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Desus & Mero On Their New Book, How They’d Moderate A Presidential Debate, And The Despair Of Being A Knicks Fan

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The brand isn’t just strong, it’s durable, with Kid Mero and Desus Nice moving operations of their Showtime late-night comedy series to the virtual space with enviable shoe walls and socially distanced humor that, to be honest, hums and roars like the show did when they were in studio together. It’s something Mero told us is a benefit of a long comedy partnership where the two only rely on each other for any kind of feedback. “No matter where you put us, audience, no audience, 20 people, 5,000 people, you’re still going to get the same kind of vibe. So it works in any format.” But will it work in book form? All signs point to yes with Desus & Mero pulling from a lifetime of experiences and lessons learned from their Bronx upbringing to create God-Level Knowledge Darts (out 9/22), a legitimately on-brand book that could comfortably live in either the comedy or self-help section.

We spoke to the comedy team about the book, stumping lawyers during legal review of the drug chapter, their differing POVs, and navigating life in lockdown. And with Donald Trump insinuating that he’d like to have Joe Rogan moderate a four-hour Presidential debate, we had to ask about what a Desus & Mero-hosted debate would look like.

I don’t know if you saw the news but apparently there’s some effort to get Joe Rogan to host a four-hour debate between Biden and Trump. You guys want to put your hat in the ring to host a debate? You want to go five hours?

Desus: Hell yeah! Hell yeah. Because every time you watch a debate, you have professional journalists and they’re very respectful. And they’re like, “Your time. Your time. You’ve gone over.” If me and Mero were there, it would be like, “Yo, shut the fuck up, my man!”

Mero: “Yo, shut the fuck up! Yo, you’re done! Yo, you’re done.”

Desus: “Cut his mic off. Yo, my man, I will come up there. I will come up on that stage, keep playing with me.” It will be the first debate where one of the candidates is speaking you just hear, “yo, who’s mans is this!?”

Mero: I’ll go straight into the Dominican Dad Mode. I’ll take my belt off, I’ll be like, “Yo, I told you your time was the fuck up. Get away from the mic and let somebody else speak.”

Desus: “Yo, this nigga lying, your honor.” It’d be wild. It would be wild. Also, it’d be the only debate where they’re talking about fracking or something very important, and all of a sudden you just hear, “DER-EK JE-TER [Claps] DER-EK JE-TER [Claps].” We stop broadcasting the debate, we just talking about Yankee highlights. “Hey, Mero, remember Mike Mussina?”

Mero: Whoo. “Remember Tino Martinez? That guy, oh, that was a stud right there. Incredible field presence.”

Desus: “Oh, he had such a vision. Listen. Listen. When he was at bat it was epic.”

Yeah, I want that. It’s going to beat anything Rogan could do, anything anybody else could do. Let’s make that happen.

Mero: You know what I’m saying? Rogan would have to smoke DMT to get to our level if we went on there. He would have to do that, he would have to do whatever he does on his podcast, smoke ayahuasca before he does this shit to even touch what we’re doing. [Laughs]

I know they’re talking about wanting to drug test the candidates if they can actually make sure that whoever hosts it is high as fuck, that would be the way to go.

Desus: You see? They’re talking about drug testing the candidates. If we were hosting it, it’d be a cipher. It’d be the first debate that’s in a hotbox. Instead of just asking questions, we’re just standing around, we’re just passing the wild-l to Joe Biden. He’s passing it to Donald Trump, Donald Trump’s like, “What is this?”

Mero: [Trump impression] “Wow, it’s a presidential Kush. Wow. Some acid. Whoa.”

Desus: Biden’s like, “Whoa, you got me feeling like I’m back on the Amtrak. Whoa.”

Mero: We’re doing it all in a Buick LeSabre with a GoPro. That’s it. [Laughs]

With the relationships, kids, and the money stuff… Obviously, this book was written months and months ago. How do you think this all applies to now with everything in the new-new, post COVID world?

Desus: Speaking for myself, everything has kind of changed but the basics are the same. The thing with COVID is it’s made your reality different. Because now you could possibly get into an altercation with someone because they’re not wearing a face mask. That’s nothing I’ve ever had to worry about ever in my life. And it’s just kind of using what you were born and raised with in The Bronx and your life experience and just kind of applying it now. Things that might have mattered more before COVID don’t really matter now. I have a great sneaker collection but where am I wearing these sneakers to? I’m throwing on a brand new pair of Jordans to go get an Amazon package? That’s not fun. But yeah, this is the new reality.

