"What will you do when the waters rise and the people next door catch something nasty from chicken?", asks Edward Carr, editor of Intelligent Life magazine, in the new Spring issue. Millenarianism is in the air, it seems, and several articles suggest ways to greet the apocalypse ... 


In "TEOTWAWKI"--The End of The World as We Know It--Andrew Miller writes about how becoming a father ("a sort of private apocalypse, an end and a year-zero beginning") has raised new questions about how he would handle a once-unthinkable cataclysm. "I don't mean a sushi shortage or the end of the last series of 'The Wire'", he explains. "I mean a bona fide, three-minute or no-warning havoc--an earthquake or anarchy or (since we're speculating) an insurrection by mutant London rats."

Thierry Bouet, a Parisian photographer, is far more sanguine about the prospect. Why not just go to bed? He introduces his photo essay of glorious sleeping places--"Theatre of Dreams"--with a call to take refuge among sheets, blankets and pillows. "Bed is the most important piece of furniture in our lives. It is the door to our thoughts and to boundless contemplation. You are born in bed and, all being well, you will die there too." 

The cover features the bracingly presidential Martin Sheen (a.k.a. Jed Bartlett from "The West Wing"), who talked politics and Hollywood with David Thomson in Los Angeles on the day of the New Hampshire primary ("The elder statesman"). "On 'Apocalypse'", he says, "there were long nights in the Philippines where Francis [Ford Coppola], Marlon [Brando] and I would go over the script. One night it was the whole night. We'd been sitting in the dark with candles, writing and rewriting. And in the morning, Marlon had taken his pages and folded paper hats. He had the script on his head!"

Available on newsstands in the UK and Europe (and soon to be available online), the issue includes pieces about cuddly robots in Japan, wonderfully sentimental Mariachi music in Mexico, the unexpected gourmet pleasures of Pizza Express, and the world of Larry Gagosian, a man who has changed the art world (and doesn't want to talk about it).

On More Intelligent Life, we will host a feature called "Reviewers reviewed": a guide to the world's best critics, compiled by 24 writers and editors. Tim de Lisle, deputy editor of Intelligent Life, will begin unveiling the list online this week. Do let us know what you think.