Articles by: Cody Norman

  • Pistol Marksmanship Popularity Grows

    Featured, News1 November 5, 2012 at 11:25 am Comments are Disabled

    One look at Mason’s course catalogue will reveal the plethora of classes available to students. Courses run the eclectic gamut from Ornithology to Illicit Trade, covering every discipline of study from mathematics to event planning. Among all of the classes available, it is interesting to discover that pistol marksmanship is in fact the mot popular one-credit course offered. An unconventional and unique class, Pistol marksmanship earns students one academic credit and is offered in both spring and fall semesters. To say it’s a relatively new class would be an understatement—it’s brand new. Offered for the first time in Spring 2011 through the School of Education and Development, the class filled immediately. To the chagrin of the students, it had to be cancelled due to the lack of an instructor, but this current semester it’s in session and in full swing. Any new class at Mason has to be approved by the faculty of the school in which it is offered. The idea for pistol marksmanship came into being about four years ago from a faculty member who has since left Mason. However, the School of Education and Development’s faculty still expressed interest in the idea, resulting in a round table […]

  • Elvira Razzano

    New Yorker’s Town Hit Hard by Super Storm Sandy

    Featured, News1 November 5, 2012 at 11:24 am Comments are Disabled

    For the first 18 years of her life, Elvira Razzano lived on the shores of New York in a town called Lindenhurst, next to the beach, the canal and her family. “I’ve lived there my entire life; that is, my entire life until college,” said Razzano, who is now a sophomore at Mason. Last week, super storm Sandy swept up the east coast, nearly washing away Razzano’s hometown away with it. Lindenhurst is on the south shore of Long Island, right on the water. Towns on the East Coast were buffered from the swells of wind, water and sand by Fire Island, but Lindenhurst had no firstline of defense. Residents were told to evacuate, but Razzano’s parents decided to stay. “They never listen,” Razzano said. “They didn’t evacuate during Irene and they thought this time would be just a little worse. But it was a lot worse.” Of the 15 houses on her street, her home is one of only two that were not devastated by the storm because of its position on an incline. There was flooding on the first floor, but since the family just uses the space for an apartment for renters and a laundry room, the […]

  • Greg Thompson/Creative Commons

    Jersey Native Laments Sandy’s Effect on the Shore

    Editorials, Multimedia November 5, 2012 at 11:21 am Comments are Disabled

    There is nothing more frustrating or painful than watching as your hometown is torn apart while you sit in safety several hours away. Hurricane Sandy struck my hometown, Toms River,  N.J., on Sunday Oct. 28.  The storm hit the shore full force and in the course of one night, everything that I loved about growing up on the Jersey Shore was completely wiped out. It may just seem like childhood memories to some, but my entire life was spent on the beaches and boardwalks that Sandy stole from us. The first roller coaster that I ever rode is now just a twisted piece of metal. The boardwalk that I have walked every summer since before I was old enough to remember is left in splinters, in the sections where there is boardwalk left, that is. There are some places where it is just gone all together. The ocean has completely overtaken the beaches that I used to lounge on for days at a time.  It was where I laughed, and played and learned about everything that I love about life. From the comfortable bubble that is Mason, it is hard to see the true impact of Hurricane Sandy. Sure, it […]

  • Animal Life Remains Largely Unharmed by Natural Disaster

    Featured, News1 November 5, 2012 at 11:17 am Comments are Disabled

    Trees and telephone poles were crushed like sticks within the grasp of what New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called a storm of unprecedented proportions. Water rushed like a river down paths created by city streets. Land that was once occupied by some of the most visited vacation-spots in the nation was replaced by murky waterways of sewage. Though it was no longer a hurricane, post-tropical superstorm Sandy punished the northeastern United States, leveling the Jersey Shore and killing more than a hundred people across 10 states. It whipped torrents of water over the streets of Atlantic City, pummeling the city’s fabled boardwalk, and set records in Lower Manhattan, where flooded substations caused a widespread power outage. Despite all of the damage, however, very little wildlife was observed that perished within the destruction. “Animals tend to flee,” said Dr. Alonso Aguirre, Executive Director of the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, via an email interview. “They escape into the forest, deeper water or higher skies when they sense a natural disaster is coming.” Little experimental data is available to determine if animals have a sixth sense to predict and prevent being injured during an unusual weather event. Many people, however, have anecdotes about […]

  • David Shankbone/Creative Commons

    Alumnus Witnesses Hurricane Destruction in New York

    Featured, Multimedia, News1 November 5, 2012 at 11:15 am Comments are Disabled

    Mason alumnus Alex Romano watched the devastation of Sandy unfold right before his eyes. Working with CBS News in Midtown, Romano worked throughout the night, coordinating coverage for the incredible storm and reviewing live shots taken from all across New York City. “I could see the storm evolve from all different parts of the New York metropolitan area at the same time,” Romano said. Romano, a native of Sea Cliff, NY, watched as Battery Tunnel in Brooklyn flooded. He sifted through video footage of power lines and trees being snapped in half. He saw roads and subways just down the street from his office pummeled by rushing water. “Every couple of minutes, there were new feeds coming in,” Romano said. “When you watch the live news, you’re only seeing clips that last a few seconds. We’re seeing hours of footage.” Completely swamped with work, CBS News had arranged for a number of its workers to stay the night in the Le Parker Meridian hotel. As a surge of videos piled in, Romano watched as the crane atop a luxury Manhattan skyscraper partly collapsed, leaving its arm dangerously hanging over West 57th Street. The New York Office of Emergency Management evacuated […]

