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December 22, 2011

History of Blackjack

History of Blackjack


There are number of versions of the history of the game of blackjack and where the game originally came from. What is definitely known is that it was already popular and being regularly played in Europe as long ago as the 1600s.
In France there was a game called ‘vingt-et-un’, which is French for ‘21’, which is known to have been played at around this time. This is generally regarded as one of the earliest versions of blackjack. The rules of this game were broadly quite similar to the rules of the modern game. The goal of the game was to have a hand value total of 21 and no higher, for example, so it is likely that it is an earlier version which has changed over time due to casino house and player adjustments and preferences.
There are a couple of versions of how the game came to be called ‘blackjack’. One of these is that the game of ‘vingt-et-un’ gave a bonus payout for a hand which held both an ace and jack of spades, or a ‘black’ jack. It is the top rated hand in the game of ‘vingt-et-un’. Following the French Revolution, the game crossed the Atlantic to the United States where it became very popular. There were no gambling laws at this time so it was a merry free for all for all those involved.
The modern game of blackjack remains hugely popular amongst gamers and many people play it on online casino sites, e.g., It is a fairly easy game to learn and play. Practicing some playing strategies can improve your winning rate if you’re willing to focus your playing behaviour. It is also extremely enjoyable, which is probably why it has remained a popular choice over literally centuries.
December 19, 2011

“Ban Toxic Dispersants Act” Introduced in the House

On December 5th, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the “Ban Toxic Dispersants Act” (H.R. 3562), which would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to establish new procedures for the use of chemical dispersants in oil cleanup efforts. The bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to carry out a new rulemaking procedure to establish baseline levels of toxicity and effectiveness, taking into account a study of the acute and chronic risks posed by the use of dispersants. The EPA would be required to determine whether it is safe to use these dispersants before granting any approvals. The bill includes a temporary moratorium on the use of dispersants until the rulemaking and study ensuring their safety is complete. The EPA, however, could grant conditional approvals if it determines that there will be no negative impact on human health or the environment. The bill would also require that the ingredients and the location of applied dispersants be made available to the public online.

December 19, 2011

Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Call for Input

On December 14th, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees released the Deepwater Horizon Draft Phase I Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (DERP/EA) for public comment. The plan proposes the initial eight projects – two each in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi – to receive funding from the $1 billion Early Restoration Framework Agreement announced by the Trustees and BP on April 21, 2011. The proposed projects include shoreline marsh creation, coastal dune habitat restoration, nearshore artificial reef creation, oyster cultch restoration and construction of boat ramp facilities. The Trustees will hold 12 public meetings in January and February 2012 throughout Gulf Coast communities and in Washington, D.C. to solicit formal public comment on the DERP/EA.

Florida’s meeting will be held on Jan 11 in Fort Walton Beach and Jan 12 in Pensacola.

Visit to view the DERP/EA, access public meeting details, view additional details of the proposed Early Restoration projects, and submit public comment. The public comment period will end February 14, 2012.

December 9, 2011

Workplace Giving Campaign

One environment.  One simple way to care for it.

Workplace giving campaign season is upon us once again!

Fall is the time when many companies promote their workplace giving opportunities.  This is your chance to take advantage of one of the simplest and most convenient ways to give to the Surfrider Foundation.

The Surfrider Foundation is a member of EarthShare, a nationwide network of the most respected environmental and conservation organizations. EarthShare partners with employees and employers across the country to support hundreds of environmental groups through efficient and effective payroll deduction giving and offers a simple way to care for the environment.

Workplace giving is probably the easiest way to make a charitable gift.  If your company offers an EarthShare workplace giving program, you can choose an amount that you wish to have deducted from your paycheck each pay period.  These payroll deductions are fully tax deductible and take place automatically.

Think about it . . . If you get paid every two weeks and choose a payroll deduction of $25 (That’s a half a tank of gas! Or, four large mochas!) from each paycheck, that will translate to a $650 donation by the end of the year.

Through EarthShare’s workplace giving programs, you can elect to contribute only to the Surfrider Foundation or you can donate to all of the environmental and conservation charities you normally support by designating them in your EarthShare gift.

Federal employees and military personnel can get involved too.  Each year, from September to December, the US government offers its employees the chance to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).  Through this workplace giving fundraising drive, Federal and military employees raise millions of dollars that benefit thousands of charities.  EarthShare is a part of many state and municipal government agencies’ giving programs as well.

PLEASE NOTE: Surfrider Foundation’s CFC code is 10642.  For a listing of codes for other charities please visit

If EarthShare is not offered in your campaign, or if there is no campaign at your workplace, you can help us introduce the program to your employer.  Just helping us to arrange a meeting with the decision makers at your company can benefit Surfrider.  To learn more please contact Steve Blank, Surfrider Foundation’s Director of Development at (949) 492-8170.

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