When it comes to Instagram, you will find photos of just about anything you can imagine. There are those that really push the boundaries of mobile photography; then there are those that document their lives to share with the world, as is the case with the Associated Press’s Chief Asia Photographer, David Guttenfelder, who gives us a look at life in North Korea. He was recently titled the Instagram Photographer of the Year by TIME magazine for documenting his life in North Korea, giving us a glimpse into a country so many in the outside world have not seen. Here are a few images that he has captured, and if you’d like to see more of his journey, check out his Instagram account here.
While conventional wisdom and dwindling sales of hard copies of magazines and newspapers dictate that the print industry is dying, the legacy of reporting and the imagery associated with the editorial is something that will live on forever – perhaps treasures for the next generation for those who built great wonders with photographs and the pen instead of blueprints. With popularity of image-driven apps and other social media tools, we’re arguably living in the golden age of visual sharing. Keeping in that same spirit, we’ve dug through the archives of some of the most well known and respected publications in the world to pick out photographs, stories and the anecdotes surrounding their origins for a compilation embracing everything from the horrors of the modern world to more uplifting captures. These are our choices for the 20 most memorable magazine covers of all-time.
Esquire – October 1966
“Oh my God – we hit a little girl.”
“M” by John Sack served as the cover story for Esquire’s October 1966 issue with the unmistakable black-and-white cover with the chilling statement, “Oh my God – we hit a little girl.” Chronicling an infantry company from its training at Fort Dix to battle action in Vietnam, the work remains the longest article to appear in the magazine.
One, two, three at the most weeks and they would give M company its orders — they being those dim Olympian entities who reputedly threw cards into an IBM machine or into a hat to determine where each soldier in M would go next, which ones to stay there in the United States, which to live softly in Europe, and which to fight and to die in Vietnam.
No matter. What agonized M this evening wasn’t what was in its cards but what was in the more immediate offing — an inspection! indeed, its very first inspection by its jazzy young Negro captain. So this evening M was in its white Army underwear waxing the floor of its barracks, shining its black combat boots, turning the barrels of its rifles inside out and picking the dust flecks off with tweezers, unscrewing its eardrums — the usual. The air was thick with the smell of floor wax and rifle oil, a moist aroma that now seemed to M to be woven into the very fabric of Army green. Minutes before, the company had heard a do-or-die exhortation by its bantamweight sergeant, Sergeant Milett. Get yourself clean for my sake, Milett had told M. “I’ve got a wife, three kids at home. I leave in the dark, I come home in the dark. I haven’t talked to them in thirty-six hours. I don’t know, maybe they’re dead,” using psychology, leaning against a two-decker bed, reaching an arm through the iron bedstead, beseechingly. “Well …” making a joke of it, “I left them enough food, I shouldn’t have to worry,” and getting to the point, “I got a boss downstairs, he got a couple bars on his collar, he is the boss I work for. Tomorrow afternoon he will inspect us: don’t make a jackassout of me!”
Time Magazine – June 21, 1968
“The Gun in America/The Gun Under Fire.”
With an illustrated cover created by iconic artist Roy Lichtenstein, its intended effect was to jar the readership about the current state of gun ownership in the United States in the wake of the assasination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy as he walked through the kitchen at the Ambassador Hotel two weeks prior to the magazine being released. Taking literal aim at the rather lenient gun control laws, it still proves to be as valuable a read today as it was over forty years ago.
Though states and localities have a bewildering crazy quilt of 20,000 weapon laws, only two are on the federal books. One is the National Firearms Act of 1934, taxing interstate shipments of such gangster-style weapons as machine guns and sawed-off shotguns. The other is the pallid Federal Firearms Act of 1938, prohibiting interstate gun shipments to felons. In 30 years, Congress has failed to enact a single new gun bill, thus allowing, as the President declared, “the demented, the deranged, the hardened criminal and the convict, the addict and the alcoholic” to order weapons by mail with no questions asked.
Time Magazine – January 2, 1939
Adolph Hitler as Man of the Year.
Time Magazine’s annual Man of the Year endowment to Adolph Hitler is the only one not to show the face of the person receiving the title and was awarded “for influencing the year’s news most ‘for better or for ill.’”
