Up In Smoke

Michael Tchong

Up in Smoke - Legalizing Marijuana

In 22 years, 29 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. Eight states have approved its recreational use. And 61% of Americans say the drug should be made legal.

Generation X-tasy

Michael Tchong

Generation X-tasy

Once a year, some 36,000 attendees gather in Las Vegas to attend the Nightclub & Bar Show. It’s an annual ritual that involves visiting hundreds of exhibits with many offering showgoers samples of the latest in adult beverage innovation. At the conference, there were a host of vendors pushing the alcoholic envelope in all flavors and form factors. One perennial …

Casual Living: The Evaporation of Decorum

Michael Tchong

A passenger was removed from a plane at La Guardia Airport after creating a commotion that started with him shouting “Don’t say, ‘Merry Christmas!’ ” to a flight attendant. 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 …

Time Compression

Michael Tchong

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 …

Screensucking

Michael Tchong

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

Michael Tchong

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.