What happened on August 27, 2006
History in the making Jim Ruland, Jim Ruland is the author of the short-story collection "Big Lonesome."
Sister act Susan Salter Reynolds, Susan Salter Reynolds is a Times staff writer.
Playing on a bigger field Seth Greenland, Seth Greenland is the author of "The Bones."
Monster intellects Ariel Swartley, Ariel Swartley is a contributing writer and book critic for Los Angeles magazine.
Gaming the system Erik Davis, Erik Davis is the author of "TechGnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information" and "Visionary State: A Journey Through California's Spiritual Landscape."
Suddenly, not the center of the world Marisa Silver, Marisa Silver is the author of the short-story collection "Babe in Paradise" and the novel "No Direction Home."
Victims of circumstance Lucinda Michele Knapp, Lucinda Michele Knapp is an editor at LA Alternative Press and has written for Variety.
The new `normal' Steve Almond, Steve Almond is the author of several books, including "The Evil B.B. Chow: And Other Stories" and, with Julianna Baggott, "Which Brings Me to You: A Novel in Confessions."
History's back roads Dana Johnson, Dana Johnson is the author of "Break Any Woman Down: Stories" and is an assistant professor of creative writing at UC Riverside.
No reservations Donna Seaman, Donna Seaman is an associate editor for Booklist, editor of the anthology "In Our Nature: Stories of Wildness" and host of the radio program "Open Books" in Chicago. Seaman's author interviews are collected in "Writers on the Air."
He Ate the Whole Thing Randye Hoder, Randye Hoder regularly contributes to West.
Vintage Steele Susan Baskin, Susan Baskin wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award-winning film "Violet."
If You're Chasing a Story, Money Beats All Marvin J. Wolf, Marvin J. Wolf teaches writing at Glendale Community College. His latest film, "Ladies Night," aired on USA Network.
'West of the West' Barbara Isenberg, Barbara Isenberg is the author of "State of the Arts: California Artists Talk About Their Work."
Please Don't Let the Sky Fall Susan Straight, Susan Straight is a novelist and contributing writer for West.
Back to the Bleachers Chris Epting, Chris Epting is the author of "Roadside Baseball."
This Is a Bike. Trust Us. Preston Lerner, Preston Lerner has written for Wired, Smithsonian, Popular Science and Automobile.
Briefly Diane Wedner, Times Staff Writer
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
Want to write? Read Michael Skube, MICHAEL SKUBE teaches journalism at North Carolina's Elon University. He is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism.
They can take the heat Susan Straight, SUSAN STRAIGHT is the author, most recently, of "A Million Nightingales."
Adios, and good luck Roy Romer, Roy Romer is superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Meet the new boss Raphael J. Sonenshein, Raphael J. Sonenshein, a political scientist at Cal State Fullerton, is the author of "The City at Stake: Secession, Reform, and the Battle for Los Angeles."
The long odds of success on the gridiron Dave Zirin, DAVE ZIRIN is the author of "What's My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States."
Citizenship isn't a split decision GREGORY RODRIGUEZ, GREGORY RODRIGUEZ is an Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation.
Why take girls out of the game? Jennifer Ring, JENNIFER RING, a professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Reno, is the author of "Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don't Play Baseball," to be published next year.
Old blood feud drives the Mideast's new power play Vali Nasr, Vali Nasr is a professor of Middle East and South Asia politics at the Naval Postgraduate School and adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of "The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future."
Coerce Congress to tell the truth James Bovard, JAMES BOVARD is the author, most recently, of "Attention Deficit Democracy" (2006).