Two miles away, in the glowing crescent of Black Rock City, the air is pounding with the thumps, shrieks, and chants of humanity unshackled.  Darkness has fallen and nocturnal mayhem is once again the disorder of the day for a city that – for one week in late summer – is one of Nevada’s largest.  Lightning bolts leap from the arms, legs and head of Doctor Megavolt.  A congregation gathers for an evening of evangelistic gyrations at the First Church of Funk.  Flame-throwers cough up high-octane belches.   And ravers rave wherever they can — on mud-caked dance floors, at campsites, in porta-potties.

Here at the dark and distant outskirts of “the city,” however, separated from the bacchanalian mass by a few miles of emptiness, a trio from Wisconsin is mute, meditative, and fully entranced by Grotto Light, a domed chamber with blue-green constellations of glass, metal and mirror.  In keeping with Burning Man’s mission to present art as a facilitator in society, Grotto Light is, as its creator David Biggs proclaims, a haven for the tired, the contemplative, and the far-from-home.   It’s his gift to others.  And when the party’s over, it will be ashes.

-from “The Art of Burning Man”

It’s not easy being Santa.  Not in the least.  You have to consider the matter of having to heft the occasional child sporting a well-soiled pair of trousers, along with other such hazards as a beardful of candy cane, frequent bouts of numb-knee, flatulent reindeer, irascible gnomes, and the inevitable confrontation with the scowling non-believer.  But for all its pitfalls, stepping into the role of Santa continues to be an exciting seasonal duty for many locals.

-from “Being Santa”

Tim Kendziorski is a little closer to the night sky than the average person.  Not that he’s abnormally tall, it’s just that he’s far more in tune with what’s going on up there.  He knows where the constellations are on any give night. He knows his quasars from his nebulae.  And he can swing his arm into the night sky and point to the Andromeda Galaxy in less time than it takes you to say it.  All of which you might expect of an amateur astronomer and past president of the Astronomical Society of Nevada.  In April 2001, however, even the stargazing veteran Kendziorski was blown away by what erupted in the late night skies of northern Nevada.

-from “Heaven’s Above”

…the distinctive style of the Nevada Museum of Art is by no means an anomaly of Bruder’s. His portfolio is flush with projects that punch the envelope of creativity while capturing the essence and character of community.  Of his more than 400 commissions, all – to one degree or another – are designed in ways not typical of contemporary architecture.  Perhaps the most notable of his endeavors is the Phoenix Central Library.  Built in 1999, the library has inspired local pride and drawn world-acclaim.  It’s his most recent accomplishment, however – the Nevada Museum of Art – that Bruder proudly proclaims his finest, most sculptured building yet.

-from “The Story of Will Bruder”

As interviews go, this one was oddly entertaining.  Sprawled at my feet, counterbalance to the chic south Reno offices surrounding me, was “Sport,”a portly, gray-muzzled yellow lab who had just completed a successful transition from spastic, leg-spinning, REM sleep to a more somnolent chorus of baritone snores and jowl twitches.  Right, left, and dead ahead, glum self-portraits of Vincent van Gogh broodingly glowered.  And in the midst of it all, halfway into a discussion with one of the state’s most animated entrepeneurs, an overnight delivery fresh from Holland had arrived on the desk before us, a FedEx box containing a half-dozen innocuous bottles of mystery and an pair of shot glasses.

-from “The Flying Dutchman of Nevada”

It was one of Montana’s heavy, hot afternoons when I met with Beau Turner and his guide Rob Fallow.  In tomorrow’s pre-dawn black we’d be at nine-thousand plus in search of elk.  For now, however, we were drifting mayflies on Cherry Creek, the blue-ribbon trout stream that cuts across the Flying D Ranch.  By all rights, Beau Turner has earned his credentials as a field biologist.  After graduating with a business degree from Cornell, Beau focused his energies of a lifelong love – the outdoors.  In 1992 he graduated from Montana State University with a degree in wildlife management.  Yet while he pursues his passion for protecting native species, Beau Turner can’t escape the fact that most people are familiar with him not for what he does, but more so for who he is.  Or more precisely, who is father is.

-from Duck’s Unlimited TV’s episode, “Hunting In The Land of Ted”

One, however, is never more than a few steps away from getting a first-hand glimpse at the flip side of Ted Turner.  Outside, beyond the neatly trimmed rose gardens and towering poplars, down a deeply shaded lane and into the bright meadows beyond, a virtual sportsman’s paradise breathtakingly appears in all directions. It’s here that Turner rekindles his life-long passion for the outdoors.  La Primavera.  It’s a place where both human nature and mother nature have outdone themselves.  And that, ultimately, is the kind of performance Turner would expect of anyone.  Or anything.

-from “Ted Turner’s Argentine Escape”

Beau Turner and the rivers he surrounds himself with share a commonality:  boundless and energetic over the majority of their courses, broken by rare and intense moments of tranquility. Both driven by instinct, inspired by nature.

Beau brings to the field what his father, Ted Turner, brings to the boardroom:  passion, fire, convictions.  Yet Beau, while armed with a business degree from Cornell, has chosen a path that’s far from the corporate world, but no less challenging.  At 31, he has taken the reigns as chairman of the nonprofit Turner Endangered Species Fund.  That, coupled with the fact that he’s also full-time fish and game manager for all Turner properties, keeps Beau in constant check with the 1.4 million acres his father has set aside for environmental enhancements and restoration.

-from “The Youngest Turner”

About ninety seconds into the ride up “Northwest Magnum” things get pretty quiet.  Conversations aboard the ski lift come to an abrupt pause as the world below temporarily slips out of sight.  Slack-jawed adventuresomes gaze down upon the sudden arrival of a blissful abyss of steep and deep while the meek search for something to concentrate on other than the void of blue-white, terror-inducing gash of rock and powder plunging further and further away from the bottoms of their boards.  There is little middle ground in this place known as The Chutes. You either revere it or recoil from it.  It may call to you as the Sirens spoke to Ulysses or it may leave you contemplating a premature return to the wonderful world of diapers.

-from “The Chutes”