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Prince Harry Hopes Meghan Markle Has a Girl, Is Already Father of the Year

While attending yet another event on their royal tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga this weekend, Prince Harry gave a very telling response when some local well-wishers told him they hope Meghan Markle gives birth to a girl. As seen in a video posted by a fan account, Prince Harry was walking down a road and waving to people when someone shouted out, “I hope it’s a girl!” The Duke of Sussex then shouted back, “So do I!”

Even if the parents-to-be do find out the sex of their baby some time in the next few weeks, they won’t be sharing it with the rest of us. Royal tradition dictates that members of the royal family don’t learn the sex of their children in advance; if they choose to break with this tradition, though, they’re not allowed to reveal it to the world until the child is born.

If Prince Harry and Markle’s first child is indeed a little girl, British oddsmakers are betting she’ll be named Lady Victoria, Alice, or Diana of Sussex. A son, on the other hand, is expected to be called Albert, Arthur, or Philip—and would probably also inherit one of Prince Harry’s many courtesy titles, like Earl of Dumbarton or Baron Kilkeel.

“Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019,” Kensington Palace posted last Monday (October 15), confirming Markle’s pregnancy. “Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”

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Chris Pine Knows You’re Talking About His Penis, Is Reading The Tweets

Rolling with the obsession and just leaning into it is way more disarming than causing a stink, and at the end of the day, the whole point of movies is to get people talking and to create a little distraction in people’s lives. That’s why the most popular actors and actresses make millions of dollars for every movie they’re in. They’re adding something to society, but you can’t always choose what that something is.

Sometimes, as in his role in Star Trek, it’s a few hours of spectacle. Sometimes, as in his role in People Like Us, it’s trying to get people to really connect with the emotions of a story. And sometimes, as in this case, it’s about getting people to giggle about seeing a famous penis, which doesn’t happen very often. To me, all three of those potential outcomes are better than a movie just being forgotten, even if they were decent. There are a few examples in Chris Pine’s career that we could point to on that front, but we’ll stay away and take the high road (couldn’t help it) since he’s been such a good sport about the dick talk.

The Hate U Give’s CinemaScore Totally Murdered Halloween’s

Halloween may have slain the box office, but another film has been given top marks by audiences. Opening night audiences gave The Hate U Give the best possible Cinemascore, an A+, while Halloween was only able to come up with a B+.

Cinemascores tend to skew high as they’re decided on by surveying opening night audiences. They’re interested enough in a particular movie already to go see it opening night, which means they had an expectation they would like it. It certainly doesn’t always work out that way, as F Cinemascores happen, though they are exceedingly rare.

Still, an A+ Cinemascore is also pretty rare. No other reason film has reached such heights. It shows a near complete adoration for a film by nearly every person who saw it. Audiences are pretty in step with critics as well as the movie has received glowing reviews and currently has a 96% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

That love hasn’t quite translated into box office success. The Hate U Give jumped into sixth place at the box office in its first week of wide release but only made about $7 million. It has made a little over $10 million overall.

This is in sharp contrast to the $77 million that Halloween made over this past weekend. Many are calling it the second best Halloween movie in the franchise which, while some of the films are not looked at positively, still means it’s better than like 10 other movies because there have been a lot of films in that franchise.

Halloween didn’t do too badly in the Cinemascore arena either. A B+ is a perfectly solid result, it would look pretty stellar if it wasn’t sitting next to that amazing A+.

The Hate U Give follows the experience of an African-American teenage girl, played to perfection by Amandla Stenberg, that’s caught between her mostly black neighborhood and her mostly white prep school when a friend of hers is killed in a police officer-involved shooting. It’s an emotional journey that may very well become a major contender come awards season, but it’s not necessarily the dry, overly dramatic piece of cinema that you might expect from the end of the year Oscar bait. It’s based on a YA novel and the film is designed to appeal to a much wider audience.

It will be interesting to see if how well this positive buzz impacts the box office for The Hate U Give overall. While the movie certainly isn’t going to be putting up Halloween numbers, it could still turn out to be a box office hit, which is something else the movie won’t have in common with many of the other awards contenders. While it had a pretty modest budget, it needs to do about three times that in order to start bringing in a profit.

