UNIVERSITY WASTES LITTLE TIME IN HEART-VALVE SUIT

BY DEBBIE HOUSEL

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Negotiations are in the final stages for settlement of a lawsuit UH filed against a former faculty member.

The former professor and director left without notifying administrators of his heart valve invention -- potentially worth millions, system officials said.

The lawsuit, filed May 2, 1990 against former professor and director of the UH Cardiovascular Flow Dynamics laboratory Ned Hwang, is for failing to disclose his 1988 and 1989 work related to a bi-leaflet heart valve. Doing so is a violation of university policy.

UH has an intellectual property policy requiring employees to inform the university of inventions related to the scope of their employment. It also requires them to relinquish the inventions to the university, which then shares the patents and profits with the faculty member.

Regent Kenneth Lay said, "I think we have regained control of the intellectual rights. This demonstrates we take it (intellectual rights) very seriously and sends a message that we will in fact seek our rights."

Lay praised Paul Chu, who has made breakthroughs in superconductivity, and who has shared the benefits of his research with UH.

Hwang not only didn't alert the university to his invention, he left UH soon afterwards, Lay said.

Hwang said he worked at UH for 25 years, leaving on July 1, 1989 to take up an endowed chair at Memphis State University.

He would not comment on the negotiation terms, but said it was very complex and has been ongoing for 17 months.

"I loved Houston and have no animosity against the school. I want to see the university progress and hopefully the university and I also," Hwang said.

The UH Board of Regents appointed Deputy to the President Tom Jones to handle negotiations after a judge ordered parties to a moderated settlement conference to bypass a trial.

Since nothing has been signed, Jones refused to comment on any part of the negotiations.

However, Lay said, "We're pleased with the outcome."

University Council Susan Wheeler said the system was tipped off to Hwang's invention by a call regarding another case where Hwang testified he invented the valve while working at UH.

When Hwang would not recognize the university, the lawsuit quickly followed, Wheeler said.

Also named in the suit are Angleton attorney Michael Phillips, Austin businessman Jack Bokros and two Bokros-controlled companies, ONX, Inc. and Carbon Implants, Inc.

Retired Judge Phil Peden, appointed to mediate the negotiations, said all the parties are seriously trying to settle this case, which began mediations Aug. 26.

"They have been far, far apart, and a great deal of effort (has transpired) all day, every day," Peden said.

Negotiations have reached a encouraging point, he said, but nothing is final.

UH Assistant Vice President for Media Relations Wendy Adair said, "There is no cash settlement involved. We will be getting intellectual property rights to the research and a share in the products that are a result of that research."

But Adair added there is one key issue not yet resolved which she could not elaborate on until a settlement is reached.

Hwang said his valve is "designed to help people with a heart-valve disease, when one of the hearts four valves is not doing its job."

Lay said he thinks the valve is significant, although he could not speculate on the amount of money it may garner.

A final settlement is expected within two weeks.

 

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JENKINS, KLINGLER OPEN '91 AIR SHOW;

SOAR PAS BULLDOGS IN 73-3 TUNEUP

BY MIGUEL ZEPEDA

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Bulldogs have never been treated so harshly by big cats.

UH kicked off the 1991 football season with a bang Saturday, routing the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 73-3 before 30,082 in the Dome.

The Cougars have now outscored their opponents by a count of 219-69 in their last three games.

The victory moves Houston up two spots to 10th in the Associated Press poll. The Cougars are ranked seventh by United Press International.

Houston quarterback David Klingler continued his assault on the record books by throwing six touchdowns in the second quarter alone, for an NCAA record.

Klingler dissected the Bulldog defense to the tune of nine touchdown passes and 510 yards. He completed 36 of his 57 passes in only three quarters of play.

Despite another impressive performance, Klingler saw a few things still needed to be worked on before UH takes on the third-ranked Miami Hurricanes on Sept. 12.

"My footwork was very poor in the first quarter, and a lot of my passes were too high," he said.

Junior transfer Freddie Gilbert led the UH receivers with 11 catches and 180 yards. Not bad, considering he never caught a pass in two years at UCLA.

Senior wide receiver John Brown III and junior Tracy Good each found the endzone three times after catching a Klingler bullet.

The Bulldogs were no match for UH's swarming "Mad Dog" defense.

