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"POPLORICA is "the perfect book for those who feel as if their attention spans have become as fractured as a bad MTV video."-- USA Today  

Available in KINDLE edition

Buy OOPs: 20 Life Lessons from the Fiascoes that Shaped America, also available in KINDLE edition

Listen to my interview on NPR...
I write for Urban Land magazine about the convergence of technological and social change, and how it is changing the places in which we live and work. Here's my article on the future of post-pandemic cities, and how COVID-19 is likely to permanently alter the built environment. I've also written about how northern cities such as Duluth may evolve into havens for migration driven by climate change, and the effect that autonomous vehicles will have on urban life. You can find more of my articles  here. (Credit: photo by PJK)
     Journalist, author, blogger, researcher, web content creator
I occasionally write about books and authors for the Los Angeles Times, including this profile of Lisa See (author of the acclaimed novel, The Island of Sea Women), and these interviews with Charles Yu, author of Interior Chinatown, actress-memoirist Kate Mulgrew and novelist and translator Jennifer Croft.


More Articles from My Archive 

"The problem is not so much to see what nobody has yet seen, but to rather to think concerning that which everybody sees, what nobody has yet thought."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer, "Appendices and Omissions," 1851  
Here's the once-prolific Thunnus thynnus, a majestic creature that can reach over 10 feet in length and a ton in weight, and had been swimming in the Atlantic for 40 million years. But some fear the species' days are numbered, due to human craving for its fatty, succulent raw flesh. Read "The Fate of the Bluefin Tuna" from the National Geographic Channel website. (Photo credit: Daniel Cedrone/UNFAO, via Wikimedia Commons)
Coal companies' practice of mountaintop removal turned much of rural Kentucky into a wasteland. That's why an enteprising Catholic priest turned environmental activist made the sites into an unlikely sort of tourist attraction. Read my 2006 article "Unnatural Wonders" from Mother Jones magazine."Buzz Kill," my 2015 article for Sierra magazine, probes the controversy over neonicotinoid pesticides and their effect on bees, birds and other creatures.  (Photo credit: Roston via Wikimedia Commons.)
As a writer for Stanford Business, I've covered cutting-edge research by professors at one of the nation's most innovative graduate schools. Here's my article on how narcissistic CEOs' recklessness can lead to gigantic legal bills as well as big profits, and a piece on the Cersei Effect, in which cutthroat competitors often end up undermining their own success. Many of my Stanford articles also have appeared in FastCompany magazine, including this piece on the emotionally intelligent way to overcome pandemic stress, and this one on why people who have it easy often claim that they had it rough.
I'm a frequent writer for how the History Channel's website,, where I've covered the humiliating setback that helped turn Dwight Eisenhower into a victorious leader in World War II, how Richard Nixon's skill at poker helped launch his political career, the period when whiskey was the backbone of the U.S. economy, how the Black Death spread along the Silk Road to medieval Europe, and the contentious issue of how Billy the Kid actually died.You can find more articles here. (Photo credit: Library of Congress)
I'm a longtime contributor to HowStuffWorks, where I've written about a wide range of topics, including how and why official documents are redacted, cryptocurrency's huge negative impact on climate change, China's plans for the  "Heavenly Palace" space station, and whether "red flag" laws could stop mass killings. I've also explored the complex question of  what treason actually means,and whether a U.S. President could ever declare martial law.  (Image credit: U.S. Department of Justice website)
I've written extensively over the years for AARP, covering topics such as the hidden cost of working from homeboomers and Silent Generation members with pandemic-induced insomnia, the new trend of body composting as an alternative to traditional burial, retired lawyers who offer free services to low-income clients, coping with chronic pain, high-tech bikes for older riders,LGBTQ-friendly retirement communitiesrobotic pets, older Americans' heavy use of dietary supplements, geriatric care for pro football players, cannabis-infused wine, and Frank Zappa's posthumous concert tour as a hologram. (Credit: Mark Estabrook, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons)
Philip K. Dick, author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Man in the High Castle, spent his last decade living in conservative Orange County, where he was a member of a condominum owners association and shopped at Trader Joe's. Here's the story from Orange Coast magazine. Years before the COVID-19 pandemic, I wrote "The Breeding Ground," about the growing public health dilemma and societal rift created by southern California parents who resisted vaccinating their children. "Knee Deep in Doubt" explores affluent Balboa Island's struggle to come to grips with the threat of rising waters from climate change. (Photo credit: PJK)
Read about J.D. Salinger's visit to Washington, D.C. in 1955 to consult with a Hindu mystic, the time that Ringo Starr got his hair clipped at the British Embassy, the actual demonic possession that inspired The Exorcist, the repurposing of JFK's death car, reggae superstar Bob Marley's 1973 concert at the U.S. Naval Academy, and how the nation's capital once was entertained by organ grinders and their monkeys in my posts for public broadasting station WETA's Boundary Stones blog. (Photo credit: Library of Congress)
 During World War II, a diminutive martial arts expert named Francois d'Eliscu schooled U.S. Army Rangers in hand-to-hand combat, teaching techniques that were radically different from the boxing and wrestling that most Americans were familiar with, and put them through extreme fitness workouts that would make CrossFit look easy. An air of mystery surrounded d'Eliscu, whom newspaper articles portrayed as the well-traveled descendent of French nobility, who supposedly had tricked a Japanese jiujutsu master into revealing his tricks. But the truth was more complex, as my article for Military History Quarterly reveals.