Slate Plus

A Page-a-Day Calendar, but Weekly

The Slate Plus Digest for Dec. 9.

calendar flying.

Photo illustration by Slate. Image by Mark Carrel/Thinkstock.

Jak sie masz, Dodatni! Lots to read this week so we’ll get right to it.

From Slate

  • The Walter Scott case tells us something about this country, writes Jamelle Bouie: Police officers can kill with impunity.
  • Julia Turner argues that the Carrier jobs incident reveals how Trump plans to govern: by replacing policy with stunts.
  • This round table, in which four black commentators discuss the burden of managing white emotions, is a must-read.
  • Katy Waldman has been watching C-SPAN’s live feed of the Trump Tower lobby, and she strongly urges you not to do the same.
  • “Fake news” is a useful term for a specific problem, writes Will Oremus. Stop applying it to all bad journalism.
  • Donald Trump’s position on vaccination offers a window into his appeal: He offers a sympathetic middle ground between reality and bullshit.
  • This week we introduced the Good Fight, a weekly column by political theorist Yascha Mounk about the battle to save liberal democracy.

Not From Slate

Very Short Q-and-A

This week’s personal question is addressed to copy editor and writer Heather Schwedel, who recently revealed that she’s been moonlighting as a compiler of trivia questions for “365 days of trivia”–style page-a-day calendars.

Slate Plus: Heather! How did you get the calendar-trivia gig?

Heather Schwedel: Before Slate I worked at Workman Publishing, the inventor of the “Page-a-Day” calendar format. Whenever a movie represents time passing with the pages of a calendar flying by, I think, It’s a Page-a-Day! (We in the biz call them PADs.) When I left, they knew I was looking for freelance assignments, and trivia seemed doable enough. I did the joke-a-day calendar one year, and it was awful.

Where do you find the trivia?

I keep a list throughout the year. Sometimes I find tidbits while copy-editing Slate articles, and I stow them away.

Give me an example.

For some reason obituaries seem to inspire good trivia. When David Bowie died, Future Tense ran an article about how he was an internet titan and had his own internet service provider in the early days of the web. That’s trivia! But “What rocker once had his own internet service provider, the first artist-created ISP?” won’t make it into the calendar until 2018.

Thanks, Heather!

And thank you for your Slate Plus membership, which makes our journalism possible. See you next week!

Gabriel Roth
Editorial director, Slate Plus