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WYPR Features


A biologist at George Washington University, Alexander Pyron, recently published an Op Ed in The Washington Post that made the argument that people shouldn’t worry about protecting endangered species because mass die-offs historically have been a natural part of life on Earth.

“Extinction is the engine of evolution,” Professor Pyron wrote. “It’s the mechanism by which natural selection prunes the poorly adapted and allows the hardiest to flourish. Species constantly go extinct, and every species that is alive today will one day follow suit. There is no such thing as an ‘endangered species,’ except for all species. The only reason we should conserve biodiversity is for ourselves, to create a stable future for human being.”

Dave McSpadden/flickr

Al and Hugh revisit wines they tasted in 2017 that deserve a mention. 

Recent research suggest that the quality of what is read to children during the first year of life may be just as important to their development as the quantity of what is read. 

Book suggestions include "4321","Fools" and "Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl."

Today on The Weekly Reader, we unlock the mystery of what make a great audio book!


The first few weeks of the New Year are a perfect time for dining with friends. To make your dinners a little more festive you can dress up your desserts by whipping up a few creative tarts and pies. Chef Jerry Pellegrino has some great ideas.    


With 2016 on the books as the hottest year on record after a string of increasingly warm years, let’s take a look at the simple things that each of us can do every day to make a positive difference in the fight against climate change. 


Brooks tells us about about our region's Southern flying squirrel!

Madison Bistro/flickr

On today's episode, Chef Wolf and Tony dive into the world of fried foods: How to do it correctly and what to drink with it. 

Anirban recaps the year in economic news.

Dr. Terry Anne Scott

Dec 29, 2017

Tom talks with Dr. Terry Anne Scott of Hood College

Terry recommends:

Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody

Booker T. Washington In American Memory by Kenneth Hamilton

Dominick Guzzo/flickr

In and through the 1960s, the word was out that hostesses of New Year ’s Day parties were serving egg nog that was the talk of the circuit. The secret:  they had made their egg nog using Hendler’s egg-nog ice cream—the only egg nog ice  cream in America made with pure rum. Those were the days. 

Where to Retire

Dec 28, 2017

We often pontificate about how to save for retirement, how much to save, how long to work, and how to budget. But perhaps the solution to retirement lies largely in deciding where one should live.


Michele Tsucalas tells us why her company--Michele's Granola--"relocated to Baltimore and never looked back."

Freddy Olsson/flickr

You gotta have bubbles this time of year! Al shares some of his favorites. 


The Trump Administration has announced that it will eliminate an Obama-era regulation called the Clean Water Rule, which was imposed in 2015 to limit development in wetlands and streams.

During President Trump’s announcement, he explained why he thinks the regulation is burdensome on economic growth and job creation.

“If you want to build a new home, for example, you have to worry about getting hit with a huge fine if you fill in as much as a puddle – just a puddle – on your lot,” Trump said at a press conference. “I’ve seen it. In fact, when it was first shown to me, I said, ‘You’re kidding, aren’t you?’  But they weren’t kidding.”

Many Congressional Republicans have made the same claim – that the Clean Water Rule is an oppressive over-reach by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, because it means EPA is imposing federal control over even puddles on farms.

But let’s examine the actual text of the regulation, as it is published in the Federal Register, volume 80, No. 124, in June 2015.

“No, it’s not true, as a category,” said Curt Spalding, a professor at Brown University and a former regional administrator for the EPA.

Spanking a child has long-term consequences. New research suggests that people who are spanked during early childhood have a greater likelihood of perpetrating violence toward romantic partners. 

Samuel Hoi on building the creative economy

Dec 27, 2017

MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) president Samuel Hoi discusses how Baltimore's creative economy can be a catalyst for positive change.

Out of India

Dec 27, 2017
Books include "The Windfall" , "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness" and "Selection Day."

When you think about India, the word “boring” rarely comes to mind. Here are three new books that take you there. 

Karla Turner/flickr

You've got a week to get ready, so let's cracking on a first class New Year's Eve party menu. This is when you want to get in touch with your "Inner Pellegrino" and let it all hang out. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School has put together some ideas for folks to try.


John and Curtis Bennett, Conservation Project Manager at the National Aquarium discuss urban conservation efforts.


Dec 26, 2017
Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble Follow/flickr

Did you know there is a creature in the Chesapeake Bay that can filter up to 50 gallons of water in one day? Perhaps one of the most iconic species in the Chesapeake, the eastern oyster, is an essential part of the bay’s ecosystem. Their powerful vacuum-like ability to filter large amounts of water helps create a balanced ecosystem where many species can thrive.

Anirban discusses job growth and immigrant entrepreneurship. 

Andrew Taylor/flickr

On Christmas Day, 1943, in the heart of World War II, there was an announcement on radio station WFBR—to the effect: Listen to a special broadcast from somewhere in England. Hear your loved ones wishing you a Merry Christmas from deep in the heart of war torn Europe. The broadcast happened exactly as it was advertised—bringing to all on both sides of the Ocean the merriest of Christmases.

A 2016 Fidelity study estimates that a typical retired couple will have $260,000 in out-of-pocket healthcare outlays, up from an estimated $220,000 in 2014...

Susan Ganz, CEO of Lion Brothers, speaks on what it means for the leading manufacturer of apparel identity to be based in Baltimore. 

Understanding Sacrifice and Preserving War Stories

Dec 21, 2017

How can we experience the emotional impact of history and pass on stories of heroes for younger generations? Ryan Kaiser is a Social Studies teacher at The Mt. Washington School, whose class participates in Maryland Humanities’ Maryland History Day. Through a program called Understanding Sacrifice, he traveled to the Philippines to learn more about World War II and read the eulogy of a fallen soldier.

Shopping Lists

Dec 20, 2017
Cameron Knowlton/flickr

Al and Hugh review their favorite wines from this year, which would be great for gifts. 

Trash Free Maryland

Our world is awash in litter, with a monstrous gyre of floating plastic swelling in the Pacific Ocean, bottles and cans cluttering our roadsides, and blighting even the most remote and beautiful Chesapeake Bay islands and wetlands.

One response to this: more than 100 cities and counties across the U.S. have banned Styrofoam cups and food containers. These included the District of Columbia last year, along with suburban Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

The Styrofoam industry and take-out food retailers, however, have been fighting back – launching a PR campaign and “Go Foam!” website.  The anti anti-foam forces prevailed in the Maryland General Assembly last winter, halting a bill that would have banned Styrofoam statewide.

In Baltimore, the crusade against what is more formally known as expanded polystyrene – a petroleum product-- is being led by a pair of students, Claire Wayner and Mercedes Thompson, both seniors at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.

“A lot of the students that we’ve talked to especially see Styrofoam as this particularly malicious form of trash,” Wayner said. “Because whenever we do litter cleanups, you try to pick it up, and it just breaks apart, and you can’t get it out, physically.  So it’s ruining our ecosystem and it’s an eyesore for the Inner Harbor. So we need to get rid of it.”

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, some essential cookbooks for everyone, including kitchen novices as well as experts.  


We've been talking a lot about holiday traditions this month, and one of the most ancient is a little treat called Plum Pudding. Making a proper Plum Pudding involves a few techniques that most Americans aren't familiar with. But we've got you covered.