Monthly Archives: March 2019

Post-Bloomberg feature budget

The Washington Post News Service with Bloomberg News is moving to a new delivery website at syndication.


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Here’s the feature budget for Wednesday, September 16, 2015, from The Washington Post News Service with Bloomberg News. Photos and other artwork, including new columnists’ portraits (see Mug Shots), are available, at no extra charge, at 韩国半永久纹眉,wpbloom韩国半永久纹眉会所,. * Follow us on Twitter @WPBloom *

The feature editors are John Price (Entertainment/Travel), Mary Liekweg (Design/Home/Health) and Paul Freedman (Food), at 202-334-7666.


NEWBORN _The incredible story of how a newborn’s cry may have helped save her mother’s life. 1,375 words, by Lindsey Bever (Post). Upcoming.

BORDERLINE — Researchers are trying to understand why some brains become haunted with borderline personality disorder, which affects millions of Americans but remains a mystery. 1,320 words, by Aleszu Bajak (Post special). One photo. Moved Tuesday.

SLEEPLAB — What one writer learned from a hard day’s night in a sleep lab. 1,605 words, by Barbara S. Moffett (Post special). WITH SLEEPLAB-CYCLES. Three photos. Moved Tuesday.

HEALTH-EXERCISE — Experts say the right breathing technique can strengthen bodies and settle minds .810 words, by Gabriella Boston (Post special). Upcoming.

HEALTH-INSURE — Medicare doesn’t cover concierge fees; if your doctor has that kind of practice, you’ll have to figure out if it’s worth the extra cost. 1,000 words, by Michelle Andrews (Post special). Moved Tuesday.

HEALTH-ASPIRIN — A panel of government-backed experts recommends adults ages 50-69 take aspirin to ward off heart attacks and cancer. 780 words, by Brady Dennis (Post). Moved Tuesday.

NUTRITION — As whole grains gain popularity, the list of options gets more daunting but here are five must-try grains you may not know about. 1,105 words, by Ellie Krieger (Post special). Upcoming.

FASTFOOD-ANTIBIOTICS — Researchers rate chain restaurants on antibiotic use; only two companies — Chipotle and Panera — got top marks. 620 words, by Ariana Eunjung Cha (Post). Moved Tuesday.

FDA — WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday ordered tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds to pull several types of its cigarettes from the market, the latest example of the agency exercising powers it received under a 2009 tobacco control law. 630 words, by Brady Dennis (Post). Moved Tuesday.

SCIENCE-SCAN _Is kudzu not really the plant that ate the South? An Alabama naturalist challenges the view. 385 words, by Nancy Szokan (Post). Moved Tuesday.

Arts, Entertainment

GUITAR-CENTER — NEW YORK — What does Guitar Center sound like? Two musicians secretly recorded customers to find out. 1,465 words, by Andy Beta (Post special). One photo. Moved Tuesday.

KALING — As “The Mindy Project” returns, here are three tough lessons Mindy Kaling learned about making a TV show. 850 words, by Emily Yahr (Post). Moved Tuesday.

COLBERT — Stephen Colbert hasn’t hired many women writers. He’s not alone. 600 words, by Cecilia Kang (Post). Moved Tuesday.

UNCOMMON-SENSE _Who owns “Uncommon Sense”? Radio personality and MTV host Charlamagne Tha God is challenging ABC News. 460 words, by Soraya Nadia McDonald (Post). Moved Tuesday.

TV-NPH-COMMENT — If you sat through the first episode Tuesday night of NBC’s “Best Time Ever,” you may have some questions. Namely, “What … was that?” 690 words, by Emily Yahr (Post). One photo.

FILM-MOORE — TORONTO — Michael Moore’s “Where to Invade Next” is … lighthearted and optimistic? What? 530 words, by Anjuman Ali (Post).

FILM-EVEREST-ADV18 — “Everest” is rousing but unreachable. Friday advance. 715 words, by Michael O’Sullivan (Post). Upcoming, with one photo.

FILM-MAZERUNNER-ADV18 — Sequel to dystopian thriller “Maze Runner” is an obstacle course of borrowed plot devices. Friday advance. 385 words, by Michael O’Sullivan (Post). Upcoming, with one photo.

