Archive for January, 2010

Altared State



The lede to the article that this new piece for Cincinnati Magazine explains it much more succinctly than I ever could:

Sister Louise Akers has supported female ordination for 30 years. Last summer, Archbishop Pilarczyk asked her to renounce her conviction, and her refusal set off a landslide of national interest in the Delhi nun’s beliefs. It also put her in the company of a generation of Catholic faithful— lay, religious, and clergy—who wouldn’t mind seeing women in an…ALTARED STATE (sic).

As a non-Catholic, I found this to be completely fascinating. An exploded view of the complete argument can be read here.

Art direction by the extremely patient Grace Saunders.

Dispatches from the ER



This piece above is running in the 1/26 Science section of the Times to accompany a first person article about a woman who, possessing power of attorney over her father’s living will, has to decide between what she knows is the logical decision concerning her father’s life support and what her father truly wants. Interested in reading about an emotionally complex problem with no easy answer? Click this.

The fact that this project was assigned, comped and completed while my own father was/is recovering from a freak, unanticipated surgery in the ICU in PA will, for the moment, be regarded in my own court of personal opinion as total coincidence.

Art direction by Veronica Ferre.

Death and the C.I.A.



The Washington Post ran a piece in their Outlook section last week by Book of Honor author Ted Gup about the C.I.A’s policy of secrecy when it comes to the death of their operatives. According to Gup, it’s not unfathomable that even the deceased family members don’t always get the full story surrounding the passing of their loved ones. Is this an HR issue or a matter of national security?

The other coulda-shoulda-woulda that art director Kristin Lenz and I both originally thought would be a lock is below:



The Terrorist Mind: An Update



I learned late last week that the best way to probe the mind of a modern terrorist is simply to approach one and ask them a question. Apparently, we can do that now.

Kelly Doe at the Week in Review handed me a crazy assignment accompanying this piece which explores the very inexact, very nascent science of studying terrorism via the results of the interviews, counseling and psychological testing being conducted through brand new global ‘de-radicalization’ programs, in which ex-radicals who have abandoned their causes have come in to rehabilitate. I provided illustrations to accompany the following points of study:



THE PATH TO VIOLENCE Idealists, respondents, lost souls, revolutionaries, wanderers, criminals, converts, compliants.



LIFE IN THE GROUP As the group becomes more radical, so does the individual. The well-to-do are sought after.



MORAL QUESTIONS They inherently believe that violence against an enemy is not immoral.



THE SUICIDE BOMBERS The desperation for a meaningful life that appears to come only with death.


LEAVING TERRORISM Their beliefs may be more subject to change than previously thought.


Did I mention that the piece is crazy? Because the second page that Kelly built for the piece is crazy also.



More Perfect


The above piece for the NYT Book Review accompanies reviews of two, count ‘em, two newly published annotated U.S. constitutions. Adam Liptak, who reviewed both books, forewarns all interested parties that while both interpretations have their interests and illuminations, that reading books built around footnotes is still an unwieldy reading experience. Perhaps to remedy this, The Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights will be the very first documents we hyperlink to death in whatever shape our future e-book manifests itself.

I was mere moments away from sending Nicholas Blechman my comps for this when the wife, surveying my work, mentioned something to me about microscopes. I switched gears and mocked up a comp of what would become the chosen piece above to include with my other comps. I’m very thankful that Jill sometimes thinks about microscopes, because in retrospect, my other ideas might not have been cutting the mustard.

Alternate comps below: