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In its 4th year, the Annapolis Irish Festival draws an ever-larger crowd seeking Celtic music and heritage

Two past winners illustrate the magic of make-believe

Creativity comes out to play in Twin Beach Players’ Kids
Playwriting Festival

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

Summer’s darlings, winter’s pests

Fish recipes from the Chesapeake

I made an observation from home today that I thought I’d share. I live in Deale, and looking toward Holland Point in Herring Bay, I saw a towboat near what appeared to be a long rectangular object that I thought was partially sunken or sinking. It looked like one of those freighter shipping containers. Through binoculars, I saw a few people on board. The object had antennas up and it looked like a bilge pump was working, for a small stream of water was coming out the side.   ...

I bet you find your next book here

Are books following the horse and carriage down the road to obsolescence?     Obsolescence is short of extinction. But it’s also short of popular use, which books have been in since not long after Gutenberg invited moveable type, which soon brought printed books to the Western world. Obsolete puts you in museums, where you’re let out for special nostalgic occasions like horse-and-carriage rides around West Annapolis at this weekend’s It’s a Wonderful Life...

Arsenic additive accumulates in poultry, soil and us

It’s not just chicken feed; it’s arsenic as well that fattens chickens in their short seven-week lifespan from egg to market. The chicken we love to eat fried, sautéed, roasted and broiled contains traces of the poisonous element. That’s one finding of a new study commissioned by the Maryland General Assembly and done by the University of Maryland’s Harry R. Hughes Center for Argo-Ecology in Queenstown.     Arsenic in any of several formulas is added to...

Stop them now and save yourself extra work come spring

Have you looked at your garden lately? When you do, don’t be surprised if you see chickweed, henbit, annual bluegrass, cranesbill, etc. starting to create a green carpet. Those weeds are pretty small now, but if you don’t get out there and control them, they will be much larger next spring.     Winter annual weeds tend to sneak up on you. It takes more than hoeing to bring them under control. If you simply hoe them out of the ground and leave them there, they will...

The season ended December 15. No more keepers until April.

Tic, tic, tic: I could feel my two-ounce bucktail jig bouncing lightly across the remnants of the centuries-old oyster bed some 70 feet below. On this windy, mid-December day, even with gloves my hands were aching cold and my fingers growing numb. Then, finally, something below felt different, and I slammed my rod back hard. The tip arced over, hesitated, and my whole rod was pulled down, almost to the gunnel. The drag started to hiss. Fish on!    Fishfinder   ...

Five planets brighten these long nights

All the naked-eye planets decorate our night skies the next couple weeks, with the two brightest coming into view at sunset but all staggered throughout the dark hours.     The sun sets around 4:45 this week. By that time you’re likely to see Jupiter presiding over the eastern skies. Look to the opposite horizon where Venus blazes even brighter in the wake of the setting sun. Venus sets within two hours of the sun. Jupiter, on the other hand, shines through much of the...

Stay home with the kids instead of seeing this waste of celluloid

The Sitter is the kind of movie reviewers hate: It’s so tedious, lazy and humorless that it’s nearly impossible to mock.     Nearly.     In the last of his pre-weight-loss movies, Jonah Hill (Moneyball) plays Noah, a college dropout content to live off his barely-getting-by mother. He’s in a fake relationship with Marisa (Ari Graynor: Ten Year), who’s so obsessed with her ex that she uses Noah like a pudgy sex toy. Noah volunteers to...

Answer that December call with the Parade of Lights and the Volvo Ocean Race

Like you, we’re playing carols, stringing lights and decorating the Christmas tree. (Practicing what the Bay Gardener preaches, we sawed a fire-safe Canaan fir at his Upakrik Farm, plunged it into a bucket of 100-degree water and stored it in the shade before it came inside.)     The holidays are a time we savor. They bring us into the universe, husband Bill Lambrecht suggested the other day, as we counted the homes signaling their welcome to the season in codes of colored...

Volunteers take flight each year so that isolated Tangier Island has a green Christmas

The miracle of flight has long been Santa’s secret to guaranteed overnight delivery, but sometimes the reindeer need a break. During the pre-Christmas rush they’re in demand everywhere, including some pretty remote locales. So how does the big guy make a day trip to a place like Tangier Island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, a place where even the closest landlubbers depend on ferries to make the 12-mile crossing?     The answer is lots of planning and...

The Volvo Ocean Race is back on the water

The machines are scary sharp, the crews wear bright and sexy clothing and the thrills and spills will keep you coming back for your fear-factor fix.     That’s sailing we’re talking about, not Grand Prix auto racing.     While we await Christmas and winter, one of the biggest shows in the world is playing out. So take a break from holiday madness for a turn on the water.     Follow the racers round the world at www.volvooceanrace.com...