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All kinds of surprising things expire — car seats, makeup, fire extinguishers, bike helmets, bug spray. How about life jackets?     Yes and no, depending on the type of life jacket and how much wear it has.

Beekeepers know it takes a healthy Earth to build a healthy hive

Spending your free time with thousands of stinging insects may seem odd. But love is a funny thing, and passion arises unbidden from unlikely sources.     Across Bay Country, devotees of the humble honeybee lovingly tend their hives and work to help them thrive. At the same time, beekeepers are caught up in an impassioned fight to protect bees.

Goshen Farm, powered by grassroots

“The grassroots is the source of power. With it you can do anything,” wrote Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson of the wattage behind his bright idea.     Is it shining still?     Take an Earth Day No. 47 visit to Goshen Farm, and you’ll see the light.     From the grassroots, a community rose to save the last Colonial-era farm on the Broadneck Peninsula. Its work has created a hidden oasis of 22 undeveloped acres, surrounded by Cape St. Claire and Walnut Ridge on the Broadneck Peninsula.

He and Tom Sawyer invite you on five weeks of adventures

The rumor of Mark Twain’s death has apparently been very greatly exaggerated. For the legendary American storyteller, born as Samuel Clemens in 1835 in Florida, Mo., is paying Annapolis a second visit — 109 years after his first and 106 years after his death on April 21, 1910.     Maryland First Lady Emma Nicodemus Warfield, though reportedly a shy woman, must have been persuasive to lure the then-septuagenarian, battered by loss, back to the lecture circuit in 1907. How much more persuasive must be Deborah Wood to bring back a 181-year-old.

Demystifying that red helicopter

You don’t have to have been sobered by the movie Eye in the Sky to know that the airspace between us and the constellations is getting more traffic.     What’s up there, you wonder?     For that red-and-white helicopter you’ll see hovering above utility lines this spring, here’s the answer.

Will you drive cancer patients to treatment?

If you, a friend or a loved one has battled cancer, you know that getting to and from treatment adds one more challenge. The American Cancer Society program Road to Recovery helps overcome that one. Last year, across the nation volunteer drivers used their cars to give 341,000 free rides to patients.     Will you volunteer to help provide transportation for people in the greater Annapolis and Chesapeake Bay area? Schedules are flexible, and your gift of a lift puts patients on the road to recovery.

STEM program combines ­engineering and fun

Hallie Zlokovitz dips her fingers into a tub of sticky, greasy toilet ring wax and stuffs it into what looks like a film container. At the next table, Emily Ernst has pushed her sleeves up above her colorful bracelets so that she doesn’t get the wax on them. Kathryn Willhite takes sandpaper to the motors that power her Sea-3P0 model.

Rivers and creeks need floodplains to absorb and trap runoff

If you’ve ever biked or driven down Muddy Creek Road in Edgewater, you may have caught a glimpse of its namesake: a small stream called Muddy Creek, roughly half a mile south of Mill Swamp Road.

School-age artists wanted to paint, draw and win prizes

Horses hold a special place in both the American heart and American art.     Though not native to our continent, horses resonated with the great painters of the early American West — George Catlin, Karl Wimer and Frederick Remington — as symbols of primal power. Look in many middle schoolers’ notebooks or any art gallery, and you’ll see the tradition continues.

Space America Museum director turns his focus to film thriller

A murder at a Department of Defense facility and the theft of top secret files leads to the discovery of a dangerous spy organization operating in our nation’s capitol.     Such is the plot of Fatal Deception, The Archuleta Files, a film written by Alan Hayes, of Owings, who also heads the production company, Spaceman Productions LLC.     Hayes is best known in Calvert County as the director of the Space America Museum in Prince Frederick.