Ah, the biggest party of the year is just days away, and you can't wait! Everyone you know will be there, including the strapping young lad who's caught your eye for quite some time now. But instead of making this the night you fight your fears and ask him to dance with you, you'll be alone at home, fighting off the old period bug. Yes indeed, it seems that nature has thrown you yet another curve ball in the game of life.
The Discovery Communications building's warmly lit main lobby smells of plastic, Windex and fresh paint. A cheerfully dinging mechanical contraption pushes and shakes rainbow-colored balls down a series of tracks. Outside, as a family passes by on the sidewalk, its wide-eyed toddler glances back five times at "Stan,” a Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil replica that glares malevolently through the glass wall.