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Johns Hopkins Students Discuss "The Wire"

Many fans of the former HBO drama "The Wire" consider the program thought provoking. Students and a professor at Johns Hopkins University agree. In fact, they are devoting an entire class to the drama. The show will help students understand the problems that big cities face, according to an Associated Press story that appeared in the Washington Post.

The creator of the Baltimore-based crime drama, David Simon, has been a guest speaker in the class. You can read the rest of the story here.

Johns Hopkins Study on Food Gets Mention in Hartford Courant

Food tastes better if you work harder for it. That's according to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University researchers, highlighted in an article in the Hartford Courant.

"That's the finding of a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Their experiment focused on two groups of mice. One group had to push a lever once to get a morsel of food. The other had to push the lever 15 times before getting their reward – a morsel of the same kind of food.The mice that worked harder ate more of the food and seemed to enjoy it more (based on their 'licking behavior')."

You can read the story here.

Johns Hopkins is No. 1 again in research spending

Johns Hopkins University, Greater Baltimore's largest employer, spends more than any other university on medical, science and engineering research. Johns Hopkins spent $1.85 billion on this research in fiscal 2009, according to the National Science Foundation, which tracked 711 institutions.

Rounding out the top five were the University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Madison; University of California, San Francisco, and University of California, Los Angeles.

You can see the National Science Foundation report here.

Maryland coach says some college athletes should be paid

University of Maryland coach Gary Williams generated a lot of buzz last week when he said some college athletes should be paid.

USA Today's sports blog GAMEON! was among the outlets that carried the news.

Williams told a Baltimore sports radio station that $200 a month is fair for guys playing in a billion-dollar industry.

College Park earns top honors among corporate recruiters

We know there's a lot of cachet attached to an Ivy League degree. So Princeton and Yale must be where the company scouts pick their freshly minted grads, right?

Actually, many state universities earn the top grades, including the University of Maryland, College Park , according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The school came in No. 8 in its list of 25 top schools that recruiters prefer.

The newspaper teamed up with Seattle's PayScale.com and Boston's Cambria Consulting to survey recruiting executives in nearly 30 industries.

You can see the rankings here.


Area universities make the grade on Newsweek/Kaplan "25 Most" lists

Newsweek/Kaplan has released their annual lists of the nation's top ranked schools. Several universities in the Baltimore area were cited in the "25 Best" categories. The US Naval Academy took the No. 9 spot in the "25 Most Desirable Schools" category. Johns Hopkins University came in at No. 18 in the "25 Most Desirable Urban Schools."

Here's an excerpt:

"At the United States Naval Academy, the government foots the tuition bill. That could be part of the reason why the public school holds the No. 9 spot on Newsweek's list of most desirable colleges and the No. 3 spot on its roundup of most desirable suburban schools. "Annapolis is said to be the sailing capital of the world," writes one student on CollegeProwler.com. "During the summer it lives up to its billing."

Read the entire article here.
Check out the full list of cateogories here.

Institute names Baltimore 6th best college town

If you're a college student, Baltimore is a pretty good place to be.

That's according to the American Institute for Economic Research, which ranked Baltimore No. 6 in its top college towns. Washington, D.C., ranked No. 3.

The nonprofit research group took a look at the city's student population, arts and leisure activities, cost of living, entrepreneurial activity and other factors to come up with its findings.

San Francisco and New York garnered the No. 1 and No. 2 spots. Boston and Seattle rounded out the top five.

You can read the report here.

Loyola students author new book chronicling Baltimore's forgotten jazz history

New book from eight Loyola University students, including Cathleen Carris of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, uncovers Baltimore's jazz history.

Here's an excerpt:

"Much of the book centers on four iconic Baltimoreans. There's Eubie Blake, the ragtime composer whose 1921 "Shuffle Along" was the first African-American Broadway hit. There's Chick Webb, the diminutive drummer whose hot licks turned the Savoy Ballroom into Harlem's jitterbug central. There's Cab Calloway, the hi-de-ho man who ruled The Cotton Club. And there's Billie Holiday, who rose from the Baltimore slums to become the most memorable voice in jazz history.

But what Carris primarily ended up researching was a much more obscure – and intriguing – bit of local history."

Read the entire article here.


Pioneering research at U of MD Joint Quantum Institute could lead to teleportation across the galaxy

It won't work exactly like Gene Roddenberry envisioned on Star Trek, but teleportation will likely be a reality one day. Pioneering research being conducted at the University of Maryland's Joint Quantum Institute, among others, on quantum entanglement could lead to the ability to instantly transport an item from one end of the galaxy to another.

Here's an excerpt:

"According to the quantum theory, everything vibrates," theoretical physicist Michio Kaku tells NPR's Guy Raz. Kaku is a frequent guest on the Science and Discovery channels. "When two electrons are placed close together, they vibrate in unison. When you separate them, that's when all the fireworks start."

This is where quantum entanglement — sometimes described as "teleportation" — begins. "An invisible umbilical cord emerges connecting these two electrons. And you can separate them by as much as a galaxy if you want. Then, if you vibrate one of them, somehow on the other end of the galaxy the other electron knows that its partner is being jiggled."

