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WYPR Features

Winter Vegetable Casseroles

7 hours ago
Busy With Chloe/flickr creative commons

During the winter months we often think of whipping up a big pot of stew, laden with succulent chunks of meat. Believe it or not those chunks of beef aren't mandatory. In fact some of the heartiest meals you can have this winter are 100% vegetarian. And there are many ways to make a steaming bowl of cooked vegetables flavorful and appealing. 

Helium balloons have long been used to signify a celebration, but when those balloons settle back down to earth, there’s really nothing to celebrate. Listen in to learn why we’re in favor of a balloon release ban here in Maryland.

One of the more peculiar native animals in our listening area seems like it could have come from the inspired imagination of a Hollywood director.

Just 8 inches long, the spotted salamander is blueish-black with sunny yellow spots. On its underside, this amphibian is a blush shade of pink. Two feet, each with four toes, hang off either side of a snake-like body. And its snout is wide with a smile like a frog’s, with tiny bulging black eyes like a pug.

Recently, I was posed a question about hypothetical superpowers: would I rather have the ability to fly or be able to make myself invisible. To me, the answer is a no-brainer: of course I'd love to fly. I can only imagine the sheer joy I would experience as the wind rushed over my face. I'd speed through the air, making quick work of my morning commute. Flying would be living the dream. Sadly, until I'm bitten by a mutant spider or am abducted by the government for genetic research, I'll be stuck in rush hour traffic like everyone else. I'll also be jealous of our local flying squirrels, adorable mammals who have this "fly-through-the-air-with-the-greatest-of-ease-thing figured out.

Joleethomp / Flickr/Creative Commons

During the War of 1812, Maryland militiamen, led by Joseph Stewart, captured the long boat belonging to the HMS Dauntless as it lay trapped in ice.

Trafficked Animals

Feb 12, 2020
David Coffey/National Aquarium

International pet trade is a multi-billion dollar business that sees millions of animals transferred from place to place each year, but not all of this trade is legal. So, what happens when illegally traded animals are intercepted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? Listen to learn more.

Harper (l); Ballantine (r)

Want to get away? On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we review two new novels that take us to exotic locales, replete with intriguing characters and plenty of plot twists. Our book critic Marion Winik shares her thoughts on Isabel Allende's A Long Petal of the Sea and Christopher Bollen's A Beautiful Crime.

mgaleg.maryland.gov

While many Republicans have been in denial about the realities of climate science – notably the denier-in-chief, President Trump, who falsely labels climate change a “hoax” – Baltimore County State Senator Chris West is what you might call a fact-based Republican.

West, a 69-year-old resident of West Towson, is an attorney and former President of the Bar Association of Baltimore City.

He is co-sponsoring a bill, introduced on Friday in the Maryland senate, that would dramatically reduce greenhouse gas pollution from the state by requiring a gradual shutdown of the state’s six remaining coal-fired power plants between 2023 and 2030.

“I’ll be honest with you,” West said. “I don’t want my grandchildren turning to their dad and saying, ‘You know, we’ve got this terrible environmental problem, and we’re facing daytime temperatures of somewhere between 105 and 110 degrees in the middle of the summer, what did Granddad do about this?’ And I don’t want my son telling my grandchildren, ‘Well, your grandfather – he didn’t believe global warming was real. And he did nothing.’ My feeling is, it’s pretty clear it’s real, and we need to do something.”

According to Al, few grapes reflect their origins better than zinfandel. Here's a look at a pair of fabulous regions. Click the links to purchase Cellar Notes recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.   

Aphrodisiacs

Feb 12, 2020
Philip Choi/flickr creative commons

Valentine's Day is nearly here, and a lot of folks are looking for novel ways of saying, "I love you".  Last week we talked about how to make your own candy. Today we're going to continue the discussion with some advice on how to throw a little kindling on the fires of romance. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino points out, history is filled with examples of foods that wishful thinkers claimed would provide a little spark of passion. They are known as aphrodisiacs.

Hutchinson: It’s Time To Come Together For Baltimore

Feb 11, 2020
Photo provided by Visit Baltimore

From Visit Baltimore’s research, we know 54% of visitors traveled to Greater Baltimore to visit friends and relatives. Unfortunately, what some of these visitors are hearing from their hosts is bad news about Baltimore City. After living in the city for three years, I understand just how divided our region is and has been for decades.

Beans

Feb 9, 2020

Beans are a great source of nutrition and a versatile element in delicious dishes spanning many cultures and time periods. On this live episode, Tony and Chef Cindy are joined by Joe Yonan, the two-time James Beard Award-winning food and dining editor of The Washington Post. In his newest book Cool Beans, Joe shows how beans can save you from boring dinners, lunches, breakfasts–and even desserts. Joe chats with Tony and Chef Wolf and we take your comments about your favorite bean preperations.

Ellen Lesperance

Feb 7, 2020
Maximilian Franz

Portland, Oregon-based artist Ellen Lesperance talks about her paintings inspired by sweaters worn by activities at the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, creative non-violence, and her Congratulations and Celebrations Sweater, which is worn for personal acts of courage and posted on Instagram.  Ellen Lesperance: Velvet Fist is on view at the BMA through June 28, 2020.

"The Jungle"

Feb 7, 2020
Flickr/Creative Commons / LOC / Bain News Service

In 1906, Upton Sinclair causes an uproar when he publishes his book "The Jungle," a shocking expose of the conditions in the meat packing industry.