How The Walking Dead Made Rick’s Upcoming Exit That Much More Depressing

Spoilers below for The Walking Dead’s latest episode, so make sure to watch before reading on.

Under showrunner Angela Kang, The Walking Dead has layered its scenes and characters with more emotional underpinnings. Predictably, Andrew Lincoln’s impending exit has added an indeterminable heaviness to Rick’s final episodes, particularly where Michonne and Judith are concerned. In “Warning Signs,” the creative team struck another heart-rending blow by having Rick and Michonne lovingly agree to try and have a baby together. This isn’t going to end well, people.

Admittedly, the episode did not shy away from cluing viewers in on the danger our heartstrings were in. Early on, Rick had a quiet moment reflecting on Carl’s death, by way of the handprint-endowed porch boards hanging on the wall. Rick and Michonne had a fun afternoon with Judith, allowing their attention to land on something other than the Savior-killer drama, the imprisoned Negan and all the other problems.

Later, when they’re alone, they discuss that old chestnut about building a future for their loved ones. It’s here that Rick introduced the idea about making their own personal contribution to the future. Though he doesn’t make a big winky face or use any explicit language or gestures, it’s clear that he’s talking about conceiving a child with Michonne.

Rick and Michonne bringing a kid into the world is a more complicated concept than one might think, judging from all the warm feelings invoked by the episode scene. For one, the supply situation still hasn’t fully been worked out (although there are less Saviors around to eat the food). As well, Michonne and Rick are two top-tier leaders within the communities, both from mental and physical standpoints, so it would be fairly problematic to have either or both once again dedicated to raising a newborn child.

Psychological complications are also worth noting here. Each of Rick and Michonne’s biological children are all dead now, and they’re raising daughter whose DNA came from Lori and Shane. While neither one of them has any outspoken regrets about it, it’s clear they would also like to have their own biological offspring to carry their combined bloodlines beyond the post-apocalypse.

However, for as beautiful as the concept of a Richonne baby may seem on the surface, fans are well aware that Rick will only be around for two more episodes in Season 9. Which generally means one of two things will likely happen.

Rick and Michonne could successfully conceive a new child that would go its whole life without knowing his or her father. Not the most ideal situation, but not the worst, as proven by Maggie and Lil Hershel. Alternately, Rick could die before the conception can happen, leaving Michonne with all kinds of “what could have been” scenarios floating around in her head.

In fact, Danai Gurira spoke at San Diego Comic-Con about her biggest Walking Dead challenge happening during Season 9’s production, when a highly emotional sequence kept getting delayed by weather. In her words:

Could it be that the turmoil Michonne will go through is tied to Rick’s offspring plan? Or will her darkest days be wholly centered on Rick’s death regardless of a possible pregnancy? There could some other reason, but it’s not the most likely guess.

I’ll admit that in all the ways I’ve envisioned The Walking Dead attempting to make Rick’s departure as powerful as possible, I didn’t envision Rick and Michonne wanting to give Judith a baby sibling to love on. Honestly, I can’t even decide how I want that situation to turn out, although I feel safe sticking with “whatever Michonne wants.”

Are you guys ready for the gut punch that’s coming when Rick says farewell? Be sure to tune into The Walking Dead every Sunday night on AMC to see how it all gets resolved. Our fall TV premiere schedule can offer some fine alternative programming for those needing some lighter fare throughout the work week.

Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Racist and Islamophobic Comment About Iran Re-Traumatized Me

If the past month is any indication, it’s that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) just doesn’t get it. He’s supported men who are accused of sexual assault (fighting furiously to move forward the confirmation of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh), waved his subscription to the Old Boys Club in our faces with his contempt for women, and on top of all that, I believe he just proved he is a racist bigot in the most casual of ways.

On Tuesday, Graham made an appearance on Fox & Friends to discuss Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) recent DNA tests proving she has Native American ancestry—an already racially sensitive topic due to the tokenization of indigenous people for political gain. In banter back and forth with the hosts about his plan to also take a DNA test, Graham said it would be “like, terrible” if the results showed he had Iranian heritage.

