Browsing articles from "September, 2015"

NPR News Special: Iran Nuclear Deal

Sep 18, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on NPR News Special: Iran Nuclear Deal

NPR News Special: Iran Nuclear Deal

‘And It Bloody Well Happened’: The Improbable Life Of Keith Richards

Sep 18, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on ‘And It Bloody Well Happened’: The Improbable Life Of Keith Richards

Keith Richards' new solo album, Crosseyed Heart, arrives Friday alongside a new Netflix documentary about his life.i

Keith Richards’ new solo album, Crosseyed Heart, arrives Friday alongside a new Netflix documentary about his life.

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Keith Richards' new solo album, Crosseyed Heart, arrives Friday alongside a new Netflix documentary about his life.

Keith Richards’ new solo album, Crosseyed Heart, arrives Friday alongside a new Netflix documentary about his life.

Mark Seliger/Courtesy of the artist

Keith Richards

When he visited NPR’s New York bureau to speak with Morning Edition, Keith Richards wore his reputation on his sleeve as he lit up cigarettes between questions, just inches from our very expensive microphones. And he had war stories to share — like the time he and Bobby Keys, The Rolling Stones‘ late sax player, were guests of Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion and managed to set a bathroom on fire.

The 71-year-old guitarist has lived a life filled with moments like that one. In a 2010 New Yorker profile, writer David Remnick even marveled that “through it all, the Grim Reaper was denied a backstage pass.” Five years later, Richards says the rumors of his immortality are greatly exaggerated.

“Of course I’m not, but I love the idea of it,” he tells Morning Edition host David Greene. “I mean, I wouldn’t mind being. I don’t know if I could handle all of the stress and memories that I’d know at 150 years old. But I’ve defied other people’s version of mortality, I suppose.”

Richards has been busy the last decade or so — touring the world, writing a best-selling autobiography and a children’s book, and even popping up opposite Johnny Depp in a Pirates Of The Caribbean sequel.

One thing he hasn’t done lately is cut new music with the Stones. So, this year, Richards tried something he’s only done twice before: put out a solo album. Crosseyed Heart, on which Richards is backed by his band The X-Pensive Winos, arrives Friday, alongside a new Netflix documentary about his life.

“I was at sort of a loose end, and I realized there is one thing missing out of my life, the most important thing: recording,” he says. “I made the first two [solo albums] because the Stones were in one of their hibernations — and basically, I probably made this one because the Stones were in hibernation at the time.”

Richards has spent a lot of time over the years waiting on his friend Mick Jagger. Apart from Lennon and McCartney, it’s hard to think of another songwriting team whose relationship has been so closely followed — and when Richards released his 2010 memoir, Life, fans learned it hasn’t always been the most stable alliance.

“I think the relationship is actually still in flux, or still growing — it isn’t fixed. Sometimes he can get up my end, and I have no doubt that I can certainly piss him off sometimes,” Richards says. “At the same time, there’s a chemistry between us that we both recognize and that we know works. In a way, we’re both trying to come to terms with each other. Most guys, you know where you stand with. Mick and I don’t quite know how we stand with each other, and we never have.”

One place where he and Jagger have always found common ground, however, is in their love for the blues. Richards says that in the band’s early years, The Rolling Stones were determined to turn London on to what the masters in Chicago had been doing for years.

“At that time — 18, 19 years old — you know, you’re still very young and idealistic,” he says. “‘People should know about rhythm blues and Chicago blues, and we’ll do our best to give you our version of that.’ And it bloody well happened.”

Music fans know where the story goes from there. In a recent interview with NPR, Buddy Guy named the Stones among the artists who, in the 1960s, helped push blues music into the mainstream while still acknowledging its pioneers. Richards and his bandmates have even gotten to jam with their idols — like the night in 1981 when they joined Muddy Waters onstage at Chicago’s Checkerboard Lounge.

“I was dressed for business in a white shirt and vest. I said, ‘We’re going to be on stage with Muddy, man. This is serious,'” Richards says. “I mean, I didn’t realize this until later: These guys, they were incredibly grateful for The Rolling Stones, because we revived interest in the blues in America.

