view counter

January 2014

Get help, for free, from techies smarter than you

As soon as I purchased my new skiff some three years ago, I had to have the latest and greatest fish-finder/GPS machine. I got it installed, but once I turned it on, problems followed. The software on my machine had some initial problems that were later corrected. Still, I needed to load a new version of the operating software.

Give plants the right lights, and they’ll grow in any season

Plants don’t like freezing temperatures any more than we do. But many will be perfectly happy to grow indoors, encouraged by fluorescent lights.     Under lights, you can grow plants, including vegetables, up to 10 inches tall.

Libra’s Zubeneschamali is unique

If you’re up before the sun, you can’t miss Venus, which rises in the southeast by 6am. A half-hour later, this Morning Star is ablaze a good 30 degrees above the horizon, brighter than anything but the moon and the coming sun. As the horizon brightens, Venus climbs higher, growing dimmer until blinking out of view by 7:30am. Wednesday morning, January 29, look for Venus just four degrees above a thin, waning crescent moon before dawn.

Is the theft of your story a crime?

In Dignity Players’ long list of morality plays, Collected Stories is the crowning achievement. When a writing student mines her teacher’s private life for material, artistic license crosses the line from inspiration to confiscation. So says acclaimed author Ruth Steiner (played by Carol Cohen) of the transgression of heretofore-beloved student Lisa Morrison (Sarah Wade). Lisa claims she did only what her mentor taught her.

Bad Dates is a good night out

In theater terms, when an actor talks directly to the audience, it’s known as breaking the fourth wall. When Janet Luby does it in Bay Theatre Company’s latest, she’s not so much breaking a wall as she is opening a door. Through that door we join her as she shares her life, her attempts at love and a lot of laughs.

Her

How do I love thee? Siri, count the ways.

People walk the streets talking aloud to their phones, wrapped up in their own electrical worlds. Digital interfaces have nullified human interaction.     Living a quiet life of digital obscurity is Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix: The Master). A ghostwriter of handwritten correspondence for a faceless corporation, he pours over the personal lives of people who would rather play with their phones than write love letters and thank you notes.

Test your knowledge and keep your brain sharp this winter

Lindsey Lohan’s clothing line, called 6126, is named in honor of what actress?     In the early 1930s, this psychologist invented a laboratory apparatus used in the experimental analysis of behavior?     What was the first NBA team to relocate?     If you answered these three out-of-nowhere questions as Marilyn Monroe, B.F. Skinner and the Philadelphia Warriors, you have great potential for the biggest thing in entertainment since karaoke: Trivia.

Calvert Marine Museum adds ­invader to teach about ­climate change

The lionfish invasion of Caribbean and southeastern U.S. is coming our way. When Calvert Marine Museum reopens this spring, a lionfish aquarium will show us a 360-degree view of the spiny, brightly colored invader.     With no natural predators in our part of the world, lionfish are eating up the environs. They consume just about every marine creature in range — more than 70 different types of fish, invertebrates and mollusks — plus the coral reefs supporting tropical marine life.

The big three for this year’s session

Now that we know what a polar vortex is, it’s time to move onto the next lesson: polar opposites. On that subject, this year’s General Assembly will teach you all you need to learn. On the big three environmental issues up for debate, one side’s going to be talking from the South Pole, the other from the North. You’ll be in the middle. To help bring you in from the cold, we offer this primer:

Noxzema comes to The Baltimore Museum of Industry

From COVERGIRL cosmetics to Noxzema, Maryland has a legacy of good skin. For those two boons to ­beauty, we owe thanks to turn-of-the-20th-century Baltimore pharmacist George Bunting. Bunting invented Noxzema to relieve sunburn. Perhaps he was beseeched by clients who failed to factor in the sun’s strength as they sought relief from summer heat on rivers, Bay or oceans.     Who hasn’t used Noxzema? The skin care line with the bracing aroma has become a staple of adolescent medicine cabinets and beauty regimens around the world.