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WYPR Features

Allison Tolman

Mar 22, 2018

Did you know that an article of clothing can be interpreted as a historical document? What can we learn about figures from Maryland’s past by looking at what they wore? Allison Tolman, Chief Registrar and Associate Curator of the Fashion Archives at the Maryland Historical Society, tells us more.

On a cold morning in 1904, two aging baseball players, Wilbert Robinson and John McGraw, sitting in a duck blind on the Eastern Shore, were waiting for the ducks to take flight. They got to talking about how their bowling business back in Baltimore was falling off because, the concluded, the and the pins then in use were too heavy. Suddenly, a flock of ducks took off and headed skywards, but the incident started a chain of events that would make Baltimore the world center for duckpin bowling, and produce a champion whose favorite bowling ball would wind up in the Smithsonian. Here is how all of that happened.

Earthworms

Mar 22, 2018

A few weeks ago, I was out later than usual attending a dinner. The food was delicious, but I was eager to get home and rest for the evening. When I pulled into my driveway, it was clear that our outdoor flood light had burned out. I hopped out of my car and, not wanting to trip on the way to my front door, I turned on the flashlight function on my cell phone. I started to walk past my garden when I stopped abruptly.

I was about to step on something...and that something was moving. I focused my eyes on the ground beneath my feet and released that there was not just one moving something, but a whole yard full of somethings. I shined my flashlight around and I could see the alien-like movements of creatures writhing in the grass. As my feet and flashlight got closer, the wriggling figures quickly sucked back into the ground. What I’m describing sounds like something from a science fiction novel, but it’s an event that you can witness in the early spring after dark. It’s Earthworm mating season in Maryland!

Efforts to keep older Americans in the workforce longer could help combat America’s high rates of old age poverty and also reducing inequality—this according to a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development or OECD. The Paris-based think tank provides advice on the best policies to follow to its 35 member governments. The report calls upon America to support longer careers for all socioeconomic groups as a way to diminish old-age poverty without placing additional strain on pension systems. More than 20 percent of Americans over the age of 65 have an income that classifies them below the poverty line. For purposes of the OECD study, poverty was defined as half of median disposable household income.  Future retirees face even higher risks of poverty as inequality advances. As indicated in The Wall Street Journal, while America has a higher share of older people in the workforce compared to most major economies, how people fare in their later years depends critically on educational attainment.  The gap between workers with different skillsets is enormous and poised to widen as digital transition progresses according to OECD analysts. One way to support longer careers is by offering flexible or phased retirement. Under such a system, older workers receive a full or partial pension benefit while continuing in paid work, often with reduced hours. Far fewer Americans work part-time in retirement relative to populations in Germany and the United Kingdom. 

A Big Problem

Mar 21, 2018

 

Here’s something that is a very big deal. A recent CDC survey indicates that there has been no progress in halting childhood obesity.

Tom Pelton

It was April 26, 1607. Three English ships, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery, were sailing across the wind-swept Atlantic Ocean when their captain, Christopher Newport, saw the low-slung coast of the new world and entered the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

Newport, Captain John Smith and the other founders of the Jamestown colony, had not come for freedom.

In that way, they were different than other English colonizers of North America: the Pilgrims, who landed farther north 13 years earlier and established the Plymouth colony. The Pilgrims were religious separatists who endured the alien landscape because they hungered for religious liberty.

By contrast, Jamestown was established by the Virginia Company of London strictly as a for-profit business. The corporate mission was to find gold, as the Spanish did when they plundered the Aztecs almost a century earlier.

The National Aquarium

For nearly 40 years, the Marine Mammal Protection Act has kept dolphins, whales, polar bears, sea otters and other species safe along American coastlines. However, this protective order is now more endangered than any animal it protects. Listen in to learn more.

Catherine shares some insights and tips on how older workers can improve their prospects and continue to participate in the labor force.

Building the City We Imagine

Mar 20, 2018
MICA

MICA President Samuel Hoi tells us about the success of BCAN, the Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network.

While he was imprisoned at Point Lookout in Southern Maryland during the Civil War, poet, musician, and Confederate soldier Sidney Lanier soothed himself and his fellow soldiers with music played on a flute he managed to slip past the guards.

Dave McSpadden/flickr

Al and Hugh discuss an assortment of interesting wines that you'll want to pick up this season. 

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we feature two very different novels that start the same way: with a funeral.

Jessica Spengler/flickr

Spring is the season of eggs, themselves symbols of renewal.  It's also a great time for casual Sunday morning brunches. Al suggested and Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School agreed, there are certainly more than a few million egg recipes that would do well for an informal little brunch.  And for best results, you'll want to use fresh Maryland eggs.

Oil prices, disparities in hourly wages, the rate of unemployment, and the growth rate of pregnancies. 

