COMMENT: 10 things you didn't know about Iowa State

Friday, November 20, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — It's the hardest word to say, and considering we don't like things that are remotely difficult in any way, you should all take note of this. Here goes ...

We're sorry. We really are.

We just didn't realize how sensitive those Kansas State folks are. To say they were unamused by last week's 10 things would be like saying that Lindsay Lohan is "troubled."

A few of them inexplicably thought that we were a woman. Others called us some things that we cannot in good conscience repeat. One guy even referred to us as a "snarky little punk," to which our only response would be: "You're obviously not familiar with how this works, are ya?"

And with that, here are the 10 things you didn't know about Iowa State:

10. George Washington Carver was both the first black student and faculty member at Iowa State. Carver is famous for several things beyond the sweet mustache he sported back in the day, most notably coming up with dozens of uses for crops such as peanuts and sweet potatoes. He was responsible for everything peanut-related except circus peanuts, which, if you're curious, are neither peanuts nor edible.

9. VEISHEA is an annual celebration held on the Iowa State campus that began in 1922 that includes many traditional ceremonies. The name was originally conceived as an acronym for the five colleges represented at the ceremony: Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, Industrial Science, Home Economics, and Agriculture. In 2005 VEISHEA was suspended due to continued violence and riots in the few years prior. Serves them right for letting those veterinarians loose. Those people get wild.

8. Iowa State's mascot, Cy the cardinal, was originally conceived in 1954. Searching for a way to improve school spirit, a group of students approached a local manufacturing company in hopes of creating a school mascot. They eventually decided that a cyclone was too difficult to depict in costume and chose to use the school colors, cardinal and gold, to create a cardinal mascot. Now, we get that a physical representation of high speed winds might be sort of tough to pull off. But wouldn't it be worth the effort to have a devastating force of nature rather than a five-inch-tall bird? We're just sayin'.

7. In 1967 Mary Ann Ebbing became the first female member of Iowa State's Meat Judging Team. That makes IndyCar driver Danica Patrick racing little cars against men seem a little less impressive.

6. The Iowa State yearbook, published from 1893 to 1994 was called The Bomb. The people at Iowa State acknowledge that the first thing that comes to mind at the mention of "Bomb" is an instrument of war, explosions and destruction. They contend that their use is the lesser-known definition, "a means of conveying messages to distant friends." Oh yeah! That definition! Wait...?

5. From 1874 to 1917 each of the classes at Iowa State had a class name and motto. Some of these included the Owl Eyes, Tadpoles, Suckers, Toad Stools and our personal favorite, the autumn-loving folks of the class of 1894, the Gourds.

4. Iowa State adopted its "Cyclones" nickname after a 1895 football victory over highly-touted Northwestern. The day after the 36-0 drubbing the Chicago Tribune wrote that "Northwestern might as well have tried to play football with an Iowa cyclone as with the Iowa team it met yesterday." It's a good thing that game happened when it did. There have been plenty of years since where we would've been left with the Iowa State Stiff Breezes.

3. In the fall of 1963 Iowa State had an "IBM computer mixer," where students filled out a questionnaire and were matched up with the help of an IBM computer. According to accounts of the event computer dating in the 60s were more punch cards and computers that filled a room and less terrible, incessant commercials.

2. In 1941, 28 years after they were paved, the streets on the campus of Iowa State were finally given names. Street signs, however, didn't make an appearance on campus until 14 years later. Luckily for Ames residents, the town is famous for its telepathic cab drivers.

1. During VEISHEA in 2001 students at Iowa State set the world record for largest Rice Krispie Treat. It took 1,460 pounds of marshmallows, 220 pounds of butter and 820 pounds of Rice Krispies. We think it's pretty safe to say that many of the college students participating in a week-long party were just as excited about the life-size Snap, Crackle and Pop in attendance as they were about a giant, sugary snack.

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Andy Carpenter November 20, 2009 | 11:11 a.m.

And somebody takes another swing at the softball that is Lindsay Lohan. You are the bomb. Dot com.

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