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WYPR Features

Populations of frogs and other amphibians have been declining around the world and biologist Lisa Schloegel believes that she may have discovered why.

Schloegel and her fellow researchers concluded that the breeding and farming of bullfrogs in Brazil, Taiwan and China, and the international sales of these live frogs may be spreading a fungus that causes a disease called chytridiomycosis, which is often deadly in amphibians.

Although bullfrogs are native to North America part of the natural ecosystem here, their sale, release and multiplication around the world is also creating an invasive species problem in other countries, as the large and aggressive bullfrogs gobble up smaller frogs and amphibians.

On today's Clear Path, Hector breaks down Medicare Part D--what it is, changes around presciption drugs, and the "donut hole" coverage gap. 

Butternut Squash

4 hours ago

With Thanksgiving approaching it's time to take a look at recipes for side dishes that might get you out of your ordinary rut. Perhaps the most emblematic vegetable for this season is the butternut squash, which is among the most versatile items in our pantry.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, this tasty winter squash just begs to be doctored up.

At a press conference a year ago to announce a contract extension to his original five-year pact, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred declared that “every single day has really been a great experience for me."

We’re about to put that statement to the test when Manfred confronts the greatest challenge to a commissioner’s stewardship since Kenesaw Mountain Landis nearly a century ago.

And just as Landis did, in dealing with the Black Sox scandal, Manfred will have to face issues of integrity surrounding the game.

Manfred, who, like Landis, is an attorney, must decide how much cheating he and baseball can live with and what to do about it.

This is about a traffic policeman named Bill and horse named Bob—who became median strip. When the intersection of Pratt and Light was one of the busiest in the world, Bill’s traffic control worked this way: While standing in the middle of traffic, his horse Bob would be by his side and on orders from Bill, shift positions to form a median strip and so shift traffic into the lane Bill wanted. The system worked. Here’s the story.

The Affirming Power Of LGBTQ Storytelling

Nov 14, 2019
Katie Simbala

How is storytelling a form of survival? R. Eric Thomas, Senior Staff Writer at Elle Magazine and Board Member at FreeState Justice, tells us more. 

How much of your income should you save for retirement? Anirban shares new research and recommendations. 

"Mary Garrett"

Nov 14, 2019
Washington Government Printing Office / Flickr/Creative Commons

In 1893, Mary Garrett, daughter of B&O Railroad magnate John Work Garrett, used her fortune to fund the nation's first co-educational medical school at Johns Hopkins. 

Cotes Du Rhone

Nov 13, 2019

These delicious reds from Southern France are among the best bargains out there. Click the links to purchase Cellar Notes recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.   

Wikimedia commons

Around the world, humans have wiped out 60 percent of all mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, according to a report by the World Wildlife Foundation.

To cite one just example in North America, seventy percent of shorebird populations have disappeared since 1973. That was when I was a child strolling on the beach. 

Modern civilization is wreaking havoc on biodiversity, with our industries, population growth and pesticides gradually killing off most large forms of life that do not serve humanity or feed off of us.

This is frightening. But at the same time, the average life span of people around the world has more than doubled since 1900, because of medical improvements, advances in farming technology and rising incomes.

This conflict is sometimes described as the “environmentalists paradox.” The paradox, in a nutshell, is that the quality of life for humans has improved even as we’ve pillaged and destroyed the planet’s natural ecosystems.

Winter Legumes

Nov 13, 2019

One of the benefits of living in an agriculturally enlightened state is that all our farmers practice crop rotation of one kind or another. Crop rotation means that we plant a variety of things that alternately deplete and then replenish the soil. And one of the best ways of building the soil back up is to plant legumes. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino points out, the good news is, we can eat a lot of these winter legumes, particularly the beans.

These beans of winter almost always come to us in a dried form, which means we have to re-hydrate them.  Jerry outlines the process.


It takes a village to install a child’s car seat appropriately. There’s a lot more to car seats than meets the eye, and knowing what to look for and how to use them as instructed can literally save lives. Here are some important things to keep in mind.

Scribner (l); Ecco (r)

On this episode of The Weekly Reader, we preview Myla Goldberg's Feast Your Eyes, our pick for the December meeting of our Book Club, and we also review Kevin Wilson's latest novel, Nothing to See Here.


Driving along 695, it’s easy to ignore the greenery beyond the concrete medians and metal guardrails.

But that’s just where one of our area’s most troublesome invasive species hides and thrives. It’s so troublesome, in fact, that residents in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi have called it “the scourge that ate the south.”

Winter is coming and it behooves us all to get ready. For some, that means stocking up on gloves, toilet paper and snow blowers.

