The week's most interesting Slatestories.

The week's most intriguing stories.
Dec. 18 2009 10:58 AM

Sex Cells and Righteous Kills

The week's most interesting Slate stories.

1) "Hellfire Holidays: Secrets of the great British sex clubs," by Tony Perrottet. The intrepid author sets out to uncover formerly swinging Georgian-era sex dens throughout Britain put out of business by prudish Victorians.

2) "The Enthusiasm Gap: How Obama plans to get the Democrats excited about health care and 2010," by John Dickerson. Obama has to lure back disaffected Dems—attacking Republicans for obstructing health care reform might be a good place to start.

3) " 'I Do Things the Accountants of Truth Would Not Do': Werner Herzog discusses his two new films," by Jacob Weisberg. The editor-in-chief of The Slate Group interviews the German auteur, whose recent films put a twist on the classic American crime tale.

4) "Oral Roberts and His Green Buick: He launched one of America's few homegrown theologies, the prosperity gospel," by Hanna Rosin. Dead this week at 91, Roberts was the granddaddy of all "give and ye shall receive"-style celebrity preachers.

5) "The Gaming Club: Slate's year-end gaming club," by Leigh Alexander, Jamin Brophy-Warren, Mitch Krpata, and Chris Suellentrop. Video-game experts look back at the year in game-play and wonder whether the genre can achieve high art.

6) "The YouTube Bully and the Sex-Messaging Cop: Courts stick up for the constitutional rights of online troublemakers," by Emily Bazelon. California courts heard two cases this week that could set important cyberlaw precedents—if only they could define the word cyberlaw.

7) "Let Them Eat Fruitcake: Why we should embrace the boozy, dense, candied cake," by Sara Dickerman. Quit using it as a doorstop—your Aunt Edna's dreaded holiday confection really can be a treat.

8) "Strange Brew: The tea partiers get smarter in undermining health care reform," by Christopher Beam. Anti-health-care-reform activists are bending the ears of Republican lawmakers and even Democrats, but their wacky antics keep them on the fringe.

9) "Trojan Horse: Prime time's first countercultural hero was a palomino named Mr. Ed," by Nathan Heller. Listen closely and you'll discover that America's favorite TV horse channeled the uneasy cultural zeitgeist of the 1960s and wielded a sharply progressive wit.

10) "The Human Grease Murders: A mysterious crime in Peru revives a vampire legend that's more than 400 years old," by Daniel Engber. The recently discredited news item about roving Peruvian gangs slaying people for their fat has its origins in the legend of the pishtaco.

The Best of The Slatest

1) A New Yorker piece wonders whether Time's pick of Ben Bernanke for "Person of the Year" is a reverse indicator of future success.

2) War enemies can use a simple computer program to hack into drone aircraft and observe exactly what U.S. personnel are seeing.

3) Scientists have discovered an Earth-like planet 42 light-years away and are really excited about it.

4) Journalist Thomas Friedman's assertion that Islam "needs" a civil war has agitated other pundits.

5) ProPublica, the Times-Picayune, and PBS's Frontline have published a detailed investigation into post-Hurricane Katrina police-involved shootings in New Orleans.

Become a fan of Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

The Best Thing About the People’s Climate March in NYC

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

John Oliver Debunks the Miss America Pageant’s Claim That It Gives Out $45 Million in Scholarships

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 22 2014 1:29 PM “That’s Called Jim Crow” Philip Gourevitch on America’s hypocritical interventions in Africa.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 1:37 PM Subprime Loans Are Back! And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
  Life
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 22 2014 1:22 PM Is Arabic Really Just One Language? 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM Escaping the Extreme Christian Fundamentalism of "Quiverfull"
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Television
Sept. 22 2014 2:12 PM Crusader, Sans Cape The superhero trappings of Gotham are just a clever disguise.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.