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WYPR Features

Betty Cooke

Jan 3, 2020

Baltimore-based artist and jewelry designer Betty Cooke talks with BMA Director Christopher Bedford about her early career, the artists she admired, and why she has chosen to stay in Baltimore. A selection of Ms. Cooke’s jewelry is on view in Free Form: 20th-Century Studio Craft at the BMA through June 7.

Twistin (01-03-20)

Jan 3, 2020

On the night of December 7, 1961, Fire Prevention Chief Michael Horan was making a routine check in the Las Vegas nightclub on Harford Road when he discovered to his considerable discomfort that infractions of the city fire control were out of control. The dancers were dancing the Twist, a body shaking dance sweeping across the country - and on this night blocking the exit aisles of the Las Vegas club in Baltimore. He shut the club down only to see it re-open again - it's aisles jammed with dancers twisting again there was a reason for the way things were going for Chief Horan. This story explains . . . 

There are a number of ways to determine whether or not one is financially prepared for retirement. Listen to learn more.

Elizabeth Catlett: Artist As Activist

Jan 2, 2020
Montpelier Arts Center

Elizabeth Catlett received a Lifetime Achievement Award in contemporary sculpture from the International Sculpture Center in 2003. Decades earlier, Carnegie Institute of Technology revoked her admission when the school learned she was Black. Jackie Copeland, Executive Director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, tells us more about the groundbreaking artist.


What’s the deal with hiccups? According to a new study, it just might be babies practicing their breathing. Listen now to learn more.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

During the last decade, when the Chesapeake Bay region states publicly promised to increase their efforts to clean up the nation’s largest estuary, four of the six states quietly cut funding for the state environmental agencies responsible for carrying out that cleanup.

Among the worst offenders, according to an examination of state budget documents by the Environmental Integrity Project, was Pennsylvania, the state that contributes by far the most pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

Governors and lawmakers in the Keystone State cut funding and staffing at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection by about 15 percent between 2008 and 2018, even as the overall state budget grew by 18 percent over this time.


Dec 31, 2019
Irvine Nature Center

If your family is like mine, the holiday season becomes a race to see how many traditional holiday foods we can take down between the end of November and the beginning of January. Menu planning becomes akin to an Olympic sport as we try to fit in everyone’s favorites: stuffing, turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, and more. There is one dish, however, that I feel is under-appreciated. It’s usually relegated to a sad, small dish somewhere in the corner of the table, with only a small serving spoon because…let’s face it…it’s not that popular. Whether you make it from scratch or serve it in a jellied, can-shaped cylinder, cranberry sauce has been a staple on American tables since before America was even America. And I’m here to tell you that the cranberry deserves your respect.

The National Aquarium

Over 3,000 species make a home in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. But when the bitter cold comes, where does all that abundant life go?

Party Wine

Dec 31, 2019

It's party season, and most of us like to bring along something nice for the crowd to enjoy. Here are three sure-fire winners that you and your friends will love!

Caviar Rundown

Dec 31, 2019
Annie Roi/flickr creative commons

Tonight's the big night and there's still time to go out and do something crazy to help ring in the new year.  For that portion of the population with refined and cultivated taste, nothing quite beats caviar for putting a big exclamation point on evening's festivities.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino believes, it pays to know what you're talking about when it comes to caviar.

We've recently discussed Medicare and other medical open enrollment periods on this podcast. Although open enrollment is typically centered around health insurance, it provides an opportunity to check/review your retirement benefit selections. Today Catherine Collinson, president of nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, helps us understand what things to consider during this vital period.

Dominique Maria Bonessi-Scarborough

Dec 27, 2019
Tyrone Turner

Tom talks with WAMU Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi-Scarborough.

Dominique recommends:

Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak


As the end of the year approaches, many of us consider donating to charities and nonprofits. Dr. Heather Miller-Reubens —Executive Director of the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies — tells us about Dorothy Day, a religious leader who offered a powerful meditation on giving.


Bonnie Bick is an unassuming person. She’s a 72-year-old former flower child and pre-school teacher with a soft voice, who has little money and few possessions, but loves walking in the woods near her small brick house in southern Maryland.

But among land conservationists, she is a hero – a fierce and tenacious fighter who outlasted developers and the political establishment in Charles County to stop a highway project – the Cross County Connector, which would have fed sprawling subdivisions. The project has now turned into a proposal for a much greener bike path surrounded by trees.

