Mason in the News

Posted: January 18, 2008 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.

Sunday, Jan. 13, Montreal Gazette

The Race for the U.S. Presidency Has Turned Into an Epic Battle

“Ten days into the U.S. presidential primary season, the 2008 campaign has become a battle for the ages — chock full of unexpected upsets, record voter turnout and escalating suspense. The most surprising part? No one any longer pretends to know how it will end. Five nominating contests have produced five different winners — Barack Obama, Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Mitt Romney. And Rudy Giuliani has, he says, only begun to fight. ‘I have never seen anything like this, especially on the Republican side, where the campaign is so fluid,’ says Mark Rozell, a political scientist at George Mason University. ‘One can imagine a number of different scenarios playing out, and it’s impossible to predict which one it will be.’”

Sunday, Jan. 13, Houston Chronicle

Texas Will Soon Be Home to Three Presidential Libraries

“If all goes as expected, the George W. Bush Presidential Library will open on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas a few years after Bush leaves office. But most visitors aren’t scholars, just regular folks who want to learn about life in the White House. ‘Television has changed how we see our presidents, how we relate to them,’ said Richard Norton Smith, a historian at George Mason University who has served as director of presidential libraries honoring Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. ‘Whether we like it or not, they’re guests in our home, 24/7. They want to know what it is like to be president, to fly in Air Force One, to be at a state dinner.’”

Monday, Jan. 14, National Geographic

Hidden Black Holes Discovered in Distant Galaxies

“Displaying the cosmic equivalent of high metabolism, some skinny galaxies seem to have huge black holes hidden in their ‘stomachs,’ astronomers announced yesterday. ‘We discovered eight hidden feeding — or what we call active — black holes in completely unexpected places: in the centers of skinny galaxies,’ lead study author Shobita Satyapal told reporters at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Austin, Texas. ‘This constitutes the best evidence yet that a bulge is not necessary for a black hole to form and grow.’ Galaxies come in all shapes and sizes, noted Satyapal, an astronomer at George Mason University in Virginia.”

Monday, Jan. 14, Washington Post

Who’s Backing Whom? With Primaries Near, Area Politicians Pick Sides

“With less than a month before the Feb. 12 primaries in Maryland, Virginia and the District — contests that could have an impact on who wins the nomination in both parties — many of the region’s top elected officials have picked their horses. The question is: So what? The recent history of presidential politics is replete with marquee endorsements that had little apparent effect on voters. ‘Endorsements are highly overrated,’ said Mark J. Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University. ‘Very few voters go into the voting booth determined to support a candidate because he or she got an endorsement from some prominent politician or celebrity.’ Still, candidates collect them like baseball cards, if only to generate a news cycle’s worth of headlines and chatter on the blogs.”

Tuesday, Jan. 15, Washington Post

The Racial Row That’s Dividing the Democrats

“Herein lies the irony: The first seriously viable black presidential candidate has largely avoided discussions of race, while the white candidate whose husband was affectionately called the ‘first black president’ is being assailed by critics for using race as a negative touchstone in the campaign. Not since the 1960s has race been injected into the presidential campaign so early, so fast and so furiously — and by Democrats using it against each other. Roger Wilkins, a civil rights expert and a historian at George Mason University, called Obama the first African American candidate who has a shot of being president and called comments coming from the Clinton camp ‘totally offensive’ — but not necessarily racial. ‘What I think is that there is a resentment in the Clinton campaign. It’s supposed to be her turn so it’s ‘Who is this upstart trying to take this away from us?’’ said Wilkins, who supports Obama.”

Wednesday, Jan. 16, Philadelphia Daily News

Dems Ready to Self-destruct in 5, 4, 3…

“Can Democrats self-destruct again? Michael Fauntroy, George Mason University assistant professor of public policy, says a race feud benefits neither camp. He sees the current contest as ‘a battle over which has made the least progress, gender or race… [in which] I believe Sen. Clinton has been mistreated in part because she’s a woman.’ And he says Obama doesn’t get the same level of critical analysis of his positions as Clinton, and instead media focus on ‘his ability to make a good speech and his calls for unity.’ As to a ticket of the two front-runners, Fauntroy says, ‘I don’t think America’s ready to break two barriers at one time.’”

Thursday, Jan. 17, Washington Post

A New, Faster Way to Read DNA

“Researchers at George Mason University have helped develop a small device that can quickly analyze DNA samples, potentially helping law enforcement agencies speed up criminal investigations. The technology allows for a series of laboratory functions used to assess samples to be placed on a single microchip. ‘When investigating a crime, time is of the essence,’ said Rao Mulpuri, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at GMU. ‘By enabling law enforcement personnel to receive DNA results while still at the crime scene, we are providing them an opportunity to identify and apprehend suspects much more quickly.’”

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