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One man is the difference between life and death for creatures great and small

Oh, the creatures we’ve seen

Learn from plantsman Bill Cullina and ­benefit Unity Gardens

Can our Free Will Astrologer break the late-winter blues?

There’s work overhead on the ISS

Put your down time to work

Pay it forward in 2011

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted –Aesop The truck driver approached the tollbooths on the Bay Bridge, laboring to maneuver his big five-axle rig into an open lane. Heavy traffic made it a tough job. An elderly couple approaching the toll lanes behind him saw his predicament and slowed, waving the trucker into their lane, directly in front of them. Catherine Noone, toll collection manager at the Bay Bridge toll plaza, has seen many people pay it forward —...

With the year comes new hope. Grab it now before it ages.

“You Catholics think you can do anything and then go confess,” said my Lutheran-reared husband as we watched the connivances in The Crime of Padre Amaro, a Mexican-made Academy Award finalist of a couple years back.  If you think I have anything more to say about religion or movies, guess again. Except to say that the New Year brings us all a bit of the kind of relief confession grants Catholics. I’d be going too far to imagine it’s the grace of God that washed over...

Even at their best, we can never see the full face of Mercury or Venus

While winter has just begun, we’re already in the process of reclaiming daylight, and Saturday marks a milestone when the sun sets at 5:00. Over the next month, the sun sets roughly one minute later each day. That same Saturday, daybreak arrives at 7:25, but alas, through January, it will come just a few minutes earlier each week.  Sunset reveals Jupiter in the south. Look for the waxing moon less than 10 degrees to the east of Jupiter Sunday night and to the west Monday night. By 10...

Discovering the truth behind everyday curiosities

A Gaggle of Geese What do a flock of political geese, an American flag and an uprising of religious symbols have in common? They’re all visible from Aris T. Allen Boulevard and all products of Jerry Blackwell’s creative self-expression. The flag, cross, crescent moon and star are nothing new. Bay Weekly begins 2011 with a series dedicated to explaining life’s little conundrums: the strange sights you pass on your way to work … bizarre lawn decorations that must have...

The Latest Addition to the National Zoo Has a Nose for Trouble

Born on the seventh of December, the latest addition to the National Zoo has already caused a fuss among the zookeepers. The giant anteater pup was found lying outside his mother’s cage with a dangerously low body temperature. The month-old cub was rushed to the vet, then given the all-clear to go back to his mom. “We’re not sure what happened,” says animal keeper Leigh Pitsko. “But he pulled through like a trooper.” He’s also learned his lesson. This...

With these plain English answers, you’ll know as much as the experts (Of course nobody knows if it will work)

There have been a lot of headlines lately about how we’re finally going to start cleaning up Chesapeake Bay. Most feature the non-word TMDL. Q What is this TMDL thing that everyone keeps talking about? A TMDL stands for Total Maximum Daily Load. It’s a fancy phrase for measuring and establishing limits on what’s polluting the Bay, specifically nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment. The primary sources of nitrogen and phosphorous are sewage treatment plants, farms and stormwater...

Good — and sometimes great — fishing in a cleaner Bay

One of America’s wryest philosophers, Yogi Berra, once noted that predictions were difficult to make, especially about the future. Despite his sage warning, I feel compelled to make some Tidewater prophecies for the New Year.  Fish Are Biting At last! A slight warming spell has freed many of the ice-bound tributaries, and the pickerel and perch are on the move. Lip-hooked minnows on a shad dart under a bobber will tempt them and relieve your winter doldrums — at least until...
Dear Bay Weekly: When my Mom, Margaret Asquith, passed away, her dog, Katie, remained with my husband Don and me. Although 14 years old, with hearing and vision issues, Katie could still run like a pony and had her own mind about things. But one morning in the predawn darkness, Katie disappeared. Panic quickly set in and the search began on foot and by car. After reporting her missing on the County Animal Control website, I was contacted by Anne Wills of www.DogsFindingDogs.com. In addition to...
Dear Bay Weekly: My philosophy from high school was based on the lines in the A.E. Houseman poem, Therefore, since the world has still Much good, but much less good than ill, And while the sun and moon endure, Luck’s a chance but trouble’s sure, I’d face it as a wise man would, And train for ill and not for good. A kid I went to high school with, P.F. Kluge, now a well-known writer (Edie and the Cruisers; The Big Elvis), wrote over his picture in my yearbook, “Don’...

A speech impediment proves to be a royal pain in this excellent drama

At the close of the 1925 Empire Exhibition, England’s Duke of York Albert (Colin Firth: A Single Man) stands before a live audience for his radio broadcast debut. Instead of a refined address, the Duke broadcasts a halting stuttering address as his countrymen regard him in horror.  This is the next in a long line of humiliations for Albert — called B-b-b-bertie by his family — who chokes on marbles and smokes heavily under doctor’s orders in attempts to cure his...