Last time we talked, I asked you about sneaker budgets and setting the level. You said get a new pair when I write a big piece, and I do that now and there’s no point.

Mero: Instagram!

Desus: Yeah, but even Instagram is like… It’s not the same. The flex is gone, that’s the side effect of corona. It stole the flex.

It is. Mero, how is it affecting your family life and relationship and everything being at home?

Mero: Yo. Yo, you put it on the tee for me, bro. That’s why this book is so perfect, because you get two sides of everything almost, you know what I mean? Because our life’s like, we’re boys and we vibe super heavy but our lifestyles are different, you know what I mean? With the book, you get both sides of life essentially. So for me, it’s not about going out on dates and getting the right outfit together or whatever. It’s more like, yo, how are me and my wife going to keep from murdering each other while being on top of each other all the time? You know what I mean? Because a normal marriage is like, yo, you have your day, I have my day, we reconnect throughout the day or whatever. But now, it’s just 24 hours real world. Like Big Brother, we’re in the house all the time, 24/7 and it’s taught me a lot of patience and understanding, a lot more talking. You know what I mean?

So I want to say surviving the pandemic relationship-wise is just about communicating and not taking shit personally and understanding. Like, this is a weird situation and everybody’s reacting differently. My wife likes to go outside and go hiking and walking and jogging and this and that and she was losing her mind, getting stir-crazy. So I didn’t take any type of, “oh, I’m upset about something or I’m moody” or whatever… I didn’t take it personally. I was like, “I understand your life has been thrown off-kilter, mine has as well so we’re both going to be a little snippy sometimes.” And just understanding that and working together to get past that and not taking stuff personally.

Showtime

Like you said, you guys live different lives. What did you learn about each other and how you process things going through each other’s sections of the book?

Desus: I mean it was kind of stream of consciousness so it really felt like just talking to Mero or just a conversation.

You went back and forth or was it you did a section and then he had his section?

Desus: It was weird.

Mero: It was a list of self-help questions.

Desus: They just meshed together because we’ve worked together so much that it’s just kind of… We know each other’s vibes and we already know what it was. Other authors would have had to be in the room together so there’s some continuity. And we didn’t have to do that.

Mero: We worked in a Google doc.

Desus: I mean I don’t want to brag but the last time two different authors were able to get together and make a comprehensive book, it’s a little thing called the Bible. So that’s where we’re at. That’s where we’re at, right there. And that was 66 books, you know what I’m saying? We got one.

Mero: We got one so we got 65 more to go.

Desus: So I’m not saying but I’m saying, you know what I’m saying here, all right?

Hey, listen, I read 60 pages of your book and I want to keep going. I read 60 pages of the other book and…

Mero: You were like, “yo, where are we going here? What’s this sheep thing? What’s going on?”

Desus: Yeah, there’s plot holes, they’re talking to a lion in a pit, we don’t got nothing in our book like that.

What was the legal review like for this? The drug section was interesting, getting the allegedly-s in.

Desus: That email was hilarious because there’s so many things that had to be redacted from the book. And then just the emails where they were just like, “I don’t even know if this is a crime” or “what is this?”

Mero: What’s the statute of limitations?

I want to ask you guys a basketball question real quick. Giannis and the whole IG unfollow spree. As a Knicks fan, does that just get your hope up that this means he might be leaving the Bucks?

Mero: Yes and no. We are lifelong Knicks fans so we’re going to hope, right? But that’s also like hoping that Batman is real, you know what I mean? We know it’s not going to happen but we’re going to pretend it’s going to happen because we’re riding that Knicks cocaine high that you ride every off-season as a Knicks fan. And then when the season actually starts and you’re… Last season was a perfect example, it was supposed to be Zion, KD, and Kyrie. We ended up with Julius Randle who has a spin move that never works. So…

Desus: Yeah. You know what? Being a Knicks fan… This might not be the right comparison. I feel like being a Knicks fan is like being the father of an ugly child, you love this kid and you will do anything in your power for this kid. But every now and then you walk to the park and you’re like, god damn, it’s not going to get better.

