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WYPR Features

Looking for a good book for a long flight? On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we review two new, short books that we're calling "Airplane books." They pack a punch...and you can pack them easily in your carry-on bag!

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.

Prescription for Play

Sep 12, 2018

The results are in and here’s the doctor’s prescription: more play for the little ones! That’s right, from stress management to language promotion, childhood playtime has significant value. And all you need is a little time and a love of fun.

Gray Squirrels

Sep 11, 2018
Maryland DNR

I recently visited a class at the Nature Preschool at Irvine and got to see the 3 to 5 year olds during some imaginative outdoor play. A few of the kids were digging small holes in the dirt, depositing acorns and then giggling.

“We’re playing squirrels,” one of them told me before scampering away through the autumn leaves. The other kids gave me all kinds of great details they’d learned about squirrels. For example, one little boy told me that a group of squirrels is in fact called a scurry! They were all so excited about them, it got me thinking about these busy, bushy-tailed rodents.

The Power of the Ballot

Sep 11, 2018
Wanda Draper

Wanda Draper, Executive Director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History and Culture reminds us of the importance of voting. She implores us that this "is not a time to be silenced by fear or deadly apathy."


Sep 11, 2018
Marco Verch/flickr

Many of us try to minimize our impact on the environment by buying local food and low-emission vehicles, but what about with our clothing choices? 

Your clothes might be sources of ocean and plastic pollution unless you take a few steps to prevent it. John tells us how to do that. 

Workplace wellness programs continue to be an important part of our health and everyday lives given that most of us spend the majority of our waking hours at work. Hector tells us about helpful tools for employers. 

Tommy's Wedding

Sep 7, 2018

When Congressman Tommy D'Alesandro, Jr. married Nancy Lombardi, Little Italy - where they were both born and raised - became one vast, day long party of wining and dining.  A little too much of it caused Tommy and Nancy to change their honeymoon plans!  

During the Civil War, Barbara Frietchie defiantly waved a Union flag from her window as Confederate Troops passed by her home in Frederick, Maryland.

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, book critic Marion Winik highlights three new memoirs from Claire Tomalin, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, and Clementine Wamariya.

Tom Pelton

I’m on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, near Denton, standing in a forested wetlands surrounded by miles of corn and soybean fields. Here, in this little island of biodiversity, sweetgum trees and bald cypresses rise up from coffee-colored water.

A gentle wind sways the branches, leading spots of light and shadow in a dance over the surface of the water, illuminating tufts of grasses and rotting logs that are home to salamanders and frogs.

This place is what is called a “Delmarva Pothole” or “Delmarva Bay.” They are small, isolated, fresh water wetlands that are connected only beneath the ground to nearby streams and rivers.

Although few outsiders have ever heard of them, biologists say these potholes – which locals call “whale wallows” -- provide invaluable ecological services for the Chesapeake Bay by filtering runoff pollution being washed by rain off of farm fields.

The expansion of the U.S. economy, cities in fiscal distress, spouses living apart, families struggling to meet basic needs, income inequality among Asian Americans.

More than 40 percent of Americans are at risk of going broke in retirement. And that's the good news. Anirban tells us more. 

The Maryland Odyssey Project

Sep 6, 2018

Last year, Emily Wilson became the first woman to translate Homer’s Odyssey into English. Public high school students in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, and Baltimore County will learn about Ancient Greek history and society and create their own poetry, history projects, and theatre pieces in response to this translation. Amy Bernstein, the Project Director, tells us more.

Over-oaked Chardonnay is becoming a thing of the past. Here's a collection of tasty whites that never see a barrel. Click the links to purchase Cellar Notes recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.

Determination and Defying the Odds!

Sep 5, 2018

Dr. Erin Michael, with Kennedy Krieger’s International Center for Spinal Cord Injury recounts her experiences with Jerry, an inspiring patient who defies the odds by competing as part of Team Kennedy Krieger in the 26.2 mile, handcycling marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival. Go Jerry!


Sep 5, 2018
Luca Nebuloni/flickr

There's been a recent push by  the Maryland seafood industry to work Blue Catfish into our repertoire of recipes. This very tasty species is available in abundance, and folks are trying to engineer a decline in its numbers.

