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(Illustration By Vanessa Dell)

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Sharon Begley
A longtime science columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek, Begley spent years following the issues of climate change and ozone depletion only to be stunned by Harvard scientist Jim Anderson’s discovery that the former might cause the latter (“Solar Flair”). “Scientists had thought of these as entirely unrelated issues,” she says. “What continually surprises me about climate change is how it can lead to such unexpected effects.”

Penn Jillette
An illusionist, comedian and the author of six books, Jillette makes up exactly 50 percent of the magic duo Penn & Teller. He learned to eat fire at age 19 (“Feel the Burn”). “My mom and dad saw me do it for the first time on stage,” he recalls. “She buried her head in her hands, and I had them put a spotlight on her—that’s the kind of guy I am.”

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