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March 2011

Spring is days away, but the stars of winter still rule the heavens

Thursday as the sun sets around 6:10, the waxing moon glows high in the west. Look just a few degrees below this smiling crescent for glimmers from the Pleiades star cluster. With clear dark skies you might see six of these distant lights, but with the moon’s glow you’ll have an easier time with binoculars, which should reveal far more stars. Shaped like a small dipper, the Pleiades cluster fits within a pair of binocular’s field of view, about 5 degrees.

Will this relationship go to the dogs?

You’ve probably heard of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, the assumption that anyone can be linked to the actor through six steps … like my sister worked for a man whose wife is the third cousin of Bacon’s hairdresser.     We can go one better with Six Degrees of GCH Foxcliffe Hickory Wind.     Who?

Timber!

On a recent blustery day, a thunderous crack and immediate darkness in the kitchen alerted me to a wayward limb obstructing the power lines.     Dangling from our power lines and blocking our road was the top half of a neighbor’s pine tree.     We should call someone, the gathering of alarmed neighbors agreed.     Who do you call when a tree takes a swan dive onto a public road?

Do you love the 1980s? Then skip this movie.

Poor Matt Franklin (Topher Grace: Predators) is having a bummer of a year. After graduating from MIT, Matt decides to forgo a career working for the corporate machine. Instead, he works at the mall’s Suncoast Video — which is a corporation, but don’t tell Matt — and makes plans for his future.
Dear Bay Weekly:     My advice concerning the movie place and time listings goes as such: As a longtime moviegoer, I have always called the theater to confirm that they are actually showing the flick and the show times.  It is only fair to surmise that between the paper’s print and publication time the theater manager may have made changes. Bay Weekly does indicate that in the clause Showings and times subject to change.     I, for one, appreciate the theater information and hope that Bay Weekly continues to print the listings.
Dear Bay Weekly:

Six Chesapeake volunteers tell how the 50-year-old Peace Corps changed their lives

Walking through Gaziantep, Turkey, meant keeping an eye on any young man walking toward me. At the instant he was about to bump me, I did a quick sidestep. In that conservative eastern country 45 years ago, this was nothing to worry about: just a young man’s trick. My sidestep was one small adjustment Peace Corps volunteers make to live by the rules of a foreign culture.

Annual festival set for May 21, 22

Sarah Petska has already got the blues, though her festival doesn’t start until May 21. In preparing for The Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival’s 10th anniversary, the event coordinator has been putting in long hours.

So keep pushing on

“Move on up,” Curtis Mayfield exhorts from my iPod, urging me to stack up sweaty minutes on the elliptical trainer. “Your dream is your only scheme, so keep on pushing.”     An hour later at Bay Weekly, I see what the R&B singer, who died in 2009, is talking about. News of hundreds of dreams pushed into reality cross my desk every day. You read about many such schemes each week in our pages.

With Chesapeake Bay the striped bass nursery of the Atlantic, our actions have an impact far beyond Maryland shores

Jerome Collier of Severna Park has initiated an online petition (http://www.petitiononline.com/yrrejmaj) to halt the use of gill nets. Collier says his goal is not to stop commercial fishing but to urge Maryland Department of Natural Resources to shift this rockfish allocation to a more manageable method of harvesting.