VLTs do not make the province any money

    Posted on: Friday, August 20th, 2010

This according to Rick Fifield, a credit councillor and security company owner who’s seen the darker side of how VLTs often play out in people’s lives.

Fifield recently told the CBC “When you take a look at your costs — loss of life, the cost of jobs, the cost to employers — if you do a cost benefit analysis, what you’re going to find is that you’re not making any money.”

He’s been trying to find some hard numbers on what the probability of winning is on these machines through the province’s Access to Information and Privacy Protection Act, but he, like the VLT players he far too often encounters through his line of work, hasn’t been having much luck.

Meanwhile, check out the wording on the Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s website on the matter:

Payout percentages vary per game, but all range between 93-95%. This means that 93-95% of all money played is returned to players in prizes, in varying amounts. The payout percentage is higher than the actual cash-out percentage because consumers play the prizes they win in order to extend their play.

In other words: people are so addicted to the sensation of gambling that they’re rarely able to stop until the money’s all gone — we know this, and we’re comfortable with it.

Enter our draw for a free case of your fave QV beer!

    Posted on: Thursday, August 19th, 2010

We’ve given away precisely 66 bottles of fresh and delicious Quidi Vidi beer this summer, and we’re about to give away a dozen more!

Every Friday from 430pm to 8pm it’s happy hour at Quidi Vidi Brewery. They’ve got drink specials, live music, and for one lucky Signal reader a free case of their favourite QV beer!

Every week, all summer long we’re giving you the chance to win.

All you have to do to enter is answer this skill testing question: what is your favourite Quidi Vidi beer?

Leave your answer as a comment here and you’ll be entered into Friday’s 4pm draw.

It’s that simple.

Photo via Lyndon Keating's flickr stream. Thanks Lyndon!

Note: all comments must be accompanied by a valid e-mail address (we don’t collect that stuff in any way, but it helps keep the number of repeat entries down to a minimum, which is only fair).

Tragically hipster

Drat! 1400 other websites have already taken that pun!
    Posted on: Thursday, August 19th, 2010

image via paperkraft.blogspot.com/

So I made a bit of a mistake in a Signal article I wrote last week. Remember when your parents told you “never mention politics or religion at the dinner table”? Well they forgot to warn me about not mentioning hipsters, either.

Now mind you, I actually wasn’t making fun of hipsters. I was just describing them in an effort to better frame the context of the article. But even that upset some readers, who were concerned I was leaping on what is apparently a band-wagon of hipster critique.

The rally of the hipsters surprised me. And intrigued me. Do Canadians love hipsters? Or hate them? Was I losing my connection with the zeitgeist of my own pop culture? And what do pandas have to do with any of this?

I needed to know more.

Continue reading Tragically hipster…

Video of orcas killing another minke whale

    Posted on: Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

YouTuber 126Sparkle has uploaded this video footage of orcas doing the dance of death with a minke whale in Trinity Bay yesterday.

A pod of orcas tore apart and devoured a minke whale before the very eyes of a tour boat’s passengers and crew south of St. John’s in Tors Cove just last week.

Time for a sequel, maybe?

Filmed on location in Terra Nova, NL!

No sidewalks? No problem. Mind the car!

    Posted on: Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

I have to laugh at the people who thought the lack of sidewalk at this intersection was a good idea.

Here’s how I imagine the meeting behind this decision might have gone down:

Government Worker 1: “We need a way to force pedestrians to visit the interpretation center on their way up Signal Hill.”

Gov. Worker 2: “Well, we could put more funding into the arts community and put a call out to all the creative individuals in the city for new works. That should draw a crowd.”

Gov. Worker 3: “Hrm… that’ll cost a lot of money though. What about a detour?!”

I walk Signal Hill on a semi-regular basis. It’s a nifty little inner-city hike that can really beat the snot out of you, but if you pace yourself it’s the best leisurely walk in the city.

We park at the Battery Hotel then go out around the hill, over the top and back down again via Signal Hill Road to our car.

But there are dangers.

There’s one corner in particular where even with the sidewalk I’ve almost been knocked down twice.

Heck, even just seconds after I took this photo a school bus cut that very corner too tight and its wheel popped the sidewalk. If I’d not been paying attention he’d have clipped me, and considering the speed he was going I’d be lucky to be alive.

Which is why I find it kind of absurd that the people in charge of this re-routing plan — in a bid to force people into the interpretation center, it would seem — also decided that a sidewalk just wasn’t in the budget.

Brilliant work.