For Quartz members—exceptional people, protecting yourself online, and India renewables

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Dear members—

We all know of someone who seems to thrive on just a few hours of sleep a night or who has perfect memory recall, but we know a lot less about why they have these superhuman traits. Scientists are eager to find out, however, and starting this week we’re releasing a new show, Exceptional Humans,  tracking their efforts.

The first episode, reported and produced by Michael Tabb, tells the story of Jane Evans, a retired teacher from Scranton, Pennsylvania. She and multiple members of her family are so-called short sleepers. They never sleep more than around five hours a night, and yet they seem just as healthy and vital as people who sleep for far longer. Indeed Jane gets headaches if she oversleeps.

Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco are studying Jane and her family to track the genetic mutations that make their sleep more efficient. Their goal is to identify the chemical changes caused by these mutations as a step towards mimicking them in ordinary people, so that we may all get the most out of our sleeping hours.

Curiously, their research is casting doubts on some of our most basic ideas about sleep, chief among them that we all need to sleep eight hours a night.

You can watch Exceptional Humans, which we’re offering exclusively to members, here.  And don’t forget to check back for future episodes which will examine other traits like near-perfect memory and resilience to change.


Also this week, we published a new presentation on how to protect your privacy online. Whether you’re bothered by targeted advertising, data breaches exposing your data, or abuses by big tech companies (or even authoritarian regimes), this presentation will contain helpful information for you.

Here’s an example of a slide that will give you a sense of how the presentation is organized:

Image for article titled For Quartz members—exceptional people, protecting yourself online, and India renewables

You can view all of our presentations, which we produce exclusively for members, here. They’re designed to give you a fast way to get up to speed on a topic, and we welcome you cribbing from the slides if they’re useful in your own work.


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this week’s field guide on India’s uneven transition from coal to renewables. It needs to switch for the sake of all of us (India alone could derail global efforts to reduce carbon emissions), but its path to get there is tortuous. How India deals with the issues in front of it will be instructive for the rest of the world.

You can discuss the guide today at 11am ET on a video conference call with its author, Akshat Rathi and editor, Katie Palmer. They’ll be taking questions and comments live at the usual location, or you can send questions in advance to

If you’d like to dial in, use the following numbers:

UK: 0800-014 8469
USA: 866-226 4650

For all of the numbers, the access code is 722 994 440.

With best wishes for a thought-filled and relaxing weekend.

Xana Antunes
Executive editor, Quartz