Standing at a craps table for long periods of time can become tiresome for the player, so the padded rail allows the players to rest or change body positions to ease the stress. If a new game is about to start, the puck is turned to the OFF side. Obviously, the casino wants players at the table as long as possible.
Along the outer perimeter is a little shelf called a Drink Rail. The money slot is about 3/8-inch wide and about 3 inches long, which is just the right size for pushing bills down into the drop box. The ON/OFF puck (white for the ON side, black for the OFF side) is used simply to indicate whether a new game is in progress. Casinos have a rule that a player must “hit the back wall” when tossing the dice. (That’s where the term “boxman” came from.)
Inside the bed is the Table Layout with all the numbers and boxes onto which the players’ chips are placed. This rule ensures the dice hit the pyramid rubber, thereby, preventing anyone from controlling the outcome of a dice roll. The dividers separate the chip rack into individual sections for the players.
Cut into the table layout in front of the boxman is a Money Slot for the Money Drop Box. This is the part of the table with all the little pyramids or spikes that are specially designed to randomly deflect the dice. Small buttons about the size of a quarter are used to indicate whether a player’s bets are off or on, or whether a certain type of bet is a “buy” or “lay.” Each button has one word engraved in it, either OFF, ON, BUY, or LAY. Common colors are green, blue, and sometimes red. Cigarette ashtrays are also placed on the Drink Rail.
On the inner side of the bed across from the dealers and boxman is a mirror about 8 inches wide that runs the length of the table. The more confident you are, the less likely the dealers will steer you down the wrong path by enticing you to make bets with high house advantages.
The biggest and most obvious part of the table is the bed. They just can’t. As the name implies, this is where players place their drinks. Along the top edge of the bed is a continuous Padded Rail on which the players can lean. If a game is in progress, the puck is turned on its ON side and placed in the appropriate number box on the layout to indicate the “point” for the current game. (Please read my other articles about the silly notion of “dice control” or “dice setting.”)
Now you know all the components of a craps table! The more you know, the more confident you’ll be when you walk up to a table. The bowl is usually made of clear acrylic or wood.
Also considered part of a craps table are the Puck and Buttons. Below the rail rubber on each inside end of the table is a 6-to-8-inch wide piece of Pyramid Rubber. The boxman uses a Paddle to push the money through the slot into the money box that’s attached to the underside of the bed. Casino craps tables are generally available in 8-foot, 10-foot, or 12-foot lengths. The shooter then selects two that she thinks are lucky, and then the stickman pulls the remaining dice back and puts them in bowl. The mirror allows the dealers and boxman to see the palm side of the player’s tossing hand. The felt can be any color depending on the casino’s specifications. Drink glasses and bottles are not allowed on the Padded Rail because of the risk of spillage onto the layout. The stickman controls a small bowl that rests on the tabletop against the wall directly in front of the stickman. Not only do spills make a big mess on the layout (which the casino has to pay to get cleaned), spills delay the game which digs into the casino’s profits. Special designs and patterns can be incorporated into the layout to match the casino’s theme. This Dice Bowl (or Dice Boat) simply holds the extra dice that are not in play. Regardless of what you hear, read, or see at a live craps table, no one (NO ONE!) can consistently control the outcome of a craps roll when the dice hit the pyramid rubber. After all, the casino doesn’t want players to walk away simply because their feet and knees hurt. Buttons help the dealer, boxman, and the eye-in-the-sky keep track of players’ bets.
If you’ve ever walked through a casino, you’ve probably seen a craps table, but have you ever wondered what a craps table actually is? What does it comprise, what are its components?
Rubber material lines the inside wall of the bed and is called Rail Rubber. The area on the outer edge of the layout is called the Apron.. When a new game starts, the stickman dumps the unused dice onto the table and uses his stick (or whip) to push them all (usually 6 or 8) to the next shooter. The boxman can easily see if a player is cheating by “palming” the dice, trying to introduce a crooked pair into the game.
Adjacent to the padded rail is the wooden Chip Rack, which is usually two-racks deep with dividers about every 12-to-16 inches
Which other gambling outlet permits similar behavior? What would the penalty be if the ownership or staff of a Las Vegas casino was caught cheating? Would it be a slap on the wrist? I doubt it.
All in racing who truly love it, and wish it would last forever, please don’t raise your hand. This protects not only the athletes but the interests of the horseplayers as well. The desired result? No revenue loss from cancellations due to weather-related problems. This rivalry isn’t media-made; it’s real.
With Saratoga Looming, Something Old and Some New Things
HALLANDALE BEACH, July 17, 2016–From Southern California to the Jersey Shore, and from Kentucky and, as of this weekend, Indiana, all roads are lead to Saratoga for the most consequential summit among three-year-olds of both sexes this year.
Of course, the results will depend on the quality mounts as most trainers have their “go-to” guys and barns can go hot or cold regardless of focus and intent. F. A.
“I’ve never understood why any transgressions by trainers, owners, riders or veterinarians that could affect the outcome of a race and, consequently, the bankrolls of horseplayers are tolerated at all. The industry did experiment, generating mixed results, with all-weather synthetic surfaces as a substitute for dirt. An obvious step is the complete elimination of race day medication with severe penalties for violators, up to and including criminal prosecution or a lifetime ban depending on the severity of the infraction. “Another even less likely approach is a switch to racing exclusively on grass, a surface well documented to reduce (but unfortunately not eliminate) fatalities and which is the standard racing surface for most of the world. With Chad Brown having an extraordinary Belmont meeting, you know perennial Saratoga leader Todd Pletcher wants to retain his title. Both will be going all-in.
“As an industry outsider I have no say in implementing change, but I can have an opinion. will the racing industry finally act to reverse overall negative perceptions of the game, or is it already too late?
It’s in that spirit, in the hope that Roman’s long goodbye will resonate with a heretofore unknown guardian angel, one brilliant enough to invent a magic wand so big that it can be waved over 38 horse-racing states and the District of Columbia.
Beyond this, the human races figure to be even more interesting. However, as a trained scientist I found it disturbing that these surfaces were installed and used without any prior long-term studies of their health effects on the horses or the riders.
“There may have been marginal improvements in safety with synthetic surfaces, but that may be because they are inherently slower compared to dirt.
“Synthetic surfaces are formulated in different ways but generally consist of sand and polymeric materials in fiber form usually modified by the addition of rubber and wax. Brown’s legion of turf runners. Instead, step up and do something crazy; think outside the bottom line, about a long range plan that could work over time.
“If safety truly was the primary concern a safer surface, turf, already exists. The objective, short of eliminating the sport, is to minimize the likelihood of injury and death, accepting that riders have a choice but the horses do not. How many others tethered to the horse can say the same with that qualifier?
“Solutions cannot be achieved without difficulty because of the overriding economic interests of those within the industry, but there are things that can be done. Steven A. Brown came close last year and with more talented dirt runners in the barn, this could be his year.
If all goes well for both, a rematch in the storied mile-and-a-quarter Alabama on August 20 is promised..
Interesting here will be the battles between Pletcher’s juveniles vs.
“Improvement of the Breed” No Longer Applies to Thoroughbred Racing
Like the author of the following, Dr. The drainage characteristics of synthetic surfaces are supposed to keep them viable under virtually all weather conditions. Weather will factor into this, of course.
Five days and counting but, first, some unfinished business:
“I personally believe the real motivation behind the introduction of synthetic surfaces was purely economic with increased safety a secondary consideration and good for public relations.
But what sense does it make to be a horseplayer or, for that matter, the owner of a well-bred two-year-old, if you can’t dream a little?
And I still mean that and why I, personally, will not leave the game until someone pulls the remote out of one cold dead hand while I try to bet with the other. And, presumably, although debatable, maintenance costs can be lower as well.
For Roman, his love of the game was enough to apply his science background to pedigree study, and he made a mark.
I’ve written this before but upon leaving the Gulfstream Park walking ring behind the Florida Derby horses this winter as a few thousand fans surveyed the scene, I turned to a track executive and said: “I feel sorry for all the people that don’t get it about Thoroughbred racing.”
The week after–if all goes well in the Haskell Invitational and Jim Dandy–a rematch of Triple Crown achievers Nyquist, Exaggerator and Creator would be extraordinary, a few talented new shooters sprinkled in for added interest.
With Geroux, the country’s leaded graded-stakes rider, joining Rosario, Saratoga titlists Javier Castellano and Johnny Velazquez, the prodigious Ortiz brothers and the emerging Manny Franco, the jockey race will be lively and highly competitive; great for bettors.
The following remarks are the thoughts of a man who at no time wanted to make racing a profession, but rather it remain an avocation, something to love, see it prosper and endure, enjoyed by a wider audience. Carke in American Association Equine Practitioners 55:183-186, 2009 noted that although it appears synthetic surfaces are safer than dirt, when synthetic surfaces replaced turf courses, Fatal Musculoskeletal Injury (FMSI) rates increased, confirming turf as the safest type of surface. As the surface particles erode under continual exposure to mechanical effects (e.g., the pounding of horses’ hooves, harrowing, etc.) and environmental effects (e.g., heat, sunlight, wind, moisture, etc.) the dust and vapors created are inhaled by horse and rider.