FILM-SLEEPING-ADV18 — Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie play a couple with commitment issues trying to be just friends in “Sleeping With Other People.” Friday advance. 480 words, by Stephanie Merry (Post). Upcoming, with one photo.

FILM-BLACKMASS-ADV18 — Johnny Depp delivers a strong performance as a weakly realized character in the Whitey Bulger bio pic “Black Mass.” Friday advance. 700 words, by Ann Hornaday (Post). One photo. Moved Tuesday.

FILM-TIME-ADV18 — Richard Gere stars as a homeless man in Oren Moverman’s observational drama “Time Out of Mind.” Friday advance. 480 words, by Stephanie Merry (Post). One photo.

FILM-PATELS-ADV18 — The funny, warm-hearted documentary “Meet the Patels” follows Ravi Patel’s search for love – under his parents’ supervision. Friday advance. 700 words, by Jen Chaney (Post special). One photo. Moved Tuesday.

FILM-BRILLIANT-ADV18 — “A Brilliant Mind,” a fact-based drama about an adolescent math prodigy, is amiable but far-fetched. Friday advance. 300 words, by Mark Jenkins (Post special). One photo. Moved Tuesday.

FILM-GIRLFRIEND-ADV18 — With “The New Girlfriend,” French director Francois Ozon once again proves himself to be a sharp student of human nature. Friday advance. 410 words, by Alan Zilberman (Post special). One photo. Moved Tuesday.

BOOKS-BEATON — Kate Beaton brilliantly breathes the stuff of life into history’s characters with her artfully smart new book, “Step Aside Pops.” 650 words, by Michael Cavna (Post). One photo.


GRAPEFRUIT – Why Americans are falling out of love with one of their favorite fruits. 1,600 words, by Roberto A. Ferdman (Post).

FOOD-FETA — Make your own feta, and you may never go back to the store-bought stuff. 1475 words, by Cathy Barrow (Post special). With FOOD-FETA-RECIPES. One photo. Moved Tuesday.

FOOD-PLUMCAKE — The spice is right – and unexpected – for this plum cake. 1,130 words, by Dorie Greenspan (Post special). One photo. Moved Tuesday.


FOREST-BATHING — Tech workers are turning to the Japanese practice of “forest bathing” to unplug. 1,530 words, by Brigid Schulte (Post). With FOREST-BATHING-REPORTER. Three photos.

FASHION-DESIGNERS — NEW YORK — Fashion has long been criticized for catering to the male gaze. That’s changing. And it’s male designers who are leading the way. 1,200 words, by Robin Givhan (Post).

SHAMING — Sexism-shaming is trendy lately. But it might do more harm than good. 1,115 words, by Caitlin Dewey (Post).

POPE-CONGRESS — Congress gets suggestions on how to behave when Pope Francis visits. 420 words, by Al Kamen (Post).

SUGAR-SCULPTURE — TOKYO — The sweet aroma of sugar permeates the Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin candy craft studio, where candy creations of lions, rabbits and frogs are on display. 355 words, by Keita Iijima (Japan News). Five photos.

BAGGAGECHECK — What to do about a wife who antagonizes people on Facebook. 500 words, by Andrea Bonior (Post special).

CIVILITIES — Far from restricting debate, the language of political correctness has returned a new dignity to formerly marginalized groups. 960 words, by Steven Petrow (Post special).

Workplace Advice (both moved on Financial wire):

WATERCOOLER — Navigating the modern workplace: How to handle a boss who expects you to be there for your early shift, and his late one. 575 words, by Karla L. Miller (Post special).

CAREER-COACH — The perils of being late and what you can do about those laggards. 920 words, by Joyce E.A. Russell (Post special).

KidsPost (targeted to elementary to middle-school kids)

KIDSPOST-POPE – The pope wants us all – even kids – to care for one another and the Earth, Washington’s archbishop says. 765 words, by Marylou Tousignant (Post special).

A classic and a thriller: After 35 years, a stolen Stradivarius finds its way home

That Thursday night in 1980, Roman Totenberg had been momentarily distracted, mingling at a reception after a concert in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


He remembered Johnson, a player in his 20s, milling about. And after the terrible theft – of a 246-year-old Stradivarius, out of his office at the Longy School of Music – the younger man’s ex-girlfriend even came to Totenberg. She also suspected Johnson.

