Graphic designer Joe Zeff and his team
created the image on this issue’s cover. “We
were handed the cover line ‘Invisible Planet’
and told we needed to ;nd an engaging way
to convey that unseen things are happening
throughout and around the planet,” Ze; says.
His unexpected solution: Creating a picture
out of words. Before realizing that his true
love was telling stories through design, Ze;
worked as a reporter and editor. He became
an illustrator when he landed at Time magazine in ;;;;. “We had fairly primitive illustration tools. So I reached out to the company
that developed the animation software used
for Titanic and adapted it to the magazine.
Time still bases its information graphics on
that.” Ze; ’s crew produced a best-selling iPad
news app, ;e Final Hours of Portal ;, about
the making of a hit video game. You can see
more of his work at JoeZe; Design.com.
Jason Daley delved into the way people judge
risk for “What You Don’t Know Can Kill You”
(page ;;). ;e story explores illogical decision
making, for instance, choosing to drive to
avoid the dangers of ;ying, despite the fact
that cars are roughly ;;; times as deadly as
airplanes (measured in deaths per passenger
mile). ;e research struck a chord with Daley,
a freelance journalist who grew up in Illinois
terri;ed of tornadoes. “;e sirens would go
o; and I’d be worried, sweating, and would
freak out if my mom left the basement,” he
says. “;ere’s de;nitely a risk, but you have
about a ; in ;;,;;; chance of being killed
in a severe storm. I still have a panicked
reaction, but now I can step back and evalu-
ate.” Daley also writes for Outside, Popular
Science, and Wired.
James Gleick spent seven years writing
;e Information (excerpted on page ;;), a his-
tory of information technology “from smoke
signals to bits and bytes.” During those years,
the way we share information changed drasti-
cally: When Gleick began, Twitter did not
exist and Facebook had only just launched. “I
;nally reached a point where new technology
popping up all the time didn’t matter. ;ese
are the faces of information culture today, and
there will be new faces tomorrow,” Gleick says.
“But the basic issues are clear. Cyberspace is
always going to be with us. ;ere’s no going
back—I mean, until the end of the world.”
Gleick’s ;rst book, Chaos, was a national best
seller. He also cofounded ;e Pipeline, an
early Internet service, way back in ;;;;. Visit
around.com to read his blog and other work.
Senior editor Eric Powell intercepted Anton
Zeilinger, the physicist who ;rst demonstrated quantum teleportation, in April to
report the ;;;;;;;; ;;; (page ;;). Powell
describes the University of Vienna professor
as funny, patient, and re;ective. “He’s dealing
with really technical stu; but invites philosophers into his lab,” Powell says. “He even
tried to get the Dalai Lama to see an atom.
It all speaks to, appropriately, how his mind
is in a lot of di;erent worlds.” Powell spent
weeks thinking about quantum randomness
and the head-hurting concept that reality
does not exist independent of observation.
“My wife read the interview transcripts and
the concept made her furious. We rarely talk
about theoretical physics in my house, so that
was pretty cool,” he says. Powell was an intern
at ;;;;;;;; in ;;;;, then spent almost ;;
years at Archaeology magazine before returning to ;;;;;;;; this winter. (And no, he is
not related to the editor in chief.) ;;; ;;;;;
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