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A Billion Miles Away, in the Slate Plus Digest

A Billion Miles Away, in the Slate Plus Digest

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Sept. 15 2017 6:31 PM

A Billion Miles Away

The Slate Plus Digest for Sept. 15.

Saturn and its moon Titan.


Early Friday morning, Cassini, a NASA spacecraft that’s been studying and orbiting Saturn for 13 years, met its timely death by plunging directly into the planet’s atmosphere. (Back in my science reporting days, I learned that this sort of deliberate crash is designed to prevent the craft from potentially contaminating other planets or systems—in this case, Saturn’s possibly inhabitable moons.) Is it morbid to be envious of such a perfectly devised and silent demise—especially one happening a billion miles away from Earth?

OK, it’s a little morbid. Let’s come back to Earth with the stories to read from this week.

From Slate

Michelle Goldberg dives into Hillary Clinton’s new memoir and wonders why HRC isn’t angrier. Katy Waldman, meanwhile, listened to the audiobook version and discovered what it was like to have Hillary in her head.

Apple announced its latest offerings this week. As anticipated, there is a new iPhone 8 and a face-activating iPhone X, but did you expect those adorable—but possibly troubling—animojis? Meanwhile, Will Oremus explains why the Apple Watch might actually be worth buying now.

A beloved civil rights icon passed this week: Edie Windsor, whose Supreme Court victory opened the door for legal gay marriage in the nation. Browsing through old photos of Windsor and her first wife Thea Spyer, Christina Cauterucci found moving portrayals of queer love that, having spanned decades, are quite rare to see.

This week marked the anniversary of the death of another admired gay figure, Father Mychal Judge. Judge is best known as the fire department chaplain who died on 9/11 after rushing into the north tower of the World Trade Center to help. Ruth Graham follows the campaign to get Judge canonized—which, if successful, would make him the first gay saint.

Not From Slate

Press 0 for More Options

Hey, how good have your customer service experiences been lately? Slate launched a one-month special section this week on that matter, exploring everything from how “press one for English” became an anti-immigration meme to the elation a customer feels when they finally hear “Next!” to the most cringe-worthy horror stories from customer service call centers. Start reading all the deep dives into the customer service business at Always Right.

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Chau Tu
Associate editor, Slate Plus