Biography.com's "Week in Review" highlights interesting people who've made the news this past week—thanks to their endeavors, big ideas, triumphs, importance in history, or magnanimous gaffes. While there were many people to choose from this week, here are our top picks that made us either raise an eyebrow, roll our eyes, shed a tear, or just gave us a good chuckle.
Apolitical But Politically Persuasive: 'Mom-in-Chief' Michelle Obama Knows How to Deliver a Speech
Whichever party you swear allegiance to, you gotta hand it to Michelle Obama: The Mom in Chief knows how to kick start a convention! Poised and confident as always, Mrs. Obama gave a masterful speech at the Democratic National Convention that testified to the president's personal—not political—investment he's made to the American people. By sharing their humble beginnings, she was able to draw a stark contrast between her husband and Mitt Romney without saying the latter's name once. "As a general matter, her speech was a big hit: good enough that even Fox News was kind to her," writes Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne. "But the specific stories — about her father working through the pain of multiple sclerosis, about the debts she and her husband accumulated from college — served a powerful campaign purpose. A speech that was thoroughly apolitical on the surface carried multiple political messages, linking a very traditional message about parenting with a call for social justice." The First Lady's speech was so successful it even went viral in China, according to Tea Leaf Nation. The general conclusion? @aviatorpink from Shanghai sums it up best: "She is damn amazing...Lucky Obama." It's Just 'Arithmetic': 'Defender-in-Chief' Bill Clinton Brings the House Down With Numbers & Charisma
Love him or hate him, Bill Clinton was the talk of the town at the DNC on Wednesday night, after he offered a convincing argument to re-elect President Obama. Critics from the left and the right praised him for filling his 49-minute speech with substantive policy-laden reasons on why Obama was the clear choice—and he did so in layman's terms and signature Clintonian charm. While the former president now famously spoke of simple "arithmetic" as the proof on why we can't afford a Republican as president, the blogosphere dove into fact-checking his numbers—and some ultimately concluded his math was fuzzy. No matter: What wasn't fuzzy was the general consensus that Clinton's speech was far more persuasive and appealing than anything spoken in Tampa. Casting Couch: Details of How Scientologists Allegedly Interviewed Wives for Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise, Nazanin Boniadi In hellfire-and-brimstone cult news, Vanity Fair has just come out with a story that elaborates on the long-held rumor that Scientologists auditioned wives for their high Operating Thetan-leveled Master of Weirdness, Tom Cruise. According to sources, actress Kim Kardashian Nazanin Boniadi, a member of Scientology at the time, was chosen to be Cruise's immortal beloved in 2004—mind you, pre-Katie Holmes. The Iranian-born, London-raised Boniadi was allegedly told she was on a special mission and was going to save the world...but first, according to the story, she had to get rid of her red highlights, braces, and her boyfriend before the "Mission Impossible" could be unveiled! Boniadi and Cruise's relationship crashed and burned, lasting only five months from November 2004 to January 2005. Apparently, the gal had too much of a mind, which was interpreted as disrespect by Tom-Tom and the Scientology powers that be. Mary Todd Lincoln Insane in the Membrane? New Trial Will Try to Refute
It's been 130 years since Mary Todd Lincoln died, but come this October, the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission and the Lincoln Museum plan on retrying the case that deemed her insane a decade after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. And talk about political theater. Lawyers on both sides will dress in 19th century garb but will use today's legal tenets as its foundation, while two actors will play the parts of Mrs. Lincoln and her son Robert Todd Lincoln. As for the jury, audience members will serve that role. The former First Lady was said to have fallen into a depression and had tried for years to contact her dead husband via seance. Her son, Robert Todd Lincoln, whom she later suspected wanted a stake in her finances, committed her. After being declared insane in 1875 and spending months at Bellevue Sanitarium, Mrs. Lincoln secretly wrote letters to her lawyer. "It does not appear that God is good, to have placed me here," she stated in one of her exchanges. "I endeavor to read my Bible and offer up my petitions three times a day. But my afflicted heart fails me and my voice often falters in prayer. I have worshipped my son and no unpleasant word ever passed between us, yet I cannot understand why I should have been brought out here." Lincoln was later released. Source: Yahoo Charles Manson: Serial Killer to Singer?
If you've been dying to hear a serial killer strum on a guitar and blurt out gibberish, we've got the album for you...actually, we don't but Hollywood boutique owner Manuel Vasquez does. Presenting: Charles Manson's new album, Just F--king Around. Vasquez, who studied Manson's case, believes the criminally demonic homunculus is innocent. He released Manson's album on vinyl under his own label and has thus far sold 200 copies. (Because of his convictions, Manson can't profit from the sales.) The cult leader, who is serving a life sentence for coercing his followers to murder actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969, recorded himself putzing around on the guitar and "singing" heartwarming lyrics like "I could be a dragon or a worm…or a cockroach" during the mid-80s when he was detained at a prison hospital in California." Now if you played the album backwards, what do you think he was really saying? Source: NY Daily News