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WYPR Features

Today’s women are better educated and enjoy career opportunities that were unimaginable 50 years ago. Yet the gender pay gap in the U.S. remains persistent with women earning 85 percent of what men earned in 2018, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.

Catherine Collinson, president of nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, tells us how the gender pay gap plays into women’s retirement readiness.

Eleanor Hughes

Mar 13, 2020

This month on Open Access, Julia Marciari-Alexander speaks with Eleanor Hughes, Deputy Director of Art & Program, about the upcoming exhibitions Majolica Mania and Betty Cooke: The Circle and the Line, and how they connect to Women’s History Month and the larger goal at the museum of revealing the under-recognized contributions of women to the art world.

Baltimoreans opened The Sun paper on the morning of October 1964 to read this modest announcement. "Each city recreation center will be conducting a Yo Yo contest." The winner of the contest was promised a huge prize - a trip to Disneyland by Duncan Yo Yo - the manufacturer of the Yo Yo. The winner turned out to be a young 15-year-old Carl Pund - who won the contest but in a quirky turn of events, lost the prize. This is Carl Pund's story.

Exploring Maryland History Through Original Theatre

Mar 12, 2020
Baltimore School for the Arts

How are teenagers bringing history to life through theatre? Norah Worthington, Historical Partnership Director and Resident Costumer at Baltimore School for the Arts, tells us more.

With spring just days away, it's not to early to start thinking about renewing one of the season's most succulent dishes, roast leg of lamb.  You can go two ways with this roast, either bone-in or boneless.  As it turns out, both Chef Jerry Pellegrino and I prefer the flexability of the boneless cut, although there is a time and place for a big old bone-in leg of lamb.

Organic Wine

Mar 11, 2020

The interest in organic wine is way up, so here are a trio of can't miss choices.     

"Jacob Gruber"

Mar 11, 2020
Mike Goad / Flickr/Creative Commons

Before he would be forever associated with the 1857 Dred Scott Supreme Court decision, Roger B. Taney defended outspoken Hagerstown abolitionist Jacob Gruber.

Tom Pelton

Maryland faces a critical decision point in its decades-long effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

The poultry industry on the Eastern Shore produces about 300 million chickens a year. But the byproduct is about a half billion pounds more manure than can be absorbed by crops when farmers spread the litter as fertilizer for their corn and soybeans. That leads to runoff of phosphorus pollution into rivers, streams and the Bay.

In about two years, pollution control regulations imposed by Governor Larry Hogan’s administration will restrict manure application on about 160,000 acres of farms on the Eastern Shore that are already overloaded with phosphorus. But state officials do not know what to do with all the extra tons manure that farmers will no longer be able to spread under the new rules.

Lisa Morgan

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we preview Douglas Stuart's debut novel Shuggie Bain, a profoundly affecting story about growing up amidst the poverty, violence, and alcoholism in a crumbling Glasgow housing scheme in the 1980s.

There is nothing better than the sound of a group of children sharing a belly laugh. And that’s just what I heard a few ago while I was out on one of my weekly property walks at Irvine Nature Center. As I rounded the corner around a small grove of trees to our wetlands I saw a group of students and one of our naturalists standing on the bank of one of our ponds, staring intently at the surface of the water. What happened next was temporarily confusing: one student pointed at the surface of the water and the entire group roared with laughter. I didn’t want to intrude, but when I saw that same naturalist later I had to ask: what on earth was so funny out at the pond?! Her answer surprised me. . .turtle farts.

Ware: Remembering The Waitress

Mar 10, 2020
Provided by Ware

The Waitress grew up in a postcard North Baltimore colonial, three kids and a dog, picture perfect, and lonely. She watched her parents pour their first drink before sundown every afternoon, her mother in pearls and a fresh dress, her dad exchanging his briefcase for “something cold” as he crossed the threshold. Even as a little girl she knew the names on the bottles, how the seasons affected what was served, how to pass the hors d'oeuvres, and when to swallow her feelings. There was something dark under the family’s brittle surface that trained her to smile no matter what, and she internalized that her experiences were less important than her parents’ tangle of anger and regret. 

Arturo Donate via Flickr

"What if they had a sporting event and no one showed up?" sounds like the setup to a hackneyed joke.

Yet, if the events of the past couple of weeks are an indicator, that premise may come to pass.


Mar 9, 2020

On today’s episode we're talking about vaping and associated health risks.

Katharina Grosse

Mar 6, 2020
Mitro Hood


German artist Katharina Grosse talks with BMA Director Christopher Bedford about her gallery enveloping fabric and paint installation—her first in a U.S. museum—and describes the immersive experience awaiting visitors. Katharina Grosse: Is It You? is on view at the BMA through June 28, 2020.

On the afternoon of September 5, 1961, in the pavilion in Patterson Park the Baltimore City Department of Recreation was staging that year's great Baltimore World Series of Jump Rope. But this year's contest was going to be different: boys a be allowed to compete in the traditionally all-girls contest. The reason the boys wanted in the contest was that they've been watching on television all of those boxers in training by jumping rope. The outcome of the contest was surprising and Pearl Williams, director of it, provided a surprising explanation.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (l); Graydon House (r)

On this episode of The Weekly Reader, our book critic Marion Winik reviews two new novels that look at the dark side of the tech boom: Anna Wiener's Uncanny Valley and Megan Angelo's Followers.

The Humanities In Maryland: A Reflection

Mar 5, 2020
Dennis Drenner


"...the humanities—literature, history, archaeology, theology, philosophy, art history, and ethics—offer a lens through which to more deeply and clearly understand ourselves and the world around us." In a special Humanities Connection segment, Phoebe Stein offers a sort of love letter to championing the humanities. 