The senator said these words on live television, encouraging the already conservative audience to go forth with their biases and micro-aggressions against “eye-rain-ians.” While many instances of bias usually need to be decoded, this one was pretty straightforward.

When Graham says being Iranian is, “like, terrible,” it sounds to me like he’s saying he is better because he is white. It’s a loud and clear reminder that no matter how successful and accomplished I—an Iranian-American woman—become, how American I may feel, I am still considered a minority in this country. And now, because my parents are also Iranian, I’m “terrible.”

Not that there is much to be expected from a white South Carolinian man whose comments in the past have highlighted white male anxiety and privilege. (In a speech, he once said that white men in male-only spaces would do great under a Graham presidency.) But it must be said that this insult stands to re-traumatize Iranian-Americans and even those who follow Islam. Graham’s comment was a play on the same Islamophobia the president dabbles in, and in the larger scheme, the kind that demonized anyone from the Middle East after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

For me, that phobia hit home. I remember it very clearly. I went to the same predominantly white, Southern school from kindergarten until I graduated high school—the one Iranian-American Muslim student. With my dark curls and impossible to pronounce name, I never felt I belonged. I got picked on for my thick brows and the homemade lunches my mom lovingly packed. And after 9/11, I was constantly asked if I was a terrorist. I was only 11 years old.

Like most middle schoolers, I just wanted to fit in. I made it a mission to whitewash myself by straightening my hair until it was damaged and dressing in the same preppy clothes my classmates owned. It still wasn’t enough. I remember begging my parents to give me an American name, one that my teachers wouldn’t butcher after awkwardly pausing on the roster. They would answer, “You have the most beautiful name; it means liberty, freedom. You are free.” I didn’t feel free. There was this deeply rooted anxiety I felt every single morning I walked into school. By the end of high school, I was tired of minimizing myself. Realizing I wouldn’t have to see these people who traumatized me for years, I stopped trying to hide who I was, and slowly reconnected with my roots. I eventually made it to New York and pursued my master’s degree in journalism at Columbia. The first line to my admissions essay was from the late travel writer, producer and chef Anthony Bourdain: I am so confused. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Of all the places, of all the countries, all the years of traveling, it’s here in Iran, that I am greeted most warmly by total strangers.

I have been able to stay focused and compartmentalize how I react to news that personally affects me—the Muslim travel ban, controversial Supreme Court nominations, the disregard of climate change, and of course, threats to silence the free press. But it wasn’t until I saw Graham’s comments on my Twitter timeline that something triggered inside me. That same anxious feeling that haunted me in the school halls crept back. I cried as I listened to those words, and I cry as I write this now. In an instant, I felt so belittled and powerless. These are the same comments I heard for years, in the same accent no less, from my classmates. I felt even sadder thinking about all the other Azadehs out there who are hiding from their roots because they’re ostracized for something they can’t control. For being an American that looks different from Graham.

I actually agree with Graham: It would be terrible for someone on his level of ignorant bigotry and racism to be Iranian. But on the bright side, his time is running out. He makes these comments out of ignorance and fear that an intolerant America will not endure. And he’s right. There is a new generation of young voters coming in and an outstanding number of fearless women whose votes next month are going to help right the currently failing course of history this great nation is straying on.

Sen. Graham, I hope someday soon you decide to take a step forward and get to know one of the undoubtedly incredible Iranian-Americans you cross paths with. I hope you realize it’s an honor to come from a rich heritage and become enlightened by our hospitality. Most of all, I hope you realize that any bad leadership you may be referencing in Iran does not speak for us or our values—just as our current administration here doesn’t speak for the majority of great Americans in this country.

You shouldn’t throw stones if you live in a glass house.

Azadeh Valanejad is a writer and video producer at Glamour. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @azaxdeh.

