To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

According to Dr. Mark Rosekind, former NASA scientist and president of a company called Alertness Solutions, top-notch sleep can improve an athlete's performance by "as much as 30 percent." For journalists covering the Olympics, who can't draw on the added boost provided by being in shape, let's up that figure to an unscientific 50 percent.

A Stormy Start

Olympics - Torino 2006 - NewsweekA Stormy StartBefore the opening ceremonies even began, a gambling scandal and a doping travesty threatened to steal the Olympic spotlight.It happens at every Olympics.

Forget What You've Read

The first marquee event of these Torino Olympics--the men's alpine downhill--won't be contested until Sunday afternoon, but if you trust the America media reports so far, the gold medal has already been awarded.

It's Bode Time

Bode Miller, the most gifted American skier in decades, talks the same way he races: fast, loose and seemingly out of control. He has a smirking disrespect for the media, a stance he'll repeat until your recorder runs out of tape.

The 'Code' Breakers

The most popular--and controversial--novel of our time hits the screen in May. An exclusive report on the second coming of 'The Da Vinci Code.'

Movies: The 'Code' Breakers

Like so many luxuries in this life, getting permission to shoot a movie inside the Louvre is easier if you know the right people. For three months in late 2004, the Oscar-winning filmmakers behind "The Da Vinci Code," director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer, had pursued the official channels, filling out forms, pressing the relevant flesh and reassuring anyone who needed to hear it that they would leave France's national treasure exactly as they found it.

Capturing Kong

Like any classic film worth its salt, the original 1933 "King Kong" has its little unsolved mysteries. Most notorious is the missing spider-pit sequence. Co-directors Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack's first cut of "Kong" featured a scene on Skull Island--the famous ape's jungle pied-a- terror--in which several men tumble into a chasm and get devoured by giant arachnids.

Newsmakers

Zach Braff is expanding his thespian chops (and learning some barnyard epithets?) by voicing the title character in the animated "Chicken Little." He spoke to NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.Yes, but that doesn't sound funny.You're never offended when people offer you a gargantuan movie.No, I don't have a specialty in the area.Of course.

Transition

AUGUST WILSON, 60When a famous writer dies, it's a natural response, and a kind of homage, to visit the local bookstore and read up. Last week the playwright August Wilson, author of a 10-part cycle of works about the black experience in 20th-century America, succumbed to liver cancer.

Swimming With Sharks

MTV's reality series about teen life in paradise, "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County," hasn't become the network's latest hit because of all the interesting things that happen on it.

A Healthy Fantasy Life

Four days before his wedding last September, my college roommate called to say hello. I was his best man, and I was a bit nervous about the job. But talk soon turned, as usual, to our fantasy football team.

PART OF THE 'ENTOURAGE'

Mandy Moore seems like a sweet girl, but she's wrecking "Entourage." It's not that she's a lousy actress. (She's OK.) It's not that she's unattractive. (That's definitely not the problem.) And it's not that she's a bad match for Vincent Chase, the series's faux-celebrity star. (He's naughty.

GIVING US A LITTLE 'EXTRA'

In the debut episode of "Extras," a new fall comedy series from the makers of the beloved BBC sitcom "The Office," four-time Oscar nominee Kate Winslet guest-stars as Kate Winslet, four-time Oscar nominee and lead actress in a movie about the Holocaust.

NEWSMAKERS

Tommy LeeOne of the most famous bad boys of rock has hopped on the reality-show gravy train with "Tommy Lee Goes to College." Lee chatted with NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.Wasn't this show an excuse to pick up college chicks?You know what?

GARY SINISE

When actor Gary Sinise talks about Operation Iraqi Children, the humanitarian organization he cofounded 16 months ago to provide basic supplies to schools in the war-ravaged country, he does not peddle sob stories.

INVINCEIBLE

For the first hour and a half of his interview with NEWSWEEK, Vince Vaughn is--oh, might as well come right out and say it--a bit of a snooze. He is polite, professional and completely unrevealing.

A 'POSITIVE PESSIMIST'

Meeting Hayao Miyazaki, Japan's greatest living director, is nothing like watching a Miyazaki film. The man dresses entirely in gray, chain-smokes and has a bleak, fatalistic sense of humor.

NEWSMAKERS

Q&A: Danica PatrickPatrick finished a more-than-respectable fourth at this year's Indianapolis 500 and is the first woman to ever lead the pack during the race.

HOT FOR COLDPLAY

It's a March afternoon in Los Angeles, and Coldplay has just announced on a local radio station that the band will perform its first live show in a year and a half this evening at the tiny Troubadour, on Sunset Boulevard.

NEWSMAKERS

Michael VartanIt isn't enough that Michael Vartan plays second fiddle to Jennifer Garner every week on "Alias." In the film "Monster-in-Law" he's caught between two divas: Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez.

KEEPING IT REAL--AND REAL SMALL

The woodworking shop in Blu Dot's Minneapolis factory space is cold, sawdusty and filled with intimidating machines, and John Christakos loves it in here.

The Band Speaks

Last February, NEWSWEEK visited with Coldplay as it put the finishing touches on its third studio album, "X&Y," which will be released June 7. During breaks in the mixing process, three of the band members talked with Devin Gordon. (He caught up with guitarist Jonny Buckland a month later in Los Angeles.)Singer Chris MartinNewsweek: When did you start working on "X&Y"?Chris Martin: Pretty much as soon as the last one was done.

FEARS OF A CLOWN

"I'm so sorry," says Dave Chappelle, chuckling as he shakes hands with a visiting journalist. "This is a terrible way to meet a person." It is late afternoon and Chappelle has a long night of work ahead, so the introduction is a bit rushed.

THE HEAVYWEIGHT

Many directors have said it's a pleasure working with the famously mercurial Russell Crowe. Ron Howard is not one of them. "Directing Russell is like shooting on a tropical island," he says. "The weather is going to change several times a day, but you're shooting there for a reason.

NEWSMAKERS

Q&A: Matthew McConaugheyMatthew McConaughey's perfect teeth and abs are currently costarring with his perfect girlfriend, Penelope Cruz, in the popcorn pleaser "Sahara." He chatted with NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.Did you get sick of all the sand?Yeah, two months after getting back to the States I would still find sand in unexpected crevices.

TELEVISION: PROS VERSUS THE VOLCANO

There are very few terms in television as uninspiring as "dramatic reenactment." It suggests acting and production values at the level of an instructional video.

FAMILY REUNION

On the night that Fox's animated sitcom "Family Guy" premiered in 1999, its creator, Seth MacFarlane, was one of the network's guests of honor at the Super Bowl.

MONSTERS' BALL

The first dozen times Frank Miller got called about turning his legendary, and legendarily violent, "Sin City" graphic novels into a movie, he didn't flinch.

Troubadour Next Door

Growing up in San Luis Obispo, Calif., singer-songwriter M. Ward, 31, logged hundreds of hours on car trips along the Pacific coast in the family Pontiac.

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