“But the figure of Adolf Hitler strode over a cringing Europe with all the swagger of a conqueror. Not the mere fact that the Führer brought 10,500,000 more people (7,000,000 Austrians, 3,500,000 Sudetens) under his absolute rule made him the Man of 1938. Japan during the same time added tens of millions of Chinese to her empire. More significant was the fact Hitler became in 1938 the greatest threatening force that the democratic, freedom-loving world faces today.”
Time Magazine – April 8, 1966
“Is God Dead?”
The April issue was the first instance where Time didn’t use an accompanying image for the cover – relying on the provocative title as a means to entice the reader. Spearheaded by editor Otto Fuerbringer who saw an opportunity to cash in on the counterculture sentiment of the time, the cover served as a reference to Friedrich Nietzsche’s much-quoted “God is dead” and holds the distinction of being one of “10 magazine covers that shook the world” according to The Los Angeles Times.
Esquire – April 1968
“The Passion of Muhammed Ali.”
Claiming status as a Conscientious Objector, Muhammed Ali famously stated, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong, they never called me n*****” when faced with the prospects of having three times failed to step forward following his induction into the US Armed Forces on April 28, 1967. After losing his title, photographer Carl Fischer’s magazine cover image was directly influenced by Andrea Mantegna’s c.288 painting of Saint Sebastian and whose inspiration came from art director George Lois. In an interview with Juxtapoz, Lois described the process of connecting with Ali and his hesitancy during the shoot.
I get Ali on the phone and told him that I need him in NYC for 2 days, and he says “Gee George, I can’t…”. And I said, “Fuck you, you’re not doing anything.”
There wasn’t a fight. He had no license to fight, and he would just go to colleges and give talks. He was funny as hell.
Anyways, so I said “I’m going to take a photo of you as Saint Sebastian, blah blah blah.” And Ali says okay. I told him to bring his pretty white fucking trunks and his pretty white shoes and bring your sorry ass.
The day of the shoot, I had looked at hundreds of pictures of the great painting of Saint Sebastian and they are all really bright. But I told Ali, “I want you to pose where your body is very quiet but your head is in pain because I don’t want to show your body like that. I want to show your body strong, but your head is in pain.”
So he’s looking at this postcard of the painting and he looks at it and says, “Hey George, is he a Christian?” And I say, “Saint Sebastian… yes he’s a Christian!”
And Ali says. “George I can’t pose as a Christian.” I said, “It’s a symbolic thing. Anyone in the world can look at this thing and understand the imagery. And the imagery doesn’t say that you’re a Christian, the imagery says that you are a martyr. And what I am saying is that you a martyr to your race, you are a martyr because of the war. It’s a combination of race, religion, and war in one image, you’re symbolizing it in one image.”
And he says, “George, I can’t pose as a Christian, this is against my religion.”
I go holy shit, “Who can I talk to? He didn’t know who. And I said, “Can I talk to Elijah Muhammad? Can you get him on the phone?”
It takes about 2 minutes, but Ali gets him on the phone, so I pick up and have about a 15 minute talk about what religion am I, how old am I, etc. I’m talking to him about symbolism, how Ali is a martyr, blah blah blah. Finally, Elijah asks to speak to Ali.
Then, Ali gets off the phone with him and says, “Lets do it!”
Rolling Stone – January 22, 1981
John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Photographer Annie Leibovitz has said the original concept for the now legendary John Lennon and Yoko Ono Rolling Stone cover was for both to appear nude in support of their album Double Fantasy. According to the The Los Angeles Times, “as legend has it, Lennon was game, shedding his clothes quickly, but Ono felt uncomfortable.” Leibovitz recalled for Rolling Stone, “I was kinda disappointed, and I said, ‘Just leave everything on.’ We took one Polaroid, and the three of us knew it was profound right away.” That same night, Dec. 8, 1980, he was shot and killed by a fan in front of his Manhattan apartment.”
Rolling Stone – January 2006
“The Passion of Kanye West.”
The photograph by David LaChapelle of Kanye West depicted as Jesus Christ was “not the most outrageous photograph from this marathon thirteen-hour cover shoot” according to Rolling Stone. LaChappelle said “I wanted to make it look exactly like the DVD cover of The Passion of the Christ, right down to the individual thorns.”