MORE: Kelly Marie Tran Wrote a Powerful Essay About the Racism She Experienced After Star Wars

How To Make Halloween Costumes From Your Closet

You already know what most people are going to dress up as for Halloween and want to stand out. Or maybe your squad couldn’t agree on a group costume in time. So, you’re left to your own devices—and with a ticking clock. So it’s time to see what you can cobble together out of things you already own (with maybe a couple of add-ons, procured with two-day shipping.) You can get some more mileage out of 2018’s biggest trends (bike shorts, anyone?) or even turn to those wardrobe staples that have never let you down (like a little white dress, or LWD) to put together a last-minute get-up. With a creative and discerning eye to your wardrobe, you’ll be surprised at what you come up with. Here are some ideas for how to make Halloween costumes from your closet.

In ‘Friday Black,’ Retail Is Bloody and the World Is Ending

‘I like to work in that space where, “Is it hyperbole? I don’t know,”’ the writer Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah says.
‘I like to work in that space where, “Is it hyperbole? I don’t know,”’ the writer Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah says. Photo: Limitless Imprint Entertainment

“Friday Black,” a short-story collection that veers from absurd humor to extreme violence, is earning early raves and posing an inbox challenge for its debut author.

“I used to be on the outside, really, really, really wanting to be in,” said Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, the 27-year-old writer whose book comes out on Tuesday. “Now I’m sort of on the inside, totally overwhelmed by emails.”

The book’s title draws inspiration from the retailing monster that is Black Friday. In one story, zombie-like shoppers literally kill each other for deals. As it is in his other stories, the fiction is rooted in fact.

“I really did see humans step on each other’s legs and push each other, fighting over jeans or sneakers,” said the author, who worked in high school and college at the streetwear chain Against All Odds.

In ‘Friday Black,’ Retail Is Bloody and the World Is Ending

Mr. Adjei-Brenyah, a native of Spring Valley, N.Y., whose parents immigrated from Ghana, steeps the book in themes of capitalist perversions and racial injustice. It opens with “The Finkelstein 5,” about five black South Carolina children decapitated by a chainsaw-wielding white man, and the aftermath of the crime.

“I like to work in that space where, ‘Is it hyperbole? I don’t know,’ ” Mr. Adjei-Brenyah said. “When you kill someone with a gun or a chainsaw, they’re just as dead either way. When I say ‘chainsaw,’ you have to pay attention.”

In the last story, the world comes to an end and its inhabitants must relive the day on a cosmic loop. Two 14-year-old rivals find ever more sadistic ways to torture and kill each other and their neighbors. Yet the author manages to close with a hopeful note, as his heroine strikes the pose of a dancer in a final flash of light: “And if you are with your family, or anyone at all, when it comes, you feel silly and scared, but at least not alone.”

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s “Friday Black” comes out Tuesday.

Write to Ellen Gamerman at

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To Promote Nutrition, Hospitals Host Grocery Stores and Greenmarkets

Some of the produce grown at the farm atop Eskenazi Health’s flagship hospital in Indianapolis goes to patients.
Some of the produce grown at the farm atop Eskenazi Health’s flagship hospital in Indianapolis goes to patients. Photo: Eskenazi Health

Some hospital patients are heading home with a sheaf of prescriptions—and a bag of spinach and spaghetti squash.

Invoking the mantra that food is medicine, hospitals across the country are taking measures to prevent and treat illness through diet. To nudge patients into eating well at home, they have opened food pantries that offer nutrition counseling and healthful fare. They are growing their own produce, adding farmers to the payroll and hosting greenmarkets. A few are even tiptoeing into the grocery business.

ProMedica, a not-for-profit health system headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, pursued several avenues to help patients follow a good diet. ProMedica’s Social Determinants of Health Institute set up two food pantries, where patients can receive nutritional guidance and free groceries. ProMedica opened a grocery store a few miles from one hospital, in an area that had been bereft of healthful food. Called Market on the Green, the store is open to the public, not just ProMedica patients.

Market on the Green, a grocery store that ProMedica runs in Toledo, Ohio, tries to steer shoppers toward healthful fare.
Market on the Green, a grocery store that ProMedica runs in Toledo, Ohio, tries to steer shoppers toward healthful fare. Photo: Brittany Greeson for The Wall Street Journal

Market on the Green fills 6,500 square feet, making it smaller than some of the sprawling, multi-aisled outposts of national grocery chains. For Kate Sommerfeld, president of ProMedica’s Social Determinants of Health Institute, just deciding what to stock can be a challenge. At Market on the Green, she manages an inventory that includes popular snacks such as potato chips and candy with items that her hospital colleagues recommend.

