We report on a series of measurements on the microscopic structure and the magneto-optical properties of a calamitic liquid crystalline compound in its nematic phase. Structural studies show the existence of short-range, tilted smectic order consistent with pretransitional effects above an underlying smectic phase. Concomitantly, magneto-optical results exhibit the existence of an optic axis not collinear with the uniaxial director. This apparent biaxial nature is discussed within the context of coupling between the tensor nematic and the smectic order parameters.
We test the NBA betting market for efficiency and find that totals lines are significantly biased early each season, yet sides lines do not show a similar bias. While market participants generally force line movements in the correct direction from open to close, they do not fully remove the identified bias in totals lines. This inefficiency enables a profitable technical trading strategy, as the resulting win rate of our proposed simple betting strategy against the closing totals line is 56.72%.