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Science of Christmas

Friday, 5 a.m., 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Science

Scientists use insight and imagination to explain why Rudolph's nose is red, how Santa visits every home in one night, how NASA helps make candy canes, how to ensure a white Christmas, and how to grow a perfect Christmas tree.

Outdoors Maryland

Saturday, 5:30 p.m. WMPT

"Beauty's Power." Winding its way from Delaware through the Lower Eastern Shore, the Nanticoke River's uncommon charms motivate private citizens and corporations alike to keep the watershed clean for themselves and the plants and animals that live directly off the Nanticoke. An uncommon story of extraordinary stewardship by ordinary people.

"Smoke the Bird." There's a growing collection of Delmarva outdoor enthusiasts that meets at ranges each week to fire at flying clay targets. Shooting at "sporting clays" is a holdover from Great Britain's famous trap shooting traditions, and little of that spirit has changed in its American incarnation.

"A New Day for the Bay." The Chesapeake Bay Foundation looks for fresh ideas and enthusiasm by taking small groups of young people out onto the bay and into the marsh to give them a first-hand glimpse of the Chesapeake's reach into local lives.

Secret Science of Everyday Things

Sunday, 10 p.m. (Repeats Monday at 1 a.m., 5 a.m., 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.) Science

"Eating and Drinking." Discover the science behind our favorite foods. Uncover the secrets of what makes champagne pop, how the ice cream gurus at Ben and Jerry's create new flavors, and why our backyard grills sizzle.

Outdoors Maryland

Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. (Repeats Thursday, 5:30 a.m., and Jan. 1, 5:30 p.m.) WMPT

"Mountain Shadow." Though its range extends as far east as northern Baltimore County and as far south as Montgomery County, the Bobcat is a mystery to most Marylanders. Yet, the wildcat is thriving in Maryland. In this story, Maryland Department of Natural Resources trapper Robert Colona walks the Western Maryland mountains in search of the bob-tailed cat.

"Chesapeake Releaf." Many of the streams, creeks and rivers that eventually flow into the Chesapeake Bay originate far from their destination. So, it's hard for many people to understand how pollution of streams and rivers affects the Bay, arguing that distance equals safety. Yet, experts say these tributaries deliver plenty of trouble to the Chesapeake in the form of silt and agricultural runoff. This segment, specially underwritten by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, tells the story of how volunteers and organizations around the state are trying to clean up waterways in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by planting trees to filter harmful pollutants before they flow into the Bay.

"Go West!" It wasn't that long ago that Highway 68 cut through the Maryland mountains to make way for western-bound tourists. That means some of the state's most beautiful, peaceful scenery is within easy reach for anyone who cares to camp, fish or ski.

Sky Watch

Thursday, 8:33 a.m., WYPR (88.1 public radio).

"Beta Pic: Star Seen by IRAS Satellite." Hosts are Jim O'Leary, senior director of technology, IMAX and Davis Planetarium at the Maryland Science Center, and Carol Christian, deputy head of the Community Missions Office of the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Online blog

Read Sun science writer Frank Roylance's weather and astronomy blog, up-dated daily at maryland

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