Mason in the News

Posted: September 7, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national and international news coverage Mason recently received.

Friday, Aug. 31, Wall Street Journal Asia

Taste: Manga Mania

“Wide-eyed superheroes, latex-booted heroines and wild-haired super villains might seem like unlikely international goodwill ambassadors, but Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs hopes they will be just that. The politicos are gambling that manga and anime — distinctive forms of comic books and movie animation, respectively — and the diehard fans who dress up as their favorite characters in homemade costumes to attend conventions (the practice is called ‘cosplay’) will spruce up Japan’s image abroad. It’s a risky bet. The Japanese government wants to capitalize on this growing popularity. As Ming Wan, director of the global affairs program at George Mason University, cautions, there is a limit to how much Tokyo can push its cultural products before manga and anime are viewed as government propaganda. This is especially true in China, where some already see Japanese manga as a tool of indoctrination.”

Saturday, Sept. 1, Washington Post

Sen. Warner to ‘Quietly Step Aside’

“John William Warner, who was best known for marrying actress Elizabeth Taylor when he entered the Senate 28 years ago but who grew into an elder statesman and Republican maverick highly regarded for his expertise in defense matters, announced his retirement Friday. Warner’s departure triggers a round of political jockeying that will change the political landscape nationally and in Virginia. ‘It’s a loss for the Republican Party because it’s going to be a tough seat to hold,’ said Mark J. Rozell, a public policy professor at George Mason University. ‘What was a solid conservative Republican state is now a two-party state.'”

Monday, Sept. 3, Newsweek International

Then They All Fall Down

What does the price of a starter home in Stockton, Calif., have to do with the fate of European banks, or initial public offerings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange? These days, quite a lot. Just as sub primes have tanked Asia’s hottest IPO market, so they have hit German banks, global hedge funds and countless emerging market investments in recent weeks. The force that tethers all of these debacles to the growing number of Americans who can’t pay their mortgages is one that increasingly sets the cadence for global commerce: risk. The American sub prime implosion makes that case all too well. But does it also indict the use of complex securities as a buffer against global turbulence? ‘There is a question of whether a good thing [financial innovation] creates some vulnerabilities that you wouldn’t otherwise have,’ says Tyler Cowen, a professor at George Mason University and creator of the popular blog Marginal Revolution. Still, he adds, ‘You could go back to the 1950s where you have small banks that lend money to homeowners and just sit on the loan, but credit would be a lot more expensive, and I don’t think anyone would want to do that.'”

Tuesday, Sept. 4,

Looking for Mr. Clean (and Single)

“Women longing for that white dress and gold ring may want to take some new research into consideration. A study published in the September Journal of Family Issues found that live-in boyfriends spend more time scrubbing and scouring than their married counterparts. The new study comes from sociologist Shannon Davis at George Mason University and her colleagues at North Carolina State University, who looked at the hours spent on housework reported by more than 17,000 individuals in 28 developed, Western countries. Across the board live-in boyfriends reported performing more household labor than married men. Also, live-in girlfriends took on fewer chores than married women. ‘The way that marriage has historically been constructed prohibits and reduces the ability of men to turn their beliefs about equality into an equal division of labor,’ says Davis.”

Wednesday, Sept. 5, New York Times

For Airlines, Hands-On Air Traffic Control

“At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Delta Air Lines said its jets take off an average of 10 minutes after pushing back from the gate — three minutes faster than in previous years. Using new technology, planes take off following a narrow route, so that jets right behind them taking different routes do not have to wait as long. That makes the system move a bit faster. Delta, and also Alaska Airlines and UPS, is demonstrating pieces of the possible future of the nation’s air traffic system, hinting at what aviation might be like — if the airlines and the federal government can get the details worked out. ‘The transition path is murky,’ said George L. Donohue, a former associate administrator at the FAA who was responsible for research and acquisitions and is now the head of the Air Transportation Laboratory at George Mason University.”

Thursday, Sept. 6, USA Today

For next president, USA likely to call on a lawyer

“The next president is most likely to have a law degree, but hold the lawyer jokes. That might not be such a bad thing. The three leading candidates in each party have law degrees and most have practiced law. Some are weaving their legal careers into their campaign pitches, squeezed between the action verbs and take-charge rhetoric about running states, cities, businesses and the Olympics. In a sense, it’s a return to tradition. Lawyers dominated the presidency until the 20th century, when voters became enamored with the ‘decider’ model: those who ran on their executive experience. ‘Hard-charging CEO deciders are very appealing to the American electorate,’ says James Pfiffner, a presidential historian at George Mason University. ‘Saying “‘I can look at all sides of the issues”‘ is really important, but it doesn’t impress voters as much.'”

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