Prodigy vows to offer affordable, 3D-printed prosthetics

It wouldn’t be the first time Easton LaChappelle’s father extinguished a small inferno in his son’s bedroom. LaChappelle liked to play with fire — the teenage inventor built a gasoline motor for his bike and numerous rockets before designing his first prosthetic hand using LEGOs, fishing wire and electrical tubing. Later he created a 3D-printed robotic arm capable of operating in conjunction with a user’s mind.

Nine Inch Nails strip it down, wake us up

Eerily setting the mood with a rendition of Angelo Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks track, “Fireman,” Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor kicked off the night with “Branches/Bones” and lit the crowd on fire. Sullenly shimmying and gripping his mic, Reznor's massive, black silhouette hovered over 50,000 people Oct. 21 at Monster Energy Aftershock Festival in Sacramento. And as each note synched with bursts of bright light, I reveled in a sweet dopamine high.

Holding space in Oakland

I’m struggling to understand how to feel after the Ghost Ship fire. Thirty-six people — just like me; just like those I love — died panicked and in pain. How does anyone process that hard truth? I felt guilty for showing deep sadness when I wasn’t personally tied to those who died and I wasn’t sure how to act, what to say or how to be. I can’t imagine what victims’ friends and families are going through. The thought is agonizing. What I came to realize is I didn’t need to understand their pain.

Paying it forward

Driving home from one of our routine visits to Petco – our dog Bubba’s favorite pit stop – my roommate and I turned onto International Boulevard in Oakland seconds before a small dog bolted toward traffic. As the tiny, curly mutt (what we later discovered was a Bichon Frisé and Poodle mix) dodged behind parked cars, we frantically pulled over, jumped out and slowly followed him up the sidewalk. Filthy, matted and emaciated, it wasn’t until our 80-pound American Bulldog-Pit Bull mix jumped out of the backseat, that he allowed me to gently scoop him into my arms.

Purging innocence

In 1981, two years after the fall of the Khmer Rouge — the communist dictatorship responsible for the imprisonment, torture and murder of millions of its civilians — the last group in a wave of Cambodian refugees landed at Hamilton Air Force Base. Novato resident Pauch Khiev was just five years old when the plane’s wheels braked along the turf of the landing strip. She and some of her family stayed a single night, but returned permanently years later after gaining U.S. citizenship.

Runaway’s life cut short

Roxene Roggasch was a fighter from birth. At just three days old, doctors removed her left lung. But the redheaded, freckled girl persevered, growing into the “tough” woman who, her siblings say, vigorously fought for her life. At 15, Roxene ran from a reportedly violent home and began prostituting. On Jan. 11, 1977, her naked body was found bound and strangled to death on the side of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Fairfax.