Ginger root has many health benefits

By Lela Martin
Posted on July 20, 2021

Not to be confused with the native plant called wild ginger (Asarum canadense), the tropical ginger plant (Zingiber officinale) has a long history and some promising uses. Although often called ginger root, the ginger plant is actually grown for its rhizome, an underground stem that sends out roots or shoots. Oldest known spice Used in both cooking and traditional medicine, ginger was... READ MORE

Teacher immerses students in Broadway

By Sharon Clark
Posted on July 19, 2021

Dressing up as a Victorian grand dame or a buttoned-up founding father is part of the job for Ellen Katz, a singer, performer and educator. Katz, 76, a popular instructor at the Edward A. Myerberg Senior Center in Baltimore and other venues, gives her students a front-row seat and deep immersion into the history of the characters and plays that she teaches. “I love to teach, and I... READ MORE

Family stories inspired research, book

By Catherine Brown
Posted on July 13, 2021

For as long as she can remember, Sandra Kemp, 74, has been listening to her older relatives’ stories about her ancestors’ experiences in slavery and beyond. “I was always interested in personal stories of ancestors, especially those who lived through the Reconstruction [after the Civil War],” Kemp said in an interview with Fifty Plus. Since she was a young adult, Kemp has... READ MORE

New mysteries with older main characters

By Dinah Rokach
Posted on July 09, 2021

The Bibliophile What can be more enjoyable than reading mystery novels with relatable characters? Their situations may be far-fetched, but, for retired readers, older protagonists add familiar elements to the storylines. The Eighth Detective: A Novel, by Alex Pavesi, 304 pages, Henry Holt and Co. hardcover, 2020; Picador paperback, August 2021 On a remote Mediterranean island,... READ MORE

My favorite blues music takes me back

By Bob Levey
Posted on July 07, 2021

Music may indeed soothe the savage breast. But it’s a flashpoint between We Old Folks and Those Young ‘Uns. Flip through memories of the tunes and crooners on whom we grew up: Ezio Pinza singing “Some Enchanted Evening,” Frank Sinatra seeing a man who danced with his wife, Joan Baez singing just about anything. The real deal, each and every one of them. And today? Well, ... READ MORE

Alexandria’s town crier rhymes in uniform

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on July 06, 2021

In the heat of the summer, he dons a pressed-wool tricorn hat, a white, billowy-sleeved shirt, a red waistcoat, a white-silk neckerchief, white breeches that reach just below the knee, gray stockings and straight last shoes. Grasping a brass handbell and a cloth scroll spooled on wooden handles, he booms, “Oyez, oyez, oyez!” And crowds snap to attention. Benjamin Fiore-Walker, 52, ... READ MORE

Ellicott City poet publishes first book

By Susan Ahearn
Posted on June 23, 2021

Patti Ross always wanted a career in the arts. Instead, she worked in journalism, business and technology and spent time raising a family. In the past decade, however, Ross, 59, began to focus on her writing again. Her debut chapbook of poems, St. Paul Street Provocations, is being published in July by Yellow Arrow Publishing of Baltimore. Ross says the poems in St. Paul Street... READ MORE

Ways plants communicate with pollinators

By Lela Martin
Posted on June 15, 2021

Note: This is part two of a two-part series. [Read part one here] Plants are stationary, but most flowering plants require pollinators for reproduction. Therefore, they must attract pollinators to themselves. Pollinator syndrome describes the way plants have developed over time to attract specific pollinators, including visual cues and bribery with nectar and pollen. Researchers... READ MORE

Farm specializes in herbs, small edibles

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on June 14, 2021

Cleopatra used lavender to seduce Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. In the Tudor period, hopefuls put lavender under newlyweds’ beds to induce passion. Throughout history, lavender has been hyped to induce relaxation, heal aches, mummify corpses, ward off evil spirits, scent clothing and enhance bath water. The bluish-purple plant of myth, magic and medicine rarely fails to intrigue... READ MORE

Books translated from esoteric languages

By Dinah Rokach
Posted on June 08, 2021

The Bibliophile See the world through the perspective of other cultures. Experience the lives and emotions of natives thanks to these three translations. They run the gamut from first-person stories to Russian interwar history to contemporary humor originally in Catalan, Yiddish and Swedish. The Art of Wearing a Trench Coat: Stories, by Sergi Pàmies, translated by Adrian Nathan West,... READ MORE