Photo: Via Gawker

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

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1. My Vassar College Faculty ID Makes Everything OK

Kiese Laymon | Gawker | November 29, 2014 | 11 minutes (2,939 words)

A college professor on race, prejudice and making his way in the world.

2. In Conversation: Chris Rock

Frank Rich | New York Magazine | Nov. 30, 2014| 29 minutes (7,346 words)

Things discussed with the comedian: if the Obama presidency is a disappointment; the difficulty of workshopping stand-up material in the age of social media; Ferguson and the lack of black leaders.

See also: “Hollywood Is a White Industry” (Chris Rock, Hollywood Reporter)

3. How Not to Get Away With Murder

Michael J. Mooney | D Magazine | Nov. 26, 2014 | 24 minutes (6,218 words)

Frank Howard hired a hit man—and then his extended family and their friends—to kill his wife. The criminals repeatedly told the police about their harebrained plans, but nobody believed them. And then everything unraveled.

4. My Great-Great-Aunt Discovered Francium. And It Killed Her.

Veronique Greenwood | New York Times | Dec. 3, 2014 | 14 minutes (3,575 words)

On the life of Marguerite Perey, the personal technician for Marie Curie, who sacrificed her life studying radiochemistry.

5. Life Sentence

Nicholas Cameron | Maisonneuve |Nov. 28, 2014 | 14 minutes (3,639 words)

On the complicated reality of surviving a life-threatening disease.