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How many planets can you spot?

The waxing crescent moon and Mercury appear low in the west-southwest after sunset Thursday. While the moon is easy to spot, Mercury is 10 degrees lower, buried amid twilight’s glow. Your chance to catch the innermost planet hinges between its own setting, around 6:45, and the sun’s glare, which doesn’t give way to full darkness until 7pm. Scanning the horizon with a pair of binoculars will help....

There’s a dark side to surgically implanted medical devices

“Watchdogs Want More Oversight of Artificial Knees and Hips.”
    So read the February 21 headline from Maryland News Connection, a startup statewide news service, leading us to wonder what kind of watchdogs they were talking about.
    We should have taken the story seriously, but we couldn’t get beyond the headline.
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These contests need writers

You have a story to tell. It’s the image that stays with you, whether you want it to or not. It’s that anecdote you tell at parties that makes people say, you ought to write that down.
    Your story could be a winner in more ways than one. Maryland is fertile ground for budding authors, and writing contests abound.  
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Love means never having to say you’re sorry about illegal surveillance

CIA agents Tuck (Tom Hardy: Warrior) and FDR (Chris Pine: Unstoppable) are top agents assigned to take down German terrorist brothers. The job goes bad, terrorist Heinrich (Til Schweiger: New Year’s Eve) vows revenge and the two agents are grounded in the Los Angeles field office.
    What do bored agents do when they can’t wear suits and shoot up nightclubs?
    They look for love in this crazy modern world.
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From keeping to ordering to planting

Last year’s crop of onions was great. It was a bumper crop and should have supplied the family with fresh onions through March and into April as the previous year’s crop. However, due to the early sprouting and a disease called neck rot, we finished eating the last onion shortly after Thanksgiving. Having never experienced this problem before, I decided to investigate the cause.
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Teen Ania Kelly knows how to handle herself in the big show

At 16, Ania Kelly has already mastered the art of the leash. The Dunkirk teen took top prize in the Junior Showmanship competition at this year’s 136th Westminster Dog Show, pairing with her English cocker spaniel Wizard to best over 100 competitors.
    A five-time veteran of Westminster, Kelly is a third-generation handler.
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If you say no new taxes, what are you willing to give up?

Where’s the money coming from?    
    If you haven’t asked that question this week, you’re in the 99 percent.
    And here come Uncle Sam and Uncle Peter, reminding us that tax day is just around the corner.
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But proposed registration increases need tweaking

Fishing and boating on Chesapeake Bay are among Maryland’s great attractions. But you’ve got to pay to play.
    The list of what needs doing is long and constant:

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When we last checked on The Volvo Ocean Race, the 15-ton, 70-foot-long boats were safely in Abu Dhabi — after hopping a stealth freighter to avoid pirates in the Indian Ocean. Leg 3 begins with the usual in-port race in Abu Dhabi, home of the boat in second-to-last place, and continues to Sanya, China, home of the boat in last place.

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Scary forces fight for souls, all in elegant bodies

A tonic to warm up the blood would do good in these heavy days of Pisces, where we’re stuck till the first day of spring. You’ll find it at Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s double feature, The Firebird and The Scarlet Letter, this weekend only at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.
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