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Kristina Vragovic

Kristina Vragovic graduated from Indiana University in May 2012 with a B.A. in English. A Hoosier at heart, she cries when she thinks about the 2011-12 season and will rail on Purdue even when nobody from said school is in the immediate vicinity. Aside from writing, Kristina enjoys correcting people's grammar (for money, or by calling them out on Twitter) as well as collecting classic rock LPs, watching superhero movies and online shopping.

Clint Eastwood delivers RNC speech to empty chair

Invisible Obama becomes Twitter sensation after Clint Eastwood’s stunt


If you watched Clint Eastwood give his speech at the Republican National Convention last night, you were probably watching open-mouthed and disbelieving.

The 82-year-old actor delivered his speech in the form of a conversation with an empty chair, where a make-believe President Obama was sitting and vehemently rebutting Clint Eastwood’s critique of his presidency. “What do you mean, ‘shut up’?” Eastwood asked the empty chair at one point in the speech, as the invisible President Obama apparently interrupted him. “I’m not gonna shut up. It’s my turn.” The delivery had an air of Clint Eastwood playing his crotchety-old-man character from Gran Torino, and the crowd seemed to love it, with cheers and chants of “U-S-A!” resounding in the hall.

The 11-minute rambling speech, which was punctuated by more than a few long pauses and jabs at the Dems, set off enormous response on Twitter ranging from saddened to inspired to amused. Of note: Piers Morgan’s bemused “Just ordered extra beer … I think we all need one after Clint,” and Chris Rock’s mocking “Clint Eastwood on the phone with Obama now: ‘It all went according to plan, sir.’”

President Obama himself tweeted, “This seat’s taken,” with a picture of himself in a chair. A new twitter account, Invisible Obama (@InvisibleObama), already has more than 40,000 followers. Its listed location is “Stage left of Clint Eastwood.”

To close out the speech, Clint Eastwood pulled out his classic character from Dirty Harry. “I’m gonna start it and you finish it,” he told the wildly enthusiastic crowd. “Go ahead…” he started, and the crowd yelled, “Make my day.”

All bets are off as to how the Dems might spoof this particular stunt at their own convention next week in Charlotte, N.C. One thing is for sure: the buzz this morning is less about Mitt and all about Clint.

Former UVA lacrosse player sentenced to 23 years for beating girlfriend to death

Yeardley Love murderer, George Huguely, was convicted of second-degree murder in 2010


Yeardley Love, a former lacrosse player at the University of Virginia, was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend in May 2010. Yesterday, her murderer was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

George Huguely was also a senior lacrosse player at UVA when he had too much to drink and argued with Yeardley Love about their recent breakup. The altercation left Love bleeding facedown in her bed, where a roommate found her on May 3, 2010. Huguely claimed Love was still alive when he left her apartment and that he did not mean to kill her. He was convicted of second-degree murder.

Yeardley Love’s sister, Lexie, is getting married this September, the Loves’ attorney told the jury, but “the maid of honor will be missing.” His statement moved Lexie Love to tears.

The jury’s recommendation of a 26-year sentence was reduced by the judge to 23 years. Virginia is a no-parole state, but Huguely’s time could be reduced by up to 15 percent based on good behavior. When he is released, he will spend three years on probation, during which he will not be allowed to drink or possess alcohol.

The high school Yeardley Love attended, Notre Dame Preparatory School in Towson, Md., will dedicate a $1.2 million turf field in her honor on Sept. 9.

Samsung to roll out all-in-one PCs for Windows 8

The all-in-one desktops will feature touch screens and Intel processors


Samsung has announced that it will release three new all-in-one PCs designed for the newest Windows operating system this fall.

The all-in-one PCs will feature 10-point touch screens and a built-in webcam that can recognize five separate hand gestures from up to three feet away. For example, a midair swipe can turn an e-book page, while a clockwise motion turns up the volume.

There’s been a lot of buzz about Windows 8 getting rid of the Start menu, but Samsung’s new all-in-one PCs have a solution for Windows users who are wary of that particular change. The S Launcher, a widget exclusive to the Samsung models that is reminiscent of the Mac dock, will give users easy access to files and programs they use often. It will also feature a search bar to facilitate navigation of the new system.

Three models of the all-in-one PCs will be available Oct. 26: $749 for a Series 5 with 21.5-inch display, $1,099 for a Series 7 with a 23.6-inch display, and $1,699 for a Series 7 with a 27-inch display. The Series 5 comes with a  500 GB hard drive, while the Series 7 boasts 1 TB of space.

Samsung is marketing its Series 5 all-in-one PCs as kitchen computers because of their slim design and a keyboard and mouse that can slide under the monitor to free up counter space. The message, really, is that these PCs are designed to fit anywhere.

Samsung’s Windows 8 laptops are set to be revealed next week.

