I’m catching up on articles in my Instapaper queue, and I loved this New York Times piece by Alex Stone.  I was fascinated to learn about why I often see mirrors near elevators:

The idea was born during the post-World War II boom, when the spread of high-rises led to complaints about elevator delays. The rationale behind the mirrors was similar to the one used at the Houston airport: give people something to occupy their time, and the wait will feel shorter. With the mirrors, people could check their hair or slyly ogle other passengers. And it worked: almost overnight, the complaints ceased.