Issue 125

May 2008


  • Primer: The Big-Bang Machine

    Unlocking the secrets of the universe doesn't come cheap. The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has spent at least 10 years and $8 billion building the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's biggest particle accelerator, under the Alps. This month, CERN will power up the LHC, and, later this summer, start smashing particles together to try to understand the beginnings of life, the universe — and everything. Scientists hope the answers to vexing mysteries (What causes mass? How did matter survive the big bang?) will eventually emerge from the debris.

  • Journal-ist: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

    This month, studies on advances in computer modeling for research and development, one way to become happier in the workplace, and the role of longevity in consumer choices.


  • The Power of the Prize

    Lo and behold, contests actually work to spur innovation. So should we use them for everything?

  • Barneys and Friend

    Sheldon Gilbert helps the hip department store decode the desires of its online customers.

  • Under the Sea

    The natural gas that powers buses and brings light to your home may come from Norway's Snøhvit field, which sets new standards for harvesting the riches of the deep.

  • I Just IM'd to Say "I Love You"

    American Greetings, the 101-year-old cardmaker, uses social-networking widgets and instant messaging to reach the younger audience it desperately needs.

  • Google's Surfing Safari

    The search giant is betting that it can become synonymous with theInternet in places like strife-torn Kenya. It has a long way to go.

  • Promised Land

    Whole Systems Design transforms landscapes into low-cost, productive spaces. Will your corporate campus be next?

Fast Talk

  • The Cell Sell

    Mobile advertising — expected to rise tenfold by 2011, to $14 billion — is getting more and more creative.


From the Editor

  • Letter from the Editor

    "When it rains, you get wet." I use that expression with my sons if they complain about the weather turning bad. I found myself using the same words a few days ago while talking to an executive at a major Wall Street company. Aggressive bets on mortgage securities had forced the firm, like nearly all of its brethren, to write down billions of dollars. The executive was lamenting that her firm had quickly turned risk-averse, stung by its losses. It had ever-so-eagerly embraced bundled mortgages when they were throwing off huge profits.