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These young inventors can make a robot to solve it

Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. Dillon Mandley. Kevin Lin. Everyone knows the first two names. The last two — not yet. In 1980, Jobs and Gates were a couple of 20-somethings working in their garages on what they hoped would be the next big thing. These two icons started in the west; the next two can rise anywhere, maybe even Southern Maryland.

Lily Fisher-Flaherty is the first woman jousting champ in 55 years

Kicking up dirt, a girl and her horse gallop hard through three arches in a dusty field. The girl’s lance, six feet long and chiseled to the point of a needle, is aimed at a ring that may as well be a dust speck.     The girl is Lily Fisher-Flaherty, a 19-year-old college student who lives in Lusby. Her horse is Sunny, a spirited palomino American Warmblood. Together, they are the winners of the 2016 Maryland State Jousting Tournament.

My first days as a senior Peace Corps Volunteer

I have a view of Mount Ararat from my bedroom near Artashat in Armenia. The peak dominates the landscape, flat land that doesn’t see much rain. The mountain, the national icon of Armenia, is now in territory claimed by Turkey, but people here still consider it their own.     Every day in Shady Side, I was awed by the beauty and size of the Bay. In this landlocked country, I look out upon another wonder of the world: Noah’s mountain, the peak where the Ark is said to have run to ground.

Harriet Elizabeth Brown portrait puts a face to the name that helped earn equal pay for teachers of all races

Equal pay for Maryland teachers across the races was a battle quietly fought and won in Calvert County 80 years ago, thanks to the efforts of a young, determined African American teacher, Harriet Elizabeth Brown.     We all know the name Thurgood Marshall, the lawyer who helped her prevail and went on to great things, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Maryland Nurses fought death and despair in WWI France

Amid the horrors of World War I, battlefield nurses were angels of mercy. America’s battered and beleaguered doughboys knew that for certain, and you will, too, after listening to Maryland storyteller Ellouise Schoettler recount Ready to Serve: Unknown Stories of 64 World War I Nurses from Maryland.

Dave Newman catches some 40 games a year in his quest to see one in every Major League stadium

In our affection for America’s iconic trio — baseball, hot dogs and apple pie — we are not all equal. I am fond of baseball. You might well be fonder. Crofton’s Dave Newman is fondest.     Newman was born a baseball fan — specifically a New York Yankee fan. The Brooklyn Dodgers and Giants had fled to California. The Mets had not yet arrived. New York was a Yankee town, and Dave’s a Yankee family.

Photographer Jay Fleming documents life on — and in — the water

Yes, at five-plus pounds, photographer Jay Fleming’s Working the Water makes a beautiful coffee table book. Open it up, and you see it is much more. With breathtaking photos of Chesapeake fisheries and the men and women who work them to earn a living — as the last hunter-gatherers — Fleming takes you on an eye-opening tour of nature and the human spirit from above, under and on the water.

Frank Chiarelli’s walk to the Pacific will take him more than 3,000 miles

Getting the feel of his first pair of shoes five days into a walk across America to raise money and awareness for at-risk youth, Frank Chiarelli passed through Annapolis on May 6.     “It feels like I’ve been doing this for months. That’s how my body feels,” he said of his walk to the Pacific Ocean begun May 1 in the Cape May/Lewes area.     “I have an app,” he says, “that calculates how many steps I’ll walk in each pair of shoes.”

Jeanne Kelly’s Encore Chorale proves music can reverse aging

Silence falls. All eyes are focused on Jeanne Kelly. At her signal, the Encore Chorale bursts into song. Senior citizens one and all, the singers are primed, vibrant and ready for adventure.     “Is that your best?” Kelly asks. “Can you give me more excitement?” Of course they can, and they do; Jeanne Kelly brings out the best in every singer.     But is it true what she says? Can performance singing truly slow down the aging process?

Captain Preston Hartge keeps Smith Bros. tugboats chugging along

Drive down Galesville Road, and everything seems unassuming and in its proper place. The old churches, the auto shop, the town hall, the post office, the country bungalows and older homes, the boats in yards: the ambiance is old-school and peaceful.     At Woodfield Road, a small sign with an arrow points to Smith Bros. but doesn’t say what Smith Bros. does. Drive down a couple of residential blocks until you are head on with Hartge Yacht Yard, and another small Smith Bros. sign and arrow point left.