For sports fans, however, that might mean clearing up space on the DVR for as many football and baseball games as it can hold, for there may be a lot fewer of them down the road.

You see, the cold that’s on the horizon is the distinct possibility of labor problems between the NFL, Major League Baseball and their respective player unions.

And by problems, we mean lockouts, shutdowns or that most dreaded of words, a strike.

Elder Fraud

Nov 11, 2019

Elder fraud is an increasing reality in today’s world.  According to the United States Special Committee on Aging, older American’s lose, on average, $3 billion per year to scams. This is an extremely alarming, yet under-reported number, as not every case of fraud and financial exploitation is reported. It is important for people to be aware and recognize warning signs to better protect themselves.

Today, Catherine Collinson, president of nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, joins us to talk about elder fraud.

On a day in 1918, a 16-year-old girl named Rose Zetzer was a student in high school, discussing the assignment 'Shall Women Have the Right to Work?'

Right then and there she said, “I am going to be a lawyer.” She not only became a lawyer, but in the process, she opened the profession to women. According to a male contemporary, “She got on our nerves.” She also changed the history of Baltimore.

While it is common for many people to suggest that one needs about a million dollars to retire comfortably at the age of 65, there are plenty of other sources of information that indicate that a million dollars would be inadequate, and that a figure closer to one point five million or one point seven million makes more sense. Are you expecting to be a millionaire in your mid-sixties? As indicated by writer Eric Reed, if you’re like the average American, the answer is absolutely not. According to a 2018 study conducted by Northwestern Mutual, twenty-one percent of Americans have no retirement savings and an additional ten percent have less than five-thousand dollars in savings. 

Office of the Chief Signal Officer / DoD, Department of the Army / Flickr/Creative Commons

In June, 1932, desperate veterans, who had been promised a "bonus" for their service in WWI with the Allied Expeditionary Forces in France, marched on Washington, DC, to demand payment.

Making A Difference With History

Nov 7, 2019
Mitro Hood Photography, courtesy of Maryland Humanities

As an eight-grader last spring, Addie Skillman won first place in the junior individual performance category at Maryland History Day for her project “Loving v. Virginia: The Stepping Stone for Equality in America.” Addie then advanced to the National History Day contest in College Park where she won the top prize—the Gold Medal—for her junior individual performance. Currently a ninth grader at Howard High, Addie tells us how her participation in the program changed her life.


New research from Vanderbilt University shows very young children may be captivated by screens, but they are not able to learn from them. When it comes to learning, that time is better spent talking to your child.

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words

Nov 6, 2019

A struggling, young, homeless mother learns self-confidence and how to be a better parent through a photo story book project. Listen to this inspiring story by Kim Cosgrove at Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Therapeutic Nursery about how a special program helped a mom and baby find much needed stability and hope for the future.  

As good as Piedmont's best wines are, it's Barbera that you'll find on the table.  Click the links to purchase Cellar Notes recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.   

So the days have gotten really short, and the night has gotten so much longer, and I for one am standing in the need of a little comfort. When Chef Jerry Pellegrino told me he wanted to talk about bread pudding, I was all ears. In my book, bread pudding is pure comfort.

jack perks/Shutterstock

Since prehistoric times, they have swum the depths of our nearby ocean. Then, they became an internationally sought-after delicacy. Join us as we check in on the fascinating Atlantic Sturgeon.

Hector walks us through the process of signing up for Medicaid. 

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.

American Eel

Nov 5, 2019

There are some words that you don’t get to use very often and when you finally get the opportunity, it’s a big occasion. The word I’m about to throw down might be familiar to some of our listeners – especially those who are knowledgeable about fish. Are you ready?


Leona Gage (11-1-19)

Nov 1, 2019

In the evening of July 15, 1957, Veterans Stadium in Long Beach, California was awash in the lights and music and pageantry of the semi-finals of the Miss USA contest. Contestants from all over America walked down the runway. In that group was a Cinderella come-to-the-ball from Glen Burnie, Maryland, named Leona Gage. But neighbors from the area were not fooled. They told the real story of who Miss Gage really was! 

Leonardo Drew

Nov 1, 2019
Jennifer McMenamin Photography

BMA Director Christopher Bedford talks to New York-based multi-media artist Leonardo Drew about how the artist gives new life and meaning to the found materials he uses. Mr. Drew also discusses his appreciation and respect for viewers’ different interpretations of his art. Works by the artist are on view in Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art at the BMA through January 19.

Free admission will be available to everyone November 23 & 24 courtesy of Bank of America, and city residents December 14 & 15 courtesy of CareFirst.