What happened on April 23, 2006
Modern life Art Winslow, Art Winslow, a former literary editor and executive editor of the Nation, writes frequently on books and culture.
Into the abyss Jane Smiley, Jane Smiley is the author, most recently, of "Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel."
Truth and consequences Barry Siegel, Barry Siegel, a former Times national correspondent, directs the literary journalism program at UC Irvine, where he is a professor of English. He won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2002.
The best medicine Richard Rayner, Richard Rayner is the author of several books, most recently "The Devil's Wind," a novel.
Animal instinct Susan Kandel, Susan Kandel is the author of the Cece Caruso mysteries, including "Not a Girl Detective" and the forthcoming "Shamus in the Green Room."
Is that all there is? Samantha Dunn, Samantha Dunn is the author of "Faith in Carlos Gomez: A Memoir of Salsa, Sex, and Salvation," "Failing Paris" and "Not By Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life."
The second revolution Evan Wright, Evan Wright received a National Magazine Award for his reporting from the Middle East. He is the author of "Generation Kill," a book about Marines in Iraq.
A writer's gamble Nick Owchar, Nick Owchar is deputy editor of Book Review.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
If Iraq was wrong, is Darfur right? Lawrence F. Kaplan, LAWRENCE F. KAPLAN is a senior editor at the New Republic.
Defining Britishness GREGORY RODRIGUEZ, GREGORY RODRIGUEZ is an Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation.
Top-drawer drawings Joel Pett, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist of the Lexington Herald-Leader. His work also appears in USA Today.
Saving Social Security? Now that's a job for immigrants Kenneth Swift, KENNETH SWIFT is a finance director for a multinational technology company headquartered in Orange County.
Searching for a pol with a pulse Joe Klein, Joe Klein is a columnist for Time magazine and the author of five books, including "Primary Colors" and "The Natural." His sixth book, "Politics Lost: How American Democracy Was Trivialized by People Who Think You're Stupid," is due out this month.
Nasty, brutish and short John G. Geer, JOHN G. GEER is a political science professor at Vanderbilt University and author of "In Defense of Negativity: Attack Ads in Presidential Campaigns."
Dog, gone Stanley Gray, STANLEY GRAY is an ex-screenwriter living in San Gabriel.
Tehran's trump card Clifford Kupchan, CLIFFORD KUPCHAN is a director at Eurasia Group, a political risk consulting firm.
Battling cancer -- and Blue Cross Catherine Siepp, CATHERINE SEIPP writes a weekly column for National Review Online and blogs at www.cathyseipp.net.
A savvy end run on schools Howard Blume, Howard Blume is managing editor of the Jewish Journal.
Parole in California: It's a crime Joan Petersilia and Robert Weisberg, JOAN PETERSILIA, a professor of criminology, law and society at UC Irvine, is the author of "When Prisoners Come Home: Parole and Prisoner Reentry." She is a visiting professor of law at Stanford Law School. ROBERT WEISBERG, a professor of law, is director of Stanford University's Criminal Justice Center.