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Plant scientist Bert Drake warns that in Earth’s changing climate, plants are odds-on winners. It doesn’t look so good for us.

Canine Companions for Independence are half dog, half angel

Alana Johnson: In her own words

A higher price than we’ll like paying

The big fish are here, with anglers on their tails

Otherwise, you’re planting trouble

Teachers draw the lines

Lineage, the new year’s first show at the ArtWorks@7th Gallery in North Beach, is telling secrets out of school.     Its painters, photographers and potters are the Southern High School art teachers, joining forces in their first faculty-only show.     On opening day, Southern High School students and alumni swelled attendance. To see their teachers’ other lives, National Art Honor Society vice president Mary Watts joined alumni Cat Allen and Tyler...

Donald Sheckells: Stuck on oystering

If oystering has been your life for more than 40 years, what do you do when age catches up with you?     If you’re Donald Sheckells, you’re still working.     The Shady Side waterman no longer braves winter on the water to harvest oysters. But he’s still shucking and selling them.     Oystering has been his life’s work. So he’s stayed with it in all weathers, from gentle Indian summers to cold, wind-driven, rainy days...

Even fur coats can’t keep pets warm

Baby, it’s cold outside. These record low temperatures are hard on all of us, people and pets. Puppies, kittens and shorthaired animals are especially vulnerable in cold weather.     Keep your pets inside except for quick bathroom breaks. Both dogs and cats can get frostbite. Ears, tails and footpads are most susceptible.     Outdoor cats may seek shelter near warm car engines and sleep under the hoods. When the engine starts, the fan belt can injure or...

Four SEALs fight for their lives in this gripping action film

Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg: 2 Guns), Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch: Savages), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch: Bonnie and Clyde) and Matt Axelson (Ben Foster: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) are proud frogmen. They run long distances at great speeds, push their bodies to their limit for fun and take deadly assignments as part of the job.     The latest mission should be an easy one. Their task is to scout a village in the woods of Afghanistan, positively identify a...

But learn their tastes, and they’ll give you flowers

Are your African violets blooming?         If not, read on to learn why and what you can do to bring out the flowers.     African violets’ long-standing popularity grows from lush foliage and their habit of winter flowering. The plants are challenging, but not more than many in-home gardeners can manage. Even propagation is possible with a little knowledge on your part.     African violets are shade-loving plants whose leaves...

That’s the closest you can get to fishing when winter howls

The 10-day weather forecast calls for wind and consistently low temperatures, occasionally a bit of rain and clouds. Not the kind of outlook that lifts your spirits, unless you’re a waterfowler. I hadn’t joined a hunt club this season, so that didn’t include me.     Worse yet, I had chores on my conscience. I had cleaned most of my fishing tackle late in November — only to need it again for early December’s last-minute rockfish bite. So half of my...

A recent solar flare could present Northern Lights to Southerners

A powerful solar flare on January 7 launched a barrage of plasm our way, which has the chance of producing auroras at much lower latitudes than usual. Scientists expect the activity to begin before dawn Thursday, January 9, which is too late to help given this issue’s release that day. But solar astronomers don’t rule out more blasts to come, as this solar flare, technically called a coronal mass ejection, was caused by an eruption from a massive and very active sunspot, AR1944,...

The scoop on this year’s General Assembly

For reliable sources, you can’t do better than Thomas V. ‘Mike’ Miller. The 27-year president of the Maryland Senate knows the inside story of pretty much everything that’s happened in Maryland politics for the last 40 years. Nor is his knowledge limited to the past. If anybody can predict the future, he can. He is — and he’ll tell you so — the man who says what goes where and what goes nowhere in the Maryland Senate.     Here’s...

Meet Secret Life of Bees author Sue Monk Kidd … at Sam’s Club

Sue Monk Kidd, author of the bestselling novel The Secret Life of Bees, is coming to Annapolis.     She’s selling and signing her newest book, The Invention of Wings, not at familiar book haunts but at Sam’s Club, a newcomer in author appearances.     Released in hardback this week, The Invention of Wings is a tale of two young women growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 1800s. Sarah is the well-to-do daughter of a respected judge,...

First-time candidate Mitchelle Stephenson hopes to put her people skills, knowledge of the issues and local contacts to work for voters

You’re more likely to growl your revenge at a politician than kick a dog. Dogs have got a vast grassroots constituency rooting for them. Politicians not so much. On preferential polls, politicians rank below dog poop.     So why would you want such a job?     This election year, Bay Weekly is asking that question of politicians of various stripes. Among them: first timers, try-a-second-timers and winners turned losers trying again.     First...