Heritage And Inclusivity

Feb 7, 2020

How can heritage be a tool for inclusion and acceptance rather than exclusion? Andrew Arvizu of Patapsco Heritage Greenway tells us more: Arvizu is the Heritage Coordinator at the Ellicott City organization.

On the afternoon of December 18, 1999, watched anxiously in auctioneering house in Timonium, as the auctioneer rattled off the artifacts for sale from the once and famous and now defunct Haussner's restaurant - weeks earlier a reigning queen at Eastern Avenue and Conkling streets. In the end the memories of thousands of lunches and dinners and of millions of dollars of artwork and 73 years of Baltimore times winds up in a ball of twine - on display in an antique shop on Fells Point.

Maternal Depression And Parental Leave

Feb 5, 2020
iStock/x-reflexnaja

The thought of returning to work after giving birth can trigger feelings of depression. After all, who wants to get back to the grind when you’ve got a newborn at home who wants nothing more than your love and attention? Mounting research continues to find connections between maternal depressive symptoms and the length of maternity leave.

James/flickr

With Valentine's Day right around the corner a lot of us start thinking about  shopping for some kind of sweet treats for our sweethearts.  So if a box of candy says something, imagine what a box of homemade sweets would say. Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, this can be a very rewarding project to take on.

Brandy

Feb 5, 2020

Everybody has heard of brandy, but how many really drink it?  Hugh gives you great reasons for trying this classic distilled beverage. Click the links to purchase Cellar Notes recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.   

Providing Inspiration From Tragedy

Feb 5, 2020
Watercolor Concept / Adobe Stock

It takes tremendous effort to come to terms with the death of a child, an event that no parent can ever truly move beyond. Dr. Connie Smith-Hicks talks about Liz, who, inspired by the memory of her daughter Tory, honors her by reaching out and supporting parents of children with a diagnosis of Rett syndrome.

The Intercept

Since 1971, 10 states – led by Oregon and Vermont – have passed bottle deposit laws. These so-called “bottle bills” have proven to increase recycling rates and reduce litter on roadsides and in waterways. The laws give people a financial incentive, often five or ten cents per bottle or can, to pick up the litter and return the containers for a cash reward.

For example, Michigan passed a 10 cent bottle deposit law in 1976 and today enjoys a 95 percent recycling rate for bottles and cans. That’s almost four times the 25 percent rate in Maryland, which does not have a deposit law.

Six times in Maryland over the last decade, legislators have proposed bottle bills. Predictably, soda and beer manufacturers and store chains have fought the laws, because they don’t want to lose any income or take responsibility for handling dirty containers.

But that’s not why the bottle bills keep dying in Maryland and other states. The really effective lobbying against them in recent years has come from county and city recycling programs. These local government programs do not want to lose any of their own income, either from re-selling glass and aluminum or through grants from phony environmental groups such as Keep America Beautiful that are quietly bankrolled by the soda companies.

Investigative reporter Sharon Lerner popped the top off of this recycling corruption scandal in a recent article published on the news website The Intercept.

Voice

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, book critic Marion Winik reviews Arcadia by Lauren Groff. The book tells the story of a fictional hippie commune in New York State in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and its slow devolution into a dystopian nightmare.

Ware: Remembering The Tavern Owner

Feb 4, 2020
Photo provided by Ware

The Tavern Owner grew up in north Baltimore, the second son of a family known for its swell house parties in the 19th century. In those days, guests would arrive by horse and carriage and stay for the weekend, to dance and eat shaved ice and escape the city’s heat. By the time he and his siblings came along, teenagers would pile into station wagons and drag the new road leading out to the reservoir. He went to Gilman and later boarding school, but his eyes were never really on the books or the corner office.

The National Aquarium

Bundling up for a wintry walk on the beach? Keep an eye out for resting seals! Hear more from our Animal Rescue team.  

It’s not every day that I get really excited about a plant. Not that plants aren’t wonderful – they’re beautiful, useful, productive, and one of the reasons that life is able to exist on Earth – but some plants are truly incredible. I’ve talked on past episodes about seed pods that explode, plants that offer both animals and humans specific healing capabilities, and plants with uniquely beautiful flowers. The plant I’m going to talk about today has all of these characteristics and more – it’s like the super hero of cool native plants. The plant I’m referring to is witch hazel and in the plant world, it’s the equivalent of Prince: super talented, super cool, and universally appreciated for being awesome.

As the retirement landscape evolves, employers have to reflect on if their retirement plans and policies will continue to benefit their employee’s retirement preparations. Catherine Collinson, president of nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, discusses how employers can take on a greater role in supporting the changing retirement needs of their employees.

On this week's podcast: federal deficits, Iran's economy, high credit scores, carbon emissions, and more.

In 1939, Baltimore was known is show-biz circles as a "tryout town."

One of the shows trying out, on the stage of the Hippodrome Theater, was called, Hollywood Stars in Review, MC'd by Louella Parsons, the famous Hollywood gossip columnist.

In the review, trying out in Baltimore was a petite brunette named Jane Wyman - an a handsome, All-American type named Ronald Reagan. As things would work out, Ronald Reagan would go on to Hollywood and political stardom - not withstanding that in his try-out in Baltimore, he bombed.

On January 30, 1956, a devastating fire broke out at Arundel Park during a church fundraiser and oyster roast.

Let’s say you are saving for retirement and are also socially conscious.  It is quite possible that if you participate in an employer’s 401K plan, you may be supporting things that do not strike you as socially worthwhile. Many a federal worker is precisely in this situation. As pointed out by writer Ron Lieber, many people who work for the Office of the Surgeon General are exposed to tobacco stocks. 

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