Daniel McGinn

Hot Wheels!

Liz Duarte has always lived sensibly. A divorced high-school English teacher from Cleveland, she's used to driving practical, reliable cars like her Honda Civic.

Through The Roof!

When Matt Morgan toured the French Provincial home in Seattle's quaint Bryant neighborhood last March, he anxiously noted the pile of brokers' business cards on the dining-room table.

Bonfire Of The Ad Agencies

Never thought you'd envy a tow-truck driver? Neither did Bob Kerstetter or Steve Stone. But when two of the cofounders of Black Rocket, a two-year-old San Francisco ad agency, designed a campaign for Discover Brokerage, they created a working-class hero for the '90s.

Pour On The Pitch

At most ad agencies, August is a month for long weekends. But for the folks at Leo Burnett Co., all thoughts of a social life evaporated last summer with a single phone call that plunged them into Pitch Mode.

Battle Behind The Screen

On Feb. 10, 8 million households tuned in to "Dateline NBC" and a parade of wrenching, now familiar images. A toddler killed at a church picnic, a comatose preacher--and a possible safety flaw in a car.

A Defeat For Dr. Death

As victory parties go, it was pretty subdued. Jack Kevorkian sat down to a supper of veggie burgers and couscous in a friend's suburban Detroit home last Friday night, hours after receiving the verdict he said he welcomed: a second-degree murder conviction for euthanizing a terminally ill man named Thomas Youk.

Betting On Volvo

JACQUES NASSER HAS A reputation for doing many things well, but vacationing isn't one of them. The hard-driving president of Ford Motor Co. is at his desk before 6 most mornings; rather than relax on American holidays like Thanksgiving, he often visits foreign operations where he can put in a full day at the office.

The Light Of His Life

AFTER 20 YEARS AS queen of Jordan, she still cannot speak Arabic fluently. She is more widely admired in the jet-set realms of fashion and society than among the Palestinian exiles and Bedouin tribesmen who inhabit her husband's dusty kingdom.

Your Next Job

GARY BARNETT LOOKS OUT FOR NO. 1--AND WE AREN'T talking national football championships. Late in 1997 the talented coach of the Northwestern Wildcats told the world, ""I'm here, and I will be here for the next 10 years of my contract . . .

Divide And Conquer

IMAGINE YOU'RE IN THE market for a family car. Stop by a Toyota dealership and watch the salesman steer you toward the Camry, the only midsize car Toyota sells.

Their Royal Rebound

IMAGINE YOU AND YOUR sweetheart lingering over a romantic meal for two. You've ordered the veal parmigiana; your date goes with the fried shrimp. The waiter delivers the entrees, and you raise your sodas in a toast.

How To Make The Airbag Decision

IT'S THE MECHANICAL equivalent of yanking a loose tooth. Turn some screws, unhook some wires and voilA--your airbag is disconnected. ""It's fairly simple,'' says Warren Bartholomew, a Phoenix software salesman who recently bought instructions to disconnect the passenger airbag in his Pontiac Grand Prix.

Hey, Mac! No Smoking!

WHEN PABLO OCAMPO, A VETERAN New York City cabdriver, traded in his old yellow taxi for a new one last year, he joined the ranks of the motor-vehicle vanguard.

Quick-Change Artists

WHEN WORKERS AT THE HONDA plant in Marysville, Ohio, punched the time clock last Tuesday morning, it seemed like the start of any other day on the assembly line.

A Rare Win For A City

AT THE PSYCHIC CENTER ON THE east side of Toledo, Ohio, customers seek guidance on life's universal issues: health, love and money. But lately when Madam Rose has worked the tarot cards, clients have had a bigger concern: where will they build the new Jeep plant? ""I've been asked that 20, 30 times,'' she says.

Teen Cruise Controls

WHEN THE SUN SETS IN SILER CITY, N.C., teenagers drive to the Gravel, a parking lot that doubles as the town's big hangout. Dana Wilson, 15, had hoped to be behind the wheel, making the scene, when she gets her license in January.

More Than Beer Cans On Wheels

ON THE SURFACE, IT'S HARD TO find two cars more different than the Audi A8 and the Plymouth Prowler. The Audi, which arrived in U.S. showrooms last fall, is a refined German touring sedan meant for folks who don't want to flaunt their $65,000 piece of machinery.

Lifting Some Hoods

HAVE YOU DRIVEN A FORD TAURUS lately? If so, you probably don't remember where the side mirror was located. Ford designers agonized over that decision. Engineers spent $500,000 testing alternatives in wind tunnels.

No Place To Hide Stuff

MOST OF THE WORKERS AT Gould Evans Goodman Associates, a Kansas City, Mo., architectural firm, have normal, everyday desks. But in one corner sits an experimental workstation so special it has a name: the Space Buck.


LARRY OBERMAN MUST BE mellowing with age. On the morning of last year's annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., he arrived at the auditorium by 5, determined to be first in line when the doors opened to get a prime seat near Berkshire chairman Warren Buffett.

Buy This Stock, Eh?

WHEN INVESTORS FIRST HEARD the story of Bre-X Minerals, most were aghast. For three years the Canadian mining company claimed to own the world's biggest gold deposit, and its soaring stock turned its executives into millionaires.

A Match From Hell?

WHEN IT COMES TO CYBERSPACE, where you hang out says loads about you. Take netizens of America Online, the country's largest service. Its patrons, many of them teenagers, go by screen names like "joe-cool" or "jerseygrrl" and hang out in "chat rooms." When AOL recently dropped its price to $19.95 a month, they chatted so long that phone lines were jammed.

Deadbeat Nation

EIGHTEEN MONTHS AGO SHANE AND Cindy thought they'd found their piece of the American Dream. The twentysomething newlyweds were earning more than $80,000 a year and had just bought their first home.

Brand Power

A YEAR AGO GENERAL MOTORS WAS putting the finishing touches on the Jimmy Ultimate, a luxury version of its popular sport utility vehicle. Then Jeff Cohen came to town, and he didn't like what he saw.

A Cream Puff Or A Lemon?

IF YOU BELIEVE WHAT YOU READ, KEVIN Rinke is about to become roadkill. For 80 years his family has run a car dealership in suburban Detroit, and a big chunk of his profits comes from selling used cars.

The Pain's All Yours

IT'S THE MEMO EVERY WORKER FEARS: ""Dear Employee: Today we're announcing plans to merge.'' From the clerk in Accounting to the VP on Mahogany Row, thoughts turn to the person in the same job at the other com pany.

Itt Puts Some Moves On Hilton

SO MUCH FOR ITT chairman Rand Araskog's plans to spend his retirement years watching Patrick Ewing from courtside. Last week the embattled chairman finally responded to the two-week-old, $6.5 billion hostile bid from rival hotelier Hilton.