view counter

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

Friends and foes, we’ve got a lot to thank him for

The Tax Man. That’s the tag the incoming Republican establishment wants to pin on the back of the governor no more as he walks out the door.     Former Gov. Martin O’Malley did indeed oversee hikes in the sales tax, the gas tax and taxes on corporations and big earners.       But before all we remember of Martin O’Malley is the epithet of the victors, I want to summon a few other images.     O’Malley didn’t...

It’s all a matter of layers

Whether in the sporting field, bird watching, horseback riding, hiking, fishing or other outdoor sports, options in dressing for freezing temperatures have never been better — or more complicated.     Layering is the one key ingredient no matter what you’re going to do, as I’ve learned from experience. A base layer (undergarment) is followed by a covering layer (shirts and pants) and topped by the over layer (coats and overpants). The advantage of this approach...

The underground story

Did you know that your bare garden soil is losing its nutrients to winter?     That’s just what’s happening in your vegetable garden unless you planted a cover crop last fall. And in your flower garden, unless it’s planted with perennials or woody plants.     Here’s the underground story.     During the growing season, plants do not utilize all soil nutrients, whether applied as fertilizers or released from animal manures...

Can you spot the naked-eye five?

As the sun sets, look to the southwest for Venus. With a clear view of the horizon, you might spy Mercury below and to the right of Venus at week’s end, but the innermost planet’s viewing days are numbered. Roughly 15 degrees above Venus, look for the ruddy glow of Mars.     Thursday and Friday evening the thin crescent moon joins the throng, somewhat between Venus and Mars the first night and above Mars, forming a horizontal line with Venus the next. Venus sets...

A farce to be reckoned with

The Liar adapted by David Ives is a farce guaranteed to brighten lives. Iambic pentameter is the way This hilarity comes to modern day. Written long ago by Pierre Corneille Steve Tobin directs this quite funny play. There’s a fine cast of players, they all shine. And costumes and sets that all bring to mind 1600s’ France, where our play we find. Fred Fletcher-Jackson’s the liar of note The guy whose adventures are merely gloat. Jackson’s Dorante is very...

We’ve got a long way to go — but look how far we’ve come

By 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo: Interstellar) was a household name. His nonviolent protests had provoked the American government to strike down segregation laws. It would have been a victory for any other man, but even as King accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, he knew there was more to do.     While whites could no longer keep blacks out of their establishments, they were doing their best to keep them from the polls and off the ballots. Black men and women who...

The world’s most famous lagoon is created daily in Annapolis

I’m always surprised to discover someone world-famous living nearby. In New York City it would be routine, but not so much here. Everyone has to live somewhere, but why Bay Country?     For many people, home is dictated by family roots or livelihood. For some, it’s a choice of desirable characteristics rather than ties.     What brings Jim Toomey, creator of the nationally syndicated cartoon series Sherman’s Lagoon, to Annapolis?   ...

Robert Kyle gives a new meaning to frozen drinks

How do creatures of the wild quench their thirst when outdoor water freezes to ice?     Robert Kyle replenishes bowls with water in its liquid state for “cats, birds and whoever else is thirsty” at his Huntingtown home.     “I have several water bowls around our place,” Kyle writes. “When the water freezes overnight I add fresh water.”     As a side effect of his Franciscan charity, Kyle has invented a new art...

$10,000 waits its live-saving inventor

Life jackets are old technology. When Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio donned theirs on the fictionalized deck of the Titanic, they were using a technology that was mature even in the early 20th century.     There has never been a problem designing life jackets that would keep people afloat. The problem has always been getting people to use them. Often disaster strikes in zero time. If life jackets aren’t on when trouble strikes, it’s unlikely they ever will be....

Help restore domestic tranquility to Chrysalis House

Imagine alarms shrieking, rousing you from bed and sending you dashing in nightclothes outside into 20-degree darkness of the early hours. Devastating for any of us; doubly devastating for the 43 women and 19 children at Chrysalis House in Crownsville on Jan. 9 when a water main burst.     Chrysalis House is a sanctuary aiding “women through their addiction and mental health treatment, while helping them build a strong foundation in recovery, become better mothers, and...