The New Yorker – July 21, 2008
“The Politics of Fear.”
Labeled “tasteless and offensive” by Barack Obama’s campaign spokesman Bil Burton, the satirical cartoon by Barry Blitt was called “the most memorable image of the 2008 election” according to The New York Times. Blitt was quoted as saying “Anytime I produce a cover, I always regret it afterward.”
Time Magazine - May 21, 2012
“Are You Mom Enough?”
According to “attachment theory/attachment parenting” which was coined by Dr. Bill Sears, a child forms a strong emotional bond with caregivers during childhood with lifelong consequences – characterized by extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping and wearing your baby in a sling across your body. Photographed by Martin Schoeller, Jamie Lynne Grumet is seen breastfeeding her three-year-old son. “When you think of breast-feeding, you think of mothers holding their children, which was impossible with some of these older kids,” Schoeller said. “I liked the idea of having the kids standing up to underline the point that this was an uncommon situation.”
Rolling Stone – August 2013
Proving that bad press can be good for one’s bottom line, the Rolling Stone cover of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sold twice as many copies of the August 1 issue at the newsstand than its average according to Adweek. It should be noted that the self-portrait was published on the cover of the May 5 New York Times to considerably less criticism.
Playboy – October 1971
Photographed by Richard Fergley, Darine Stern has the distinction of being the first African-American woman to appear on the cover of Playboy. Additionally, the composition of the photograph was used when Marge Simpson graced the cover in November 2009.
Rolling Stone – September 1993
As memorable a magazine cover ever produced, Patrick Demarchelier shot of Janet Jackson topless – covered only by then boyfriend Rene Elizondo’s hands – was produced without Rolling Stone’s in house team of professionals being involved. According to the Los Angeles Times, Jackson offered photos from the album artwork session to Rolling Stone for its September 1993 cover story and Rolling Stone director of photography, Laurie Kratochvil, said,”We had a choice of shooting her ourselves, but they offered us this, and the image is very powerful.”
Esquire – November 2004
Having been named Sexiest Woman Alive in 2004, the editorial revealed an actress once again trying to reinvent herself.
She materializes in the dark lobby bar at the Hotel Bel-Air, a wisp of smoke, late but somehow unexpected.
She looks at me attentively with large blue eyes. Her hair is long and chestnut colored, framing her porcelain face, her lips preternatural. She is smaller than I imagined, thin and insubstantial. Cloaked in a camel-colored overcoat, vaguely rakish, she brings to mind Amelia Earhart.
It is our second meeting. In the three nights since last we met, she has stayed in three different hotels — two in Beverly Hills and one in New York City, where she went, she says, partly because she had a business meeting, but also because her son loves to play in Central Park.
Her son’s name is Maddox Jolie, and she adopted him in Cambodia in 2002. Like his mother, the boy is airplane mad. She promised him on his second birthday that she’d learn to fly. And just the other day, on his third birthday, she test-flew her new airplane. (She calls it “our new plane.”) She soloed for the first time in August.
Mounting the barstool, she removes her coat to reveal a tight black sleeveless top over low-slung jeans. On her left shoulder, skin-colored makeup barely covers an old tattoo. In the course of the evening, she will allow me to moisten the tip of my finger with my tongue and try to wipe off the makeup, under which had once been written BILLY BOB. (Also, she will turn her back to me and pull up her shirt and bend over, all of which to show me her new tiger tattoo, which stretches roughly from her shoulder blades on down to the swell of her ass.) The shoulder itself, the arm, the neck, all of her, really, appears a bit too thin. She looks fragile, like a refugee.
Leave it to notable voyeur/photographer Richard Kern to capture Brazilian beauty Ana Beatriz Barros without much on. While there aren’t any special anecdotes about this particular cover, Kern has a show with VICE that is a (NSFW) watch.
GQ – October 2008
It all makes sense. Terry Richardson. A young starlet. The tongue. It’s a recipe for a perfect cover – especially with a then 22-year-old Megan Fox and not a 22-year-old Miley Cyrus.
V Spain – Summer 2010
Thanks to a clever utilization of the magazine’s moniker and a stunning photograph by Mario Sorrenti, this cover delivers.
Life – Special Edition 1969
“To the Moon and Back.”
