Friends. Trojan. Lend me your ears. Let us hearken back to a kinder, gentler time. Scratch that. It's boring. (and yada)
Instead, cast your eyes upon Feudal Japan. Over a period of decades, several different famous warlords attempted to conquer all of the warring provinces and unite Japan. In a very Cal-like fashion, most failed in an epic, gruesome, bluidy fashion.
A simple riddle came to being that summarized the different warlords by their unique personalities and characteristic approaches to conquest.
"There is a mocking bird in a cage. How would you make it sing?"
Oda Nobunaga (ruthless, brutal): "If it doesn't sing, then kill it. It is worthless to me."
Hideyoshi (master diplomat): "Convince the bird that it _wants_ to sing."
Ieyasu (strategist): "Wait."
Spoiler alert for you Chinese scientists (up top!), Ieyasu eventually became Shogun.
For our ever-so-clever Cal-related tie-in, how would various Cal figures(past and present) make the mockingbird sing?
Tedford: "Well, it's about giving a good effort, no doubt. We want to be multiple in our approach. The bird hasn't sung yet. But we'll center the cage. And then we'll win the second half."
To$h: "Um. I went to one of the universities of the world instead because they gave me a gilded cage on the water with singing hipster mermaids and sh!t. That mockingbird wasn't going to work out anyway. Just can't handle the pressure of singing at Cal."
Marshall: "Well, eff. I left the cage door open."
[Add your clever ideas below. (It's 3ish, and I'm tired.)]
How about our noble CGBers?
Rishi: "Imma totes going to make it my wingman. Hawt desi chicks will be all over me when I bring that bird into the club. And I now I can go suit shopping for the perfect outfit that will let the feathers complement my natural good looks!"
Boomtho: "Oh. Sh!t. Was this the day I was supposed to make the bird sing? I was caught up with work. Sorry. Maybe next time."
Raptor: [Withdrew from contest. Having calculated the cost of the cage($10), birdseed($5), and newspaper lining(free), he determined that this would unduly tax his ring fund. This in turn would reduce his chances of marrying the perfect (but not too perfect) young (but not too young) lady who is smart (but not too smart) and funny (but not too funny) who he hasn't met yet.]
AndBears: "Bird, here is a spreadsheet that clearly explains the situation. On this side, there's a list of positive reasons for singing. This shorter list shows a list of reasons not to sing. Now, look at this graph. You're either crazy. Or hot. I think you're hot. So sing!"
Golden Oso: "Sous vide for 40 minutes at 64C. Then, crank that grill on high, rub with cajun spices, bacon fat and sear. Wait. Sing? Not singe?!? Uh oh..."
sec119: Lights up a meth pipe under the cage. "You want more? Sing you little bastard!"
Scootie: "Won't sing? Whatevs. I'll just buy another bird. Better yet, new shoes!"
DC Trocan: "Unce unce unce unce unce."
turkey: "Sing harder. Or don't. I hear that this bird is really going to just commit to being a duck."
LeonPowe: "Sing? Uhhhh....Does coughing count? Kind of smoggy in communist-land today."
FireStarkey: "Bird. This is Thunder. And here's Lightning. Y'all don't want any problems, do you?"
royrules: "I used spare parts to make a robo-bird. Not only does it sing, but it plays adult movies. I call it the IBird(tm)."
Goldblooded: "Bird. Why u not sing? Work for Box. Free stuff. Make happy."
Twist: "I'll tlel joeks until it snigs! Did you hera the one abuot the bird and the wrod? It's totes hilar!!!"
atoms: "Can we really _make_ a bird sing that has, in effect, evolved specificaly for singing?"
the federer express: "Is it too late to enter the contest? I meant to call the bird and talk about singing."
fiat: "BIRD! Give me a song!!! ... ... ... No. Nonono. I said, give me a SONG!!! No? Okay. Fine. I'll use my Starwood points to fly you, Bono, Steven Tyler, and Deborah Gibson to Mawali for a picture with open-mouthed smiles!"
paleodan: "Can we work with rodents instead? I'm much more comfortable trying to get an aardvark to sing than a bird."
CalBear81: "I'm not falling for this one. Last time I got involved in something like this, I ended up eating an apple and now we're all screwed."
TheScientiest: "Okay. In theory, a happy bird will sing. Food and water should create the desired effect. My control group shall have a nutrient-absent placebo while my experimental group will feature nutrient-rich birdseed. Oh. And I laced the birdseed with weed. You see a place!!!"
zoonews: "Not sure if making bird sing is good idea cuz had aunt once with bird where singing caused headaches and made her start doing exorcist stuff with eyes and neck plus got kind of violent but birds are pretty and feathers make good pillows so some people say laughter is the best medicine yet singing is like musical laughter but that bird didn't make it after my mom got mad at aunt and shot it."
(Apologies for missing some folks. I blam the lack of sleep.)
But even more importantly, how would YOU make the mockingbird sing? What sums up your personality and approach to this riddle? Don't care to share? Fine. How would other CGBers make the mockingbird sing? Oh yes. It's on.