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March 2012

Bird and Bear Stamp entries up for review

This year’s Maryland migratory bird stamp and bear stamp hunt bagged 23 entries. Their images are judged this weekend as part of the 23rd Annual Friends of Patuxent Wildlife Art Show and Sale at the National Wildlife Visitor Center in Laurel.     Judging takes three rounds in each competition starting with the bird stamp followed by the bear stamp.     All the entries are on display, and artists have been invited.

An abstract painting sets cast and audience wondering how well you know your friends — and yourself

In 1994, French playwright Yasmina Reza wrote an intellectual comedy about friendship, the foundations upon which it’s built and the walls we erect to preserve it. Three Moliere Awards, one translation and a Tony later, Art entertains  audiences with a message that seems more relevant than ever in this era of cyber friendships.

Here’s why you shouldn’t either

In a state as old as Maryland — 378 years — historic tourism is big business. It’s like shows and shopping in New York, architecture in Chicago and monuments in D.C.     Unless history is your hobby, however, you’re likely to leave Maryland’s many historic sites to the kids, who do them at school. Or save them for visiting friends and family.

Maryland Day offers so much, it takes a full weekend to celebrate it all

Maryland Day is our version of Columbus Day.         On March 25, 1634, voyagers from the ships the Ark and the Dove celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for surviving their long voyage, coming to land safely on a Potomac River island and negotiating a peace accord with the Piscataway Indians.

Sometimes crass is all you need

21 Jump Street is an immature comedy, full of penis references, bodily function humor, comedic violence and drug jokes that appeal to the lowest common denominator.     I laughed through the whole movie.     Sometimes the best humor comes from rude places. But if you dislike strong language and sexual humor, you’ll have the vapors before the 20-minute mark.

In Irish outposts, St. Patrick’s Day means more than green beer

Forty million Americans — about 13 percent of us — trace our roots to Ireland. But on St. Patrick’s Day, everybody’s Irish. We dress up like leprechauns, feast on corn beef and cabbage and drink beer green.     Green beer? How Irish is that?     “We don’t do green beer in Ireland,” says Dublin-born Colm Coyne, general manager of the Irish Channel in Crofton.

Actress Mary Ann Jung breathes life into women’s history

It’s business as usual at the Pasadena Senior Center, until Mary Ann Jung walks in waving a knife.     “Julia Child presents the chicken sisters,” Jung trills in Child’s unmistakable accent. Whipping the coverlet off a table, she reveals raw chickens of several sizes.

Bowie Community Theater earns three Washington area awards

Is it worth your while to invest $20 plus a couple of hours of your time in community theater?         That evaluation is made each year by Washington Area Theatre Community Honors. Three dozen local companies make up WATCH, which reaches beyond the District into suburban and rural Maryland and Virginia. Last year, WATCH members evaluated 127 plays to recognize excellence in 38 categories. In each category, typically five nominees were chosen.

On Leg 4, the Volvo Ocean Racers leave China and head to New Zealand

When we last checked on The Volvo Ocean Race, 13 days from Abu Dhabi to China had ended with a tacking duel that pushed the exhausted crews to their limits. Leg 4 begins in Sanya Bay, homeport last-place boat, and ends in Auckland, New Zealand.

Sharpen your ears: They’re out There quacking, snoring, ­growling and peeping

It’s loud out there in frog land.         Wood frogs, one of the season’s earliest risers, already have a new generation of tadpoles swimming in vernal pools. That’s the March 11 report of Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary volunteer Mark Priest posted on the Sanctuary’s webpage sightings link, Follow the link to see Priest’s short video of half-inch-long wrigglers.