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Wandering Eye

Maryland Gazette reporter Zöe Read's story about 91-year-old Irv Koch's bar in the basement of his waterfront Pasadena house, Club Sunset Knoll, is one of those priceless tavern profiles not so much for its artful execution, but simply for what it reveals: an obscure and unique fixture of the region's drinking culture. For 50 years, Koch has kept the place running as a private club for members and their guests, surviving, he tells Read, because "I can get by on a small amount of money, I don't need a lot of money." Maybe so, but he's likely to see a revenue surge, now that the club's existence has been broadcast far and wide. Funny headline, though, referring to it as "Maryland's last basement bar," given CP's recent article by Jim Burger about Matthew's Stellar Cellar Bar in Highlandtown. (Van Smith)

People are enamored with the NPR podcast "Serial," in which reporter Sarah Koenig goes back through the details of a 1999 Baltimore-area murder and talks with some of the principal figures. The detail with which Koenig retraces the details and asks the questions of whether Adnan, a man convicted for killing his girlfriend, is guilty and if the star witness who helped put him in jail is lying have made "Serial" the most successful podcast in iTunes history. In comes New York magazine to tell us that Koenig's ability to sort out who is telling the truth might be hampered because, well, it's hard for anybody. "Generally, people are not very good at all at detecting lies," says psychologist and author Dr. Bella DePaulo. "When my colleague Charlie Bond and I analyzed all of the studies that had ever been conducted of people's ability to detect deception, we found that on the average, people are right about 54 percent of the time at knowing whether someone is lying or telling the truth—that's when, by chance (just by guessing), they would be right 50 percent of the time." (Brandon Weigel)

From the Why Didn't We Think of This First Department, the website cut.com found three grandmothers who had never smoked weed before and filmed them getting high for the first time (see it below). The video notes that it was filmed in Washington state, where recreational marijuana use is legal. The three women take turns adorably fumbling with both a bong and a vaporizer, and over the next half-hour participate in such stoner-friendly activities as playing Jenga, snacking, and playing Cards Against Humanity, which introduces the crew to words like "queef." Weed is still only decriminalized in Maryland, but we'd be willing to cover the fines for any local grandmas (or grandpas) who want to film their first introductions to the high life. (Evan Serpick)

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