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November 2012

Allan Lichtman has unlocked the secret to counting the vote

Can’t stand to wait another week to know who’s going to be president?     Ask Allan Lichtman.     “My 13 questions will tell you who will claim the popular vote,” says the American University political professor, a Marylander who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006.     His keys have called it right in every election since the middle of the 19th century, when the popular vote was first counted.

Annapolis Summer Garden ­Theatre needs you

Bay Weekly theater reviewers, take notice.     You’ve got your chance — you and everybody else who’s ever said I could do better after seeing a community theater production.     Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre needs directors for all three of the musicals it will stage in the summer of 2012, its 47th season.

If your wellhead was submerged, you’ll need a hose, bleach and bottled water

If you draw your water from a well, Hurricane Sandy may have brought you another chore.     Drilled wells are subject to saltwater and surface water contamination if the wellhead is submerged. If water puddle around your wellhead or saltwater drowned it, you’ll have to purge your well before your water is good to drink.

In Sandy’s wake of wrath, our backyard birds need help.     After days of sudden exposure to wet and cold, birds need to refuel with seed and suet to maintain body temperature and energy.     “First and foremost, people need to get their feeders back up and fill them with fresh seed,” says Julie Curd, owner of Wild Bird Center of Annapolis.

We’re closer to unity on birth control for pets than on who should be president

Anne Arundel County agrees more on spaying and neutering than who the next president should be according the Anne Arundel Community College Center for the Study of Local Issues survey.

Enjoy them at home and at local festivals

Crabs and oysters are the culinary pride of Maryland. As local crab season ends, likely hastened by Hurricane Sandy, the winter oyster harvest has begun, with its variety of oyster celebrations and events.

But storms’ worst tricks give us reason for hope

Sandy was forecast to bring the kind of days Noah knew, with wind, rain and water overwhelming land and livers. Coastal New Jersey and New York sampled a day of floods of biblical proportion. Thank God it wasn’t 40 days.     Chesapeake Country got off easy. Winemaker John Autrey of Huntingtown called Sandy “a wimpy storm.”     Scientific sampling is reaching the same conclusion.

Bug 1: Wax Scale

One of the problems of moving houseplants outdoors during the summer months is that they often become infested with insects. You’ll want to control those bugs before bringing your plants back indoors.     A Bay Weekly reader sent me a sample of Christmas cactus that had been outdoors along with her other houseplants. She wrote that the plant had not been growing and, despite her care, continues to decline. On the five-inch-long piece of stem in the envelope, I counted 12 scale insects.

We may have a week of clean water before Conowingo’s mud plume

We were quite fortunate in avoiding the predicted calamity of Superstorm Sandy. New York and New Jersey did not share our good fortune. The northern winds that blew the whole of the three-day tempest emptied the Bay of water and protected us against the massive storm surge that flooded the coastal areas and created such devastation.

You can make Hugh Grant old, but you can’t make him Asian

A butterfly flaps its wings in 1849 and starts a revolution in a futuristic Korea. Seven stories traverse time and space, interweaving in an overly simplified metaphor for reincarnation. Such is Cloud Atlas, a bloated, visually stunning, poorly acted and frustrating exercise in filmmaking.     The film follows a core group of characters through several lives. The choices they make in each current life affect their next life. They are also bound to meet certain individuals over and over again.