The Johns Hopkins Gazette: March 6, 2000
March 6, 2000
VOL. 29, NO. 26


In Brief

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

APL receives news that CONTOUR mission is a go

NASA has given the go-ahead for the Comet Nucleus Tour, or CONTOUR, mission designed to study comets as they make their periodic visits to the inner solar system.

The Applied Physics Laboratory will build the spacecraft and two of its four scientific instruments and manage the $158 million Discovery Program mission. Cornell University is the principal investigator institution and will lead scientific aspects of the mission, which is scheduled for a July 2002 launch.

CONTOUR will conduct close (60-mile) flyby studies of Comet Encke in November 2003 and Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann-3 in June 2006. It also will have the flexibility to retarget itself to approach other comets visiting the solar system during the 2004-2008 timeframe.

Wednesday Noon Series brings music of Ireland to Homewood

Irish Shenanigans will perform "Traditions of Ireland: Songs, Tunes and More" at noon on Wednesday, March 8, in Shriver Hall, Homewood campus.

Known for its contagious energy and music, the trio will share the Irish experience through song, poetry, an immigration tale and a dancing fiddler. Audience members will learn a Gaelic greeting, a song about a real woman pirate and how to make an Irish drum.

Featured members of the trio include Maggie's Music recording artist Karen Ashbrook (Irish flute, pennywhistles, bodhran drum); Connie McKenna (guitar, vocals) from the award-winning group Ceoltoiri; and Steve Hickman (fiddle, body percussion).

This performance is part of the Wednesday Noon Series presented by the Office of Special Events. Admission is free.

Cash prizes to be awarded for best undergraduate website

The Friends of the Johns Hopkins University Libraries and the Community of Science Inc. have announced the third annual award for the best undergraduate website.

The contest was established to recognize the range and variety of Hopkins students' efforts on the Web, to encourage their creative work and to reward the best of these efforts. A $1,500 cash prize will be awarded to the winner, and a $1,000 cash prize will be awarded to the runner-up.

Any undergraduate student enrolled in a degree program at the university is eligible to enter.

A student may enter only one website each year. Each site should provide information in a specific discipline and should demonstrate the usefulness and power of the Web as a medium for communicating information that has intellectual value.

The deadline to enter is Friday, March 31. For guidelines go to or contact Linda Claremon at 410-516-8327 or

Hopkins Toastmasters chapter to receive charter

Just two months after its first meeting, the Hopkins chapter of Toastmasters International had attracted enough members to apply for its official charter.

It will be presented to the organization today by the District 18 Governor at the School of Public Health, where the chapter was founded. The group, which receives financial support from the SPH Student Assembly, is open to anyone at Hopkins who would like to improve his or her public speaking skills.

For more information, call 410-377-2876.

Cafe to open in April at School of Nursing

The Buzz Cafe, a Seattle-style espresso bar, will begin service on April 10 in the School of Nursing where, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, it will sell coffee and bistro-type food. The cafe will provide service in the courtyard area and will take orders via e-mail.

The Buzz is owned and operated by Straight from Seattle Espresso Inc., which currently operates seven other Baltimore locations, including four on the Homewood campus.

Flare Genesis data recovered, tapes being studied at APL

On Feb. 13 the skies opened up over the Antarctic ice shelf, where the balloon-borne Flare Genesis experiment came to rest after a 17-day flight around the South Pole, and the retrieval team was able to land their Twin Otter aircraft next to the upright, undamaged gondola.

The team retrieved scientific data tapes--with their sharp images of solar activity--along with other small hardware and electronic items. They wrapped a thick tarp around the telescope to protect it against the oncoming winter weather before leaving. The tapes are now back at the Applied Physics Laboratory, and researchers have begun analyzing the data. The team will recover the telescope in the fall.


A story about the Voyage and Discovery lecture series at Homewood (Feb. 28, page 1) incorrectly identified the affiliation of Richard A. Cone, one of the scheduled speakers. Cone is a professor of biophysics and biology in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.