Ten ways to help our planet and your purse

Help give their migration a future

21 years into the culture of sustainable, new Bay times

It’s a shame to let April end with no pickerel

Here’s the right way to till the garden

Bright planets and shooting stars dazzle this week

Out of Battle of the Bands, ­Severna Park teen group is going big

The Anne Arundel County Battle of the Bands means music, which is serious business for Annapolis area youth.     For one Saturday in January — January 25 this year — young music lovers converge to show off their skills in a professional environment, witness their peers’ latest creative efforts and meet fellow music enthusiasts. The top bands of each Anne Arundel County high school play off in the heavily anticipated competition. There are first-, second- and...

Snowstorm memories from long ago bring a real tingle

Sending out school buses to pick up kids at the usual early hour on the slick morning of Friday, January 10, has Anne Arundel and Calvert school administrators groveling and parents howling.     When I was a kid, we’d walk miles to school in the worst weather winter could throw at us.     Okay, I’m exaggerating a generation or two. The only time I walked miles in the worst weather winter could throw at us was to get away from school.   ...

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.     That simple operation involved downloading the updated system from the manufacturer’s Internet site onto a computer, transfering it to a...

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.     Success depends on choosing the right setup. Many systems are on the market, but not all are of equal quality. Beware of those made entirely of chrome-plated steel. They are susceptible to rusting from the fertilizers used for...

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.     Earlier in the week,...

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.     Seasoned director Lois Evans’...

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.     Bad Dates is a one-woman show written by playwright, screenwriter and novelist Theresa Rebeck about Haley Walker, a 40-something single mom and...

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.     On the tail end...

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:...

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...