Joshua Piven (b. 1971) and David Borgenicht

Piven and Borgenicht have made an industry out of teaching people how to deal with unlikely situations. In 1998, while watching a movie in which a man without piloting experience was forced to land a plane, Borgenicht concluded that life is filled with “worst-case scenarios” for which the average person is utterly unprepared. He recruited Piven, a fellow University of Pennsylvania graduate, to help him research and write a manual for such situations—The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook (1999). Addressing situations that range from the merely improbable (delivering a baby in a taxicab) to the barely imaginable (a sword fight), the book was so popular that there are now Worst-Case Scenario handbooks for everything from holidays and golfing to weddings and dating.