  • Creative Services/George Mason University

    Mason Exemplifies Future of Higher Education

    Editorials November 5, 2012 at 11:11 am Comments are Disabled

    Only at Mason. Many institutions across the nation cancelled classes early last week. They notified students and staff through various outlets with text alerts, emails, impersonal social media updates and web postings among the most prominent. Not at Mason. Only as Patriots can students and staff tune in to the Twitter feed of the university president to obtain such valuable information. Only as Patriots can we interact and inquire about certain decisions directly with those responsible for making decisions. Last Sunday evening, Dr. Ángel Cabrera took to the Twitter-verse to update students on the operating status of the university. He kept students informed by announcing the times during which the Emergency Operations group would be meeting to make decisions. He passed along hurricane survival tips and reminded his followers to charge their cell phones to prepare for a power outage. And, perhaps most importantly, Cabrera made himself available to students and answered questions regarding operating status. In addressing the Twitter-verse, Cabrera gave students instant, up-to-the-minute access to the decision-making process. His announcement came before the Mason website carried the information, and it came before the university social media accounts presented the information. Former president Dr. Alan Merten instilled a desire […]

  • Injuries Derail Soccer Streak

    Sports October 31, 2012 at 11:19 am Comments are Disabled

    Injuries can make or break a season. Unfortunately for Mason’s men’s soccer team, injuries have plagued them all season, derailed a 6-0 start to the season, and the 20th ranking in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll. Starting off the season so well and earning a spot in the rankings is a testament to the hard work put in by the young Mason team. After graduation and the loss of key players from last season’s roster, Mason had 12 freshmen on this year’s team. Coach Greg Andrulis was not terribly concerned about the youth and inexperience of this year’s team. “With 12 freshmen, there was bound to be some growing pains, but with terrific leadership from our captains and seniors, we we able to come together as a group fairly quickly.” Mason’s team could not have written up a better start to this season. After reeling off road wins against two local schools, George Washington University and American University, Mason continued its great start by winning three games in a row of a five-game home stand and besting St. Peter’s, St. Francis, and University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Mason’s 6-0 start  to the season was the best record in […]

  • James Ho/Lacrosse

    Diversity at the Crease

    Sports October 31, 2012 at 11:17 am Comments are Disabled

    The men’s lacrosse club, while not known to most Mason students, is a part of the long standing excellence of Mason athletics. Not only are the athletes exceptional in their abilities, but they also epitomize the diversity for which Mason is so well known. While the program has been around for years, in the past four years, the team has become far more organized, putting together a team of top athletes from many different backgrounds. “We are different from most teams in that we have many transfer students who played at Division I schools,” junior James Ho said. “These are guys who had the opportunity to play Division I lacrosse and I feel this gives us a competitive edge.” In addition to the transfer students who add depth to the team, many of the players are former military members. These players are different from most athletes as they add the discipline and physical conditioning needed for a member of the military. And since the team is looking forward to Nationals, this type of discipline is needed. “We practice in the fall and play a few tournaments and games, but our season starts in the spring, so we up our practices […]

  • Mason Athletics

    Mason’s Newest Wrestler

    Sports October 31, 2012 at 11:15 am Comments are Disabled

    Within the past year, Jake Kettler has represented the University of Minnesota and the United States in a high level wrestling camp and competition in Finland, qualified for the Olympic trials and transferred to Mason. While abroad, he wrestled against this year’s silver medalist in Greco Roman wrestling. Greco Roman wrestling is different from regular wrestling in that you do not use your legs for holds or pins. Kettler was in Finland along with  wrestlers from Egypt, Russia, Italy and Estonia. “The Russians really are some of the best wrestlers in the world and to have their coach come and teach us for a practice was incredible,” Kettler said. Kettler’s time in Finland was first spent catching up on jet lag, but also in numerous clinics, camps, practicing and competing in tournaments. Kettler explained how the schedule was busy, how fantastic the food was, and how everyone made you feel dumb because they could all speak English. “If an Itallian wanted to talk to a Russian, instead of trying the other’s language, they both just spoke English. It was such a common second language there,” Kettler said. Unbeknownst to him, while Kettler was competing at this tournament, he qualified for […]

  • Manny Alfaro/Broadside

    End of the World: Nuclear Holocaust

    Lifestyle October 31, 2012 at 11:12 am Comments are Disabled

    We have seen shows in which terrorists are about to detonate a dirty bomb in a major US city, but in actuality, the possibility of nuclear war bringing about the apocalypse is more like the scenario in the 80’s classic, “War Games”, where the only way to win is not to play. “So far deterrence has worked incredibly well on a global scale of preventing conventional war and nuclear war,” said Dr. Trevor Thrall, Biodefense Director and professor of Public & International Affairs. He explained the apocalyptic thoughts are just leftover nightmares from the Cold War. “Back then, most of the tension and fear was around accidents and the thought that perhaps the enemy had already launched a missile,” Dr. Thrall said, “but in actuality they were never that likely and are even less so now.” The main focus of nuclear war now is the tension between Iran seeking weapons and their nuclear armed neighbor, Israel. Dr Thrall can understand where the Iranians are coming from and their desire for such a weapon. “No nation has with nuclear capabilities has ever been invaded since acquiring them and even the crazies understand what we are dealing with here: they know better […]