A few months ago in Brazil, I found myself in a jeep parked under a wild jaguar lounging in a tree. The big predator eyed us, flicked its tail and took a nap—not a great time for my camera battery to die. With no other option, I decided to just sit back and soak it all in—the distant bird drama, the breeze, the strangeness of being so close to this animal, which until quite recently wouldn’t have been possible. Our feature story “Jaguar Dreams” looks at how former race car driver Mário Haberfeld is pulling off the unexpected with these big cats, and how his efforts might just revolutionize ecotourism and jaguar conservation in Brazil.
Another unexpected feat in this issue? A teen idol transitioning smoothly into adulthood. Big-time fame can wreak havoc on young psyches, but Nick Jonas, who’s challenged himself with very grown-up acting and musical performances since decamping from the Jonas Brothers, comes off in our cover story as refreshingly normal and ready for long-term success. He even stays up at night wondering if he hustles enough.
Next time you watch an NFL game on TV, try reverse-engineering what you see on-screen. It’s the result of 130 crew members and 30 or more cameras melding into a “nearly frictionless flow state,” as writer Michael Hardy puts it. He followed the Sunday Night Football crew, who’ll be producing this year’s Super Bowl, to see how they make it all work.
And make sure you check out our Voices section for former Saturday Night Live star Ana Gasteyer’s essay. She grew up frustrated by the rigors (and nerdy reputation) of playing the violin, but the instrument became an unexpected source of strength decades later during a natural disaster.
Enjoy the issue, and have a wonderful 2018.