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Sleepy, Litigious Yankee Fan Doesn’t Quite Understand the Internet

This spring, ESPN's cameras caught a man named Andrew Robert Rector sleeping for several minutes during a Red Sox–Yankees game. After some relatively gentle teasing, the announcers moved on, but a video of the incident ended up on Major League Baseball's YouTube page. There people wrote many mean things about Rector — calling him him "stupid, "a fatty cow," a "symbol of failure," and "not worthy to be fan of the New York Yankee[s]," among other things — because that is what happens in the comment sections of YouTube videos. In June, with his feelings hurt, Rector got a lawyer to draft an "idiosyncratic" $10 million lawsuit against the Yankees, Major League Baseball, ESPN, and its announcers. This, of course, only led more people to publicly mock Rector. And, based on his decision to discuss the ongoing situation on Friday's Today broadcast, it appears that Rector still hasn't learned his lesson.


You Can Now Unlock Your Cell Phone Without Breaking the Law

Good news, closet criminals: Unlocking your cell phone is about to be perfectly legal. The notoriously mercurial Congress passed a bill Wednesday that overrides a portion of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act forbidding the practice, and President Obama has said that he looks forward to signing off on it. Unlocking phones had been perfectly legal until 2012, when Congress refused to extend a provision allowing it. Welcome back, freedom.

Someone Has Been Using Congressional Internet to Make Goofy Changes to Wikipedia

A couple of weeks ago, the Twitter account @congressedits — which, according to its own bio, automatically "tweets anonymous Wikipedia edits that are made from IP addresses in the US Congress" — began publicizing some particularly useless changes to the world's biggest online encyclopedia. As the Washington Post first noted, someone using a United States House of Representatives internet connection felt the need alter Wikipedia's "Horse head mask" entry to reflect President Obama's recent encounter with one in Denver.

Wikipedia has had enough. »

It Turns Out Hamas Didn’t Kidnap and Kill the 3 Israeli Teens After All

When the bodies of three Israeli teenagers, kidnapped in the West Bank, were found late last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not mince words. "Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay," he said, initiating a campaign that eventually escalated into the present conflict in the region. 

But now, officials admit the kidnappings were not Hamas's handiwork after all. »

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Says Women Should Be Careful Not to Provoke Domestic Violence, Then Mansplains How Women Missed His Point

For knocking his then-fiancée unconscious at an Atlantic City casino and then dragging her limp body from the elevator, all of it caught on surveillance video, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended just two games by the NFL. If that alone doesn’t blur your eyes with rage, try the reaction of ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, who on First Take this morning said to the women of the world, “let's make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions … I think that just talking about what guys shouldn’t do, we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to make, to try to make sure it doesn’t happen.”

And if that sounds like victim-blaming, Stephen A. Smith would like you to know, ladies, that you just don’t understand him. “Enough is enough,” he wrote after a few hours of internet backlash against his comments. “I simply asked: now what about the other side … what about addressing women on how they can help prevent the obvious wrong being done upon them?”


Putin’s Daughter Reportedly Flees Home in the Netherlands Amid Anger Over MH17

Though Vladimir Putin didn't personally launch the missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, western officials agree that he is, at the very least, partially to blame, since the Kremlin supported and likely armed the pro-Russian separatists who are believed to be directly responsible for the disaster. (Of course, both Russia and the rebels in Ukraine continue to deny that they had anything to do with it.) Anger over Putin's apparent role in the crash is particularly high in the Netherlands — 193 of whose citizens were aboard the doomed Boeing — which is why the Russian president's 29-year-old daughter, Maria, has reportedly fled her home outside of Amsterdam.


How Not to Paint a Stolen Citi Bike

Like putting a bad bumper sticker and some truck nutz on a lifted Ferrari and hoping no one notices you, this quick and sloppy coat of white paint (Wite-Out?) is just not going to do the trick. In fact, it may make that big clunker of a bike even less discreet than its standard electric blue.

At least 67 stolen Citi Bikes have turned up around town so far, most of them far away from the docks in lower Manhattan and gentrified Brooklyn. This one with the terrible makeover was recovered in Queens, and bragged about on the local precinct’s new Twitter account.


How Fox News Promotes Government Dysfunction

“Political theorists consider the acceptance and consent of election losers to be among the necessary ingredients of a successful democracy,” writes Barry Hollander, a University of Georgia journalism professor, in a Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly paper that was just published online. Once the electoral dust has settled, in other words, things are unlikely to run smoothly if big swathes of the population feel disgruntled over the result for an extended period of time.


John Leguizamo Thinks Subway Dancers Are ‘the Bomb’

Name: John Leguizamo
Age: 50
Neighborhood: Central Village. "They call it the Gold Coast, to be precise."
Occupation: Actor, currently filming The Nest with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph. On Monday, July 28, you can catch him in a free performance of his acclaimed one-man play Ghetto Klown in Central Park, as part of SummerStage's 50th anniversary celebration of the Fania record label. Find details here.

Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
I have two people. The first is Miguel Piñero, a Puerto Rican poet and playwright back in the '70s. He's very important to all Latin writers and poets: putting out stuff that was so gritty, and so edgy, and using the vernacular. It was the beginning of hip-hop, in a way. My second one is Andy Berman, who runs the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. He's so incredibly selfless and altruistic, really trying to preserve all the history that we have downtown, and I just find him so classy when he goes out there to protest. Whereas I get so passionate that people stop listening to me, he still stays on point. It's about winning a debate not bullying somebody. I love that, it's so elevated. So unlike me.


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