As mentioned in a retrospective that chronicled the great Space Race, it’s unfathomable to think that in our current 24/7 news cycle, we’d actually have to wait to see an account of something that would inevitably shape the way we see the world. But, that was exactly the case for the cover of Life – which ended up producing the now iconic image two weeks after the 1969 lunar landing.
Time Magazine – April 14, 1997
“Yep, I’m Gay.”
Back in 1997, and arguably at the height of her career, Ellen Degeneres announced to the world that she was gay. While she’s arguably one of the biggest female personalities in the media, it’s wise to remember that following the announcement, her show ran for only one more season (with a parental advisory disclaimer for the lesbian story lines), and following cancellation, she didn’t work in the business for three years.
“I hate that term ‘in the closet,’” says Ellen DeGeneres, the aforementioned sitcom star whose all-pants wardrobe and sometimes awkward chemistry with male ingenues was provoking curiosity from fans and reporters long before her sexuality became a minor national obsession. “Until recently I hated the word lesbian too,” she continues. “I’ve said it enough now that it doesn’t bother me. But lesbian sounded like somebody with some kind of disease.
The New Yorker – September 24, 2001
Twin Towers in Silhouette.
The cover – created by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly for the September 24, 2001 issue – received wide acclaim and was voted in the top ten of magazine covers of the past 40 years by the American Society of Magazine Editors. At first glance, the cover appears to be totally black, but upon close examination it reveals the silhouettes of the World Trade Center towers in a slightly darker shade of black.
Life – November 26, 1965
“The Blunt Reality of War in Vietnam.”
Paul Schutzer’s photograph of a Vietcong prisoner with his eyes and mouth taped shut is both a bitter reminder of the horrors that the Vietnam War brought as well as sorrow-filled remembrance of Schutzer who died in the field while covering the Six-Day War in 1967.
Motion pictures aside, the nature of photographic representation implies freezing space in time – a moment captured and preserved, independent of what comes before or after.
Yet, as photographer Fong Qi Wei points out, “we do know that time is also a dimension, like length, breadth and width. In fact, physicists have a model called space-time: suggesting that time is part of a continuum with the 3 dimensions that we are familiar with. But the print is still an instance. Most paintings and photographs are an instance of time. That’s not the way the world works. We experience a sequence of time.”
His solution is this photo series, Time is a Dimension, in composed mostly of “landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes,” which “are a single composite made from sequences that span 2-4 hours, mostly of sunrises and sunsets. The basic structure of a landscape is present in every piece[, but] each panel or concentric layer shows a different slice of time, which is related to the adjacent panel/layer. The transition from daytime to night is gradual and noticeable in every piece, but would not be something you expect to see in a still image.”
There is a playful and experimental quality to the variety of approaches found within this set of images. Sometimes a series of casually-drawn circles spread out from a focal point. In other cases, rays like a child’s drawing of sunshine span from some implied but out-of-frame source. Each has at least one surprise upon inspection, like the changing reflections in glass over the course of a day, or the differences in artificial illumination going into the night. Overall, the results are rich in colors and shades but also do tell a story of time elapsing, quite by design.
Our universe is located inside the black hole of another universe – or it’s just a holographic projection – or it’s all one big computer game being played by bored super-intelligent aliens. Or not. These scientific and philosophical theories about the origin and nature of existence can be major head-scratchers, but there are at least a handful of physicists around the world who support each one.
It’s highly unlikely that we live in the sole existing universe. We’re probably in one of many. Physicists have theorized that there could be infinite universes existing next to each other in a sort of giant patchwork quilt, that the Big Bang led to the generation of many other ‘bubble universes’ and that parallel universes hover just outside of our own. Columbia University physicist Brian Greene, author of the book ‘The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos’ says the latter theory supports the idea that we all have doppelgangers.
“The argument for doppelgangers is pretty straightforward. Assuming that space goes on infinitely far, in any finite chunk, matter can only arrange itself in a finite number of ways, like cards in a deck. You and I are just a configuration of particles, so sooner or later we’re going to repeat. Matter can almost repeat its configuration but not repeat it identically. Your physical body may repeat, but your mental configuration can be a little bit different, so there might be an evil version of you, and a version that loves skydiving.”
