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ֱ in the Media

Media Highlights from April - June 2024

ֱ’s distinctive academic programs, world-class faculty, leading research and scholarship, and high-achieving students place the University in the national media spotlight. Below is a sampling of media highlights from April - June 2024.



National Geographic

In a phenomenon called coastal squeeze, sea level rise will begin to swallow parts of the state of Florida, promoting people to move inland. But geckos can’t follow... “If you can't travel more than a hundred meters in 10 or 20 generations, you're not really going to be able to outrun potential problems like sea level rise,” says Aaron Bauer, a biology professor at ֱ who reviewed the Florida listing proposal as an outside expert.


The Washington Post

Who won the 2020 presidential election? Alexa can’t always say. And chatbots built by Microsoft and Google won’t answer at all... “It’s a totally different architecture,” said Grant Berry, a ֱ linguistics professor... When Amazon and Apple launch their new assistants, Berry said they’ll be combining the “objective-oriented” assistants with the “socially-oriented” chatbots.


CNN

AT&T’s second prolonged outage this year left customers irate last Tuesday. Though outages can affect any company, it’s not normal to have two long outages in a short period of time, said Mojtaba Vaezi, a professor and director of the Wireless Networking Laboratory at ֱ. “When it takes longer than 10 to 15 minutes, it is alarming.”


Glamour Magazine

Regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation, almost everyone has done something foolish to get closer to a crush. According to Erica Slotter, PhD, a social psychologist and associate professor in ֱ’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, that’s because initial attraction—as in, a new crush—typically activates different neural circuits in our brains.


USA Today

The NFL struck its existing broadcast deals in 2021 for $113 billion over 11 years but can opt out after seven years. "My reaction at the time was, 'What a windfall, what a boon for the NFL,'" said Andrew Brandt, executive director of the Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law at ֱ. "The way we look at it now, it's the networks that got the bargain."


The Telegraph

Newly elected Mexican president Claudia Sheinbaum's low-key style is the antithesis of her predecessor Andrés Manuel López Obrador's personality cult... "She's more moderate, more thoughtful. She deals well with tough questions and can engage respectfully," says Raúl Diego Rivera Hernández, a professor at Pennsylvania's ֱ.


CNN

U.S. retail sales were flat in April. "Potentially, that's an indication of consumers getting tapped out," ֱ's John Sedunov said. "At the end of the day, that retail softening is an indicator that maybe there's going to be less pressure on prices in certain areas going forward, which could have a continuing moderating effect on inflation."


The Washington Post

With the backing of Pope Francis, the Vatican on Friday issued sweeping new guidelines on unexplained religious phenomena... "I think they figured out how the internet revolution has reshaped Catholicism," said Massimo Faggioli, a Catholic theologian at ֱ. "It used to be that someone would say, 'I saw the Madonna,' then the local newspaper would drop by, then the national one, then maybe an international one. Now anyone who has a mobile phone and is savvy enough can cause a sensation."


The Washington Post

There are still occasional examples when tornado victims say the disaster struck without warning, said Stephen Strader, an associate professor at ֱ. But "that’s becoming less of a common thing," he said. Instead, meteorologists and emergency managers in tornado-prone areas have stressed the importance of residents getting severe weather updates from multiple sources, whether from local TV news, social media or the wireless alerts the Weather Service issues to cellphones in the path of a tornado.


The New York Times

New York’s highest court ruled last week that the trial judge who presided over the Harvey Weinstein case erred when he let several women testify that Weinstein had assaulted them, even though their accusations were not part of the charges brought against the producer. Michelle Madden Dempsey, a law professor at ֱ, says the district attorney’s office should not have difficulties starting over as long as the individuals Weinstein was accused of assaulting are willing to move forward with a new trial.


NBC News

A New York appeals court overturned Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction last week, paving the way for a new trial. Michelle Madden Dempsey, a law professor at ֱ and a former domestic violence prosecutor, dismissed the New York appeals court’s reasoning as “shocking and nonsensical.”


The Washington Post

By bringing some flavor to the NFL Draft, now a major public interest event in the sport, helmet phones helped shape league history in greater ways than their playful nature suggests. “It’s a quaint reminder of the evolution,” said Charles Taylor, a professor of marketing at ֱ who specializes in sports advertising. “Those helmet phones were a way to draw attention, but the draft has wisely evolved into this really glitzy event.”


The New York Times

Embedded in a new map of the magnetic fields at the center of the Milky Way could be clues to some of nature’s deepest, most complex processes, including how stars, the sources of all light and life in the universe, come to be. “The next step is to figure out what this all means,” said project lead David Chuss, chair of ֱ's Department of Physics. “It will provide the ability for new theories to be tested and guide the development of the next generation of astronomical exploration.”


CNN

Every four years, bitcoin undergoes a "halving." It's an automatic 50% reduction in the number of bitcoin entering circulation which should, in theory, push the value of the cryptocurrency higher while keeping its inflation in check. But ֱ finance professor John Sedunov says there’s no guarantee bitcoin’s past performance would repeat itself, “especially in light of the macro environment and potentially rising costs of mining.”


National Geographic

Mary Magdalene may be one of the most recognized figures in the Bible, yet so much about her remains shrouded in mystery. “Mary Magdalene resonates deeply with many people who feel that their voices and stories have not been heard or valued,” says Elizabeth Schrader Polczer, assistant professor of New Testament at ֱ. “By bringing Mary to light, we may be recovering crucial and overlooked aspects of Jesus’ vision for humanity.”


Newsweek

The types of actions that Francis has taken against his conservative American critics have not been seen in centuries, said church historian and ֱ professor Massimo Faggioli. “In terms of the relations between a pope and the United States, it’s unprecedented,” Faggioli told Newsweek.


CNN

If you're planning to see the epic total solar eclipse that will dance across the skies of North America on Monday, you should aim to travel as close to the center of the celestial spectacle's path as possible... "I would never, never be near the edge of where that totality is because it's a difference between night and day," said Dr. Edward Guinan, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at ֱ.


National Geographic

The first C. vangoghi specimen, found in the Srivilliputhur-Megamalai Tiger Reserve, was a male that resembled another recently discovered Cnemaspis species named C. galaxia... From a global perspective, at least 2,300 Cnemapsis species exist in the scientific literature, a major increase from a thousand species only a few years ago, says Aaron Bauer, an ecologist at ֱ and gecko expert.