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August 2013

Beautiful execution of a half-baked idea

In the year 2154, the world is in a sorry state. Overpopulated, polluted and desperately poor, the 99 percent toil in sweatshops or resort to crime. Brutal robots keep the people in their place. The lucky one percent lives in Elysium, a space station floating above the ruined planet, where people are healthy, homes gorgeous and creature comforts abundant. Understandably, everyone on Earth wants to get to Elysium. The elite are equally determined to keep the riffraff out of their paradise.


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Eastern Tiger Swallowtails have their day

A butterfly or two is an everyday pleasure.     A dozen or more, a sign you’ve planted well, raising a native garden of plants that bloom in sequence so emergent broods find the food they need to survive.     But an atmosphere thick with butterflies, bushes shimmering with butterflies: What is that?     The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail irruption of summer 2013, according to reports from throughout Chesapeake Country.

Dee of St. Mary’s is your one chance on the Western Shore

Shanghaied into labor, two able-bodied passengers grapple a stout line hand over hand to hoist the 2,000-square-foot Dacron mainsail of the skipjack Dee of St. Mary’s up her 72-foot tree-trunk mast. Then First Mate John Fulchiron crawls out on the 19-foot bowsprit to raise the smaller jib. And off Dee goes.

Marion Keenly Carr: 1920-2013

Marion Keenly Carr, my mother, died on July 30, 2013.     She lived a classy life. And she died a classy death.     She was a link to the old America, but she was surprisingly aware, even hip.     Ronnie was an elegant woman — perfect hair, nice earrings, beautiful clothes, lipstick and makeup — with a sharp mind and a keen sense of humor who had more friends than anyone I know.

That’s a job for the Green Team

The World Biggest Crab Feast didn’t make the world’s biggest mess this year.     Some 4,500 pounds of food scraps — about one-quarter of the food waste produced by the massive feast — will turn into compost instead of hogging precious landfill space.

Democratic women wanted to run for office

Blame it on the boys.         In Anne Arundel and Calvert counties, more men than women are making political decisions.     Four men to one woman govern on Calvert County’s Board of Commissioners. Anne Arundel got a woman, Laura Neuman, by appointment, but in the last election, not a single woman won a voice in local government.

A sweet ending to Maryland Buy Local

You ate all your locally raised vegetables, fruits, eggs and meat every day during Maryland Buy Local Week.     Now you can have dessert.     Naturally, it’s Maryland made, from the farmer to the chef to you.     At Governor Martin O’Malley’s sixth annual Buy Local Cookout, the sweetest thing on the menu was Chef Douglas Wetzel’s Gertrude’s Charolettetown Farm Ricotta Doughnuts with Peach Caramel Sauce.

With up to 100 meteors an hour, don’t miss the Perseids

This year’s Perseid meteor shower peaks late Sunday and Monday nights. And with the moon just a few days past new phase and setting in the early evening, the Perseids are worth staying up late or waking before the sun.     The Perseids are one of the great meteor showers of the year, and this year the International Meteor Organization predicts up to 100 an hour at the peak.

How to grow a garden to suit many tastes

Quite a few plants love acid soils. Andromeda, azaleas, blueberries, leucothoe, mountain laurel and rhododendrons, bald and pond cypress, deciduous hollies, false heather, heather, Japanese hollies, mountain silverbell, oaks, partridge berry and sour gum love acid soils.     Such plants demand soil with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5.