This process happens even faster than the speed of light, physicists say."

Listen to or read the entire article here.


Johns Hopkins' Carey Biz School combines business smarts with heart

It's not often that a top tier university launches a brand new school. With its new Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins and the school's inaugural dean Yash Gupta are out to redefine the MBA.

Here's an excerpt:

"At Johns Hopkins it will be compulsory for MBA students to work with the department of medicine and public health. For example, business students will have to work with their scientific counterparts to write a business plan and bring a product to market "connecting invention with innovation", as Prof Gupta puts it. "If I am going to pull this together, I've got to have a synergystic school," he says.

Students must spend time in developing countries, such as India, Rwanda, Kenya or Peru, and work in teams on economic development projects, such as introducing a drug delivery system for people with Aids."

Read the entire article here.


House music as religion? A Hopkins professor says amen

Music can move the soul, but is it a religion? Hopkins professor Lester K. Spence uses house music not just for motivation but also as therapy to soothe his troubled spirit.

Here's an excerpt:

"House is our release, house is our sanctuary…can you feel it like I feel it?"

The quote above is taken from a track that I play every now and again.

For those of us whose lives have been changed from exposure to house music, the quote captures a great deal. I am a father, a husband, a professor, a writer. But with the exception of the birth of my children, the closest I've come to God was on the dance floor."

Read the entire article here.

Quilting for social justice rips apart the fabric of societal representations of women

A recent MICA exhibit, A Pathway to Awareness: Quilting for Social Justice, examined the possibilities of a medium that has only recently gained acceptance as an artform, to convey messages related to social justice. One piece in particular, stood out for Art-Full Life blogger, Doreen Bolger.

Here's an excerpt:

"On a recent visit to MICA, I was surprised but delighted that A Pathway to Awareness: Quilting for Social Justice remained on view after its scheduled conclusion in April. The exhibition presented the artistic results of teaching and mentoring done by Dr. Joan M. E. Gaither, a documentary quilter who recently completed a quilt that told the story of Barack Obama's journey to the White House. As she spoke to the creators of textile work like this, she urged them to quilt "the story that needs to be told, one that only you can tell."

Demonstrating art's potential to impact society, every piece in A Pathway to Awareness had a story and a message. Perhaps the most arresting work was Sex is a Weapon (American Dream). The hand-crafted dress composed of individual quilted parts stood on an old-fashioned wire seamstress form. While its ruffles and medallions could be on any party dress, its quilted squares revealed images of objectified women, each striking a suggestive pose in a skimpy bathing suit."

Read the entire post here.

Read more about Baltimore's artsy goings-ons here!


Prof wins Stockholm Water Prize

The Swedes have been at it again, handing out prizes to American researchers. It ain't a Noble Prize, but the work of Rita Colwell, a professor at the University of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Heath has won the Stockholm Water Prize for her research that has helped solve many water-related public health problems including cholera.


Here's an excerpt

"Colwell, 76, received the award for her "numerous seminal contributions towards solving the world's water and water-related public health problems," the jury of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) said.

Her work, especially on preventing the spread of cholera, "has established the basis for environmental and infectious disease risk assessment used around the world" and "is of the utmost global importance," it added in a statement.

The 76-year-old professor at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health was also honoured for being one of the first to study "the impact of climate change on the spread of disease," SIWI scientific director Per-Arne Malmqvist told a gathering in Stockholm where the prize was announced."

Read the entire article here.


More and more university profs adding "The Wire" to course catalogs

There's no question that the HBO series The Wire changed both television and the way the world looks at Baltimore, now it's changing the way university professors are educating their students. The seminal show about life on streets of Mob City has become a teaching tool for more than just film classes.

Here's an excerpt:

"Among the police officers and drug dealers and stickup men and politicians and dockworkers and human smugglers and teachers and students and junkies and lawyers and journalists who populate the late, great HBO series The Wire, there is one academic. His name is David Parenti and he teaches social work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Academics, on the other hand, can't seem to get enough of The Wire. Barely two years after the show's final episode aired—and with Simon's new show, Treme, premiering next month on HBO—there have already been academic conferences, essay anthologies, and special issues of journals dedicated to the series. Not content to write about it and discuss it among themselves, academics are starting to teach it, as well. Professors at Harvard, U.C.—Berkeley, Duke, and Middlebury are now offering courses on the show."


Read the entire article here.


Check and mate for UMBC at Pan-Am Chess Tourney

The University of Maryland Baltimore County's chess team dominates once again as it takes the top prize in the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships for the ninth time over the past 14 years.

Here's an excerpt:

"At the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships, held Dec. 27-30 in South Padre Island, Tex., the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, swept to victory with a perfect score of six wins. It was the ninth time in 14 years that a team from the university had won or tied for first in the annual tournament.

The only real rival to Baltimore County has been the University of Texas at Dallas, which has won or tied for first seven times in the last 14 years. This year, two Dallas teams tied for second, along with a team from Texas Tech."

Read the full article here.

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