These suspicions did not move the police, who refused to file for a search warrant. But on Thursday in New York, Totenberg’s hunch proved right. Three years after the violinist’s death, the U.S. Attorney’s Office turned the Stradivarius, now 281 years old and worth millions, over to his three daughters, one of whom is Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio.

“I never knew that he had it,” said Thanh Tran, Johnson’s ex-wife, whose discovery of the violin earlier this summer led to its fast return. “I was flabbergasted when I found out. I think maybe he was afraid to give it back. How can you just steal something like that and give it back? It’s a felony.”

The story of the Strad is worthy of John le Carré, only with the thrill of the chase sobered by the sad strains of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto. Totenberg remained joyous to the end, playing until two weeks before his death at the age of 101. But he rarely, if ever, spoke of the Stradivarius, his musical partner of four decades. And Johnson, full of a frustrating level of unrealized promise, seemed unwilling to commit to his craft. He headed west, to California, struggled with money and his marriage, and died at 58, of cancer.

“This, whatever his troubles were or might have been, was a very, very sad thing,” said the conductor Steven Mercurio, who was just at the start of his career when he led a concert in Boston that featured Johnson as the soloist.

It took place on June 6, 1980 – three weeks after the theft.

“This is not the way I want to remember somebody, said Mercurio. “I’d rather remember him trying to play Sibelius.”

“It is sad,” said Nina Totenberg. “As the [FBI] agent said to me, that’s his one regret. That they didn’t get it back in time for him to see it and play it again. “

Johnson’s act baffled Totenberg. She could not understand why he held onto the instrument. It was discovered earlier this year by Tran, four years after Johnson’s death, when her boyfriend broke the combination lock on its case. In theory, playing it onstage would be like putting a Vermeer stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum on your Facebook page. “An egotistical trophy,” is what Totenberg called Johnson’s decision to hold onto the violin.

But did the violinist perform and record with the Strad? Cellist Michael Fitzpatrick, who played in a trio, Mobius, with Johnson in the early 1990s, spoke Thursday of a curious habit his onetime colleague had of tucking his violin under his armpit when he carried it.

“I had never seen anyone carry a fiddle that way,” he said. “I would say to our pianist, Xak, isn’t that weird? And that was the end of it. But it may have been the violin.”

Phillip Injeian, the appraiser and instrument maker who met with Tran in late June in New York, identified the Strad and contacted the police and the FBI, said it was certainly possible Johnson played it. Would anybody really think a little-known player was using a Stradivarius?

“He certainly didn’t advertise it because someone would have recognized it,” said Injeian. “There are a lot of copies out there. I make them myself. I take pride in making instruments that are so good that people will say, ‘Is that a Stradivarius?’ “

Everyone knew Roman Totenberg’s path. He worked with Arthur Rubinstein, played with the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony orchestras and virtually every other major orchestra and performed recitals at the White House and Carnegie Hall. He headed the string department at Boston University from 1961 to 1978 and then directed the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, where the Strad was stolen.

Johnson’s life was different. In Boston, news clippings show him featured in a 1978 chamber concert of Beethoven and Schubert at Boston University in 1978 and the Sibelius under Mercurio. In the late 1980s, Fitzpatrick met Johnson in New York. Back at the violinist’s apartment, he showed Fitzpatrick a tape he’d made of him doing Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.”

“It was bonkers, like nothing else I’d heard before,” he said. “He had chops like Paganini.”

They formed Mobius, recorded a double album and earned notice in a lengthy New York review. But Johnson frustrated his trio mates. They pleaded with him to practice. They loved his explosive skills. But he couldn’t hold a long note. He was jittery.

“We had to sit him down,” says Fitzpatrick. “We said, ‘We love you, we love your playing, but if we’re going to step on the big stage with you, you’ve got stuff in your playing you’ve got to raise the level of. It’s only going to take an hour a day. His retort was, ‘You guys are too concerned with technical perfection. Let the spirit of the music drive it.’ “

During the summer of 1993, Johnson and Mobius went to Italy to perform in the Spoleto Festival. Mercurio, the festival’s music director, picked Johnson to serve as concertmaster of the orchestra’s grand finale concert, a performance of Berlioz. But he ultimately replaced him before the big performance.

