We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Hillary Gets Democratic Nomination in Star-Studded Convention
It’s official: Hillary Clinton became the first female presidential nominee from a major political party on Tuesday. At the Democratic National Convention this week, Clinton received support from President Obama and the first lady, among many other celebrities and famous figures.
Many have since criticized the way media outlets are crafting the narrative around the many firsts associated with Hillary's nomination. Newspapers ran headlines about her official nomination aside photos of Bill. Others spoke of Bill’s address at the DNC, calling it a "first lady speech delivered by a man." Regardless, history has been made. —Madeline Fry
Terrorists Kill Priest in French Church
This week France suffered another terrible loss when a Catholic priest was attacked and killed by two assailants claiming to be members of the Islamic State. They stormed the church during a morning mass and slit the throat of 84-year-old priest Jacques Hamel. They also took four hostages, including religious sisters and parishioners. After one religious sister escaped and sounded the alarm, police surrounded the church and killed both assailants. Three of the hostages were released unharmed, while one was sent to the hospital in critical condition.
French president François Hollande visited the church after the events took place and released a statement that this was not only an attack on Catholics but also on all the French people and that they would unite to fight by any means necessary. Pope Francis also released a statement from the Vatican in response to the “pain and horror of this absurd violence.” In light of this recent attack coupled with the ones that took place in Nice only a few weeks ago, our hearts go out to France and all countries affected by terrorism. —Grace Cooper
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Pays Off
Although it may just have seemed like a social media fad at the time, the news is in: The infamous “ice bucket challenge” has actually made a difference in furthering ALS research. Apparently the money raised in conjunction with all those crazy videos of your Facebook friends dousing themselves in ice cold water was enough to fund significant new research on the disease. The $100 million dollars brought in by the challenge went to the ALS Association, which gave some of the funds to the University of Massachusetts Medical School; researchers there have now pinpointed the gene that is believed to cause the disease: NEK1. So, whether those who soaked themselves did so for the likes or for the awareness, the publicity certainly helped the cause. —GC
Finally, Gilmore Girls Fans Have a Date!
Netflix just announced the release date for the new Gilmore Girls miniseries with a sneak peek and the words "November 25: Miraculously, a date that absolutely no one in Stars Hollow has a conflict with." Cue Gilmore Girls fans everywhere spontaneously combusting with excitement. The clip of the new material shows the mother and daughter duo discussing whether Amy Schumer and Lorelai would hit it off, and whether John Oliver would find Lorelai attractive—Rory's brief answer to both was no, but the real-life Schumer and Oliver have since refuted her, giving fans more of that delicious crossover between our Stars Hollow fantasy and real life.
If you haven't jumped on the (very loyal) bandwagon yet, there's no time like the present—Netflix released all seven old seasons on July 1, and there's plenty of time to watch them all before November. Rory, Lorelai: We've missed you, and we can't wait for all your witty insights on modern life and rapid-fire pop culture references to return. —Sophie Caldecott
Come On, Come On, Turn the Radio On
“Cheap Thrills” is not the first song written by Sia to top the Billboard Hot 100, but it is the first hit by a woman over 40 to lead the charts in sixteen years. Not since Madonna accomplished the same feat with “Music” in 2000 has a middle-aged woman sung a chart-topping hit.
Achieving success as an older pop star can be difficult, so how does Sia do it? Sheer talent certainly helps (she can crank out a pop anthem in as little as fourteen minutes), but her unique brand contributes to her success as well. Rather than face the scrutiny of the public eye, the camera-shy songstress performs with her back to the audience or dons face-covering blond wig so all that’s left visible is a pair of red lips. Sia admits that keeping her publicity as low key as possible is gimmicky, but thanks to her reclusiveness, she enjoys a level of privacy that’s healthy for her, and that most successful musicians can only dream of. Cheers, Sia! —MF
Aye Aye, Captain
This week has been a good one for fans of female superheroes. While the first trailer for next year’s Wonder Woman movie came out, Marvel announced its upcoming movie Captain Marvel will star Brie Larson as the titular heroine. It appears both D.C. and Marvel are racing to be the first to release a superhero movie with a female lead. But Larson, who won an Oscar for best actress in Room this year, won’t be hitting the big screen as the superheroine until 2019. As if to make up for the delay, Marvel also announced earlier this year that Black Widow will star in her own film, though a release date isn’t set. —MF
Trailer Is Out for Natalie Portman’s New Directed and Written Film
The newly released U.S. trailer for A Tale of Love and Darkness shows off Natalie Portman’s skill as actor, writer, and director of the film. The story follows the relationship between a mother-son duo in Israel during the 1940s. The screenplay was written by Portman and based on the book of the same title by Amos Oz.
Portman's mention in the news more recently has been over speculation about a published email exchange between her and novelist Jonathan Safran Foer than her work on this film. But in keeping to the movie itself, it's definitely a gutsy choice for her directorial debut, but not unexpected considering the Portman is Jewish, was born in Jerusalem, and actually speaks fluent Hebrew which dominates the film.
In addition to all these connections that Portman has to the film’s story, she noted that being a mom has also greatly prepared her for her role as director. The Oscar-winning actress points out that staying calm under pressure is definitely something that motherhood has given her. And as women are underrepresented in the directing sphere, it’s great to see Portman showing that her motherhood hasn't hurt but has strengthened her career. —GC
Surprise? Men and Women Use Tinder Differently
A recent study shows that there’s a big gender difference in how men and women use Tinder. The study was done by researchers making fake Tinder profiles (both male and female) to see how many “likes” the fictitious users would get. The results show that women are more likely to swipe right on people they are seriously interested in, while men are a lot less critical of who they choose. This interesting pattern can create a vicious cycle in the Tinder world because as men get fewer matches they become even less picky, and as women get more matches they become even more particular. Surprise, surprise. —GC
Oprah Puts a Wrinkle in Time
A generation that grew up dreaming of traveling to the fifth dimension will get its wish next year with a Disney adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, starring Oprah as the ethereal Mrs. Which. If you’re feeling déjà vu, it’s because Disney released a film based on Madeleine L’Engle’s classic sci-fi novel back in 2003. That movie was not very well-received, but this one looks like it’s shaping up to be a hit. We’re still waiting on a full cast list, but the new film will be directed by Ava DuVernay, who previously worked with Oprah as the director of Selma. Add to that a script from Frozen’s screenwriter, Jennifer Lee, and the latest adaptation of L’Engle’s 1963 classic novel may inspire a new generation to revisit the tale of friendship, adventure, and time travel. —MF