“It’s bad enough when the athletes’ lungs are exposed to the dust from the breakdown of dirt particles.
Here, then, Part 2 of Steven Roman’s long goodbye to the game…
It begins next weekend when sensational Songbird, a filly that some, myself included, say is reminiscent of Ruffian, gets her first serious challenge when she meets Carina Mia in the Coaching Club American Oaks. Roman, creator of the Dosage Index algorithm that measures a sire’s pre-potency for passing on his distance racing capability to its offspring, I am not optimistic when it comes to racing’s future when measured against real-world materiality.
So. Not knowing the long-term effects should be completely unacceptable – but not, apparently, to those who control the game.
With the addition of Florent Geroux and the strong riding of Joel Rosario in New York this year, the jockey battle, always of supreme interest in Saratoga, will be very highly contested. In reality, synthetic surfaces are not the same as or even a close approximation to dirt. It’s far worse when they are exposed to dust and vapors from eroding synthetic materials and even natural materials that are potentially carcinogenic or may physically damage the respiratory system
Once a game’s power rating based pointspread is determined, the oddsmaker will make adjustments to that line after considering each team’s most recent games played and previous games played against that opponent. Mike Seba is a Senior Oddsmaker at LVSC and has been making lines for the last six years. Oddsmakers have to determine if any changes are necessary and send out an “adjusted line.”
Once the opening line is released by LVSC, the individual sportsbooks decide if they want to make any adjustments before offering it to the public.
Oddsmakers can also change the line depending on various event-related factors such as player injuries or weather.
. Stated another way, they want to create a line that half the people find appealing to bet one way while the other half find it appealing to bet the other way (known as ‘dividing the action’). Reasons for such adjustments include:
“The #1 thing for us is to make a line for each game that creates good two-way action. In doing so they attempt to make more attractive the team that is getting less action. “We’re not trying to pick the team that covers the spread, we’re trying to make it a coin flip, a tough decision (for the bettor). If an oddsmaker comes up with a preliminary line of USC -7, then an adjustment up to -7.5 or -8 would be made in response to the public’s expected USC bias.
Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC) is the world’s premier oddsmaking company and the most respected authority on making the lines.
The purpose of these adjustments, like all line adjustments, is to more equally divide the betting action.
Once betting begins, sportsbooks can adjust the line at any time. The power ratings are adjusted after each game a team plays. Also, adjustments are made after reading each team’s local newspapers to get a sense of what the coaches & players are thinking going into the game.
What Is the Line Trying to Accomplish?
“The main objective is that our clients get equal action on both sides,” Seba said. In our extended interview, Seba explained that there are 4-5 oddsmakers assigned to make lines for each of the major sports (pro & college football and basketball; MLB, NHL, boxing, golf). By moving the line, sportsbooks can influence how the public bets on a particular game.
A round-table discussion among the 4-5 oddsmakers involved in making the line for each sport is then conducted and a consensus line is decided upon by the Odds Director before it is released to the sportsbooks. For example, the public might have heavy betting interest week after week on a popular college football team such as USC. Obviously, if the line comes out a week ahead of the event (which is the case in football), there is much that could happen during the week leading up to the event that could affect the line. Each of these oddsmakers bring unique opinions, strengths and weaknesses to the process. Seba explained that it all starts with each oddsmaker creating a line on each game based upon their own personal approach.
Oddsmakers at LVSC are professional sports junkies who love what they do and would probably do it for nothing if you asked them, but they do get paid for it.
Moving the line is the oddsmaker’s effort to balance betting action, and often times such moves can have a major impact on a bettor’s decision. This usually includes having up-to-date power ratings on each team.
Individual books having players who consistently bet with certain tendencies (such as an extreme bias toward favorites or toward a certain popular team like USC)
Divided action means the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit on the game because of the fee charged to the bettor (called juice or vig – typically $11 bet to win $10). If we’ve done that, we’ve done our job.”
“You either have a passion for it or you don’t,” Seba said. Of course there is an entire method to the madness on how the opening line is created. By necessity their approach is very research-oriented and concise, since with millions of dollars at risk there is little margin for error.
For example, if the pointspread on a game is 7 and most of the money is coming in on the underdog (taking the +7), sportsbooks will then move the number down to 6 ½ to try and attract money on the favorite. Of the 4-5 oddsmakers, generally the 2 most respected opinions are weighed more heavily by the Odds Director before he decides on the final line. People think it’s much more complicated, but it’s not.”
Power ratings are the oddsmaker’s value of each team and are used as a guide to calculate a “preliminary” pointspread on an upcoming game. That is not the case at all – their intent is NOT to evenly split the ATS result between the teams; rather, their goal is to attract equal betting action on both sides. We do this by drawing from past experiences and applying them to current situations.
Experts working for the individual books having a strong opinion on the game
The opening line is the first line created by the oddsmakers, which is then sent out to sportsbooks.
The last step in the line-making process for each oddsmaker is taking one final look to determine whether or not the line “feels right.” This is where common sense and past experience with how games are bet enters into the picture. Examples of non-game factors that would require an adjustment to a team’s power rating are key player injuries and player trades. Since the oddsmaker’s ultimate goal is equally dividing the betting action, public perception and betting patterns must be taken into account.
There is a common misconception that point spreads represent the oddsmakers’ prediction of how many points the favorite will win by
The John Smiths Cup is a class 2 handicap run at York over a distance of 1m 2f & 88yds, i have looked at the last 10 runnings of the race and looked at the following trends, Age, Weight, Official Rating, Last Time Out, Last Run, Year Runs, Year Wins & Distance.
Any horse failing a trend will be eliminated and only the horses that have passed every trend will remain…. One thing that cannot be disputed though is his undoubted talent and judgement when on the back of a horse. more
12 July 2016 18:31. more
Kieren Fallon’s career can certainly be classed as controversial at times with many ups and downs. more
Bunbury Cup Trends
By Micko70 in Horse Racing
John Smith’s Cup At York Key Race Trends – 9 July 2016
7 July 2016 14:39
The July Cup is a Group 1 Sprint race run over 6 furlongs at Newmarket’s July Meeting.
I am eliminating horses that fail each trend until only horses that have passed every trend are left….
With an average field size of just under 18 runners during the past decade, the John Smith’s Cup often provides an fiendishly difficult puzzle for punters to assess, especially as the draw can often have a major impact on the outcome of the race….
I have looked at the last 10 runnings of the race and looked at the following trends – Age, Official Rating, Last Time Out, Last Run, Year Runs, Year Wins & Group Form.
I have looked at the last 10 runnings of the race and looked at the following trends – Age, Weight, Official Rating, Royal Ascot & Year Runs.
The race usually attracts a huge field with most recent renewals having more than 20 runners
I have looked at the last 10 runnings of the race and looked at the following trends, Runs, Weight, Last Time Out, Last Run, Wins & Draw….
Horses will be eliminated when they fail a trend, only horses that pass every trend will remain…. The Bunbury Cup is a 7 furlong handicap which is run at the 3 day Newmarket July meeting and usually attracts a very good field.
The Grand Prix de Paris is the premier middle distance event over 1 mile and 4 furlongs in France which is restricted to 3 year olds now that the Prix du Jockey Club is run over a shorter distance (10…. more
By The Executioner in Horse Racing
Newmarket July Festival 2016 – Thoughts & Bets For Day 1
The Life & Times Of Kieren Fallon In Racing
4 July 2016 21:01
By Robmull in Horse Racing
Grand Prix De Paris At Saint Cloud Key Race Trends – 14 July 2016
7 July 2016 01:21
5 July 2016 12:37
By tbuckley in Horse Racing
By Micko70 in Horse Racing
The John Smith’s Cup is a Class 2 Heritage Handicap for runners aged 3 years and older, which is run over 1 mile 2 furlongs and 88 yards at York on Saturday, 9 July 2016. more
By Robmull in Horse Racing
July Cup Trends
4 July 2016 13:22
By Micko70 in Horse Racing
The Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris is a Group 1 race for colts and fillies aged 3 years old which is run over 1 mile and 4 furlongs at Saint Cloud on Thursday, 14 July 2016.
Born in County Clare in Ireland on 22nd February 1965, Fallon ended his career with over 2500 wins in Britain alone…. more
The Weatherby’s Super Sprint is a Class 2 race run over 5 furlongs & 34 yards at Newbury racecourse in July. more
Weatherbys Super Sprint
Newmarket July Festival 2016 – Thoughts & Bets for Day 1
As a big fan of sports & particularly the major events of key sports like football & horse racing, I do like to focus on those events that elevate the sport to a higher level of importance & interest than the general day to day meetings can ever dream of and for me The July Festival at Newmarket is most definitely of flat racing headline acts…
Another important recommendation is to use a slow moving (but reliable) sportsbook. Last year was a good RLM season for NFL sports betting (45-29, 60.8 percent, +11.91), but two sportsbooks that were in the top five in NFL RLM in both seasons.
