Virgin Freefest, a gay Terp comes out, more: It's 'Required Reading'

We’re launching a new feature here at a roundup of interesting items culled from around the web, mostly with a Baltimore perspective. Generally, it’ll be five things worth your time and attention, if only briefly. Expect useful, surprising, moving, amusing and more.

  • This year’s Virgin Freefest performers are TV on the Radio, Cee Lo Green, the Black Keys, Patti Smith, Cut Copy, Empire of the Sun, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Deadmau5 and James Murphy (frontman of LCD Soundsystem), according to The Sun’s Erik Maza. The show is Sept. 10 at Merriweather; it’s free but ticketed. Get in on it — Erik has all the details. Who's going?
  • Akil Patterson, a former Terps offensive and defensive lineman, went off the rails with partying while he was in school and struggling with his sexuality — now he’s one of the few gay athletes to come out, and he talks with The Sun’s Jeff Barker. There's also video. (Homophobia in sports has been gaining coverage and attention of late — last month, b featured Hudson Taylor, the straight founder of Athlete Ally, an organization fighting bigotry among athletes.)

  • “Spoiler alert: Romeo and Juliet die, Scarlett doesn't love Ashley but Rhett walks out anyway, the Ring of Power is destroyed, Moby-Dick wins, Laura Palmer was killed by her father, and Soylent Green is people.” Mary McNamara at the Los Angeles Times tells you to grow up about TV spoilers — and if you’re waiting to watch a show on Netflix, get off Twitter already.

  • What does a chief innovation officer do? He talks about helping people “surface ideas,” according to The Washington Post’s Steven Overly. But, hey, Bryan Sivak, an official in the O’Malley administration, is trying to help Maryland’s 86,000 government employees do things better and more efficiently. So maybe we’ll pardon his strange syntax.
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