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WYPR Features

Brave Women

Sep 26, 2018

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, book critic Marion Winik reviews two new books about fearless women who did things their way.

Baby Dreams

Sep 26, 2018

Infants spend a lot of time sleeping. In fact most of their time is spent dozing. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could know what they were dreaming about? Decades of research have shown that REM sleep is crucial to brain development in infants. It is during this deep sleep when babies are converting all of their brand new experiences and observations into lasting memories and developing the foundation of new skills. It is how they learn.

Paul Aloe/flickr


Spanish reds are very popular these days. But what about the whites? Here's a review of some of the most popular blancos. Click the links to purchase Cellar Notes recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.

Monarchs (Encore)

Sep 25, 2018
Nancy Bauer / Shutterstock.com

Monarchs are perhaps the most notable species of butterfly, but their populations are also one of the most threatened. However, thanks to conservation efforts across North America—including right here in Baltimore—habitat is being restored for the majestic monarch.

Many assume that nature is at its peak and glory only in the sunny seasons of spring and summer. But if you observe carefully, you’ll find that autumn has quite a few things you thought were reserved only for warmer months.

Autumn brings cooler and shorter days, but wildlife activity has not ceased or even slowed. The most magnificent sign of the season is the flourish of color and activity that bursts out during this time of year.

Presciption Drugs

Sep 24, 2018
Ano Lobb/flickr

Hector tells us how the cost of prescription drugs has become a burden for consumers.


Tony and Chef Wolf give advice on what to serve at your next cocktail party--and how to prepare early and stress less. 

One Maryland One Book in Garrett County

Sep 21, 2018

Every year, Maryland Humanities presents One Maryland One Book, a statewide book club accompanied by an author tour. Libraries across the state host programming related to the book selection. Thomas Vose, Director of the Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County, tells us about the One Maryland One Book programming at the Garrett County library.

Anirban discusses findings on children having better jobs than their parents, employment declines in West Virginia, Generation Z's attitudes on money, ultra-rich cities, and what a Starbucks means for a zip code. 

On September 17, 1862, many soldiers of the 5th Maryland infantry, made up of mostly German immigrants from Baltimore, lost their lives along a sunken road at Antietam.

On September 17, 1862, many soldiers of the 5th Maryland infantry, made up of mostly German immigrants from Baltimore, lost their lives along a sunken road at Antietam.

Calculating Retirement, Pre-Retirement

Sep 20, 2018

If you are in your fifties or sixties, you may have begun to pay closer attention to commercials regarding annuities, Medicare Part B, or those ads featuring Tom Selleck talking about reverse mortgages. You are not alone. Financial advisors suggest that many of us abruptly awaken to the realities of retirement about five years or so prior to its onset. While such awareness can be jarring, most advisors consider the panic attacks that occur several years prior to retirement helpful.

Anirban has more. 

Must Reads

Sep 19, 2018

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we review two new "must read" novels with Baltimore accents.

Last week on this program, we examined the environmental record of Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan as he runs for re-election on November 6.

This week, we’ll look at the environmental platform and history of his Democratic challenger, Ben Jealous. Jealous has never held an elected office. But he’s a former Rhodes Scholar, newspaper reporter and former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

At the NAACP, Jealous started the organization’s climate justice program, which emphasizes that minorities and lower income people are often hit hardest by flooding, extreme weather, air pollution, and other impacts of burning fossil fuels.

As candidate for Governor, at the top of Jealous’ list of environmental priorities is to have Maryland join California and Hawaii as states that plan to stop using coal and natural gas to generate electricity and switch to 100 percent solar, wind and other clean fuels.

Mr. Rogers

Sep 19, 2018

It has been 50 years since Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood premiered on PBS. The messages that he brought to children are just as relevant today as they were then. Making kids feel valued, liked, and important simply because they are kids was consistent throughout Mr. Rogers’ entire run. You don’t have to do anything other than be yourself to be special.


Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio, are they the same grapes? Yes, but they're not the same wines. Hugh explains the differences. Click the links to purchase Cellar Notes recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Earlier this season, an invasion of ants came flooding into our mud room. They came in two by two, three by three, and eventually just in a big army. They set up shop in some gardening equipment I’d meant to put away but forgotten about. Most people’s first reaction would be to get ant killer from the store. Just a couple minutes of spraying would kill them and keep them from coming back.

But spraying them wasn’t on my mind at all.

