2011 August

USA Today Sports


Leagues, clubs deal with perception of rise in fan violence: After a near-fatal beating in baseball and this month’s mayhem at an NFL preseason game, experts warn the perception of a rise in fan violence will give Americans reason to attend fewer games if leagues and clubs do not take action.… Those who pay can have an inflated sense of self-worth, said Earl Smith, professor of sociology at Wake Forest and author of eight books, including Race, Sport and the American Dream in 2007: “Fans feel they have an entitlement. The ticket prices are high enough so they come to games with a chip on their shoulder.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Even at 15, King was a visionary: By John Llewellyn. As we honor the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with the dedication of his National Memorial sometime in the next few weeks, the legendary “I Have a Dream” speech still echoes across the country. This week, schoolchildren across the country will recite some of the most memorable refrains from the 1963 speech, delivered when the civil rights leader was just 34 years old. What most Americans do not realize, however, is that King’s speech was based on a teenage dream — one first articulated when he was just a 15-year-old in the Jim Crow South. Despite extensive scholarly study of King’s life and writings, Wake Forest University student William Murphy recently became the first to identify the striking parallels between King’s legendary 1963 “Dream” speech and an address he delivered in 1944 as a high school student in Georgia.

Investor’s Business Daily


Crowdsourcing Could Predict Terror Strikes, Gas Prices: As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 nears, many wonder if the terrorist actions could have been predicted, and even prevented.Researchers are seeking ways to better predict such actions. One team active in this arena is Raleigh, N.C.-based Applied Research Associates and its partner researchers from seven universities. They’re finding new ways to use “crowdsourcing” to make more accurate predictions of events and trends.…”What we really need are people who have just some knowledge about a topic. But that doesn’t mean they need to know a lot about it,” said Eric Stone, associate professor of psychology at Wake Forest University. “The idea is that we can combine the best information provided by a number of different people to come up with better forecasts.”

Foreign Policy: The Middle East Channel


How Mubarak’s Trial Brings Justice to Egypt: The trial of deposed President Hosni Mubarak alongside his two sons, his ministers, and their business associates, resumed Monday after launching on August 2. Many Egyptians expressed satisfaction at seeing the dictator on trial by the country’s own judicial system, and hope that his conviction would stand as an emblem for a new Egypt. But others had reservations about his treatment. Those mixed feelings reveal how even the prosecution of Egypt’s head of state can only represent a first step in a longer-term and more comprehensive process toward transitional justice. The drive for retribution and punishment must not eclipse the need for truth telling, accounting, and transparency.

BBC Nature


Abused baby boobies grow up to abuse other chicks: Chicks abused by older birds are more likely to grow up to become abusers themselves, scientists have found. It is the first evidence from a wild animal that, as in humans, “child abuse” can be socially transmitted down the generations. Details of the discovery are published in the journal The Auk by Martina Müller, David Anderson and colleagues from Wake Forest University, North Carolina, US. “The maltreatment of nestlings by adults is really obvious,” Dr Anderson told BBC Nature. “Essentially all nestlings experience some maltreatment.”

“The link we found indicates that nestling experience, and not genetics, influences adult behavior,” said Dr Anderson. He suspects that being a victim of abuse raises levels of stress hormones, and these hormonal levels later trigger aggressive behavior, completing the cycle of violence. “The cycle of violence effect may be a widespread cause of variation in the social behavior of vertebrates, having been identified in humans in semi-natural conditions, Nazca boobies in natural conditions, and several mammals in artificial captive conditions,” Dr Anderson told BBC Nature.

“The Nazca booby model may be very useful for studies of the phenomenon, especially manipulative studies, that cannot be done with humans.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education


Nanotechnologists Are Targets of Unabomber Copycat, Alarming Universities: Some experts wonder whether the bombs in Mexico are the work of a group or the actions of a lone attacker presenting himself as a group in his writings. “Much of it is written in the plural possessive pronoun ‘we,’ but there are occasions where the singular personal pronoun was used by the author,” says Randall G. Rogan, a professor of communication at Wake Forest University. He is an expert on author identification and served on the team of analysts that helped identify the Unabomber, who signed his own manifesto as the work of a group, which he called the Freedom Club. Based on initial readings of two of the manifestos, Mr. Rogan guesses that the writer has some sort of college education and could even be affiliated with a college. “The author is drawing on data and drawing on references and quoting a variety of scientists”—all of which suggests academic training, he says.

Associated Press (NPR)


Why the World is Ready for 2 ‘Snow Whites’: Timing and casting aside, Snow White is a tale that has been told many times with many different plot twists. These versions follow that tradition. In an early Italian retelling, the good guy we know from Disney’s 1937 animated classic as Prince Charming rapes Snow White while she’s sleeping, according to Tina Boyer, a professor of German at Wake Forest University. She awakes not to a kiss, but to her baby being born. Another tale has Snow White fleeing her father, not her wicked stepmother, because he’d like to make her his incestuous wife. “They can take the basic themes if they want to and go with it because that’s what fairytales and folklore are all about,” said Wake Forest’s Boyer. “They have to be reinvented. That’s how they stay alive.”



Motivating the Overweight Child: “Parents need to be setting a good example,” says Paul Ribisl, PhD, a professor in the health and exercise science program at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. “Since exercise is not included in schools, children need to have planned exercise in their life. If they are not involved in youth sport or in an active lifestyle with their friends, then parents should insist on an hour each day of moderate to vigorous activity for both health and prevention of weight gain.”

U.S. News & World Report: Education


7 Tools to Aid the College Admissions Process: Beginning Oct. 29, each higher education institution in the United States is required to post a net price calculator on its respective college website…These calculators will allow students and their families to determine estimated net price information—which is the college sticker price minus discounts and grant aid—based on each student’s individual circumstance. According to Bill Wells, director of financial aid at Wake Forest University, these tools will provide some clarity for families questioning their ability to afford a particular school. “Before the requirement, we had links [on our school’s website] to various expected family contribution estimators,” Wells says. “But what those tools did not do was actually link the calculation to the specific criteria that each particular school uses in measuring the family’s ability to pay.”

CNN Belief


Do you speak Christian? Speaking Christian isn’t confined to religion. It’s infiltrated politics. Political candidates have to learn how to speak Christian to win elections, says Bill Leonard, a professor of church history at Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity in North Carolina. One of our greatest presidents learned this early in his career. Abraham Lincoln was running for Congress when his opponent accused him of not being a Christian. Lincoln often referred to the Bible in his speeches, but he never joined a church or said he was born again like his congressional opponent, Leonard says.”Lincoln was less specific about his own experience and, while he used biblical language, it was less distinctively Christian or conversionistic than many of the evangelical preachers thought it should be,” Leonard says. Lincoln won that congressional election, but the accusation stuck with him until his death, Leonard says.…