Lorelai Gives Rory a Hammer

RORY: What is that?
LORELAI: A hammer.
RORY: It has feathers on it.
LORELAI: Yes.
RORY: Why?
LORELAI: So the rhinestones and bows won’t feel lonely.

This is the hammer referred to in the title, Hammers and Veils. Of course Rory can’t go off to help the needy like anyone else – she has to do it in an especially quirky, girly manner that immediately marks her as special and the centre of attention. It’s the Gilmore way.

Rory wouldn’t even buy purple legal pads for school because they’d make her look unprofessional at Chilton, but somehow she’s happy to take a gold-painted, pink feathered hammer to volunteer work which she is doing through Chilton, and for which the hammer would surely be useless. Maybe she’s more relaxed now that she’s one of the top students in her class.

Typically for the show, Rory is running ten minutes late for her volunteer job in this scene.

“A study on rats”

MICHEL: I am weighing my turkey.
SOOKIE: Why?
MICHEL: A group of scientists did a study on rats where they cut their daily calories by thirty percent.
SOOKIE: And you felt left out?
MICHEL: No, the rats lived thirty percent longer. And the scientists were so impressed that they cut their own calories just like the rats.

Michel is referring to a famous and oft-cited 1934 study, which found that when scientists cut the calories of mice by 30-40% but still gave them all the nutrients they needed, they lived longer than expected – sometimes twice as long as the expected lifespan.

It has been difficult to prove conclusively that this works on humans also, and sometimes it doesn’t even work on mice – the mice have to be young and well-fed to begin with for the calorie reduction to be of any use. Older and leaner mice died earlier than expected when on a calorie-restricted diet (which doesn’t seem like good news for Michel, who isn’t all that young, and already slim). Furthermore, mice on a calorie-restricted diet can find it harder to fight infections.

Since 1997, The Calorie Restriction Society has been collecting data on its 900 human members who are on calorie-restricted diets, but it may be decades before a definitive answer is reached. However, a 2012 study on monkeys found no difference in lifespan between subjects who ate a normal healthy diet and those who ate a calorie-restricted healthy diet.

It’s notable that Michel is eating turkey, since in the Pilot episode he said he didn’t eat meat. Possibly that was a dietary fad, or perhaps he only considers red meat to be “meat”.

Adolf Eichmann

KIRK: That’s right. There’s exactly a thousand of them. The order states that there is to be exactly 1000. Not 1001, not 999, but 1000. You ask for 1000, I bring 1000. I don’t question the orders. I merely fill them.
MICHEL: Job well done, Mr. Adolf Eichmann.

(Otto) Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) was a German Nazi lieutenant colonel, and one of the major organisers of the Holocaust. After the outbreak of World War II, Eichmann and his staff were responsible for the deportation of Jews to concentration camps. After the war, Eichmann escaped Germany, and in 1950 managed to get to Argentina with false papers.

In 1960, Israeli intelligence agents captured Eichmann and brought him to Israel to stand trial for his war crimes. He did not deny his involvement, but argued that he had simply been following orders in a totalitarian system. He was found guilty, and hanged in 1962.

This is the first time we have seen Kirk (the character named Kirk, not Mick or an anonymous swan guy) in a change of job. He began as the assistant manager of Doose’s Market, and now he is doing deliveries for the flower shop. As the flower shop is right near the market, it doesn’t seem too hard to believe that Kirk could do both jobs, but as the show progresses, the number of jobs he holds blows out to comical proportions.

“Faster than seventeen?”

LORELAI: It’s just that – you know, it’s about the freedom. I mean if I had access to all that money as a kid I would have left the house so fast.
SOOKIE: Faster than seventeen?

In fact we learn in the next season that Lorelai was actually eighteen when she left home in 1986. Originally the show seems to have decided it would happen in 1985, when she was seventeen and Rory almost one.

Cambodia

EMILY: Won’t you have dessert?
TRIX: I once travelled to a small village in Cambodia. I did not eat dessert there either.

Cambodia is a country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It was under the control of France during the 19th century, and became independent in 1953. Cambodian desserts are actually quite famous, but perhaps the small village Trix went to was too poor to have any dessert, or not up to Trix’s standards – as a slam to Emily, most likely the second.

Trix doesn’t like travel, but somehow made it all the way to Cambodia. Possibly her dislike for travel only came on late in life.

Jackson Melville

When Rory takes Christopher to Andrew’s book store, Stars Hollow Books, Sookie’s boyfriend Jackson is there. He introduces himself as Jackson Melville, even though subsequent episodes always identify him as Jackson Belleville. Maybe they decided that the original surname seemed like a reference to Herman Melville, one of Rory’s favourite authors, which didn’t really fit with Jackson’s role.