“Isn’t that amazing?” he adds with a note of quiet amusement. “Some English band turns up, and turns America on to its own great music.”

5 Years After Release From Prison, Former Conn. Mayor Wins Primary

Sep 17, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on 5 Years After Release From Prison, Former Conn. Mayor Wins Primary

Former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim celebrates a close primary win, in his bid to retake the office that he held when he was charged with multiple counts of corruption.i

Former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim celebrates a close primary win, in his bid to retake the office that he held when he was charged with multiple counts of corruption.

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Former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim celebrates a close primary win, in his bid to retake the office that he held when he was charged with multiple counts of corruption.

Former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim celebrates a close primary win, in his bid to retake the office that he held when he was charged with multiple counts of corruption.

Cloe Poisson/TNS /Landov

In a Democratic mayoral primary race in Bridgeport, Conn., that pitted a former mayor who served a seven-year prison sentence for corruption against a two-term incumbent, Joe Ganim pulled off a surprising comeback Wednesday night.

“Ganim’s message that everybody deserves a second chance earned the former felon the endorsement of the city’s police union and the support of the FBI agent who’d locked him up,” Diane Orson of member station WNPR reports from New Haven.

The primary win may propel Ganim, 55, back into office in mostly Democratic Bridgeport, the largest city in Connecticut, five years after he was released from a federal prison. Ganim was Bridgeport’s mayor from 1991 to 2003, when he was convicted of numerous counts of corruption.

“Ganim was found guilty of steering city contracts in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts like wine and clothes,” Davis Dunavin of member station WSHU reports for our Newscast unit. “He apologized for his actions.”

In the primary race, Dunavin says, Ganim “said he took the high road against his opponents, current mayor Bill Finch and businesswoman Mary Jane Foster.”

The former mayor also promised to work to make Bridgeport safer and to run a transparent government.

Unable To Get Into Hungary, Thousands Of Migrants Try Croatia

Sep 17, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Unable To Get Into Hungary, Thousands Of Migrants Try Croatia

Migrants hide from the sun using cardboard as they sit on the railway track in Tovarnik, Croatia, on Thursday, after arriving there from neighboring Serbia.i

Migrants hide from the sun using cardboard as they sit on the railway track in Tovarnik, Croatia, on Thursday, after arriving there from neighboring Serbia.

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Migrants hide from the sun using cardboard as they sit on the railway track in Tovarnik, Croatia, on Thursday, after arriving there from neighboring Serbia.

Migrants hide from the sun using cardboard as they sit on the railway track in Tovarnik, Croatia, on Thursday, after arriving there from neighboring Serbia.

Antonio Bronic/Reuters/Landov

With Hungary sealing its southern border with Serbia, thousands of migrants are turning west instead, pouring into Croatia, making the Balkan nation the latest intermediate stop for a surge of humanity trying to reach the European Union.

By Thursday morning, Croatian police said more than 6,000 people — mainly refugees fleeing the fighting in Syria — had entered that country since the first of them began arriving a day earlier.

Croatia’s Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic said his country cannot accept any more people. He said safe transit is guaranteed only to the capital, Zagreb, and that anyone not seeking asylum there would be considered an illegal migrant.

The Associated Press reports:

“After bus trips through Serbia, the migrants crossed fields on foot to enter Croatia, where dozens of police directed them to trains and buses heading to refugee centers in Zagreb and elsewhere. Authorities had warned them to avoid walking in areas along the Serbian border that are still being demined from the country’s 1991-95 war.

“Croatian Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic said the country has the situation under control but warned that ‘if huge waves start coming through Serbia, we must consider different moves.'”

And, The Financial Times says:

“Many migrants plan to travel onward from Croatia to Slovenia, part of the EU’s Schengen free movement area, and from there to Austria and Germany.

“But on Wednesday, Slovenia [signaled] it would reinforce its frontier with Croatia, posing a new obstacle to the migrants, and announced temporary border controls with Hungary, a fellow Schengen member.”

The sudden influx comes a day after Hungarian police fired tear gas and water cannon at a group of refugees that surged through a border fence that was erected earlier this week to prevent their entering from Serbia.

