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"Fan"-tastic issue

Shades of blue

Kudos to past ICPCers, too

Money problems

A library of one's own

A big "if"

"Fan"-tastic issue

I have always been a "fan" of Johns Hopkins Magazine, and I suppose with the June issue highlighting sports at Homewood, the operative word here is "fan." But let me say that I enjoyed this issue more than any other issue I have ever received.

As a true Baltimorean now transplanted in Connecticut, I enjoy receiving Johns Hopkins Magazine in the mail (along with Baltimore magazine's annual ranking of the best crab houses in Charm City).

More importantly, as a Class of '89 alumnus and member of the Blue Jays lacrosse team from 19861989, I can honestly say that your feature on the week leading up to the 100th JHU-Maryland game ["The Rivalry"] raised the hair on my neck, made my palms sweaty, and believe it or not, brought a slight tear to my eye.

I was immediately transported back to my days in the late '80s, when we faced the Terps both at Homewood Field and Byrd Stadium (beating No. 1 Maryland in the national semi's is a particular highlight). Your story made me feel like I had another year of eligibility, and for that week I was a teammate of this year's team (when in fact, I was actually a teammate of David Pietramala, Seth Tierney, and Bill Dwan). Truly, you provided a clear perspective of the detail, focus, and discipline that is required of these young men leading up to a big game . . . and at Johns Hopkins, every game is a big game.

Lastly, by reading your article, I hope a number of alumni take pride in the fact that fellow alumni like David, Seth, and Bill are doing an outstanding job of not just leading JHU to be one of the premier lacrosse programs in the country, but they are cultivating fine, upstanding, respectful Johns Hopkins gentlemen. (And yes, they do go to class!)
Patrick G. Russell, A&S '89
New Canaan, Connecticut

Shades of blue

I very much enjoyed the June 2004 special sports issue. It also reinforced some questions I've had about the university's branding efforts.

The university's athletic colors are Columbia blue and black. Various sources about colors describe Columbia blue as light blue. By contrast, the enthusiastic students on the cover are wearing dark blue body paint. The various athletic shirts on the cover also use dark blue.

On the inside cover is an ad for the university's bookstore. Three of the models are wearing blue clothing, but each is wearing a different shade of blue, and only one is wearing light blue.

On the Table of Contents page, the cheerleader at the top is wearing a light blue and black uniform, but her pom-poms are dark blue. Farther down, the lacrosse players have light blue on their helmets, but dark blue shirts.

On pages 26 and 27, the cheerleaders are wearing light blue and black uniforms but are holding dark blue and black pom-poms.

On page 34, the lacrosse players have light blue on their helmets but dark blue shirts and pants.

On pages 48 through 53, the lacrosse uniforms are all dark blue and black.

On pages 54, 55, and 57, the baseball uniforms are light blue and black.

On visits to the bookstore and its Web site, I've found very few items in Columbia (light) blue and black. The blue items are typically described as Navy blue. University logo clothing is also available in colors such as red, yellow, orange, and green. By contrast, most university bookstores are decorated wall-to-wall (including the walls and carpet) in the school's colors. Almost all of their merchandise uses only the school's colors. The overall package emphasizes the school's brand and is designed to stir the emotions and increase the loyalty of everyone who visits the bookstore or its Web site.

There is also the names issue. The school in Palo Alto is officially named Leland Stanford Junior University, but everywhere other than on the school seal, it is called simply Stanford. Should the university be known as Johns Hopkins or simply Hopkins, as the athletic uniforms and much of the bookstore merchandise say?

Syracuse University recently changed its athletic nickname from the Orangemen to the more inclusive Orange. Should the university use Blue Jays (Jays?) for all or use Blue Jays for men and Lady Jays for women as this special sports issue did?

The consistent use of a university's name, colors, and athletic nickname is a key factor in branding, which in turn helps build school spirit and leads to heightened support of all kinds. All kinds of good things flow from that.

Go Blue Jays!
Sid Mohsberg '00 (MBA)
Annapolis, Maryland

Kudos to past ICPCers, too

Congratulations to the Hopkins programming team for advancing to the finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) ["Wholly Hopkins," April, pg. 24]. With the explosive growth of the contest in recent years, getting to the finals is quite an accomplishment. But, in contrast to what was reported in the magazine, they were not the first Hopkins team to advance to the worldwide finals. To the best of my knowledge — with help from the ICPC Web site — Hopkins teams also went to the finals at least in 1984, 1985, and 1987. The 1984 team won, and the 1987 team placed third.
John Walker '84

Money problems

I enjoy the alumni magazine a great deal, and especially like the brain exercises given by Solomon Golomb. However, now that I have a very practical puzzle that I'm not sure how to solve, I thought that perhaps the JHU puzzle master might be able to provide a clue.

