This Week in the News…

Posted: November 2, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Thursday, Oct. 25, Boston Globe

Oh, Say What You See: The Flag’s New Meaning

“‘It’s a Rorschach test,’ said Nora Olgyay, a graphic designer in the Washington, D.C., area who teaches at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Olgyay, who has studied the international use of safety symbols, emphasized that the symbols’ meaning can change drastically depending on context. In her research, for example, she found some people who read a red cross not as ‘first aid’ but as ‘intersection.’… ‘This whole event is fraught with symbols,’ Olgyay said: the World Trade Center collapsing, the Pentagon burning. ‘So it only makes sense that everyone is responding with a symbol.'”

Friday, Oct. 26, Christian Science Monitor

The U.S. & Israel

“‘With Suez, for the first time, the U.S. is calling the shots in the Middle East,’ says Yehuda Lukacs, a professor of international relations at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va…. ‘The American public is now waking up to the cost of the relationship with Israel,’ says Professor Lukacs. ‘This is a question that has never been addressed in the past.'”

Saturday, Oct. 27, National Journal

Always Hope, But Hard-Liners Still in Charge

“‘Iran clearly has a shared interest with the United States in overthrowing the hated Taliban and seeing a more broad-based government come to power in Afghanistan that includes their Northern Alliance friends,’ said Shaul Bakash, a specialist in modern Iranian politics and a professor of history at George Mason University. Conversely, Supreme Leader Khamenei sees himself as the leader of the Muslim world, and he has said America is ‘dragging the world into war.’ In that sense, Bakash continued, ‘it’s difficult to imagine Iran stopping its support for Hezbollah, or dropping its opposition to the Middle East peace process specifically and the very existence of Israel in general. There are real limits to how helpful a very prickly Iran will be to an American-led coalition.'”

Tuesday, Oct. 30, New York Times

Veiled Messages of Terror May Lurk in Cyberspace

“At George Mason University, Dr. Neil F. Johnson, a steganography expert, said he became so worried by steganography’s potential to be used by terrorists and criminals that he stopped publishing his research on how to detect it, reasoning that if people knew how he detected it, and where, they could devise methods to thwart him and move their messages to sites he has not checked. ‘I have no reason to think that Al Qaeda is not using steganography,’ Dr. Johnson said, but he, like others, pointed to no proof.”

Tuesday, Oct. 30, National Public Radio, All Things Considered

Neil Johnson, associate director of the Center for Secure Information Systems at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia: “In computer files, essentially, data is made up by zeros and ones. And there are certain levels of these that if they change, the human senses really aren’t going to pick up on them. So we’re able to turn some of these zeros into ones and some ones into zeros, and by doing so, communicate a message of our choosing.”

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