“While You Were Out,” is a Friday feature of short notes and commentary from the week. Whether it’s something you’d discuss at the water cooler or at happy hour, you’ll find it on our grid, together with our opinion as to whether it’s praiseworthy or cringeworthy. We’re pleased to bring you the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Super Bowl Time!
The Super Bowl is upon us! The Seattle Seahawks will battle the New England Patriots this Sunday in the most widely watched sporting event in the country. Katy Perry, who is headlining the halftime show, will be joined by such other artists as Lenny Kravitz. Here’s some timeless outfit inspiration if you’re looking for the right threads for your Super Bowl watch party. And don’t forget the snacks!
A Few Good Jokes
Saturday Night Live started its latest broadcast spoofing last week’s press conferences with Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, including a “you can’t handle the truth” moment evoking the climactic scene from A Few Good Men. Keep this up, SNL! This is what you do well! (Although, yes, I’m also still laughing from the Matthew McConaughey Lincoln commercial bit done earlier this season.)
A Chill Nor'easter
It’s unlikely you missed this while you were out—at least if you’re living in the Northeast. This week’s winter storm, while hitting New England and surrounding areas with loads of snow, was less in intensity than expected. But NASA’s photo of the storm from space looks pretty cool.
The SAG Awards
Hollywood is atwitter with awards season and so are we! In between the Golden Globes and the biggest night of the year, The Academy Awards, come the Screen Actor's Guild Awards. No doubt your Twitter feed was just as flooded as mine with photos of breathtakingly beautiful gowns (Julianne Moore and Keira Knightley spring to mind) and the weirdness that was a half-shaven Zach Galifianakis. But after the red carpet coverage, some choice moments piped into our living rooms from the stage.
When the Birdman cast went onstage to receive their Best Ensemble award, star Naomi Watts tripped over Emma Stone's gown—but managed to recover and be as fabulous as always. Mark Ruffalo opted to skip the awards (in favor of sleeping since he had to work) and tweeted his thanks for his best supporting actor for A Normal Heart.
Viola Davis, silencing those who have been openly critical of her, provided the best moment of the night by far. In her acceptance speech for lead actress in How To Get Away With Murder, she responded with stunning grace: "Thank you to all the people who love me exactly how God made me."
—Hannah Allen White
Emma Watson to Play Belle
We’re so excited that Emma Watson will play Disney's beloved bookish heroine, Belle, in a forthcoming live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. The actress said she would be taking singing lessons in preparation for the filming, which is slated to start later this year. "My six-year-old self is on the ceiling—heart bursting," Emma tweeted after announcing the news.
“Uptown Funk” Is the Best Song Ever
Step aside “Happy.” Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars has become the nation’s latest feel-good hit. This week a Texas high school’s choreographed dance to the song went viral, causing Mars to admit on social media that he cried after watching it (sound familiar, anyone?). You have to admit, once you have the President of the United States singing the ditty, it’s got to be good.
The Hackers Are At It Again
Just when we were all hoping that the celebrity nude photo hackers had seen the error of their ways and decided not to exploit any more starlets (in our dreams, right?!), Taylor Swift's Twitter and Instagram accounts were hacked on Tuesday—with anonymous threats of a nude photo leak to come. She shook it off in good humor, though, telling them to "Have fun Photoshopping cause you got NOTHING." Knowing that you don't actually have any nude photos for people to steal must be some comfort in this kind of situation.
Justin Bieber Opens Up...ish
After appearing arrogant on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week, Justin Bieber made a dim attempt to save his eroding image. And by dim I mean, literally, it looked like he was filming it in a dark closet. "I'm not who I was pretending to be,” the 20-year-old singer confided. “Often we pretend to be something we’re not as a cover-up of what we’re truly feeling inside." Maybe he’s feeling a little sheepish after getting called out for his Photoshopped Calvin Klein campaign. How about you just get yourself together, Biebs.
Reality TV Reality
Starring in a reality TV show can have devastating effects, as many former participants reported this week to the New York Post. Top Chef, Apprentice, and Hell’s Kitchen are a few of the shows called out, some of whose contestants have had to change their names to return to normalcy.
Angelina Jolie’s Latest in The New York Times
Angelina Jolie wrote a piece for The New York Times this week following a recent visit to the Middle East. The actress and philanthropist calls for more international aid and concern for the plight of Syrian refugees, saying the suffering that she witnessed in the area left her speechless: "How can you speak when a woman your own age looks you in the eye and tells you that her whole family was killed in front of her, and that she now lives alone in a tent and has minimal food rations?" She may have felt speechless in the refugee camps, but by lending her voice so eloquently to the victims of war she helps bring their plight to the world's attention.
Measles Spreading to Unvaccinated Americans
More than a thousand people in Arizona and surrounding areas have been infected with measles. The highly contagious airborne virus, responsible for more than 200 million deaths in past centuries, nearly stopped its spread after a vaccine was discovered in the 1960s. But some people began opting out of the measles vaccine after a controversial 1998 study alleged a link between vaccine ingredients and autism, which has since been discredited. Those who’ve opted out are now at greatest risk for the fatal disease that can cause blindness, deafness, and death especially in young children.
“Anybody who is unvaccinated or undervaccinated (received only the first of two recommended doses) who has been exposed to measles patients, needs to be in isolation for 21 days," said Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. He insisted everyone must comply to get the vaccine for the good of the community. "We all have to do this together. It's the golden rule."
Prosecutions for Rapists
Unfortunately the news about alleged rapes on college campuses is not over. One student at Stanford has been charged and another couple at Vanderbilt were found guilty in these cases that have either eye witnesses or video evidence. While these instances reveal the disturbing trend of sexual assault of unconscious women on campuses, we’re happy to see justice being served.