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May 2013

Can you find Corona Borealis?

Thursday’s new moon is hidden amid the glare of the sun, but it reemerges Friday as a most slender, young crescent that you just might be able to see. You’ll need clear skies, an unobstructed view to the west-northwest and spot-on timing, as this moon appears low against the horizon for 15 minutes at most immediately following sunset.

We examine the man behind the iron suit in this fun, nonsensical action flick

After saving the world from alien invaders with his Avenger pals, billionaire playboy/part-time super-suit inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.: The Avengers) is having trouble sleeping. It seems that a wormhole full of vicious invaders, a brush with death and the enormity of being Iron Man have caught up with the usually unflappable superhero.

Interesting. Very interesting.

In stereotype, the Victorian era is dark and overbearing, peopled with prudish and stodgy citizens. That stereotype gives the required context for Sarah Ruhl’s In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play. The assumption is that the doctor — providing relief for hysteria by using a vibrator on his patients, female and male — is both innovative for Victorian sensibilities and naïve of mental and physical health concerns as we understand them today.

Bluegills give you fight and flavor

Early May is a great time of year. The dogwoods are in full bloom, the scent of flowering lilacs perfume the air, redbuds glow crimson. And one of the greatest sweetwater fish species is, right now, moving into the shallows and picking out a spawning territory to defend.

A Kansas City Barbeque Judge gives Bay Weekly the deets

Is each piece of meat evenly cut? Does it look appetizing? Are the pieces neatly arranged? What kind of garnish did the chef use?     All these questions are answered in the first 30 seconds by Kansas City Barbeque Society judge Jorge Alday, who is judging the Parole Rotary Club’s Naptown barBAYq contest this weekend.     He bases his first score on appearance: a 2 looks inedible, a 9 is perfect.

Who today knows what an undisturbed forest looks like? How many of us get to breathe the healing air in such places?

England has Stonehenge. France has cave paintings. We have national parks.         The parks were a cutting-edge idea when they were born in 1872, with the founding of Yellowstone. With some 2.7 million visitors a year, our 59 national parks are still a big deal.     But how many of us get to visit them? How many of us get to be inspired by the trees that form a green mantle over many of their lands?

Which woodpecker is Woody?

I share my backyard with woodpeckers — lots of them. I’ve got downy, hairy and red-bellied woodpeckers perpetually pecking at my peanut suet. And every morning and evening, a pair of northern flickers drill away at the suet feeders in sync.     Hubby got within 50 feet and shared a few rare moments with a pileated woodpecker drumming on a rotting tree in our front yard. He said it looked just like Woody Woodpecker with his big, bright-red plumage sticking out haphazardly from his head.

Out of anguish, a seed grows to produce beauty

In times of trial, the brave step forward.     Unrest caught hold at Calvert High School a year ago. It divided students into Us and Them.     Into this turmoil stepped a handful of the brave.     At a June assembly to bring the students together, senior E.J. LaGoy spoke up. “Words hurt,” she said. “Stop it! Just stop it!”

Hard Bargain Farm going light years ahead of just green

A living building sounds like something out of a futuristic, sci-fi movie, but it’s closer than you think — 2015 to be exact. The Alice Ferguson Foundation just broke ground for a living building at Hard Bargain Farm in Accokeek.     The Foundation is the first in the region to build a living building and will be fourth in the world to earn the title.     What does it take to create a living building?