We learned on Tuesday that ISIS has beheaded a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, so naturally Sean Hannity went straight to Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson for analysis. (Hannity says he sees him mainly as a "minister," though you probably know Robertson as that guy who made offensive comments about gays, African Americans, marrying 15-year-old girls, etc.) "In this case, you either have to convert them, which I think would be next to impossible — I'm not giving up on them — but I'm just saying either convert them or kill them," said Robertson. "One or the other."
Michael Sam was cut from the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, but it looks like he's still on track to become the first openly gay athlete to play in the NFL. According to ESPN, Sam is on his way to Dallas to take a physical for the Cowboys on Wednesday, and if he passes, as expected, the Cowboys will sign him to their practice squad. Sam wouldn't be allowed to play in games, but it looks like he'd have a better shot at making the team in Dallas than he did in St. Louis. He was the SEC's co-defensive Player Of The Year in 2013, and NBC Sports notes, "the Cowboys are in desperate need of help on defense." NFL Media columnist Michael Silver says the Cowboys called veterans and team leaders on Tuesday to ask what they though about hiring Sam, and "the response was a resounding 'you should do it, we're fine with it.'" And they didn't even ask about Sam's shower habits! We're making progress, people.
The New Jersey child who accidentally shot her gun-range guide with an Uzi last week while on a family vacation out west told her parents “the gun was too much for her and it hurt her shoulder” after firing, according to a police report released today by the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona. The family, who has not been identified, said “it appeared that [the girl] was injured as she was holding her shoulder,” and did not initially realize Charles Vacca, the instructor, had been shot once in the head. “We need a helicopter,” said someone from the range in a 911 call, according to a new transcript. “An ambulance ain’t gonna work.”
Here's another terrible twist to the story of the celeb nude photos that were leaked by hackers over the weekend: The stash reportedly includes images of Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney that were taken when she was underage. (Update: Maroney's lawyers have confirmed that she was underage in the photos.)
A Reddit forum called r/TheFappening (really? really!) has been gleefully collecting the illegally obtained snaps. Now, the subreddit is scrambling to delete the photos of Maroney after Reddit administrators warned its moderators that Maroney was underage when they were taken.
If you're not ready to commit to a self-marriage, perhaps you were looking for love on the playa at Burning Man last week. A few hopeful souls on Craigslist certainly were, but their budding desert romances were quickly derailed by robot hearts and horse sailboats. Come take a journey with us through the spiritual arena of Burning Man Missed Connections. (My playa name is Cat Princess.)
Consider this your reminder that while Labor Day is dead and gone, this previously mild summer has another few weeks left, technically: The temperature hit 92 degrees in Central Park today for the first time in 2014. In September.
Emma Sulkowicz says she was raped in her own dorm bed by a classmate on the first day of her sophomore year of college. Since then, a substantial amount of her time at Columbia University has been spent trying to convince college administrators, police, and even friends that what happened to her really happened, that it was rape, and that her rapist deserves to be punished for what he did.
Apple released a statement today denying that the cache of nude celebrity photos released over the weekend were obtained as a result of a security breach in iCloud, its cloud data-storage service. Instead, the company says, an internal investigation found "that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions." Consider this your daily reminder to set up two-step verification.
When John Breaux retired from the Senate nine years ago, he rode off to a chorus of lamentations — the chummy centrist deal-maker, loved and respected by all, willing to put pragmatism ahead of ideology. Breaux, of course, immediately became a lobbyist, along with fellow former senator Trent Lott. Their latest coup is Gazprombank, on whose behalf they will now deploy their legendary charm and influence.