Now do the sharps win every single time? Absolutely not! However, they are right more often than they are wrong, so being on the same side as the sharps is a prudent strategy over the long run, and again, the best thing is that there in absolutely no conventional sports handicapping necessary..
To back this up, our friends over at Prosportsonline.net have tracked the records for games where over 60 percent of the public has been on one side, yet there was reverse line movement of at least one full point from the opening number at the top sportsbooks in NFL, NCAAF, NBA and NCAAB. However, instead of the line rising as you might expect, it instead drops to Chargers -6. The huge problem with this is that the nfl line, ncaaf line or nhl line may have moved too much by that time, and all of the value has been sucked out of the unpopular side.
The highest two-year winning percentage using RLM from the top five books belongs to College Football, which went 480-341-10, 58.5 percent, +95.10 units. This would make Miami +6 the RLM play.
So what causes RLM when the aim of most sportsbooks is to get as close to balanced action on both sides as possible? The answer to this is quite simple: the sharp bettors; the one’s who give sports betting advice. RLM takes place when more money/ sportsbook picks are bet by the small percentage of bettors that are on the unpopular side (the sharps) than is bet by the huge majority of players betting the popular side (the squares). Keep an eyes on the top five sportsbooks at Sports Insights though, as NCAAF sports betting has been very liquid in that regard, with only one sportsbook (believe it or not, Bodog) finishing in the top five both years.
Also, games where over 60 percent of the public are on one side, yet there is reverse line movement of at least 10 cents on the Money Line from the opening number at the top five sportsbooks in MLB and NHL sports betting has also been profitable. Quite a few RLM followers watch the moves until almost game time, and then bet accordingly. This is where an important word of caution is in order though. Note that these records are for sides only and do not include totals.
The NFL sports betting is generally considered the toughest sport to beat, yet blindly following this method produced an exceptional 59.2 percent win rate last season, improving the two year record to 328-249-12, 56.8 percent, +59.06 units. This may enable you to get the stale more favorable sports betting line at the time the reverse line movement hits at the triggering Sportsbook.
The proper way to make a sports bet using reverse line movement is to place your bet as soon as there is an RLM of one full point (or 10 cents in MLB and NHL) off of the opening line. The records quoted below are based on the bets being made at the triggering books, so beating the move by a half-point or a few cents now and then would actually make your record even better.
prosportsonline.net. Keep in mind that NCAAB was the most liquid sport in terms of top-five sportbooks however, with not a single sportsbook making the top five both years.
By: Manny G
College Basketball sports betting was not too shabby either, with a two-year mark of 492-356-22, 58.0 percent, +91.96 units. To illustrate, let us say that San Diego Chargers open at -7 over the Miami Dolohins, and over 70 percent of the sports bets placed on the game are on San Diego. All of this will be fun to follow (not to mention profitable) when every sport except baseball are going on simultaneously during the winter months.
So what exactly is reverse line movement? RLM takes place when a large majority of bets are on one team, yet the line moves in the opposite direction. Furthermore, they list the RLM records for many individual sportsbook, making it easy to spot which books this system is working at and which books it may be best to ignore.
NBA sports betting has the lowest two-year five-book RLM winning percentage among the 11/10 sports, but then again, every gambler in the world would kill to go 382-301-9, 55.9 percent, +48.90 units, and the 57.5 percent win rate this past season is nothing to sneeze at. It should be noted that many fewer MLB games have qualified so far this season (is the whole world using RLM now?), but smaller profits is still profit.Again, these records are for Money Lines only and do not include totals.Finally, NHL sports betting has picked up 148.49 units in two years, and unlike MLB, NHL had four sportsbooks out of the top five gain double-digit units this past season. Keep a close eye on Canbet here, as that Australian sportsbook cracked the top five both years.
Thus, following reverse line movements is the same thing a following the smart money. Carib ruled the roost season at 93-66-9, 58.5 percent, +18.55 units after ABC held the penthouse spot in the 2007-08 season.
So what we recommend is to only use the top five each season for each individual sport (in terms of units won). We tracked the top five books for each of the pointspread sports for the last two years, as as you can see, this strategy has been profitable in every sport. Sure, using this approach leaves open the possibility of the line turning around and moving back against you, but as you will see in bit, betting as soon as an RLM qualifies has been profitable in every major North American sport such as the last two seasons, so if one line turns around, so be it
The original delight was in logging on to see if you’d made it on to the site – your chances increase exponentially if you’re beautiful, avant-garde and hang out at clubs and parties in the edgier parts of London – but now the site can get up to 900,000 hits a month from all over the world.
47. It has developed a highly engaged community and has added popular services like TreeHugger.tv, and a user-generated blog, Hugg. Readers post a variety of comments on political talking points of the day, although 9/11 conspiracy theories are often deleted, and there is a daily round-up of notable stories on other political blogs.
· Join the Debate: If you would like to comment about our choice of blogs, go to blogs.theguardian.com/digitalcontent
43. This set the tone for amassing a readership of movers and shakers on the Upper East Side, as well as ‘the angry creative underclass’ wishing either to be, or not be, like them, or both (‘the charmingly incompetent X… Beppe Grillo
Least likely to post ‘Has anyone got a stamp?’
Founded by Peter Cashmore in 2005, Mashable is a social-networking news blog, reporting on and reviewing the latest developments, applications and features available in or for MySpace, Facebook, Bebo and countless lesser-known social-networking sites and services, with a special emphasis on functionality. It does it all with gentle, irreverent charm, polluted only occasionally with gratuitous smut. and the chocolate represents my decidedly marked taste for anything sweet.’
Least likely to post ‘But why don’t you just phone them up?’
Stephanie Klein’s blog allows her to ‘create an online scrapbook of my life, complete with drawings, photos and my daily musings’ or, rather, tell tawdry tales of dating nightmares, sexual encounters and bodily dysfunctions. One exception is Michelle Malkin, a conservative newspaper columnist and author with one of the most widely read conservative blogs in the US. Man wanders around Manhattan with a camera. Treehugger began as an MBA class project four years ago and says it now generates enough revenue from sponsorship and advertising to pay all its staffers and writers. They were actually founded and co-founded by Peter Rojas. The Drudge Report
15. His CV is crammed with various US airline jobs, which gives him the insider knowledge to cast his expert eye over everything from the recent 777 emergency landing at Heathrow to spiralling baggage handling costs and the distribution of air miles to ‘virtual assistants’.
For Clothilde Dusoulier, a young woman working in computing and living in the Paris district of Montmartre, starting a blog was a way of venting her boundless enthusiasm for food without worrying she might be boring her friends with it. After describing events that her employer – a dotcom start-up – thought reflected badly on them, Armstrong was sacked. Written by a bunch of anarcho-libertarians, tax rebels, Eurosceptics and Wildean individualists, it has a special niche in the political blogosphere: like a dive bar, on the rational side of the border between fringe opinion and foam-flecked paranoid ranting. They grow food on an allotment nearby, keep chickens and bees and ‘try to be green, whatever that means’. Primarily, Armstrong became one of the first high-profile cases of somebody being fired for writing about her job. The blog has been so successful that Klein has penned a book, Straight Up and Dirty, and has featured in countless magazine and newspaper articles around the globe. Kottke
Least likely to post ‘I’d say it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other’
Founded in 2001, the UK’s first feminist webzine is responsible for reviving debates around feminism in Britain. And it routinely ridicules attempts by the music and film industries to persecute small-time file sharers and bedroom pirates instead of getting their own web strategies in order. His reality show premiered on VH1 last year, and his blogsite is peppered with snaps of him cuddling Paris Hilton at premieres. Founded in 2000 by Peter Robinson, it combines fandom with music news and raw critique, all hilarious, and all blindingly correct. Mastella’s first name is Clemente and Popular-UDEUR was part of Romano Prodi’s centre-left coalition. It’s an established resource for newspaper columnists – both tabloid and broadsheet – and there’s a daily ‘News from the Molehill’ slot in the free London paper The Metro. They hated the mainstream media – and the feeling was mutual.
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· This article was amended on Friday March 14 2008. With a history of direct action, the group is now uniting worldwide members through the web, blogging to spread word of news and protests, and using sites like Facebook to raise funds. It recruited professional columnists and celebrity bloggers. Gawker’s earliest fascination was gossip about Vogue editor Anna Wintour, garnered from underlings at Conde Nast. With the mocking self-awareness of a modern Diary of a Nobody, the author tells tales of wild nights at the village pub and the fortunes of the local bowls team. Kottke’s decision to consciously avoid politics could be part of his appeal (he declares himself ‘not a fan’), particularly since the blog’s voice is literate, sober and inquiring, unlike much of the red-faced ranting found elsewhere online.
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As ideas go, this one is pretty simple. Soon afterwards, however, Sanderson’s employers found out about the blog and promptly fired her. The site stays on the right side of gratuitous nastiness by dishing out generous praise when due (the coveted ‘Well Played’), being genuinely thoughtful on questions of taste and funnier on the subject of random starlets in sequined sweatpants than you could possibly even imagine.
