John Leland

'My White Father'

The thing about Kobe Bryant, says the rapper Snoop Dogg, is that he likes to jaw. The two had recently matched up in a pickup game, the rap star/wanna-be baller vs.

Sofas And Sensibility

It is a truth universally acknowledged, or so wrote Jane Austen, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. Maybe so, maybe no, but these days our man (or woman) will also want some nifty home furnishings.

Elian's Cuba

At the Marcelo Salado primary school in Cárdenas, Cuba, the teacher addresses herself each morning to an empty seat. "Elián González," says Yamilín Morales Delgado during the roll call of her first-grade class.

Shades Of Gay

With Aids No Longer An All-Consuming Crisis, The Battle For Tolerance Has Moved To Schools, Churches, Offices And The Frontiers Of Family Life.

Scramble For The Bacon

In his Manhattan office last week, amid a sprawl of golf memorabilia and teddy bears, Bryant Gumbel reclined to ponder a hypothetical. If he were a guest on his new morning program, "The Early Show," what question would he ask himself?

Millennium Madness

For most of the 1990s, the man who called himself only Elijah was one of Jerusalem's lesser curiosities, an American who claimed to be the Biblical prophet.

Heavy Meddling

If you were worried about the safety of Metabolife 356, perhaps you'd do what Flora Hickman did: you'd call the authoritative-looking 800 number printed on the bottom of each bottle.

More Buck For The Bang

When she started her Web site two years ago, Jenteal thought it would just be a hobby. A self-described "total nerd" in high school, she taught herself PhotoShop and put together a site with her fiance, Chris.

The Night Without End

In her new book, "Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide," Kay Redfield Jamison lists the measures desperate souls have taken to end their lives. "The suicidal," she writes, "have jumped into volcanoes; starved themselves to death; thrust rumps of turkeys down their throats; swallowed dynamite, hot coals, underwear, or bed clothing; strangled themselves with their own hair; used electric drills to bore holes into their brains..."--well, you get the idea.

A Lower Body Count

The entertainment industry loves to say it influences people. Television and radio stations promise advertisers that they can shape consumer preferences in shampoo or soft drinks.

The Blair Witch Cult

Two young filmmakers have set the summer—and the box office—on fire with a creepy tale audiences love or hate. The making, and marketing, of a stealth smash.

A Wall Of Black Water

From the picturesque Swiss town of Interlaken, the craggy thrust of Jungfrau peak looms almost 12,000 feet overhead. Around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 27, Heinz Loosli looked up toward the peak at a formation of clouds gathering.

Generation N

El Conquistador, in the trendy Silverlake section of Los Angeles, is a hard place to find, set off from the street by a doorway of hanging straw. But once you're inside, the Mexican food is authentic and excellent.

Lovin' La Vida Loca

They looked so good, Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin, as only the truly beautiful can, and even then only by the genius of the hairdressers to the truly beautiful.

They've Got Next

In a west Hollywood photo studio, Don Cheadle interrupts lunch to play a little show and tell. Cheadle, 34, is the sinuous actor whose supporting performances lit up "Out of Sight" and "Devil in a Blue Dress." Around him, casually networking, are three of his most promising peers: Omar Epps, Mekhi Phifer and Hill Harper.

Bad News In The Bedroom

WAS IT BAD FOR YOU, TOO? THE Journal of the American Medical Association reported last week that 43 percent of American women and 31 percent of men experience problems in the bedroom. ""The stunning thing,'' says lead author Edward O.

To Have And To Hold

WHEN HE REGAINED consciousness last Monday, Jan. 25, Matthew Scott had the uncanny sensation that he had been there before. He was in a busy operating room, the staff swirling around him, his left arm swathed in a pile of white bandages. ""I flashed back to when I lost my hand 13 years ago,'' Scott, 37, told NEWSWEEK.

Mj's Court

There are rituals that shape the life of Michael Jordan. At the end of the 1998 NBA playoffs, as he has for the last 13 years, he went to the North Carolina basketball camp run by his old school friend, Fred Whitfield.

Cruising For A Bruising

SKATING A LAP ON THE BANKED oval track, Heather (The Gun) Gunnin confides a trade secret. ""There's cameras all around,'' she says, ""so you have to stay in character the whole time.'' We are in a 22,000-square-foot sound stage at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., where Gunnin works her trade, dressed in clingy black Lycra and in-line skates. ""In character,'' she says, tossing a playful elbow at her interviewer, ""I'm like the Antichrist.'' Her teammate Brian Gamble skates up from behind.

Deepak's Instant Karma

IF A BEARER OF TRUE enlightenment arrived among us, what would he leave on your voice mail? Perhaps something like this: ""Listen, this is Deepak. I just had a funny feeling that there was a karmic connection somewhere when I saw you. . .I send you lots of energy, love and the spontaneous fulfillment of your desires in the field of infinite possibilities.'' Or like this: ""This is Deepak, calling from the unified field ...

Echoes Of Little Rock

MINNIJEAN BROWN TRICKEY LIGHTS UP JUST TO think back on it, the corners of her broad face--the eyes, the mouth that can screw down with anger--opening now as if in bloom at the memory: the Dunbar Community Center, right here in Little Rock, where Minnijean once sang ""Love Is Strange'' with a house band called The Thrillers.

'Don't Show Weakness'

DR. ALVIN POUSSAINT remembers clearly a visit to the housing projects of Boston in the late 1960s. A public-health nurse had directed him to a woman in need of help.

The Tastemaker

THERE IS NO HANDSOME CHROME Dualit toaster in Chuck Williams's San Francisco kitchen, no elegantly functional KitchenAid mixer. The Dualit, as devotees of the Williams-Sonoma catalogs might know, is the preferred toaster at Buckingham Palace ($359); the KitchenAid boasts of ""unique planetary action'' ($289).

Rebirth Of The Cool

It took Cora Spearman more than three weeks before she braved the Lit X stage, but now here she is, all Saturday-night nerves and hip-hop bravado. It is still early evening in Chicago's funky Wicker Park neighborhood, and the club - the dimly lit basement of an African-American bookstore - is packed with twentysomething hip-hoppers in baggy jeans and African accessories, puffing cigars or joints beneath Bob Marley posters and paintings by black artists.

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