Manfred Mann – The Good Earth

The Good Earth - Album
The Good Earth – Album

The Good Earth (1974)

The Good Earth is an album released in 1974 by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.

Track 1 was originally done by Gary Wright on his second solo-album, while tracks 2 and 3 are originally by Australian progressive rock band Spectrum.

Early owners of one copy of this album were entitled to rights over one square foot of the earth situated at Llanerchyrfa in the County of Brecon, Wales in Great Britain. The inner sleeve included a coupon that had to be sent for registration. This was part of the promotion activities linked to the album that had ecological inspirations. There was no swindle and thousands of fans were registered. Registration could be done on or before 31st December, 1975.


19 Tax-Filing Deals and Freebies for the 2016 Tax Season

 From TurboTax discounts to tax service deals — here’s how to save money on your taxes.

tax-filing deals and freebies 2016 tax season

There are more ways for Americans to file taxes than ever before. Increased competition between filing services and software providers drives up the number of tax-filing deals available in the 2016 tax season. Saving money up front is always good, but when choosing a service remember that tax mistakes made by a cheap provider could cost you far more in the long term.

“Everyone wants to save money during tax season,” said tax accountant Michael Eckstein of “But, that doesn’t mean you should use the cheapest tax preparer or tax software. When hiring a preparer or purchasing software, remember that you often get what you pay for. The cheapest preparer may not be the most knowledgeable and the cheapest program may not work the best.”

Here are 19 tax-filing deals that will help you save the most — and get the most back — when you file your taxes.

Survey: 43% of Americans File Taxes From the Comfort of Their Home

TurboTax Discounts

1. Absolute Zero: About 60 million taxpayers qualify for Absolute Zero. This program is in its second year and lets some taxpayers file both their federal 1040EZ/A and state taxes for free with no hidden fees. To qualify, you must not:

  •      Own a home or rental property
  •      Earn more than $100,000 per year
  •      Profit from the sale of investments
  •      File a 1099 or own a business
  •      Owe money for major medical expenses

2. Deluxe: Designed to help maximize your federal return, TurboTax Deluxe is now $34.99 instead of $54.99. Aside from a free e-file, services include deduction finder, guidance for homeowners, audit risk meter and live on-screen help.

3. Premier: TurboTax has reduced the price of this service, which is geared toward taxpayers with investments and rental properties, from $79.99 to $54.99. Features include rental depreciation examination, donation deductions and the ability to import investment information from thousands of financial firms.

4. Home & Business: Small business owners and sole proprietors can pay the reduced price of $79.99 for this service, which was previously priced at $104.99. Features include employee tax forms, vehicle deductions and small-business deductions.

The above are just for federal taxes — minus Absolute Zero of course — as the additional state filing service is $36.99 instead of $39.99. A representative from TurboTax said no decision has been made about when prices will increase, but Investment News reported that free services often disappear by February, and prices increase again in the last week of March.

H&R Block Discounts

5. Basic: Discounted from $24.99 to $21.24, this service helps taxpayers import their previous year’s data.

6. Deluxe: Reduced from $34.99 to $29.74, the Deluxe option is designed for homeowners and investors.

7. Premium: Aimed at people who are self employed or who own rental properties, this service has been reduced from $49.99 to $42.49. State filing is an additional fee of $36.99 with Premium filing.

All discounts are valid until April 18. Both Deluxe and Premium come with a 10 percent bonus if you choose to put some or all of your federal refund on a gift card, giving you even more money back. Basic offers a 5 percent bonus if you choose to put some or all of your federal refund on a gift card.

TaxAct Discounts

8. Free state and federal 1040EZ/A: For those filing simple 1040EZ/A forms, both federal and state returns are free.

9. State returns for just $14.99: Optional state returns are $14.99, compared to $36.99 at TurboTax and H&R Block.

Although there is no price increase currently scheduled, TaxAct reserves the right to raise prices. Their Price Lock Guarantee, however, ensures that you will pay the same price that was quoted to you when you began the process, no matter when you choose to file.

Even Bigger Discounts

10. FreeTaxUSA: FreeTaxUSA offers a Free Edition for cost-free federal filing, and a Deluxe Edition that includes extra services like free amending and priority customer support for just $5.95. Both services offer optional state services for just $12.95.

