Science journalist Michael Fumento ("Big Fat Fake," page 40) has a long, unhappy history with diet gurus and their faddish regimens, including an unsuccessful stint on something called "the rotation diet." Worse, his 1997 book The Fat of the Land (Viking) was all but eclipsed by the simultaneously released Your Fat Is Not Your Fault. "My own subtitle might have been Your Fat Is Your Fault," says Fumento. "My book was clobbered." Fumento, 35 pounds lighter than he used to be, is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He has untangled science and hype in three other books and in numerous newspaper and magazine articles. (His March 1997 reason piece on Gulf War Syndrome was a finalist for a National Magazine Award.) Fumento's new book, tentatively titled BioEvolution: How Biotechnology Is Changing Our World, is due out soon from Encounter Books.
As the courts decide how many years copyrights should last, Douglas Clement writes about two professors who are questioning the very need for intellectual property laws ("Creation Myths," page 30). Is his article no more than the ravings of a former Napster fanatic? "I've never downloaded an MP3," confesses Clement. "My home modem is just too slow." In his role as a senior writer for The Region, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Clement translates the jargon of modern economics theory into comprehensible English. (The results are available online at minneapolisfed.org/pubs/region/.) The quick and easy version of his story on copyrights? "According to these guys," he says, "our economy might be better off without them."
Reason Assistant Editor Sara Rimensnyder ("Mall Creatures," page 15) wraps up nearly three years at the magazine with next month's issue. "reason has been such a wonderful place for me," says Rimensnyder, one of only two editorial staffers who actually work out of the magazine's West Los Angeles offices. "Actually, it still is, but I'm cursed with itchy feet." For the time being, she plans to stay in L.A., where she's writing and co-producing a short film called The Interloper.