FREEMAN'S BAT SWEET AS SUGAR

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

With the No. 1 Texas Longhorns looming before them and a four game losing streak behind them, the Cougars are looking for a shot in the arm.

Or, at least, a shot to right field.

Third baseman Ricky Freeman seems to be the sugar that the Cougars have needed lately since they have had to swallow bitter losses, which includes losing eight of their last 10 games.

Freeman currently leads the Cougars in batting with a .424 average.

He also leads the SWC batting .432, is sixth in the conference with 35 hits and has 26 RBIs -- good enough for eighth place in the SWC.

He took hold of first place in the home run department with 28 Tuesday after hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning in the Cougars' 9-5 loss to the Sam Houston State Bearkats.

"I need to do what I need to do for the team," Freeman said. "I can't feel like I have to do everything, but we just have to relax."

With the bases loaded in the ninth and outfielder Shane Buteaux at the plate, all fingers were crossed at Cougar field. Freeman was on deck and watched as his teammate struck out to end the game.

Entering Tuesday's game, the Cougars had a .304 batting average after the No. 9 Owls swept the Cougars. Houston managed to get 18 hits over the course of the three-game series.

"The big people are not doing it for us right now," said coach Bragg Stockton.

"Everybody is trying too hard right now," Freeman said. "All we have to do is take it easy."

Taking it easy might not be as simple as it looks. This weekend, Houston heads off to Austin to face the Longhorns.

"Playing Texas is a great oppurtunity for us," Freeman said. "Everyone expects for them to beat us, but we can go in and wear them out and win."

As they prepare for their Texas trek, the Cougars need to work on wearing out their bats as well.

 

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NO LACK OF FUN FOR SPRING BREAKERS

by Tammy Gamble

News Reporter

Before UH students rush off to far-away places for Spring Break, some students may want to take advantage of 10 inexpensive, but fun opportunities available in the Houston area.

Each year, many students take for granted all the events that take place in Houston. Spring Break is a great time to catch up on all the Houston attractions students do not have time for during the semester. An event can be found to accommodate all interests and hobbies.

"A calendar of events happening in the Houston area is available at the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau," said Bob Nowak, a member of the bureau.

The Gulf Greyhound Racing Park in La Marque is a new attraction in the area. The races are fun for students wanting to gamble, but some people also like to attend the races just for the excitement of watching the greyhounds race. The park is open during Spring Break on March 21 and March 23-28.

Sports fanatics may be interested in the Houston Virginia Slims Tennis Tournament at the Westside Tennis Club. The tournament, scheduled for March 22-28, stars tennis greats Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati, Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere and Lori McNeil. Individual daily tickets for different times throughout the week range from $10 to $27, and tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets.

The Texas Limited, a passenger train running from Houston to Galveston, runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. A special murder mystery ride will be offered on March 20. The depot is located at 567 T.C. Jester. Tickets for this event are also available at Ticketmaster outlets.

Space Center Houston in Clear Lake City is a new way to experience man's exploration of space. Visitors to the center can touch moon rocks and take part in simulated shuttle landings as well as astronaut training. Visitors can also meet astronauts while there. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8.75 for adults and $5.25 for children three to 11 years old and senior citizens. Children under three are admitted free.

If students are looking for something to do with their boyfriends, girlfriends or spouses, the Gun, Knife and Shooting Sports Show and the Bridal Fantasy Show will occur on March 27-28. The men can attend the sports show at the Astrohall while the women take a look at the latest bridal fashions in the Astroarena, or vice versa.

 

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SPRING BREAK AT SOUTH PADRE ISLAND

The sun shines bright, the water's always warm and the beaches of South Padre Island are ready for Sand-Blast '93. Thousands of spring breakers are expected to inhabit the island and its 34 miles of white-sand beaches in March.

"We want everyone who visits our island to feel welcome and to have a great vacation," said Harold Wheeler, director of the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.

South Padre's combination of sand, sea, sun, entertainment and activities are all the ingredients for Spring Break fun. Island officiIn addition, the most popular car-audio expo and car-stereo competition in the world will be held at the South Padre Island Convention Center for the sevals encourage visitors to enjoy South Padre, but to remember to "party smart." The tropical island will be teeming with special entertainment and activities throughout Spring Break.

Visitors will be entertained by MTV's Bop Harvey and Pauley Shore. There will be plenty of music, including guitarist Alan Haynes -- everything from hip-hop to reggae. Even Dwight Yoakam will perform, a country crooner known for his combination of soul, R&B and "tight-fittin' jeans," as Conway Twitty may put it.

