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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

Find best friends for bargain prices at Anne Arundel County SPCA

With small sighs of relief, volunteers and workers celebrated a bit more room in the inn.     Filled to the brim with more than 50 adoptable dogs and 150 adoptable cats, the Anne Arundel County SPCA held two adoption events to make room for more needy animals.     The shelter houses, cares for and feeds up to 4,000 animals a year while seeking to find them homes.     Four-year-old beagle mix John Wall, who’d been homeless since December, was...

They’re playing the World Cup

The first week of the 2014 World Cup has set a wild tone for the month-long tournament: passionate play, buckets of goals and shocking upsets. Just how crazy was this week?     For starters, the mighty have fallen. Spain has won every major tournament in the last six years, losing just one match. Last World Cup, Spain defeated Holland in the final match 1-0 in extra-time. This time around, Holland rocked the soccer world with a 5-1 victory.     In Group G play,...

The sun stands still for just a day before again heading south

In the early morning Saturday, at 6:51am EDT, the sun reaches its northernmost point in the sky for the year, with its center hovering directly above the Tropic of Cancer somewhere in Africa. On solstice, the sun appears to pause in place, holding steady for several days directly overhead at high noon — solstice in fact means sun standing still. You can see proof of the sun standing still in this week’s times of sunrise and sunset, listed below, which barely change.   ...

Tie right to stop losing big fish

In the decade-plus I have worked at a local sports store, I have swapped many yarns about losing big fish. The recurring theme is broken lines.     Odd, I once thought. Of all the fish I’ve lost, and believe me that number is considerable, there have been very few that simply broke me off. Now I’m not counting the rascals that cornered the line across a concrete bridge pier or a barnacle-studded dock piling, threaded themselves through submerged rubble or wrapped off...

Rest and replenish your bed

If you were wise enough some years back to plant asparagus, you’ve been rewarded with a spring feast. Now it’s time to give your asparagus bed a rest to ensure future harvests.     An asparagus bed planted in full sun in well-prepared and well-drained soil can remain productive for 20 years or more — if you treat it well.     If you want your bed to serve you with an abundance of spears each spring, you must avoid over harvesting. Stop gathering...

Two for one: great music plus the life of a talented, tormented man

Lost Highway, at Infinity Theatre gives two exceptional entertainments at once. First, we are treated to great music from a bygone era, authentically presented with superb musicianship. Then, within that broad framework, we see the life of a talented, tormented man. Lost Highway is far more than a musical revue.     In his day, Hank Williams was the superstar of country music or, as it was then known, Hillbilly Music. (Full disclosure: I grew up in that era; you couldn’t...

Answer this call and you’ll think twice about who you ­connect with

With a quirky cast of characters and a script full of great one-liners Dead Man’s Cell Phone keep you on your toes guessing and laughing for most of an hour and a half. The plot draws us in with questions we ask about our own mortality and technology.     How is technology affecting me socially? Does my cell phone connect me to the world or draw me away? Do I really need to answer my phone every time it rings, even when I’m on the toilet? Is there a heaven? Does...

An animated lesson on the benefits of good pet ownership

It’s been five years since Hiccup (Jay Baruchel: Robocop) convinced the people of Berk that dragons were not the enemy. The Vikings have laid down their arms and picked up saddles, domesticating dragons and racing them for fun. Even Hiccup’s dragon-hating dad Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler: Olympus has Fallen) has converted his dragon-killing armory into a custom dragon-saddle business.     Peace has brought Stoick and Hiccup closer, but father and son still don...

Father is supposed to know best. But does he? Are his enduring lessons taught by determination as he strives to pass along life-guiding values? Or by accident, as a man doing the best he can — and some not even that. By words? Or by example?         Hence our question in this year’s edition of our annual effort to understand that great life role: What lesson did your father teach you — intentionally or otherwise — that guides you to this...

I am my father’s daughter

My father didn’t come to all my games. I had none, and for the weekly ritual of horseback riding — first ring, then trail — my grandmother Florence, his mother, was my chauffeur and companion. If there had been victories, she and my mother would have been my cheering squad. They, too, were my comfortors and sometime confidants.     About how to relate to a daughter, Gene Martin, was clueless.     I was pretty clueless, too, when it came to...