Archive for December 12th, 2006

Compassion In A Can

Holiday Can Drive Donations by Food Type


Source: “Compassion from the Back of the Pantry” – University of Kansas Press (2005)

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Iraqi Activists Adopt Western Tactics

Baghdad, Iraq – Two revolutionary Iraqis have adopted the tactics of their U.S. counterparts as they seek a more positive and peaceful means to end the U.S. occupation in Iraq.

U.S. protesters forgo an evening of PBS programming to support peace in Iraq

“Makhtar and I were watching the CNN feed as we cleaned toilets at Baghdad International Airport”, said Honk 4 Self-Rule co-founder Jaleel Mohammed, speaking through a translator. “They were covering a rally in some major U.S. city. At first we just laughed at the irony of the Christian devils honking madly for peace as they roared past in their SUVs, but then we saw how happy the protesters were every time a car horn sounded. The suffering of our nation can be eased by exactly that kind low-effort, self-congratulatory hope.”

And so a dream was born. With his partner, Makhtar Holani, Mohammed began printing and distributing Honk 4 Self Rule bumper stickers, sometimes working by candlelight in the sole undamaged room of his home.

As supplies grew short, the two were often forced to write their simple message on cocktail napkins with their own feces. “We knew that our only hope was to get our message out there.” said Holani “Ideally, we would have liked to have a cool design and a delightfully wizened spokesman, like the “Free Tibet” people, but we had to work with what meager tools we had.”

“Predictably, our pleas for celebrity endorsement fell on deaf ears. The Dalai Lama has Gere wrapped up, Angelina Jolie is in Africa, and Sting is still fawning over the rain forest. We did get a nice letter from Lindsay Lohan, though.”

Holani and Mohammed share a quiet moment together

As word of mouth grew, the fledgeling group stirred up the courage to take to the streets of Baghdad with their homemade placards. They were surprised at the response. “We thought the American Marines would be angry with us, but they were honking madly.” said Mohammed with barely disguised glee.

“The Iraqi drivers we saw were a little more tentative, but one fellow gave us a rousing salute on his horn. We were all still celebrating when he swerved into the side of the police station and detonated, but for a few seconds there, we really felt like things could be different for us.”

Iraqi Police are now trained to fire on anyone who honks for peace

It may be a long, lonely trek toward peace for the members of Honk 4 Home Rule, but they are determined to stay the course. “Phase 2 of the project is coming in January. We’re really hoping to get 100,000 signatures on our internet petition.” mused Holani “Of course, with 40% of the country still without power, and only 1 in every 100 homes having a computer at all, that could be an uphill slog.”

Holani and Muhammad pondered their situation for a moment. Then they looked at each other, smiled, and shouldered their placards for another day in the trenches, listening devoutly for one sweet honk of peace.

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This series highlights the mid-majors who upset the big schools and make a name for themselves – those schools deserve to be misrepresented and defamed in print at least as much as top programs from money conferences.

We wanted to write about Wichita State University last week, but DePaul’s huge upset of Kansas derailed that idea. This year, the commuter school from Wichita, Kansas has taken out last year’s final four darling George Mason, as well as ranked teams from Syracuse and LSU, ending up in the top 10. As those big-time schools learned, this is the year of The Shocker, baby!

Cuál es el Shocker verdadero?

Wichita State is no stranger to success. Famous alumni include the original NBA Big Dog, Antoine Carr; Xavier McDaniel, whose courtside interview famously forestalled ejaculation in the 1992 film Singles; Bill Parcells, The Extrapolater’s mom, several active and retired MLB stars, and the BTK serial killer. Are any of the current Shockers up to those lofty standards? Let’s take a look.

Head Coach Mark Turgeon

  • Is smirking in this picture because he just read the Wikipedia entry about The Shocker…. for the fifth time
  • Is originally from Topeka, so Wichita seems like a verdant paradise to him
  • During a coaching stint at Jacksonville State University, enraged locals by adopting a Bobby Boucher accent during press conferences
  • Is a Dapper Dan man

Junior G/F P. J. Couisnard

  • Full name is Prince Pierre, which would make him P. P. Couisnard by my alphabet
  • Believes that it was Gheorge Muresan University that kept WSU out of the Final Four in 2005
  • Is desperately afraid his teammates will find out he lettered in soccer in high school

Junior G Sean Ogirri

  • Was Colorado’s Mr. Basketball in 2004, which is annually awarded to the High School player most likely to blow off the state’s three Division 1 Universities and star somewhere else
  • Missed three games his sophomore season after rupturing his spleen laughing at the hair removal scene in The 40 Year Old Virgin
  • Likes his martinis shaken, then stirred, then thrown in his face by a freshman girl

Junior G Matt Braeuer

  • Led the Shockers in injuries in 2005, averaging 1.3 per game
  • Real last name is Brar, but he threw some extra vowels in there just to screw with the Sports Information director
  • Little known fact: Matt studied Pan flute under Zamfir for six years

Senior F Ryan Martin

  • Is wearing a clip-on tie in his official photo
  • Says he watches Grey’s Anatomy for the hot babes, but secretly wants to know if Meredith and McDreamy will ever get together for good
  • Is grooming himself to take over if New York Times crossword puzzle master Will Shortz ever starts slippin’ and/or trippin’

Senior C Kyle Wilson

  • Was being sincere when he signed his senior yearbook “stay cool, I’ll see you this summer!”
  • Played one year for Bill Self at Illinois, and tried to follow him to Kansas, but got lost in Wichita and just stayed there
  • May have been conceived on Rick James’ tour bus

The Extrapolater grew up in Wichita, so it makes him happy to be able to write about this great team from one of the scariest mid-major conferences in America. Along with WSU, the likes of Illinois State, Bradley and Creighton have thrown many a big boy out of the NCAA tournament over the years. Who knows – maybe one of them will be the next feature for “Who the hell are…”

I kid because I love here at Extrapolater. However, I do have a site dedicated to getting the straight dope about colleges across America, called College Rule Notebook. If you’d like to set me straight, take the quick survey. We’ll dig up links & photos to illustrate your answers.

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