Daily News editorial

Ol’ Crimson: At Virginia Tech on Saturday, Ol’ Crimson, the Washington State University flag, will fly behind the broadcasters in what is known as the pit for the 199th time.

Back in 2003, what started out as a simple showing of school pride and spirit, quickly turned into a campaign to get ESPN to come to WSU when the football team was highly ranked, according to the Olcrimson.org website.

That year, Tom Pounds of Albuquerque, New Mexico, traveled 800 miles with a WSU flag to attend the Kansas State-Texas game in Austin, Texas. Pounds’ mom, who was visiting at the time, hand-made the flag, Pounds told an interviewer in November 2009 on the thatfan.wordpress.com blog. “All the rest of the flags have been hand sewn by my wife, Syndie (who passed away last January),” Pounds was quoted.

An organized grassroots effort by WSU alums and fans formed the Ol’ Crimson Booster Club (OCBC) to get the Wazzu flag to College GameDays all over the country.

In the early years, an alumni from Spokane, who worked for an airline, hopped on a red eye flight and then drove all night to the GameDay location to wave the flag.

These days, Pounds and 1998 WSU grad Cameron McCoy of Norman, Oklahoma, coordinate the flag wavers. They reach out to a network of Wazzu alumni and fans who mostly live within 50 miles of a GameDay location. Some, however, travel more than 200 miles. The OCBC, which collects donations and distributes money for the effort, pays reasonable travel expenses for them when they must travel long distances, notes Olcrimson.org. In addition, the OCBC pays all shipping costs associated with getting the flag kit from one spot to the next. The kit contains a flag for the flag waver(s), instructions and a small flag for autographs of the alumni, ESPN personalities and WSU sports figures.

In this day and age of rage and anger, there is nothing better to us than watching College GameDay on a Saturday morning followed by a day of great football. And seeing the Wazzu flag flying in the background at places like Tuscaloosa, Alabama; South Bend, Indiana; Palo Alto, California; or Tallahassee, Florida; always brings a smile to our face.

Go Cougs!

Mosquitos emojis: A pair of public health workers in Baltimore, Maryland, “think it bites” that there isn’t an emoji for mosquitoes, according to an article by Meredith Cohn in the Baltimore Sun. After all, dogs, cats, horses, eagles, rats, bats, spiders, snakes and even pink-maned unicorns — which don’t exist — have emojis, the workers argue.

Why can’t people who “hate” the little blood suckers, as well as researchers who “love” them in the lab, express their feelings about them in a single character via text or on social media, asked Marla Shaivitz, a digital communications manager at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Communication Programs.

She and Jeff Chertak, a senior program officer for malaria advocacy and communications at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are hoping to “generate buzz” with their petition to the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit organization in charge of emojis, to add the mosquito to the emoji stock.

New places to eat: Going out for a meal or a drink is always fun, and now local residents have even more choices.

We look forward to eating at the newly opened Kyoto Steakhouse, a Japanese style steak place, where a variety of teriyaki and sushi also are served — great stuff.

The recently opened Antidote Tap House has 16 taps of craft brews and ciders available from across the country. We’ve already heard good things about what proprietors and local residents Andy and Kelli Busack are doing at their business.

Beer or wine drinkers also can try out the new J Squared Barrel House on Commerce Avenue. The new tap house and wine bar could be a good stop before or after attending events at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.

On the front page of Thursday’s edition of The Daily News we featured a wonderful photo by Bill Wagner showing construction workers putting the roof on the new McMenamins being built in Kalama.

Many local residents have dined at McMenamins in other locales and look forward to yet another wonderful place to relax and enjoy food and beverages.

In their pitch, according to the article, Shaivitz and Chertak note that “mosquitoes are found on six of seven continents and kill several million people a year, far more than sharks, snakes and other predators all together.”

The emoji could be used in warnings from public health workers and scientists, note the couple, along with communications campaigns. The mosquito emoji could be used to let people know eradication efforts are underway in nearby areas or that mosquito nets or repellent are being distributed, the duo wrote in their petition, according to a Los Angeles Times article written by Melissa Healey.

“Sure, you could use it to ask someone to stop pestering you,” the couple contend in Healey’s article, but public health officials also could pair the emoji with a rain cloud to encourage folks outside to cover up and apply insecticide.

We were surprised to learn there is a group in charge of such characters, that anyone can submit a proposal for an emoji character and that the consortium will pick new ones next month. The mosquito emoji is one 67 finalists. A few others are a lab coat, a tooth, a sliced bagel and a llama.

According to the Baltimore Sun article, the “public health workers hope the Unicode emoji subcommittee gets the itch and gives the mosquito a thumbs up.”

We do, too, especially if it is used in the ways the couple expressed.

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