Learn: How to Get a Tax Extension

Income-Based Discounts

11. MyFreeTaxes: Backed by the United Way and H&R Block, MyFreeTaxes offers free federal filing for taxpayers who earn less than $62,000 a year.

12. ezTaxReturn: This service offers free federal filing for taxpayers who earn less than $60,000 a year and live in a qualifying state.

Military Discounts

13. Taxslayer: This service offers 50 percent off both federal and state tax returns for active-duty personnel using Classic or Premium services.

14. TurboTax: Military members get free federal and state filing with Free or Deluxe editions when filing E1 — E5. It also includes at least $5 off Premiere or Home & Business editions, as well as all federal products for E6 and up. Just use your military W-2 to verify your rank and your discount will be applied once you file.

More Tax Software Deals and Coupons

15. Fidelity: Up to $20 off TurboTax, both online and desktop versions, to both Fidelity customers and non-Fidelity customers. TurboTax/Fidelity link here.

16. TurboTax: RetailMeNot offers 10 percent off TurboTax products. This deal is on top of the already-reduced price. Although there is no set expiration date, the deal is good for a limited time and no coupon code is needed.

17. TaxSlayer: Go to and enter the coupon code: DALE12 at checkout for 20 percent off your entire order, courtesy of RetailMeNot.

18. OnePriceTaxes: Go to and enter the coupon code RETAILMENOT at checkout for 50 percent off federal and state filing, courtesy of RetailMeNot.

19. RetailMeNot offers $5 off. Simply enter the coupon code EZMA77 at checkout.

5 Ways to Save Even More Money on Your Taxes

While these deals, discounts and freebies will help you save when filing your taxes this year, don’t forget about the extra tax deductions and credits that might apply to your situation. From going green to medical expenses —  and a lot in between — there are many tax write-offs you don’t want to miss. Related: Tax Deductions 2016: List of 50 Tax Write-Offs You Don’t Know About



Did You Know? Facts & Figures About the Holiday of Easter

Facts & Figures About the Holiday of Easter

Did you know that religion historians believe that the holiday of Easter originated with the pagan diduknow-easterfestival of Eastre, a Saxon celebration of spring and fertility?

Did you know that thousands of Christian pilgrims converge on Jerusalem every year to celebrate the Holy Week of Easter?

Did you know that Ash Wednesday gets its name from the practice of painting ashes on the forehead as a sign of repentance?

Did you know that in Russia, Easter eggs are dyed on Holy Thursday?

Did you know that in Greece, children and adults alike play an egg cracking game called tsougrisma on Easter?

Did you know that Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon of the vernal equinox?

Did you know that the trumpet shape of the Easter Lily is considered symbolic of the heralding of Jesus on his triumphant entry into Jerusalem?

Did you know that 95 percent of the world’s Easter Lilies are produced by just ten growers along the California-Oregon border?

Did you now that Palm Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday in many Orthodox churches?

Did you know that in many Catholic churches, Good Friday services begin at precisely 3 o’clock?

Did you know that Americans eat more candy at Easter than at any other holiday besides Halloween?

Did you know that the most popular Easter confection is Marshmallow Peeps?

Did you know that eating Easter candy is a relatively modern tradition?

Did you know that the most popular treat to hide inside an Easter egg is jellybeans?

Did you know that over one billion Easter eggs are hunted every year in America?

Did you know that ham is the most commonly served meat at Easter dinners in America?

Get the Full Story Here at


And Then There’s Homer!

Pope Homer
Pope Homer – Save Me Jebus

See Homer on YouTube


Big Video Poker Winner Today at Ray’s!

Check This Out!

Screen Shots of a Straight Flush Video Poker Winner
Straight Flush Paid $518.00 on a 25 Cent Bet!

Big Winner $518.00!
Big Winner $518.00!
Big Video Poker Winner Today at Ray's!
Big Video Poker Winner Today at Ray’s!
Straight Flush Video Poker Winner!
Straight Flush Video Poker Winner!
Straight Flush Paid $518.00!
Straight Flush Paid $518.00!

Video Poker Royal Flush Odds

Don’t let video poker royal flush odds confuse you. The biggest misconception is that a slot machine or video poker machine will hit a jackpot after a certain number of hands. Nothing is further from the truth.

