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  • Stephen Kline/Broadside

    Student Discovers Supermassive Black Hole

    Featured, Multimedia, News1 November 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm Comments are Disabled

    Washington, D.C., may be the political center of the United States, but Mason provides its students with numerous opportunities that extend beyond the government. Take, for example, Nathan Secrest. The second-year graduate student, who is currently working toward his PhD in physics with a concentration in astrophysics, discovered a miniature supermassive black hole in the NGC 4178 galaxy while conducting research for the School of Physics, Astronomy and Computation, otherwise known as SPACS. That may not sound like a big deal to someone who cannot tell his brown dwarfs from his red giants, but within the scientific community, it can have major repercussions. “The reason why this discovery is significant is because of the size of the SMBH and the galaxy it is hosted by,” Secrest said in an e-mail. “[We] do not know very much about intermediate mass black holes.  How are they formed?  What percentage of the total black holes in the universe do they comprise?  Also, NGC 4178 is a bulgeless spiral galaxy.  This is important because the larger SMBH masses have been found to correlate very tightly with the properties of their host galaxy bulges,” said Secrest. At first glance, this information seems too complicated for […]

     
  • Mason Field Hockey

    Memories to Last a Lifetime: Field Hockey Season Comes to a Close

    Featured, Sports November 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm Comments are Disabled

    With her last season playing field hockey as a Patriot at its end, senior Kristin Clark looks back on her three year career with a heavy heart, but with memories that will last a lifetime. She is set to graduate in the spring. “I’m so sad that this is my last year,” said Clark. “It was definitely all worth it, though.” Clark, team captain and president of this club, started playing the sport 10 years ago after noticing how enthralled her older sister was with the game. “Growing up, you always want to be like your older siblings, so naturally I wanted to play field hockey as well,” Clark said. “She’s my biggest influence.” Clark joined the field hockey club her freshman year,  and is hoping to continue her career as a player after graduation. This past season, the team’s record was 3-5-1. Many of those losses were tight, close games that could have gone either way. This was a major increase from their last season, in which the team lost almost all their games. Clark attributes this change to the new group of freshmen who were fully committed to the success of the sport and their team. “One game […]

     
  • 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 […]

     
  • 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 […]

     
  • Alumnus Creates “Write Home Soon” Project

    Alumnus Creates “Write Home Soon” Project

    Featured, Lifestyle, Multimedia October 31, 2012 at 11:05 am Comments are Disabled

    In high school, Mark Strandquist spent hours working with social justice groups in D.C., listening to first hand accounts of segregation, unequal schools and housing and the crack epidemic from senior citizens. Strandquist was amazed to realize that after a lifetime of hardship, many of these men and women were still suffering, struggling against gentrification to retain their homes and communities. The experience stuck with him and has inspired his latest art project, called “Write Home Soon.” Strandquist, a Mason alumnus and former student media photographer, is asking for the community to create postcards that share a memory or story from a lost space that was once, or still is, important to them. “The main goal is to democratize the creation, exhibition, and consumption of art,” Strandquist said. “To help and foster a space where any individual, regardless of class, identity, or what side of the Anacostia River they live on, can include their voice, vision and memories near the National Mall.” After spending so much time learning the stories of the senior citizens in D.C., Strandquist wondered what happens when individual histories are not recorded. “What I’m interested in is questioning how our libraries, museums and textbooks would differ […]

     
  • Stephen Kline/Broadside

    Blood, Sweat and Beers at the Patriot Center

    Featured, Lifestyle, Multimedia October 31, 2012 at 10:59 am Comments are Disabled

    Country music artist Eric Church proudly holds in his right hand a shot glass of Jack Daniels—his drink of choice. “How many shots I have will determine what kind of night it’s going to be,” said Church, during his Oct. 26 Blood, Sweat and Beers concert at the Patriot Center. Regardless of how many shots he actually downed, Eric Church’s show could easily be one of the biggest parties that Mason has seen all semester. Throughout the 90-minute performance, the excitement level was so high that the few thousand audience members rarely sat down. Energy continuously flowed between Church and his audience. “I promise you I’m going to give you everything I got,” said Church, towards the beginning of his performance. “But you also better give me everything you got.” Clapping their hands, singing along, dancing in front of their seats, waving their drinks in the air, and howling at times, the audience heeded Church’s call. The show began as the 35-year-old, 6-foot-2 singer-songwriter emerged in a cloud of theatrical smoke from under the stage, wearing a black t-shirt, blue jeans and baseball cap. The stage was set with pyrotechnics and strobe lights. Playing an acoustic guitar, Church opened with […]

     
  • Stephen Kline/Broadside

    Mason Dining Makes Effort to Bring Local Food to Students

    Featured, News1 October 31, 2012 at 10:51 am Comments are Disabled

    Sophomore Kelly Pizzingrilli purchases two apples, two sweet potatoes and apple cider. She is  not in a frigid grocery store and her food is not coming from halfway around the world. “I like buying a lot of fresh stuff,” Pizzingrilli said. “I don’t like having preservatives or anything in my food.” Globally, produce has acquired an international identity. Mason Dining, however, has decided to bring food back to local roots. Mason Dining is creating locovores: consumers who choose local products, which creates health eating habits. “If it’s fresher, it’s better. And helping out the local communities is always better than getting it shipped cross country,” said freshman Kevin Mason, who purchased apple cider produced in Frederick, Md. Pizzingrilli got her fresh produce from Mason Dining’s Southside Farmer’s Market hosted on Oct. 24, National Food Day. This event was held for the second time this semester to give students access to local produce. “The purpose of this event is to focus on local growers. We buy from a lot of different growers within a 150 mile radius,” said Mary Barron, Customer Relations Manager for Keany Produce. The use of local food is also integrated into Mason Dining’s facilities on campus. Since […]

     
  • Alexandra Sudak/Broadside

    D.C. Bike Share Program Brings Resource to Students

    Featured, News1 October 31, 2012 at 10:48 am Comments are Disabled

    Mason students, staff and faculty members can now travel efficiently around campus, while promoting a sustainable environment at the same time, thanks to Patriot Bikeshare. Founded this September, Patriot Bikeshare enhances transportation options around campus and makes bicycles more accessible for people who do not own them. “It is an easy way to travel short distances,” said bicycle and recycling coordinator Tyler Orton, who works with the Office of Parking and Transportation as well as the Office of Sustainability. Patriot Bikeshare is unique because it is the only fully automated bikeshare model. Unlike other models, such as Washington D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare, no permanent infrastructure is needed. The bicycles, provided by ViaCycle, are unlocked through a mobile application or through sending a text message to a designated number. At this point, 20 bicycles are available for rental from four on-campus locations: the Northern Neck Starbucks, the Johnson Center North Plaza, the Shenandoah (Sandy Creek) parking deck and the SUB I Quad by Krug Hall. Riders can pay $3 for a one-time 12-hour rental, or pay $6 to become a monthly member and receive unlimited two-hour rentals. Riders are charged $1 for each additional half hour. The bicycle fleet was purchased through […]