Slate Plus

A Tiny Boy the Size of a Pinky Finger

The Slate Plus Digest for Dec. 16.

Playgrounds are no fun these days.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by byakkaya/Thinkstock, Jewel Samad/Getty Images, and Jim Watson/Getty Images.

Here’s a fun one: As Ben Mathis-Lilley points out, the phrase Merry Christmas—historically a benevolent albeit culturally specific expression of festive goodwill—has acquired partisan salience. Keep that in mind as you greet your loved ones this holiday season!

From Slate

Not From Slate

Slate Dreams

First in a very occasional series. Actually, let’s be honest, we’ll probably never do this again. This week’s dream comes from staff reporter Leon Neyfakh.

Last night I dreamed I found a tiny boy, the size of a pinky finger, stranded in our elevator. I had to get a plastic cup to transport him home. I reached out to doctors for advice on how to get him healthy and growing, at which point I was made to understand that it was all a viral marketing ploy hatched by a protein/weight gain powder company that was planning to give me free products in the hope that I would post about the tiny boy’s progress on Instagram.

Thanks, Leon! Keep us posted!

This newsletter is on vacation next week, although Slate itself no longer takes vacations. We will return in two weeks, on New Year’s Eve eve. Thank you for your Slate Plus membership, which helps make our journalism possible, and happy holidays.

Gabriel Roth
Editorial director, Slate Plus