Our universe might be so small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, that it’s hidden inside the black hole of another universe, totally unbeknownst to theoretical sentient beings in that universe. And that means all the black holes so far found in our own universe could also contain doorways to alternate realities. This theory is based on new mathematical models of the spiraling motion of matter falling into a black hole. The matter absorbed by black holes isn’t necessarily destroyed – it could be expelled, to become the basis for new galaxies, stars, and planets. This could explain the mystery as to how the universe could have started with a singularity in the Big Bang theory – instead of just existing with no explanation, it was birthed by a white hole, the hypothetical escape hatch for matter at the other end of a black hole.
Did our universe actually come about due to a collision of two three-dimensional worlds? The ekpyrotic scenario is a cosmological model of the origin and shape of the universe that illustrates it as a giant, stretched rubber band that could fly back into our faces at any moment. It contradicts the Big Bang theory, in which time and space began when something created a bubble of energy from nothing – a bubble that blew up into what we now know as the universe in a tiny fraction of a millisecond. Based on string theory (which suggests that once you get smaller than an atom, everything is a 2D unit called a quantum string – an attempt to marry Einstein’s theory of relativity with quantum physics), it’s highly controversial, but intriguing all the same.
In the ekpyrotic scenario, two three-dimensional worlds (branes) collide in a space with an extra (fourth) spatial dimension. It amends the earliest point of the Big Bang theory, stating that rather than beginning with nearly infinite temperature and density, the universe began cold and nearly vacuous.
“The hot expanding universe we know came as a result of a collision that brought the universe up to a large but finite temperature and density,” says Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University, who came up with the concept. “The rest of the story is as the Big Bang model would have it, but the beginning is different.”
“Quantum effects cause the incoming three-dimensional world to ripple along the extra-dimension prior to collision so that the collision occurs in some places at slightly different times than others. By the time the collision is complete, the rippling leads to small variations in temperature, which seed temperature fluctuations in the microwave background and the formation of galaxies. We have shown that the spectrum of energy density fluctuations is scale-invariant (the same amplitude on all scales). The production of a scale-invariant spectrum from hyperexpansion was one of the great triumphs of inflationary theory, and here we have repeated the feat using completely different physics.”
You see the finished pieces all over – ornate, curved and layered – but rarely get such a vivid and complete all-angle, real-time view of how their tags come together. If you are even remotely interested in graffiti, this behind-the-scenes video with its shifting point of view is well worth a few minutes of your time.
Featuring Melbourne street artist Sofles and directed, filmed and edited by Celina Mills of Unity Sound & Visual, this video provides a whirlwind four-minute window into the creative process behind tagging. Instead of a static shot of a single tag, though, the camera follows the artist from wall to wall, into an abandoned building and more.
What makes it really remarkable, though, is that it gives you a tour of different scenarios and contexts for various styles and types of graffiti creation. It features interior and exterior settings as well as canvasses ranging from blank to brick to already-painted – so you can see what happens from start to finish in all kinds of urban situations.
When you translate Vista Hermosa to English, it means beautiful view. It’s funny that the name was given to one of Venezuela’s most dangerous prisons where the inmates control the inside and have created their own society. These prisoners took control using force where one man is controlling the mayhem: Wilmer Brizuela AKA Pran. The only thing that keeps these prisoners confined within the prison walls is the Venezuelan National Guard patrolling the outside walls. Many of the inmates have some of the same amenities people have on the outside, ranging from guns and drugs to even iPhones. Some have even started their own businesses while inside, such as catering to other inmates, their families, and their friends who come to party. However, even with all of these perks and privileges, this is by no means a paradise.
Inmates are forced to sleep on any available space in the prison due to overcrowding.
Prisoners make a blood strike on the roof to demand their transport to the capital city, Caracas.
Members of the carro run a routine check in the prison.
Prisoners smoke crack cocaine.
With his two sons, a prisoner grills meat to sell to other inmates and their visitors. Since the inmates have taken control of the prison, they have the freedom to run their our businesses.
A 9mm pistol and an iPhone 5 that belong to one of the inmates on a couch in the living room of one of the leaders of the prison.