By game's end the Cougars had amassed 702 yards of total offense, while Louisiana Tech was limited to 146 yards.

Houston smothered Tech quarterback Gene Johnson four times and intercepted him once before he left the game in the third quarter.

Leading the Cougar defense were nickel back Tyrone Davis and tackle James Bevil.

Davis recorded six tackles and recovered a fumble, while Bevil had four tackles, deflected a pass and caused two fumbles.

Houston Defensive Coordinator Ben Hurt was ecstatic with the play of his defense.

"I'm proud of the Dogs," he said with the enthusiasm of a first-time father.

Head Coach John Jenkins wasn't surprised by the play of the defense, which gave up 27.5 points per game last year.

"I kind of was expecting it. We've got newcomers that are aggressive and flying around, These guys are hungry to attack," Jenkins said.

Houston has a week off to prepare for their next game, but after Saturday's contest Jenkins wished his team had played another game.

"You play a game like this, and it's a shame it wasn't a double-header," he said.

 

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INTERNATIONAL CONDUCTOR BRINGS UH

FORGEIGN FLARE

BY STEVE GARRETT

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

An international conductor is bringing a foreign flare to the UH School of Music.

Adrian Gnam, formerly the music director and conductor of the Macon Symphony, has also conducted for the Yugoslavian, Romanian and Venezuela orchestras.

"Although I'm relatively new here, I've found the people are sensational, and I can't wait to do some creative things with the symphony," he said.

Gnam said the students he has spoken with here are very bright and are willing to learn and grasp as much as they can.

While teaching and conducting at UH, Gnam said he also hopes to do some guest conducting with the city's symphony orchestra.

"The Houston Symphony is one of the best symphonies in the world today. Five years ago you could not say that," he said. "Now there is so much talent there, I can't wait to work with them."

Gnam said he has had some great experiences guest conducting for other symphonies around the world. Though the symphonies he has worked with are from different cultural backgrounds, he said there is a certain continuity underlying the music they play.

But Gnam doesn't like to look back at previous engagements for career highlights. Instead he looks forward to each upcoming concert, because the next concert is always different and better than the last, he said.

Gnam has been involved with music for most of his life. Both his mother, Annette Gnam, and his father, Hugo Gnam, are artistically inclined.

"My mother was an operatic singer, and my father was an architect," he said.

During his career, Gnam has played and studied with some of the world's great composers, including Leonard Berstein.

Gnam said he has no conductor he particularly looks up to, but thinks contemporary music is where the fun is.

The conductor said he is greatly encouraged by the heightened musical intelligence of today's audience. He is thankful more people are attending ballets, operas and jazz concerts.

"These (concerts) are the real test of their musical awareness," he said.

The special thing about music, Gnam said, is it makes you feel young. The conductor said he takes great pride in making the music happen.

"Music has an invisible hand that grabs you and never lets you go," Gnam said.

 

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LAW SCHOOL STUDENT WITNESSES COUP, HELPS

BUILD CITY HALL BARRICADES

BY MICHAEL D. OESER

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

While students were gearing up for school and watching with amazement and trepidation the events taking place in the Soviet Union, one UH Law School student was taking part in the action.

Negotiating a joint business venture between an American-based firm and a Soviet state organization took Marina Stephens to Leningrad just before the Soviet coup on Aug. 19.

"Saturday and Sunday we were negotiating and Monday all hell broke loose," Stephens said.

The Russian emigree graduated with a degree in journalism from UH in 1983 and is in her second year at the Bates Law School.

Stephens said at first she was unsure whether she wanted to be in Russia at that particular moment.

"When the announcement that the security council had taken over came out. The things they were saying and the way they were saying them reminded me too much of the Russia I left 13 years ago," she said.

She said her next thought was the Russian people wouldn't sit down and accept this new government like they did in 1964 with Kruschev, which is what the hardliners were counting on.

"The Russian people have

changed a lot in the past five years. You can't give people a taste of freedom and give them a chance to prosper economically and then take it away from them without them having something to say about it," she said.

Before it was over, Stephens said she found herself making barracades to defend the Leningrad City Hall against the Russian army marching on the city.

Stephens said she was relieved to see the coup fail.

"If it had succeeded, it would have set back the progress they have made two or three years," she said.

Stephens will speak about her experiences at 4:30 p.m. today in Room 240 of Bates Hall in the Bates Law School.

