Next week, what will Maryland have in common with Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon? No sales tax. But remember, it’ll just be for a week here. The other five states offer that perk all year long.

We’ve had our share of heat so far this summer, even touching the triple digits earlier this month, and after a short reprieve, we’re back into the 90s this week. Even so, this is a great time of year to take time off from work and spend these long summer days outside, lounging poolside or at a beach, nature park, water park or amusement park. We spend a lot of time outdoors, taking in the fresh air — and with it, those warm but potentially harmful ultraviolet rays.

Even in this age of instant information, and the notion that most everything useful must already have been invented or done, America’s beating the Soviets in the space race by successfully landing Apollo 11 on the moon July 20, 1969 — 50 years ago Saturday — remains a really big deal. It was equal parts militarism, science and sport, all played out under the icy cover of the Cold War.

Movie buffs might remember director Richard Linklater’s 2011 hit film “Bernie,” which sympathetically portrays a funeral director in rural East Texas who befriends a crabby, rich elderly woman. In the film, starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey, the crabby old lady treats Bernie so badly that he just can’t take it anymore. He shoots her, then stuffs her inside her own garage deep-freezer. Everyone in the film just loves Bernie and defends him to the hilt.

While the U.S. Supreme Court regaled us with several politically charged and historically significant opinions on constitutional rights as it neared the end of its session last month — Maryland's Peace Cross will stay, as will political gerrymandering which now can't be touched by federal judges, but racial gerrymandering is still a no-no, the citizenship question proposed for the 2020 Census form is gone (or maybe not), “scandalous” and “immoral” trademarks are now a go — Congressional Democrats took up another right earlier this year that is equally or more important than what the ni…

America is working, or at least relatively few of our fellow citizens are not working, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency, which has measured unemployment since the Great Depression-inducing stock market crash of 1929, reported that the unemployment rate for April and May — the latest figures — was at 3.6%. Not a historic low, but quite low.

There was a time when unwanted telemarketing calls were the sole province of the landline. Now, of course, that method of communication has come to cellphone users. You see an unfamiliar number, usually from a geographical location not in your regular routine of callers. So what do you do? Some pick up, some let it ring and maybe go to voicemail, where it can be ignored and deleted later.