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If there be spirits, now’s the time to find them

Al ­DeCesaris is running down the East Coast for Sturge-Weber syndrome

The Volvo Ocean Race is on its round-the-world blitz again

7 million Books for International Goodwill

While the wind blows, I’m ­getting a handle on things

Mother and daughter walk down this aisle together

Each graduation is an epic, bursting with stories of human aspiration, frustration, perseverance and sweat. Here are two, intertwined.     Dawn Rasmussen and her daughter Courtney Stewart shared the Anne Arundel Community College stage on May 24. At 19 and just two years out of high school, Courtney had the easier journey to commencement, with her mother and grandmother pushing and cheering her all the way.     At 45, Dawn, a single mother of three, walked a...

To stop emerald ash borers, you’ve got to think like a bug

To stop a thief, you’ve got to think like a thief. To stop a bug, you’ve got to get more basic.     That’s what Maryland Department of Agriculture has learned in its 10-year effort to stop the inexorable march of the emerald ash borer.     In the early years of the 21st century, Agrilus planipennis escaped from China, likely stowed away in a pallet in the hull of a cargo ship bound for the Great Lakes. Since then, the insect has gnawed its way...

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.     Every Memorial Day weekend for 46 years, Balticon has hosted the luminaries of science fiction: Isaac Asimov, Neil Gaiman, Anne McCaffrey, Ben Bova...

Come June, we’ll be in fishing heaven

The rockfish spawn is just about finished. The big migratory female rockfish have already vacated our waters to return to their wanderings along the Atlantic Coast. Migratory males (usually smaller than the females), remained in the spawning headwaters for the duration and are now forming up and leaving.     Over the last week, all of the rockfish that ended up on our cleaning table were male, measuring 25 to 33 inches. Males can be identified by two large, soft white organs,...

For a stronger lawn, keep the height at 3 or 4 inches

For years I have recommended cutting fescue and bluegrass lawns to a height no less than three inches, even better four inches, for a stronger, weed-free lawn. Many people object to this height and cannot understand why I insist. The answer is simple.     Consider each blade of grass a factory. The bigger the factory, the greater the production. A tall blade of grass is capable of producing more food to feed the roots through photosynthesis than a short blade of grass. Tall...

How many stars can you find in the Beehive Cluster?

Thursday the crescent moon appears high in the south at sunset, forming a line with the Gemini twins Pollux and Castor above. The three are still aligned Friday, but this time the moon is much farther below the two planets — closer actually to Cancer, the dimmest of the zodiac’s 13 constellations.     The crab appears as an upside-down Y, its extended pinchers the letter’s arms. Friday’s moon is 10 degrees to the east of the point where the claws meet the...

Remember: Running away to exotic lands fixes all your problems

When seven British retirees find that life didn’t work out the way they expected in stodgy England, they hightail it to India, where they assume they’ll live out their golden years in some Victorian-colonialist dream.     What they get is a decaying hotel, food that charges the digestive tract without mercy and a culture shock that there are, gasp, Indians living in India.     It’s easy to pick apart The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for its...

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     Donate new, surplus and salvaged supplies and fixtures. Pick-up available.     Community Forklift, Edmonston, 301-...

Sorting out our stuff takes many more days

The move in Bay Weekly’s future is an 800-pound gorilla making a big mess in the here and now.     1629 Forest Drive is still our office, and will be until Tuesday, May 29. We’re doing business here, and putting out the paper as we’ve done every week for 19 years. At the same time, we’re letting go, demolishing the space we’ve worked in since December, 2007.     We’re only moving across the street, literally, but that doesn...

Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race takes the sailors 5,000 miles from Brazil to Miami

When we last checked on The Volvo Ocean Race, the racers had taken a wild ride from New Zealand across the South Pacific and around South America to Brazil. On a stormy Saturday in Itajaí, Brazil, French team Groupama won its first in-port race. Telefónica led all the way — until rounding the wrong mark near the end.     Team Puma finished third in port, but the Americans led the race to Miami on the 4,800-mile leg from Brazil. Then the fleet separated laterally over a...