June 15, 2008

The Cougar Lounge - There Is No Fifth Word

"Those two were involved in luring my father. Instead of people worrying about me leaving, they should be worried about Jim Sterk leaving. He's a good one, for sure."

- Wazzu head men's hoop coach Tony Bennett, praising Cougar athletic director Jim Sterk and senior athletic director Anne McCoy.




"When I started there in the 1960s, it was the Pac-5, Pac-6, then Pac-8."

- Retiring Pac-10 conference commissioner Tom Hansen, evidently getting a little giddy from the excitement of his announcement of his 2009 retirement, since there never was either a Pac-5 or a Pac-6 - at least according to the official site. Unless, of course, his way of pronouncing "AAWU" was lost in translation and came out "Pac-5" and "Pac-6".




"United have offered my father, Stefano, a job as a gardener and he will accompany me."

- Italian teenage soccer sensation Davide Petrucci, who exposes the cutthroat, high-stakes bidding process that English soccer club Manchester United engaged in order to lure him out of Italy.




"Together, we'll make reading obsolete."

- The [mandatory] five-word acceptance speech from the writer/editors at The Onion at last week's Webby Awards. The category? Best Writing.






Once again, the Lounge was denied a Webby - or even a nomination -from the Webby Award Show people but we are not too worried since we can always live vicariously through our conduit to comedy - the Onion, who did win one of those Webby thingymabobs and got to hang with David Byrne [of Talking Heads fame, in case that actually needs an explanation] and the guy who created this website which can be either a good or bad thing - you decide. What we have decided is that we really like the five-word acceptance speech rule that the Webby Award people have instituted and you can see them all here and pick out your favorites.


We did not notice a category for best product in the Webby winner listing - maybe it is there but the list was too long and our attention span has been whittled down to that of a gnat after years and years of exposure to teenagers, caffeine and movie trailers - but if there is one, it should be won by the makers of Flogos. It seems like a good idea and we can envision Wazzu using this company to shoot soapy versions of their famous school logo into the sky above Qwest Stadium before the 2008 season opener against Oklahoma State in Seattle - as long as it doesn't leave a soap scum ring around the stadium tub.

We can envision that sort of thing because we are visionaries [hear that Webby people? - visionaries, we tells ya!] - just like the people at BMW who have envisioned a a car made of cloth. We are not going to get into the name thing - so don't even go there - but since it's made of cloth, the natural first question that must be answered is - what cycle should we wash it in when little Bobby inevitably spills mustard from his hot dog on the seat or Father Lotto just-as-inevitably slops some beer on the hood - delicates or permanent press?

The BBC is promising to show any protests that might, you know, just appear out of thin air, but BMW just better not plan on bringing their cloth car to the Olympics because they are not one of the official partners [only Volkswagen is] and the Chinese government has already promised that any ambush advertisers or guerilla marketers will suffer "serious action" - which can be interpreted to mean a variety of harsh penalties ranging anywhere from having everything "Made in China" UPS'ed [they're one of the sponsors] sent to your doorstep to inadvertently becoming a part of the Great Wall to sleeping with the Tibetan monks [if you know what we mean].

Fortunately, WSU senior administrator Anne McCoy will not have to worry about any of that silliness because she is the Vice President of the Pac-10 and that means she will be in charge of bringing the maple bars to the meetings and fending off the annual barrage of "Why is the Pac-10 in the BCS, again?" questions. But for just one example of McCoy's importance to Wazzu, see above for the quote by Mr. Bennett.

"It still gives me goose pimples to watch that race and I'm not a goose pimple kind of guy," says Teddy the Wonder Lizard, who, as his name belies, is really more of a reptilian kind of guy.

