This Week in the News…

Posted: August 29, 2003 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:

Friday, Aug. 22, The Washington Post

Smiling Through Tears at GMU; Students Move In And Say Goodbye

“Linda Jacob promised her daughter she wouldn’t cry. No, she had bigger plans yesterday for the hour after she and her husband, George, left their daughter Lynsey’s newly unpacked dorm room at George Mason University and made their way back home to Prince George County, Va. ‘I’ll be having a brain aneurysm,’ Linda Jacob joked as she tucked fresh Ikea sheets onto Lynsey’s extra-long dorm bed. It was a scene that plays out thousands of times each August at colleges. Yesterday, it was GMU’s turn to welcome incoming freshmen to its Fairfax County campus, a ritual that features sometimes eager, sometimes anxious parents emptying out their minivans and SUVs and transferring the voluminous contents into dorm rooms smaller than some walk-in closets.”

Wednesday, Aug. 27, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Method Speeds Religion’s Growth

“To outsiders, the group’s methods might seem sure to produce failures, but researchers say they’re effective. ‘It is extremely difficult. It’s not like handing out free samples of some product everyone wants, so you’re inclined to think this whole system is some dismal failure,” said Laurence Iannaccone, an economics professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. He and Rodney Stark, a sociology professor at the University of Washington, published a 1997 study on the growth of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Iannaccone said the Jehovah’s Witnesses has grown about 5 percent a year since 1980, making them one of the fastest-growing denominations in the world.”

Thursday, Aug. 28, The New York Times

Genetic Poetry

“‘Please call Stella. Ask her to bring these things with her from the store: Six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese, and maybe a snack for her brother Bob. We also need a small plastic snake and a big toy frog for the kids. She can scoop these things into three red bags, and we will go meet her Wednesday at the train station.” This paragraph contains nearly every sound in English (‘oy’ is an exception, which may upset New Yorkers). At the Speech Accent Archive ( you can hear it spoken by more than 260 native and nonnative speakers of English and compare their accents, from Milwaukee to Zulu. The archive demonstrates the systematic nature of accents, according to Steven Weinberger, founder of the archive and an associate professor in the English department at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.”

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