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In this photo provided by the Two Eagles Balloon Team, Troy Bradley of New Mexico and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia set off from Saga, Japan, shortly before 6:30 a.m. JST Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in their quest to pilot their helium-filled balloon from Japan  to North America and break two major records en route. The attempt will put them on course to break a distance record of 5,208 miles (8,381 kilometers). They also want to break the flight-duration record of 137 hours set in 1978 when Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman made the first trans-Atlantic balloon flight. (AP Photo/Two Eagles Balloon Team, Tsuyoshi Ogushi)

Balloonists set distance record in Pacific flight

Thursday, January 29, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two pilots soaring over the Pacific Ocean made history Thursday, first matching and then surpassing the 5,209-mile official world distance record for human flight in a gas balloon. “There it is! There it is!” shouted team members at the flight’s mission control in Albuquerque as a giant screen showed the helium-filled Two Eagles balloon passing the record set by the Double Eagle V in 1981. The balloon was about 400 miles northwest of San Francisco when it hit the mark. Everyone inside the control room had their smartphones pointed at the screen to document the moment. In a matter of hours, they …

Style Stop: Arden and Tobin Hemingway

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thirteen-year-old Arden Hemingway and her mother, Tobin, were visiting Northampton from New York City when the Style Stop team spotted them on Main Street. The two were in the area to take a look at The Williston Northampton School in Easthampton. Arden was wearing a dress and blazer from J. Crew, Hunter boots …

Bruce Watson’s Slice of Life: Anatomy of a Super Bowl party

Thursday, January 29, 2015

With the Patriots in Super Bowl CCDXXXLIV, local parties will approach record levels of excitement. But not for everyone. There are three types at any Super Bowl party. One third are the Actual Fans — people who can tell you Tom Brady’s shirt size or what Rob Gronkowski’s teammates call him in the shower. You’ll see them blocking the big screen, shouting “Safety …

Mushrooms can be a healthy piece of the Super Bowl spread

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Anybody who has kids will appreciate this milestone. My daughter ate an entire mushroom for the first time the other day! I had roasted it on a baking sheet alongside other veggies, knowing she would likely skip the …

Valley Bounty: Lamb

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lamb Lamb stews are wonderfully rich and warming. Use traditional New England stew fixings like carrots, onions and potatoes, or a mix of Middle Eastern spices, which bring out lamb’s complexity. Tagine, a lamb stew named for the clay pot it is cooked in, makes a fantastic meal …

Oven Chicken Wings

Saturday, January 24, 2015

(Adapted from thekitchen.com) 3 pounds of chicken wings and/or drumettes, the meatier the better 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper ½ cup hot sauce 3 tablespoons butter, melted Blue cheese or ranch dressing, for serving Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet or two with …

What cask beer drinkers know: Cold kills flavor

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Nothing screams American mass-market beer like that big silver “Coors” bullet train. TV spots show it rocketing through a winter blizzard, smashing huge glaciers into ice rubble before steaming into town like the Polar Express for the college …

Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Lou is feeling deflated

Saturday, January 24, 2015

For some unexplained reason, I’ve had a really deflating week. Woke up Monday morning and made English muffins. They came out under-cooked. Made scrambled eggs. They came out too runny. Seems the toaster and stove top were under-pressured. Not enough “psi.” What’s going on? Tuesday was no better. …

California measles outbreak expands to 78 cases; more likely

Friday, January 23, 2015

SANTA ANA, Calif. — The measles outbreak centered in California continues to expand, with officials now confirming 78 cases of the illness in seven states and Mexico. The California Department of Public Health said there are now 68 cases in the state — 48 that have been directly …

Heart surgeon killed at Boston hospital is laid to rest

Friday, January 23, 2015

WELLESLEY — The widow of a cardiac surgeon gunned down at a Boston hospital told hundreds at his funeral Friday he was well liked by patients and it was difficult to believe his death came at the hands of a patient’s son. The service for Dr. Michael Davidson …

Eva Gerstel of Easthampton celebrates 100 years of feminism

Friday, January 23, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — At 100, self-proclaimed feminist Eva Gerstel is not shy about offering her opinion — not that she has ever been. On whether she was excited for her 100th birthday party, scheduled for Saturday: “To tell you …

Style Stop: Corinne Wingard

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Style Stop team caught up with Corinne Wingard, 72, of Agawam inside The Village on Main hair salon. WHAT SHE WAS WEARING: A reversible coat, glass earrings and a scarf from Venice. Her style: I like Soft …

ID: Sharon C. Mehrman

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sharon C. Mehrman is the owner of a one-woman workshop in Florence, where she designs and handcrafts fine furniture. She began her woodworking career handcrafting signs for businesses on Nantucket Island. Mehrman says the things in our lives …