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Turning a pop phenomenon into challenging life lessons

Highway medians become home to the birds, bees, butterflies

My guests were not who I expected

Billed as a smart and energetic musical comedy with a pop rock score and immensely likable story, this show delivers

A waterspout may get you if you don’t watch out

Reflections on heroes and superheroes

Ravens and Orioles watch out; Maryland’s going wild over peregrines

Fifty years ago, peregrine falcons were nearly eradicated from the Eastern United States due to the pesticide DDT. Today, they are riding high — literally — on the 33rd story of the TransAmerica building in Baltimore.     In 1977 a falcon was released at the Edgewood Arsenal as part of the Peregrine Fund’s captive breeding effort. Scarlett, as she was named, made her home at the then-United States Fidelity and Guaranty building at 100 Light Street in downtown...

Make a bed or make way for stalks now pushing up

Time to turn your attention to asparagus. One of spring’s earliest crops, asparagus is typically ready for cutting in Maryland between April 25 and June 15.     If your bed is already planted, it needs prepping. Winter weeds have most likely covered the beds, and the old asparagus stems are still sticking above ground. While the soil is still cool, asparagus roots are not yet energized. As soon as the soil dries sufficiently so it will not clump on the hoe or tiller,...

With white and yellow perch running, you want a rig that works

Casting my rig up underneath the big tree leaning out from the opposite bank of the river, I paused to give my lures time to settle near the bottom. I then began a slow retrieve, starting with a small twitch. Detecting a sudden resistance, I set the hook, and my rod tip surged down. Fish on!     Actually there were two fish on. The occasion marked my discovery of a new springtime yellow perch hangout, one that would deliver big fish reliably over the next several seasons....

Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

To make a film in the Fast & Furious franchise you need three things: Flashy cars, hulking biceps lathered in baby oil and heart-pounding action sequences. What you don’t need are actors or plot.     Furious 7 keeps this tradition alive with a film so filled with screeching tires, machismo and surprising sentiment it almost distracts you from the abysmal performance of the lead and ridiculous plot.     In a London hospital, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham:...

Renewal is the irresistible urge of spring, reaching from the ground up into our homes and hearts.    
    It’s time to make some changes. But unless you bring home some new ideas, you’ll be recycling the same old stuff.    
    In the nick of time, here’s Bay Weekly’s 2015 Home and Garden Guide, bringing you 28 partners to inspire and assist your renewal.


All the Tools Your Inner Artist Needs Are you a DIY sort of person? Do you need supplies and inspiration for your creative projects?     Art Things, Inc. in West Annapolis is a place you should explore.     Since 1966, the friendly and knowledgeable staff has been helping locals choose what they need from the amazing inventory of quality tools and materials at Art Things — from fabric painting to screen printing, from gold leaf to handmade papers,...

To buy the right bulb, you need to be an engineer

In the electrical department of a local big box home improvement store, I couldn’t help but overhear a woman mumbling, “When did things become so complicated?” I drifted in the other direction to avoid the drama.     Then I realized she wasn’t talking about her love life. She was trying to buy a light bulb. There were no sales people in sight. I’m not sure if I was motivated by human kindness, ­chivalry or the need to show off my knowledge from...

Sometimes, we could have used an expert

In my early memory, mother is tearing down a wall, a sledgehammer shattering the plaster and lathing. One of us, I don’t remember which, stepped on a nail and had to have a tetanus shot. As mother struck her blows, my father may well have been telling her a story. That was the role she sweetly assigned him when they shared a job.     If there was a job that needed doing, Mother was the woman to do it, whether or not she knew how.     Can you see where this...

Intimate setting, top-notch acting, taut direction and high production values bring this classic to life

For this classic, less is more.      The Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s production of Jane Austen’s first novel, Sense and Sensibility, uses a script nicely streamlined and adapted to the stage by Jon Jory, whose versions of other classics like Pride and Prejudice the company has presented over its brief history. As impressive as the script’s fidelity to the novel is Annapolis Shakespeare’s confidence in its ability to tell a complex story with nary...

Truth doesn’t matter if you yell loud enough

Who do you trust? When experts debate on television an issue like climate change, do you believe that both are qualified?     Most often, the debaters are experts in speaking, not science.     It turns out that the news is just another TV show. Lively debate, doubt and fear-mongering make for great ratings. There is little incentive to seek out facts when bread and circuses bring in money and viewers.     In 2004, science historian Naomi Oreskes...

“We want Annapolis to be known as the best city for sailing in the world.”

The National Sailing Hall of Fame is finally set to launch its next phase, thanks to a $250,000 donation from the Merrill Family Foundation, run by the three children of the late Capital and Washingtonian publisher Philip Merrill.     “This comes from two things: our love of sailing and our love of Annapolis,” Cathy Merrill Williams said.     “We want Annapolis to be known as the best city for sailing in the world,” she said. “...