Armstrong’s honesty has added to her popularity, and she has written about work, family life, postnatal depression, motherhood, puppies and her Mormon upbringing with the same candid and engaging voice. The Huffington Post
Andrew Sullivan is an expat Brit, blogging pioneer and defier-in-chief of American political stereotypes. He’s moved on from spending his childhood birthdays in airport hotels, face pressed against the window watching the planes come in, and turned his attention to reporting on the state of airlines. Before the millionaire socialite Arianna Huffington decided to get in on the act, bloggers operated in a spirit of underdog solidarity. Basically, it’s gossip for grown-ups.
Least likely to post ‘I even wear my Ugg boots in bed’
35. The UK blog attracts 750,000 visitors a month and 240,000 celeb-obsessees subscribe to the accompanying weekly mail-out. Boing Boing
33. Students in Tibet face arrest for posting on the site, but many escape to blog about their experiences in exile. Lau, 23, admits to spending up to 60 per cent of her pay from her day job in advertising on clothes, but now she’s viewed as a fashion opinion former, she’s being paid in kind. The site signposts important events and interesting analyses, gives context and witty commentary on everything from the most serious speeches to the silliest election-themed YouTube clips. Since 2005 the advertising revenue on her blog alone has been enough to support her family.
The article below said ‘Psychodwarf’ was Beppe Grillo’s nickname for ‘Mario Mastella, leader of the Popular-UDEUR centre-right party’, but it’s actually his nickname for Silvio Berlusconi. Her influence is such that fashion editors namecheck her blog, Chanel invites her to product launches and advertisers have come calling.
9. Mario, 29, is famous for scrawling rude things (typically doodles about drug use) over pap photos and outing closeted stars. Basic Thinking reports on technology and odds and ends, encouraging readers to rummage through an 1851 edition of the New York Times one minute and to contemplate the differences between mooses and elks the next.
Attracting around 10,000 people from all over the globe to her site every week, Pim Techamuanvivit has tried and tested an awful lot of food. Goes home and posts it on his blog. Cranky flier
Least likely to post ‘Look at this well wicked vid of a dog on a skateboard’
30. The offside
Least likely to post ‘We can only wish Rupert Murdoch well with his new venture’
Least likely to post ‘Make mine a Happy Meal’
Millions of visitors visit Icanhascheezburger.com to see, create, submit and vote on Lolcats (captioned photos of characterful cats in different settings). Gaping void
No matter what happens between now and 4 November, you can be certain the US presidential election of 2008 will be among the most historically important and dramatic of any fought. Five years later Chocolate and Zucchini, one of the most popular cooking blogs, has moved from being a hobby to a full-time career. So if you’re out and about and a guy called Scott asks to take your picture, just smile. It was bought by the Discovery Channel last year for a rumoured $10m.
Least likely to post ‘Just add instant mash’
19. Minimalist it might be, but his site – a basic scroll of full-length street portraits, occasionally annotated with a brief note – is mesmeric and oddly beautiful. Go fug yourself
One of the best-known personal bloggers (those who provide more of a diary than a soapbox or reporting service), Heather Armstrong has been writing online since 2001. The blog’s name Mashable is derived from Mashup, a term for the fusing of multiple web services. The daily dish
Boing Boing chronicles cases where despotic regimes have silenced or imprisoned bloggers. Basic thinking
Angry Black Bitch, which has the tagline, ‘Practising the Fine Art of Bitchitude’, is the four-year-old blog of Shark Fu of St Louis, Missouri. By 2006, the blog was bookified and published by Ebury, and spent much time on bestseller lists, beach towels and hidden behind the newspapers of serious-looking commuters. WoWinsider
Least likely to post ‘The internet is, like, so over’
Taking the protest online, Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) is a global, grassroots network of students campaigning to free Tibet, which has been occupied by China since 1950. Girl with a one-track mind
Least likely to post ‘So just what is a caucus?’
38. Her main theme is how liberals betray America by being soft on terrorism, peddling lies about global warming and generally lacking patriotism and moral fibre.
44. It helped channel blogger scorn on to Yahoo and Google when they kowtowed to China’s censors in order to win investment opportunities. He endorsed George Bush in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004. Within a year Gawker’s readers were making 500,000 page views per month. If a player is traded for 1,000lb of beef in Romania, we’ll cook the steak. Hecklerspray
Least likely to post ‘OMG, I saw Jessica Simpson in Lidl and she signed my bum!’
32. Arianna’s money talked just as loudly online as off, and the Huffington Post quickly became one of the most influential and popular journals on the web. And Peter Rojas, not Ryan Block, founded Engadget and co-founded Gizmodo. And that’s it. Grillo’s name for Mario Mastella, leader of the Popular-UDEUR centre-right party, is Psychodwarf. On the day of Lindsay Lohan’s arrest for drink-driving, he posted 60 updates, and 8m readers logged on. Greek tragedy
Kottke remains one of the purest old-skool bloggers on the block – it’s a selection of links to websites and articles rather than a repository for detailed personal opinion – and although it remains fairly esoteric, his favourite topics include film, science, graphic design and sport. ‘But I think both kinds of journalism should exist, should co-exist.’
Least likely to post ‘This product really sells itself’
46. Xu Jinglei
Marshall has forged a reputation, and now makes enough money to run a small team of reporters who have made an impact by sniffing out political scandal and conspiracy. the wildly successful blowhard’). Visitors first witness ‘eye candy’ such as David Beckham condoms (from China), 75 turtles in a fridge, the packaging for Mega Frankfurters or a life-size Ferrari knitted from wool, learn of a second X-Files movie moving into pre-pre-production, watch a vacuum-cleaning robot being tested and compare taste reports of Kentucky Fried Chicken’s new Shrimp Tsuisuta Chilli.
8. Supporters of US presidential candidate Ron Paul promoted on WoWInsider their recent virtual mass march through the WoW. No one has done more to promote pointless, yet strangely cool, time-wasting stuff on the net than the editors of Boing Boing (subtitle: A Directory of Wonderful Things). Jezebel
26. Formed as an internet supergroup, pulling several popular intellectual blogs together, Crooked Timber now has 16 members – largely academics – across the US, Europe, Australia and Asia.
42. Having an informed opinion will be a must, but if you are as yet unable to tell your Iowa Caucus from your Feiler Faster Thesis, Marbury – a British blog on American politics – is the place to start. But the man in question is Scott Schuman, who had 15 years’ experience working at the high-fashion end of the clothing industry before starting The Sartorialist. Now part of Weblogs Inc (owned by AOL), it is offered on many other sites (including GoogleMail) as a default RSS feed, and is published in English, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese. Its ethos, that a green lifestyle does not have to mean sacrifice, and its positive, upbeat feel have attracted over 1.8m unique users a month. Dooce
Least likely to post ‘Mein heim, mein gott – I need to get a life’
Least likely to post ‘Why Plastic Bags rock’
A couple of key moments boosted Kottke’s fame: first, being threatened with legal action by Sony for breaking news about a TV show, but most notably quitting his web-design job and going solo three years ago. Nowadays the figure is 11m, recovering from a recent dip to 8m thanks to the showing of a Tom Cruise ‘Indoctrination Video’ which Scientologists had legally persuaded YouTube to take down. Talking points memo
Engadget provides breaking news, rumours and commentary on, for instance, a camera able to track a head automatically, the very latest HD screen or ‘visual pollution’ concerns prompted by hand-held pico laser-projectors. And West Wing fans will be pleased to note that the blog’s name is a reference to the show’s British ambassador to the United States, Lord John Marbury, who, appropriately enough, provided an eccentrically British but reliably insightful appraisal of American politics.
Least likely to post ‘I’m so over this story – check out the New York Times’
12. That makes her one of the most influential women online. But its core value – ‘media criticism’ – appears to be intact.
He’s a shameless publicity whore, too. He’s got a sharp eye for a good look, a gift for grabbing an on-the-hoof pic and an unwavering enthusiasm for people going the extra mile in the name of style. There is now an effort to develop a LOLCode computer-programming language and another to translate the Bible into Lolspeak. The site took off, boosted partly through close links to popular blog-building website Blogger (he later married one of the founders). Asks if he can take a picture. Three years on, Rupert Murdoch owns MySpace, while newbie amateur bloggers have to gather traffic crumbs from under the table of the big-time publishers. Samizdata serves its opinions up strong and neat, but still recognisable as politics.
Least likely to post ‘Actually, dogs are much more interesting…”
41. You’re about to become a style icon.
Their dominance of the terrain where technology meets politics makes the Boing Boing crew geek aristocracy. It’s representative – but by no means the first – of the so-called ‘job-blogs’, with people from all walks of life, from ambulance drivers (randomactsofreality.net) and policemen (coppersblog.blogspot.com) to the greatly loved but now defunct Call Centre Confidential. But hidden among the pictures of steam-powered CD players and Darth Vader tea towels there is a steely, ultra-liberal political agenda: championing the web as a global medium free of state and corporate control. It is run by Alvy, Nacho and Wicho, three friends in Madrid, who blog in Spanish. Treehugger
There’s nowhere to hide for airlines these days. Gigazine
10. Jonny B’s private secret diary
The following apology was published in the Observer’s For the record column, Sunday March 16 2008
Least likely to post ‘Did anyone see Casualty last night?’
