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Daily news updates from across the Slate Podcast network.

Daily news updates from across the Slate Podcast network.


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Daily news updates from across the Slate Podcast network.




What Next: RIP to the SAT

If you had to take the SAT for your college admissions process, you largely have the University of California System to thank for that. When the university adopted the test in 1968, hundreds of other colleges followed suit. But now, U.C. has decided not to use standardized tests in admissions anymore. Could the decision spur a retooling of the college admissions process more broadly? Guest: Teresa Watanabe, education reporter for the Los Angeles Times. If you enjoy this show, please consider...


A Word: Cooking for the Culture

The holidays bring out the chef in many of us. For Vallery Lomas, stress-baking through her final year of law school laid the foundation for a career as a chef, and a victory in the Great American Baking Show. This week, she joins host Jason Johnson this week to talk about her unlikely path to celebrity chef status, and her new book Life is What You Bake It. Guest: Vallery Lomas, cookbook author, recipe developer, and creator at @foodieinnewyork on Instagram Podcast production by Ahyiana...


The Waves: Why Women Are in Charge of Leftovers

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate staff writer Rebecca Onion is joined by leftovers expert and cookbook author Tamar Adler, author of An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, to talk about what to do with all your excess food. They start out by discussing why dealing with leftovers has historically fallen on women and the division of labor in their own homes. Then they shift gears and give ideas for new dishes to transform your leftovers into—from the gravy to the...


What Next: Whose Second Amendment Is It?

The Supreme Court is considering a case that may strike down New York state’s strict restrictions on carrying a gun in public. Some public defenders think that might be a win for criminal justice reform. Guest: Sharone Mitchell Jr., Chief Defender for the Cook County Public Defenders. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be...


What Next: Inflategate

How many times a day do you hear the word “inflation” now? Many items are getting more expensive, but what’s actually driving those price increases? And are we heading towards a repeat of the 1970s wage-price spiral, or is this a temporary blip? Guest: Jordan Weissmann, senior editor at Slate. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and...


A Word: Colorism, Cluelessness, and Carefree Black Girls

Zeba Blay popularized the hashtag #carefreeblackgirls, a celebration of positive online representation of Black women and girls. In her book Carefree Black Girls, she reckons with why––even in a pop culture led by people of color––so many critics are white men. Blay joins the show this week to discuss The Harder They Fall, Passing, Dave Chappelle, and where today’s artists are, and aren’t, hitting the mark on race. Guest: Zeba Blay, culture and film critic and author of the book Carefree...


The Waves: Taylor Swift and Adele Take Different Approaches to Aging and Pop Stardom

On this week’s episode of The Waves, managing producer of Slate Podcasts Asha Saluja and senior editor Shannon Palus dive into new releases from superstars Adele and Taylor Swift. In the first half, they talk about how Taylor Swift shaped their views of romance and being 22, and whether her move to take back her song catalogue is actually feminist. Then, Asha and Shannon explore the conversation around Adele’s weight loss and the patriarchal expectations put on female pop stars. In our Slate...


What Next TBD: Space Junk! (And Space Wars?)

Over the weekend, Russia tested a new weapon​​—a type of missile that can fly into space and destroy a satellite in orbit. The test created thousands of pieces of debris, which will hurtle around the Earth’s orbit for years to come. What’s the real risk of the rapid increase in space junk? And is there anything to be done about it? Guest: Laura Grego, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at MIT Host: Seth Stevenson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What Next: Can Beto O’Rourke Fail Up?

Beto O’Rourke is running to replace Greg Abbott as governor of Texas. Though it’s his first time in this particular race, you’d be forgiven for thinking, “again?” Where does this habitually-losing smooth-talking Irish-guy-with-a-bordertown-nickname fit into a state with changing demographics and an incumbent governor under assault from both the right and left? Is Beto building a coalition, or heading for a third and final defeat? Guest: Patrick Svitek, political correspondent for the Texas...


What Next: The Battle Over San Francisco’s Schools

After dragging its feet on reopening schools this winter, the San Francisco Unified School District school board is under fire. Their every decision is being scrutinized by angry parents and three of its members are facing recall elections. What happens when the school board debate comes to the Bay? Guest: Jill Tucker, education writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate...


