AMY DICKINSON is TIME's family columnist and a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. This week she writes about the many stories behind the Million Mom March against gun violence in Washington. "I have never done a story with so many tears," she says. "These women are part of the most genuine of projects. There's not an ounce of cynicism." Dickinson was moved by the detailed descriptions the women gave when asked to remember the day they lost their loved ones. "Their clarity made me realize that this was the last moment of their previous lives." She felt the impact last month when she had to look her 11-year-old daughter in the eye and explain the shooting at the National Zoo, which is next door to the Dickinson home. "I said to her, 'That's what this story Mommy is writing is all about.'"
LEV GROSSMAN, who wrote this week's cover story about the love-bug virus, has experienced first hand the consternation it can cause. Grossman, a writer for TIME DIGITAL who recently published a Gen X novel titled Warp, arrived at work Thursday morning to find a strange e-mail in his computer with a subject line that read, "I love you." It was from a publicist he had not heard from for quite some time. When Grossman unwarily opened the e-mail attachment, the virus popped out and overwrote nearly 1,000 of his files, a mess that took the computer-savvy writer a good five hours to fix. What chiefly fascinates Grossman about this story, he says, is speculation about the social milieu from which the virus must have sprung. "It's not technically sophisticated," he says of the love bug. "But on a social level--what a compelling subject line."
DANYEL SMITH has written celebrity profiles for more than a decade during a career that has taken her from editor in chief of Vibe magazine to her position as editor-at-large for Time Inc. "The best part about being a journalist," she says, "is finding out what is behind the persona, who people really are." For this issue, Smith headed down to the courts to catch up with the New York Knicks' Latrell Sprewell, who has spent two years trying to live down one infamous act. Smith found him to be "decent, smart and talented." Growing up in Northern California, Smith rooted for the Los Angeles Lakers and Sprewell's old team the Golden State Warriors. She moved to New York City, in no small part, she says, because "I hate to drive." Her dream NBA final: the Lakers vs. the Knicks.
JON KATZ, a former producer for CBS morning news, has written 10 books since leaving that post. He's intrigued by teen culture and the fervor with which teenagers have thrown themselves into the Internet age. "They're not only building the Internet; they're rebuilding society," Katz says. "Yet they are often misunderstood and alienated." In this issue, Katz brings his own understanding to a look at the "script kiddies," whose passion for living online has given them new freedom--including the ability to create and spread viruses around the world. "They are perhaps the first group of young people to know so much more than the adults ostensibly responsible for them," Katz says. A columnist for the website slashdot.org he can be reached at