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WYPR Features

Catherine helps us explore what it takes to successfully retire ahead of the 65 year mark.  

Black Aggie

Apr 2, 2018

On a moonless night in 1938, a Hopkins undergrad was taken on a fraternity initiation—a teen-age ritual through the 1960s, a visit to see “Black Aggie.””Aggie” was a bronze statue, weather-darkened hence the “black” description, created to honor a well- known Baltimorean, Felix Angus. “Aggie” stood dark and mysterious in the Druid Ridge Cemetery at Stevenson Road and Park Heights Avenues. The sculptor was Augustus Saint Gaudin—who started out to create a beautiful statue, but through years of visits by teenagers to his dark statue on a dark nights in a darkened cemetery--wound up changing the pop culture of Baltimore.

One of the many perks of being the Executive Director of a nature center is my proximity to the front line of the battle against invasive species in our region. As our human world becomes ever-more connected, the creatures we share our planet with like sometimes like to join us for the ride. Unfortunately, when new species are introduced to our shores, they often have a devastating impact on our native flora and fauna. Such is the case with the Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive insect that arrived in Pennsylvania in 2014.

Automation, American tourism, credit card debt, bricklayer job security, and working mothers. 

"She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her." - This is the text of a Gestapo transmission regarding OSS agent Virginia Hall, a Baltimore native who fought with the Resistance in France during World War II. This is her remarkable story.

Black Aggie

Mar 30, 2018

On a moonless night in 1938, a Hopkins undergrad was taken on a fraternity initiation—a teen-age ritual through the 1960s, a visit to see “Black Aggie.””Aggie” was a bronze statue, weather-darkened hence the “black” description, created to honor a well- known Baltimorean, Felix Angus. “Aggie” stood dark and mysterious in the Druid Ridge Cemetery at Stevenson Road and Park Heights Avenues. The sculptor was Augustus Saint Gaudin—who started out to create a beautiful statue, but through years of visits by teenagers to his dark statue on a dark nights in a darkened cemetery--wound up changing the pop culture of Baltimore.

A Message of Gratitude

Mar 29, 2018

Maryland Humanities Executive Director Phoebe Stein joins us with a message of gratitude and an exciting announcement regarding our Humanities Connection segment.

Earlier this year, it appeared that something quite rare was about to occur.  One of the fifty U.S. states, Washington State, was striving to pass a bill that would have instituted a new payroll tax to help cover the cost of long term care, whether in a nursing home, a residence, or elsewhere in a community.

Today's guest is Kimberly Groves, President and CEO of KCW Engineering.

Black Aggie

Mar 29, 2018

Dr. Morgan Pritchett and his cemetery experience with "Black Aggie" as part of his fraternity initiation.

Baltimore Waterfront Partnership

Mr. Trash Wheel is a water-driven trash-interceptor and collection machine that was installed four years ago at the mouth of the Jones Falls, where it empties into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

It was invented by Baltimore entrepreneur John Kellett and has succeeded in collecting more than 1.5 million pounds of garbage over the years. It has also collected a large social media following, with 30,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

ACEs & Latino Kids

Mar 28, 2018

A report from the nonprofit Salud America! shows that eight-in-ten or 78% of all Latino children in America have faced at least one Averse Childhood Experience. This is the fastest growing demographic in America. What can be done to change this trend?

Wetlands (Encore)

Mar 27, 2018

The National Aquarium is getting serious about Inner Harbor water quality. Listen to learn more about how ingeniously designed floating wetlands are bringing natural habitat—and cleaner urban waters—back to Baltimore.

Visitors to Assateague Island have seen the beautiful ponies that roam free. Even those who have not had the benefit of visiting these creatures in person have likely read Margarite Henry’s book, "Misty of Chincoteague."

But the differently-named ponies--Assateague and Chincoteague--present some confusion.  Are they the same ponies? Different ponies? Do they even live on the same island?

Glenn Carstens-Peters/Unsplash

Hector tells us how employers can best implement workplace wellness programs.

Flickr/Jeannette E. Spaghetti

Maryland's farms are just about ready to start cranking out good fresh food this spring, and very quickly we're going to be washed away in a food avalanche. Since we can't possibly eat everything we'd like to buy, we have to have a plan B. There's no better expert than Chef JP of Schola Cooking School, and he says it's never to early to start thinking about preserving the bounty.

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, two books that take us behind the scenes at a pair of workplaces that might make you want to keep your day job.

This week: Job growth, mortgage rates, government spending, and the success of Black Panther

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Freeman Hrabowski, President of UMBC (The University of Maryland, Baltimore County) tells us about the contributions of UMBC's alumni.

Dr. Sheri Parks

Mar 22, 2018

Tom talks with University of Maryland Professor Dr. Sheri Parks.

Sheri is recommending:

Digging to America by Anne Tyler

In the Midst of Winter, by Isabel Allende

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.

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