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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

JJ Abrams writes a love note to Stephen Spielberg with aliens, explosions and boyish wonder

Did you ever wonder what would have happened if ET had been found by the government instead of that adorable moppet Elliott?     When extraterrestrials don’t get to phone home, they get mightily pissed, according to JJ Abrams’ (Star Trek) new film Super 8. Less an original monster movie than a homage to Stephen Spielberg’s ET and works of the 1970s and ‘80s, Abrams gets away with the tribute by keeping his writing solid and his cast of characters...

Nature Books for All Ages

It’s official: On June 21 — three weeks into the month proclaimed by Gov. Martin O’Malley as Great Outdoors Month — the solstice turned spring into summer. To seize the summer season, Bay Weekly peers into books about the great outdoors.   Beyond the Hundredth Meridian read by Steve Carr     John Wesley Powell was one of the most important Americans who ever lived, yet most folks have never heard of him, writes Bay Weekly columnist, outdoorsman and...
Summer Reading Clubs at Anne Arundel and Calvert county public libraries give you ideas, company and rewards for summer reading. At every branch, clubs start this week for children, teens, families and adults. Each age group reads for prizes as well as pleasure. Anne Arundel County Public Library     Kid readers find book events as well new books each week at the library. Schools with 25 percent participation compete to win the Chesapeake Cup: www.aacpl.net/src11/kids.html....

Take children to the outdoors with these authors who evoke the magic and mystery of the natural world.

For wonder-filled, read-aloud picture books, look for author Jane Yolen. Her Caldecott-winning father-daughter tale, Owl Moon, should not be missed: “When you go owling, you don’t need words or warm or anything but hope.”     Also look for Sacred Places, poems and paintings on 12 magical spots around the world; and Ring of Earth, a child’s book of seasons told through animal-voiced poems.     Local D.C. author Lynne Cherry’s...

For those of Sinatra’s generation, this is a memory walk. For those younger, My Way could make some new Sinatra fans.

Tribute bands of performers impersonating famous artists are in vogue. My Way, now playing at Infinity Theatre, is subtitled “A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra.” But this show is intended as a genuine tribute, not merely an impersonation of Ol’ Blue Eyes. For that, be grateful because it is much more, and it reaches loftier goals.     Four professional singer/actors (all members of Actors’ Equity) take Sinatra songs sung thematically and bring them to...

They’re the best fish around, and this year they’re about the only fish around

The perch I’d hooked stayed deep, which is always a good sign. Big whites (which are mostly black) are reluctant to approach the surface in a battle. The longer it takes to get a glimpse of a whitey on the end of your line, the bigger it usually is. The scrapper I had on was giving all the signs of being a good one. Fishfinder     Look to the Eastern Shore from Love Point and south for the better bite on rockfish. Chumming with ground menhaden and fishing cut bait back...

For fall flowering, first divide, then prune

If you purchased hardy flowering chrysanthemums for your garden last fall, most likely they have survived the winter, and the clumps are producing multiple stems. What was one plant last fall is now a plant with five to 15 stems originating from the stump. Some varieties of chrysanthemums produce from the root system, while other varieties produce multiple stems from above ground.     Get down on your hands and knees to examine the base of the plant. In the Garden this Week...

Can you see the Milky Way?

A week after solstice, the 28th marks the latest sunset of the year, at 44 seconds past 8:35. And while a few bright lights will pierce the glare of twilight, it isn’t until nearly 10pm that the sky truly darkens and the stars start to shine.     Saturn is likely to be the first object you see, high in the southwest at sunset. High above it is the amber glow of Arcturus, the brightest star visible. Trailing 15 degrees behind Saturn is Spica, a bit dimmer and blue compared...

Five Smithsonian cheetah cubs thriving

For five cheetah cubs born May 28 at the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., the first doctor’s visit was a house call.     In mid-June, Smithsonian biologists spent a few minutes examining the two-pound furballs — and happily reported all five cubs to be healthy and active.     “When I was weighing the last cub, he was being a very tough little guy,” said Adrienne Crosier, cheetah biologist. “We...

Southern High School artists will paint you a wall to proclaim it

When it comes to wearing your heart on your sleeve, Muddy Creek Animal Hospital, in the rural crossroads known as West River, has reached a new high. The artists of Southern High School have splashed a celebration of the Southern Anne Arundel environment — from Bay to wetlands to farm fields — onto the vet clinic’s 25-foot-high exterior wall.     The evocative mural realizes a long-held dream for Grant Nisson, whose veterinarian “family practice”...