Is Chipotle cheating its customers?

Chipotle rounds off pennies in busy locations to save time, but its policy confuses customers


Chipotle locations in busy areas, like New York and New Jersey, have started rounding off checks to the nearest nickel to save time—the less time cashiers spend counting out pennies, the more people get through the line.

The only problem is when Chipotle rounds up.

The restaurant chain did away with pennies by rounding checks up or down to the nearest five-cent mark, which was done automatically by the cash register. But that meant that someone with a final bill of $6.39, for example, would end up paying an extra penny to round up to $6.40. Someone with a bill of $7.02, however, would only pay $7.00. 

But, of course, the customers paying extra thought Chipotle was cheating. Last week, the (N.J.) Star-Ledger investigated Chipotle’s rounding practices after one customer, Jayson Greenberg, sent his receipts to the paper. Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said the entire motive for rounding was to save time, and the restaurant chain has not gained any profit from the practice.

“It was never our intention to have a policy that was confusing or misleading,” Arnold said. He denied that Chipotle was cheating its customers.

To curb talk of cheating, Chipotle has instituted a new policy in New Jersey: to only round down, in the consumer’s favor. The policy went into effect Aug. 1. Chipotle has also added a rounding line to its receipts so customers know exactly where their precious pennies are going.

Mia Love: African-American, Mormon, Republican

The Utah candidate for Congress spoke for two minutes and won thousands of hearts at the Republican National Convention


Mia Love isn’t just the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah. She is Utah’s first black female mayor, now in the running to be the first black Republican woman in Congress. And, by the way, she’s Mormon. So it’s no wonder she caused a splash during her two-minute speech last night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

The daughter of Haitian immigrants, 36-year-old Mia Love spoke about the American Dream as a story of self-reliance. Her parents, she said, came to the United States with $10 in their pockets. “When tough times came, they did not look to Washington,” she said. “They looked within.” She added that President Obama’s politics would pit Americans against each other along gender and socioeconomic lines.

Mia Love continued by sharing her support for presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan, who she believes can revive “our story,” the story of the American Dream.

Though her speech was short, Mia Love got several standing ovations and a “U-S-A” chant to boot. Today, she is getting plenty of press for being a rising star in the GOP and rousing the convention where other delegates could not.

This June, Ann Romney endorsed Mia Love in her campaign against Jim Matheson, Utah’s Democratic congressional candidate. Condoleezza Rice plans to do the same on Sept. 7. House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. John McCain have both helped Mia Love raise money for her campaign.

Farrah Abraham gets in Twitter feud during Teen Mom finale

Farrah Abraham slams Gary Shirley for his treatment of Amber Portwood


Farrah Abraham has had enough of Gary Shirley’s behavior. While watching last night’s Teen Mom finale, she told him as much via Twitter, which led to an out-and-out feud between the stars.

The scuffle started when Gary got in a fight with ex-girlfriend Amber Portwood over custody of Leah, their daughter. On the series finale, Gary called Amber a “slut puppy” and threatened to never let her see Leah again. Farrah Abraham, seeing the exchange and disgusted with Gary’s treatment of Amber, tweeted that he was a pig and needed “mental help.” Gary responded that he wouldn’t stick up for Farrah anymore.

Farrah Abraham responded that Gary was “too negative” and needed to focus on Leah, and the situation escalated from there. The argument peaked when Gary tweeted, “Your cry face sucks and so do your cookies. Unless you change your going die lonely.”

Apparently, Gary isn’t the only one who thinks so. While Farrah Abraham has been in culinary school, her daughter, Sophia, has been back in Iowa with Farrah’s mom. When Farrah returned to Iowa during the series finale, Sophia told her, “Mommy, you’re a bad person.”

Despite all the hate, Farrah Abraham is on the road to independence and success, having gotten all A’s on her report card.

Ann Romney speech shows the ladies some love

The wife of presidential nominee Mitt Romney wants the women of America to know he’s on their side


Ann Romney addressed last night’s female attendees of the Republican National Convention with a resounding declaration of conviction: “I love you women!”

But Ann Romney was not only aiming to convince women voters of her love. She also sought to assure the women of America that her husband, Mitt, will keep them safe, telling a story about how he kept her safe on the way home from the dance where they first met. In a continued appeal to traditional family values, she told convention attendees that “It’s the moms of this nation … who really hold this country together.”

Amid a wash of criticism from the left — particularly from women — surrounding the Republican Party’s stance on women’s health care, Ann Romney’s speech stood as an appeal to the female population to stand by her man. She painted Mitt Romney as dependable and trustworthy, saying, “This man will not let us down” and “You can trust Mitt.”

Her speech also enumerated the ways in which the Mitt and Ann Romney story is one that everyday Americans can relate to, despite critics’ assertions otherwise.

