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Proposed mosquito emohiI’ll admit, when emojis were created, I was skeptical. I refused to join in on the fad thinking it would be over in a few weeks. Turns out I was wrong. And now I even have a bitmoji (a cartoon like version of yourself doing the job of the generic smiley emoji). For the record, I only use emojis for light hearted conversations, most commonly when texting family and friends. For example, how can you make arrangements to go to the State Fair without using a cow, sheep or goat emoji?

But a casual perusal of Twitter or Instagram shows just how often people do use emojis to express far more than laughing. When talking about the environment, an earth emoji can help draw the eye of somebody skimming through a social media feed. But when it comes to diseases spread by mosquitos, like Malaria, Dengue and Zika, what is one supposed to use? One person on twitter suggested the clapping hands are actually killing mosquitos. That’s why at the end of June the Center for Communication Programs and the Bill and Melinda Gate’s Foundation sent a proposal to the emoji powers at large (Unicode) for a mosquito emoji.

Next month Unicode will vote on which of the special few finalists will become emojis. Let’s all raise awareness and support the need for a mosquito emoji! #mosquitoemoji #scicomm

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll know that we participate in the SOPHAS Virtual Fairs. The next one is tomorrow, September 19. Admissions Services will be available to answer questions from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, with some department representatives also available for half hour to hour intervals throughout the time period. The MPH office will also be answering MPH specific questions from 1 to 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

You can register for the event and create an account or join the event on the day of September 19. You may also always contact Admissions Services with any questions via e-mail or phone at 410-955-0464.

On Tuesday, September 5, President Trump’s administration announced plans to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), also known as the Dream Act, without any new legislative solution. DACA allows young people who came to the United States as undocumented children to enroll in college and contribute to the nation. Since it’s initiation over the last seven years, Johns Hopkins has publicly supported the Dream Act.

On Thursday, September 7, Johns Hopkins President Ron Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar wrote to the Hopkins community announcing financial support for JHU students directly impacted by this decision to complete their degrees, as well as legal and other assistance they might need. They also reinforced that campus safety and security officers do not “request information regarding citizenship, nor enforce federal immigration laws without a specific court order; and we will not permit law enforcement or other officials to access private spaces on our campuses to enforce immigration laws absent a valid warrant or court order.”

Since these announcements, Bloomberg School of Public Health Dean Mike Klag’s expressed his own supporting statement and pointed to stories including Hurricane Harvey rescue workers and volunteers, who benefited from DACA, risking their own lives for their fellow Americans.

You may read President Daniels and Provost Kumar’s full statement online.

Me at SamosBaltimore – and Maryland– cuisine tends to revolve around blue crabs. And, while I have blogged about my favorite crab cake and my experience picking crabs, today I want to introduce you to a wonderful little restaurant in Greektown.

On the corner of two neighborhood streets, Samos almost blends in to the row of houses. But, as soon as you open the restaurant doors, you are flooded with the scents of Greek and Mediterranean cooking thanks to the open kitchen design. With a full menu of traditional Greek food, it was difficult to decide, but eventually I chose two appetizers, the spanakopita and a lamb skewer with slices of pita. Both were perfection; the lamb tender and perfectly seasoned and the spanakopita had the proper amount of spinach to feta proportions. My coworker, Lauren, loved her shrimp gyro and cup of chicken noodle soup.

Lamb Skewers


Shrimp Gyro

If the pictures don’t further convince you of your need to visit this delightful, local spot, I don’t know what will. But be assured, you won’t be disappointed by this local highlight.

Monday marks a national holiday in the United States: Labor Day. Labor Day celebrates the American labor movement and the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

This weekend also typically marks the end of summer with one last get away to the beach and the end of BBQ season, even though autumn officially begins on September 22.

We too will be celebrating and the office will be closed on Monday, September 4. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, September 5.