The Hero Myth of Wildland Firefighting

It’s not heroic to fight a problem that could have been averted with responsible policy. It’s tragic. BY EMILY SHEPHERD  IN 2017, Columbia Pictures released a box-office film called “Only the Brave.” The film is an emotional, fictionalized account of the Yarnell Hill Fire of 2013, during which 19 firefighters — the entire Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew except for one lookout — were tragically entrapped by wildfire. In their last hour alive, with the fire racing toward them, the Granite Mountain Hotshots inexplicably left a safety zone — in this case, a ridgetop that had already burned to ashes. Why they did … Continue reading The Hero Myth of Wildland Firefighting

Why do we sleep?

Adults sleep less than babies. Sperm whales sleep less again. A new mathematical theory unlocks the mysteries of slumber Van Savage is a professor in ecology, evolutionary biology and computational medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also an external faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute Geoffrey West is a theoretical physicist. He is Shannan Distinguished Professor and past president at the Santa Fe Institute. He also holds a visiting position at the University of Oxford. His latest book is Scale: The Universal Laws of Life and Death in Organisms, Cities and Companies  Edited bySally Davies ‘That … Continue reading Why do we sleep?