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Since We Last Spoke

Updates to past Pacific Standard print stories.
A spread from our July/August 2013 issue. (IMAGE: PACIFIC STANDARD)

A spread from our July/August 2013 issue. (IMAGE: PACIFIC STANDARD)

The deaths of 19 firefighters in Prescott, Arizona, on June 30 once again galvanized Bill Benson, who found his calling in organizing free hotel rooms for public-safety officers attending post-tragedy funerals (“The Upside of Trauma,” July/August 2013). Benson recently merged his own Operation 12.24 with the new Heroes Memorial Foundation and set up a memorial page for the Prescott 19, which gained more than 200,000 followers in its first 24 hours.

Our readers weren’t the only ones fascinated by the B-movie phenomenon that is Sharknado. This heartwarming tale of airborne oceanic predators destroying Los Angeles spread through the Internet like a flesh-eating virus from outer space, spawning commentary everywhere from Time to The New Yorker and in more than 300,000 tweets. But even with the addition of coastal literati to its audience, the movie pulled in only about a million actual viewers for its Syfy premiere, well below the channel’s average. Nonetheless, there’s a sequel in the works. What’s next? Piranhanami?