“It’s a very exciting end for that terrible, long ordeal – fighting the Cross County Connector,” Bick reflected. “It was like a miracle to stop it.”

Over three decades of unpaid and often unrecognized behind-the-scenes work, Bick took on development projects that many people thought were unstoppable -- but it was the gentle, patient, tenacious Bonnie Bick who proved unstoppable. The result: She quietly helped to save thousands of acres of green space in a state increasingly consumed by cul-de-sacs and strip malls.

Here are four sparkling wines that are guaranteed to be welcome gifts.  

Irvine Nature Center/Facebook


One of my favorite parts of winter is the snowbirds. No, not the people who spend the cold months in Florida each year...I’m talking about the beautiful, arctic birds like Tundra Swans, Snowy Owls, and Red Crossbills. Some of my most rewarding birdwatching has occurred in the winter months when bare trees and quiet parks create the perfect condition for seeing different species of birds.

This is a re-broadcast. 

Activities conducted pursuant to NMFS MMPA Permit No. 21719

National Aquarium staff are involved in a wide range of research studies, and this winter, members of National Aquarium Animal Rescue helped gather data for a multiyear study of grey seals in Massachusetts that has an interesting tie to human health.


Dec 24, 2019
LearningLark/flickr creative commons

It's Christmas Eve and a few of you out there still may not have solved the problem of what sort of special treat can you whip up.

Well, may we take a page out of the Old English cookbook and suggest creating a nice trifle to lay before the family.  

Trifle was created in England centuries ago, and has undergone countless evolutions and variations.  

On Christmas Day, 1943, in the heart of World War II, there was an announcement on radio station WFBR—to the effect: Listen to a special broadcast from somewhere in England. Hear your loved ones wishing you a Merry Christmas from deep in the heart of war torn Europe. The broadcast happened exactly as it was advertised—bringing to all on both sides of the Ocean the merriest of Christmases.

Elizabeth Catlett: Artist As Activist

Dec 19, 2019
Reginald F. Lewis Museum

Elizabeth Catlett received a Lifetime Achievement Award in contemporary sculpture from the International Sculpture Center in 2003. Decades earlier, Carnegie Institute of Technology revoked her admission when the school learned she was Black. Jackie Copeland, Executive Director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, tells us more about the groundbreaking artist.

Wikimedia Commons

During a recent press event, President Trump declared that he is urging his Environmental Protection Agency to weaken federal water conservation standards because of troubles that unnamed friends of his have been having with their toilets.   


Dec 19, 2019
Naomi Green / Flickr/Creative Commons

Before he made a name for himself in the vaudeville scene in New York, Eubie “Mouse” Blake got his start playing honkytonk music in the pool halls, saloons, and brothels of East Baltimore.



Here are wines in four shopping categories that are guaranteed to be welcome gifts. Click the links to purchase Cellar Notes recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.   


Bonding with your newborn doesn’t always come naturally to new moms. For some it is instantaneous, while for others the process takes time. This has nothing to do with your ability to parent. Instead, it has to do with the seismic transition that women go through when becoming mothers. And, it’s quite normal.

The National Aquarium

Islands in the Chesapeake Bay are disappearing. More than 500 islands that once existed on the Bay are no longer there. But there are some stories of hope...

Houghton Mifflin (l); Riverhead (r)

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we review two new novels that might just make you appreciate your own family relationships a little bit more: Jami Attenberg's All This Could be Yours and Jacqueline Woodson's Red at the Bone.

Stink Bugs

Dec 17, 2019

No one, not even the talented naturalists I know, likes stink bugs.

Though they don’t sting like bees or bite like spiders, which each have their own groups of devoted human fans, a stink bug’s smelly defense has not garnered it any love.

Saving for retirement can be an arduous process even for those who have workplace retirement benefits, but what about people who are self-employed and may not have access to these benefits? Catherine Collinson, president of nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, discusses the Center’s recent research on the self-employed and ways they can save. 

Michael Savino/flickr creative commons

As our collective holiday season reaches its climax, it's a great time to consider a few of the traditions that make it so enjoyable. In our Jewish community, this is the time of year when a tasty annual practice comes to the fore: the baking of Jewish holiday cookies. 

Wrestling (12-13-19)

Dec 13, 2019

On the night of January 15, 1955, at the Coliseum on Monroe Street, thousands o fans had come to boo and cheer and look for blood—at the local wrestling matches. They saw what they had come for—phony and faked wrestling, featuring the curly-headed blond Gorgeous George. They also saw blood. Or was that blood? Here’s the story.