Casual Living: The Evaporation of Decorum

In Santa Clarita, California this incredible case of road rage was captured on video: “Aggressive driving” first reared its ugly head during the 1990s, a decade that saw the number of cars increase by 30 million, which traveled an additional 600 billion miles each year by 2000. The fact that the term “road rage” was coined in 1988 is telling. …

Time Compression

FedEx plane

Engineer Percy Spencer at defense contractor Raytheon notices something peculiar. While testing a new vacuum tube, called a magnetron, a candy bar melts in his pocket. Intrigued, Spencer places some popcorn near the tube and watches in awe as kernels begin popping all over his lab counter. And so the microwave oven is born. Raytheon engineers quickly refine Spencer’s discovery …


Christmas 2015 was a beautiful day in San Diego. Joshua Burwell, a 33-year-old visiting from Sheridan, Ind., decided to hike Sunset Cliffs to watch the sunset. Witnesses noticed someone distracted by an “electronic device” seconds before Burwell plunged off the cliff. He was pronounced dead after paramedics arrived. It was another example of the intoxicating spell our digital devices cast …

Celebrity Worship Syndrome

Ellen DeGeneres Oscars selfie

One third of Americans are obsessed with celebrities, leading to a modern affliction dubbed Celebrity Worship Syndrome. This voyeurgasmic trend is being propelled by the rapid proliferation of smartphones.