WYPR Features | WYPR

WYPR Features


A panel of scientists recently released new nutritional guidelines for children. According to these guidelines, for the first five years children should avoid sugary drinks and consume primarily milk and water. Listen now and drink up the knowledge!

Audio coming soon. 

Cabernet Franc

16 hours ago

Maryland's most successful red grape is also a big winner around the world. Al and Hugh give some cabernet franc picks. 

Click the links to purchase Cellar Notes recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.   

Simon and Schuster

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we review the next selection for The Weekly Reader Book Club, Susan Orlean's The Library Book. It's part investigative journalism, part memoir, and part love letter to libraries, books, and the power of the written word.

For more information about the next meeting of The Weekly Reader Book Club on Thursday, November 14th at 7pm at Bird in Hand, click here. 

As elementary school students, we all learn that leaves contain a pigment called chlorophyll, which colors leaves green. And shortly after, we middle-school scientists usually discover that through a process called photosynthesis, plants can use chlorophyll and energy from the sun to turn carbon dioxide, water and minerals into food.

So it took me by surprise when a recent nature center visitor asked me if plants can eat anything else. “Are there,” he asked me earnestly, “other ways for plants to feed themselves?”

Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is: yes.

On our planet, there is a diverse type of plants that have evolved a very different strategy than the one we learn about as children. These plants, alien as it may seem, can actually eat animals.

A few weeks ago we were looking for something different in the protein department for dinner, and my girlfriend Vickie suggested we make some meatballs. So I bought the fixings and made them up, and they were pretty good, but Chef Jerry Pellegrino tells me could have done better.

Catch-Up Contributions

Oct 14, 2019

Catherine shares how people 50 and up can boost their retirement savings by using catch-up contributions.


Oct 14, 2019
Library of Congress / Flickr/Creative Commons

In 1851, Maryland farmer Edward Gorsuch formed a posse and tried to retrieve some runaway slaves that had fled over the Pennsylvania border. It did not end well.


Oct 11, 2019

It’s autumn and migration is in full swing. But more than just birds are preparing for their long journey south. Bluefish are on their way to warmer weather in Florida now as well.

You may not be able to dance, but you do have rhythm. All humans have rhythm. It is the circadian clock, a 24-hour cycle that regulates our sleep-wake timing and other physiological processes.

It is our response to our relationship with a star: The sun. All of nature has a rhythm, too.

Mike McKee

Oct 11, 2019

For the month of Halloween, Julia Marciari-Alexander discusses some of the Walters best macabre art and ghost stories, with special guest Mike McKee, Head of Installation and Production at the Walters. 

The fact that so many people are confused about how much money they will need for retirement is hardly surprising. There are a sea of articles, studies, and opinion pieces about such things, and they tend to be all over the map in terms of explaining to people what they need to be ready for retirement. Here is some more data. According to TD Ameritrade’s 2019 Retirement Pulse Survey, about six in 10 Americans think that one million dollars will be enough for a comfortable retirement.  

Anirban tells us more. 


On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we review Stephen King's latest thriller, The Institute. Plus, our book critic Marion Winik recalls two other books by the master of the macabre, the novel 11/22/63, and the indispensable classic On Writing.


The U.S. has the largest population of incarcerated people in the whole world. Accordingly, there are approximately five million children in the U.S. who have a parent in jail, prison, or on parole. When a person is imprisoned the impact is vast; it is felt by their family, their community, and, sadly, their children.

It's the perfect time of year to enjoy Tuscany's preeminent medium bodied red. Click the links to purchase Cellar Notes recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.   

Tom Pelton

It was a late Saturday afternoon, and I was on the Chesapeake Bay, on a peninsula of land called Taylor’s Island, about 15 miles southwest of Cambridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

I dragged my kayak across slabs of concrete beside the road and then launched into the Little Choptank River. Blue crabs were dense in the nooks between the rocks, scuttling away when I dipped my paddle into the waters.

As the sun slid lower on the horizon, I headed out across the rippled, olive-green surface toward a tuft of trees rising from the waters, about a half mile out. Fish jumped. An osprey circled and then dove.

My destination was James Island. Settled by the English in the 1600’s, James Island was once a 1,300 acre expanse of forested land -- a fishing and farming community with 20 homes, a school, store, and Methodist church.  But it was abandoned to rising sea levels in the 1910’s. James Island is one of hundreds of Chesapeake Bay islands that have been consumed by rising sea levels driven by climate change.


Watching a Ravens game is very much a sacred ritual for me. I have to have my man cave set up just right.  I have to have the right beverage and of course, I have to have the right food. So of course several times a season I fix up some hamburgers for the crowd. They're usually pretty good, and nobody complains. I told Chef Jerry Pellegrino that I could be doing better. So he came up with just a few simple hints that should really help.

Hector helps us understand what federally qualified health centers are, and the type of care they provide. 