“He was too late, too often,” says Mercurio. “And I said, ‘I can’t have my concertmaster be there too late. I don’t care how well you play the violin.’ “

Mobius would dissolve soon after and Fitzpatrick lost track of Johnson. The violinist did play some in California. He also got divorced and, in 2007, filed for bankruptcy. But near the end of his life, Johnson had one last wish. To record Sibelius again. A cellist called Mercurio, who, in the years since Spoleto, has served as principal conductor of the Philadelphia Opera and recorded with everyone from Andrea Bocelli to Sting.

“They said, ‘Phil’s dying. And a lot of us are going to get together because Phil’s never had a penny to his name,’ ” he said. ” ‘We’re going to give him this last wish playing Sibelius.’ “

On Nov. 11, 2011, Johnson died in Venice, California.

For a time after the theft, Roman Totenberg had held out hope. He spoke about opening his case and expecting to find his violin there. Then he stopped speaking about it. He cashed in his $101,000 insurance payment, sold a few other instruments and purchased a Guarneri. Johnson wasn’t forgotten.

“My mom kept asking people if they would break into his apartment and look for the violin,” Nina Totenberg said.

For the rest of his life, Totenberg continued to meet with students and play his Guarneri. Knowing his health was failing near the end, the sisters let his network of former students know. Some drove through the night just to be with him, next to his bed in Newton, Mass., playing for him.

On Thursday in New York, the media event opened with an assistant U.S. attorney, Jason Masimore, playing Bach. U.S Attorney Preet Bharara said no criminal investigation was underway.

The sisters spoke about their plans for the violin. They have paid back the insurance company and will have the Stradivarius repaired. It will be sold, but the buyer will be selected carefully. He or she must be someone who will play it.

“Our only real sadness is that our father is not here to see this,” said Nina Totenberg. “If he were, I know he would say this is just a wonderful day. I think he’s somewhere, with my mother, celebrating, maybe drinking a shot of vodka.”

Emails show that Clinton maintained contact with several top donors

The email exchange, in which Soros warned of growing unrest in Albania, illustrates how Clinton interacted with major donors to her family’s causes during her tenure at the State Department, staying in touch with her political network before her 2016 run for the Democratic presidential nomination.


And they show how these donors, some of them with interests before the U.S. government, gained high-level access to press policy concerns inside the Clinton-led State Department.

Soros, a top contributor to the Clinton Foundation, was one of several major donors whose messages were disclosed by the State Department last week as part of the ongoing release of the former secretary’s emails. Other exchanges included references to entertainment mogul Haim Saban, who has said he would pay “whatever it takes” to propel Clinton to the White House in 2016, as well as other major Clinton Foundation donors such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates, fashion industry executive Susie Tompkins Buell and Ukrainian steel magnate Viktor Pinchuk.

The emails that mention donors – numbering a few dozen out of the thousands of pages of messages released so far – do not show that financial supporters were able to alter policy decisions. But the dynamic points to one of the unusual aspects of Clinton’s record at State. Because she and her family have raised so much money over the years from wealthy individuals and major corporations – for political campaigns as well as the sprawling global charity founded by her husband, former president Bill Clinton – her public business as secretary inevitably brought her in contact with private interests that helped boost her family’s philanthropy and income.

Republicans have accused Hillary Clinton of potential conflicts of interest in mixing her public and private work.

Clinton aides declined to comment for this article but have waved away such suggestions in the past. They have said that interactions with prominent players in the world of finance and politics are to be expected of a secretary of state and that there is no indication of any impropriety.

The emails show that, in some cases, donors were granted face-to-face contact with top officials.

Soros secured a meeting with Clinton in 2010 to discuss securing U.S. government funding for the American University of Central Asia, an educational institution that Soros helped support in the former Soviet Union.

Pinchuk, who has pledged more than $10 million to the Clinton Foundation in recent years, met with a top Clinton aide to speak on behalf of Ukraine’s strongman president and to try to soothe tensions with Washington over that country’s human rights record and its growing closeness with Russian President Vladimir Putin while resisting Europe.

