The gimmick with the issue is that Time makes this, in their words, "thoughtful and sprightly" list -- Sprightly? What in the farnsworth is that supposed to even mean? -- of who they consider to be highly influential people, and then have all sorts of different mostly-well-known people write a few paragraphs about a person on the list with which they have some kind of connection. For example, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu waxes eloquent about Peter Gabriel...supposedly because they both have experience in being way past their prime in terms of contributing to their chosen field of endeavor.
Putting that bit of snark aside, I did manage to learn a few things by reading the short essays. For instance, I bet you didn't know that the Dalai Lama (profile paragraphs written by popular spirituality author, Sixpak Chopra) got his name from a Little Richard doo-wop song. (Tutti-Frutti: "A whop dalai lama, a bom bam boom.") I'm also willing to wager that you were not aware of how Vladimir Putin (as told by former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine "It's" Alright) single-handedly popularized the hokey-pokey in Russia.
Other almost facts I find interesting:
- Barack O'Bama is Irish.
- African National Congress Chairman, Jacob Zuma, has a vengeful brother named Monty.
- Muqtada Al-Sadr, the Shi'ite power broker in Iraq, was on Wheel of Fortune and wasn't allowed to buy a vowel.
- The last name of Chile's president, Michelle Bachelet, can be translated as breakfast dish of scrambled eggs and unmarried men.
- Ashfaq Kayani is Pakistan's top general, but he is also a botanist who developed the kayani pepper.
- According to George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are really nice people who just happen to be stinking rich.
- A clue to Oprah Winfrey's secret religion that worships a hellish jumbo shrimp is found by rearranging the letters in her name: Oh Fiery Prawn.
- Lance Armstrong's name was chosen by a computer program set to search for the manliest syllables in the known universe.
- Former U.S. president, Bill Clinton, was supposed to write a tribute to Britain's former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, but still managed to use the words I and my nine times in four paragraphs. I'm just sayin'....