 

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SOME EARLY SEMESTER BRAIN-TEASING FROM

THE FUN BUNCH

ENTERTAINMENT SECTION

For your gratification and approval, The Daily Cougar Entertainment horde presents: The First Test of The Semester.

Read each question superficially. Answer all questions without fail under the penalty of death. You have one hour, so stop dawdling.

1. Medicine. You have been provided with a Makita cordless power drill and a half-inch bit, a jumbo box of Q-tips, three Quaaludes and a cup of ether. Perform a lobotomy on yourself. Do not reset the skull until your frontal lobes have been inspected and collected. You have 15 minutes.

2. History. Describe the history of Marvel Comics from its origins to the present, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on their social, political, economic, religious and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and any two of the Noble Planets. Be brief, concise and specific.

3. Biology. With a gender-compatable student of your choice, create life.

4. Engineering. Given an odd collection of surplus military hardware, design a high-tech weapons system that is incredibly complex, acutely fragile and utterly ineffective. Keep in mind that your creation should have low recoil, yet high kick-back potential. Extra credit: Form an argument explaining why the system should be sold to turmoil infested countries that do not have electricity.

5. High Technology. Define "high." Define "technology." What can they possibly have to with each other?

6. Psychology. Based on your knowledge of their works, evaluate the emotional stability, degree of adjustment, repressed frustrations and theorize about probable unpublished "quirks" of: Alexander Haig, Newt Gingritch, Clarabell the Clown, Phil Graham, Henry Kissinger, Andrea Dworkin and Ramses II. Support you evaluation with quotes from, or Polaroids of, each individual's work.

7. Music. Write a rock opera. Orchestrate and perform it with cello and synthesizer. You will find Roger Daltry under your seat.

8. Economics. Write brief essays on any three of the following topics:

a. Develop a plan for reducing the federal deficit without raising taxes or cutting military spending. Warning: Simply slashing social programs is an effective, yet footsore method. Be creative. Explore such possibilities as selling the poor into slavery or to meat processors.

b. When is it preferable to base economic projections on the color and consistency of chicken entrails?

c. Analyze the following statement from the contemporary economist's perspective : "Put your trust in money. Put your money in trust."

9. Epistemology. Take a position for or against reality. Prove the validity of your position.

10. Modern Physics. Write essays on the following topics:

a. Who did Einstien's hair?

b. Who cleaned Schrodinger's cat box?

c. Describe possible manifestations of the "Bon Jovi Phenomenon" in three parallel universes.

11. Philosophy: Sketch the development of the life of the mind. Apply it to the evolution of the monokini. Evaluate the latter in light of the former. Compare both with the development of heavy metal.

12. General Knowledge. Describe in detail, briefly.

13. Creative writing. Write an essay about sources of angst in your life. The essay should whine on forever and contain excruciating detail. Extra credit. Weep openly while reading the essay aloud to the class.

14. Political Science. Draft a policy statement outlining one of the following topics:

a. The incarceration of conscientious objectors in the "war on Drugs."

b. Solving the the homeless problem through aggressive deportation.

c. Mandatory capital punishment for anyone involved in an abortion in any way.

Length is not important but your statement must contain at least 25 words not used in idiomatic English. It also must not inform, entertain, enlighten or offend anyone from among the below listed hypothetical audience:

Aleistar Crowley, Allister Cooke, Marx, Lenin and Mao, Larry, Moe, and Curly, Lord Barrymore, Barry Manilow, Barry Goldwater, the Solid Gold Dancers, General Norman Schwartzkopf, General Motors, General Dynamics, General Foods, Socrates, Plato, Pluto, Ronald Reagan, Donald Regan, Richard Nixon, Jeanne Dixon, the Dulles brothers, The Brothers Grimm, The Sisters of Mercy, Freddy Mercury, William F. Buckley Jr., Buckminster Fuller, any Fuller Brush sales man, Buck Rodgers, George Bush, George Wallace, George Burns, B.B. Rabozo, Bozo the Clown, Ed Koch, Heckler and/or Kotch, The Mormans, The Masons, The Knights Templar, The Knights of Malta, The Arabian Nights, William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Tiny Tim, Tim The Enchanter, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, J. Frank Dobie, J. Edgar Hoover, Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy, Joseph McCarthy, Eugene McCarthy, Paul McCartney, Eugene V. Debs, The Son's of Ralph, the widow's son, the farmer's daughter, The Man in the Moon, Moon Unit Zappa, Zero Mostel, Zippy The Pinhead and all members of the Council on Foreign Relations (especially those who run major research universities.)

