JHU Press Blog

Myths about the Baltimore Orioles

by cmt | Friday, April 6, 2012 - 8:00 AM

Guest post by Frederick E. Taylor Baltimore Orioles fans must feel very frustrated. Their once-great franchise has fallen on hard times—14 consecutive losing seasons, a serious decline in attendance, and no dominant players to reverse their misfortune. Losing records bring lower attendance and less revenue which result in smaller payrolls and fewer impact players. Is there any hope? Perhaps, but a realistic answer is obscured by five widespread myths about the Orioles.

The good old days at Camden Yards.

The Orioles are currently the worst team in baseball and maybe the worst team ever. Actually, the Orioles are not the only team experiencing a drought. It has been 19 years since the Pittsburgh Pirates have had a winning season and, with the exception of 2003, it has been 18 years since the Kansas City Royals have had a winning season. The Boston Red Sox are perhaps the most dramatic example of losing streaks. Laboring under the notorious "Curse of the Bambino," they had 14 consecutive losing seasons from 1920 to 1933. Remember that all teams, like all players, do not perform uniformly year after year. Some teams...Read More

Can you judge a journal by its title?

by bjs | Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 8:00 AM

They say you can't judge a book by its cover. Whether that's true or not is a post for another time, but it makes me wonder this--can you judge a journal by its title? Outsiders may look at Progress in Community Health Partnerships and wonder what they might find between the covers. But those within the field of community-based participatory research know that the journal, based at the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute , features research on critical medical topics such as obesity, malaria prevention, and AIDS. The unique partnerships of those who are tackling the research make the journal stand out. But don't listen to me. Editor S. Darius Tandon served as the third subject for our new " In Other Words " video series to shed some light on the work featured in the journal, now in its sixth year. Video of In Other Words: Progress in Community Health Partnerships

Editor S. Darius Tandon talks about research from the journal Progress in Community Health Partnerships , a groundbreaking publication in the area of Community Based Participatory Research. The first scholarly journal dedicated to CBPR, PCHP is a...Read More

City Trees in Spring

by cmt | Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 8:45 AM

Guest Post by Leslie Day

Apple blossoms

Most people are surprised that trees actually flower. Yet this spring ritual of pink cherry blossoms, white clouds of Callery pear blooms, magnolia, apple, and purple leaf plum flowers exploded in March, about 5-6 weeks ahead of schedule. It was so striking that fashion photographer Bill Cunningham of the New York Times , devoted his weekly Styles column to the beauty that Mother Nature wore up and down the streets and throughout the city parks. So that you can see these trees with your own eyes, check out the slideshow below for photos of the really showy tree flowers--callery pear, cherry, apple, magnolia, and purple leaf plum flowers. Now we are a couple of weeks into spring and, for me, the real beauty is slowly revealing itself. I am referring to the delicate tree flowers most people never notice: red maple flowers, oak catkins, elm flowers, and samaras (the winged seeds now a brilliant lime green). Wherever you live, as you walk down your block , you cannot help but notice color coming back into view: pale pinks, reds, terra cottas, and myriad shades...Read More

Unsung heroes

by cmt | Monday, April 2, 2012 - 8:52 AM

Guest post by Bo Beolens The joy of researching our eponym dictionaries is coming across unsung heroes whose remarkable lives may end up commemorated in a critter’s name. Often the collective memory fades and it is left to later generations to rediscover these heroes. Such a fellow was Richard Lemon Lander (1804–1834) (Lander's Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus landeri Martin, 1838). Richard Lemon Lander left his home in Cornwall, England in 1813 and walked to London. Between 1825 and 1828 he was in northern Nigeria with Hugh Clapperton, with the intention of traveling down the River Niger. At that time no one knew where it started or finished, or much at all about it, in fact. Clapperton succumbed to illness in 1827—it seems that Lander was the only European member of the expedition to survive. Survive is very much the operative word. African tribesmen accused him of witchcraft and forced him to drink poison to see if he was a witch or not. Since Lander didn't die, they concluded he was not a witch after all. (Lucky for him that they did not believe that witches would survive poison and the innocent die!)...Read More

In Other Words: Progress in Community Health Partnerships

by bjs | Monday, April 2, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Editor S. Darius Tandon talks about research from the journal Progress in Community Health Partnerships , a groundbreaking publication in the area of Community Based Participatory Research based at Johns Hopkins University.

