Archive for May, 2010

Feature Writer John Christie – Facebook Brings Father and Son Together

A man from Britain was reunited with his Father with help from the social networking site Facebook.

Andy Spiers-Corbett, 39 picked out his father’s photo from a long list of Graham Corbetts. 

“There was about 15 Graham Corbetts that came up but I saw this picture and my heart just started pounding. I knew it was him. It was like looking at a picture of me when I’m older,” the report said, quoting Andy.

“I just sent a message and a day or two later got one back saying, ‘Hello son’. I couldn’t believe it,” he added.

The pair had an emotional reunion at Graham’s home and was making up for lost time.

“I was in bits when he came over to see me. There were a few tears shed. There’s been a big part missing for so long but now everything is all right. The Internet is an amazing invention,” said Andy.

It sure helped get Father and son together. That’s what life is all about.

To read the original article, please go to http://www.siasat.com/english/news/father-son-re-united-after-37-years-facebook

Feature Writer Steven Famiglietti – Choosing a Computer That’s Right for You

Here are some things to consider when you are getting ready to purchase your first computer.  First, I recommend finding a company in your area that specializes in putting together a computer for a person with low vision or blindness.  This is important because your computer will likely have software added to it to magnify or read the screen, depending on your specific needs.  A company familiar with that software can support both the computer and its adaptive software.  They can also usually assist you in getting trained to use your new computer.  In some cases, they might also be able to provide you with special keyboards and a mouse that work better for you than what you will find in a regular retail facility.  You can get keyboards with large print, or you can even get individual stickers, which contain Braille, that can be placed on each key for those people more familiar with Braille.  

The second thing to consider is the price.  Even though a large retail chain can sell you a computer at a very low price, they can’t support software that reads or magnifies the screen.  This means if you have trouble with your adaptive software, you will have to find someone who can support you in that situation.  Large retail chains can offer computers at lower prices because they can afford to do this and if you purchase such a computer, it may not meet all of the requirements your screen magnifier or screen reader needs in order to run efficiently.  

The third thing to consider is the tasks you wish to accomplish with your new computer.  Before you buy a computer, make a list of everything you want to do and learn with your computer.  You can use this list to help the salesperson to customize the computer for your specific needs.  One tip I can offer is that Windows Seven, which is Microsoft’s latest version of Windows, does not come with an email program.  Earlier versions of Windows had Outlook Express, or Windows Mail included.  This means you will have to use either a web-based email program, or purchase a copy of Microsoft Office when you buy your computer.  If you want to do word processing, spreadsheets and use email, I highly recommend getting Microsoft Office.  This will give you all of the additional programs you need to accomplish all of these tasks and more.  Microsoft Office is a powerful program and contains a suite of great programs. 

It is important to do research and find out what hardware and software are available to help you.  Here in the United States, most of our states have state agencies that serve people with low vision or blindness.  Depending on your situation, they may be able to help you figure out what hardware and software you need, or they may be able to assist you once you have your computer and provide you with the necessary training needed for your success.  

Remember, the computer and software you need may not be the $5000.00 system.  It is important to have a good understanding about your specific needs and to also know what works best.  There are several programs available to help you in reading or magnifying the display screen.  Some are very robust and contain many wonderful features, while others are less robust without providing as many features.  Knowing which works for you is the best thing you can do for yourself.  

Finally, it is important to know an approximate price for everything and gauge if the price fits your budget.  Purchasing the computer and adaptive software can be quite expensive.   When you then add the price of individual training, that makes it even more expensive.  If you don’t have all the funds necessary for everything, figure out what you can fund.  Then, check to see whether or not your local state agency can provide you with assistance.  If not, there are other organizations that support people with low vision or blindness.  You can apply for a scholarship or, you can find grants to help you.

So far, everything in this article discussed the idea of purchasing a Personal Computer with Windows. However, you have another option available to you. The Mac offers a program called Voice Over, a built in screen reader, ready to use at any time without installing any extra software. Included with the screen reader on the Mac is a built in tutorial, designed to assist you as you learn to use the program on the Mac.

