This might cheer up some KU fans who are feeling down these days.
In January of 1957 Life Magazine published a report on Wilt Chamberlain who was recruited by KU in 1955.
The University of Kansas has had the finger of suspicion pointed at it ever since it enrolled 7-foot-tall Wilt Chamberlain, who was sought by a hundred campuses and is now the most spectacular of all college basketball players. Every time Kansas wins with “Wilt the Stilt” (it has lost only once this season) gossipy stories of how he was recruited grow stronger – of under-the-table deals, of a trust fund of $10,000 (or $25,000) which waits for the big fellow when he graduates.
It sometimes takes money in one form or another for a college to get a greats star today. Because one college can usually offer as much as the next, it often takes something else. In this case it took the man talking to Wilt, aggressive, crafty Dr. Forrest C. (“Phog”) Allen, who for 39 stormy years had survived as coach in Kansas. How he mapped the strategy that brought Wilt to Kansas and led the small army that carried out is told on the following pages. The triumph turned to ashes for Allen last year when, kicking like a steer, he was forced to quit as coach at the compulsory retirement age of 70. When he is asked what he used to recruit Wilt, Phog has a blunt answer: “Of course I used everything we had to get him. What do you think I am, a Sunday school teacher?”
But first, presenting the original and still the best photo of a screaming KU fan.
I wrote previously the propaganda surrounding the Soviet people at all the usual and unusual places. People nostalgically musing about the “olden days” when there was practically no outdoor advertisement in the USSR, forget about all the hammers and sickles, red banners, communist party slogans and whatever else was supposed to inspire us to keep building, fulfilling, laboring and rejoicing.
A recently posted set of photos taken by a Western tourist in the 1984 USSR has some great examples of the ubiquitous outdoor propaganda in Moscow and Leningrad. I added some translations to the photos that needed explanation and I recommend you take a minute to flip through the rest of the set in the slide-show at the end of this post.
Since the beginning of the school year my kid has spent a large part of her spare time participating in the First Robotics team. At first I was skeptical, since I generally despise all after-school activities, clubs, girl- and boy-scouts and youth sports. But gradually, seeing my kid’s enthusiasm and her inexplicable desire to stay in school for 14 hours on some days, I thought that there may be something to this and it couldn’t be any worse than cheerleading. My work schedule and general laziness kept me from stopping by and checking on the progress of the robot the kids were building, but I had a chance to see an almost ready robot few days before it was shipped to Chicago for the upcoming regional completion.
This was one of the many times when I felt ancient. I thought about my technology-free childhood while staring in amazement at what the kids have built. I am pretty sure the first space station was launched with less processing power than this robot uses to shoot basketballs and drive around the obstacles, and that power is controlled by a group of 15-18- year old kids with joysticks. Many different skills are needed on the team – from production, to electric design, to programming, to creative and technical writing, to safety, graphic design, team management and fundraising. Instructors and mentors practice hands-off approach and let the kids take complete control.
These are the kids who will be this country’s answer to China and others who are rapidly moving ahead in the science and engineering fields. These are the kids who will take this country to the future, not you soccer and baseball-playing children, not competitive swimmers, and definitely not your cheerleaders, unless they are also doing this. Few people remain baseball players into their adult life and even fewer find employment as cheerleaders. And while these activities are not without a benefit (whatever it is), they are completely irrelevant to the long-term future of this country, its position on the world technology stage, its prosperity and self-respect.
I had a chance to visit a First Robotics Regional which was conducted in Kansas City over the weekend. Several things there impressed me and managed to wipe out most of my usual cynicism. The sheer number of participants who traveled from 9 states to take part in the Regionals was beyond anything I expected going in. Most of the kids didn’t look like the characters from the the Revenge of The Nerds. The level of excitement rivaled any sport event. The level of creativity, both visual and technical was impressive. There was a large number of handicapped kids and not fake ones like they have on Glee. There were probably equal numbers of girls and boys. There were plenty of involved parents, mentoring, helping and cheering.
This wasn’t the first time my kid picked something the impressed me over my reservations and general whining. What I saw in the Arena made me feel good about the future.
Next year I might even write a fundraising letter or two.
Now for the visual part of this post. First, a short video to give you an idea of what the teams are trying to accomplish.
…or is it just so people can get used to the idea?
Five Guys Burgers and Fries – decent food priced right. Small cheeseburger (which is actually normal size) and a ton of fries is more than enough for a hefty lunch. Free all-you-can-eat peanuts and fries are made in peanut oil. Stay away if you have allergies, otherwise not bad for the money.
Burrito Bros.- Burrito can be split in two for a light(er) lunch, only half of a burrito is photographed below. I wish they had an option similar to Chipotle’s burrito bowl. Very nice reasonably priced locally-owned lunch spot.
Reviews courtesy of a human junk food disposer.