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Utopia recap: Episode 1, ‘Life Begins’

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Utopia episode 1 unites a group of internet friends intent on getting the sequel to a prophetic comic book, without knowing the danger it holds.

Poor Ethan and Olivia. Little did the couple know, the new chapter of their life — moving into Olivia’s grandfather’s house after his death, would result in their demise. Utopia episode 1, the first part of Gillian Flynn’s latest creation, kicks off with the couple’s “life begins” moment as they happily descend upon their new home.

Once over the threshold, it becomes apparent that Olivia’s grandfather was a hoarder. His house is stuffed to the brim with various knickknacks. As the couple starts cleaning, Ethan discovers a room full of art and old comics. It is in the wreckage that our story begins, as Ethan finds the original manuscript to a comic book called Utopia, labeled the sequel to Dystopia.

After a quick Google search, Ethan realizes they could sell the comic at an upcoming convention and earn a pretty penny, enough to pay off some school loans.

The story of Dystopia revolves around the villainous anthropomorphic rabbit Mr. Bunny who kidnaps Jessica Hyde and her brilliant scientist father, forcing him to concoct crazy viruses. Eventually, Jessica manages to escape along with the assistance of a female warrior named Artemis, but her father remains Mr. Bunny’s prisoner. The evil rabbit recruits members of the Harvest, his henchmen, to hunt her down. It’s why fans commonly say the phrases, “Where are you Jessica Hyde?” and “Stay alive, Jessica Hyde.”

Utopia episode 1 recap: Introducing the key players.

As soon as the announcement is made for Fringe Con, a young landscaper named Sam (Jessica Rothe) jumps for joy and sends off a text message to her fellow Dystopia-loving friends. Sam is part of a tight-knit online group who enjoy dissecting the ins and outs of Dystopia. For years, they’ve been waiting for news of the sequel and now it’s finally here.

The other members of the group include Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop, a young woman with an unnamed illness that causes her to have seizures, Ian (Dan Byrd), an insurance salesman with feelings for Becky, and Wilson (Desmin Borges), the doomsday-prepper. There is also Grant (Javon Walton), who claims to be super rich but in reality is a cunning young preteen who lives in a small, rundown apartment with his oblivious family.

What sets this group apart from many of the comic’s other fans is they believe Dystopia predicted numerous viruses, like SARS, MERS, and Ebola. If they can get their hands on its sequel, they think they’ll be able to predict future outbreaks. Sam, in particular, is motivated to make a difference before the bad thing happens as she comments how society is always too late — “we wait until the world is on fire to protest climate change,” sort of thing.

Olivia and Ethan setup shop to accept bids from participants in a hotel room. They only show each person one page of the fabled Utopia and then have the bidder jot down their name, room number, bid, and cell number.

When the group gathers at the hotel where Fringe Con is held, they follow through on their plan to bid $500 apiece to inflate the market. Then Sam plans to file in last and seal the deal. They each play their part, although Ian cheats and manages to take a cell phone picture of his sole page of Utopia. Sam makes her final bid, but it ends up not mattering.  A man named Philip Carson shells out $20,000 in cash to buy it and the couple sells it.

By the time our group meets up, they enjoy some drinks together (and make out, in the case of Becky and Ian) and learn about each other before realizing they probably won’t win the comic. They agree to return to Wilson’s house to spend the night.

Utopia episode 1: The hotel massacre.

Unbeknownst to them, a deadly rampage is taking place over Utopia on the upper floors. Two mysterious men, Arby (Christopher Denham) and Rod, arrive at the hotel and knock on Olivia and Ethan’s door in the middle of their celebration. Each partygoer in the room is given an injection and told it will simply knock them unconscious. The men also take the list of names and room numbers after verifying they’re the only people on the list who got a glimpse of Utopia.

Afterward, they head to the penthouse to retrieve the comic from Philip. But Grant managed to get to the penthouse before them after persuading the clerk at the front desk that he was Philip’s son. Philip returns to the room with a girl while Grant is still there, so he hides. Rod and Arby show up moments later and Grant watches as Rod and his partner brutalize the couple and demand the comic. Eventually, Grant manages to make a break for it with the comic stuffed into his backpack. The men fail to catch him.

Since he’s gone in the wind, they focus on cleaning up the mess at the hotel first. They kill Philip and his date, wipe down the room, and them systematically kill every other person on the list — except, our group of fans didn’t book hotel rooms or leave their cell numbers. Before beginning the slaughter, Rod calls an unknown person to conduct a mental health test on each person from the list. They learn that one guy had previous mental health issues and carefully frame him for the shooting spree by placing the gun in his hand.

In the final moments of the episode, a woman (Sasha Lane) enters Ethan and Olivia’s room. As you might have guessed, those shots were poison and not a simple sedative. Olivia is the only still alive — albeit barely. The mysterious woman asks her where Utopia is and when Olivia asks why she tells her, “because I’m the real Jessica Hyde.” Here we go!

Next: 8 best Amazon Prime Originals currently streaming

Odds & Ends from Utopia episode 1

  • A flu that is killing children is mentioned in background news reports multiple times in this episode, I imagine that’s going to become important.
  • Why didn’t the men shoot Olivia, Ethan, and her friends? Maybe because it wouldn’t have been clean as once they shot one person, all the others would have panicked.
  • Toward the end, Arby says he needs to get his “tools,” sounds creepy.
  • Grant dropped the makeshift nametag he used to trick the clerk in the penthouse tub. Will that act as a clue for someone looking for him later?

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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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