17. But few diaries are read by 10,000 people a day. Engadget
Least likely to post ‘The customer is always right’
22. Not bad for what Klein describes as ‘angst online’.
Created by Satoshi Yamasaki and Mazaki Keito of Osaka, Gigazine is the most popular blog in Japan, covering the latest in junk foods and beverages, games, toys and other ingredients of colourful pop product culture. Melanie Rimmer and her family of five live in a ‘small ex-council house’ with a garden on the edge of farmland in Poynton, Cheshire. TMZ was launched in 2005 by AOL and reportedly employs around 20 writers to keep the celeb juice flowing. But taken as read, Shark Fu is a much-discussed, 35-year-old black woman, tired of the ‘brutal weight’ of her ‘invisibility’.
7. Their regular ‘Crap Email From a Dude’ feature is especially fantastic, as is their coverage of current stories (opinionated and consistently hilarious) and politics. In the era pre-Huffington, big media companies ignored the web, or feared it; post-Huffington they started to treat it as just another marketplace, open to exploitation. But thanks to the decision in 1998 to run a scurrilous rumour – untouched by mainstream media – about Bill Clinton and a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky, it became a national phenomenon. Fergie from Black Eyed Peas alluded to him in a song, and Avril Lavigne phoned, asking him to stop writing about her after he repeatedly blogged about her lack of talent and her ‘freakishly long arm’. The site attracts more than 70,000 readers a day and has been named one of Time’s Top 100 Design Influences. With one post a day, often more, topics for discussion can range from top 10 uses for apples to making scrap quilts. It succeeded quickly, in part by acknowledging the five big lies perpetuated by the women’s media: The Cover Lie (female forgeries of computer-aided artistry); The Celebrity-Profile Lie (flattery, more nakedly consumerist and less imaginative than the movies they’re shilling for); The Must-Have Lie (magazine editors are buried in free shit); The Affirmation Crap Lie (you are insecure about things you didn’t know it was possible to be insecure about); and The Big Meta Lie (we’re devastatingly affected by the celebrity media). ‘I think in many cases the reporting we do is more honest, more straight than a lot of things you see even on the front pages of great papers like the New York Times and the Washington Post,’ he said in an interview last year. The site’s creator, Ian Leslie, is an ex-expat who fell for American politics during a four-year stint living in New York. Recent scoops include Barack Obama dressed in tribal garb and the fact Prince Harry was serving in Afghanistan. Considered by many to be the best ‘serious’ blog in the game, it nevertheless promises irreverently, ‘If there is a sex scandal in England, we’ll be stuck in the middle of it. Bored at work one day in 2004, expat secretary Catherine Sanderson happened upon the concept of blogging. This has been corrected.
Last year Gawker Media launched Jezebel – a blog which aimed to become a brilliant version of a women’s magazine. But even the most earnest bloggers will often take time out of their busy schedule to pass on some titbit of mildly entertaining geek ephemera. Copyblogger
Samizdata is one of Britain’s oldest blogs. Something about the everyday nature of The Waiter – a person we like to pretend is invisible or treat with servile disdain – deconstructing the event later with a subtle, erudite typestroke, has captured the public imagination and (hopefully) made some people behave better in restaurants than they otherwise might.
Jinglei is a popular actress (and director of Letter From An Unknown Woman) in China, who in 2005 began a blog (‘I got the joy of expressing myself’) which within a few months had garnered 11.5m visits and spurred thousands of other Chinese to blog. And much though they hate him, the hacks all still check his front page – just in case he gets another president-nobbling scoop.
Least likely to post ‘How To Look Skinny While Pleasing Your Man!’
31. Previous guesses have included Chris Evans and Johnny Vaughan, though both have been strenuously denied.
With a horde of hungry geeks and big money investors online, Techcrunch is the largest of a wave of technology-focused blog publishers to tap into the market – GigaOm, PaidContent and Mashable among them – but often proves more contentious than its rivals, thanks to Arrington’s aggressive relationships with traditional media and his conflicts of interest as an investor himself.
Amused by a photo of a smiling cat, idiosyncratically captioned with the query ‘I Can Has A Cheezburger?’, which he found on the internet while between jobs in early 2007, Eric Nakagawa of Hawaii emailed a copy of it to a friend (known now only as Tofuburger). In their hands, the simple pleasure of yelping ‘Does she even OWN a mirror?’ at a paparazzi shot of some B-list headcase in fuchsia becomes an epic battle against dull Oscar gowns, ill-fitting formalwear and Lindsay Lohan’s leggings. Chez Pim
36. The blog will no longer publish pics obtained when ‘pursuing people in cars and on bikes’, as well as ‘celebrities with their kids’, ‘people in distress at being photographed’ and off-duty celebs. They auctioned the tyre-tracked sock on eBay in aid of US charity the Children’s Defense Fund last autumn.
The tagline of a new book hitting British shelves reads ‘In Paris, in love, in trouble’, but if it were telling the whole story, perhaps it should read ‘In public’ too. Remember when everybody was madly printing off vouchers from the web that saved you 40 per cent? That was one of his: aimed at helping shift more bottles from Stormhoek, the South African vintner he works with.
Least likely to post ‘Forget the kittens – get a Kalashnikov!!!!!!!’
45. ‘The Waiter’, as the author is known, has been blogging his experiences with fussy customers and bad tippers since 2004, winning a gong at blogging’s biggest awards, the Bloggies, in 2007. He is also gay, a practising Roman Catholic and HIV-positive, a set of credentials he routinely deploys in arguments to confuse atheist liberals and evangelical conservatives.
Least likely to post ‘Sorry, I can’t think of anything to say’
24. Chocolate and Zucchini
Among the most visited blogs in the world is that of Beppe Grillo, a popular Italian comedian and political commentator, long persona non grata on state TV, who is infuriated daily – especially by corruption and financial scandal in his country.
Least likely to post ‘Hey guyz, any hotties in the Nepal region?!’
Least likely to post ‘J’ai assez parle de moi, qu’est-ce que vous pensez?’
Least likely to post ‘Is it just me or is Romney getting cuter?’
Afterellen takes an irreverent look at how the lesbian community is represented in the media. It pulls in 1.6m readers a month and is endlessly cited as the source for red-top celeb stories. Readers feel that they have been brought into her life, and reward her with their loyalty. Rojas also co-founded rival gadget blog Gizmodo.
WoWinsider is a blog about the World of Warcraft, which is the most popular online role-playing game in the world, one for which over 10m pay subscriptions each month in order to control an avatar (a character, chosen from 10 races) and have it explore landscapes, perform quests, build skills, fight monsters to the death and interact with others’ avatars. It is informal, friendly and humorous, moving from news of an eccentric new letter font to reflections on the discovery of the Milky Way having double the thickness it was previously thought to have.
Least likely to post ‘George Clooney – I wouldn’t kick him out of bed’
Least likely to post ‘Social networking – it’s just a phase’
39. Who, spluttered the original bloggerati, did she think she was?
But the pyjama purists were confounded. Each posting, usually ending with ‘I have to be up early’ or a promise to report tomorrow on a DVD she is watching, is followed by many hundreds of comments from readers – affirming their love, offering advice, insisting she take care. He is an economic conservative (anti-tax), a social liberal (soft on drugs) and a foreign policy hawk (pro-war). Edited by Jess McCabe, the site, which receives around 3,000 hits a day, is dedicated to providing a forum for contemporary feminist voices, with a daily news blog, features on stereotypes and censorship, podcasts on pornography and regular feminist film reviews.
Least likely to post ‘Paris is a metaphor for Third World debt’
Bloggers saw themselves as gadflies, pricking the arrogance of established elites from their home computers, in their pyjamas, late into the night. The organisation, which was founded in 1994 in New York, spans more than 35 countries and gets up to 100,000 hits a month. Drudge is scorned by journalists and serious bloggers for his tabloid sensibilities, but his place in the media history books is guaranteed. From Michelin-starred restaurants to street food and diners, she samples it all, and posts her thoughts and pictures to share with other foodie fans.
