In the latest column, news about Olympians with ties to Palo Alto at the Winter Games, Hulu's new trailer about the rise and fall of Theranos and a Stanford student competing in this year's Jeopardy! National College Championship.
UPDATES FROM BEIJING ... Olympians with ties to Palo Alto have made their mark on the Winter Games a week into the international competition.
One of the most notable pieces of news so far came from 21-year-old skater Vincent Zhou, who dropped out from the men's individual competition after testing positive for COVID-19. "It seems pretty unreal that of all the people it would happen to myself," Zhou said on Monday in a five-minute Instagram video.
Zhou will still leave Beijing with a silver medal that the U.S. earned in the team free skate, where he performed selections from the film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" prior to receiving the positive test result. He plans to return to the ice at the world championships next month in France.
Over at the Big Air Shougang stadium, incoming Stanford freshman Eileen Gu had people holding their breath as she competed in the women's freestyle skiing freeski big air finals. Gu, 18, won the gold for China in a tight race with France's Tess Ledeux.
Gunn graduate Joanne Reid, the daughter of Olympic bronze medalist Beth (Heiden) Reid and the niece of five-time Olympic gold medalist Eric Heiden, finished in 57th place in the biathlon 15-kilometer individual event on Monday. In Pyeongchang four years ago, Reid finished 86th in the sprint, 22nd in individual, 15th in mixed relay and 13th in relay.
MAKING BIG IMPRESSIONS ... The rise and fall of Palo Alto-based Theranos will soon be available to watch from a streaming screen near you thanks to Hulu, which released a trailer for "The Dropout" this week.
The trailer opens with a closeup of actress Amanda Seyfried, who plays company founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes. "The world works in certain ways until a new great idea comes along and changes everything," Seyfried says in the trailer's opening, outfitted in a black blazer and black turtleneck that was Holmes' signature look.
It goes on to show a portrayal of Holmes' days at Stanford University, her decision to withdraw from the university and her early days of promoting the company's finger-prick blood test technology.
Over the course of two minutes and 25 seconds, the viewer is transported from Stanford University's picturesque campus to Theranos' Page Mill Road headquarters to an auditorium filled with an applauding audience (not to mention a mix of exhilarating and frustrating scenes in labs, cars, a plane and a yacht). Along the way, Seyfried's Holmes is seen interacting with multiple characters familiar to many by now and practicing a deeper-toned voice in front of a mirror.
The upcoming limited series, based on the ABC News podcast of the same name, is set to premiere on March 3.
BATTLE OF THE BRAINS ... Stanford's very own Isaac Applebaum outsmarted his competition this week on the Jeopardy! National College Championship airing in primetime on ABC.
The junior is one of 36 undergraduate students vying for the title and $250,000 grand prize. He appeared on Tuesday's opening episode, which was the first of 12 quarterfinal matchups, with students from Cornell and Dartmouth universities.
In the opening round category of "These words are younger than you are," he garnered some laughs from the audience when presented with this question: "This gendered word for condescendingly expounding has only been around since 2008." The answer? "Mansplaining."
Applebaum was in second place with $13,800 heading into Final Jeopardy, where the contestants were met with the following American history question: "One theory says Charles T. Torrey, a worker on this, coined its name, which appeared in the liberator on Oct. 14, 1842." He was the only student with the correct answer, "The Underground Railroad," and advanced to the semifinals, which are scheduled for Feb. 17-18. The championships are set for Feb. 22.
"The secret weapon that I have in terms of knowledge is actually I'm a humanities person," Applebaum, a computational biology major, told The Stanford Daily.