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Planking: a brief history

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ward_planking_featureFor any of you that have seen this fad in action, I would imagine that your first reaction was just as confused as mine. It is a strange and seemingly pointless activity which many of you know as “planking.” While it has other names-- “the lying down game” (England), “playing dead” (Korea), “facedowns” (Ireland), and “on one’s belly” (France)-- most of us were introduced to the fad as “planking.” Some were first exposed to it while looking at pictures on Facebook, some were told by a friend, and some even had the chance of seeing it firsthand.

When sophomore Paul Sanders came across a picture of somebody planking on Facebook for his first time he “thought they took the picture standing and just needed to rotate it.”

The rules are that the person must be lying flat on their stomach with their arms at their sides, while pointing their fingers and toes directly behind them. Next, a picture must be taken to document the plank. This is what makes the activity bigger than just someone lying down in public. The point is to find the coolest or most original place to plank, and to get a good picture while doing it.

It’s hard to think how such a seemingly pointless game could have become so world-renown, in what appeared to be a short period of time. In actuality, this “lying down game” originated roughly in the year 2000 with Christian Langdon and Gary Clarkson in England. As early teenagers, the two would have fun going to public places and taking turns lying down in random areas while the other would stand from afar and laugh at the people’s reactions. Eventually the game caught on to their friends and around their school, and people began posting pictures of themselves planking on social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace.  Its popularity skyrocketed when the two made a group for the game on Facebook in 2007.

 Since that time it has become a worldwide fad. Cases began springing up everywhere, and more accounts of accidents that occurred while planking arose in the news. Seven doctors and nurses were suspended from duty at the hospital they worked at, after being caught planking at work. There have even been incidents of those who attempt a particularly dangerous plank, and end up losing their lives.

So while you may not get it or enjoy it, it’s amazing how an activity so simple and seemingly meaningless grew into a game that has caused everything from hilarity to fatality.


My visit to VCU

My visit to VCU

Lasso correspondent, junior, Zoe Allen Lewis visited Virginia Commonwealth University on a recent college visit in efforts to learn more about the “ACE- IT” program. 

By Zoe Allen Lewis  

Recently, I went to Virginia Commonwealth University to tour the school and learn more about the VCU ACE-IT program. According to Virginia Commonwealth University's ACE- IT , “The VCU ACE-IT in College program is a five semester inclusive, on-campus college experience for young adults with intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, or autism.”

Can you imagine not being able to go to college? Students with intellectual disabilities used to not have college programs for them to attend.  Now, students with intellectual disabilities can go to college. According to think college , there are 221 programs for students with intellectual disabilities in the United States. There are places like Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, Portland Community College, Clemson University and College of Charleston who offer programs for students with disabilities.

It used to be that students with intellectual disabilites did not go to school past high school, and teachers sometimes ha...


Listen to our Alums: Claire Constance

Listen to our Alums: Claire Constance

Mustang Alumni’s speak about their trials and tributes during their freshman year at college

By Blaise Sevier 

Whether it be 50 days or three years before you embark on your college career, listen to our George Mason Alumni talk about their experiences through the infamous first year of college. In this recurring Lasso series more voices will be heard as we inch closer to Constitution Hall on June 16, 2014.  

Click on the image below to Listen to Claire

Starting off this series is former Mrs. Mason winner and 2012 graduate: Claire Constance. Now a sophomore the University of Virginia she shares about how she chose her roommate, the importance of a sleep schedule, and what to look out during your first few weeks at school.  


Teacher Playlist: Mr. Knight




By Erin McFall 

Have you ever wondered what your teachers listen to? If Mrs. Hawkesworth rocks out to hip-hop on the way to work? Or if, beneath that unsuspecting aura, Dr. Mecca jams out to reggae? In this new feature, “Mustang Mixes,” we’ll bring you a bit closer to your teachers through their choice in music. This week: Instructional Technology Coordinator Steve Knight.







  1. Oscar Wilde, Company of Thieves : “I’m really into [this one]. It’s definitely one of my favorites... I really like the lead singer’s voice. Company of Thieves is top in my Spotify playlist, I mean I’ve always liked different music that’s not always popular to everybody,” Knight laughed, explaining. “Once I think I like to listen to music and then once it becomes popular I don’t really like it anymore. I really liked Lorde when she first came out but now that she’s super popular [I don’t like her] so much.”
  2. Simple Math, Manchester Orchestra : I can’t get enough of [this] song. It’s really good! Manchester Orchestra is probably the ones I listen to the most just because I’m really...I don’t know...they have beards...but that’s not why I like them! I actually have...

Your favorite exhibit-- closed for 5 years?

Your favorite exhibit-- closed for 5 years?


From April 28, 2014 The Deep Time Hall within D.C’s Natural History Museum will close for renovation till spring of 2019

by Blaise Sevier 


Take a deep breath, the whole Natural History building will not be closed for five years-- construction will only take over one section of the building: The Deep Time Hall or more formally known as D.C’s favorite Dinosaur Exhibit. Viewings of the famous Hope diamond, the big elephant, butterfly exhibit will all still be shown on the regular schedule .

The reason for this redesign is simply to refurbish the dinosaur skeletons and expand the exhibit. Also, some of these pieces have been on display for more than eighty years.

“It takes 5 years to do that? That is surprising-- I mean I don’t frequently visit there, but I used to, so I know that parents and kids in the district are going to be kind of scrambling because it is a really great place for kids,” said freshman Hannah Hiscott.

Paleontologists in the National History Museum will be dismounting and removing the visitor favorite, the Wankel Tyrannosaurus Rex very soon.  With this removal, such angst has erupted over this removal that the museum has created a caste of the skull to sup...