California’s Beauty Doesn’t Love You Back

The Stunning Hillside Homes, Epic Mountains, and Gnarly Waves That Draw Us Here Also Threaten Our Existence

Early in the film Chinatown, a Southern California coroner named Morty chuckles after examining the dead body of the city’s water department chief.

“Isn’t that something?” Morty says. “Middle of a drought and the water commissioner drowns. Only in L.A.”

Not just in L.A., of course. All of California has a talent for catastrophic paradox—as this winter is reminding us.

Even as we suffer under a dangerous drought and tough water restrictions, atmospheric rivers flood our communities, force neighborhoods to evacuate, and contribute to dozens of deaths.

We are a state with surpassing wealth, …

Is the Media Going Too Far in Exposing the Theranos Founder’s Ugly Side?

As Scandal Broke Around CEO Elizabeth Holmes, Her Once-Glamorous Image Became Increasingly Unflattering

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the controversial blood-testing company Theranos, used to look good—physically beautiful even—in published photographs: On the cover of the June 2014 issue of Fortune, Holmes was …

Why Manicurists Are Modern-Day Michelangelos

Yesterday’s Pink Polish Is Giving Way to a New Art Form—and a New Way to Talk With Our Hands

On a memorable Sunday afternoon when I was 6, my aunt gave me my first manicure. She spread out dozens of vials of shiny polish, and I chose scarlet: cherry …