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A trip to Balticon is like cozying up to the bar at a Star Wars cantina

Science fiction fans love technology, so it’s no surprise that they stay in touch with each other using Twitter, Facebook and Skype. But they also enjoy getting together in person. One of the biggest destinations is just around the corner: Balticon, the annual convention of the venerable Baltimore Science Fiction Society.
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Time to Look Back and Ahead

We’re on the verge of big things.     
    Memorial Day weekend opens not only summer but also our hearts.
    Our national habit of making holidays of our holy days gives us fun, on the one hand, and I’m a fan of fun.
    But Memorial Day does an honor we must not forget.
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Buying a Bay license plate or checking line 35 of your state tax form helps the Chesapeake

What’s removed more than 1,000 tons of trash from the Bay, engaged 800,000 students and teachers and planted 500,000 trees and plants along the shoreline?
    Your Bay license plates and income tax check-offs.
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26 ways to get your old stuff into the right hands

Is your house growing tight around the middle? Consider this alphabet soup as your diet to lean down.

Antiques and Art
    These have potential value. Search online, include collector clubs.
    Ebay may be a sales route and offers research leads.
    Antique stores. Call ahead.

Building Materials
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Watch as Venus sinks toward the horizon in the coming weeks

The moon wanes before reaching new phase on the 20th, when its visage is bleached out by the glare of the sun. The moon is still there, right in front of our eyes — and right in front of the sun. For people on the west coast and beyond, this is a special new moon, as it crosses directly in front of the Sun, causing an annular solar eclipse....

Baby warthogs, prairie dog pups, small-clawed otters and zebra foals

Yes, panda infertility is a problem. But while we’re waiting for the experts to solve it, plenty of other babies are looking adorable in our regional zoos.
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It takes heart to run the MRE 0.05K, but the cause is good

It needn’t have been this way.    
    But when the overlords of Annapolis rendered the Eastport Bridge useless in 1998, the good people of Eastport were in a quandary. That was the occasion for the cannon shot heard ’round the upper reaches of Spa Creek. Revolution was at hand.
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As their forebears did 100 years earlier, these parsons come by boat

Methodist ministers used to be called circuit riders, for their calling — and their horse — took them to preach to a circuit of congregations.
    On Solomons Island a century ago, the preacher came by boat, traveling to neighboring watermen’s communities.
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Don’t lead women on, or you’ll turn into a vampire

Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp: The Rum Diary) has two curses in his life: He’s irresistible to women, and he’s a vampire. One might seem more serious than the other, but his callous treatment of chambermaid/witch Angelique (Eva Green: Camelot) is the cause of his undead undoing.
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Fishing dates are balanced to save spawning fish

The trophy rockfish season — which ran April 21 to May 15 — was a good one. The first two weeks saw many big fish taken, lots of them measuring over 40 inches. The last week or so, however, proved a disappointment. Most of the really big fish had by then left our area of the Bay to return to the ocean.

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