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Penguin Chick Names Announced at The Maryland Zoo
A literary character naming theme was picked for this nesting season

The Maryland Zoo

BALTIMORE, MD (January 2, 2019)—The Maryland Zoo African penguin colony is going by the books—for penguin names, that is. In November, the Zoo held a public contest to pick the 2018–2019 breeding season penguin chick naming theme. The theme of literary characters was the clear winner with 48% of the votes, followed by types of pasta and lastly, shades of colors.

The Zoo’s penguin colony is midway through breeding season for 2018–2019.  To date, nine chicks have hatched. Each year, along with an ID number, each chick is named according to a specific annual theme once DNA tests reveal whether the chick is male or female. The theme will carry through until the last chick hatches in the spring.

Four chicks have been named so far, including: Gatsby, named for the main character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; Zorro, named after the fictional lead character in a series of books by Johnston McCulley; Coraline, named for the main character of a fantasy children’s novella, Coraline, by Neil Gaiman; and Knightley, named for a main character in Jane Austen’s novel, Emma.

The Maryland Zoo has been hatching penguin chicks for over 50 years, celebrating the arrival of Mille, chick number 1000 last spring. Past naming themes have included space (Astrid, Hubble), types of fish (Trigger, Tetra) and famous scientists (Tesla, Newton).

Names are selected by the Penguin Coast animal care team members who are busy behind the scenes caring for the new hatchlings and the entire penguin colony of 95!

To see pictures of the Zoo’s newest feathered additions, visit The Maryland Zoo Facebook page!


Founded in 1876, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is the third oldest zoo in the United States and is internationally known for its contributions in conservation and research.  More than 1,500 animals are represented in the Zoo’s varied natural habitat exhibits in areas such as the award-winning Penguin Coast, Polar Bear Watch, the Maryland Wilderness, African Journey and the Children’s Zoo.  Visit


We’re Thinking Sunshine!
Volunteer as a Fresh Air Host Family

The Fresh Air Fund

Fresh Air summers are filled with children running through the sprinklers in the grass, gazing at star-filled skies and swimming for the first time. This summer, join volunteer host families in the Capital Beltway Area, and open your heart and home to a Fresh Air child. Each summer, thousands of children from New York City’s low-income communities visit suburban, rural and small town communities along the East Coast and Southern Canada through The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns Program. 

Treasure, age 9, has visited the Cleaveland family for the past two summers. Host mom Antonia said, “I remember the first year, she actually set her alarm so she could wake up early and make breakfast with me. She taught me to appreciate the small things and realize the importance of family time.”

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Fresh Air children are boys and girls, from seven to 18 years old, who live in New York City. Children who are reinvited by host families may continue with The Fresh Air Fund through age 18 and can enjoy extended trips.

For more information about hosting a Fresh Air child this summer, please contact Diana Carter at 301-275-5856 or visit

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Alzheimer’s Association Shares 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Recognizing signs, early detection empowers families to plan for the future

Alzheimer’s Association

McLean, VA (December 31, 2018)—As the holiday season draws to a close, the Alzheimer’s Association anticipates an increase in calls to its free 24-hour Helpline, 800-272-3900.

Visits with family members or friends not seen as frequently during the year may raise questions about their cognitive health. Although some change in cognitive ability can occur with age, serious memory problems are not a part of normal aging. The Alzheimer’s Association encourages anyone who has a question or concern about the state of an aging family member or friend to call the Helpline.

“Our highly trained and knowledgeable Helpline staff are available anytime day or night with reliable information and support for all who have questions or need assistance,” said Cindy Schelhorn, senior director of communications and marketing for the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter. “In addition, master’s level clinicians can provide confidential care consultation to help with decision-making support, crisis assistance and education on issues families face every day.”

Recognizing the difference can help you to identify when it may be time for your loved one to see a doctor. The Alzheimer’s Association has a check list of ten warning signs, along with examples of normal aging. Every individual may experience one or more of the warning signs in different degrees. If you notice any of them, please see a doctor.


Alzheimer’s Association 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

1.         Memory loss that disrupts daily life.  One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; relying on memory aides (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on one’s own.

What’s typical: Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.


2.         Challenges in planning or solving problems.   Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.

What’s typical: Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.


3.         Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at          leisure.  People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

What’s typical: Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.


4.         Confusion with time or place:  People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.

What’s typical: Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.


5.         Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.  For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not realize they are the person in the mirror.

What’s typical: Vision changes related to cataracts.


6.         New problems with words in speaking or writing. People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).

What’s typical: Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.


7.         Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.  A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time.

What’s typical: Misplacing things from time to time, such as a pair of glasses or the remote control.


8.         Decreased or poor judgment.  People with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.

What’s typical: Making a bad decision once in a while.


9.         Withdrawal from work or social activities.  A person with Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.

What’s typical: Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.


10.       Changes in mood and personality.  The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.

What’s typical: Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.


Although the onset of Alzheimer’s disease cannot yet be stopped or reversed, an early diagnosis is an important step in getting appropriate treatment, care and support services which allows people with dementia and their families:

• A better chance of benefiting from treatment

• More time to plan for the future

• Lessened anxieties about unknown problems

• Increased chances of participating in clinical drug trials, helping advance research

• An opportunity to participate in decisions about care, transportation, living options, financial and legal matters

• Time to develop a relationship with doctors and care partners

• Benefit from care and support services, making it easier for them and their family to manage the disease.


For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s Association web site at or call their toll-free 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.


The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s.


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