Hundreds of migrants, mostly young men, clashed with Hungarian police on Wednesday. Dozens were reportedly injured and 150 arrested.

As Teri Schultz reports for NPR, the images of Hungary’s response, especially the images of children being tear-gassed, has prompted “a huge international outcry,” even from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said he believed the police reaction was justified and the criticisms unfounded because the migrants, he said, were throwing stones and concrete at officers.

“I find it bizarre and shocking that certain esteemed international figures have stood on the side of people who for hours were throwing stones and pieces of cement at the Hungarian police,” Szijjarto was quoted by the AP as saying. “And I’d also like to make it very clear, no matter what

Meanwhile, days after the EU failed to reach agreement on mandatory quotas for accepting the refugees, Reuters reports that Romanian President Klaus Iohannis reiterated on Thursday his opposition to such a plan.

“Romania is showing solidarity with EU states but … we do not feel mandatory quotas are a solution to the migration problem,” he told reporters after a meeting of the country’s supreme defense council, according to Reuters. “It is possible that through a procedure applied next week … the EU will force us to receive more refugees than we have offered to take.”

The Second GOP Debate In 100 Words (And A Video)

Sep 17, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on The Second GOP Debate In 100 Words (And A Video)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday.i

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday.

Mark J. Terrill/AP

If you missed the second Republican presidential debate of the 2016 race Wednesday night, our friends at It’s All Politics have wall-to-wall coverage. If you want a quickie, here’s a 100-word recap — and video clip — of what happened:

A three-hour debate was dominated by confrontations between Donald Trump and his GOP opponents. Rand Paul called Trump “sophomoric.” Trump accused George W. Bush of bringing about an Obama administration. Jeb Bush replied: “There is one thing I know for sure, he kept us safe.” Chris Christie called for a better debate. Ultimately, the debate was more sober and muted than the first. Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio stood sharp with concrete answers on foreign policy. John Kasich and Paul stood apart from their party saying they wouldn’t automatically rip apart the Iran deal. But here’s the exchange worth watching:

Bernie Sanders Live Tweets GOP Debate; Gets Bored, Goes Home Early

Sep 17, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Bernie Sanders Live Tweets GOP Debate; Gets Bored, Goes Home Early

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was tweeting up a storm during the Republican presidential debate.i

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was tweeting up a storm during the Republican presidential debate.

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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was tweeting up a storm during the Republican presidential debate.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was tweeting up a storm during the Republican presidential debate.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Like no doubt millions of Americans, Bernie Sanders tuned in to the Republican debate on CNN. But the Vermont independent who is running for the Democratic nomination for president, didn’t stop there. The septuagenarian senator live tweeted the debate, with the help of his 24-year-old digital director.

That is, until just shy of 10:30 PM, he called it quits.

But it all seemed to be a hit with his fans. His tweets got tens of thousands of retweets and favorites.

Other candidates had teams of staff doing rapid response, but Sanders was his own rapid-response unit. Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said the candidate offered quips and observations while watching the debate.

Kenneth Pennington, the campaign’s digital director, sat next to Sanders on a sofa typing and tweeting the senator’s often-sarcastic thoughts from a laptop.

In no particular order, here are the top 10 #DebateWithBernie tweets:

Before the debate began, Sanders asked in a tweet whether the candidates would discuss “serious issues,” and he spent much of the debate wondering when they would get to the issues he considers most pressing.

Twitter really needs to develop a sarcasm font.

The debate was held at the Reagan Library, and the 40th president was invoked frequently, which gave Sanders an idea.

The GOP candidates were largely in agreement on Planned Parenthood. (They think it should lose its federal funding). Sanders doesn’t agree.

Sanders got impatient with the focus on war.

But Sanders tuned out too soon. Debate moderator Jake Tapper, citing questions coming in from social media, asked the candidates about climate change.

Alas, Sanders’ Twitter account remained radio silent for the rest of the debate.

The 1 Passage You Need To Read To Understand Donald Trump’s Appeal

Sep 16, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on The 1 Passage You Need To Read To Understand Donald Trump’s Appeal

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event aboard the U.S.S. Iowa battleship in Los Angeles Tuesday.i

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event aboard the U.S.S. Iowa battleship in Los Angeles Tuesday.

