TIME Sports

America, You Have a New Hot Dog-Eating Champion

Joey "Jaws" Chestnut defeated by Matt Stonie after eight years at the top

Matt Stonie upset Joey “Jaws” Chestnut to win the July Fourth hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island, breaking Chestnut’s bid for a ninth straight victory.

Stonie, who finished second last year, downed 62 hot dogs and buns on Saturday, beating Chestnut by two. Both are from San Jose, California.

The next closest competitor ate 32 hot dogs.

Afterward, Stonie, holding his fist in the air in victory, said it felt amazing to win. He said he trained hard for the contest.

Chestnut, smiling in defeat, said he was slow and couldn’t catch Stonie.

Read more from our partners at NBC News

MONEY credit cards

The Newest Weapon Against Credit Card Theft Is…a Selfie

Smile! MasterCard hopes to develop a security measure with real teeth.

TIME movies

Here’s How Ben Affleck Reacted When He Got Cast as Batman

He was more than a little surprised

Batman is a sacred role. I mean, this isn’t kid’s stuff. It’s not like just anyone can put on a mask with pointy ears, act with their chin, and growl things like “Where’s Joker?” and “I’m the goddamn Batman.”

When it was announced that Ben Affleck would be the fifth actor ever to play the character on the big screen — sixth if you count Adam West in the 1966 movie based on the TV series — there was somewhat more than the expected speculative grumbling on the part of the Comic-Con chattering classes. Some wondered whether the filmmakers had made the right choice, and Affleck was one of them. “My first reaction was, ‘Are you sure?’ ” Affleck says. “At the time I was 40, 41, and had just finished Argo, and I felt like ‘This seems like a strange way to get to Batman.’ But Zack convinced me.”

Read more at Entertainment Weekly

TIME Music

Thousands Truckin’ to Chicago for Final Grateful Dead Shows

Deadheads are shelling out for one more ride

(CHICAGO) — The Grateful Dead is closing the lid on its storied half-century of concerts this weekend in Chicago, where a museum has captured the band’s prankster heart by displaying its artifacts, skeletons-and-roses iconography included, in the shadow of a world-famous dinosaur.

Soldier Field, which was the last place legendary guitarist Jerry Garcia played with the band before his death in 1995, is hosting the final three shows of the short “Fare Thee Well” tour in what the remaining core members — rhythm guitarist Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh and percussionists Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann — say will be the last.

The lakefront stadium, just south of the Field Museum and the bones of Sue the Tyrannosaurus rex, will be a sea of tie-dyed shirts, and the sounds of bootleg concert tapes will fill the air in the parking lots. Certainly, there’ll be young people who never saw Garcia play among the tens of thousands of fans, but they’ll likely be outnumbered Deadheads who display more than a touch of grey.

Many of those who followed the band around decades ago — and can recite the exact number of shows they’ve seen as easily as they can their Social Security numbers — have become lawyers, accountants and, in at least one case, a member of the U.S. Senate.

“Yes, my wife and I are coming for the Saturday and Sunday shows,” said former comedian and avowed Deadhead Al Franken, who now represents Minnesota in Washington. “To me they represent a big part of my life, they are a touchstone for a long time and they still are.”

The Democrat began seeing the Dead about the time he was getting out of college in the early 1970s, and later became friends with Garcia and other members of the band when they appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” on which Franken was a cast member.

“I still listen to them pretty much every chance I get,” he said.

That so many older fans are coming in may help explain why the city heard few complaints after it nixed the idea of overnight camping sites near Soldier Field.

“I would not even have a car back in my San Francisco State days (and) I would find people to hitch rides with and find homes to sleep on the couch or on the floor,” said Rick Wolfish, a 59-year-old partner in a large accounting firm in Burlington, Vermont. “This trip I’m flying to a concert and staying at a Hilton hotel five blocks from Soldier Field.”

Deadheads are shelling out for one more Saturday night — from $100 Dead-themed dinosaur posters at the Field Museum created and signed by longtime Dead artist Stanley Mouse to pricey hotels. Hotel bookings are up more than 120 percent from last year’s July Fourth weekend, and the rates are 77 percent higher on average, according to travel booking website Orbitz.

