Cal Grad Proposes Alternative Fuel


The time for traditional football rivalries is fast approaching. Across the country, campuses will host rallies and bonfires in support of their teams. Cal grad, Peter Roizen, thinks it is time to use an alternative fuel for the flames. He suggests books.

"Not just any book," says Roizen. "I respect the arts and the sciences, and the accumulated knowledge, insights, and wisdom of the centuries."

Roizen actually suggests just one book to bring and burn--The Official Scrabble Dictionary.

"I personally took Bonehead English twice as a freshman," says Roizen. "I can't say for sure that playing Scrabble(R) and relying on the Official Scrabble Dictionary in high school was the root cause, but it didn't help any. It's not easy writing a thoughtful essay relying on short, odd, foreign words like 'SOUK' and 'AALII'."

Roizen is the inventor of the WildWords Crossword Game. Unlike Scrabble(r), WildWords permits any word in English, no matter how long, to be played. The game relies on wild asterisk tiles and wild squares that can represent any series of one or more letters. Thus the play of "INF*TORY" could be the word "INFLAMMATORY" with the asterisk representing "LAMMA." Roizen claims the game promotes functional English and creative skills.

"WildWords must be played with a bona fide reference dictionary," states Roizen. "You will play and learn useful words."

Roizen says he will be bringing his copy of the Official Scrabble Dictionary to the Cal Big Game rally. He invites other Golden Bears, and college students and alumni across the country to do the same at their rallies.

"Everyone from every school is invited to participate and join the cause," he says, "except Stanford."


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   Copyright 2005 Peter Roizen