When Smash Hits! died, Popjustice became the new home of pop music. She blogs in an uncontroversial but quite reflective manner, aiming to show a ‘real person’ behind the celebrity. With a few clicks and an impulse she created her own blog, and quickly gathered fans who followed her life in Paris, the strained relationship with her partner and adventures with her toddler. Barack Obama is his preferred Democrat candidate in 2008. In it she reports on her day-to-day moods, reflections, travels, social life and cats (‘Finally the first kitten’s been born!!! Just waiting for the second, in the middle of the third one now!!!!!!!! It’s midnight, she gave birth to another one!!!!!!’). Last month Holy Moly created headlines in its own right by announcing a rethink on publishing paparazzi shots. Icanhascheezburger
Once dubbed ‘Hollywood’s most hated website’, Perezhilton (authored by Mario Lavandeira since 2005) is the gossip site celebrities fear most. She has never posted a photo of herself and this ‘anonymity’ has led recently to her having to fend off claims she’s really a white man, even a drag queen. Gawker remains the flagship of Gawker Media, which now comprises 14 blogs, although gossiping by ex-Gawker insiders, a fixation on clicks (which its bloggers are now paid on the basis of) and fresh anxiety over defining itself have led some to claim Gawker has become more ‘tabloidy’ and celeb- and It-girl-orientated, and less New York-centric. Then, on a whim, they began a website, first comprising only that one captioned photo but which has since grown into one of the most popular blogs in the world.
Least likely to post ‘Sign up to our campaign to grant Silvo Berlusconi immunity’
37. Spots someone whose outfit he likes. Marbury
It’s dry, real, and deafeningly practical, but for an online writing-for-the-internet blog, Copyblogger, founded in 2006, is remarkably interesting. Michelle Malkin. Last year her blog passed the 1bn clicks mark.
4. So when, in 2005, Huffington decided to mobilise her fortune and media connections to create, from scratch, a flagship liberal blog she was roundly derided. At Go Fug Yourself, celebrity offenders against style, elegance and the basic concept of making sure you’re covering your reproductive organs with some form of clothing before you leave the house are ‘fugged’ by the site’s writers, Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks. Thousands of women tune in for daily accounts of her narcissistic husband and nightmarish mother-in-law and leave equally self-revealing comments transforming the pages into something of a group confessional. Samizdata
14. She’s not just famous on the net, she’s attracted global coverage in the media with her writing, recipes and interviews appearing in such diverse publications as the New York Times, Le Monde and the Sydney Morning Herald.
Least likely to post ‘I’m off to anger-management’
Microsiervos, which began in 2001, took its name from Douglas Coupland’s novel Microserfs, a diary entry-style novel about internet pioneers. Popjustice
Least likely to post ‘An iWhat?’
48. A host of ‘micropatrons’ and readers donated cash to cover his salary, but these days he gets enough advertising to pay the bills. Crooks and liars
2. It also reports on outside developments and rumours (‘A future patch will bring a new feature: threat meters’). Rimmer set up the blog nearly two years ago when she first got the allotment and says she felt it was something worth writing about. While respected mainstream media figures accused Marshall of seeing conspiracy, he kept digging: the result was the resignation of attorney general Alberto Gonzales, and a prestigious George Polk journalism award for Marshall, the first ever for a blogger.
Launched by ‘Bob’ after the success of his WorldCupBlog in 2006, Offside is a UK-based blog covering football leagues globally, gathering news and visuals on all of it, inviting countless match reports and promoting discussion on all things soccer, from the attack by a colony of red ants on a player in the Sao Paulo state championship third division, to the particular qualities of every one of Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals so far this season. The ‘language’ used in the captions, which this blog has helped to spread globally, is known as Lolspeak, aka Kitty Pidgin. Though she was keen to retain her anonymity and continue her career in the film industry, author ‘Abby Lee’ was soon outed as north Londoner Zoe Margolis by a Sunday newspaper.
Although his unabashed partisan approach is admonished by many old-fashioned American reporters, Marshall’s skills at pulling together the threads of a story have paid dividends. Techcrunch
Recently rated the 18th most influential blog in the world by Wikio, Basic Thinking, which has the tag line ‘Mein Haus, Mein Himmel, Mein Blog’, is run by Robert Basic of Usingen, Germany, who aims ‘to boldly blog what no one has blogged before’, and recently posted his 10,000th entry. In response, the site has fallen victim to increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks. Between them they chronicle life in their trade, and usually from behind a veil of anonymity. Waiter rant
Least likely to post ‘YouTube? It’ll never catch on’
25. Last year, a mistake confirmed Engadget’s power – upon reporting a supposed email (which turned out to be a hoax) from Apple, informing Apple employees of a delay in the launch of iPhone, Apple’s share price fell by 3 per cent within minutes. Things started going gangbusters when he pimped his cartoons on the internet, and as he built an audience through his blog, he started writing about his other passion – the new world of understanding how to adapt marketing to the new world of the net. Apologies.
Behind Dooce stands an army of personal bloggers perhaps not directly influenced by, or even aware of, her work – she represents the hundreds of thousands who decide to share part of their life with strangers. The site seems pretty lo-fi – just entries called things like ‘Robin’s birthday’ and ‘FEB16′ featuring pages of images of hip young things getting their party on. Readers range from top web 2.0 developers to savvy 13-year-olds wishing for the latest plug-ins to pimp up their MySpace pages.
Following in the footsteps of Belle de Jour – the anonymous blogger claiming to be a sex worker – the girl with a one track mind started writing in open, explicit terms about her lively sex life in 2004. Dirtydirty dancing
Least likely to post ‘Oops, one sec – just got to check the facts…’
With a title pulled from Immanuel Kant’s famous statement that ‘out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made’, it’s an amalgam of academic and political writing that has muscled its way into the epicentre of intelligent discussion since its conception in 2003. It’s now the biggest website for LGBT women, with half a million hits a month.
Growing in popularity since its debut in 2003, Jonny B’s diary – which is clearly neither private nor terribly secret – catalogues the rock and bowls lifestyle of one man in the depths of rural Norfolk. The site has built itself a reputation as something of an intellectual powerhouse; a sort of global philosophical thinktank conducted via blog.
Least likely to post ‘I’ve got a headache’
27. Though there were personal websites that came before hers, certain elements conspired to make Dooce one of the biggest public diaries since Samuel Pepys’s (whose diary is itself available, transcribed in blog form, at Pepysdiary.com). The US site is dripping with ‘breaking news’ stories, pictures and videos, and deems celeb activity as mundane as stars walking to their cars worthy of a video post. Everyone seemed to like the idea, so he kept going. Perezhilton
Combining diary, opinion and green lifestyle tips, Beansprouts is a blog that covers one family’s ‘search for the good life’. It was the first to break Alec Baldwin’s now infamous ‘rude little pig’ voicemail last April, for instance. AfterEllen
Least likely to post ‘If you can’t say anything nice…’
Treehugger is a green consumer blog with a mission to bring a sustainable lifestyle to the masses. As a slow, gentle satire on modern village life, it is often held up as an example of blog as sitcom, and has not only attracted a loyal band of readers, but a dedicated fan club on Facebook desperate to work out the real identity of the wit behind the site. ‘SFT plans to stage protests in Beijing during the games and post blogs as events unfold,’ says Iain Thom, the SFT UK national co-ordinator. TMZ prides itself on being close to the action, so close, in fact, a TMZ photographer had his foot run over by Britney Spears mid-meltdown. ‘But for security reasons we can’t reveal details of how or where yet.’ Similarly, a massive protest in London on 10 March will be the subject of intense cyber comment. She advises her readers on what cooking equipment to go for, posts recipe suggestions for them to try, and gives them a nudge in the direction of which food shows are worth a watch. Business Week named Arrington one of the 25 most influential people on the web, and Techcrunch has even scored interviews with Barack Obama and John McCain.
Least likely to post ‘That Obama’s got a lovely smile, hasn’t he?’
It’s a neat word, fug – just a simple contraction of ‘ugly’ and its preceding expletive – but from those three letters an entire fugging industry has grown. In 2006 statisticians at Technorati, having previously not factored China into their calculations, realised Jinglei’s blog was the most popular in the world. He continues to plug away at the site as it enters its 10th year.
Least likely to post ‘What’s the difference between a woman and a condom?’
The internet’s not exactly short of gossip websites providing scurrilous rumours of who did what to whom, but some stand out from the rest. The Sartorialist
Founded in 2004 by John Amato (a professional saxophonist and flautist), Crooks and Liars is a progressive/liberal-leaning political blog, with over 200m visitors to date, which is illustrated by video and audio clips of politicians and commentators on podiums, radio and TV. And as the phenomenon grew quickly, Kottke became a well-known filter for surfers on the lookout for interesting reading.
A typical blog by Grillo calls, satirically or otherwise, for the people of Naples and Campania to declare independence, requests that Germany declare war on Italy to help its people (‘We will throw violets and mimosa to your Franz and Gunther as they march through’) or reports on Grillo’s ongoing campaign to introduce a Bill of Popular Initiative to remove from office all members of the Italian parliament who’ve ever had a criminal conviction. The mixture of an insider’s view on gastronomic Paris, conversational, bilingual writing and the sheer irresistibility of her recipes pull in thousands of readers every day. In the article above we wrongly said that Ryan Block founded Engadget and co-founded gadget blog Gizmodo. Defeat turned into victory, however, with the press attention she gathered from the dismissal not only securing victory in an industrial tribunal, but also helping her score a lucrative two-book deal with Penguin. Swelling with advice on online writing, it’s an essential tool for anyone trying to make themselves heard online, whether commenting on a discussion board or putting together a corporate website.
