The best of Slate: Rachael Larimore on her favorite reads of the week.

From Phineas and Ferb to Supreme Court Season, These Were the Best Stories Published in Slate This Week

From Phineas and Ferb to Supreme Court Season, These Were the Best Stories Published in Slate This Week

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June 12 2015 3:02 PM

What Happened at Slate This Week?

Senior editor Rachael Larimore on the best of Slate, from Phineas and Ferb to Supreme Court season.


Illustration by Slate. Portrait by Charlie Powell.

Hello, Slate Plus members! Happy Friday.

I’m a senior editor at Slate and our resident long-suffering Cleveland sports fan, so, frankly, I’ve been a little busy this week living and dying by the fate of the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. I’m told we still put out a magazine, though. Every day.

The downside of so much basketball watching is that it has cut into the time I’ve spent watching the Phineas and Ferb farewell marathon. I’ve spent many happy hours with my kids watching the antics of the blissfully independent stepbrothers during their 104 days (or so) of summer vacation. Fortunately, Dana Stevens has superfans covered, with her own tribute-inator, an interview with the show’s creators, and a list of her favorite songs from the show (though she’s entirely incorrect that “Carpe Diem” is better than “There’s a Platypus Controlling Me”).

Back in the real world, however, there were, of course, more serious matters to consider. Relations between law enforcement and the public continue to dominate our attention. Slate had two pieces this week that did a great job of pulling back from the breaking news to examine more complex issues. Dahlia Lithwick looked at whether “excited delirium” is a legitimate medical diagnosis or just something convenient for cops to cite when suspects die in custody. And in the wake of the McKinney, Texas, pool party controversy, Jamelle Bouie reminded readers that America has a long (and ugly) history of segregating our swimming pools.

Amanda Hess has a heartrending article on Izabel Laxamana, the Washington state teenager who committed suicide after her father cut off her hair and made a video shaming her for disobeying him. Hess notes that shaming is a medieval practice that takes on a whole new dimension in a society dominated by social media and YouTube.

The big finale of the Supreme Court season is coming up, and Slate is on it. Adam Winkler reviews John Roberts’ not-so-conservative record so far, and Dahlia Lithwick looks into her crystal ball and predicts that the justices just might consider how their decisions on Obamacare and gay marriage will affect the 2016 election. Away from the Supreme Court, Mark Joseph Stern is casting a critical eye on how states are seeking to limit rights for gay couples even as SCOTUS appears (maybe) ready to make gay marriage the law of the land.

That’s a lot of heavy stuff. Maybe you need a mental health break, something more lighthearted. As it turns out, our culture editor Dan Kois has just the thing for you. He spent some time with the good folks at ClickHole, the site that mocks “buzzing, feedy things that buzz all over your feed.”

Now that you’re feeling better, check out Jack Hamilton’s piece on how the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers is one of the best rock ‘n’ roll albums ever. Elsewhere on the culture front, please check out these amazing photos of Frida Kahlo, read Fred Kaplan’s tribute to the late Ornette Coleman, and get ready for Orange Is the New Black.

Before I go, one of the delights of working at Slate is stumbling across the pieces that “make you go hmmmm.” Things that defy expectations or answer questions that you never thought to ask. The disparate entries in that category this week are this video that shows you how to use chickpea liquid as an egg white substitute and a science piece that looks at whether a subdivision built on ancient Pueblo lands can actually be good for archaeology.

Thank you so much for being a member, and have a great weekend.

Cavs forever,