After leaving the Soviet Union at 17, Contributing Editor Cathy Young went to Italy to await an American visa. There she met a girl from Illinois who enthusiastically recommended she read the novels of Ayn Rand–a name she'd recognize years later while browsing in the library at Rutgers. In For the New Intellectual and Rand's anti-Bolshevik novel We the Living, Young says she "recognized the theme of the subordination of the individual to the collective that was being preached in the Soviet Union–something I had always rebelled against." This month Young examines the good and the bad in Rand's legacy in "Ayn Rand at 100" (page 22).

Robert W. Poole Jr., director of transportation studies at the Reason Foundation, penned the first Reason cover story on air travel back in 1970, when he was a recent MIT grad working for Sikorski Aircraft. When Congress moved to nationalize airport security after 9/11, Poole was called to Washington to help craft a compromise that left some leeway for private initiative. In "Transportation Security Aggravation" (page 40), he debates air security with the Cato Institute's director of information policy studies, Jim Harper. Founder of the privacy rights site, Harper spends his nonwonk time listening to jazz and playing soccer, which–though his Cato colleagues think it's "a communist sport just because people in Europe like it"–Harper defends as an "unrecognized libertarian game."

Editorial Assistant Mary Toledo joined Reason in 1990 when, after writing about heavy metal hair bands for music zines such as Faces Rocks and Creem Metal, she realized "there was no money in it unless you were in the stupid band." (She did, however, pick up a liner notes credit on Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet.) Responsible for the administrative heavy lifting that keeps Reason humming smoothly, Toledo has been with the Reason Foundation through three presidents, two editors, and two offices. A conspiracy theory and alternate-history buff, Toledo has long harbored a suspicion that the Reason Foundation is part of The Conspiracy, but promises to deny this under duress.