Mason in the News

Posted: April 3, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage Mason recently received.

Friday, March 27, USA Today

To-do List: Preparing Schools for Final Four is Quite the Task

“The logistics of getting teams and traveling parties for four schools to Detroit for next week’s Final Four look complicated from afar. Tom O’Connor is here to say it’s easier than it looks. He is the athletics director at George Mason, belle of the ball in 2006. USA Today visited the Mason campus to see from the perspective of a school that had never been before how it all works. ‘I would say there is not a big difference logistically for a team going for the first time or a team that’s been there before,’ O’Connor says. ‘The NCAA gives you a team manual that gives you every step to take from the time you win the regional to playing in the Final Four.’”

Tuesday, March 31, Chronicle of Higher Education

‘BrainWave Chick’ Digitally Performs Mind Music

Paras Kaul wants you to listen to her brainwaves. Ms. Kaul, director of Web communications at George Mason University, is better known as the ‘BrainWave Chick.’ With electrodes and digital technology, she has devised increasingly sophisticated ways to perform the music of her mind. (It’s got an eerie, ethereal sound, something like Brian Eno’s ambient compositions.) To project her brainwaves, Ms. Kaul wears a headband that presses three electrodes against her brain’s frontal lobe. A Bluetooth adapter transmits data to a laptop, where software converts brainwaves to a Musical Instrument Digital Interface, and synthesizers play it. ‘All I have to do is be on stage and meditate,’ Ms. Kaul says. She doesn’t like that word — meditate — but says that low-frequency brainwaves, those we produce when we quiet our minds, make the nicest music.”

Tuesday, March 31, Washington Post

McAuliffe’s Fundraising: High-Dollar, High-Mileage

“While his Democratic rivals confined their travels to Virginia, gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe quietly slipped out of the commonwealth a dozen times in recent weeks to attend fundraisers in his honor hosted by some of the nation’s top Democratic donors. McAuliffe said he needs to raise as much as he can to prepare for a possible general election contest against McDonnell. National Republicans are investing heavily in McDonnell’s campaign after recent defeats. Mark Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University, said McAuliffe’s money will allow him to spend more on outreach and advertising and will probably not hurt him in the primary. ‘All they can do is complain,’ Rozell said. ‘The reality is if they could do it, they would.’”

Wednesday, April 1, PBS: “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer”

International News

Sumaiya Hamdani, assistant professor of art history, gave input during a discussion of the various upcoming religious holidays, focusing on the region surrounding Jerusalem. “As a Muslim general and leader, with an eye on acquiring good P.R. for himself, Saladin was obviously going to respect the holy character, the sacred character of monuments or institutions like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,” Hamdani said. “And he was also going to do his best to restore the sanctity of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Whereas the Christians had desecrated these Muslim monuments, he was keen on restoring their sanctity.”

Thursday, April 2,

How to: Become a Government Contractor

“With credit tight, unemployment rising, and consumer and business spending slowing dramatically, only one sector of the economy seems poised for growth: government. But the road to government riches is often bumpy. Contractors typically must adhere to rigorous standards for wages and safety. And the government can be an onerous, fickle customer. Solicitations for bids often run scores of pages. Though government acquisition is extremely rationalized and often transparent — the web is an essential element in doing business with the Feds — it can also be maddening. ‘That’s part of the screening process,’ says Patricia Peacock, director of the Mason Enterprise Center at George Mason University’s Manassas, Va., campus. ‘If an entrepreneur gets frustrated with the multitude of questions, that screens them out.’”

Thursday, April 2, Washington Post

Area Jobless Rate at Record High

“The Washington area’s unemployment rate almost doubled in the past year, rising to 6.1 percent in February from 3.2 percent a year earlier, according to figures released yesterday. Washington’s unemployment is still low by national standards, as the U.S. jobless rate hit 8.9 percent in February, not seasonally adjusted. ‘About the only thing we can say is we’re better off than most everywhere else,’ said John McClain, deputy director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University.”

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