ProMedica executive Kate Sommerfeld tries to nudge shoppers at Market on the Green to nutritious offerings.
ProMedica executive Kate Sommerfeld tries to nudge shoppers at Market on the Green to nutritious offerings. Photo: Brittany Greeson for The Wall Street Journal

“We have dietitians who would love to have nothing but lettuce and carrots in the store,” Ms. Sommerfeld said. “But the reality is that is not how we eat, me included.” She positioned foods to nudge shoppers into healthier choices. Most grocery-store checkout counters are a gauntlet of candy. At Market on the Green, cashiers are surrounded by produce, while candy bars are tucked down an aisle. Whole-grain cereal is shelved at eye level, sugar-laden cereal can be found on harder-to-reach shelves.

The store is a nonprofit enterprise. Ms. Sommerfeld tries to steer shoppers with prices, putting smaller markups on healthful fare. For instance, she said, whole-grain potato chips cost less than regular ones. Chocolate milk is “priced high” to encourage children to drink skim milk.

Michael Belair, a ProMedica patient, suffers from diabetes and has had several strokes. The 48-year-old former firefighter and music teacher in Toledo, Ohio, values a sound diet but says, “I wasn’t doing such a great job by myself, which was why I asked for help.”

His ProMedica doctor wrote him a prescription to be filled at the hospital’s food pantry. There, Mr. Belair met with a ProMedica nutritionist, who went over dietary do’s and don’ts. She urged him to switch to whole-wheat bread from white and to favor baking over frying when cooking. From time to time, Mr. Belair shops at Market on the Green and is now a fan of its yogurt parfait with granola.

ProMedica patient Michael Belair, seen shopping at Market on the Green, sought advice on nutrition.
ProMedica patient Michael Belair, seen shopping at Market on the Green, sought advice on nutrition. Photo: Brittany Greeson for The Wall Street Journal

The American Hospital Association, an industry trade association, has urged members to play a part in the nutritional health of their communities. An AHA report, “Food Insecurity and the Role of Hospitals,” focused on patients without access to good food and those with medical conditions that could be remedied by diet.

The 2017 report examined the “link between food insecurity and health issues, including chronic illness and child development.” The report said hospitals should help individuals and households at risk of “food insecurity,” meaning having little or no nutritious food because it costs too much or is far away. Food pantries, once the purview of anti-poverty and anti-hunger organizations, can now be found in many hospitals.

Hospitals diving into the food business may find themselves in over their heads, warned Nancy Copperman, vice president of community health at Northwell Health, a hospital system based in New Hyde Park, N.Y. “Hospitals do clinical stuff really well,” she said. “We can give you a new heart, a new lung, a new liver. But we can’t give you a food pantry really well.”

Northwell consulted with experts in the industry before opening a food pantry for patients this summer. Two major companies, U.S. Foods and Baldor, donate surplus produce and canned food. Other contributors include Island Harvest, a food bank. Named the Food as Health Center, the pantry is in the basement of Northwell’s Long Island Jewish Valley Stream hospital. Northwell prefers not to call the Food as Health Center a pantry, concerned that the term might connote indigence. Staff members assemble bags holding two days of groceries and hand them out to some patients after doctor visits or when they are being discharged.

Patients are screened for “food insecurity and food-related diseases such as hypertension, congestive heart failure, diabetes, obesity, unintended weight loss,” among other ailments, Ms. Copperman said. Patients who are referred by their doctors see a dietitian once a month and are given two days’ worth of food. After a couple of months, patients who still need food assistance are referred to outside help organizations and other local pantries.

Northwell also is considering installing farm stands with local produce beside the gift shops in its hospital lobbies.

Northwell Health’s Nancy Copperman, right, discussed diet with Juanita McPhail, a patient.
Northwell Health’s Nancy Copperman, right, discussed diet with Juanita McPhail, a patient. Photo: Lee Weissman/Northwell Health

Hospitals may find that giving patients food and advice will save the institutions money, said Lisa Harris, CEO of Eskenazi Health, a public health system in Indianapolis. “Because of our role in the community, if someone needed an MRI or a procedure, we would often be paying for that.” But offering healthful fare, as Eskenazi does to some patients at a food pantry it helps run, is more cost-effective. “It is much less expensive to help people be well than to address the effects of chronic disease,” Dr. Harris said.