 

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DOME SEATS SELLING FAST(ER) THIS SEASON

BY RANDY BAZAN

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Over the past three seasons, the Cougars have taken the college football world by storm but have managed to evoke mostly indifference from the city and their own university.

While capturing the attention of the national media and featuring stars like David Klingler and Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware, the Cougars have continually found themselves playing before houses that were either stuffed with opponents' fans, or no one at all.

After Saturday's Louisiana Tech game, there is finally reason to be optimistic: The community has begun to take notice of the Cougars.

Slightly more than 30,000 fans ventured inside the Dome to witness the monster Head Coach John Jenkins and staff have created.

Compared to most Division I-A programs, 30,000 isn't spectacular. But for the Cougars, it is the largest non-conference home crowd since 1982.

Season ticket sales are up by about 50 percent, and student attendence has steadily risen since UH scrapped the Veer offense for the Run-and-Shoot in 1987.

Jenkins said he expected increased fan interest because of the national attention his team is receiving.

"I certainly expected that," he said. "With people on the West and East Coasts talking about the Cougars, the expectations of having something real special here exist."

But there's a long way to go. Half of the Dome still sits empty, while three-fourths of the student body stay home watching The Golden Girls.

When it comes to pure entertainment value, Jenkins' team puts on a show few teams can rival.

From their fast-break offense, to the wail of the air-raid siren, to the space battle scenes from Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica, the Cougars are college football's version of the NBA's L.A. Lakers. When they emerge from the locker room, it's showtime.

"What are you looking for?" Jenkins asked. "Ringling Brothers? Ice Capades? There's all kinds of action right here.

"I think the cost of a ticket (free if you're a student) is quite reasonable as far as what's going on," he said.

As for the players, fan support is vital.

"It makes a big difference," said inside receiver Tracy Good. "When I first got here, we didn't have hardly anybody in the stands. I appreciate them for coming out."

"To draw a crowd in Houston, you've got to win," Klingler said. "It was a lot of fun having a big crowd, and we're getting there, we're getting there."

And he's right. Slowly but surely, we're getting there.

 

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SOVIET EXCHANGE STUDENTS FEAR FOR FAMILES

FOR FAMILIES, WATCH HOMELAND COUP ON TV

 

 

 

On a hot, mid-August morning, a friend of Lena Mikhailova hand-delivered a bagful of letters from friends and family in Moscow. While she delightedly opened her mail, he entertained her with stories of the new, open lifestyle in the Soviet Union.

One week later, the Colgate University senior sat numbly in front of a television set watching in disbelief as tanks rolled through Russian city streets.

"It was so shocking," she said. "He said life there was so interesting, so active. We just didn't expect this to happen."

The feelings Mikhailova expressed were familiar to many other Soviet students on American campuses. First, the shocking news of Mikhail Gorbachev's ouster, then collapse of the coup in a matter of days, followed by swift political changes produced an emotional roller-coaster ride for students and exchange-program officials.

"The coup will have a huge impact on the Soviet economy -- it will affect all the world in one way or another," said Andrei Rukavishnikov, a Soviet student at Hope College.

Mikhailova, who lives with Americans Joe and Gean Thuneur, two former Colgate professors, said she was fortunate to have their support during a time of great uncertainty.

"I don't know what would have happened, living in a dorm by myself," she said. "These are my adopted parents right now."

The soft-spoken student admits her first reaction to the news of Gorbachev's ouster was panic.

"Actually, I wanted to go home. I didn't have the money for the air ticket, she said.

"It took me two hours to get through to my parents by phone. My father said he didn't want me to come back right now. They wouldn't tell me very much. I guess they didn't want me to get nervous."

Although the failure of the nearly three-day coup eased immediate concerns, Mikhailova, who is majoring in geology, said she still feared the loss of lives.

"All of this could lead to tragic, unpredictable circumstances," she said. "I'm trying, however, not to exaggerate things."

Mikhailova originally came to the university last year on an exchange program and convinced Colgate administrators she needed to stay a second year to improve her English.