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A balancing act

by cmt | Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 8:00 AM

Guest post by John M. Henshaw The Segway is that crazy looking self-propelled scooter that rolls on two side-by-side wheels. Not everyone is in love with the way they look, but no matter what you might think of their aesthetics, you have to admit that they are pretty cool machines. And mysterious. Just how does a Segway keep from falling over, anyway? One might very well ask the same question about a human body, standing erect. Just how does that keep from falling over? The means by which a Segway is able to stand up straight shares some things in common with the way humans balance themselves. Dean Kamen, whose company DEKA invented the Segway, has said that he was inspired by the human balance system when he was first developing the Segway.

photo by Tamorlan

From a purely physical perspective, a human body, standing upright, is frighteningly

photo by Lauren Bosak

unstable. Anytime an object’s center of mass is farther above the ground than the object is wide—as it most certainly is for a human standing up—that object is relatively easy...Read More

In like a polar bear . . . out like James Franco

by cmt | Monday, March 26, 2012 - 1:03 PM

No roaring lions (only polar bears) heralded the end of our mild winter here in Baltimore. Read on to see what we've been up to, who we've been meeting (can anyone say James Franco?), and what's in the works at the JHU Press.

Journals News

In an effort to help raise awareness about health issues in Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities, Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) has published a special issue in cooperation with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) and the Health Through Action Program via support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The journal has devoted its Spring 2012 issue to information about community initiatives focused on health problems within these communities.

Feeling like you need your Samuel Beckett fix? Well, the journal Modernism/modernity has you covered. The most recent issue focuses on papers presented at a 2011 conference "Samuel Beckett: Out of the Archive." Look for a podcast from conference organizer Dr. Peter Fifield soon on our Multimedia page .

Finding the right children's book...Read More

Wild Thing: Turning the tables on the sharks in the gray suits

by cmt | Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 8:00 AM

Wild Thing is an occasional series where JHU Press authors write about the flora and fauna of the natural world—from the rarest flower to the most magnificent beast.

Guest post by Gene Helfman

In most marine systems, large sharks are at the top of the food chain. But recent observations from the tropical Pacific indicate that some bony fishes don’t obey the rules.

For reasons that remain mysterious, Giant Trevally ( Caranx ignobilis, family Carangidae), a relative of pompanos and jacks, attack and kill reef sharks much larger than themselves but don’t eat them. Fishers in Palau in the Western Caroline Islands, Saipan in the Mariana Islands, and the Marshall Islands have documented large trevally singly or in pairsrepeatedly head-butting the sides of reef species such as Blacktip Sharks ( Carcharhinus melanopterus, Carcharhinidae) and even Tiger Sharks ( Galeocerdo cuvieri, Carcharhinidae).

The trevally focus their ramming attacks on the sides and gill region of the shark. The shark often defends itself by trying unsuccessfully to bite its more agile attacker. Sometimes, a shark will attempt to flee to deeper water but be forced back into the...Read More

The Doctor Is In: All disorder is not disease

by cmt | Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 10:25 AM

The Doctor Is In is an occasional series where JHU Press authors discuss the latest developments and news in health and medicine. Guest post by Robert N. McLay , M.D., Ph.D. Where is the line between disease and health? To many people this might appear a silly question. The guy hacking up a lung is sick. The person running the half marathon and smiling is perfectly healthy. But take a step back. Think about things like the aging process. When does normal age-related memory loss turn into Alzheimer’s? How about developmental issues? When is being short considered dwarfism. Diet? What exactly is the difference between being “morbidly obese” or a little overweight? Now step into the biggest morass of pathology versus normality, mental health. A series of recent editorials in The New York Times , The Washington Times , The Huffington Post , and elsewhere have illustrated the practical and political difficulties surrounding mental health diagnosis. The opinion columns are up in arms both about diagnostic labels being given for what are often thought of as normal emotional reactions, and about individuals who were told their issues were not Axis I Diagnoses , but rather...Read More

Exploring photography through video

by bjs | Monday, March 12, 2012 - 11:06 AM

John T. Irwin, editor of The Hopkins Review , describes the magazine as “a literary, cultural quarterly.” In its first five years, the Review has published significant pieces of fiction and poetry, but the pages also feature insightful reviews as well as other forms of art. In the Summer 2011 issue, Johns Hopkins faculty member Phyllis A. Berger contributed the first-ever photography collection to an issue of the Review . The Seven Photographs of Ireland and Brittany stood by themselves with only basic identification about the landscapes Berger had photographed. As we mulled over subjects for our video series “ In Other Words ,” this photo essay jumped out as a logical candidate. The photos told a wonderful story, but we only knew the beginning. There had to be more lurking underneath the black and white images. After watching the second installment of this new series, you’ll see how our hunch played out. Berger shows off some of the images in color and gives insight into her decisions about composition, light, and other key elements which turn photographs into art. Video of In Other Words: Photographer Phyllis Berger

Photographer and Johns...Read More