The year 2020 has been unlike any other. California’s fire season, spanning from August to November, now logs 8,834 fire incidents, 31 fatalities, the loss of 10,488 structures, and an estimated 4,149,345 acres burned—an area larger than the state of Connecticut (CA.gov, 2020 and Wigglesworth, 2020).
Nearly 20,000 firefighters participated in fighting these fires, some coming from as far away as Israel. The largest and most devastating fires began in mid-August when a lightning storm sparked dozens of fires in Northern California. Burning across six counties, the August Complex fire is the largest wildfire in California history (Stelloh, 2020).
Who are these heroes who help protect our homes, businesses, properties and lives from these devastating fires? They are women and men who persevered to make their dream a reality and who completed training in the fire fighter’s academy and passed rigorous requirements addressing one’s physical health and moral character. The bar for admission into this profession is very high.
Amy McClure has been a California firefighter for 10 years. She is also deaf and uses bilateral cochlear implants. Ever since childhood she thought firefighting was the coolest job in the world, but because she had no female firefighters as role models, she did not pursue firefighting as a career. Instead, she majored in cell biology and biochemistry in college and worked as a research scientist for 10 years after college. Yet firefighting continued to pull at her.
“Huh?” is used in at least 31 languages around the world! A version of the word can be found in nearly every language on Earth (Dingemanse et al, 2013). This research concluded that all languages studied included a word similar, in both sound and function, to the English “huh?” Regardless of language, the word is…
If you have a dog or cat, you’ve probably seen their ears moving toward an interesting or startling sound. For professional equestrians, watching the ears of their horse allows them to gauge their shifting attention. Humans still have these same muscles, and even more interesting is their relationship to our brain and how we pay attention. …
Tai Chi is not just for increasing balance; it may also help improve cognitive performance. In a recent randomized controlled trial, study participants who practiced a form of Tai Chi twice a week for six months improved their scores on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) when compared to a control group (Fuzhong et al, 2023)….