Teddy is, of course, speaking about the scintillating championship run of freshman Jeshua Anderson at the NCAA Track and Field Championships last week where the frosh hurdling sensation came from behind to win the national 400-meter hurdle title and place himself squarely in the mix to possibly snatch one of the berths on the USA Olympic squad at the USA Olympic Trials in Eugene next week. Anderson's accomplishments in the past 15 months are too many to list in the space of this puny paragraph so we will concentrate on those from just this week where he a] won the title - the first men's individual title in track and field since 1999 when the legendary Bernard Lagat won the 5000-meter title, b] broke - no, CRUSHED - the old 400-meter hurdles school record [previously the longest-standing record in the books of 49.27 set in 1968 by Boyd Gittins at altitude in South Lake Tahoe] and set the new school record of 48.69, c] his time - a Top 10 mark in the world - gave him a legitimate chance to make the Olympic squad and possibly compete in Beijing in August d] was only the second freshman in school history to win an NCAA title [Kenyan steeplechaser Richard Tuwei was the other in 1982], e] becomes one of 24 NCAA champions in Wazzu's illustrious 99-year school history, f] was one of three freshman to win individual titles at this year's NCAA championship and g]was one of 11 NCAA champions from the Pac-10 including one of three from the Pacific Northwest and the only one from the Pac-10 schools in the state of Washington. That was just last week.

"He announces his retirement a year in advance - what the hell is that!?" snorts Al Fresco, expressing disdain before throwing snowballs at schoolchildren [because it's summer in Pullman].

Al is flying off the handle about last week's announcement that longtime commissioner Tom Hansen will retire, not this year, but in 2009. Well, Al, that is a luxury you apparently get when you have been commissioner of the Pac-6, uh, well, whatever it's called, for 26 eons. The Lounge consensus is of general but guarded approval of this move - that can be loosely translated as approval of the move but guarded of the replacement if that replacement is merely another soul-selling, BCS Taliban yes-monkey. So, the real question behind Hansen's retirement is whether or not his departure along with the hoped-for departure [by the Lounge clientele consensus] of Big 11 conference commissioner Jim Delaney will hasten the departure of the pure evil that is the BCS Taliban from the collegiate universe? In order to institute a playoff system - like all the rest of the sports in the NCAA - the planets will have to align and one more of those planets got in alignment with Hansen's impending absence. Since the BCS Taliban has rarely done any favors for Pac-10 schools in its brief but seamy existence, that playoff system cannot come soon enough and with it in the future, perhaps some better television contracts than those existing with Fox Sports. Contracts with ESPN and CBS College Sports [formerly CSTV] or possibly the regionalized CSN [Comcast Sports Network] come immediately to mind as perfect replacements for Fox - as long as they agree to favorable time periods [none of this Thursday evening at 8pm for hoop games, right ESPN?]. The next year should provide us with many answers and/or continuing depression.


Since we are talking about the NCAA and not using an unending string of profanities, for once, it seems as though college athletics' official organization has officially joined the rest of the world by embracing this Internet thing and starting their own YouTube channel. Now we know what you're saying, you're saying "Great! Now we can see video of Jeshua Anderson's exciting 400-meter hurdle run because it was done at the official NCAA Track and Field Championships and was covered by the official NCAA network of CBS College Sports Television and then, when we are done watching that, we can watch a press conference giving us timely updates of progress on NCAA cases against USC in the Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo debacles so as to avoid rumor-mongering." We know it's a mouthful but we know that's what you are saying because we have excellent hearing. Unfortunately, the NCAA can't hear you because they're going "lalalalala…we can't heaaarr yooouuu…lalalala" [sound familiar college football playoff proponents?] because they are too busy putting up self-promoting PSA's and other pioneering media fare like Division II softball parents performing karaoke. No seriously, it is a breathtaking effort.

Since we are haphazardly bandying about the buzzwords of NCAA and YouTube and shamelessly linking poor karaoke with a devil-may-care attitude toward humankind, the Lounge Scientists decided to release something in the same vein - the explanation behind the scientific question that has haunted suburbia since the inception of, well, uh, suburbs…or large corporate candy and soft drink entities - that is, to put it more succinctly, what is the deal with Diet Coke and Mentos explosions? Finally - the mystery has been solved [or "sol-ved" as Inspector Clouseau would say]. Seems as though the explanation of the Diet Coke-Mentos explosions, as shown in this YouTube video, can be explained mostly by the roughness of the Mentos mint and how fast it falls to the bottom of a plastic Coke bottle.

"Water molecules like to be next to other water molecules, so basically, anything you drop into the soda that disrupts the network of water molecules can act as a growth site for bubbles," says Lounge Scientist #126, Tonya Coffey, a physicist at Appalachian State University, who reputedly prefers the fruit Mentos.

If that is not worthy of a Webby, we don't know what is.





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