Baltimoreans opened The Sun paper on the morning of October 1964 to read this modest announcement. "Each city recreation center will be conducting a Yo Yo contest." The winner of the contest was promised a huge prize - a trip to Disneyland by Duncan Yo Yo - the manufacturer of the Yo Yo. The winner turned out to be a young 15 year old Carl Pund - who won the contest but in a quirky turn of events, lost the prize. This is Carl Pund's story.

Brown Girls Museum Blog

Mar 15, 2018

How are two women pushing past the gatekeeping that sometimes occurs within cultural institutions? Amanda Figueroa and Ravon Ruffin started Brown Girls Museum Blog, a platform that aims to promote the visibility of people of color, especially women, in the museum field and in academia.

"Moses"

Mar 15, 2018

Between 1851 and 1860, Harriet Tubman freed a reported thousand slaves from the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Bad Mommies

Mar 15, 2018

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, our book critic Marion Winik reviews two new novels about women who seem to lack the maternal instinct.

In today's episode, Guy Filippelli, CEO of RedOwl Analytics tells us why his team made the decision to build a software company in Baltimore. 

You are probably not looking for a reason to retire early.  The reason is fairly obvious.  Early retirement may be much more pleasant that working well into one’s 60s or 70s or beyond.  But here’s another reason that renders early retirement more appealing – it could lengthen your life.  That’s the conclusion of research made available over the years as well as from a 2017 study published in the journal Health Economics.  As indicated by The New York Times, in that study, three economists from the Netherlands analyzed what transpired when some Dutch civil servants could temporarily quality for early retirement in 2005. Men responding to the early retirement offer were nearly three percentage points less likely to die over the next five years than those who did not retire early. Parenthetically, too few women met the early retirement eligibility criteria to be included in the study. In any case, these findings echo those of other studies. For instance, an analysis in the U.S. found that seven years of retirement can be as good for one’s health as reducing by 20 percent the chance of acquiring a serious disease like diabetes or heart conditions. The salubrious effects of retirement have also been discerned in studies using data from England, Germany, and Israel. This likely reflects the fact that for many people, work can be stressful and can leave little time for exercise.  

Thinking about getting a pet? In addition to being a good companion, that furry friend may help with your child’s brain development.

Maryland's Best

Mar 14, 2018
Ralf Smallkaa/flickr

Al and Hugh give a rundown of some of the best Maryland wines.

Tom Pelton

The Baltimore City Council on Monday approved two bills that environmental activists in the city had been fighting to advance for years.

The first bans the construction or expansion of any crude oil terminals in the city. The goal of this legislation, which passed by a vote of 14-1 and now must be signed by the mayor, is to reduce the risk that trains carrying volatile crude oil could derail and explode in the city.

The second bill outlaws a petroleum product: Styrofoam cups and fast-food containers, which do not break down in the environment like paper products, and so create a persistent source of litter, and a blight in streams and along roadsides.

Kevin Schofield/Flickr Creativ Commons

I’ve been to Gunpowder Falls State Park hundreds of times. I’ve gone canoeing through quiet streams, hiked miles upon miles, and fished throughout its narrow corridors. Each time I go, I hope to see an amazing, but elusive, animal that’s on most naturalists’ version of a bucket list. The remarkable ‘water acrobat:’ the river otter.

All About Algae

Mar 13, 2018
Kichigin/Shutterstock

All over our blue planet, wherever you find water, you’ll find algae. From tiny microorganisms to forests of kelp that grow a foot a day, algae are useful and fascinating—but often undervalued and misunderstood.

With St. Patrick's Day looming large more than a handful of people are contemplating beer and how to best use it.  Now if I were making a list of things to do with beer, numbers 1 through 9 would be to drink it.  But slot #10 would actually be how to cook with it.  And as Chef Jerry Pellegriono of Schola Cooking Schol notes, we use various liquids in millions of recipes, why not use beer?

Off the top of his head, Jerry came up with four great uses for beer in cooking:beer batters, especially tempura, which takes advantage of beer's carbonation; braising liquids which utilize beer's natural acidity; in stew and chili recipes, which like the richness of a darker beer; and in baking where you can take advantage of some of the exotic flavors that are found in today's beer.

Expanding Telemedicine

Mar 13, 2018
KEITH WELLER

Dr. Redonda Miller, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, tells us how telemedicine is bringing quality care to patients.

Breakfast

Mar 11, 2018

This week on "Foreman and Wolf on Food and Wine" it's all about breakfast: eggs, pancakes, pork, grits, and a Chef's Challenge.

The outdoor recreation economy, African-Americans in the economy, consumer debt and productivity growth. 

Jump Rope (Encore)

Mar 9, 2018
Steven Depolo/flickr

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