When reports of the coup began to surface, she and school officials at Colgate expressed concern over whether two Soviet exchange students expected at the university this fall would be able to travel to the United States as planned.

At Hope College, Tom Renner, the plublic relations director, complained he has acquired a "cauliflower ear" having to respond to telephone inquiries about the 19 Soviet students who recently arrived there for their first year in the United States.

Located in Holland, Mich., the tiny liberal arts college (enrollment 2,800) has one of the most unusual Soviet exchange programs in the country. As many as 200 Soviet students apply for 20 corporate scholarships each year.

The students, who must be proficient in English, did not know one another before boarding a plane for the U.S. The newcomers spent the first week with American families in a "homestay" off-campus program.

"There is much anxiety here," Renner said. "The students are viewing this situation with a lot of uncertainty. Of course there is concern for their families, and their future -- now and in the distant future."

A feeling of guarded relief mixed with appreciation for the outpouring of sympathy and support from Americans spread across campus with the news that the coup had failed.

"I cannot believe how supportive Americans have been this week," says Rukavishnikov, who was with his adopted family during the tense hours of the coup. "I was hoping they would (be). People have met me warmly and shared with me."

"I am scared," admitted Katya Pokrovskya, a 19-year-old Hope College student from Moscow, on hearing the coup was crumbling. "I suspect that (the coup) doesn't involve really serious consequences now -- but I think a lot of people will still suffer.

"Coup leaders will try to make people quarrel among each other. The KGB, in spite of this collapse, still possesses a lot of power,"she said. "It could be very frightful."

Pokrovskya says she was watching television when a bulletin flashed on the screen. She has since contacted her parents, who attempted to assuage her fears. "They say everyone was calm," she continued, "and that many ordinary people are not involved. They just walked by the barricades."

The young Soviet, who wants to study British and American history while at Hope College, says Americans should not interfere in the Soviet Union's domestic problems, but should "throw political and financial support behind the democratic movement."

It was a time of high anxiety for Oleg Polakov, another Soviet student at Hope College. Polakov, an articulate computer student from Leningrad, also learned of the troubles in his homeland by television.

"You can imagine my feelings when I heard Gorbachev was overthrown," said Polakov, who had difficulty reaching his parents by telephone. "I really thought there would be more violence, but today...there is no need to feel the same way. I am much more cheered up."

 

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D-E-F-E-N-S-E HURT CALLS ON `MAD DOGS'

TO WIN OPENER

BY JAVIER GONZALEZ

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

After Houston surgically picked apart Louisiana Tech, no one was happier than defensive coordinator Ben Hurt.

His "Mad Dog" defense held the Bulldogs to three points and 130 yards total offense. Not bad for a unit ranked 103 out of 106 Division I-A schools last year.

"It was a total team effort by the coaches and the players," Hurt said. "We are awfully proud of this excellent bunch of players."

The defense provided the spark to fire up the sputtering Run-and-Shoot offense late in the first quarter. After giving up a field goal to the Bulldogs, the defense held Tech on their next possession, allowing quarterback David Klingler to find inside receiver Freddie Gilbert for a 60-yard touchdown pass, and start his record-breaking second quarter.

Hurt's defense intercepted Tech quarterbacks twice and forced four fumbles, recovering two. Houston's defensive unit was so effective in holding Louisiana Tech deep in their own territory, five of Klingler's nine touchdowns were less than 10 yards.

Klingler said the six touchdowns in the second quarter would not have been possible without the great play from the defense.

"Our defensive line kept penetrating," cornerback Jerry Parks said. "If you keep penetrating, good things will happen. Everybody played great on our defense. We don't have a first team. We have two, maybe three first teams."

"I was not surprised by our performance," Head Coach John Jenkins said. "We pinned our ears back and went after them."

Hurt was quick to point out that Louisiana Tech was no pushover.

"This is the same team that put up 34 points on Maryland in the Independence Bowl, and whose quarterback ranked 14th in the nation," Hurt said.

Last Saturday's performance was totally different from last season when the defensive unit gave up 27.5 points a game. Just how bad was it last year?

The defense gave up 650 yards passing to quarterback Matt Vogler of Texas Christian. Vogler is now the third-string quarterback at TCU. Even with the 11-touchdown performance against Eastern Washington, a Division II school, the defense gave up 24 points.

This is the same team, but it is healthy and experienced. Last year the Cougars were forced to play freshmen because of injuries.