“I wanted to tell you that I met with Pinchuk who was asked by [then-Ukrainian President Viktor] Yanukovych to convey his strong continuing interest in integrating with Europe,” Melanne Verveer, the Clinton aide, wrote on Sept. 26, 2011, in an email to Clinton.

The message acknowledged that the Ukrainian leader had “antagonized all sides in the last few weeks,” partly because of an upcoming trial of an opposition political leader. Verveer wrote after her conversation with Pinchuk that the Ukranians are “looking for a way to get beyond” the human rights fallout from the trial.

It is not clear from the emails whether Clinton replied to Verveer. But the State Department pressed the Yanukovych for changes until 2014, when he fled Kiev after uniformed marksmen fired on hundreds of demonstrators protesting his coziness with Putin and his ongoing refusal to join the European Union.

A spokesman for Pinchuk said the email simply showed how the Ukrainian industrialist “tried to keep Ukraine’s European integration hopes alive during difficult times by talking to a wide range of Western diplomats, including Melanne Verveer,” whom he had known for some time.

Verveer was one of several close deputies who helped then-Secretary Clinton keep tabs on supporters. She had been Clinton’s chief of staff when she was first lady and was named by then-Secretary Clinton to be ambassador at large for global women’s issues.

Verveer told Clinton in 2010 about upcoming meetings with Gates, who along with his wife, Melinda Gates, is one of the biggest overall donors to the Clinton Foundation, providing more than $25 million.

In a November 2010 email to Clinton, Verveer relayed details of an event held by designer Diane von Furstenberg, who along with her husband, Barry Diller, have provided about $80,000 to Clinton causes, according to a review of campaign and foundation records.

Verveer suggested that Clinton accept an award and speaking invitation offered from the couple’s foundation.

“I have no doubt you would be very warmly embraced and DVF and Barry are so fond of you,” Verveer wrote. The following year, Clinton received a “lifetime leadership award” from Von Furstenberg’s foundation.

Other Verveer emails described support that Wal-Mart provided for a women’s entrepreneurship initiative that the Clinton-led State Department promoted. The Walton family, which founded the retail giant, is famously conservative. But it has always had a soft spot for Bill and Hillary Clinton, who served as governor and first lady when the Arkansas-based firm took off as an international retail power. Hillary Clinton was named to the Wal-Mart board in the 1980s and the family and the company have supported Clinton campaigns and projects over the years.

Randy Hargrove, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said that the women’s empowerment forum was a “signature, priority initiative” for the company and that executives’ contacts with the Obama administration have extended well beyond Clinton.

Verveer wrote to Clinton in June 2011 to tell her that Buell, who has contributed more than $10 million to Clinton causes, had donated $200,000 to support a future international trade meeting in San Francisco.

“She’s thrilled it’s in SF and that you’re keynoting,” Verveer wrote. “She wants it to be wonderful for you (as we all do). I will go out in a few weeks and plan with her, but wanted you to know.”

The emails show that some communication with donors occurred through Thomas Nides, a senior aide who was deputy secretary for management and resources.

“In my attempt to reach out,” Nides wrote in a September 2011 note to Clinton, he had “spoken to many of your friends.”

Nides’s message focused on Saban, the billionaire entertainment mogul and fierce pro-Israel advocate who has provided more than $2 million to Clinton campaigns through the years and more than $10 million to the Clinton Foundation.

“One person in particular wanted to know if you ask for me to call, Haim Saban,” Nides wrote. “I said of coarse [sic].”

An email from Saban’s wife, Cheryl, with the subject line “Oh my GOD,” was forwarded in May, 2011, to Clinton by aide Huma Abedin. The email, originally addressed to an aide to former president Clinton and copied to Abedin, was entirely redacted in the copy released to the public last week, except for the words, “We got back from Africa Thursday night.” Hillary Clinton responded with a one-word email to Abedin: “nice.”

On Oct. 15, 2011, Abedin wrote an email to Hillary Clinton about a call from “Haim,” apparently seeking her help in connecting him with Bill Clinton. “WJC wasn’t answering so I tried you,” Abedin wrote.

Nides declined to comment for this article. Neither Verveer nor Saban responded to requests for comment.