Kevork Djansezian/AP


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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event aboard the U.S.S. Iowa battleship in Los Angeles Tuesday.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event aboard the U.S.S. Iowa battleship in Los Angeles Tuesday.

Kevork Djansezian/AP

Donald Trump went and gave a speech Tuesday night on the deck of a battleship, the appropriately named U.S.S. Iowa. Reporters were expecting a policy speech. What followed was not that at all.

But that’s really not the point.

Toward the end of the 13-minute speech, Trump said 178 words that might explain his appeal to conservatives better than almost anything else. (More on that below.)

First, to the policy…

The closest thing to a national-security or veterans’-policy prescription came near the top of the speech, and it was just a few lines. He talked about the value of veterans and the well-documented problems at the Veterans Administration — how too many face long lines and long delays to get health care. (He did get the endorsement of the group hosting the event, Veterans for a Strong America.)

Trump promised to “create a whole new system” and to “take the system apart.” He said under a President Trump, veterans would be allowed to go to private hospitals and see private doctors and be reimbursed. He said it would be the “greatest service.”

Of his potential plan, he added, “That’s gonna be broken down into something very special.”

And that was it, unless it counts that he floated recommissioning the battleship he was on, which is now a museum. The rest was Trump’s greatest hits. (Former game-show host Wink Martindale of Tic Tac Dough fame spoke for almost as long as Trump — 8 minutes — before Trump took the stage.)

Trump again said he’d build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it. He hit China, though he loves it for buying apartments from him. He brought Japan and the cars they sell to the U.S. into the mix. (“And we sell them beef,” Trump said mocking the U.S. trade relationship with Japan.) There was the Iran deal (“the dumbest”), a rumor about John Kerry possibly running for president (“no chance”), and, of course, Hillary Clinton (the “worst” secretary of state ever, who also has “no chance”).

…But it’s the message that’s resonating

None of the policy vagaries or the “Greatest Hits” mattered as much as this at the tail end of Trump’s remarks:

“The ‘Silent Majority’ believe me is back, and I think we can use it somewhat differently. I don’t think we have to call it a silent majority anymore, because they’re not silent. People are not silent.

“They’re disgusted with our incompetent politicians.

“They’re disgusted with the people who are giving our country away.

“They’re disgusted when they tell the border-patrol agents, who are good people and can do the job— they’re disgusted when they allow the people to just walk right in front of them, and they’re standing there helpless, and people just pour into the country.

“They’re disgusted when a woman who’s nine-months pregnant walks across the border, has a baby and you have to take care of that baby for the next 85 years.

“They’re disgusted by what’s happening to our country. And you’re going to look around. You’re going to remember who the people are that are here, because we’re doing something special.

“This is a movement. We’re going to make our country great again — believe me. We will make our country great again.”

It brought the crowd to its feet.

It’s the message that’s breaking through delivered in a way only Donald Trump can deliver it. He’s speaking clearly, forcefully and unambiguously to the GOP base and channeling voter frustration in a way none of the other candidates have quite figured out how to do — certainly not with the gusto of Trump.

“I think it was vintage Trump,” Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told NPR’s Don Gonyea. “It wasn’t a defense-policy speech the way we’ve come to think of them in the modern presidential campaign era. There were no specifics on really anything.”

But, he added, “One thing American voters are signaling to the political establishment and the policy establishment working in Washington is that maybe they don’t care. … Maybe the voters are saying this is a whole different election. Maybe they’re saying, ‘It’s just too early gosh darn it, give us a break.'”

Maybe eventually, they will want Trump, or another candidate, to put some policy meat on the bones.

But Trump’s supporters aren’t with him because they want to hear the wonky details. They want someone to channel what they feel.

And, right now, no one’s doing that better than Donald Trump.

CHAT TONIGHT: Join NPR’s Politics Team For The Republican Debates

Sep 16, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on CHAT TONIGHT: Join NPR’s Politics Team For The Republican Debates

The top 11 Republican presidential candidates, according to recent polls, will debate Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif. Four other candidates will debate a couple hours earlier in the evening.

