The Hotshots of Helltown

Last fall, when the deadliest blaze in America in a century blew through Northern California, thousands of people—including those in the tiny community of Helltown—were forced to flee. This is the story of four friends who stayed to fight.

Suicide of the Ceasefire Babies

The Ceasefire Babies was what they called us. Those too young to remember the worst of the terror because we were either in nappies or just out of them when the Provisional IRA ceasefire was called. I was four, Jonny was three. We were the Good Friday Agreement generation, destined to never witness the horrors of war but to reap the spoils of peace. The spoils just never seemed to reach us.

Michael Lewis is the author of several bestselling books and the host of the new podcast Against the Rules.

“I think anything you do, if it’s going to be any good, there’s got to be some risk involved. I think the reader or the listener will sense that you were taking chances and it will excite them. So, you never want to do the same thing twice, and you don’t want to cling to something because it’s the safe thing. I try to keep that in mind. Ok, I started with this, but if I push off shore clinging to this life raft or this floatation device and I get way out of swimming range of the beach, but I find this more interesting flotation device, have the nerve to jump from one to the next. You never know where it’s going to lead.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Going Through It, Green Chef, and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode.

Lost at Sea

A few miles north of San Francisco, off the coast of Sausalito, is Richardson Bay, a saltwater estuary where roughly one hundred people live out of sight from the world. Known as anchor-outs, they make their homes a quarter mile from the shore, on abandoned and unseaworthy vessels, doing their best, with little or no money, to survive.