On Oct. 15, 2011, Nides passed along an email from Andrew Tisch, an heir to the Loews fortune, who applauded a recent speech Clinton made to the New York Economic Club, for which Tisch gave the introduction.

“I heard nothing but praise for your remarks,” he wrote, telling Clinton that he and his family “became huge fans of yours at . . . Lynn de Rothschild’s parties.”

Over time, the Tisch and Rothschild families provided six-figure contributions to Clinton causes, according to a review of Federal Election Commission and Clinton Foundation donor reports.

– – –

Washington Post staff writer Anu Narayanswamy contributed to this report.

On Friday, half a pair of twins leaves for a year in orbit. It’s a chance to measure the effects on long-term space travel.

On Friday, a Soyuz rocket brings Russian Mikhail Kornienko and American Scott Kelly to the International Space Station for its longest expedition ever.


The first and last time astronauts spent such a stretch in space was decades ago on the now-defunct Russian Mir space station. This time NASA is going in with its science guns fully loaded.

Mark’s Earth-side participation in research will make the historic mission all the more valuable. Scientists can compare the way their bodies change over the course of a year, using them as experimental controls against each other — one in an isolated box where all variables can be fixed, but where radiation and lack of gravity pose health concerns, and the other going about a normal life in Houston.

Andrew Feinberg has known he’d be part of the twin study for about a year. But in some ways, he’s been waiting his whole life for it. As a young child, the Johns Hopkins Medical School researcher watched NASA’s first manned space missions take off on television. Now his lab is participating in an unprecedented experiment on epigenetics, or the way our DNA expresses itself in different environments.

The space-bound Kelly will take blood samples just before each time a shuttle returns to Earth during his tenure, allowing scientists to study fresh, unfrozen cells just hours after they’re drawn. Meanwhile, Mark will donate countless hours of the next year to providing samples of his own, as well as undergoing the same psychological and cognitive tests his brother completes in space.

The applications in space travel are obvious: Man has never traveled farther than the moon, and NASA wants to take astronauts much, much farther. To do that, scientists have to ensure that the isolation, radiation and zero-gravity environment won’t send astronauts off the deep end after a year or two. For an astronaut like Scott Kelly, whose three missions have brought him closer and closer to his long-term stay — eight-and 12-day shuttle missions followed by a 159-day stay on the space station — the hope is that things will go smoothly.

But these experiments are important for Earth-based science, too. For scientists such as Feinberg, the space station represents a perfectly controlled environment the likes of which he’s hardly dreamed of.

Epigeneticists try to study how environmental changes, including in diet and exercise, affect the way DNA expresses itself, which can lead to tangible changes in the human body. But it’s hard to control a person’s environment enough to do a long-term study on how their epigenome might change — unless that person is locked in a box orbiting the Earth.

“Obviously, this is a tiny sample size, so we’re not really looking at how Scott and Mark are different during the year, exactly,” Feinberg told The Washington Post. “It’s not statistically valid to say that differences between them must be due to the spaceflight.”

Instead, Feinberg and his research group will be looking at how each man changes over the course of the year.

“If something happens after Scott departs, increases during his trip, and then goes back to normal after he comes back to Earth — if we don’t see that kind of sequential change in his twin, well, it’s not proof of anything, but it certainly suggests something interesting is going on,” Feinberg said.

He’s also excited to tie in the other nine projects with his own. It goes without saying that the researchers studying Kelly’s microbiome (the bacteria that live in and on his body) will see it change during the year he spends isolated in space eating a regimented menu of space food. But by comparing microbiome changes to epigenetic ones, the researchers may be able to draw points of connection between diet and DNA that we’ve never seen before.

NASA scientists are hoping the new data will help them optimize future space missions.

“It’s our first real organized foray into these deep genetic changes, and that brings us closer to using this idea of personalized medicine that’s gaining popularity,” said Mark Shelhamer, chief scientist of NASA’s Human Research Program. “We love the idea of using someone’s unique genomic structure to support their health in space.”

For example, he said, in the future some astronauts may get to use their DNA to shirk off daily exercise requirements. Right now all astronauts work out for two hours a day because it seems to generally be a good standard for maintaining health. But in addition to taking up precious research and leisure time, those workouts put a strain on the station: The excess movement is taxing on equipment, and systems have to work hard to compensate for the heat and moisture that comes with exercise.

