In this issue:
"Veep Stakes", by Steve Coll: The other Paul Ryan Story.
ANNALS OF SCIENCE
"Germs Are Us", by Michael Specter: Bacteria reconsidered.
LETTER FROM CHINA
"Boss Rail", by Evan Osnos: A train crash exposes the system.
"Understanding Owls", by David Sedaris: What would make a perfect gift?
THE CURRENT CINEMA
"Playing Dead", by David Denby: Reviews of Seven Psychopaths and Holy Motors.
(P) and ©2012 The New Yorker