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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University December 19, 2005 | Vol. 35 No. 15
In Brief


Early decision application pool largest ever; 478 accepted

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions sent early decision acceptance letters and e-mails to a record-breaking 478 students last week, choosing the first members of the class of 2010 from the largest early decision applicant pool in the university's history.

Johns Hopkins admitted 99 more undergraduates through early admission this year than it did last year. Despite the increase, the university continues to be more selective, with an admittance rate of just 48 percent this year, compared with 52 percent last year and 56 percent the year before.

Among the 478 students from 384 different high schools in 12 different countries are five Baltimore Scholars. Need-based grant aid totaling $3.5 million was offered to 151 students, including the five Baltimore Scholars and seven Bloomberg scholars.

Two-thirds will attend the Krieger School and one-third the Whiting School.


Johns Hopkins survey details philanthropic behavior, giving

Just who in the world is the most generous? Would it be Americans, who lead the world in giving cash donations to charities, as measured as a percentage of gross domestic product? Or is it the good people of the Netherlands, who give more of their time and money and thus lead the world in overall philanthropic behavior?

The latest report on philanthropic behavior and giving as a percentage of GDP will spur such questions. The report is compiled by the Center for Civil Society Studies at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies.

"There's a lot of mythology out there about charitable giving around the world," said Lester Salamon, director of the Center for Civil Society Studies. "What's increasingly clear is that Americans are not the only ones who give. And when gifts of time are added to gifts of money, some other countries turn out to be every bit as generous as Americans are."

The data were generated by a team of researchers around the world led by Salamon as part of the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project. To download a chart with data on private philanthropy in more than 30 countries, go to


Libraries introduce JHsearch, geared to multiple databases

The Johns Hopkins libraries have launched JHsearch, a new service that enables simultaneous searching across multiple databases. Patrons may search QuickSets — pre-defined sets of databases in the life sciences, engineering, education, political science, art and more — or create their own custom sets. Search results can be saved in a "My Results" folder or to disk and can also be sent to an e-mail address.

JHsearch currently includes about 85 of the JHU Libraries' databases; more databases and features will be added in the coming months, including personalization options that will allow users to store and run search queries at time intervals of their choice.

JHsearch is available to the Hopkins community from on or off campus and may be accessed directly at or from the Web sites of any of the Johns Hopkins libraries.


MESSENGER engine burn puts spacecraft on track for Venus

At 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 12 NASA's Mercury-bound MESSENGER spacecraft successfully fired its large bipropellant thruster for the first time since launch, completing the first of several critical deep space maneuvers that will help the spacecraft reach Mercury orbit.

The 524-second burn changed MESSENGER's velocity by about 706 miles per hour, putting the solar-powered spacecraft on track for a 1,951-mile altitude flyby of Venus on Oct. 24, 2006.

"This is a major accomplishment for the mission," said APL's Mark Holdridge, MESSENGER mission operations manager. "That bi-prop engine is the last major component of the spacecraft that we haven't used in space and one we'll need at least five more times to orbit Mercury. The successful performance of this main engine proves that the spacecraft is up to the task."

Until Dec. 12, only 16 of the MESSENGER spacecraft's 17 thrusters had been used in five small trajectory correction maneuvers. This latest maneuver, known as Deep Space Maneuver 1, or DSM 1, is the first to rely solely on the largest, most efficient thruster.

APL manages the mission for NASA, built MESSENGER and operates the spacecraft. To follow it on its path, go to


Exhibition on handwritten word opens at Homewood House

Homewood House Museum is presenting a new exhibition, ... as I write to you..., which opens on Thursday, Jan. 5, and runs through March 31.

Curated by Catherine Rogers Arthur, this focus show examines the significance of the handwritten word in early-19th-century Baltimore, including the teaching of handwriting, writing accouterments and examples of correspondence and other written materials. A series of related educational programs are offered throughout the exhibition's run; for details, go to


This issue of 'Gazette' is last for semester; next will be Jan. 9

This is the last Gazette for the semester; the next issue will appear on Jan. 9. The deadline for calendar and classifieds submissions for that issue is noon on Tuesday, Jan. 3. This issue's calendar carries listings for events, scheduled as of press time, through Jan. 9; for updates, go to the universitywide calendar at


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