I grew up as a Yankees fan but I switched to the Orioles a few years ago. And it’s so different because you go from that mentality of watching every other team and being like, “in a few years, we’re gonna get him” to basically like, “oh, he’s leaving? Oh, HE’s leaving? Oh, he got traded?” I do miss that New York sensibility. I’m a Bulls fan too, so I still get that a little.

Desus: Well, what’s super weird is as Yankee fans, the Yankees have been kind of floundering lately and I’m just like, all right, season’s done. Forget it. Because if it’s not a World Series, why are we even doing this? I don’t care if they make the playoffs. And my other friends go, “Wow, you Yankee fans are jerks,” and I was like, “And proudly so, Sir. Proudly, sir.”

Mero: Yeah. You got people in the mentions like, “I’m a Pirates fan! I don’t even know what success is like! You guys go to the ALCS every year!”

Desus: I’m like, “Oh, Pirates fan? You have it rough? We haven’t been in the World Series since ’09!” They’re like, “No, you don’t even understand what you just said.” I was like, “’09! That was a long time ago.”

Mero: They’re like, “Sir, please. We haven’t won since 1922.”

But the Knicks balance it out.

Desus: Exactly. Imagine us if the Knicks won four championships in a row, you understand? We would not be able to be on Zoom because our heads would be so swollen. “Hey Mero, hey Mero. I’m Patrick Ewing, four rings!”

Mero: Yeah! You know that picture of Jordan where he’s with the rings [and his hand is] on his face? We would do that. That would be every cover for everything that we ever do.

Desus: Yo, every time we’d have an interview we’d stop to talk about the greatness of the greatest shooting guard ever in the history of basketball, John Starks. You want that? You want that? Huh?

I really don’t want that.

Desus: You want us to do a 10 minute retrospective about Derek Harper? Nah, you guys don’t want this. You guys don’t want that.

Again, I grew up as a Bulls fan living in Jersey so that era the mid-’90s with Starks and Greg Anthony and all those guys… Charles Smith.

Desus: That was one of the few times we saw real basketball as Knicks fans.

It was fun, but man, if you guys won even a playoff game, it was insufferable.

Mero: Bro.

I got into a fight once on the Circle Line, me and a bunch of kids in Bulls Jerseys throwing garbage at a bunch of kids in Knicks jerseys.

Desus: I love it. I love that. Yes.

Mero: We need that energy.

Desus: We don’t have that energy anymore. Now you leave Madison Square Garden, you think you’re leaving a funeral. People get in their Ubers and you just hear soft weeping, it’s just sad.

‘God-Level Knowledge Darts’ is out September 22. You can get your copy here and below you can check out an audio chapter preview from the book’s section on relationships –courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio — narrated by the authors.

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The Advantages of Online Casino Welcome Bonuses

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When it comes to online gambling, the industry is thriving in 2020. Although casinos are banned in many countries, people still find ways to enjoy their favorite games of chance. However, considering the level of competition on the market, it may be difficult for a beginner to find a good online platform and take advantage of all offers. In this article, you will learn the benefits of casinos’ welcome bonuses.

What Is a Sign-Up Bonus?

As we have already established, the industry is growing rapidly and companies are desperately looking for new ways to attract customers. A welcome bonus is often used by online casinos to get new leads and players in the future. However, the best casino bonuses can be easily used to the player’s advantage. Here are the main reasons you should not neglect this offer.

  1. It saves your money

Quite obvious, right? Well, this is the main reason why you should always use welcome bonuses in online gambling: it is always better to not risk your own money. It is especially true for beginners. Since they have no experience, it is fairly common for beginners to lose their initial investment and be done with gambling for good. However, if you use your welcome bonus as a way of getting the basics skills, the chances of success will rise significantly.

  1. It allows you to try several games

Another common issue beginners face is a lack of understanding of which types of games they want to try: slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, etc. If you use your sign-up bonus, you will be able to play several games and choose the ones you like better. Moreover, you can take advantage of a welcome bonus on several online gambling platforms. That way you will try out even more options.

  1. It will make future gambling more profitable

Besides beneficial sign-up bonuses, good online casinos usually have great loyalty programs. For instance, the company may double up to five first deposits on the platform. If you invest 100 USD, you will get 200 USD to your account. More money — more games — more chances of winning.

Although a welcome bonus is a great way of upping your gambling game, there are a few things you should pay attention to. Firstly, a good bonus does not equal a good platform. Before choosing a casino, make sure that the company is legal and trustworthy. Since there are many scams right now, it is essential if you want to save your money. Moreover, check the available deposit/withdrawal methods and their terms.