Recently, I heard a great Podcast done by Serotek that compares the PC and Mac. This will give you useful information about both types of computers. Here is the link to the Podcast, http://accessibleevent.com/372225074/archive/848/

Here are a few examples of desktop and laptop computers provided by a company in Connecticut called Vision Dynamics.  Vision Dynamics specializes in selling and supporting products to help people with low vision or blindness.  You can also find them on the web at www.visiondynamics.com.  Remember, the examples below are provided in this article as suggestions based on a common array of computing needs.  Your situation may vary.  All specifications and prices are subject to change depending on a customer’s specific needs. 

Desktop Computer for Blind Users:

HP Core 2 Duo processor with 2.93 GHZ, 2 Gigabytes of Ram, 250 Gigabyte Hard Drive, DVD + RW/DVD-RAM, Ethernet, Windows , HP mouse and keyboard, 19″ LCD Monitor, Window Eyes Software. Computer has all required programs downloaded and is ready to go. Price also includes installation of software and 3 year warranty.  $1965.00 (Without Window Eyes $1070.00) 

Laptop Computer for Blind Users:

HP ProBook Athlon II M320 2.1 GHz, 2 Gigabytes of RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive, DVD+RW, Mobility Radeon HD 4200 gigabit Ethernet-WLAN, Windows, 15.6″ Widescreen, 3 year extended warranty, computer set-up and installation of Window Eyes $2185.00 (Without Window Eyes $1290.00) 

Desktop Computer for Low Vision Users:

HP Core 2 Duo processor with 2.93 GHZ, 2 Gigabytes of Ram, 250 Gigabyte Hard Drive, DVD + RW/DVD-RAM, Ethernet, Windows , HP mouse, 22″ LCD Monitor, ZoomText with Speech and ZoomText Keyboard. Computer has all required programs downloaded and is ready to go. Price also includes installation of software and 3 year warranty. $1775.00 (Without ZoomText $1180.00, without ZoomText and without ZoomText Keyboard $1100.00) 

Laptop Computer for Low Vision Users:

HP ProBook Athlon II M320 2.1 GHz, 2 Gigabytes of RAM, 320 Gigabyte Hard Drive, DVD+RW, Mobility Radeon HD 4200 gigabit Ethernet-WLAN, Windows, 15.6″ Widescreen, 3 year extended warranty, computer set-up and installation ZoomText with Speech $1885.00 (Without ZoomText $1290.00) 

Other Services and Products Offered by Vision Dynamics:

On-site training for an additional fee

FREE phone support with all purchases

Delivery, Set-up and 1 hour overview for an additional fee

They have a number of accessories and adaptive solutions, such as:

High contrast keyboard stickers (braille available) $23.95 – $25.95

Bump dots and locator dots

Non-ZoomText large letter, high contrast keyboards $49.00

Letter from the Editor

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend.  I just want to follow up on my previous announcement regarding the audio version that will be made available very soon.  I had hoped that we would be able to offer it to you all this week.  However, there are still some things that my technology consultant and I need to get set up before we can release it.  While these delays are unfortunate, I want to make sure that everything will work as it is supposed to right away.  In no way do I want to release something to you and find that there are serious problems that could have been prevented with a little more planning and appropriate testing.  I really do appreciate your continued patience.

I also wanted to thank those of you who have contributed to the Reader’s Forum lately.  That section of the magazine went from being three entries long to thirteen within a matter of only a few weeks.  It’s great to see that we have so many readers who want to participate in the magazine.  For those of you that haven’t submitted anything to the Reader’s Forum yet, I highly encourage you to do so.  The more dialog we can create around the topics of this magazine, the better.  I look forward to building that section into something that’s valued by all of you.

As a final notice, I’d like to let everyone know that next week’s magazine will be released on Tuesday, June 1 due to Memorial Day.

I hope you all have a great week and are enjoying the weather as it gets warmer by the day.

Take care, and thanks for reading.

Sincerely,

Ross Hammond, Editor

April audio version

Welcome to the Matilda Ziegler Magazine audio player.  To begin listening to the magazine, simply click the “Read more” link below. Once you select the month, an embedded media player will start playing the magazine immediately.  While using this player, you can press the control key plus the space bar to pause the current article.  To proceed to the next article hold down the control key and the shift key and then press the N key.  To go back to the previous article hold down the control key and the shift key and press the P key.
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Recipe of the Week

Whoopie Pies

Slimmed down yet full of flavor, these whoopie pies are a sweet indulgence. From Prevention Healthy Cooking.