Least likely to post ‘Barack is so, like, gnarly to the max’
Rant isn’t quite the right word for this collection of carefully crafted stories from the sharp end of the service industry in a busy New York restaurant. The world’s most popular blog on gadgets and consumer electronics, Engadget was founded by Peter Rojas in 2004 and won the Web Blogs Awards that year and each year since. Microsiervos
Least likely to post ‘Sometimes you need to chill in a shellsuit’
The Report started life as an email gossip sheet, and then became a trashy webzine with negligible traffic. WoWinsider reports on what’s happening within WoW (‘Sun’s Reach Harbor has been captured’). Mashable
28. Its launch was a landmark moment in the evolution of the web because it showed that many of the old rules still applied to the new medium: a bit of marketing savvy and deep pockets could go just as far as geek credibility, and get there faster. But don’t think that means the omnipresent celeb blog that sends shivers round offices up and down the country on ‘mail-out day’ is slowing down – there has been talk of Holy Moly expanding into TV.
Least likely to post ‘I like babies but I couldn’t eat a whole one’
You want relentless celebrity gossip on tap? TMZ will provide it, and when we say relentless, we mean relentless.
20. Through his blog, he rallied many marchers in 280 Italian towns and cities for his ‘Fuck You’ Day last September. And if something interesting happens in Major League Soccer, we’ll be just as surprised as you.’
6. The incident caused such fierce debate that Dooce found itself turned into a verb that is used in popular parlance (often without users realising its evolution): ‘dooced – to be fired from one’s job as a direct result of one’s personal website’.
In the middle of a career as an adman in New York, Hugh MacLeod found himself doodling acerbic and almost surreal cartoons on the back of people’s business cards to pass the time in bars. Not with self-confessed ‘airline dork’ Brett Snyder, aka Cranky Flier, keeping tabs on their progress. In Lolspeak, human becomes ‘hooman’, Sunday ‘bunday’, exactly ‘xackly’ and asthma ‘azma’. Readers were mesmerised by her unflinching dedication to telling the whole story, no matter how she would be judged. The second most popular blog in Europe and the 13th most popular in the world (according to eBizMBA), Microsiervos concerns itself with science, curiosities, strange reality, chance, games, puzzles, quotations, conspiracies, computers, hacking, graffiti and design. ‘In another country, he would have been the dishwasher in a pizzeria,’ says Grillo.
Least likely to post ‘Log on tomorrow for Kofi Annan’s live webchat’
40. Eight years later Talking Points Memo and its three siblings draw in more than 400,000 viewers a day from their base in New York.
Fashion blogger Susie Lau says Stylebubble is just a diary of what she wears and why.
The history of political blogging might usefully be divided into the periods pre- and post-Huffington. In 2006, SFT used a satellite link at Mount Everest base camp to stream live footage on to YouTube of a demonstration against Chinese Olympic athletes practising carrying the torch there. Angry black bitch
Least likely to post ‘Chocolate’s my favourite flavour of Pop Tart’
Lego reconstructions of pop videos and cakes baked in the shape of iPods are not generally considered relevant to serious political debate. Students for a free Tibet
If a weekly flick through Heat just isn’t enough, then a daily intake of Holy Moly will certainly top up those celeb gossip levels. This, in turn, has led to multiple books and the ability to forge a dream career as a food writer.The name of the blog is, she says, a good metaphor for her cooking style: ‘The zucchini illustrates my focus on healthy and natural eating… Since then, lesbian and bisexual women have moved from the margins on to primetime TV, and this blog analyses the good, the bad and the ugly of how they’re portrayed. It hoovered up traffic. Crooked timber
3. Sharply written and often laugh-out-loud funny, Hecklerspray has been called the British alternative to Perez Hilton, but it’s different in important ways: the emphasis here is on style and wit, with a stated aim to ‘chronicle the ups and downs of all that is populist and niche within the murky world of entertainment’. The F word
A New York blog of ‘snarky’ gossip and commentary about the media industry, Gawker was founded in 2002 by journalist Nick Denton, who had previously helped set up a networking site called First Tuesday for web and media entrepreneurs. It offers the best lady-aimed writing on the web, along with lots of nice pictures of Amy Winehouse getting out of cars.
Least likely to post ‘Revellers at the Earl of Strathdore’s hunt ball’
5. Last year he helped set the agenda after George Bush covertly fired a string of US attorneys deemed disloyal to the White House. Later this year the web will be a critical tool in organising and reporting protests during the games. And there was plenty of drama to watch: within a year her relationship had broken up, and she’d met a new man who wooed her online. Started by lesbian pop-culture guru Sarah Warn in 2002, the name of the site gives a nod to the groundbreaking moment Ellen DeGeneres came out on her hit TV show, Ellen, in 1997. Consistently ranked among the top 20 blogs on Technorati, Treehugger has 10 staff but also boasts 40 writers from a wide variety of backgrounds in more than 10 countries around the world, who generate more than 30 new posts a day across eight categories, ranging from fashion and beauty, travel and nature, to science and technology.
Least likely to post ‘Enough about me – what’s your news?’
Techcrunch began in 2005 as a blog about dotcom start-ups in Silicon Valley, but has quickly become one of the most influential news websites across the entire technology industry. On the other side of the border, in the wilderness, the real nutters start.
Least likely to post ‘Anyone seen these charming croquet mallets?’
To borrow the gold-rush simile beloved of web pioneers, Huffington’s success made the first generation of bloggers look like two-bit prospectors panning for nuggets in shallow creeks before the big mining operations moved in. And the blog recently reported that America’s Homeland Security are – seriously – looking for a terrorist operating within WoW.
Least likely to post ‘Check out Ronaldo’s bubble butt’
29. Founder Michael Arrington had lived through the internet goldrush as a lawyer and entrepreneur before deciding that writing about new companies was more of an opportunity than starting them himself.
49. His site is now ranked the third-most popular blog in the world by search engine Technorati, spawning a mini-empire of websites and conferences as a result. So he is either confused, a hypocrite or a champion of honest non-partisanship – depending on your point of view. He often picks up trends and happenings before friends start forwarding them to your inbox. Holy Moly
At some point during the disputed US election of 2000 – when Al Gore was famously defeated by a few hanging chads – Joshua Micah Marshall lost patience. Investigations have traced the sources back to China, leading to speculation that the Chinese authorities are trying to sabotage the site to stop online critics.
If someone stole your camera, took it out for the night to parties you yourself aren’t cool enough to go to and returned it in the morning, you would probably find it loaded up with pictures like those posted on DirtyDirtyDancing. It launched in January 2000 and has had an immeasurable influence on the style and idiom of blogging. Despite working as a magazine editor, Marshall chose to vent on the web. It was instrumental in exposing the creeping erosion of civil liberties in the US under post-9/11 ‘Homeland Security’ legislation.
Least likely to post ‘Who fancies a game of space invaders?’
Most surveys of web use show a fairly even gender balance online, but political blogging is dominated by men. Peteite Anglaise
One of the early wave of blogging pioneers, web designer Jason Kottke started keeping track of interesting things on the internet as far back as 1998. Recent features include a review of Eurovision failure Daz Sampson’s new single ‘Do A Little Dance’ (‘The listener is invited to muse on the sad inevitability of their own death’) and a furious debate about the future of Girls Aloud
The racing industry is huge in America. In 2003, Maryland also appointed the Thoroughbred its State Horse.
Other oriental horses, especially Arabs, figured in the early development. There is good length from the hip to the stifle. When crossed with native British horses and ponies, the progeny were larger with a longer stride, more scope and more speed.. The hooves are tough. The shoulder is big and muscular and the withers tend to be high.
Thoroughbreds average around 16 hands. Animals with suspect conformation are more likely to ‘break down’ if their action is faulty or their legs insubstantial.
The term ‘Thoroughbred’ has several different meanings. These adoption agencies endeavour to match a horse with a new owner. Thoroughbreds need more protection from the elements than ‘native’ or cross breeds and they usually require supplementary feeding year round.
The breed had its origins in England back in the early 1700s and selective breeding is still going on, resulting in faster and faster times on the race-track.
The thoroughbred has been used to ‘improve’ many breeds.Breeds such as the Hanoverian, Trakenher, Holsteiner and Irish Draught have at least some Thoroughbred blood, thus providing speed, courage and beauty. Eclipse was another to have Darley Arabian blooc. To excel at another discipline, he needs re-training and re-educating so although they may be quite cheap to acquire, an ex-racehorse is not the best mount for an inexperienced rider.
The Byerley Turk gets his name from Captain Robert Byerley who captured the stallion from the Turks. They are highly intelligent, quick and eager to please. Some thoroughbreds are produced purely for disciplines other than racing while some find their way to show-jumping or eventing careers when their racing careers are over. InKentucky, the Thoroughbred was designated the ‘Official State Horse’ in 1996. He was purchased by Thomas Darley in Aleppo, Syria in 1704, shipped to Yorkshire, England and bred to selected racing mares. Initially horse-racing was the pastime of the aristocracy and gentry but its popularity, and the lure of gambling, has seen racing and breeding of the thoroughbred spread to every corner of the globe.
