I'm curious how it's determined which questions appear there. I checked meta, and it's neither hot nor active. I used unix.SE to check.
Note that the featured tag causes a question to be featured on the meta house ad.
The featured tag will be auto-stripped from any post after 30 days to prevent too much staleness.
The rest is driven from the weekly tab, and if any room is left over (there are only 5 slots), the hot tab.