It’s the second Republican debate this season — here’s a rundown of who’s in which debate and what to watch for this time around. Post your questions for NPR’s politics team in the comments section of this page or come back for our live chats starting at at 6 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET.

Chatting tonight will be:

Thumbs Down: Facebook Finally Will Add A ‘Dislike’ Mechanism

Sep 16, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Thumbs Down: Facebook Finally Will Add A ‘Dislike’ Mechanism

This thumbs up or like icon at the Facebook main campus in Menlo Park, Calif., may soon have a neighbor. Founder Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday that the social network soon would test a long-requested dislike type of button.i

This thumbs up or “like” icon at the Facebook main campus in Menlo Park, Calif., may soon have a neighbor. Founder Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday that the social network soon would test a long-requested “dislike” type of button.

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This thumbs up or like icon at the Facebook main campus in Menlo Park, Calif., may soon have a neighbor. Founder Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday that the social network soon would test a long-requested dislike type of button.

This thumbs up or “like” icon at the Facebook main campus in Menlo Park, Calif., may soon have a neighbor. Founder Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday that the social network soon would test a long-requested “dislike” type of button.

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

You’ve probably seen it when a friend has posted sad news on Facebook — someone will click the “like” button, then comment to explain that he is not, in fact, pleased with the friend’s misfortune.

Soon, there may be a better option, CNBC reported Tuesday:

“The company’s co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg revealed the ongoing tests during a question and answer session on Tuesday.

” ‘People have asked about the “dislike” button for many years, and probably hundreds of people have asked about this, and today is a special day because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it,’ he said.”

Zuckerberg said that testing would begin soon, and that the feature would be less a way to voice opposition to a post than to express empathy with a friend, CNBC reported.

The Facebook founder had said in December that he was considering the feature but had concerns, Slate reported at the time:

“Some people have asked for a dislike button because they want to say, ‘That thing isn’t good.’ And that’s not something that we think is good for the world. So we’re not going to build that.”

Cyberbullying has been one of the company’s past concerns in implementing a dislike feature. It’s been a big challenge for Facebook in the past, NPR’s Emily Siner reported in 2013, and might have contributed to teens’ stronger interest in other social networks.

But a dislike-type button has finally been given a green light, and — regardless of the eventual format — should provide useful fodder for Facebook’s algorithm for curating your news, reports Time.

“So what will a Dislike button do to Facebook? It could become a sadder place, as less rosy content will be better able to compete with adorable pet photos and ice bucket challenges. But in the long term, showing users a wider variety of things they deeply care about will only keep them coming back to Facebook.”

Three Astronauts Walk Into NPR …

Sep 16, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Three Astronauts Walk Into NPR …

Ellen Stofan (from left), chief scientist of NASA, and astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti, Serena Auñón and Cady Coleman.i

Ellen Stofan (from left), chief scientist of NASA, and astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti, Serena Auñón and Cady Coleman.

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Ellen Stofan (from left), chief scientist of NASA, and astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti, Serena Auñón and Cady Coleman.

Ellen Stofan (from left), chief scientist of NASA, and astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti, Serena Auñón and Cady Coleman.

Jun Tsuboike/NPR

NASA astronauts Cady Coleman and Serena Auñón, European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan came to NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., Tuesday to talk with NPR’s Adam Cole about space exploration, women in STEM, and common misconceptions. They also discussed what it was like to dream in space, the difficulties of coming back down to Earth, their favorite space movies and the most exciting planets in the solar system. Oh, and which foods they wished they had in space.

Using #NPRSpaceJam, people from around the world posed questions to the four space experts, which they answered live on Periscope and Snapchat. If you missed it, here are the highlights:

On what it feels like to be in space

Samantha Cristoforetti: I felt instantly at home in space. Visually, we understand the main thing about being in space is that you’re weightless. And that’s also sensationwise what you feel the most, of course. I loved it from the beginning. … Of course, I was very clumsy, I couldn’t move around elegantly — that came several weeks later, but I felt fine. I felt great. I enjoyed so much that feeling of being light, of being able to own that space in the three dimensions. Especially for the first weeks or even months, I just enjoyed going to eat on the ceiling or hanging out on the wall.