William T. Williams

Oct 4, 2019
Jennifer McMenamin

Artist William T. Williams talks about his long career as an abstract painter and his role in mentoring the next generation.  Works by Williams are on view at the BMA in Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art and Every Day: Selections from the Collection and in New York at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery.

Making The Humanities Accessible

Oct 4, 2019

How can we make the humanities more accessible to people with disabilities? Tammy Black of the Hearing and Speech Agency or HASA, tells us more.

On a Saturday afternoon in 1946, on an elevator in the popular downtown department store, Hochschild Kohn, a uniformed elevator operator was calling out to passengers, “Fourth  floor, Ladies dresses, special sale today!” An elevator operator selling merchandise while calling out floors? So beloved was this custom that when the store installed automatic elevators, they had to call the operators back. To call out floors and merchandise!

Tom Pelton

Almost four years ago, the sewers of Baltimore erupted in a scandal.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Department of the Environment had sued the city to force it to fix its leaky and overwhelmed sewer system and stop discharging raw waste into the Inner Harbor and urban streams.

The Baltimore Department of Public Works more than tripled water and sewer rates, but mismanaged the sewer system upgrade project. City workers shut down sewage outfall pipes before it increased the capacity of the system. This caused raw waste to erupt into the basements of hundreds of homes.

Natasza Bock-Singleton, a community leader and mother of three from southwest Baltimore, described what these sewage floods are like during a public hearing on the problem Monday at the Maryland Department of the Environment.  She said her home suffered more than $25,000 in damage from three sewage floods.

“It’s a geyser of human waste,” said Bock-Singleton. “And just to clarify – it doesn't happen when it starts to rain. There is a little bit of a lull.  You have a rain storm, and you think you might have a problem, so you go in your basement and you wait and you watch (the toilet) and you put everything else on hold.  And there is a little gurgle, so you call 311, and just as the rain stops, and the sun comes out, and the birds chirp, and rainbows come, then the geyser of human waste comes up.”

Oktoberfest Beers

Oct 3, 2019

October is here and it's time to talk about the great Oktoberfest Beers! Click the links to purchase Cellar Notes recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.   


While it is true that many people have failed to adequately save for retirement, some in this position likely shrug their shoulders, and decide that they have a solution – they’ll just keep working.  But there is no guarantee of permanent employment.  Indeed, there is plenty of evidence of age discrimination in the workplace. According to a study by ProPublica and the Urban Institute, between 1992 and 2016, 56 percent of older workers reported either being laid off or pushed out of a job at least once.  

Anirban tells us more. 


Most parents are aware that communication with their infant influences how the child learns. What’s less known is the impact that infants have on their parents. Researchers at Cornell University’s B.A.B.Y. Laboratory found that babies’ babbling effects the ways in which parents communicate with their infants.


On this edition of The Weekly Reader, it's all about True Crime! We review Rachel Monroe's Savage Appetites, a new work of narrative non-fiction about women who love true crime stories, plus, we revisit two books inspired by Charlie Manson and The Manson Family, The Girls, by Emma Cline, and Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt.

The National Aquarium

Single-use plastic bags are a lightweight product that produce a heavy environmental burden. As Baltimore City pursues a “bag ban”, listen to learn more about the conservation challenges posed by the production and use of plastic shopping bags.

Shannon’s Strength Shines Through!

Oct 1, 2019

At Kennedy Krieger Institute, Shannon gets the treatment she needs to stay healthy and start her journey towards medical school. Listen to her physical therapist Chris Joseph talk about how Shannon, despite having osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, is charting a path forward to realizing her dream of being a neonatologist. 

White Oaks

Oct 1, 2019

The storm had already passed, so I was surprised to hear a loud ‘crack’ and then an imposing ‘thump’ outside.

Walking to my front yard, I noticed an enormous dead branch had fallen off a white oak tree and crashed onto the ground.

This massive tree has been growing quietly in my yard for many years. With a 4-foot diameter trunk and crown spanning more than 100 feet, it looks both ancient and majestic. But I rarely pay it much attention.

Fish Tacos

Oct 1, 2019

It's no exaggeration to say that Mexican and Hispanic food have become well established parts of our cuisine. Folks who have traveled south of the border have encountered incredible variations on the rudimentary dishes we can get here.  One of the most popular of authentic dishes to emerge is fish tacos. Chef Jerry Pellegrino points out that Marylanders should be thrilled to find another use for our splendid seafood. 

Jerry suggests that whatever fish you select, you pan fry it and then cut it into long slices that can run the length of the tortilla. Pico de Gallo sauce and Salsa Roja are traditional accompaniments.

Creating an emergency savings fund while juggling all of your financial priorities is difficult. How much are people saving? Catherine joins us to share findings from a Transamerica report on workers' emergency savings funds, and to discuss the ways a lack of savings could impact retirement preparation.