Tony Dokoupil

Super Bowl, Super Bust

Every Super Bowl loser leaves piles of suddenly worthless merchandise in its wake, but the tease of the New England Patriots' perfect season produced unusual extremes.

Sex and the Synagogue

The rise of interfaith marriage is a sensitive issue among American Jews, and now two powerful forces in the religion are teaming up to do something about it: rabbis and JDate, the top matchmaking Web site for Jewish singles.

Gratuitous Technology

Americans are obsessed with saving time, but there are some things we still haven't streamlined. Like sit-down dining. In many restaurants in Europe, a waiter brings the check along with a panini-size wireless device, and customers swipe their own credit cards.

Forty-Year-Old Virgins

At 25, Stephen Brown thought his toy-playing days were over—until his mom tried to clean out his old bedroom. "Looking at my 'Star Wars' guys, I couldn't pull the trigger," says the Atlanta advertising executive, now 34.

Turning the Page on Foley

Starting Point In September 2006, Florida Rep. Mark Foley, who as head of the Caucus on Exploited and Missing Children called pedophiles "America's most depraved," is caught sending explicit e-mails and instant messages to teen male congressional pages.

Pregnant, or Just Plain Hip?

Jennifer Lopez kept the tabloids abuzz with pregnancy rumors for months, in part because of an unlikely accomplice: high fashion. Baby-doll tops, smock dresses and other free-flowing styles that keep expanding bellies under wraps are a hit with fashionable pregnant and nonpregnant women alike.

Controversial Advertising Strategy

The idea that genetic differences exist between ethnicities is the basis of a growing and controversial advertising strategy for a $2 trillion market. Much of the money is tied to skin-care supplies, such as Rx for Brown Skin, a line that debuted this fall at Sephora.

Following His Green Dream

Al Gore just won a Nobel Prize for teaching the world to think green, but he's also showing he knows a thing or two about another kind of green: money. Since 2000, according to published reports, the former veep has transformed himself from a public servant with around $1 million in the bank to a sparkling private consultant with a net worth estimated to be north of $100 million.

Melting Into the Shadows

Starting PointAfter Chandra Levy—a 24-year-old D.C. intern from California Rep. Gary Condit's district—goes missing in 2001, and later turns up murdered, suspicion falls on Condit.

Mariane Pearl on Optimism

Mariane Pearl, the wife of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, resolved to hold onto her sense of hope in the aftermath of her husband's murder at the hands of terrorists in 2002.

'I Can't Talk About Me'

Shrewd marketing or government spite? That was the question when Valerie Plame's memoir, "Fair Game," appeared on bookstands last month with some 10 percent of its 302 pages deleted by CIA censors.

The American Way to Gain Wisdom

In this country, we're firm believers in educating ourselves—we just wish it didn't take so long. But not to worry: self-help is on the way. David S. Kidder and Noah Oppenheim's "The Intellectual Devotional: American History" collapses Uncle Sam's story into 365 single-page passages to be read one a day for a year. "We're trying to give people confidence," says Oppenheim, a producer for NBC's "Today" show. "The War of 1812 can seem exotic at first." The Web site Dailylit, meanwhile, sends...

Truly, Madly, Deeply

On July 10, Jeremy Blake returned to his downtown Manhattan apartment from a day of meetings with plans to relax with a bottle of Scotch. The 35-year-old digital artist, whose work is already enshrined in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, lived in a converted Episcopal church rectory with his girlfriend of a dozen years, Theresa Duncan, a 40-year-old writer and former computer-game designer.

God and MP3s: The Audio Bible Craze

When people speak of hearing God, they usually don't mean they can adjust the volume. But a wave of new audio Bibles with Hollywood talent, chintzy sound effects and overwrought musical scores is bringing God into the MP3 era—and they couldn't have more different, well, complexions.

Teens and Antidepressants: Did Warnings Go Too Far?

Seventeen-year-old Michael didn't want to end up crazed and suicidal like the Columbine killers. The Massachusetts teen had read that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were taking antidepressants when they rampaged murderously through their Colorado high school in 1999, and he didn't want to snap as they had. "He'd say it was like there was an evil guy on his left shoulder and a good guy on his right, but the evil guy just kept winning," Michael's mother, Lorraine, recalls.

Lisa Nowak's Strange Spacewalk

Lisa Nowak is still in orbit. The space shuttle astronaut was transformed from local hero to intergalactic spectacle last February, following a madcap, diaper-clad, 900-mile drive she made to confront—and, police say, assault—a romantic rival with pepper spray.

Lisa Nowak's Strange Spacewalk

Lisa Nowak's fate is still in orbit. The space shuttle astronaut was transformed from local hero to intergalactic spectacle last February, following a madcap, 900-mile drive she made to confront—and, police say, assault—a romantic rival with pepper spray.