Prep Time:10 min

Start to Finish:15 min

makes:16 servings

1 cup Gold Medal® unbleached or all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup margarine or butter

1 egg white

1/2 cup 1% milk

3/4 cup marshmallow creme

1. Heat oven to 425°F.

2. In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

3. In large bowl, beat sugar, margarine and egg white with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes or until fluffy. Stir in flour mixture. Stir in milk just until blended.

4. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto large ungreased baking sheets to make 32 cookies. Bake 5 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.

5. Place baking sheets on a rack to cool completely. Spoon about 2 teaspoons marshmallow crème on bottoms of 16cookies. Top filled cookies with the remaining 16 cookies.

Nutritional Information 

1 Serving: Calories 100 (Calories from Fat 30); Total Fat 3g (Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 160mg; Total Carbohydrate 17g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 10g); Protein 1g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 2%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 0%; Iron 4% Exchanges: 1/2 Starch; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

http://www.eatbetteramerica.com/Recipes/RecipePrint.aspx?id=45730&revs=&text=Smalltext

Reader’s Forum

To navigate through the reader’s forum, please search for the ## symbol using your browser or word processor’s search or find function.

On Bob Branco’s Grade Two Braille Article from Ann Foxworth

I learned braille in first grade and by the end of second grade I was reading contracted braille. I participated in spelling classes all the way through high school. I took spelling tests. There was never any time when I didn’t know how to spell a word that I had seen in grade two. The problem is not braille; the problem is that children in general, and blind children in particular, are not getting a sound education in the area of language. With the advent of computer usage and especially e-mail, blind people have plenty of opportunity and need to learn how to spell. So I say the theory that grade two braille inhibits a blind child’s ability to spell is hogwash and an excuse for either poor education or laziness.

##

On Money and the iBill

In response to a reader who believes that purchasing an IBill is an inexpensive solution for identifying paper currency, you should be aware that there is a long waiting list to obtain one. I have been waiting since early March, and a few other people I know have been waiting since January, so even if you submit an order request now,you might not receive one for three to four months, if not longer. Apparently Orbit Research, the manufacturer of the IBill can’t keep up with the overwhelming demand for this breakthrough product.

Sincerely,

Gerald Levy

##

Bob Branco’s article, in which he asserts that, when blind children learn grade two braille, it hinders and hampers development of their spelling skill, perpetuates an old and untrue stereotype about braille readers and the braille system. Since Bob tells us that he is a braille reader himself, I would think that he would know that his contention is largely a myth. I learned grade one and two braille at the New York State School for the Blind, in Batavia, starting in kindergarten. By second grade we had covered all of the braille contractions. This is not to say that I knew them all, and could always use them accurately, just as second grade sighted children may not write or spell accurately all the words they have learned. By the way, we also learned to write on the braille slate in first grade, something which the so-called experts in blindness education today say is too difficult. We also had spelling classes, in which we had to spell out entire words. The fact that Bob Branco knows one sighted adult who misspells one word, (with) does not prove his case at all. Braille, in all grades, written on all kinds of devices, along with typing, keyboarding and spelling are vital skills, which blind children of normal intelligence will learn as easily as their sighted counterparts, unless some adult tells them, or their parents, that it is too hard. This blind reader will answer Bob’s question: “Yes, Bob, you are making too much of this.”

Tim Hendel

Huntsville, Alabama

##

I want to comment on the article “Does Grade 2 Braille Spell Trouble. I can tell you first hand that it certainly does. All through my first years of learning braille, I’d learn the contractions then transcribe them to my typing. This made my parents laugh so hard. They’d explain that the written word isn’t spelled the way I wrote it. Even today I forget how to spell a typed word sometimes and have to slow down and think about it.

##

I read with interest and bemusement Robert’s article on Braille and spelling. When I first started using computers during the DOS days of 1987, there were no spell checkers to speak of. My two volume set of “TWENTY THOUSAND WORDS” got quite the royal workout. Perhaps because of this, learning to spell often started with thinking of the word in Braille, then translating into print. I did this with the typewriter previously, but since I spent more time at the computer keyboard in a week than I spent at the typewriter in a month, I thought the transition to thinking of spelling in print terms would have come more rapidly. 

