert grammar experts editing the words and phrases in every speech read from a teleprompter and how leaders that went off script were far more likely to put their foot in their mouths, or say the wrong thing, looking very stupid and silly, which he noted would then be replayed all over the TV in the next week.

As an online article author I can vouch for what this gentleman was explaining to me, people do judge your credibility, intellect, and even the advice you give based on how you write, and how you present whatever it is you have to say. If you're grammar is atrocious you will lose readership and credibility there's no two ways about it. Now then, you would think that a rap artist wouldn't have to worry about credibility, because they are speaking street lingo. My acquaintance suggested that even when you are speaking street lingo you need to do it correctly.

He then played two different songs for me, one with bad grammar, and one that he had rewritten. The second one that he'd worked on was crisp, clean, and intelligent. But the first one just sounded like trash, and you can understand why someone like Sony Music wouldn't want to have much to do with it. Some would say it's not fair for the world to be so critical and judgmental, and whereas in a perfect world that might be so, that's not the way things are in the present period. So, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

How to Get Your Child Into Modeling-Five Simple Steps

So, you've decided you want to get your child into the modeling biz. NOW WHAT?

Follow these five simple steps, and soon your child could be earning income as a model and saving for their future.

BE REALISTIC: First, be honest with yourself about your circumstances. Your child should be free of scars, visible birthmarks or defects. Even features and standard size development are preferred. Yet a quirky looking child can become a model just as easily as a traditionally cute child. Your child MUST be friendly and obedient. If your child is not well-behaved or comfortable with strangers, they will not succeed in this business. You should live near a major metropolitan area. If you cannot commute to a major city on a daily basis, you will need to relocate. You or a caretaker will have to have a flexible schedule to drive your child to auditions on short notice. Resources are also required (transportation, money for photos, internet access).

FIND AN AGENT: Research to find the most reputable agencies in the major market closest to you. The major markets are New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. However, Atlanta, New Orleans and many other locations are also generating a lot of opportunities. Do a simple internet search of "reputable modeling agencies" in your city. A rule of thumb is, you should never have to pay any money to an agency to be represented. Cattle call auditions held in local convention centers and hotels are often not legitimate.

FOLLOW THE AGENCY'S INSTRUCTIONS: A good agency will tell you exactly how to submit your child for representation. Usually, the detailed instructions can be found on the agency's website. If they are old-school, you may have to call them and they will instruct you. Most agencies will have you submit snapshots of your child on-line, or via snail mail. You can include a short letter of introduction and a "baby resume" if you like. Keep everything short and simple. Agents are always pressed for time and working under deadlines. DO NOT IGNORE THEIR INSTRUCTIONS and submit more than the requested amount of photos. Parents who cannot follow instructions will fail in the modeling business.

SUBMIT YOUR CHILD: Increase your odds and make efficient use of your time by submitting to all of the potential agencies within a week. Be patient. It can take up to six months to hear from anyone. Do not re-submit or call with inquiries. If they are interested, they will contact you. Once you get asked to bring your child in for an interview, be prepared to sign a contract on the spot.

SIGN A CONTRACT AND GET READY! Prior to the interview, learn the difference between exclusive and non-exclusive contracts and their pros and cons. Prepare your child for the first audition, even if you haven't gotten one yet. They could send your child on an audition the same day you are signed, so you need to be prepared at all times. GOOD LUCK!