One of those freshmen is linebacker Ryan McCoy, who at age 18 played as a true freshman on last year's defense.

"We feel we have something to prove," McCoy said. "Last year was a joke, but we learned a lot. We have a lot of talent on this team and we want to get better."

The Cougars will have a chance to prove they are better than last year's team against No. 3-ranked Miami Sept. 12 in the Orange Bowl.

Can the new-and-improved "Mad Dog" defense weather the Hurricanes?

"You bet," Jenkins said. "We'll meet them at the 50-yard-line with a chain in one hand and a broken bottle in the other."

 

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NETTERS WIN TOURNEY; NO. 2 STANFORD NEXT

BY MIGUEL ZEPEDA

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

The University of Houston volleyball team travelled to Arlington this past weekend to take part in the Asics Tiger Classic.

They came home with some extra baggage -- the tournament trophy.

Houston went through the tournament defeating Wichita State in the first match 7-15, 15-9, 15-1 and 15-9.

On Saturday, UH swept Iowa 15-8, 15-9 and 15-4.

In the championship game against Texas-Arlington, UH rallied to win 10-15, 15-8, 15-9 and 15-6.

Head Coach Bill Walton was pleased with his team's overall performance but also said that there was still plenty to improve on, with the season in its early stages.

"Our service reception was pretty good and I was pleased with the consistency of our attack. But we still need to cut down on errors early in the match," he said.

Attack is exactly what sophomore Karina Faber did, as she was named the tournament's most valuable player.

Faber recorded 36 kills and 22 defensive digs in the three matches.

Senior Karen Bell also was named to the All-Tournament team, posting 30 kills and 35 digs.

Walton was particularly impressed with the play of Heidi Sticksel.

"Our freshman setter, Heidi Sticksel, was one of the highlights for us," Walton said.

"She came in and did some things in her first-ever college matches that our previous setter, an All-Southwest Conference player, wasn't able to do in two years here."

The Lady Cougars will next face second-ranked Stanford in the Colorado Invitational on Saturday.

Walton thinks his team will have to play well to defeat the Cardinals but thinks his team can take on the challenge.

"Our defensive system can overcome any individual talent on one team. If we play to our capabilities we can beat Stanford," he said.

 

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MOVE OVER DEAR ABBY. MAKE SOME ROOM

FOR MORTOCHAI

ENTERTAINMENT SECTION

 

In the tradition of some of the greatest wise people in history, Nostradamus, Heloise, Jeanne Dixon, John Sununu and Dear Abby, The Daily Cougar entertainment staff brings you a rare opportunity -- a chance to pick the brain of the greatest living advisor on the planet, Mortochai the Foul.

After wading through vast forests of bureaucratic red tape and offering obscenely ridiculous bribes, we managed to secure the services of this esteemed cleric for at least this week. Demand for his counsel is exceedingly high, so if you want an answer to a really big question hurry your letters in to the Entertainment Editor of The Daily Cougar, located in the dank recesses of the Communications Building.

Here are some letters and responses already received.

 

Dear Mortochai,

My job as a late-night security guard can be grueling and requires that I turn to UHF television for sensory stimulation.

After watching the seemingly endless string of info-mercials, I turned the dial and found holy man, Robert Tilton's, Success in Life.

Now, just months since my discovery, I find myself contemplating a career in televangelism. I hear the pay is great and access to free makeovers would really be the icing on the cake.

I think I may be on the right track but I'm having a little trouble speaking in tongues. What do you suggest?

Signed,

To Hell With the Bakkers.

Dear To Hell,

When the tongues won't come for me, I use the following tried-and-true method for success.

1. Unzip pants.

2. Extend slight portion of foreskin into path of zipper.

3. Yank zipper upward with strength of 10 men.

4. Open mouth.

Try this and you'll be gargling revelations and strange theology with the best of `em in no time.

 

Dear Mortochai,

Late at night I wake in a cold sweat from nefarious dreams involving Mortin Downey Jr., Larry King and William F. Buckley Jr.

In them I am a lab specimen enduring arduous and often whimsical genetic engineering tests without my consent. Am I going crazy or what?

