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Into gifts that can change lives

Six small ways Chesapeake neighbors are making a better world 

Play Santa in ways that matter

How to sing Messiah for St. James’ sing-along

Coming our way from Kootenai National Forest, Montana

You can catch a fish, but take care not to catch hypothermia

Spring Home and Garden Strategies could change our lives

I welcome the annual return of Bay Weekly’s Spring Home and Garden Strategies.     In this guide, home and garden professionals give us just the sort of expert advice we do-it-yourselfers don’t know — and don’t even know we need to know. We’ve designed it in a handy pull-out-and-keep format so you can use if for months to come.     I’m the guide’s first audience, and as I prepare the tips for publication, I keep thinking...
Dear EarthTalk: I’m getting my roof redone and have heard about solar shingles. Are they available — and are they practical for the Northeast?     –John Denson, Glastonbury, CT Solar shingles are photovoltaic cells designed to look like and integrate with conventional asphalt roof shingles. First commercially available in 2005, solar shingles were much more costly than traditional bolt-on photovoltaic panels, and thus were used mainly by those wanting to go...

Mythical egg deliverer is maybe a hare — or a rabbit

Is the Easter Bunny a cottontail or a snowshoe hare?     Both are native to North America, unlike domesticated rabbits, which are elaborately bred descendents of European wild rabbits.     Hares are larger than rabbits, with bigger ears and feet. They’re born fully furred and ready to run. Their longer back legs and toes are adaptations that provide additional surface area and support for walking on snow. Hence the name snowshoe hare. They also use their...

But it takes science for it to work

Gardening is the most popular of all hobbies. In addition to giving you hours of relaxation, it is good exercise. Gardening forces you to go outside, bringing you closer to nature. Whether you are growing vegetables, flowers or woody plants, gardening provides great satisfaction.     Dorothy Frances Gurney says it all:     The kiss of the sun for pardon;     The song of the birds for mirth;     One is nearer God’s heart in...

Gerard Butler is an army of one in this problematic action flick

Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler: Movie 43) was a beloved guardian of President Asher’s (Aaron Eckhart: Erased) family. When danger struck, his snap decision lead to tragedy and exile from the personal protection detail.     Now in a dead-end job with the Treasury, Banning gets his chance at redemption when a team of North Korean radicals infiltrate the White House — code named Olympus — and take the president hostage. The terrorists wipe out...

See a Congress of courage and passion, theater of vision and great musical entertainment

In 1969, Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards created 1776, a compelling historical musical. (Have those three descriptive words ever before been used together?) Their play depicts the debates, passions and courage it took to craft the Declaration of Independence and start along the path to creating this new country, the United States of America.     1776 won the 1969 Best Musical Tony Award. It is an almost perfect amalgam of strong music, humorous one-liners and passionate...

DNR is planning a trophy ­fishery for specs

The fish hit my Clouser streamer fly as it sank at the end of a long cast. I was waist deep, wading off Thomas Point and had not seen any action that evening. Surprised, I cinched the fish up and had it quickly on the reel. The rascal realized its predicament and began to take drag as it made its first run.     I judged it was a rockfish. But this fish acted differently. There was not a lot of head-shaking, just a firm surging run, first in one direction, then another....

Over just three days, 379 years of Maryland history come to life

On March 25, 1634, voyagers from the ships the Ark and the Dove erected a cross on St. Clement’s Island in the Potomac River and offered prayers for surviving their four-months’ voyage. Thereupon, they took “possession of this Countrey for our Saviour and for our soveraigne Lord the King of England.”     The Piscataway Indians who already lived there likely suggested the colonists go elsewhere, and St. Mary’s City became the seat of Lord Baltimore...

Tiny frogs seldom seen but often heard

Spring has sprung.         Spring peepers are wide awake and calling out loud.     These tiny frogs are among the first to call and breed. Only the males sing. They’re calling for mates.     Competition’s tough.     Females choose a mate by the quality of his call.     You can tell a peeper by a prominent dark X mark on its back.     That is, if you can find one. They...

Brussels sprouts on pizza … Soft-shell crab on an Old Bay waffle

I admit to food biases. Some foods I have no interest in wasting calories on: sweet potatoes (even the trendy fried version), liver and onions (I get nauseous thinking about it) and fois gras (there’s that liver again). So when I was invited to try two new dishes at California Pizza Kitchen at the Westfield Mall, you’ve gotta give me credit for venturing outside of my comfort zone for two of my least favorite foods: Brussels sprouts and beets.     Seasonal and...