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However you play it, natural gas export is a high stakes game

Have fun even with a sizzling sun

An American in Annapolis

Our flowering gardens are butterfly way-stations

Blue crabs at quarter-century low

Lesson 1: From the ground up

2nd Star Productions’ Cinderella Enchanted

2nd Star Production’s Cinderella is keeping up the tradition. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical adaptation of the fairy tale has been delighting audiences of all ages for over 50 years. This Cinderella, playing for the next four weekends at the Bowie Playhouse, is so enrapturing that I found myself scribbling hearts instead of stars to mark the highlights. Brilliant attention to detail, particularly in Act I, distinguishes a classic that, in less capable hands, might run on...

Meet the newest winner of the Francis R. Gouin Undergraduate Research Grant

Sarah Zastrow, the 2011 recipient of the Francis R. Gouin Undergraduate Research Grant, is a senior at the University of Maryland Plant Science department. Sarah will be working on a very interesting project comparing the rejuvenation of a forest destroyed by a tornado to the rejuvenation of a similar forest harvested for lumber at approximately the same time.     In her studies she will be comparing rate of growth, species, changes in species predominance if any, decomposition...

How to catch early summer rockfish

This is turning out to be a difficult striped bass season. Dirty water coming down the Susquehanna River and into the Chesapeake has sent resident mid-Bay fish fleeing to cleaner currents and deeper water. Only over the last two weeks is the water clearing and the fish returning. Fishfinder     It’s on and off and on again at Love Point on the chumming bite for rockfish. Limits of fish have been boated, though not yet regularly, but last reports were hot. The bite is...

The full moon is at its lowest, while the sun nears its peak

Week’s end finds the waxing gibbous moon high in the south at sunset, around 8:30. Thursday evening it shines to the west of golden Saturn and the blue-white star Spica, but the next night it has snuggled within 10 degrees of both, forming a loose triangle. Saturn and Spica are currently about a dozen degrees apart, but keep an eye on them over the coming months as the ringed planet edges eastward for an autumnal conjunction.     By Monday the near-full moon appears low in...

Use the right sunscreen as you have your fun

The best times of summer are the hours we spend outdoors.     I bet you’re planning plenty such hours. Aiding and abetting your plans are Bay Weekly’s 8 Days a Week and 101 Ways to Have Fun: Your Indispensable Guide to Summer on the Chesapeake.     Both are packed with things to do on land and on water, where breezes tame the worst of Chesapeake Country’s heat and humidity, and when they fail, you can jump in.     On land this...

An excellent origins story is bogged down by too many mutants with no motivation

In the swinging 1960s, two mutant men set very different goals for themselves. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy: Gnomeo and Juliet) is hoping to use his telepathic abilities to score college co-eds — oh, and to unite other mutants, in hopes of celebrating the beauty of genetics. Shoah survivor Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender: Jane Eyre) is set on using his metal manipulating skills to hunt down and murder the Nazis who experimented on him and killed his mother.     The men...

X marks the spot on the Captain John Smith Trail

Once upon a time, seeking treasure meant following the dubious guidance of a hand-drawn map through grave dangers. Scurvy, mutiny, greed and confusion — not to mention blood-thirsty competitors and territory-conscious wild animals — were perils treasure hunters faced in seeking the spot on the map marked by X.     The Global Positioning System changed all that.     Modern treasure hunters have more in common with Captain Kirk than Captain Sparrow....

Dale and Debbie Jones want you to know what you eat, where it came from and how it was raised

What are you eating and where did it come from? That’s Dale and Debbie Jones’ mantra.     On Windy Willow Farm in Sunderland, the Joneses raise pastured, grass-fed beef, lamb and goat. Theirs is a relatively new business venture: they’ve been selling meat for only two years. Spend just a while talking with them, and you know what they do is more than a business. It’s a mission.     “This was my grandparents’ farm, and it is...

Preparing for disasters natural and unnatural

The zombies are coming!         Well, maybe.         Actually, not likely.         But just in case, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the ever diligent government agency that tracks all things vital to our health — has published guidelines so that you’re prepared if the unlikely happens. Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse has been added to the centers Public Health...

And the ghosts of showtimes past

It is evening in downtown Annapolis. The courtyard of the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre on Compromise Street is alive with people. Above their heads, in bold letters, the marquee spells out Chicago ...     Annapolis’ outdoor musical theater is in performance.     The brainchild of Joan Baldwin, a visionary who loved the challenges of making new ideas work, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre opened 43 years ago in the abandoned historical Shaw Blacksmith Shop...