The thoroughbred has a quality and athleticism that has become the benchmark for a perfect equine.
Once past racing, a thoroughbred can face an uncertain future. He will often need supplementary feeding and rugging through cold weather. The stallion was shipped to England and bred to native mares. In the extremes of horse disciplines such as eventing, hunting and show-jumping, professional riders look for at least some thoroughbred blood to provide courage and speed. There are now literally millions of thoroughbreds and they are spread all over the globe.
The Darley Arabian is considered the most important of the three. The nostrils are open and capable of flaring allowing maximum airflow when racing at speed.
Between 1660 and 1750, around 200 horses were imported into England from the Orient. Others are laid back and lovable. Eclipse was another to have Darley Arabian blood. Three of these are recognized as being the foundation sires of the thoroughbred world. Eclipse was never beaten in a race and 90% of all registered thoroughbreds trace back to him.
The head is straight, lean and elegant with large eyes and finely chiseled ears. They are typically more highly strung and temperamental than most other breeds. Although they were once bred not for their looks but purely and simply for their speed, good conformation has an impact on speed and hardiness. Some strains are particularly nervy and highly strung but have been kept on because of their speed. One of his get was Flying Childers, arguably the first really great race-horse. Some thoroughbreds have suspect feet with poor horn, low heels and flat soles.
The most rapid development in improvement of performance took place during the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. Some are only suitable as companion animals.
Thoroughbreds were imported into the United States from the 1730s. However the thoroughbred is also a distinct breed in its own right. It was gifted to the French king and later was taken to England. The three are the Byerley Turk, the Darley Arabian and the Godolphin Arabian. It seems generally agreed that, of these three, only the Darley Arabian was a true Arab, The Byerley was almost certainly a Turkmene type and the Godolphin a Barb.
The ribcage is deep and rounded and the chest wide with plenty of room for heart and lungs.
Thoroughbreds generally need more sensitive, skilled handling. Those that are too small for the race-track find a home on the polo field providing their temperament is not too fiery.
The oriental influence is seen, not only in the refinement and speed of the breed, but also in the fine coat which thickens and lengthens only slightly in the winter. In the horse world, it is also used by people to describe a purebred of a breed. Most warmblood breeds such as the Swiss and Dutch Warmbloods have a large percentage of Thoroughbred blood.
The Godolphin Arabian was foaled in Yemen before going to Syrian then Tunis. One of his most illustrious sons was Herod, who became an important name in the pedigrees of many of the early thoroughbreds.
Today, all thoroughbreds in the General Stud Book, which was established in 1791, trace back to these three foundation sires.
The overall impression is one of elegance, toughness and quality. The thoroughbred has a streamlined body with long, slender legs and strong, muscular hindquarters. The 2nd Earl of Godophin acquired the stallion. If someone says of his dog ‘It’s a thoroughbred’ he is saying that it is a purebred saluki or whippet or whatever. One of his progeny was Matchem, a race-horse par excellence. Thoroughbreds are most often associated with the horse-racing industry although they are also used in many other equestrian disciplines.
There are now a number of rescue organizations that take in ex-racehorses and try to find good homes for them. Eclipse was never beaten in a race and 90% of all registered thirst really great race-horse. There are strict criteria to be met and often an adoption fee is required.
Young thoroughbreds are raced at an early age before their bones have fully developed and leg problems and injuries often arise. Matchem was also noted for his impeccable temperament, a vast improvement on the highly strung, nervous individuals of the day.
The main period of expansion was probably when the 1800s when the thoroughbred found its way to Australia, Europe, Japan and South America. He has been trained to gallop at top speed virtually every time he is saddled and to pass all others if he can
That’s right, 1c per spin. By the way you might have noticed some famous jackpots being offered in the penny slot machines, be assure that all in all playing the jackpot in a 1 penny machine and 1 dollar machine has no difference as the total amount required to gamble to be eligible for the jackpot is the same.
Playing slot machines with only one penny seems awfully cheap. On the other hand, those who like to suck every ounce of edge out of the machine and will never settle for anything than less the maximum payout will find better options elsewhere.
In order to make the players less aware of the cost of playing these slot machines the casinos have come up with 1 penny slot machines. Actually, it is cheap but it is exactly what the casinos want you to think.
The biggest change in modern slot machines is the addition of many more pay lines (a modern slot machine will have at least 20 pay lines and some reach a lot higher) which of course requires many more coins in order to activate all of them. For those who say “play only the minimum lines”, we will remind that in order to win the biggest prizes (and the jackpot, of course if available) you must play the maximum number of lines or your profits will be very slim.
Gone are the days of the simple 3 reel slot machine, today’s machines are gigantic multiline slot machines who have been developed to include any money making trick known in the book. This has become the hottest trend in the casino’s slot machine floor and the low denomination has attracted numerous gamblers who now think that playing slot machines has become much cheaper. Machines exist which will require more than 1500 coin per spin! This makes the average spin cost almost the same as the regular 50c machine.. With machine that costs 50c per spin but offers 20 pay lines, the cost per spin can easily reach 10$, and suddenly the old “pay less win more” slot machine has become a financial burden on the average gambler. The focus though has turned into the multiple pay lines which require multiple points in order to maximize profits. In the comfort department, today’s slot machines have improved to accept dollar bills instead of only coins and can give prizes in the form of redeemable tickets, all in order to make the player as comfortable as possible.
Are Penny slot machines a sucker’s bet? Not necessarily. These machines are perfect for a player who came to the casino with the intention of spending a few hours of fun without committing too much money to the casino
Depending on how a judge rules, it could soon become the first fully functioning — and fully legal — sports book in the country outside of Nevada.
Unfortunately for would-be bettors, not everyone is enamored with the idea of sports betting. And last month NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at a business conference that he was not opposed to the idea of sports betting and expected his league to participate in it at some point
The William Hill Race and Sports Bar would become the William Hill Race and Sports Book. They’re stuck in the past, still believing that betting on sports draws undesirables and is somehow a threat to the integrity of the games themselves.
Right now all they’re selling at the sports bar at Monmouth are food and drinks. 31 before U.S. Chris Christie signed a bill into law approving sports betting, only to see it derailed in court because it conflicts with federal law.
Mostly empty now except on racing weekends at the horse track little more than an hour from Manhattan, it may not stay empty long. “I hope that signals a re-evaluation of what is obviously a mindset that does not comport with 21st Century reality.”
But now the issue is back before a federal judge, and all bets are off. Lawyers for the four leagues and the NCAA will argue Oct. Gov. Daily fantasy sports wagering is exploding online thanks to a loophole in the federal law, and looks very similar to sports betting.
Of that, there is little doubt. “This is an area with some of the most storied franchises in American sports where billions of dollars are already bet on sports illegally.”
It might not be long, though, before you can order an NFL three-teamer to go with that trifecta on the ponies.
“We’re built out and ready to go,” said Joe Asher, who heads operations for betting giant William Hill U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp that the injunction he issued last year upholding the ban should stay in place despite Christie’s announcement that the state would not be involved in regulating the betting.
And the sharp guys from Vegas are poised, ready to jump in when they get the word.
“Obviously we read with great interest Commissioner Silver’s comments,” said Asher, whose company runs more than 100 locations in Nevada and 2,400 shops in the United Kingdom. It might even help rescue Atlantic City casinos that are struggling to attract customers in the wake of casino expansion around the country.
There are some signs that even that may be changing. And that could be a game changer for anyone in New Jersey who likes to have a little action on their favorite team.
For now, though, the NBA and the other major sports leagues are lining up against betting in New Jersey. The online market could explode, much like it is in Nevada where 36 percent of William Hill’s handle comes through bets on its mobile app.
Asher says that if sports betting is allowed in New Jersey it could dwarf the $3.6 billion that was wagered legally on sports last year in Nevada, opening up an entire new industry on the East Coast. “This is a very sizeable market.”
The NFL, meanwhile, holds games every year in London where there are betting parlors on every block offering a line on the action. There’s no shortage of sports fans in the New Jersey/New York area, and bookmakers believe they will line up from opening day on with fistfuls of cash to wager on games.
. They don’t understand that it’s a lot easier to monitor betting trends in legal books than with an illegal bookmaker operating out of a corner bar.
There’s a brand new sports bar at Monmouth Park with televisions hanging from nearly every available rafter.
“I believe the New Jersey market once fully up and going would be at least three times the Nevada market,” Asher said. Betting is limited to the expected finishing position of the horses on the track.
New Jersey residents want it, voting overwhelmingly in 2011 to permit sports betting at race tracks and casinos. An end-run around the federal prohibition of sports betting in all but four states is once again in play.
Should the door open in New Jersey, though, other states will surely follow, much the way they did when Atlantic City became the first place outside of Las Vegas to legalize casino gambling