The company hosts a weekly farmers market for local growers. On the roof of its main hospital, Eskenazi, with the help of a full-time farmer, is cultivating everything from kale to berries. Last year, the farm produced 3,500 pounds of fruits and vegetables, which go to patient meals and community health centers, Dr. Harris said. Eskenazi recently opened a small grocery store near the cafeteria in its main hospital. The shop sells healthful fare and is open to the public.

In Ypsilanti, Mich., a farmer oversees the 25 acres of crops cultivated at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor hospital. Some of the kale, tomatoes and other produce is donated to food pantries and some is sold at a farmers market the hospital runs on Wednesdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.—the most popular interval for patient discharges. Patients who present a doctor’s “prescription” for the market can head home with $10 worth of free produce.

The farm’s benefits extend beyond patients’ plates. Flowers that the St. Joseph’s research and compliance team grow there are displayed around the hospital. Some hospital staff members find it therapeutic to tend small plots. One nurse administrator has been struggling to cultivate cotton, an effort the hospital labeled “a work in progress.”

Write to Lucette Lagnado at

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How to Use Hiring Bots to Your Advantage

Here’s a fact: when you’re job hunting, human beings aren’t always looking at your résumé.

Experts used to say recruiters spend six seconds reviewing your résumé before tossing it in the trash (grab their attention fast!). But forget that idea—computers have been doing the gatekeeping for years, screening for keywords and employment gaps. Now tech is taking things to the next level. Much the way Netflix suggests Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt after you watch one 30 Rock episode, companies are starting to use artificial intelligence (AI) and sophisticated tests, in addition to algorithms, to not only find candidates for a job but also predict who will kick ass at it. The hope is that these tools will reduce costly turnover and, most important, help fix the human error and bias that have historically shut out women and minorities.

Great goal. But how will this all work?

After gathering company data, “these systems would be trained in ways that reflect ideas of ‘successful’ and ‘unsuccessful’ at a given company,” says Meredith Whittaker, cofounder of AI Now, a research institute at New York University that studies the social effects of AI. “But if a company isn’t diverse, especially in executive and leadership roles, [the software] would likely replicate existing biases that see certain people, often white men, as inherently more capable and successful than others.” In other words, version 2.0 of the hiring bots may be an improvement—or maybe not. But they’re coming. So here’s how to work them to your advantage.

Get past the first gatekeeper.

At least 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies use an automated applicant tracking system (ATS), or résumé screener, according to Jobscan, a tech company that helps applicants improve their résumé to beat the machines. “ATS software is designed to assess an applicant based on keywords,” says Amanda Augustine, a career advice expert at TopResume, a New York City résumé writing company. Without the right ones, she warns, your résumé “may never get past this initial digital gatekeeper.”

A simple hack: “Pick out the important keywords located in the job listing and incorporate them in your ‘Skills’ and ‘Work Experience’ sections,” Augustine says. Not sure which are the most important ones? You can make a word cloud out of a job description using a free tool like Wordle, she suggests.

For women in particular, certain parts of a résumé may hinder their chances of getting past an ATS. “A key issue is gaps in employment,” says Ifeoma Ajunwa, Ph.D., an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University. Some algorithms, Ajunwa explains, “might be trained to reject résumés with gaps, which could mean that women who take time off to raise children may want to explicitly list that or some other part-time activity on their résumé rather than leave those years blank.” Augustine says to consider proper formatting too, because complicated design elements can get lost on the software. “Stick to a simple design that doesn’t include embedded charts, images, or unusual fonts.”

Make the predictive algorithm predict you.

