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Posts Tagged ‘Johns Hopkins’

Even if, like me, you never got into the TV show “The Wire,” you may know that it was about a troubled section of Baltimore. You also may be interested in a new school there, intended to serve as a real community gathering place.

New York Times design critic Michael Kimmelman has the story.

“In many ways, public schools are gated communities, dead zones,” writes Kimmelman. “They’re shuttered after dark and during the summer, open to parents and students while in session but not to the larger community.

“A new public school in one of the poorest neighborhoods in East Baltimore wants to challenge the blueprint. Designed by Rob Rogers, of Rogers Partners in New York, Henderson-Hopkins, as it’s called, aspires to be a campus for the whole area — with a community center, library, auditorium and gym — as well as a hub for economic renewal.

“This is the neighborhood where parts of ‘The Wire’ were filmed. In 2000, when the city’s mayor convened local business leaders, the vacancy rate was 70 percent. Poverty was twice the city average. Crime, infant mortality and unemployment were all through the roof.

“The idea that emerged — of making the school the centerpiece of a major redevelopment project — is a grand urban experiment. Operated by Johns Hopkins University in collaboration with Morgan State University, the school, which opened in January, belongs to a $1.8 billion plan that also includes new science and technology buildings, a park, retail development and mixed-income housing. While gentrification might threaten to displace the poor, the school is to be the glue that helps bind the district together.” Read more here.

Photo: Matt Roth for The New York Times
Henderson-Hopkins, which shares its library, gym, auditorium, and other features with the surrounding area, is designed to catalyze change in a blighted section of Baltimore.
 

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Today I read an article at Miller-McCune on an astronomer and an economist who want to dump the calendar we all use (Gregorian) in favor of something completely new.

It reminded me of my late friend Doc Howe, who was commissioner of education under Lyndon Johnson and who often spoke of an idea for a calendar that he learned about in his Ford Foundation days. (It might have been the World Calendar seen here, but I’m not sure. Like invented languages, new calendar systems keep popping up.)

Writes Emily Badger at Miller-McCune, “The ever-changing calendar, with its periodic leap years and mouthful of monthly mnemonic devices, has irked timekeepers almost since the system was introduced in the 1500s.

“ ‘It’s a very accurate calendar,’ says Richard Conn Henry, a professor of astronomy at Johns Hopkins University. …

“That said, he wants to get rid of the thing. He and Johns Hopkins economist Steve Hanke are now lobbying to replace it with their invention, the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar. In the long tradition of calendar reformers, they believe they’ve settled on the elusive solution to the Gregorian calendar’s floating days of the week: one calendar that remains constant every year, where New Year’s Day falls without fail on, say, Sunday every single time.

“The big advantage to such a system is that nobody — businesses, the NFL, universities, beleaguered governments — would have to go through the exercise every year of rewriting holiday schedules, course calendars or sports seasons.”

Henry and Hanke believe it preferable to insert “an entire extra week onto the end of December every five or six years. … The rest of the calendar would remain constant with four equal quarters of 91 days each, with two months of 30 days and a third month of 31.”

Does this solution speak to you?

Read more on the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar here.

(Read more about Doc Howe in the Cincinnati Enquirer obit.)

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