On being women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

Ellen Stofan: We figured out that diverse teams do better than single-sex teams. When you bring the power of different people from different backgrounds, different sexes, different races together you’re going to solve … problems much more quickly and much better.

Serena Auñón: When my class came in in 2009, we were 30 percent women, and the 2013 class was 50 percent women. We all walked in the door and that didn’t even cross our mind.

Cady Coleman: I’ve been there a little longer and I think there’s a balance between what you decide you’re going to change and how you can change it. Spacewalking in the suit, it’s particularly large and bulky, and I’d say that’s the place where, at least for me, being in shape is important in terms of ability and confidence. I wouldn’t always get invited to the spacesuit meetings. Guys of equal size or just a little bigger would get invited, so I would just show up and say, ‘Oh you must have forgotten to invite me.’ … It used to surprise them that I had the spacesuit capability and I’m very proud to be qualified in a spacesuit. There’s ways to change things, just by showing up and doing your job.

On coming back to Earth after space travel

Cristoforetti: Coming back, that’s a little bit tougher. Like, gosh, gravity is a big mistake. What felt the heaviest were my legs because you have to walk all the time. … You come back to Earth and even simply walking feels so heavy because the legs feel like they’re a ton.

Coleman: And you drop things.

Cristoforetti: It happened a few hours after landing, my flight surgeon lent me her phone to make a phone call and she was a few meters in front of me and so I remember stretching out my arm and I was going to let that phone go and give it a push like you do in the space station and I caught myself in the last nanosecond, no, don’t do that.

On the best pieces of space fiction

Coleman: I actually loved the Gravity movie. … There’s a lot of things that are in terms in physics inaccurate, but to me it’s about where they take you. The fact that I regret very much I can’t take all the people that I love with me. And I think that that movie not only gives them the view but the feeling of having the view. Now I’m looking forward to seeing The Martian.

On dreaming in space

Coleman: I definitely dreamed weightless. You’d be going somewhere in the space station, it was really natural. And then I would dream that way when I got home.

On the most surprising planets in space

Stofan: The fact that there was water once on Mars is not surprising; we’ve known that for a very long time. But our Curiosity rover has told us that water was stable on the surface for about a billion years. We’re really excited about that because that’s enough time, we think, to make it likely that life evolved on the planet. … It’s the place that we can send humans to go and hopefully find evidence that there is life beyond the Earth.

[But] if you’re ever interested in sailing on an alien sea, Titan would be the place to go. Titan is a moon of Saturn. It rains but the rain there is not water. It’s liquid methane and ethane, so basically liquid gasoline. That’s because it’s so cold out of the orbit of Saturn. There are seas; you could send a boat there someday and float on them and figure out what they’re made of and if — by a small chance — anything is actually living in those seas.

On common misconceptions about space

Coleman: People think we’re in this really cramped space, which is actually true for launching and for landing — it’s very small it’s like being in the front seat of a smart car with three people — but up on the station itself, it’s like 10 train cars or large school buses put together at different angles, without the seats in them, so its actually quite big and you can have a lot of personal space.

Stofan: I think people aren’t aware of how close we are to answering the question: “Are we alone?” From Mars that I was talking about earlier to Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter, to every day now it seems like we’re finding a planet around another star that seems to be about the same size as the Earth and maybe is about the right distance from the star to have water stable on its surface. So, I think we’re really close, certainly within a generation, to answering the question of are we alone in the universe.

Foods they wished they had in space

Cristoforetti: My biggest craving was a big salad with a lot of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and nuts.

Auñón: One day I hope they’re able to get warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookies up there. That would be awesome.

Coleman: I missed things that were crunchy. Things like potato chips would get smushed and then they’d be just crumbs and would be impossible to eat. You’d have a cloud of potato chips.

And if you’re wondering, did Samantha eat any of NASA’s space lettuce on her most recent trip to the Space Station?

Cristoforetti: I missed it; I had just left. … No salad; they didn’t allow us to eat their samples.

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