The Descendants, laboratory mice, and Thanksgiving stuffing.

"The Descendants," Laboratory Mice, and Thanksgiving Stuffing on the Culture Gabfest

"The Descendants," Laboratory Mice, and Thanksgiving Stuffing on the Culture Gabfest

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Nov. 23 2011 1:03 PM

The Culture Gabfest, “May Your Descendants Be Stuffed With Naked Mole Rats” Edition

Listen to Slate's show about The Descendants, laboratory mice, and the ultimate Thanksgiving stuffing.

The Culture Gabfest has moved! Find new episodes here.


The Culture Gabfest is doing a live show in New York on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at City Winery. Doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Listeners can purchase tickets here. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 the day of the show.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 166 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below or opening this player in another tab:

Don't miss a single episode of the Culture Gabfest. Subscribe to the free Culturefest podcast in iTunes or directly with our RSS feed. You can also download this week's episode here. And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook here:

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debate the merits of Alexander Payne’s new movie The Descendants. Next, Daniel Engber joins the podcast to discuss his recent Slate series on our overreliance on laboratory mice. For their final segment, the Gabfesters welcome Slate’s Laura Anderson to digest the subtleties of Thanksgiving stuffing.

Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:

Dana’s Slate review of The Descendants.
The New York Times’ A.O. Scott on The Descendants.
The New York Times’ Frank Bruni on The Descendants director Alexander Payne.
An interview with The Descendants star Judy Greer.
The Descendants, a novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings. 
Daniel Engber’s Slate series on laboratory mice: Part I. Part IIPart III.
NPR on Daniel Engber’s Slate series.
Scientists engineer supermice.
Errol Morris’ Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control (with naked mole rats in action).
Bill Nye introduces us to naked mole rats.
Laura Anderson’s Slate article on the joys of cornbread stuffing.
Wolfgang Puck’s Brussels sprouts recipe.
Brussels sprouts with bacon and figs, in the New York Times.
Matthew Yglesias on why the price of turkey has been rising, at Slate.
Slate’s Thanksgiving beverage selections.
How to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers, at Slate.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:


Dana’s pick: Dialogue on the Awl about Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 1, and the world’s most amazing octopus-out-of-water clip.
Julia’s pick: David Chang’s ramen noodle cacio e pepe on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Laura’s pick: Kurt Vile’s “The Creature” on the album So Outta Reach.
Steve’s pick: David Foster Wallace’s essay “Tennis, Trigonometry, Tornadoes,” and David Bromwich’s New York Review of Books critique of Niall Ferguson.

Outro: The Smith's "Girlfriend in a Coma."

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Jesse Baker. Our intern is Matt Sigl.

Follow us on the new Culturefest Twitter feed. And please Like the Culture Gabfest on Facebook.

L.V. Anderson is a former Slate associate editor.

Daniel Engber is a columnist for Slate.

Stephen Metcalf is Slate’s critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

Dana Stevens is Slate’s movie critic.

Julia Turner, the former editor in chief of Slate, is a regular on Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.