“Maybe one day we’ll say, ‘Hey, you need two hours to stay healthy, but you only need 20 minutes to keep your bone and muscle health in a good place,” Shelhamer said.

But they’ll be keeping an especially close watch on how Kelly and Kornienko fare mentally.

“A year away from home in a small space without a lot of other people — that’s pretty stressful,” Shelhamer said. “We’ve done a lot of six-month missions, and we don’t anticipate a lot of surprises in the space between six months and one year, but we won’t know until we do it.”

(Optional add end)

America’s previous record-holder for the longest spaceflight, Michael E. Lopez-Alegria, spent about 215 days on the International Space Station starting in September 2006. In an interview with The Washington Post, he wished Kelly the best of luck and was optimistic that the five months or so that the new expedition will tack on won’t make a huge difference.

“I’ll be surprised if he comes back materially different in a year,” Alegria said. But all space flight is taxing. “You feel maybe a little lethargic,” he said, referring to the months after his record-breaking mission. “When you stand up from a chair, it’s harder than normal.” But he remembers how well he adapted to life in space given that much time to get his sea legs. When shuttles would bring up crews on short visits, he said, it was like watching bulls in a china shop.

But the longer we’re away from home, he said, the worse the isolation will feel. And unlike the space station, missions to Mars won’t be able to maintain constant, virtually delay-free communication with Earth. Kelly may be anxious about leaving school-age children behind — the divorced Kelly has two daughters, ages 20 and 11 — but he’s still capable of speaking to them throughout his trip. Should any problems arise on Earth, however, he won’t be able to come home early. That was all too clear during his previous trip to the space station: In January 2011, with over two months left of his command of Expedition 26, Kelly’s sister-in-law, former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in an assassination attempt. Her long recovery led Mark Kelly to his retirement, but Scott Kelly was unable to see the couple until he landed in March. For a Mars mission to be successful, astronauts will have to be willing to put years of distance between them and their loved ones.

These are exactly the kinds of emotional hurdles that NASA has been preparing to clear for generations now, right along with the physical.

“NASA is working on this science project that’s the greatest in the history of civilization,” Feinberg said. “They’re turning humankind from an Earth-dwelling species into a space-exploring species. One day, humankind will be a species that can settle on other planets. It might be a hundred years before we have humans living on Mars, but this is a whole new kind of science. It’s a multi-generational effort.”

Joel Achenbach contributed to this report.

NASA’s Human Research Program is examining the effects of spaceflight on the human body by studying identical twin astronauts, Scott and Mark Kelly

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Avalanche expert plans survey of Himalayas in fall

Deadly avalanches occurred in roughly 150 areas throughout the Himalaya mountains, threatening residents and mountain climbers.


Isao Kamiishi, director of the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED), is planning a geological survey of heavily damaged areas in autumn at the earliest.

“Large earthquakes are occurring in the region, over and over again,” said Kamiishi, 55.

“We’re hoping to provide information on avalanche-prone locations so reconstruction efforts in the future can avoid those sites.”

At NIED’s Snow and Ice Research Center in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, he developed a warning system with the ability to predict the likelihood of avalanches as well as their size. Computers calculate projections by analyzing temperature, snowfall levels and other meteorological records alongside geographical data.

The system has played a key role in town management for Niigata and other prefectures, for example by allowing them to plan road patrols.

Kamiishi was inspired to create the system by his almost 20 years of survey experience at a construction consulting firm. “I surveyed a couple hundred avalanche sites myself to determine the types of avalanches that occurred there,” he said.

After moving on to work at NIED, he started gathering a wide range of data using an array of devices including one that artificially triggers avalanches.

Born in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture, Kamiishi was no stranger to snow – but his view of the icy precipitation was never the same after the heavy snowfalls that blanketed the nation in the winter of 1981. Known as 56-Gosetsu, or the heavy snowfalls of Showa 56, roughly two meters of snowfall claimed 133 lives across Japan.

A University of Toyama student at the time, Kamiishi had returned home to help clear the snow.

“There was snow piled up almost to the roof of the first floor.”