Issue 107

July/August 2006


  • Freak Control

    Channeling Blue Man Group's creative fire isn't easy—unless you're Jennie Willink.

  • Self-Service Sleeping

    Customers love to check themselves in at the airport. Can they ever feel the same way about hotels?

  • Fly by Night (or Day, or...)

    The irony is anything but sweet: Just as the experience of air travel continues to deteriorate, the proliferation of travel-related Web sites has made it easier to get to your destination more efficiently. Now a new group of Robin Hood programmers is building next-gen travel sites that will give the Travelocities and Kayaks more competition while making the ticket- buying process even more transparent. Two we like:

  • Soft-Wired

    Living on technology's bleeding edge can be a burden, literally: Just how do you lug the latest iPod, BlackBerry, Razr, and smart card to your next meeting?

    With panache, if you're wearing Thomas Pink's Commuter ($140). After a decade of two-piece minimalism, Petter Lundgren of Savile Row's Spencer Hart says clients are looking for "neat pocket ideas." Bespoke is never cheap. But would you rather carry a manpurse? We thought not.

  • The Corporate Shrink

    As high and fast as I've made it up the corporate ladder, I dread going to work. I'm two levels below the CEO, and my immediate boss can't stand me. Even though she'd never admit it, I can tell she's envious of my relationships with clients and colleagues. What should I do?

    If it's any consolation, your situation is not so uncommon. Envy is rarely discussed in corporate circles, but it arises wherever there's competition and hierarchy—basically, everywhere—and can cause untold misery.

  • You Schmooze, You Win

    Those rehashings of American Idol with your office buddies are actually good for productivity.


  • A Craving For Cool

    Big companies are outsourcing "cool" to nimbler, closer-to-the-ground outsiders. They might as well farm out their souls.

  • The Nanofactory

    In an old Ford plant in Buffalo, the makings of an assembly line for the 21st century.

  • Mastering Disaster

    The worst is yet to come—and, believe it or not, someone is preparing for it.

  • Labs on a Chip

    Innovation: Portable biosensor

    Available: 2008

    Soon, mothers will routinely test their children at home for the flu. Doctors will screen patients for cancer and begin discussing treatment based on the immediate results. Farmers will scrutinize the health of animals, and soldiers and environmental inspectors will test the safety of air and water, without time-consuming trips to the lab.

  • It's Alive!

    Bringing a new, improved third dimension to a theater near you.

  • On the Road . . . Again

    Business travel doesn't have to be so much work. Three smart blogs tell you who to fly, where to stay, and how to deal.

  • Grammatical Usage: Are We Concepting Yet?

    "To con•cept (knspt)—con•cepted (knspt-ed)—con•cept•ing (knspt-ing) v. 1. A process whereby ideas are generated for the purpose of creatively solving a problem: 'The team set aside some time for concepting in order to flush out some plausible directions.'"

    From a (possibly serious) online petition urging Merriam-Webster to add a verb form of "concept" to its dictionary, at

  • Datebook

    Critical calendar listings for July/August 2006.

  • Underground Movement

    Everywhere in China, there's evidence of economic and social transformation. Change is in the air. It's even in the subways.

Fast Talk

  • Fast Talk: Superman Returns

    He has spent decades bounding through comics, television, and film. Now meet the latest creative team charged with keeping America's original superhero original.

From the Editor

  • Letter from the Editor

    Journalists, as a rule, aren't exactly known as snappy dressers. Our tastes have long run toward Hush Puppies, chinos, and corduroy skirts. So you can only imagine what "office casual" has brought out in us.