2016, for all its ups and downs, has brought us some major milestone achievements, especially for women.

In the wake of Hillary Clinton becoming the first woman presidential candidate of a major political party, director Ava DuVernay ("Selma") became the first woman of color to helm a movie with a budget of over $100 million.

DuVernay recognizes this is a huge milestone for women, but has been incredibly humble about being the pioneer for an important reason — there are many other women who deserve recognition alongside her.



Needless to say, shattering this particular glass ceiling in film was long overdue.

Duvernay isn't the only powerhouse woman working on the project either. The film is an adaptation of the beloved YA novel "A Wrinkle in Time" which was written by another woman: award-winning writer, Madeleine L'Engle. The book itself won a Newbery Medal — one of the two most prestigious awards a children's novel can receive.

The film is being adapted for the screen by Jennifer Lee, who you might know as the writer and director of the Academy Award-winning film "Frozen," which was lauded for being one of the first "princess films" to feature two women who were saved by each other rather than by a man.

"A Wrinkle in Time" will also star a woman who's basically a professional at breaking through man-made barriers.

That's right, folks, I'm talking about Oprah (Opraaaaahhhhh!).

Oprah, just being Oprah. Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images.

Oprah is set to play the story's ethereal character, Mrs. Which. For those who aren't familiar with "A Wrinkle in Time," Mrs. Which is the leader of the three supernatural "witches" who lead the children in through time and space. In the novel, she only ever appears as a magical ball of light, which seems apropos, considering Oprah's exuberance and superstardom.

Obviously DuVernay will be in very good company on set, surrounding herself and her cast with some serious wave-makers to bring the film to life.

With "A Wrinkle in Time," Duvernay is joining a rather small pool of women working at the top of the film budget chain.

Kathryn Bigelow was the first to make it past the $100 million line in 2002 for her movie “K-19: The Widowmaker." And Patty Jenkins will soon join them with her adaptation of "Wonder Woman," which will hit theaters in 2017.

Bigelow with her well-deserved Oscar for "The Hurt Locker." Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

If one is groundbreaking, two is a coincidence, and three is a pattern, let's hope this pattern means we'll see this club of three keep growing — especially now that women have proven many times over, they can catapult a movie into blockbuster territory just as well as the next guy.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

Keep Reading Show less

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

Keep Reading Show less
Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


Keep Reading Show less