The article also brought to mind a very amusing incident which occurred in 1958, while I was in the midst of JR. High School. The usual pubescent problems combined with my shyness and lack of general interaction with any others but blind teenagers was a definite disadvantage. We were mainstreamed in that we had a study hall with all Braille equipment and a teacher versed in Braille: yet attended all other classes. 

I fondly remember the day in history class when I happily volunteered to discuss one of the pioneers in the fledgling rubber industry: a gentleman named “Charles Goody right.” I prattled on and on like the village idiot that I was until the teacher politely asked if I didn’t mean “Charles Goodyear?” Sure wish there had been a trap door in the floor. 

Of course, being a name “g o o d y e a r” was spelled out as g o o d dot 5 r. Thanks, Robert, for that blast from the past. 

Dick Wamser: Roseburg Oregon

##

Hello,

I’d like to comment on several articles that were in the latest issue. First of all, Susan Roe should know that Fatally Flaky is available through the Bard site. I enjoy Goldie too and am reading the first book in the series. I’ve read others, so obviously I haven’t read them in order.

In regard to Bob Branco’s piece, I can remember when I was mainstreamed into public school and spelled the word from as frum. To say the least, my mother was dismayed, and learning to spell became a major part of my life at that point.

I couldn’t agree more with Tim Hendel. My husband and I are both blind, having both been in marriages with a sighted partner. We talked through all the problems that a blind couple would have before we married, and there really weren’t any surprises, but we always say that spontaneity is just not an option. Seeing sunsets and faces would be nice, but there are lots of other things that are way above either of those on my wish list.

Allison Fallin

##

From Tara, regarding Bob Branco’s article concerning Grade Two Braille and Spelling

Hello,

No you’re not making too much out of this at all. Your point is perfectly valid. I’m blind and have used braille all my life, but I was in a school for sighted students until the age of 12. When I learned spelling at the age of 5, I learned each word in grade 1 and grade 2. Ok it was more work, but the benefits of this were huge. My spelling was probably as good as any sighted child’s, and at least if I ever did make mistakes it was due to a general weakness of how to spell a certain long and difficult word as opposed to being badly taught spelling or not taught it at all. Plus I was learning grade 2 to enable me to shorten words to write things more quickly. The trouble is that these schools for the blind do not teach spelling properly from what I can gather. In the secondary one I went too from the age of 12, I was told by some students that when they started learning how to spell, they used to learn the word friend as just fr and not the propper spelling and then they used to tell me that their spelling was bad. Well of course it would be, they had never learned to spell. I think it is despicable that teachers of blind children feel they can cut corners in such a manner as to neglect people’s spelling in this way. Teaching spelling can be easily remedied as in my case above.

##

I totally disagree with Mr. Bob Branco statement that the Braille learners learn Grade Two Braille contractions before they actually learn how to spell the actual real word.

Because through my experience from my Braille teachers and being a Braille teacher myself, we have to make sure our pupils have mastered the actual word first before introducing the Braille contraction of that word.

In my work as a Braille teacher, the youngest pupil I had was aged 5, and at age of 6, she mastered the grade 2 Braille and of course with the correct spelling of each word.

However, in some cases, Braille teachers don’t do this procedure, and then I feel sorry for the learner.

My suggestion to Braille writers is to think first before they hit their contraction, as two words may sound the same, but they might have different spelling and different meaning, i.e “with” and “width”.

As we observe misspelled words on blind colleague’s e-mails, do we blame Braille contraction for that? I don’t think so, no one is perfect, but it’s for the writer to check his/her work. 

Estelita

##

I’d like to comment on Bob Branco’s articles. First of all, regarding his friend who has a volunteer help him once a month, lots of utility companies have automated phone systems which allow a person to find out how much his or her bills are ahead of time. Also, people who have computers can get email notifications of when their bills are available to be read.

As far as Braille is concerned, when I attended the Kansas School for the Visually handicapped, our spelling books contained words written with and without contractions. When we had spelling tests, we had to write words first with the Braille contractions and then write them without the contractions. I think it’s important for blind children to learn how to spell words both ways. This is especially important when they learn to use a computer.