Healing From Brain Injury

Mar 4, 2020
Photo provided by family

Life can change in an instant. That is what happened to Purnell after being injured while crossing the street. As a result, Purnell had to relearn everything,  including how to walk, talk and eat. Through very hard work with his therapists at Kennedy Krieger Institute and his own determination, today Purnell is a typical teenager looking forward to his junior prom. In recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month, we are inspired by patients like Purnell who have overcome so much.


Mar 4, 2020

The ancient French region of Languedoc is home to some of the best bargains around.

Wikimedia Commons

It’s a watershed moment in American politics. Climate change and the environment, for the first time, have risen to become among the top issues in a Presidential election. President Trump is campaigning against the whole idea of environmental regulations and has falsely labelled climate change a “hoax.”

In stark contrast, all of his Democratic challengers are pledging unprecedented action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

Here’s Senator Bernie Sanders: “What the scientists are telling us is – in fact – they have under-estimated the severity and speed in which climate change is damaging not only our country, but the entire world.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden said: “I think it is the existential threat to humanity. It’s the number one issue.”

Mayor Mike Bloomberg made this statement: “Climate change is not a science problem – it is a political problem.”

And Senator Elizabeth Warren proclaimed: “I support the Green New Deal.  We have got to make change. We’ve got to make big change. And we’ve got to do it fast – we’re running out of time.”

But what’s fascinating about the Democratic candidates is that all of them – while promising action on the climate – have completely abandoned the main policy vehicle for combating global warming that Democrats, and even a few Republicans, championed until a few years ago.

That was the imposition of a carbon tax – or a Wall Street friendly “cap and trade” system – to gradually increase the price of oil, gas, coal and other fossil fuels to create economic incentives, in the free market system, for cleaner energy.


Mar 3, 2020

Last fall I was lucky enough to sit-in on one of our nature center’s popular falconry classes. During the class, the instructor talked about the different kinds of birds that are commonly used by falconers. As she rattled off the list: red tailed hawks, red shouldered hawks, kestrels, and merlins one of the class participants stopped her and said, “Merlin? Like the wizard?”

As much as I would like to imagine a mythical Arthurian figured perched on the glove of one of our naturalists, the merlin is in fact a small bird of prey in the falcon family. And while they may not technically have any magical powers, their power and adaptability are incredible to behold.

Last year when I went to northern Italy, I took a cooking class that taught us how to make fresh pasta by hand. The process is simple to learn, but mastering it is another question. As it happens Chef Jerry Pellegrino received wonderful book  from our friend Cynthia Clover that shines a light on the complexities of a simple dish.

Today on the show we're discussing an important, but underutilized tax credit known as the Saver’s Credit. Many Americans miss out on it simply because they’re unaware it exists. Catherine Collinson, president of nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, helps us understand the Saver’s Credit and its benefits for everyday Americans.

Voting On The Aquarium

Feb 28, 2020

On the evening of November 2, 1976, Baltimoreans were glued to their TV and radios—following the election results of Question 3 on the ballot—whether or not the city should build and operate what would be known as the National Aquarium in the Inner Harbor. It was a controversial idea from the outset, with City Councilman Emerson Julian calling the proposed aquarium, derisively, “nothing but a fish tank.” This is the story of how that so-called “fish tank” became one of the most visited tourist attraction in the world.

Water/Ways In Calvert County

Feb 27, 2020
Calvert Library

How are high school students in Calvert County making documentary films to tell some of their region’s stories? Robyn Truslow, Public Relations Coordinator at Calvert Library, tells us more.

Island Press

The home-made looking video is popular on YouTube, with hundreds of thousands of views. It was produced by a group called the “Science Moms,” who say they’re just regular mothers with PhD’s who want to set the record straight.  In a seemingly casual and candid way, they mock the concept that natural things are better, and tell their viewers not to buy organic produce.

“The marketing behind organic farming has really convinced people that organic is more environmentally friendly, and doesn’t use pesticides and is healthier – and the data does not support any of those claims,” one of the Science Moms proclaims.  “There’s no health benefits from eating an organic diet.  There’s nothing really to be gained. It’s just more expensive.”

What the Science Moms do not tell the viewers is that the group has ties to the Monsanto chemical company and its owner, Bayer pharmaceuticals.  One of the main Science Moms is actually policy director for Biology Fortified Inc., which Monsanto has described in internal memos as a ‘partner’ in its public relations battle to dispute the cancer-causing properties of one of its products, glyphosate, the world’s most popular weed killer.

Glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp, is sprayed on millions of acres of non-organic crops around the world.

Terrill: A Path To Leadership

Feb 26, 2020
The Associated

A great deal of discussion and research has been devoted to the notion of leadership and the capacity of the individual as a force for positive change. Timeless questions like: Is leadership innate or can it be taught? Or, what should constitute the core competencies of a leader given our times? Or, even more granular, what matters most in effective leadership, cognitive or emotional intelligence? 

Beef Stew Reds

Feb 26, 2020

It's the season for big hearty stews, which of course demand big hearty reds. 

Sleep Disparity

Feb 25, 2020

There’s a lot more to sleep than meets the eye. Ethnicity and socioeconomic factors play into the quality and amount of sleep that young children get. Listen now to learn more.

Doubleday (l); Putnam (r)

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, our book critic Marion Winik reviews two new novels that explore the delicate dance of girls in group settings and the dangers of getting what you think you want: Clare Beams The Illness Lesson and Kate Weinberg's debut novel The Truants.