Steven Heller, School of Visual Arts

You know how you’ve been told don’t just a book by its cover? Our next guest will tell you the exact opposite. In fact you can tell a lot by the design of a book’s cover, as well as the design of a web site, even the existence and placement of the universal pricing code, the lines and numbers that serve as the fingerprint on the packaging of nearly everything we buy. The art of graphic design signals for us, consciously and unconsciously, a message. And it’s fascinating and important to understand — in simple ways — how design impacts. How it impacts our understanding of and connection with ideas and experiences. Here to help us understand is Steven Heller. He writes the Visuals column of the NY Times Magazine, he serves at the School of Visual Arts, and he is the author of “100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design.” (Originally broadcast 5-12-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

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Daniel Yergin, Energy Expert, Author of “The Prize” & “The Quest”

Is there a more important topic in the world today than the future of energy? From global economies to local politics, from what we breathe to what we eat, trust me, energy and energy sources are at heart of it. And questions surrounding energy’s future come from all directions: From China’s exponential energy demand to climate change to global commodity markets to military security to the price of gas at your corner station. Tying together — and making sense of — all these competing urgencies would seem almost too much for one person to do. But one person has, and he’s with us now. Daniel Yergin is, by far, the world’s leading energy expert. He almost literally wrote the book on oil, and now he has done it again on the future of energy with “The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World.” (Originally broadcast 5-12-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst, Author of “Manhunt”

It is just over a year since the hunt for America’s No. 1 enemy, Osama Bin Laden, ended in a one-sided firefight in a walled compound in a middle class suburb an hour outside Pakistan’s capital. That mission’s importance is now being debated in the US politics, but the heart-stopping, frustrating and ultimately for Americans thrilling nature of the 10-year search is undeniable. That play-by-play excitement has been researched and documented by Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst and the only western journalist to actually interview Bin Laden. His new book is “Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad” and he’s with us now. (Originally broadcast 5-12-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Steve Coll, President, New America Foundation

If you were to list some of the world’s most secretive institutions, you surely wouldn’t be surprised to see the CIA or the Bin Laden family in the series. But how about an American, publicly-held corporation? In fact, a top Fortune 500 company. How about ExxonMobil? The same two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author who investigated the Bin Ladens and the CIA has now turned to Big Oil. Steve Coll is President of the New America Foundation, staff writer at the New Yorker and author of “Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power.” (Originally broadcast 5-12-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Dan Perry, AP Jerusalem Bureau Chief & Acting Middle East Editor

As if enough wasn’t already happening in and around Israel — internal calls for new elections, tensions with Iran, a pending Presidential vote in Egypt — this week, a stunner: Just days after calling for early elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he had formed a new coalition government — not with parties to the right of his, but with the centrist Kadima Party. The move has, once again, reshuffled everything in the always shifting world of Israel politics. At times like these we turn to our man on the ground, Dan Perry, AP Jerusalem Bureau Chief and special editor for international news and — can I say “more importantly”? — great friend of the show. (Originally broadcast 5-12-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Yale, founder & president of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute

The background of a CEO at one of America’s best known companies, it turns out, is not exactly what we thought it was. Another CEO uses company resources to fund his personal finances. Another covers up a personal relationship. Yet another makes an improper stock trade. In all of these cases, questions like: Where was the Board of Directors? If you feel like you’ve seen this movie before — back in the days of Enron or World Comm — well, the ending of the current picture hasn’t yet been filmed, but you may be correct. You have seen this before. How is this possible? Have CEOs, corporate boards, even the American public, have we not learned how to behave and what to expect? Jeffrey Sonnenfeld teaches at the Yale School of Management. He is also founder and president of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute, and he joins us now. (Originally broadcast 5-12-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Michael Silver, Yahoo! Sports

It’s one of the greatest brands in the world. A sport that has gotten everything right — stars, television, global interest. But now the NFL has gotten sacked. It turns out that one of the teams, the New Orleans Saints, was systematically trying to injure opposing players. It was a bounty system — hurt an opposing player, get paid. Knock the player out of the game. Get paid more. And this was known by the players, the coaches, even the general manager. And like many scandals, it was not just the actions themselves that were offensive, but the cover up. Now penalties — including year long suspensions have been handed out — and the NFL is trying to recover. Will it? That’s what Michael Silver, Yahoo! sports columnist and one of the people who broke this story, is here to tell us. (Originally broadcast 5-12-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Taegan Goddard, Publisher, Political Wire

Who said we’re in the quiet period of the US Presidential race? It was a blockbuster week in what was supposed to be the “let’s all take a moment and collect ourselves” stage of our campaign marathon. First, President Obama announced his support for same sex marriage. Then, just as Gov. Mitt Romney offered a mild rebuttal, the Washington Post reported a terrible story of horrendous behavior by then teenage Romney — attacking another teenager thought to be gay. Is this the end of the 2012 campaign — or the beginning? Here to help us decipher, Taegan Goddard, publisher of Political Wire and one of Time Magazine’s Top 140 Twitter feeds @politicalwire. (Originally broadcast 5-12-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Pamela Druckerman, Author, “Bringing up Bébé”

For anyone unfortunate enough to need the heads up, in a matter of minutes or hours depending on where you are, it is Mothers Day. Let’s be clear, if you haven’t written your card, turn off the radio and start writing immediately. But if you have, you may want to listen to our next guest. Because while there is not — and this has been proven imperically — a better mother than whichever one you’re about to wish a Happy Mothers Day to, according to Pamela Druckerman there is a place with the greatest skills on how to raise a child. And that place is France. The book is “Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting,” and Pamela is with us now. (Originally broadcast 12-16-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Steve Blank, Entrepreneur & UC Berkeley Lecturer

With the launching of Facebook’s $100 billion IPO bid and their stunning $1 billion purchase of the photosharing app Instagram, we have clearly hit a new high in tech excitement. But at a time when other tech launches, including Linked In, have recently come back earth, how excited should we be? And what should we be looking for next? Steve Blank has sat on the boards of no fewer than five start-ups, including Macrovision, Immersion and E.piphany. He also lectures on Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and he joins us now. (Originally broadcast 5-12-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Andrew Heyward, Media Executive

Of all the areas and rules that technology seems to be rewriting, it seems no changes come faster or with more impact to our daily lives than media. From how we watch it to how we’re marketed to, to how content is created in the first place, the rules are changing almost as we speak. What does the convergence of technology and media mean for consumers? What does it mean for media companies? And who actually wins? As the convergence first began, Andrew Heyward was President of CBS News and he has spent much of the last 15 years thinking about this challenge. Andrew now helps individuals and corporations make sense of the changing media landscape, and he joins us now. (Originally broadcast 5-12-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Steven Cook, Council of Foreign Relations

From France to the United States, this year we will see a series of incredibly important elections that can and will change the course of nations. But it’s hardly an exaggeration to say that of all of them, none may be more game-changing than the vote that begins in just 11 days. That’s when the Arab Spring that began in Egypt’s Tahir Square last year will lead to that country’s first Presidential election since the fall of longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak. And the battle, which is turning into a contest between secular and islamist rule, is on. What can we expect? And what will the results mean, not just to Egypt but to the future of freedom in the Middle East? Here to tell us, Steven Cook, Council of Foreign Relations Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies & author: “The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square.” (Originally broadcast 12-16-12 on The John Batchelor Show)