A video poker machine is not programmed to run a certain number of hands and make sure the casino wins a certain amount of money. No. All possible hands are programmed so the RNG (Random Number Generator) will pick one at a time and the odds paid for each winning hand are determined by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB). Soon you will be able find the exact payout percentage of every gaming location (as set by the IGB) in Illinois at a new website named What is the payout percentage at Ray’s Slots?

Video Gaming Terminals at Ray’s Slots Payout is Greater Than 94%

This leaves the gambler playing a game that has a house-set edge, just like all games the casinos offer. And like the other games you just might get lucky and beat the odds, or get beat by them. A video poker machine uses a standard 52-card deck. Based on all the possible five-card hands that can be dealt, the odds of having a royal flush dealt to you are 649740 to 1. Because video poker allows a player to draw additional cards (one time per hand), the odds of hitting a royal flush on a standard Jacks or Better game are about 40,390.

Simple Example

If you play 300 hands per hour of video poker, you will hit a royal flush about every 133 hours. If you play 10 hours a weekend, you will average one royal flush every 3 months. However, with a hand that only hits one time out of 40,000 your variance can be quite large. You might not hit a royal for a year or you could hit one twice in an evening.

Think of this like a bucket of sand with 40,000 grains in it. 39,999 of the grains are white. One grain is black and pays the royal flush. One grain pops out of the bucket every time you bet, and after the hand it is put back in the bucket and the bucket is shaken and a new grain pops out.


Be a Winner this Leap Year!

Be a Winner this Leap Year!
Be a Winner this Leap Year!


“A day of unlocked potential.

Will you or won’t you? Should you or shouldn’t you?

Use this day to do something daring, extraordinary and unlike yourself. Take a chance and shape a different pattern in your personal cloud of probability!”
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration


“Every leap year I like to jump. It’s a good way to get my daily exercise in every four years.”
Jarod Kintz, Seriously delirious, but not at all serious


Leap Day 2016

Five Things You didn’t Know About Leap Day

A Few Facts About Leap Day
A Few Facts About Leap Day

Surrounded in history and superstition, February 29 only comes once every four years— and we have one Monday. Here are a few facts about leap day.

Bachelor’s Day

In Ireland, February 29 is Bachelor’s Day – a traditional holiday when women propose to men. Scotland began the tradition in 1288 by passing a law permitting women to propose and if refused, the man had to pay a fine. Now, the tradition is just an amusing historical tidbit.

Gregorian calendar roots 

Pope Paul III, the last of the Renaissance popes, was born on a leap day in 1468. Interestingly enough, it was another pope who established the Gregorian calendar – Pope Gregory XIII.

Julius Caesar introduced the idea, but the math he used wasn’t quite right, creating too many leap years. Essentially, every 400 years, we ended up with three extra days, so to compensate, centuries must be divisible by 400 to count as leap years. Years like 1700, 1800 and 1900 are only 365 days long, rather than 366.

Leap day babies

The chances of having a birthday on a leap day are about one in 1,461, according to BBC.

Leap year babies, called leaplings, are said to have unusual talents by astrologers.

Two women have given birth to three leap day babies, according to the New York Daily News. The Henriksen family from Norway had their children on leap days in 1960, 1964 and 1968. The most recent family to tie the record is the Estes family from Utah. Their children were born in 2004, 2008 and 2012. So, depending on how you look at it, the children will celebrate their third, second and first birthdays this year.

Even more rare, the eighth premier of Tasmania, James Milne Wilson, was born on a leap day and died on a leap day in the 1800s, according to the World Heritage Encyclopedia.

In order to gain the cooperation of the indigenous people of Jamaica, Christopher Columbus used the lunar eclipseon February 29, 1504, to his advantage, according to the BBC. The local chiefs decided to stop helping his crew with the food and provisions they had been supplying, so he told them that God was going to punish them by painting the moon red. During the eclipse, Columbus said God would end the punishment if they cooperated. The chiefs agreed to continue giving them supplies, and of course the lunar eclipse ended.

The first warrants of the Salem witch trials were issued on February 29, 1692. The trials continued until early 1693 and resulted in the execution of 20 people and the death of seven others in jail, reported.

On February 29, 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first black woman to win an Oscar, according to She was awarded for her role in Gone With the Wind.