The centerpiece of the Field Museum’s exhibit is Garcia’s favorite guitar, “Tiger.” On Tuesday, fans wore the same look of wonder on their faces as one sees in the people looking at the skull of Sue.

“This is history,” said Rebecca Ostrega, a 49-year-old Deadhead who brought her 10-year-old son. They both wore tie-dyed Dead shirts she bought at the museum and she had purchased several of the Mouse posters.

Tickets for the main attraction — where Trey Anastasio of Phish will tackle Garcia’s guitar parts alongside keyboardists Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti — were no higher than $199 at face value, both through the old-style mail order system or Ticketmaster. For those seeking to get into the sold-out shows, tickets on the secondary market StubHub ranged from $295 to $5,000 for one night, with an average price of about $600. Wolfish paid $200 total for three nights behind the stage — a “miracle,” he said.

No matter the price, fans say it’s worth the chance to reconnect with both an important band and the family-like community.

“More than anything this is going to be a celebration of the whole Grateful Dead thing, the camaraderie, the outlook of life,” said Bill Stanley, who is a director of the Gantz Family Collections Center at the Field Museum.

He’s attended more than 100 shows, including Garcia’s last one. He not only recalls those “magical” experiences, but the loneliness he felt when he was in the mountains of Tanzania in August 1995 and received an airgram from his girlfriend that read, “I hope you are sitting down. We lost Jerry.”

“Everybody here was able to call the person who turned them onto the Dead (but) I had no one to reach out to,” he said.

This weekend, though, he expects all those old feelings a Dead concert used to elicit to return: “People are going to be walking past, thinking, ‘Look at those old hippies. I’ll be grateful when they’re dead.'”

TIME Greece

Greek Voters Confused by Referendum Wording as Vote Nears

People don't know what they're voting for

(ATHENS, Greece) — Greek voters facing a momentous vote Sunday that may determine the country’s future in Europe can be forgiven for scratching their heads when they read the ballot question that has to be marked with a “yes” or a “no.”

The question does not address the future of the euro currency — which many believe is at stake — or the future of Greece’s relationship with the 28-nation European Union.

Instead, it asks the following:

“Should the plan of agreement, which was submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the Eurogroup of 25.06.2015 and is comprised of two parts that constitute their unified proposal be accepted?

The first document is entitled “Reforms For The Completion Of The Current Program And Beyond” and the second “Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis.”

To complicate matters, the offer being voted on is no longer on the table, having been linked to a bailout package that expired earlier this week, and it is clear that many Greeks have not read the complex documents referred to.

Critics point out that many people in rural villages with little or no Internet access will not find an easy way to access the documents. Others without special training may find them overly technical and difficult to comprehend.

One person with training, a 21-year-old law student, said she understood the question and had studied the supporting documents, including the tax sections, before deciding to vote “no.” She said Greeks comprehend that the referendum is not just about the matters spelled out on the ballot, but deal with the broader issue of how European Union policy has shaped Greece during the austerity era.

So do most people understand the ballot question? Here is a sampling of responses when the question was read to citizens Friday:

___

I UNDERSTAND BUT IT’S STILL CONFUSING

Yanis Koutzouvelis, 19: “I understand the question in general but the question is not clear because we don’t know the consequences of voting ‘no’ and we don’t know if it means going out of the eurozone. I mean I don’t know in the end if the ‘yes’ or the ‘no’ is in reference to the drachma (Greek’s former national currency) or not. I will look at a lot of television and radio news but it’s super-difficult to understand what it really means.”

___

THE QUESTION IS MISLEADING

Andreas Simeou, 56: “With that question the government misleads the people. It’s not the fault of the Greek people. Now the government is giving the whole weight to the people and it always says it’s someone else’s fault that everything is a mess here.”

___

GREEKS UNDERSTAND WHAT’S AT STAKE

Maria Gaspariatou, 42: “No one really cares what’s written on the ballot and what the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ means. They really know what it means from their lives. Like my grandmother, my granddad, my parents who are pensioners, they really know why they have to vote ‘no.’ The people understand that the whole last five years it was poverty and now we have to decide for ourselves. We have very difficult times and the Greek people know that. And they are ready go through that and have a better future.”