What Next: Is the FBI’s Surveillance of Muslims Really a State Secret?

Members of an Orange County mosque noticed a new convert was asking some strange questions. He turned out to be an FBI informant. Will the Supreme Court allow the bureau to be held accountable? Guest: Rowaida Abdelaziz, national reporter covering Islamophobia & immigration for HuffPost. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be...


What Next: “I Quit My Job Today”

You’ve likely heard about the great resignation -- this moment when millions of workers across the country have handed in their notice. Sometimes, people left because they were overworked. Sometimes, it’s because they wanted to change paths, or make more money elsewhere. But for every employee quitting, there’s an employer being quit on. These are stories from the great resignation: Who’s quitting, who’s hiring, and how long this moment is likely to last. Guests: Betsey Stevenson, professor...


A Word: Lights, Camera, Revolution

Decades before Moonlight, Black Panther, or anything from Spike Lee, Black film artists worked through and around the studio system to bring their visions to the big screen. Now the Black Film Archive has brought together classics from 1915 to 1979. Its creator Maya Cade joins Jason Johnson on A Word to talk about the importance of African Americans connecting with movies from the past. Guest: Maya Cade, creator of Black Film Archive and audience development specialist for the Criterion...


The Waves: What the Debate Over ‘Pregnant People’ Is Really About

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate’s news director Susan Matthews talks with Slate writer and community manager Evan Urquhart about the phrase, “pregnant person.” What started as an effort to be inclusive of transgender men has devolved into an argument that at times has become transphobic. Susan and Evan unpack what’s going on with this “debate,” and, later in the show, get into more productive ways to be a trans ally, the perils of the health care system, and how to better include...


What Next TBD: The Kid-Vaccine Holdouts

A recent poll showed that about a third of parents of younger children would get their kids vaccinated, a third would not, and the final third said they wanted to wait and see how the vaccines worked. Public health officials are asking: what will it take to convince that third group that now is the time to vaccinate? Guests: Julie Hamill Dr. Aaron Carroll, pediatrician and professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine Host: Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices....


What Next: The Astroworld Tragedy

Last Friday, a surging crowd killed at least eight people and left hundreds injured at Travis Scott’s music festival Astroworld in Houston. Public uproar over the needless deaths has placed responsibility at the rapper’s feet - and at those of police officers who failed to intervene and shut the show down. How did Scott’s signature “raging” spill over into a mass casualty event? And how do we tease out blame between Scott himself, and the way music festivals are run? Guest: Tom Breihan,...


What Next: A Controversial New Plan to Fight Homelessness

The Los Angeles City Council has passed a new policy giving Council members the power to target specific encampments for cleanup. While the effort might eventually result in less visible homelessness in some parts of the city, critics say it might be more in service of political gain than anything else. Guest: Benjamin Oreskes, Metro reporter at the LA Times. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast,...


What Next: Has Minneapolis Given Up on Police Reform?

Minneapolis voters have rejected a referendum to dissolve and replace their police department by a dramatic 12-point margin. The election result reflects a different mood from what the city saw a year ago, when protesters booed the mayor for resisting the movement to defund the police. Why were the planned police reforms so unpopular in the city where George Floyd’s murder sparked an international movement for justice? And what lessons should activists for and against the measure take from...


What Next: Do Vaccine Mandates Work?

In mid-October, Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced that New York City municipal workers would have just nine days to get the COVID vaccine or risk being put on unpaid leave. Thousands of workers showed up the next week to protest the mandate. A week after the hammer came down, did Mayor DeBlasio correctly call their bluff? Guest: Eric Lach, staff writer for The New Yorker. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate...


A Word: Legacy of Fire: The L.A. Riots

It’s been almost 30 years since the Los Angeles riots rocked the nation. Even now, many Americans remember where they were when they heard that four L.A.P.D. officers were acquitted for beating Rodney King. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Joel Anderson, host of Slate’s Slow Burn Season 6: The L.A. Riots. They talk about the roots of the 1992 crisis, and whether it’s better understood as a riot or an uprising. Guest: Joel Anderson, Slate writer and host of Slow Burn:...