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Faces, from punks' to philosophers', have been photographer Steve Pyke's usual subjects since he first experimented with a camera in 1970s London. However, his next book, due out in the fall, is a collection of still lifes of tools from Great Dixter, one of the greatest of all English gardens. His work in this issue includes both portraits — of Olympic hopefuls Katie Hoff, at left; Yi Jianlian; and Donny Robinson — and still lifes of the innovative gear that could transform the Games.

A founding editor of Play, the New York Times sports magazine; contributing editor at Best Life; and frequent writer for Rolling Stone and Outside, Josh Dean spent three days in Macau with Calvin Ayre this past February, eating caviar, doing Jägermeister shots, and listening to the Internet-gambling mogul's grand plans for Bodog's world domination. So, Dean says, "I was shocked when he 'retired' two months later."

"I've covered baseball for a long time, and I always considered myself a contemporary of the players," says Jeff Pearlman, a columnist for and author of The Bad Guys Won!, the no-holds-barred saga of the 1986 Mets. But in the course of writing about the Texas Rangers' Jon Daniels for this issue of Fast Company, he came to an unhappy realization: "At age 36, I'm even older than the damn GMs. It hurts."

Green Business columnist Melanie Warner wrote about the dotcom boom for Fortune and the food industry for The New York Times — "not the food job that lets you eat for free at fancy restaurants," she says, "but the one that rewards you with boxes of exciting new fat-free salad dressing." She lives with her husband and toddler son in Boulder, Colorado, where reducing your carbon footprint is an article of faith.

When he was growing up, artist David Gross collected the original 1970s Wacky Packages. Since 2004, he has designed more than 200 Wacky Packages, Garbage Pail Kids, and Hollywood Zombies stickers and trading cards for the Topps Co. "I'm proud to come full circle helping to corrupt the minds of the next generation," he says. Turn to the last page for "License to Run Amok."

A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.