Signed,

Frustrated Clone

 

Dear Clone,

It is highly possible that those were not dreams. Word on the street is that Downey, King and Buckley, also known as the vicious Open-mouthed Strangefellows Consortium, or OSC, have opened up a secret lab deep in the Appalachians devoted to post-holocaust species propogation in which the world is inhabited by clones of the gang of three and Playboy Playmates taken from the decade ending 1979.

Utilizing cable TV and low-orbit satellites, the OSC has reportedly been conducting late-night REM stage intrusions in order to gauge cloning effectiveness.

My advice to you would be to cancel your cable subscription and invest in some industrial-strength Columbian coffee. Might not be a bad time to pick up a smoking habit either.

 

Dear Mortochai,

Please help me settle a bet. My mother claims to have seen Elvis buying leisure wear at a K-Mart clearance sale at an outlet close to the refinery where my father works.

I, of course, dismissed this as folly, arguing that it was probably just TV personality Fred Travalena, or maybe Dread Zeppelin's lead singer, Tortelvis.

But with all of the recent cosmic Elvis activity, do you think it might really have been him?

Signed,

Is the King Dead?

 

Dear Dead,

Looks like your mom might be right.

Since the Weekly World News plastered their cover with that historical pic of a deeply tanned and possibly drug-free King, the Galloping Graceland Ghost has been working overtime, appearing in sightings throughout the rural Midwest. Sources close to the mysterious Presley say he will have a formal coming out in late November, putting to rest once and for all speculation on his whereabouts. Following a public apology, Elvis will launch a four-month, 90-city mall tour showcasing many of the classic old movie tunes and introducing some new material, including a snappy reggae cover of the '70s classic, "Kung Fu Fighting."

Promoters are hard at work right now trying to secure teen-queen, Tiffany, as an opening act.

 

Dear Mortochai,

I am a 4-year-old Montessori student deeply involved in my community's efforts to implement a zero-tolerance drug policy. At present we are working from a purely emotional stance, saturating the area with fear-inducing literature and publicly exposing known drug kingpins.

Also, a petition is in the works which would mandate capital punishment for anyone even suspected of drug ties.

Hopefully we can extend our efforts to include book banning and religous intolerance.

But back to the question.

I recently read some literature on the death of Art Linkletter's daughter and her frenzied, acid-induced death leap. I was wondering, did she really think she could fly or did she just get what she deserved?

Signed,

You'd Better Say No or I'll Narc on Your Family.

Dear Narc,

It's refreshing to see they're getting y'all while you're young these days. Keep up the good work.

As it stands, now you're on the fast track to a government office. If your SATs are high enough, you might be able to get into Harvard early admissions and plot a course which could ultimately lead to world domination and further devaluation of the peso.

For further reading I would highly recommend the following tomes: Das Kapital, Mein Kampf, The Prince, Leviathan, anything by Kitty Kelley and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

 

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RAIL PLAN, COMMUNTIY POLICING PEG ELECTION

BY CHRIS PAYNE

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Under the slogan of "Houston's Champion," Mayor Kathy Whitmire is trying to get what no other Houston mayor has ever had -- an unprecedented sixth term in office.

As with the other major candidates, former Metro board leader Bob Lanier and State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, Whitmire's primary campaign issues are Houston's staggering crime and the city rail plan, which has been embroiled in controversy since it was approved by Houston voters in 1988.

Whitmire, 45, and Houston Police Chief Elizabeth Watson have come under fire with a recent HPD audit that proclaims too many resources are spent on neighborhood policing. Whitmire, however, said in an exclusive interview at City Hall, the audit's findings and its purpose are all part of the plan.

Whitmire said the audit was done in order to find ways for HPD to improve neighborhood policing, which stresses police officers becoming part of the community with higher visibility and an emphasis on crime prevention. The audit's results will help her and Watson determine more effective ways to administer HPD resources, she said.

"Really, the message (of the audit) was how to be more effective with the use of personnel," Whitmire said, adding that, as a result of the audit, HPD is currently buying lap-top computers for police officers to use on their beats, thus reducing the need for in-office data entry.

One of the flaws in Houston law enforcement is that the police and the community deal primarily with just the crimes that are occuring, Whitmire said. Neighborhood policing places a direct emphasis on crime prevention, she said, something that has been neglected in the past.

"We plan to bring in an additional shift (of police officers) during high-crime areas at night, which is a fairly small shift," she said, "and we are recruiting 350 more police officers."

She added that HPD is actively recruiting officers with 60 or more hours of college credit or an honorable discharge from the armed services.

