Hey Slate Plus–sters,
I’m Alison Griswold, a staff writer here at Slate covering business and economics. I recently returned from a quest for the Uber unicorn—a driver in New York City making more than $90,766 a year on the company’s so-called ridesharing platform. (Spoiler: I didn’t find it, but I did encounter some issues with Uber’s math.) When I’m not tracking down mythical startup beasts, I write about things like Amazon and Craigslist and Wall Street. And though I don’t drink it myself, I’ve also managed to carve out coffee as a beat.
You should read my Moneybox colleague Jordan Weissmann’s ode to the storied Katz’s Delicatessen, which somehow has remained in business for decades despite its perilously thin margins on pastrami. Other items I suggest you dig into: David Auerbach’s opus on how to end Gamergate; Will Oremus’ explanation of why Facebook’s rivals just keep failing; and Lily Hay Newman’s astute observation that while Jonas Salk didn’t patent the polio vaccine, Google patented its doodle about him. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you toward the weekly Slate Money podcast, which is worth it for Felix Salmon’s signature “hellooooooo” alone.
It might be hard to believe that there was news outside the business world this week (earnings, anyone?), but indeed there was. For starters, Taylor Swift released her fifth studio album, 1989. Slate’s review is both comprehensive and deeply satisfying in its consideration of Swift’s musical transformation and the mystery of her absent navel. Then there was the video from Hollaback that revealed how all women are harassed on the street. The video itself was enough to go viral, which made Hanna Rosin’s critique of its racial politics all the more important. Jamelle Bouie’s take on all the ways Mississippi is failing and Behold’s powerful photo essay, “The Secret Dual Lives of People Living With Mental Illness,” are also well worth your time.
Of course, let’s not forget that today is Halloween. To get into the spirit, Troy Patterson has a complete breakdown of the pumpkin cocktails that America loves (and even a few ideas on how to make them bearable). We’ve also got a candy blogger reviewing the two big flavor trends of the season, and Eric Holthaus warning that a Halloween snowstorm could hit the Eastern U.S.
Anyway, thanks for your time on this Halloween Friday, and thanks for supporting Slate. Now go back to wasting time on the Internet—these days, it might earn you credit from an Ivy League school.