One way was to have a contest for Blue Catfish recipes and one of the winners was an idea for Catfish Ceviche, something that intrigued us.

Maryland voters agree that universal pre-kindergarten for four-year-olds, and providing pre-K to low-income three-year-olds, is of great importance. This according to Maryland Family Network's recently released statewide poll of likely voters, conducted by Gonzales Research & Media Services. Voters were asked if they favor expanding access to public pre-K to all four-year-olds, if they favor providing access to public pre-K to three-year-olds from low-income families, and if they favored state government spending to make this happen. Those asked were intensely in agreement about the value of these programs and the need to make them a reality regardless of the participants political affiliation, age, gender, race, or region.

Glenn Carstens-Peters/Unsplash

A new Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies report offers insights on the promises and pitfalls faced by Baby Boomers, Millenials and Gen X. Catherine tells us more. 


So, the Ravens completed their exhibition season with no blemishes on their record, a 5-0 mark, making them the only NFL team to win all their preseason games.

Now, before you run out and book plane and hotel reservations for Atlanta, the scene of February’s Super Bowl, consider this fact: The Ravens went unbeaten last exhibition season and the exhibition season before that.

And both of the succeeding regular seasons ended with the Ravens out of the playoffs.


The end of summer is often announced by the arrival of Goldenrod, the yellow clusters of tall stemmed flowers popping up everywhere. If you’re like me, you dread this change of season not because of the colder weather settling in but because of the dreadful allergies it brings with it. My son and I both suffer from seasonal allergies and this time of year can be the worst. Our sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and itching was thought to be a result of those yellow flowers we’ve seen sprouting up everywhere. However, while Goldenrod does produce pollen, it is falsely accused of your seasonal suffering.


Sep 4, 2018
The National Aquarium

Invasive species—even tiny ones—can wreak havoc on our regional ecosystem. Listen in to learn how a little fly from Asia could cause big problems here in the Mid-Atlantic.  

Henry Barnes

Aug 31, 2018

August 12, 1955: There's traffic and chaos outside of Gordons, a popular crab carryout at Orleans Street and Patterson Park Ave. It's a typical summer scene. Gil tells us about the time Traffic Commissioner Henry Barnes put himself and his reputation smack dab in the middle of the craziness. 

William Charles, Library of Congress

During the War of 1812, Captain Peter Parker of the British Royal Navy created havoc as he and his crew sailed around the Chesapeake Bay, raiding and burning houses as troops prepared to sack Washington.

Anirban gives us the latest news on consumer sentiment, wedding economics, consumer spending, unemployment among younger Americans and climate change in economic forecasting. 

Let’s say you are in your forties and you haven’t been saving for retirement. Experts suggest that you had better get busy–now. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average American 44 to 49 years old has a bit more than $81,000 in retirement savings. But that figure is heavily impacted by certain forty-somethings who have managed to save a lot of money for retirement already. Anirban tells us more.

Urban Planning History and Park Access in Druid Hill Park

Aug 30, 2018

How can planning with a focus on automobile transportation impact residents of a city? Graham Coreil-Allen, a public artist in Baltimore, dives into the history of Druid Hill Park’s infrastructure and the effect on African-American and Jewish residents. He talks about the lasting effects of the planning in the neighborhood, the need for physical access to the park for people who do not drive, and his efforts to increase that access.

Need a new cabernet sauvignon recommendation? Don't want to spend a fortune? Al and Hugh have you covered. Click the links to purchase their recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.

Personal Creations/flickr www.personalcreations.com

There's an enormous variety of veggies out there in our Maryland markets and grocery stores.  And as students at La Schola cooking school can tell you, one of life's treats is to go shopping with Chef Jerry Pellegrino and fill your basket with whatever captures your fancy at the farmers market.

One thing you can do is whip up a vegetable-heavy summer casserole. 

Click on the image for recipes. 


On this edition of The Weekly Reader, a new collection of essays from public radio fan favorite David Sedaris, plus a funny new novel about life in London during the blitz from AJ Pearce.