Bigfoot, Wes Anderson Bingo, and the Two-Week Wait: The Week’s Most Interesting Slate stories

The week's most intriguing stories.
May 26 2012 6:15 AM

Wes Anderson Bingo, the Two-Week Wait, and Colin Powell’s Cowardice

The week’s most interesting Slate stories.

Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom.
Moonrise Kingdom is out this weekend.

Photograph © Focus Features. All rights reserved.

Wes Anderson Bingo!” by Forrest Wickman, Chris Kirk, and Holly Allen. Excited for the release of Wes Anderson’s latest film, Moonrise Kingdom? Get ready by playing Browbeat’s Wes Anderson Bingo game, which features Anderson’s trademark quirks, from 1960s Brit Pop to his classic use of slow-motion shots set to music. Watch Jacob Weisberg interview Anderson.

Visible Life: IVF, personhood, and the Two-Week Wait,” by Belle Boggs. Sharing her own story about trying to conceive and the Two-Week Wait, the wait between ovulation and a possible pregnancy, Boggs considers IVF treatments and explains the world of online TTC message boards (that’s “trying to conceive”). And, having dealt with the anxiety of trying to conceive for almost four years, she proposes to look at the interval instead as a “pause,” which “implies peace and freedom, reflection, even agency, in a way that wait does not.”

I Don’t! How a bizarre legal case involving a mysterious billionaire could force 1.2 million Canadians to be married, against their will,” by Lili Boisvert. They may speak French, but Quebecians are not romantic about marriage, and 34.6 percent of the province’s couples are “de facto spouses” only—couples who cohabitate but have no obligation to support each other upon termination of the relationship. A recent challenge to the law, however, may marry 1.2 million couples living in Quebec whether they like it or not.

The Myth of Majority-Minority America: I have one Cuban grandparent. Why does the census count me as Hispanic?” by Matthew Yglesias. Though the Census Bureau reported last week that for the first time there are more minority babies than white babies being born in the United States, Yglesias challenges the census’s definition of “minority”: “I suspect an awful lot of these ‘minority’ babies are going to be white when they grow up.” Despite being one-fourth Hispanic himself, Yglesias admits that in the real world, “I’m just another white dude.”

The Web’s Copyright Conundrum: A Tumblr executive on how to share great stuff online without committing theft.” In this “Conversation with Slate,” Tumblr Vice President Andrew McLaughlin tells Slate’s Jacob Weisberg how the microblogging social network manages copyrighted material. The conversation continues with a discussion of Tumblr vs. Pinterest.

The Cowardice of Colin Powell: Is there anyone in American public life who gets so much credit for being a leader, while not truly leading?” by Nathaniel Frank. Pummeling Powell for shirking responsibility for the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy, Frank elucidates Powell’s shortcomings as a leader, calling his recent endorsement of same-sex marriage just another act of following. 

The Perfection of the Paper Clip: It was invented in 1899. It hasn’t been improved upon since,” by Sara Goldsmith. Detailing the history of the signature office instrument and its competitors, Goldsmith discusses the simplicity and staying power of the paper clip.

Do Men Find Dumb-Looking Women More Attractive? A new study says yes,” by Jesse Bering. Though dimwitted and intoxicated women have been shown to be more desirable to men, Bering is skeptical of the study’s implications. The study finds that these traits are only attractive for fleeting sexual encounters, and a follow up study confirms that male personalities deficient in empathy and warmth are those most likely to seek out dumb-looking women.

Living Legends: Do mythical creatures like Bigfoot ever turn out to be real?” by Brian Palmer. Yes is the answer, and now scientists have set out to determine once and for all whether Bigfoot is real. Palmer notes that several well-known species were once legends themselves, including the Komodo dragon and the gorilla.

The East Is Crimson: Why is Harvard training the next generation of Chinese Communist Party leaders?” by William J. Dobson. For more than 10 years, the Chinese Communist Party has been sending its rising stars to international universities, including Harvard, to study specifically designed programs on leadership, strategy, and public management. Dobson considers the role of Harvard in educating a regime that  “systematically commits human rights abuses on a nearly unparalleled scale” and what China’s effort to educate its officials abroad says about the country.

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