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Acne, Seder Performance Anxiety, and Kate Middleton’s In-Laws

The week’s most interesting Slate stories.

Beware the In-Laws: Does Kate Middleton really want to marry into a family like this?” by Christopher Hitchens. Apparently, Disney has it all wrong: Marrying a royal hardly guarantees a “happily ever after” ending. Hitchens warns poor Kate Middleton to take her hubby and run, or be condemned to a meaningless life of loveless ennui.

The Death of Roe v. Wade: Supporters and opponents of abortion seem to agree: It’s no longer the law of the land,” by Dahlia Lithwick. By enacting unconstitutional state laws, pro-lifers are whittling away at the national authority of Roe vs. Wade. But pro-choicers shouldn’t shy away from challenging these new laws for fear that the historic Roe vs. Wade will be overturned. Standing up to Justice Samuel Alito is both terrifying and risky, but Lithwick says activists need to reassess this currently passive game plan.

David Hobby: A Baltimore Sun photographer who took a buyout, started a blog, and changed the photography business forever,” by Steven I. Weiss. David Hobby’s photography blog has shed new light on the once shrouded photo industry: He teaches novices how to take professional pictures with amateur equipment. Weiss describes how this altruistic journalist has pushed photography into new and promising territory.

The Human Skin Condition: Mother Nature gave us pimples, and then she made us self-conscious about them,” by Jesse Bering. Oh, the woes this age-old question as he looks in the mirror: “Why do I have so many zits?”  In this piece, Bering addresses the history of the pizza face, and why we’ve attached a debilitating socof blemish-riddled adolescence. Right now, somewhere in the world, a 16-year-old is muttering ial stigma to such a natural part of life.

Nervous Nellies: Girls don’t start out more anxious than boys, but they usually end up that way,” by Taylor Clark. Panicky Patricia is her middle name: The author speaks up for the gender that has been socially conditioned to fret every time their world gets pushed slightly off kilter.

Lester Bangs’ Basement: What it means to have all music instantly available,” by Bill Wyman. Rarity has become obsolete, especially for fans of obscure music and films. The author looks at what happens when music is no longer special, and what it means to have every album at your fingertips.

Dear Editors of the Oxford English Dictionary: Time to get your shittle together,” by Paul Collins. Allen Ginsberg’s 1961 use of the word shit-faced has been forever immortalized in the English language. In this letter to the OED, Collins reveals the etymology of the word: It was used as early as the 17th century.

Black Salt: Should the government single out African-Americans for low-sodium diets?” by Osagie K. Obasogie. New federal health guidelines advise black people to consume less salt than everybody else. Are there inherent genetic differences in the way African-Americans process sodium? If so, should the government be highlighting them?

The Fifth Passover Question: Who’s going to lead the Seder?” by Dahlia Lithwick. Anyone who’s ever spread charoset on matzo knows that odd paralysis that sets in right before the Passover meal. The Seder “makes even the most competent among us crave some real grown-ups, while disavowing the possibility of our own grown-up-ness,” the author says. “It would be deeply Gen X, were it not for the fact that I’m starting to suspect it might be timeless.”

The Official ‘Rah’ Handbook: Prince William and Kate Middleton aren’t preppies. You should call them ‘rahs,’ ” by Sonia van Gilder Cooke. Allow Slate’s “London correspondent,” Flossy Barret-Wolmsby, to take you on a whirlwind tour of rah-land, where paisley, Shakespeare, and GLITZKRIEG never fall out of style.