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The Best of the Bay ~ Every Week Since 1993
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Volume 16, Issue 5 - January 31 - February 6, 2008

This Week's Features:

Bay Weekly’s 11th Annual Groundhog Day Guide to Movie Madness

Lose your mind in 14 categories of movie madness: Fights, Explosions and Guns, Oh My! • Birds with Brains • From Bathroom to Drawing Room • Twists and Tension • By the Book • Gray Area • Home Grown • Nix on Netflix • Season’s Greetings • The Great Debate • Things That Go Bump In the Night • Family Ties • Creature Features • In Memoriam.

screened by Diana Beechener

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Terry Noble’s Starting At Sea Level

The story of an Eastern Shore community, a way of life and the place of a boy growing up within it. Read it for Bay lore or just to pass the time. Either way, you will enjoy it.

Reviewed by Dick Wilson

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Digging into the Groundhog Myth

Halfway through winter, this holiday goes back deep in time

Groundhog Day, February 2, has far more significance than Punxatawney Phil might lead you to believe. Falling midway between winter solstice and spring equinox, February 2 is one of the four cross-quarter days and a holy day long pre-dating Christianity.

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Illustration: © Copyright 1925 M.C. Escher/Cordon Art-Baarn-Holland; Graphics: © Copyright 2007 Pacific Publishers. Reprinted by permission from the Tidelog graphic almanac. Bound copies of the annual Tidelog for Chesapeake Bay are $14.95 ppd. from Pacific Publishers, Box 480, Bolinas, CA 94924. Phone 415-868-2909. Weather affects tides. This information is believed to be reliable but no guarantee of accuracy is made by Bay Weekly or Pacific Publishers. The actual layout of Tidelog differs from that used in Bay Weekly. Tidelog graphics are repositioned to reflect Bay Weekly’s distribution cycle.Tides are based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and are positioned to coincide with high and low tides of Tidelog.

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It’s a Whopper

And that’s a true story

“All men are equal before fish,” wrote former President Herbert Hoover in his book on fly fishing. No Izaak Walton can argue that. It’s a given; be at the right place at the right time with the right bait, and it makes no difference to the fish who is at the other end of the rod.

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Serve Your Microbes Dinner with Dirty Dishwater

Recycle greasy dishwater in your compost

If you filled your compost pile with leaves last fall, most likely nothing is happening now. Dry leaves are difficult to keep moist, so you’re probably not keeping your pile wet enough for it to work. You can clean up your composting efforts by pouring dirty dishwater over the pile. Dirty dishwater dumped over the compost pile during the winter months will help get decomposition started and keep it going.

Going out with a Bang

Last goose hunt of the season

Long gaggles of Canada geese were already trading about in the pre-dawn Eastern Shore sky, and in numbers that took our breath away. A cold front was moving in, and the birds were nervous. I knew it was going to be a memorable day, but I didn’t know then just how memorable.

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Swimming in Troubled Waters

Finned predators have more to fear from people than vice versa

It’s true that humans do a lot more damage to shark populations than vice versa. Marine biologists report that sharks are in rapid decline around the world. In the North Atlantic Ocean, shark populations have declined more than 50 percent over the past 20 years alone, with some species now nearing extinction.

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Earth Journal
by Gary Pendleton

Unveiling the Mourning Cloak

February: Sometimes a grand surprise

Ahh, the lovely month of February, shall we sing its praises? It’s short, and that about covers it.

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Way Downstream

Lawyer and writer Scott Turow tells Marylanders the story of his opposition to the death penalty … Learn who’s who on your primary ballot from Maryland League of Women Voters … League of Conservation Voters says Gilchrest remains the Bay’s best primary candidate … Our mild winter is too cold for pelicans … In Annapolis, Safeway won’t separate its shoppers from their plastic bags … In Anne Arundel, feds to spend $1.6 million to house the homeless … plus, last but not least, this week’s Creature Feature: In Colorado, a donkey elected mascot for the Democratic National Convention.

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Maryland’s Voice in the Potomac Primary

It didn’t look like it would happen, but it seems now that Maryland will have a say in who gets nominated for president, given the likelihood that the game won’t end on Feb. 5 when 22 states vote in the closest we’ve seen yet to a national primary. Alas, the withdrawal of John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani effectively ends prospects for brokered conventions, which would have been highly entertaining.

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Back After This

Commercials are America’s best-attended school

by Pat Piper

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Letters to the Editor

  • Wind (and Bill Burton): Full of Hot Air or Promise

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Curtain Call

reviewed by Jane Elkin

The Pirates of Penzance at Opera AACC: Singing students take Gilbert and Sullivan to the theme park.

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