We hope that this article has shown the true power of online casinos’ welcome bonuses and how you can use them to your own advantage. Follow our tips while choosing a platform and enjoy the best gambling experience.

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3 Key Mistakes to Avoid When Playing Blackjack

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Blackjack is the most popular casino game in the world. The card game, sometimes referred to as ‘21’, accounts for an average of 31 percent of all casino table traffic – this is consistent both online and in physical casinos. For reference, the second most popular is roulette (24%) followed by poker (21%).

It’s easy to understand blackjack’s popularity. It’s a simple game to grasp and offers players a mix of luck and skill: luck in the cards that are drawn, skill over how those cards are dealt and a player’s eventual hand. Compare that to roulette, which is based entirely on luck, and poker, which has a huge skill element to it.

However, while the beauty of blackjack is in its simplicity, there are also a number of complexities to the game, and as is the case with almost anything in life, you learn more from mistakes than successes.

With that in mind, here are three key mistakes to avoid when playing blackjack that can significantly increase your chances of winning, while limiting your losses.

Choosing the Wrong Table

Before a single card is drawn, being at the wrong table – whether live or online – is the first mistake to avoid.

First of all, each blackjack table will have different minimum bet requirements so avoid choosing one that is out of your budget. For instance, if you choose a table with a $100 minimum bet and your budget is $200, you might only play two hands.

Secondly, check the payout odds on the blackjack table. These are typically 6:5 and 3:2 and will affect how much gets paid out when you hit blackjack and land other bonus wins. Where possible, choose a 3:2 table as it pays out higher.

Thirdly, choose between a virtual and a live table. This is not so much a mistake to avoid but more comes down to personal preference. Virtual tables allow players to play against an automated computer, so you can play at your own pace, while live tables are usually quicker paced as human dealers are keen to move the game along.

When to Hit and Stand

As a general rule, most blackjack players know to hit when the hand is 12 and to stand when the hand equals 17. However, there are plenty of variables to consider that could influence when to hit and stand. Getting these right can really boost your chances of beating the house, while getting it wrong could prove costly.

One key move to implement is to always hit on a soft 17 – when the two cards are an ace and a six. This means that if you draw a 10 or picture card (jack, queen, king), then you convert your hand into a hard 17. It also gives greater flexibility if you draw a smaller value card as the ace can be used as a one.

While many players adopt a strict ‘never bust’ policy, meaning they always stand when their hand equals 12 or more, this can be ill-advised as it depends almost entirely on the dealer going bust.

Instead, analyze the value of your two cards compared to the dealer’s first card and weigh up the risk factor in drawing another card before the dealer draws their second. As a strict rule, if your first two cards equal 17 or more, then stand – anything else can be hit depending on the situation.

When to Split and Double

If you are playing in a blackjack tournament, either online or live, learning when to split and double can make all the difference to your chances of success. The same also applies to individual games of blackjack.

Click here to check the best tips on blackjack tournament strategies: https://extra.betamerica.com/casino-news/blackjack-tournaments-rules-strategy-and-where-to-find-them/

Splitting is when you split two cards when dealt the same value cards, so a pair of eights for example. Doubling is when you are given the option to double your bet after being dealt your initial two cards.

While it can be tempting to split and double at every opportunity to increase your winning, doing at the right time is the key.

It is not recommended to split when:

  • You are dealt two picture cards or two 10s
  • You are dealt two 9s
  • You are dealt two 5s
  • The dealer holds a 10 or picture card

It is best to split when:

  • You are dealt two 8s
  • You are dealt two aces
  • The dealer holds a 5 or 6 (as this is the highest probability of a bust)

Similar to knowing when to hit and stand, take a brief moment to assess the dealer’s drawn card compared to your own two cards and determine whether the probabilities are in your favour.

Likewise, knowing when to double down – when not to double down – can change the complexities of your blackjack game. A simple rule to know when to double is if your two cards equal 10 and the dealer’s card is between 2-9. Additionally, if you hold an ace, you can consider a double as these have the flexibility of playing as 11 or 1. But if the dealer’s card is an ace, ignore the double.

Conclusion

Blackjack may be a simple game but there are some important strategies to keep in mind next time you head to the virtual or live table. The game itself is still rooted in luck so there are never any guarantees to long-term success. However, by keeping these three important rules in mind, you can at least avoid making avoidable mistakes.

