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WYPR Features


Jan 16, 2018
Irvine Nature Center/Facebook

One of my favorite parts of winter is the snowbirds. No, not the people who spend the cold months in Florida each year... I’m talking about the beautiful, artic birds like Tundra Swans, Snowy Owls, and Red Crossbills. Some of my most rewarding birdwatching has occurred in the winter months when bare trees and quiet parks create the perfect condition for seeing different species of birds.

Sondes (Encore)

Jan 16, 2018
The National Aquarium

When we talk about improvements in local water quality, what does that mean? Moreover, how can we be sure? Take a listen to learn more about the technology at work in assessing the Inner Harbor. 

This is a re-air. 

Crediting the Change-Makers

Jan 16, 2018

Michael Hankin, president and CEO at Brown Advisory, acknowledges some of the leaders that he's worked with in 2017.

For the week of January 12, Anirban reports on the lengths of the American commute, employer benefits and the rise and fall of the economy. 

Joshua Smith

Jan 12, 2018

Joshua Smith, Dean of the Loyola School of Education tells us about education grads staying in Baltimore.


Jan 12, 2018

On the night of Nov. 16, 1939, notorious gangster Al Capone was released from Lewisberg penitentiary - and headed for Baltimore. Capone was a sick man and planned to seek treatment at Johns Hopkins. He settles in the Oswego Avenue home of Manasha Katz, Captain of the Maryland State Police. But because he planned to stay in Baltimore a while, he though to arrange to have his favorite Italian food personally prepared for him at the then well-known restaurant, Maria's, in Little Italy. So he sent a lieutenant there to meet Maria and asked if he might inspect her kitchen. Very bad mistake. This is the story of why.

Gender, Finance, and Confidence

Jan 11, 2018

Many people debate over how to categorize economics. It is science? Social science? Social studies? If it’s separated from the humanities, economist James D. Campbell asks, “don’t we neglect to show the next generation how to see and hear the humanistic as it relates to the organization of our economies, our world?” Amanda Cuocci of Stansberry Research talks about gender, confidence, and financial literacy. 

Economic Insecurity

Jan 11, 2018

Inequality and economic insecurity have been on the rise among American workers for years. A new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development finds that the situation deteriorates further as Americans age into retirement...

Rachel Baye

The Maryland General Assembly session opens today in Annapolis.  Last year, state lawmakers – in the face of a tidal wave of anti-environmental actions by the Trump Administration – stood against the tide and passed one of the strongest state environmental laws in America: a ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

Although “states' rights” is not usually a war cry of Democratic lawmakers, the times are changing. A growing number of blue states, including Maryland and California, are taking action on problems like climate change that are being ignored or denied at the federal level.

State Delegate Kumar Barve is chairman of the house Environmental Matters Committee. He said his top priority this spring will be rallying state lawmakers to counter the Trump Administration’s recent decision to allow offshore oil drilling along the Maryland coast and at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

“Do you remember the Exxon Valdez?  Do you remember the BP offshore spill?” asked Barve, a Democrat from Montgomery County.   “I mean, these are issues that – when a mistake happens – it’s a catastrophic mistake and an expensive mistake. And I don’t want to undo decades of work to clean up the Chesapeake Bay because one guy didn’t throw a switch in the right direction.”

This might turn out to be a bipartisan effort against offshore drilling. Republican Governor Larry Hogan has also come out against Trump’s proposal – as have the Republican governors of New Jersey, South Carolina and Florida.


We’ve all made bad decisions before. But adverse experiences during the first five years of life can make it very difficult to ever make good decisions. 

Seasonal Ales

Jan 10, 2018

A little heavier and a little higher in alcohol content, these are the beers you want to warm up with this winter.

This week, we take a break from reviewing the latest fiction releases and delve into the world of nonfiction.

Wood Frogs

Jan 9, 2018
Dave Huth/flickr

There’s a popular children’s movie, Frozen, that I have “watched” way too many times. It’s one of my children’s favorite movies and it is always on as soon as the first snow falls. In case you haven’t seen it, the main character has the ability to freeze people and objects with the wave of her hand. When we first watched it my son asked me “can people really be frozen?” I think he was disappointed to hear my answer, “no”. However, his curiosity did remind me of an animal who can freeze and thaw….a little brown frog who spends winter almost completely frozen, the Wood Frog.


The Amazon River Forest is one of the most biodiverse places on earth, home to thousands of species that appear almost nowhere else. Listen as National Aquarium experts discuss this remarkable place and what you can do to preserve it. 


How are those New Year's Resolutions going? I wonder how many of our promises involve food? Lose weight, cut down on this and that, eat fewer snacks. Maintaining a healthy diet is a fantastic way to contribute to your health, and Chef Jerry Pellegrino has noticed, once a new approach to eating sets into your lifestyle, it becomes a habit and pretty easy to stick to.

This year we are going to concentrate on minimizing fats. One great technique is to cook "en papillote", i.e. cooking in parchment paper. Kitchen grade parchment paper is pretty easy to find in quality grocery stores.

Glenn Carstens-Peters/Unsplash

According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor roughly 30 percent of workers do not participate in their employers' 401K plan. Catherine tells us what employers can do to incentivize their workers to take advantage of retirement benefits. 

What will you resolve to change in the New Year? Scholar Benjamin Sax, from the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies, tells us about Jewish theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel and his philosophy of forgiveness.

Senga Nengudi

Jan 5, 2018
Mitro Hood

BMA Director Christopher Bedford delves into the career of performance artist/sculptor Senga Nengudi – from her pioneering work in Los Angeles in the 1970s to recent exhibitions that include more artists of color.

Anirban on wealth disparities and global economies.


Jan 5, 2018
Alli Kelly/flickr

On the night of December 7, 1961, Fire Prevention Chief Michael Horan was making a routine check in the Las Vegas nightclub on Harford Road when he discovered to his considerable discomfort that infractions of the city fire control were out of control. The dancers were dancing the Twist, a body shaking dance sweeping across the country - and on this night blocking the exit aisles of the Las Vegas club in Baltimore. He shut the club down only to see it re-open again - it's aisles jammed with dancers twisting again there was a reason for the way things were going for Chief Horan. This story explains . . . 

Fragile finances

Jan 4, 2018

Record number of Americans older than 65  are working – now nearly one in five as indicated by the Washington Post. That proportion has risen steadily over the past decade and at a rate far in excess of any other age group...

Deb Tillett, president of ETC (Emerging Technology Centers), tells us about Baltimore's features that are key to the success of companies and organizations. 

The Poetry in Science

Jan 4, 2018

Despite the tendency to separate STEM fields from the humanities, poetry and science have a closer bond than many people realize. Kathleen Gillespie is a poet and has a Doctorate in Marine Biotechnology. She is a research affiliate at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) in the Inner Harbor. She talks about the impact science has made on her poetry, and finding the poetry in science.


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!