Did you know that over 95% of the insects aren’t really pests? That means that the great majority of creepy crawlies we swat, squash and flush are actually beneficial.

Khairil Zhafri/flickr

At any given time I can dig no fewer than five different mustards out of my refrigerator.  A hot dog is not a hot dog unless it has classic Yellow Mustard on it, but all those others have so many uses.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino and I asked our friend Liz Nuttle to come on and give us her take on this extraordinarily useful condiment.

Elk Horn Coral

Sep 18, 2018
Paul Selvaggio

John tells us about The National Aquarium's efforts to restore populations of elk horn coral, an ecologically important reef-building species that is considered endangered.  

How to Be a Real Friend of the Chesapeake Bay

Sep 18, 2018

Environmental lawyer and author Michael Curley comments on why "the number one environmental problem in the Chesapeake Bay is us." 

Flickr Creative Commons

In today's news we often hear about the gender pay gap but there is a formidable retirement income gap as well. Catherine tells us more. 

Poetry and Parkway

Sep 14, 2018
Alessandro Bonvini/flickr

Up into the 1970s, Baltimoreans could tune in on their radios to station WCAO at midnight and listen to—poetry! It was an hour of readings, to the accompaniment soft organ music, originating from the Parkway Theater on North Avenue.

“The last reading of the last night of the poetry hour read here comes a time to say the song is through.”

And for Baltimore’s first lat and only poetry hour it was.

Peter Stevens/flickr

On a long ago vacation in the South of France I came across a dish that I brought home with me and made it a standard.  Salad Nicoise is one of the easiest and most appealing salads I know. Chef Jerry Pellegrino says, even though we can't always get those classic tiny nicoise olives, we do have everything we need right here.  But one thing I thought you needed, isn't one of the classic ingredients: lettuce!

Anirban gives the latest news on job dissatisfaction, landscaper shortages, Americans' growing debt, happiness in Nordic nations and Silicon Valley's shifting population. 

Lucy Diggs Slowe

Sep 13, 2018
Howard University

In 1917,  Baltimore native Lucy Diggs Slowe won the first-ever championship match held by the newly established American Tennis Association, becoming the first African American woman to win a national championship in any sport.

Understanding Sacrifice and Preserving War Stories

Sep 13, 2018

How can we experience the emotional impact of history and pass on stories of heroes for younger generations? Ryan Kaiser is a Social Studies teacher at The Mt. Washington School, whose class participates in Maryland Humanities’ Maryland History Day. Through a program called Understanding Sacrifice, he traveled to the Philippines to learn more about World War II and read the eulogy of a fallen soldier.

Not Enough to Retire

Sep 13, 2018

According to Northwest Mutual's 2018 Planning and Progress study, 78 percent of Americans indicate that they are concerned about not having enough money for retirement. Anirban tells us that there's good reason for this. 

"Johnny U."

Sep 12, 2018

Before he became a Baltimore Colts legend, Johnny Unitas had to overcome some tough odds, both on, and off, the field.

Tavares Strachan

Sep 12, 2018

Christopher Bedford talks with Bahamian-born artist Tavares Strachan about his work with scientists at MIT in Cambridge and the Allen Institute in Seattle, the meaning of his compelling new light installation on the BMA’s historic façade, and his ambitious new project for the Carnegie International exhibition in Pittsburgh.  

Chesapeake Bay Magazine

With Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan running for re-election in a majority Democratic state on Nov. 6th, he’s emphasizing his record on the environment as an area to claim a moderate legacy, and to differentiate himself from Republican President Trump, who is highly unpopular in the state.

Hogan’s environmental secretary, Ben Grumbles, highlights Governor Hogan’s efforts to reduce pollution into the Chesapeake Bay, including the tons of sediment pouring over the Conowingo Dam on the Susquehanna River.

“I would say, number one, would be the strong, bipartisan support for Chesapeake Bay restoration,” said Grumbles, asked to list the governor's top environmental accomplishments.  “And I have to fold into that not only the governor’s record funding for the Chesapeake Bay restoration, from Program Open Space, to the 2010 Trust Fund, to full and robust support for the Bay Restoration Fund and the other funding programs. But it’s also about being a strong supporter of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.”

The Bay TMDL – or Total Maximum Daily Load – is the set of EPA pollution limits that the Obama Administration imposed for Chesapeake region states in 2010. And this is where Hogan’s claims of success become as murky as the bay itself has been this summer, with the record-breaking rainfall and large amounts of runoff pollution.