Why does this keep making the news!? It's not a big deal. It scares the sh** out of you if you are the one flying the plane when it does but at no time are you really in danger. The QRH doesn't even say land at the nearest suitable airport. I don't blame a PIC for diverting if they choose to do so because it is incredibly unnerving the first time you have a windshield shatter. But it's not worthy of being in the news.
Got that T-shirt. Happened enroute to ATL over GSO at 30K. Actually sounded like a shotgun at first....lol. It definately got my morning off to a wicked start, but it wasn't a big deal. We just continued into Atlanta at a lower altitude and slower airspeed. Definately not newsworthy, but to someone that doesn't know about flying, it looks like the apocalypse is coming.
Yeah, I'm sure its quite the process. Could be uneven heating, pressure or vibration transmitted through the airframe, different expansion/contraction rate for the layers... seems to be a thousand different reasons as to why it might be. Good thing its a fairly benign failure.