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Top 5 Entertainment Activities for College Students

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The life of college students is sometimes too complicated. They have to face tons of homework assignments that steal their time. Many students get stressed because of continuous learning. They seem to forget how to relax. If you’re a busy student, you should remember that you’re still young and shouldn’t waste this precious life stage. You can undertake some entertainment activities sometimes. Take your friends and organize funny games to unwind and let off some pressure. We asked writing experts from a professional essay service Smart Writing Service to share their ideas and provide you with top-5 entertainment activities for college students you may like. 

Who Are You?

Students, especially freshmen, don’t know each other perfectly. They may be taken by surprise when some of them tell something quite unexpected about their hobbies, preferences, and so on. If you want to know other students better, suggest playing a game called “Who Are You”.

Form at least three teams. If there are many folks, you can form more teams. Choose a speaker of the game. It may be even one of your teachers or professors. All groups will be given topics to discuss. The speaker is supposed to announce a new topic every few minutes. You may discuss and answer the following topics:

  • What is the greatest challenge you are facing?
  • What do you like or hate most about yourself?
  • What is your greatest value in life?
  • What emotions do you express easily?
  • What is the most valuable thing in friendship?
  • Who you want to become in five years?
  • What is your major objective for next year?
  • Is there something you want to improve about yourself?
  • What motto do you try to live by?
  • Where would you like to travel?
  • If you were to study abroad, what country would that be?

Students should write their answers on index cards. The speaker should gather the answers of every student and shuffle them. Afterward, he/she redistributes them randomly to students. Each person should guess whose card he/she is holding. Play this game after you spend some time together and already know at least something about one another.

Sentence Completion

Another fun activity is “Sentence Completion.” Most people like it because it’s commonly accompanied by laughter and good mood. It’s necessary to prepare a list of sentences. Those sentences should have a beginning, but with no end. Every student should finish the sentence he/she gets. Oftentimes, students give funny answers. At times, they are quite serious, and we can learn something important about other students. Here are several sentence beginnings you may choose:

  • Before I came to college, I was interested in…
  • When I was a child, I wanted to become…
  • The best moment I remember most about high school is…
  • My favorite pet is…
  • The things I value most are…
  • Five years from now I hope to be…
  • My greatest personality trait is…
  • My favorite subject at high school was…
  • If I could change one thing in the world, it would be…
  • My greatest fear is…
  • After I graduate from college, I…

The Reception Line

You may likewise try another entertaining activity for college students. It is called “The Reception Line.” Gather all the mates eager to participate. Divide yourselves into two groups. If you form more, it won’t fit the rules of the game. Each person talks to the person in front of him/her until he/she must move. The person at the end of one line goes to the end of the other line. This method makes it possible to meet new people. Thus, students will learn more about each other. You can make shifts every next topic or set a limit. For example, the pair should discuss 5 topics and afterward move to change partners. Here are some interesting topics to discuss:

  • Where would you like to travel?
  • What motto do you try to follow?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What music do you like?
  • What is your favorite hobby?
  • Why did you choose this college?
  • What do you like about college life the most?

Take Sides

You can likewise suggest a game, which offers only two options. It’s called “Take Sides.” Create a list of questions with two answers. Students should obligatorily choose one of them. Afterward, you may discuss the answers. Let everyone explain his/her choices. Thus, you’ll learn more about each other, and it will bring you closer. Here are several suggestions:

  • Watermelon or banana?
  • Sweat or bitter?
  • Short trips every weekend or a journey around the world for three months?
  • Partying or hiking?
  • Listen or speak?
  • Rock or pop?
  • Morning or night?
  • Superman or Batman?
  • Robocop or Terminator?
  • Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings?
  • Los Angeles or New York?
  • Liberal or conservative?
  • American football or ice hockey?

My Most Embarrassing Moment

You can likewise tell each other about the most embarrassing moments. It’s important to be honest and don’t imagine a story that never took place. All the participants should agree on this term. Commonly, it is a very entertaining activity. Students tell funny stories they’ve been through. It commonly makes them closer.

These activities for college students are very simple to follow. They are really entertaining. Mind that we have mentioned only 5 of them. However, you can try a hundred activities more. Use our examples to have fun and relax. They may inspire you and your friends to look for other entertaining activities.

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