Companies are also moving past traditional hiring assessments like personality tests (which experts say don’t accurately predict your job success) and are instead using AI, algorithms, and neuroscience games to better match your abilities to a role. Frida Polli, Ph.D., created Pymetrics, an AI-based recruiting platform, to fix the hiring process after seeing her fellow Harvard Business School classmates struggle to find the right jobs. “I was amazed to see how many people put a lot of time and effort into getting recruited into a new field and then were not happy when they actually started working in it.” If they’d gotten a better understanding of their fit for that role, she says, some of that pain—for workers and companies—may have been prevented. Polli says Pymetrics uses algorithms to predict whether someone’s skills line up with a particular job by comparing their answers with those given by a company’s top performers.

Platforms like Pymetrics also say their software can also decrease hiring biases, such as discriminating against résumés with female or nonwhite-sounding names, by focusing on selected traits that social science research says are largely free of gender and racial bias, like risk tolerance and planning style. “If a hiring manager puts the most emphasis on hiring from a résumé, women and people of color have a reduced chance of getting the job,” Polli says.

The method appears to be working, at least for some companies. While Pymetrics doesn’t disclose client names for privacy reasons, it has reported impressive gains in 2018 hiring: an 18 percent increase in female technical hires and a 20 percent increase in minority interns at one financial service company.

But some industry professionals are wary. “A lot of algorithmic hiring tools use data from an employer’s existing network or what’s available on the Internet,” says ­Stephanie Lampkin, CEO and founder of Blendoor, whose hiring ­technology aims to reduce unconscious bias by hiding data like names and ages. “If you rely solely on limited information, you’re not accessing underrepresented talent.”

If you’re asked to take this kind of assessment during your job search, Augustine recommends you do a little sleuthing. “Check sites like Glassdoor to find out if a prospective employer is known for using this kind of ­technology as part of their candidate evaluation process,” she says. “If you know anyone who works at the company or has interviewed with this employer in the past, reach out to see if they can shed any light on the interview process.” Augustine adds that applicants can also visit a tool’s website to get a better feel for how it’s used. Your mood while taking these tests is also key, says Tomas ­Chamorro-Premuzic, Ph.D., a professor of business psychology at University ­College London and Columbia University. If you can, he says, “take the assessments in a calm moment when you’re awake but not overly aroused.” Translation: coffee but not too much coffee.

Or skip the bots altogether.

Eventually you’ll need to win over a person in real life to get a job. In this ever-evolving hiring world, you have to make networking a priority. “Studies have shown that you are 10 times more likely to land the job when your application is accompanied by an employee referral,” Augustine says. Those real-life ­connections are key, she adds. “If you can get someone to pass your résumé along to the hiring manager, thus bypassing the initial application gatekeepers, you’re more likely to get the interview.” And you’re one step closer to your dream job.

Malaika Jabali is a writer and attorney in New York City.

Apostle’s Most Gruesome Scene Was Influenced By The Director’s Dad

Director Gareth Evans’ new movie Apostle features multiple brutal scenes throughout its runtime, but it’s also a horror film that has a sense of restraint. Rather than constantly pushing your face into blood and gore, the move that it makes more often than not is suggesting really horrible violence and then letting imaginations fill in the blanks. It’s a strategy that’s actually really effective, and what’s funny is the approach was partially influenced by Evans’ father, as I learned during a recent interview. The filmmaker explained,

I had the pleasure of sitting down one-on-one with Gareth Evans last month following Apostle‘s premiere at Austin, Texas’ Fantastic Fest, and during that conversation one subject discussed was the writer/director’s approach to violence. Acknowledging that his new movie doesn’t get too overly explicit, I asked Evans about his personal philosophy in the area. As it turns out, one factor he keeps in mind during the production/editing phases is how his dad would feel watching the material, and judges from there.

Going further, Gareth Evans specifically highlighted what will ultimately be seen as one of Apostle‘s most notorious scenes — what he describes as the Heathen’s Stand. Appearing toward the end of the movie, it’s a torture device that primarily gets the job done with what are essentially giant, hand-turned corkscrews. Without going into detail, it’s all pretty disgusting, but it’s much more about the ideas than actually what’s shown on screen. Discussing the sequence, Evans said,

“Works” is arguably an understatement, as Apostle is definitely a film properly timed for release during the Halloween season. It’s definitely a movie that gets in your head, and features some gnarly, disturbing stuff.