Family visitors during a celebration in the prison. In September 2008, family overnights were instituted as part of the Prison Humanization Plan, which sought to reduce conflict in the prisons and restore inmates’ rights.
Homemade crack pipes made from objects including soda cans, bones and wood.
A general view of the Vista Hermosa prison. On the left is a mural with the chief of the prison, inmate Wilmer Brizuela.
For this week’s cover story, TIME magazine looked to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to create the artwork seen above. Ai Weiwei used Chinese paper cutting techniques to create this red-and-white image that seems to pop out to represent China’s influence around the world. TIME Managing Editor Rick Stengel called the image a work of “artistic supremacy,” adding that for Ai Weiwei the image is an “acknowledgment of the country’s centrality in the world while at the same time challenging China’s leaders to make the future a freer and more democratic one.”
With the rise of digital technologies, photographers are finding increasingly fascinating ways to capture minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and even entire years. Here are just three extraordinary time-lapse photography examples spanning from seconds to minutes through a 24-hour day and culminating in a full 365-day year.
Sean Lenz & Kristoffer Abildgaard are on the shorter end of the spectrum, but their colorful collaborations are nonetheless spectacular. Their shots range from a few seconds up to several minutes, and capture luminescent paint sticks placed in above waterfalls – the path of the material traces the movement of the water. “To accomplish some of the more complicated shots they strung several sticks together at once to create different patterns of illumination. For those of you concerned about pollution, the sticks (which are buoyant) were never opened and were collected at the end of each exposure, thus no toxic goo was mixed into the water. ”
Chris Kotsiopoulos crafted this stunning spherical panorama from Athens, Greece, containing 500 star trails (as well as dozens of sun images and landscapes), adjusting his setup “exactly every 15 minutes using an intervalometer, with an astrosolar filter adjusted to the camera lens.” The results then took half a day to process on the computer.
Eirik Solheim started shooting pictures out of his window daily, then realize that with coding help from colleagues and readers, he could compile a time-lapse collage of an entire year. “The resolution of the 16 000 images I now have from 2010 are 3888×2592 pixels. So I selected 3888 images snapped during the day.” From there, he created a series of videos as well as the finalized composite still image above.
Japanese culture is commonly thought of as being centered around quiet politeness and public respect. If so, this may be a physical representation of that interpretation -a remarkably subtle and deferential structure-destroying process with many levels of conscientious thought behind it (not to mention a brilliant visual effect, per the video below).
This elegant form of razing is “reverse engineering” in a much more literal sense – taking apart what has been put together with equal care. The strange structure that seems to move down the building does just that: at each stage, it is held up, then strategically lowered as the process unfolds, making it appear as if the building is shrinking (perhaps imperceptibly to pedestrians, but noticeable as time lapses).
Demolition might be too strong a word: Taisei’s Ecological Reproduction System (aka Tecorep) caps buildings and proceeds to disassemble them piece by piece and level by level in order to reuse intact components and materials.
The process does more than just aid in reuse – it lower environmental impact, from dust and debris to sound, all of which are buffered. And as elements are dropped down by crane, the power generated by that release of potential energy serves to generate electricity for the deconstruction efforts. The entire system is, in short, incredibly considerate and extremely well thought-out.
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If you think it was difficult to select President Barack Obama as TIME Magazine’s Person Of The Year for 2012, veteran journalist Joel Stein will let you know otherwise. While Stein mentioned the selection the Coolest Person Of The Year title will no longer be solely base on his own, the task was still a grueling one. Friends, colleagues, and others have suggested everyone from skateboarder Louie Lopez , actor Channing Tatum, rocker Andrew W.K., to the winner of America’s Top Model, Laura James, who shamelessly nominated herself. After much deliberation all alone at home, Stein granted the title to one of the unlikeliest candidate, filmmaker and actress Lena Dunham.
Best known for her television series Girls on HBO, a show which she created, directs, and acts in, Dunham also represents a new type of “cool”. One that has less to do with looks and physique but more to do with the complete opposite. One who’s not afraid of poking fun of herself, being dorky, or as Stein wrote “a women entire persona is based on doing the wrong thing yet who reportedly got a $3.7 million advance for an advice book.” Who knew being uncool can be so cool at the same time? Glad to know there is still hope for the rest of us… Read the rest of Joel Stein’s article here.