____

THE TV TOLD ME WHAT IT MEANS

Maria Koleti, 57: “It’s only difficult for the people to understand if they are silly. There was so much analysis on the TV and in the newspapers explaining the ‘yes’ and the ‘no’ so no one has problems understanding what the ‘yes’ and the ‘no’ means on the ballot. The only people who don’t understand are those who don’t want to understand. We know what it means.”

____

DON’T ASK ME, I DIDN’T STUDY ECONOMICS

Stratos Harvis, 46: “I’m not so informed and not so into that stuff so for me it’s difficult to understand that question. But the last years in Greece it was very difficult for the people, so I would vote ‘no’. It’s tricky for someone who’s not involved, the questions are tricky because the way they are written a lot of people won’t understand. You have to have studied economics.”

____

IT’S OBVIOUS

Katerina Bakola, 46, laughing as she heard the text of the question: “I don’t think the way it is posed is difficult to understand. For me the question was obvious. At least I understand the questions and I think all the people understand.”

TIME national secrurity

Officials Ramp Up Security for Fourth of July After Warning of Terror Threat

People are urged to report suspicious activity

The governor of New York put his state’s emergency operations center on higher alert Friday because of warnings by the federal government about a greater threat of terrorist attacks over the July Fourth holiday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said additional staff would be in place at the center. He also ordered state authorities to enhance monitoring of holiday celebrations.

He urged people to “not only remember the freedoms that we hold dear, but also remain cautious of their surroundings and learn to recognize and report suspicious activity.”

Federal intelligence agencies issued a bulletin to local law enforcement in May reminding them…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME celebrities

Arnold Schwarzenegger Writes Sweet Letter to a Fan’s Sick Dad Who Loved Terminator Genisys

"I am honored that my silly smile in Terminator made you smile"

For one Arnold Schwarzenegger fan, the new Terminator Genisys provided exactly the kind of movie magic he needed to get his sick father to smile again.

Reddit user bizzyjay posted about how he got his dad to watch a movie despite recent serious mental health issues that made the 72-year-old irritable, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The two had a tradition of watching Terminator movies together, and when they saw the latest installment, he said his father smiled for the first time in months.

Schwarzenegger, who is known for being active on Reddit, responded to the post himself, saying, “This is so touching. Thank you for sharing. I’d like to say ‘this is why I do this’ but you should know it was you who made your father smile.”

He then posted a handwritten note to the father, writing, “I am honored that my silly smile in Terminator made you smile, but I hope you find real joy and strength in what a wonderful child you have brought into this world and raised.”

He signed the note “Arnold” with a heart.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

TIME movies

Watch Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel as a Couple in the Trailer for Jenny’s Wedding

The movie shows a family unwilling to accept their daughter's sexuality

Katherine Heigl is starring in another wedding movie, but this time the premise is quite different from 27 Dresses. In Jenny’s Wedding, Heigl plays a lesbian whose family has been in the dark about her sexual orientation, and when they find out she plans to marry her partner, played by Alexis Bledel, they’re blown away that two have been more than roommates all these years—and not very quick to accept the news.

Tom Wilkinson, Linda Emond and Grace Gummer round out the cast of the film, which opens in theaters July 31.

TIME Innovation

You Might Soon Be Able to Verify Online Purchases With a Selfie

MasterCard is testing the new technology

MasterCard customers may soon be able to make their online purchases more secure by verifying their identity with a selfie.

The company will soon start testing a new technology that will allow shoppers to use fingerprints and facial scans to prevent fraudulent purchases, according to CNN Money. The trial will begin with 500 customers, who must use the MasterCard app on their phone, either presenting their finger prints or posing for the camera when prompted.

To prevent fraudsters from simply using a photo of the real cardholder, users will be asked to blink to demonstrate that they are really there, not simply a static image. The resulting photo will be converted to code and compared to an algorithm on file.

If the trial run goes well, MasterCard hopes to take the technology to a wider pool of customers.

There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s selfies.

[CNN Money]

TIME Television

Conan Does His Best Stripper Dance for Magic Mike XXL

And it's not great

When Conan O’Brien’s female colleagues heard their boss would be joining them for a midnight viewing of Magic Mike XXL, they may not have expected him to bust some moves to match the stripping action up on the screen. But being Conan, of course that’s exactly what he did.

The late-night host may not totally get the appeal of a movie about male strippers, but he does know how to do that tearaway track pants trick… to reveal jeans underneath.

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