Dr. Robert Hillman places a small electrical device to his neck, holds his breath and starts silently mouthing words: "One, two, three, four, five." His words, amplified by the gizmo that purrs near his throat, are pitchless and robotic, like the voices computers had in 1960s sci-fi movies.
It's fun to gee-whiz over new technology, to "Wow!" at the latest gizmos and to dream of devices that never were and ask, "Why not?" Our affection for futurist gear fuels our love of science fiction (think we'll ever have a transporter room like Kirk and Spock?) and can shower wealth on inventors and investors.
Sitting in her darkened Bronx apartment, watching a video of her missing father salsa dancing, Michelle Nieves is grieving--and thinking about money. Her father, Juan Nieves, a 56-year-old Puerto Rican immigrant, worked as a salad maker at Windows on the World and was the sole provider for her mother and younger sister.
Every newspaper reader has a first stop, whether it's the sports page, the funnies or a gossip column. For business types, it's the front-page "What's News" summary of The Wall Street Journal--and as 2001 turns into an annus horribilis for corporate America, that section of newsprint is becoming more depressing than the obituary page.
John and Nancy Andretti sit with their three children in the fifth row, listening to hymns, Proverbs and the sermon. It would be an ordinary Sunday scene if the chapel weren't a converted garage, if race-car engines weren't rumbling outside and if the word "safety" didn't dominate the prayers.