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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

Dear Bay Weekly: After reading the Aug. 12 issue, I have two praises to bestow on Bay Weekly: First, Jane Elkins’ great review of Dignity Players’ The Trial of Judas Iscariot. I saw the play, and it was everything that Jane had led me to expect. It was funny, irreverent and thought provoking. The venue of this avant-garde production, in the Universalist Unitarian Church, adds a dimension of authenticity to a play that elsewhere might seem mere parody. Second, I commend Bay Weekly...

Despite embarrassment, indignity and mess, animals are our family

The animals in our lives can get us in trouble. There’s a story circulating through the Bay Weekly office, and possible beyond, about Nipper’s appearance at a family picnic. It wasn’t Nipper’s family picnic. Alerted at distance by the aromas of food, he broke away from his walk with his own family and made for the party. So fast did he run that no one had seen him before he bounded onto a picnic bench, stretched giraffe-like up to the table and stuck his nose into a bowl...

Week 24: Peering into a Young Bird’s Future

The days go by, but I don’t see Junior catching his own fish yet. The other morning, I looked out the window and saw Mom and Dad both sitting separately on nearby pilings eating a fish of their own while Junior was sitting demurely on the nest site waiting for breakfast. Could the parents be purposely trying to drive him to get his own breakfast? Maybe. He’s gone all day now from the nest site, but he manages to be back for meal times and bed time. Typical kid. Late August and early...

Maryland’s Most Humane Lawmakers

The Maryland General Assembly is a pretty animal-friendly place, according to the Maryland Humane Scorecard released this month. Across both houses, 117 of 188 members scored 75 percent or higher; only 12 legislators scored less than 50 percent. Forty lawmakers — six senators and 34 delegates — scored 100 percent. Representing Anne Arundel and Calvert, House Speaker Michael Busch (District 30) and Del. James Proctor ((District 27A) are 100-percenters. Eight lawmakers scored even...

An accidental sperm donor awakens to love by bizarre circumstances in this entertaining but run-of-the-mill romantic comedy.

Kassie (Jennifer Aniston: The Bounty Hunter) needs a kid, and neurotic best friend Wally (Jason Bateman: Couples Retreat) looks on jealously as she searches for a donor. Soon enough he’s a liquored-up mope at the conception party, where she will administer Roland’s (Patrick Wilson: The A Team) sample. But in the thick of blurry fugue he spills the intended specimen and swaps in his own to cover tracks. She leaves town soon after, and it’s not until seven years on, when Kassie...

From a Norwegian forest to Upakrik Farm

Spooks adopted Upakrik Farm on the evening of All Souls Day in 1996. Our black cocker spaniel Dixie and I both saw a cat in our driveway. I thought it was our cat Pumpkin, a Maine coon cat, but Dixie gave chase and the cat jumped into the shrubbery. When I found Pumpkin in her basket, I concluded we had a visiting cat. Then I heard a yell from my wife. From the window ledge, which is seven-foot six-inches above the ground, a big gray cat with a white chest starring at her. The cat jumped with...

One of our greatest feats follows us on four legs

When you look to the constellations, it’s like paging through history. Creatures abound in the constellations, both real and fanciful. We see kings and queens, beasts and heroes, all recounting the travails and triumphs of ancient times. Today, many are obscure and unfamiliar. But testament to perhaps the greatest triumph of civilization survives the test of time in the heavens. There is no constellation in recognition of the harnessing of fire. Nor is their a constellation commemorating...

All our canine companions evolved from the hunter

Watching my German shorthair pointer, Sophie, enter an autumn game field never fails to send a quiver of anticipation through my being. She operates with certainty in an arena where I can only guess at what is about to transpire. A hunting dog is grace, speed, focus and intensity. Humans are acolytes when we accompany a dog into the wild. Pausing as we enter a cover, she will lift her head and taste the air. Instantly she knows the history that has recently transpired unseen before us. The game...

The Bridge, from Baltimore, headlines Stage 2 at Annapalooza. The bluesy Baltimore rock band has a strong local following and a relentless touring schedule. Cofounder Kenny Liner adds two distinctive elements to the band: He mimics a beatbox using only his mouth. This hip-hop tactic is unheard of in a rock band. Liner also plays the mandolin, an instrument more common in bluegrass, folk, and country than rock bands.

Q    How did you first discover you could beatbox? A    In elementary school, I loved the Fat Boys [a 1980s hip-hop group among the first to beatbox]. They were my favorite. I started imitating them when I was about five or six years old. I used to get kicked out of school and class for doing it all the time. It was kind of like a nervous habit. Q    What made the group decide to include a mandolin? A    Me and Chris started the band,...

Chesapeake Country has long had its own grass-roots music community, but with the rise of local talent combined with the draw of renowned musicians and their loyal fans, Maryland’s capital city is becoming the music capital of the East

These last days of August, you might think you were living in Nashville or Austin, what with the waves of musical talent from near and far rolling onto our shores. From August 19 to 21, the legendary Four Freshmen re-capture the Big Band Era and draw hundreds of fans to Annapolis in the group’s 2010 international convention. The following weekend, the music amps up on the 28th in the first-ever  Annapalooza Music and Arts Festival.  Organizers hope that the concert grows as big...