My daughter has a large piggy bank that I always used to fill with quarters. However, this year I decided to fill it with dimes, and the question is, can we expect the same return on investment? In an attempt to address this, I've measured the volumes of a dime and quarter, and lo and behold, it turns out that the quarter is almost exactly 2.5 times the volume of a dime. Although this would seem to suggest that the amount will be the same, this seems much too simple. How the coins are packed would seem to make a difference. The bank is shaken often, but still, it seems that the smaller dime might settle differently.

So I'm wondering if Dr. Golomb or anyone else can provide an answer to this financial conundrum.
Wayne Mitzner, PhD
Director, Division of Physiology
Department of Environmental
Health Sciences, Bloomberg
School of Public Health

Solomon Golomb responds: In general, smaller pieces will pack more efficiently than larger ones. A disassembled bookcase or table will fit into a smaller crate than an assembled one. Grind it into sawdust and it will fill an even smaller container, though admittedly the reassembly problem becomes prohibitive. As Archimedes observed, a collection of pebbles has the same total volume as a scoop of sand if they each displace the same amount of water, but the sand will fit into a smaller bowl.

For the same reason, if dimes and quarters have the same ratio of value to volume, a well-shaken piggy bank should be able to contain a larger dollar amount of dimes than of quarters. Exceptions to the general rule occur when the container's shape bears a special relationship to the sizes involved. For example, a cylindrical tube with a diameter just big enough for quarters will pack quarters extremely efficiently, but dimes less so. On the other hand, the tube with a diameter just big enough for dimes will pack dimes very efficiently, but won't hold any quarters

at all! In the large piggy bank described by Dr. Mitzer, these boundary effects should be minor, and the general rule (more dollar value in dimes than in quarters) should apply.

A library of one's own

Seeing the picture of the renovated Peabody Library and reading the article about it brought back happy memories. From 1951 to 1955, I was a Goucher College student with a history major. I also was a special student at Peabody, taking voice lessons first in the Preparatory School and later in the Conservatory. In getting from Goucher to Peabody on a music lesson day, I was dependent on public transportation. The transit schedules were erratic. I tried to arrive early to be sure I would get to my lesson on time. Upon arriving at Peabody, I usually went straight to the library. I liked its quiet, its resources, and the opportunity it gave me to spend time there productively before and after my voice lessons.

Of course, as an undergraduate, I was only allowed in the reading room. To get books from the stacks, I had to submit a request to the reference librarian. As I moved through the years from freshman to senior, I spent more time (over and above music lesson days) in the Peabody Library.

As a junior, I was approached by the reference librarian. He asked me if I would like to have one of the desks in the stacks to use as my own. These desks were normally assigned only to graduate students or serious (postdoctoral) scholars and researchers. I was thrilled to have a "place of my own" in the library and used it faithfully until my graduation.

Three years ago, I retired. My career has taken various twists and turns through social studies teaching, graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins and Teachers College at Columbia University, college and university teaching, marriage, child rearing, and — in my last 11 years — as a library media specialist in the public schools of Florence, Alabama. My early experiences in the Peabody Library surely contributed to the happy and successful conclusion of my career. I am glad to see that the Peabody Library, while responding to the changes of time through its renovation, is still able to provide resources and inspiration for students 50 years after my own pleasant and productive time there.
Eva Goff Knight, EdD
Florence, Alabama

A big "if"

May I please add a word to "Nothing to fear" ["Letters," April] by Laura (Fry) Hambrick '85? As Ms. Hambrick correctly noted, the proud motto of our great university (Veritas Vos Liberabit) is an incomplete quotation of John 8:32 of the Bible. What Jesus actually said was, "If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my disciples, indeed, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." But omission of that conditional conjunction "if" invalidates the promised benefit of real freedom from a host of fears common to us all.

I believe it was Sir Winston Churchill who stated that no man might be considered truly educated apart from knowledge of the English Bible. Accordingly perhaps this most neglected of all great books should be reinstated as required reading for all students in our great university, with a complete quotation of the source of the noble motto Veritas Vos Liberabit. For that most highly desirable freedom is conditioned by "if," and the source is found only in Jesus Christ. How intellectually honest for each student to investigate for himself this greatest personage and teacher of all history, who alone dared to claim, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me" (John, 14:6). For in addition to real freedom, He gives peace.
John W.H. Glasser, MD '37
Wyckoff, NJ


In June's "Go Jays!" we incorrectly identified Lana Jo Hill's class year. She will graduate in 2006.

In the June "Letters" column, we misspelled the name of the professor who taught a course on Lucretius ["Preaching to Lucretius' fan club"]. His name was George D. Hadzsitz.

The magazine regrets the errors.

Return to September 2004 Table of Contents

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