"In addition to building up the police force, we are making it a major priority to reduce the number of violent criminals being released on Houston's streets," Whitmire said. She said the state's release of parolees has increased "four-fold" during recent years and that "one-third of them come to Houston."

Whitmire said efforts are being made to ensure a closer working relationship between Gov. Ann Richards, the state Parole Board and HPD so more discretion is used in determining who to release from prison and whether they should come to Houston.

Although Whitmire strongly supports efforts made to educate criminals and parolees in the form of drug treatment centers and educational programs, she said Houston has too many halfway houses.

"I think we have too many of them in Houston," she said.

She said she expects City Council to approve legislation regulating the distance a halfway house can be located from schools and churches.

Whitmire staunchly defends the controversial rail plan, which as been criticized as a $1.2 billion boondoggle by her opponents.

Houston voters, in 1988, approved a light-rail plan to serve the city, not a monorail plan.

"In Houston's future, there have to be ways to have a good public transportation system without cars," she said. "Cars are not meeting the pollution control standards. Today, 30 percent of the people working downtown use Metro, and we need to double that amount."

The rail plan, which includes UH, the Galleria and downtown, is only the initial phase, she added.

"It will tie together a lot of the major activity centers, but it is only the beginning," she said, adding that it will eventually serve every part of the city."

 

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THIRD TIME'S CHARM FOR FROSH NOVELIST

COUGAR NEWS SERVICE

 

If there was a lot of noise in Lorri Hewett's residence hall one morning last November, she's the one to blame.

She ran down the halls of Emory University's Hopkins Hall screaming "I got published!" after the news came that Holloway House in Los Angeles accepted her novel Coming of Age for release this summer.

The achievement defies conventional wisdom in the publishing industry.

First of all, college students don't get novels published -- that's for seasoned writers, their roads to success paved by rejection slips.

Secondly, Hewett didn't have an agent; she sent her manuscript by mail. Editors at some publishing houses won't talk to authors who don't have an agent. And thirdly, Hewett's novel was accepted by the first company she contacted. Often, even agented manuscripts get passed from one publishing house to another for a year before one says yes.

So what happened here? "Perserverance and luck," said 18-year-old Hewett, now a sophomore.

Hewett is no naive literary romantic. She learned the ropes by pounding out two other books. The first was a 100-pager on pioneers in the 1800s that she wrote at age 9.

"I had just finished reading Little House on the Prairie and wanted to write something just like it," she said.

At 15, she wrote a novel about high school racism and submitted it in pursuit of the Delacorte First Young Adult Novel Prize. Her book didn't win, but the editors were encouraging.

"They wrote me and said they thought I had a real future in writing," Hewett said.

Not everything the editors said was complimentary, though. "They said I had a lot of stylistic problems," she said. Hewett remembers she didn't even know what style was, but she was going to find out. So she found a copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style.

 

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SPEZEL

BY MAX O.

In the morning, he stepped outside, letting the screen door slam. The stairs shook as he walked down.

The flight of stairs held his attention, not the large dog asleep under the neighbor's truck. The dog slept fitfully in a hole it had dug to escape the heat.

Yawning, he told himself that today was the last day ever. Today everyone would die. Crossing the four empty lanes, he approached the convenience store. A swaying black man asked him for five dollars. He knelt at the tall man's feet and asked for forgiveness, and promised to bring the gray salamander to the feast later.

The tall addict swayed mysteriously, then walked over to another person who was using a public phone, and asked her for five dollars. She turned and held the phone closer, as if she were a fetus attached to the store by a delicate silver cord.

The kneeling person crawled to the woman and begged forgiveness from her for his crimes to the state, and asked when the great Spezel would be given back his right hand.

He started to chant in a low and shaking voice when, luckily, he remembered his errand. With a jump he landed on his feet. The beggar jumped back and the woman let out a small cry. He gave each a humble bow, and ran into the store laughing.

An hour later, the police had taken him to an asylum after a clerk found him in a trance beside the impressive display of ding-dongs. He was treated, and ended his life in the mystical service of Spezel, the one-armed automaton.

The woman on the phone died as she was expected to, old and in a bed in an expensive hospital.

The tall black man killed himself by stepping in front of a bus full of pro-life activists on their way to protest the hate-crimes perpetuated against their community.

 

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