Mitt and Ann Romney married when Ann was 19, and in her speech, she addressed those who called theirs a “storybook marriage.” To the contrary, she explained, she and Mitt had to overcome everything that normal couples do, from eating pasta and tuna fish when they were first married to coping with breast cancer.

Mitt worked hard for his money, Ann Romney said, and he shouldn’t be criticized for being successful. Speaking to those who denounce the Romneys for being “privileged,” she said that she and Mitt are “no different than the millions of Americans who quietly help their neighbors, their churches, and their communities. They don’t do it so that others will think more of them.”

Ann Romney told ABC’s Diane Sawyer that she “felt really good” about taking the stage at the convention. While she didn’t offer any particulars about Mitt’s plan for America, she took the opportunity to assure voters of his authenticity.

Chicago shootings wound 19 people in 8 separate incidents

13 were shot within 30 minutes, continuing a violent year in the Windy City


Shootings peppered Chicago’s South and West sides last night, resulting in 19 people wounded and in stable condition, according to police reports.

The Chicago shootings took place between 5:15 p.m. Thursday and 1:45 a.m. Friday, CBS Chicago reported. All of the victims were aged 14 to 28, and most were male.

Thirteen people were shot between 9:15 and 9:45 p.m., during which time a drive-by shooting at 79th Street and Essex Avenue wounded eight. Police have said that the drive-by was gang-related and are searching for two suspects.

“It looks like officers were in the area when they heard the gunshots and came upon the scene,” Chicago police public affairs officer Jose Estrade said to AFP. “Right now, there’s nobody in custody — it’s an ongoing investigation.”

Another drive-by occurred in the 2900 block of West 39th Place in Brighton Park, wounding two, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The string of incidents began at 5:20 p.m. Thursday in Little Village, where four men were shot and wounded. The other Chicago shootings took place at the 600 block of East 37th Street, the 7200 block of South Jeffery Boulevard, the 7100 block of South Vincennes Avenue, and the 3500 block of West Grenshaw Street.

The number of shootings in Chicago has increased 8 percent, to 1,512 occurrences. The murder rate is up 27 percent, to 328 people, as of Aug. 12, according to AFP.

Amy Schumer says Dolph Ziggler was ‘too athletic’ in the bedroom

During an interview with Howard Stern, the comedian revealed the details of her sex life with the WWE wrestler


Apparently, dating a wrestler is kind of like dating a wrestler, at least according to comedian Amy Schumer.

Howard Stern hosted the Last Comic Standing star on his radio show Wednesday, and Amy Schumer, whose new comedy act is called Mostly Sex Stuff, unsurprisingly delivered the dish on her relationship with WWE wrestler Dolph Ziggler.

“The sex was too athletic,” Amy Schumer told Stern. “Always. [But] the first time, I was like, ‘Oh, this is cool. Nobody’s ever ragdolled me.’ He was spinning me like a Globetrotter.”

She went on to say that she dumped Ziggler via text message, and that he was more hurt than she expected. The conversation was spurred by a discussion of Amy Schumer’s prior relationship with fellow comedian Anthony Jezelnik, who was “not attentive enough,” Schumer said.

Mostly Sex Stuff aired on Comedy Central on Saturday.

Empire State Building shooting kills 2; gunman confirmed

Jeffrey Johnson, 58, killed his former coworker before police arrived on the scene


Eight people were wounded and two killed in a shooting this morning at the Empire State Building. The gunman has been identified as Jeffrey Johnson, 58, who was a women’s accessories designer at Hazan Imports before being laid off last year. After killing his former coworker, 41-year-old Steven Ercolino, Johnson turned his .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun on police arriving at the scene. Johnson was killed in the ensuing gunfire.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Darrin Deleuil, who witnessed the Empire State Building shooting, said of Johnson, “He looked like an old gangster. He looked real calm to me. He made sure he didn’t miss him.”

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said some of those wounded in the shooting at the Empire State Building might have been hit in the crossfire; two of the wounded are police officers. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that none of the injuries are life-threatening.

“We have on tape the perpetrator pulled his gun out, tried to shoot at the cops. Whether he got off any shots or not is to be determined,” Bloomberg said. “We do know that cops fired back, and the tape clearly shows the guy has the gun out and fires it at police officers.”

The Empire State Building shooting followed Johnson’s reportedly rocky history with Ercolino concerning alleged workplace harassment, according to the New York Times. Johnson and Ercolino had both filed complaints, and their disagreement had resulted in physical violence at least once before the shooting.

“They had a fight” when they both still worked at Hazan Imports, a company official said. The official had watched the security tape of the incident, which occurred in an elevator. “Steve [Ercolino] picked that guy up by the throat and put him against the wall,” he said, after Johnson pushed Ercolino first.

An Empire State Building Co. spokeswoman confirmed that the building is operational during the investigation.