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Don't Miss Out Again on the Perfect Mario Game

Slate

Benjamin Frisch: OK, let's maybe start with some quick background: What's your relationship to the Mario universe? I've played pretty much all of the mainline Mario games, with the exception of 3D World, which I was very excited to finally get to play, since I sat out on Nintendo's previous console, the Wii U. Karen Han: I've always lived in a Nintendo household, but I admittedly haven't played that many of the big Mario games--most of my Mario experience comes from the Mario Party and Mario Kart series, though I feel like no one who was around when Super Mario Sunshine came out [in 2002 on GameCube] could escape that game completely. I also played through Super Mario Odyssey when it came out on the Switch, but I'd say that's the only Mario game I've ever actually completed. Evan Urquhart: The first video game I really got into as a child was Super Mario Bros. 3, and one of my all-time favorite games is Super Mario 64, so I have a deep connection to this series. I've played most of the 2D and 3D games, but like others, I skipped the Wii U entry, so I'm new to 3D World.


Why the Quest for the Ninth Successful Landing on Mars Is Unlike Any That Have Come Before

Slate

Humans have been trying and often failing to land robots on Mars since 1962. Four different space agencies from around the world have attempted this improbable feat 18 times. It's happened successfully only eight times--remarkably, all by NASA. On Thursday, the American space agency will try for number nine, as the Perseverance rover attempts to gently settle onto the Red Planet. Launched July 30, Perseverance carries an impressive array of instruments and technologies, including 23 cameras, three spectrometers, a radar mapper, and a weather station.


Dating Apps Are Even Less Transparent Than Facebook and Google

Slate

As Valentine's Day approaches, couples across the country are preparing for this long-standing tradition--and there's a very good chance they met through online dating. But while dating apps can help people find a partner (or just a fun date), they can also subject users to incredible hate and harassment. Despite the fact that dating apps have accrued significant reach and influence, these companies provide very little transparency around how they keep users safe and how they moderate content. Much of the conversation around online platform accountability focuses on companies like Facebook and Google. But dating apps face many of the same issues.


What UFOs and Joe McCarthy Have to Do With the Assault on the Capitol

Slate

On a cold December night in 1950, red-baiting Sen. Joe McCarthy spent a charity dinner at Washington's Sulgrave Club trading insults with liberal journalist Drew Pearson. McCarthy had attacked Pearson on the floor of the Senate, calling for a boycott of his radio show. Pearson had attacked McCarthy on air and in his newspaper column, accusing the senator of lying about communist infiltration of the American government. McCarthy had recklessly accused the State Department of harboring hundreds of communists, sparking a massive investigation and an ongoing purge. After dinner, the two ran into each other in the cloakroom and their conflict turned physical.


The Troubling New Practice of Police Livestreaming Protests

Slate

This article is part of the Free Speech Project, a collaboration between Future Tense and the Tech, Law, & Security Program at American University Washington College of Law that examines the ways technology is influencing how we think about speech. Last summer's anti–police brutality protests represented the largest mass demonstration effort in American history. Since then, law enforcement departments nationwide have faced intense scrutiny for how they policed these historic protests. The repeated, egregious instances of violence against journalists and protesters are well documented and have driven widespread calls for systematic reform. These calls have focused in part on surveillance, after the police used sophisticated social media data monitoring, commandeered non-city camera networks, and tried other intrusive methods to identify suspects.


My Doctor Told Me My Pain Was All in My Head. It Ended Up Saving Me.

Slate

It began with a pulled muscle. Each day after school, as the sun sank dusky purple over the hills of my hometown, I'd run with my track teammates. Even on our easy days, I'd bound ahead, leaving them behind. It wasn't that I thought myself better than them--it's that when I ran fast, and focused on nothing but the cold air burning my lungs and my feet pounding, my normally anxious thoughts turned to white noise. I limped a little, and then tried running again: sharp, hot pain radiated down my thigh. Panic flooded me, as I imagined weeks without running: weeks without a predictable break from my own thoughts, weeks immersed in adolescent loneliness.


The Future of Work May Be Even More Sexist

Slate

As technology and automation rapidly remake a very different future of work, some economists predict that women will benefit the most from the coming disruptions. Although women have no doubt been hardest hit by the COVID-19 economy, in the coming years, women-dominated caring jobs--like nursing, teaching, and providing child and elder care--that aren't easily replaced by machines will be among the fastest-growing occupations and thus more likely to be "future-proof." It's not that many women's jobs won't be automated away. Just as men-dominated mechanical and machine operating jobs are predicted to disappear, so too are women-dominated administrative and clerical jobs. But most of these future-of-work predictions assume women will continue to dominate the care economy. And all because men aren't expected to care.


25 Years Ago, Chess Changed Forever When Deep Blue Beat Garry Kasparov

Slate

Chess has captured the imagination of humans for centuries due to its strategic beauty--an objective, board-based testament to the power of mortal intuition. Twenty-five years ago Wednesday, though, human superiority on a chessboard was seriously threatened for the first time. At a nondescript convention center in Philadelphia, a meticulously constructed supercomputer called Deep Blue faced off against Garry Kasparov for the first in a series of six games. Kasparov was world chess champion at the time and widely considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of chess. He did not expect to lose.


Korea's First Space Blockbuster Just Premiered on Netflix. It's a Blast.

Slate

After a year with no new major blockbusters, Jo Sung-hee's Space Sweepers arrives as a breath of fresh air. It's not a perfect movie, nor a particularly innovative one, but the science-fiction adventure--touted as the first Korean space blockbuster--is certainly fun, with colorful performances and impressive CGI, and a worthy substitute for a new Star Wars or Marvel movie. However, its presence in a year of absences isn't the only thing that makes it noteworthy. Unlike nearly all of the movies from those two dominant franchises, Space Sweepers is led by people of color. The main characters are a crew of Koreans, and the film is one of the rare space operas that doesn't posit that English has somehow become a universal language.


The Casual Marvel Fan's Guide to em WandaVision /em Episode 5

Slate

This article contains spoilers for the first five episodes of WandaVision. Let's start with the biggest question. What was the deal with "Pietro" at the end of the episode? That was Evan Peters reprising his role as the late Pietro Maximoff, Wanda's brother, but--and here's the twist--it's not the Pietro Maximoff we've seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The MCU's Pietro, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, died in Avengers: Age of Ultron.