Elaine Johnson

##

On Ann Chiappetta’s article regarding parenting

I too am a parent with a visual impairment. My husband is also partially sighted, as I am. We had our daughter in 1984 when there was much less written about parenting with a disability and no known support except what you might get from any visually impaired friends you had who’d done it already. In this I was lucky as I had several friends with less sight than I who’d had several children and we were always looking for ways round feeding from a bowl, turning books into braille (this was pre-braille leaved with print books), pulling an old fashioned pram (still its some form of harness a bit like a donkey in a cart). There was no Disability Discrimination Acts, little use of computers in schools to produce materials for parents, etc., etc. Probably the only thing there was then which there is less of now was the amount of equipment one could buy from national organizations for the blind (I’m in the UK), which could be used to overcome things like making up bottles of milk, etc.

Staff didn’t understand much about the special needs of the visually impaired parent either, so parents evenings, joining in school events, etc. was still very difficult.

It was in the 1980s that the UK finally had its own peer support group (now known as the Disabled Parents Network), and later on the international group ‘Disability Pregnancy and Parenthood International’ of which both groups I have done as much as possible to support other visually impaired parents.

In some ways today’s visually impaired parents are lucky in that there are well established peer support groups (in the US there is the San Francisco based ‘Through the Looking Glass’ which has been around for many years too). http://www.lookingglass.org/

But there are still some things which ‘come difficult’ for us for which modern technology has yet to come up with a safe simple method of allowing us to be even more independent than we already are.

Chris McMillan (UK)

##

Hello, 

I want to comment on the article “What Happened to Our Voice” in the May tenth issue. I think what is happening is that our voice is being suppressed by the biases of society against the blind. People are uncomfortable around people who are blind in many cases and they feel that not giving us a voice will make us go away. Yes, I believe that we should strive to make the most out of our lives and utilize our unique talents. But when it seems that you are hitting your head against the wall your head begins to hurt and you say enough already. As Rodney Dangerfield said: “we don’t get no respect.” Society has to start looking at us as an asset not a liability. They have to come to the realization that it is “ok” to be blind and treat us with the respect and regard that we deserve. 

Bill Meinecke Virginia Beach Virginia

##

Inexpensive Incubator Expected to Save Millions

Focus Features is releasing a new documentary called “Babies,” a story that follows four infants from around the world who grow up in very different circumstances.  Two San Francisco parents, Susie Wise and Frazer Bradshaw, are behind the project and their daughter, Hattie, is featured in the movie as well.

While the two of them have been pleasantly shocked by how popular their movie became among distributors, Wise also decided that this presented her with a wonderful opportunity.  Wise works at Stanford University’s d.school, a design program that focuses on an extremely broad array of projects.  Students in an Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability class came up with an outreach project called “Embrace.”  The students had traveled to Nepal with the purpose of designing a much less expensive incubator for newborn babies.  They discovered that while the hospitals did use conventional incubators for premature babies, the chances of someone who gave birth in a remote village having access to one were nearly non-existent.  In those cases, the babies perish.

So the design team went to work.  Instead of creating a cheaper version of a traditional incubator, they created a baby warmer that looks very similar to a sleeping bag.  It contains a removable phase change material pouch that can be heated with boiling water.  The pouch is then placed inside of a sleeve in the bag and will remain at 98 degrees for nearly 4 hours, keeping the fragile baby at a crucial temperature as it is brought to a hospital.

The cost is also a huge factor.  The Embrace baby warmer only costs 25 dollars, while a conventional incubator costs nearly twenty thousand.  At such a small price, this is an important tool that could easily be present in many poorer villages all over the world.

The founder of the Embrace project, Jane Chen, says that this could inevitably help one million babies in the next five years.  The first Embrace products will be released in India, where nearly forty percent of the world’s low-birth-weight babies are born.

To read the original article, please go to http://www.fastcompany.com/node/1640520/print

Starchitechture to Help Cancer Patients

While the main weapons against cancer are chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and prescription drugs, some feel that the environment in which these treatments are administered should be just as important. 

The Maggie Centers Initiative, a project stemming from the United Kingdom, seeks to turn treatment facilities into naturally lit, aesthetically pleasing buildings that relax the patients and make them feel comfortable throughout an often-uncomfortable process.  The buildings are to be flooded with natural light, with many views of the outdoors, and feel very spacious, eschewing the cramped and dimly lit treatment rooms that patients have had for so long.  The centers operate on what they’ve dubbed “the architectural placebo effect.”

Unfortunately, where there is a good idea, there will always be someone to criticize it, and some feel that the money put towards these architectural projects would serve the public better if it was put into research programs to find new drugs or new equipment.  Some even go so far as to say that these buildings are an excuse to win architecture awards by exploiting cancer.

Having witnessed my mother go through treatment for breast cancer roughly 2 years ago, I can tell you that while the drugs and treatments that she was put on made all the difference in the world, her environment absolutely played a big part as well.  She even said that after she left the treatment room, having spent sometimes 5 hours there at a time, she needed to sit on her sun porch and watch the birds while reading a good book to get her mood back.

The people who started the Maggie Centers Initiative aren’t saying that simply looking outdoors will replace modern medicine as a treatment for cancer.  They just feel that a pleasant atmosphere to undergo treatment in can only help the process and improve the mood of the patients who are there.  As far as I’m concerned, they’re taking a look at the whole picture and finding ways to improve the entire treatment process, and I applaud them for that.

To read the original article, please go to http://www.fastcompany.com/node/1640550/print

Brain Implants to Restore Mental Function in Wounded Soldiers

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, serves as the top research and development agency for the United States Department of Defense.  While some of the technology they develop is created to win wars, a great deal of it is also devoted to those who have fought and come home injured.  DARPA works in conjunction with many companies who specialize in the latest and greatest prosthetic limbs, as well as many other devices to help soldiers with physical disabilities.  Now, they’re working on devices that can help with an injured brain as well.

With traumatic brain injuries affecting one fifth of the soldiers returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, DARPA’s developers have started research projects that utilize optogenetic brain implants that will hopefully be able to control brain cells with pulses of light.  This, in turn, would essentially reroute brain activity.  Despite having damaged areas, a brain fitted with these implants would work normally, in theory.  The implants would monitor signals sent between neurons in the brain and send out light pulses to stimulate other parts of the brain.

DARPA is working on this project in conjunction with Stanford and Brown university with a total grant of about 15 million dollars.  The project will first focus on the brains of mice and rats, and then eventually monkeys.

While the notion of brain control may seem a little scary, the more we learn about how the brain functions, the better.  DARPA hopes that implants like this one will one day be able to tell the brain how to control a prosthetic limb with greater dexterity, hopefully closing the gap between wounded soldier and machine and allowing them to continue leading normal lives.  For soldiers who only experience brain injuries, a system like this may very well erase all negative effects entirely.

To read the original article, please go to http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-05/darpas-brain-implants-would-help-replace-mental-function-wounded-warfighters

Locked in a Box for Mars Study

While budgets and technology aren’t in any shape to allow us to begin manned missions to Mars, scientists still feel the need to plan for the future and want to perform a study to see just what kind of psychological effects that trip would have on the oh-so-very-alone astronauts during their trip.

Essentially, 6 human test subjects will spend 18 months locked in a small steel capsule in Russia, with no one going in or out, and with all communications delayed by 20 seconds to mimic how it would feel to take a trip between Earth and Mars.  The capsule will be split into four compartments that the crew will spend 500 days inside.  There are no windows.  Since they are going to be physically isolated from the rest of the world, all of the necessary equipment and supplies will be stored in the capsule as well.  “The notion is that the sealed environment will simulate some of the human factors that a small crew would face on a real manned mission to Mars, including limited room to move, a tight and unchanging set of colleagues, stress, motivational issues, tests of their ability to follow instructions and so on.”

To make the simulation as realistic as possible, after 250 days the crew will go into a mock landing capsule and execute a simulated landing afterwards while wearing spacesuits. 

The whole mission sounds like a seriously daunting task, one that will create untold amounts of stress in each one of the participants.  While this experiment is begin performed in a very controlled environment for a specific purpose, if one of the mock astronauts loses their cool, they will be allowed out.  However, and while this hasn’t been made clear, it can be assumed that a lot of conversation, along with convincing justifications, will be needed if anyone is to leave the pod before time is up.

Frankly, I’m not sure if I would be able to handle this exercise.  While it sounds simplistic in its design, there are numerous potential agitators that could drive a person crazy as they participate in this experiment.  If my hesitant attitude disqualifies me for future space travel, then I think I’m ok with that.

What about you all?  Would you be able to hold out for 18 months?

To read the original article, please go to http://www.fastcompany.com/node/1644043/print