 

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ONLY ONE COUGAR TEAM ON TOP; UH DOWNS WAHINGTON STATE 5 - 4

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Lady Cougars, 7-5, defeated their namesake, the Washington State Lady Cougars, 5-4, in a non-conference tennis match-up Tuesday.

Houston's first tennis coach, John R. Bender, gave UH the nickname of his former school when he came from Washington State in 1927.

But it was the Houston team that made the Cougar name proud.

Catherine Bromfield was forced to retire because of strep throat, giving Washington State a quick one-match lead.

"She (Bromfield) would have played if we had asked her to play, but I'd rather have her for Thursday (against Southern Louisiana)," head coach Cathy Beene said. "I felt we'd be all right with these guys without her."

Houston won four of the remaining five singles matches, and Cecilia Piedrahita teamed with Evonne Allerkamp to claim the first doubles match 6-3, 6-0. Their win gave UH the required five victories to claim the match.

Allerkamp and Piedrahita had different outcomes in their singles matches. Piedrahita lost 6-1, 6-1 to Ivana Granic in No. 2 singles.

Allerkamp soundly defeated Marcia Senn 6-0, 6-3 in their No. 3 singles match.

"I thought I played good," the confident freshman said. "I controlled her the whole time."

UH's Amanda Barnett also won her No. 6 singles match impressively over Cynthia Bergman 6-0, 6-2.

Houston's doubles partners and fourth and fifth singles players Karen Dasprez and Liz Escobar had some trouble in their first singles sets. They both overcame the early adversity to win in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 and 6-4, 6-2 respectively.

"I think I just found a game plan and followed it," Dasprez said of her dominant second set.

Dasprez and Escobar lost their see-saw, back-and-forth doubles match 6-4, 7-5. They had leads in both sets but could not hang on.

Barnett and partner Kendall Kohlleffel also had a tough back-and-forth style doubles match. After losing the first set 3-6, they took a long 7-5 second set.

The third set was a quick one, however, ending in a 1-6 victory for Washington State's Granic and Mari Beth Wilmowski.

"It's getting better," Beene said. "Their desire is there to win. They're doing things a whole lot better than they did a month ago."

 

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NORMAL STUDY ROUTINE CAN LEAD TO ABNORMAL SLEEPING DISORDER

by Jena Moreno

Contributing Writer

Okay, if you go to sleep now, you can nap for two hours and wake up in time to study another hour for the next exam -- but if you stay awake, you can finish the research paper that's due tomorrow, and you'll have time to go out this weekend. After all, you could always sleep during your accounting class.

Although this may seem like a normal routine for many college students, it can become a serious sleep disorder. According to a study at Baylor University, half of the college-age population sleeps less than eight hours a night.

Max Hishkowitz, director of research at Baylor University, said, "Most college students are sleepy because of sleep disorders." This occurs because of "chrono-biological self-abuse," a disorder that includes staying up late and getting up early, he added.

"College students have the ability to rally extra effort, within some limits, to fight off sleep," he said.

However, once inside that warm, dark lecture hall after lunch, these efforts seem to disappear, he said, adding that If students get enough sleep, they can stay awake in these circumstances.

One of the more well-known sleep disorders is insomnia. Some people use sedatives and sleeping pills to try to fall asleep, but Hishkowitz said the effects of these drugs gradually wear off, so many people increase the dosage.

One senior political science major, who asked to remain anonymous, said he has been suffering from insomnia for a year. "I take drugs, drink and get high to try to fall asleep."

The causes of insomnia are often related to anxiety, depression and stress. A shocking or traumatic experience can also bring on insomnia, Hishkowitz added.

Senior drama major Traci Shannon said she suffered from insomnia for several years. "I didn't like to sleep because a friend was raped in bed, and I was afraid to go to bed."

Other causes of sleep disorders are age and lack of exercise. Overweight individuals are more likely to suffer from sleep problems such as apnea, which occurs while people are asleep. The individual stops breathing for as long as a minute and awakens gasping for air with a loud snore. Sometimes, the person stops breathing and is unable to wake up, Hishkowitz said.

Dr. William C. Dement, chairman of the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, attributes many accidents such as the Exxon Valdez crash, the Chernobyl nuclear explosion and the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island to sleep disorders. In each of these events, workers failed to respond because they were so sleepy, he said.

Dement also attributes the Challenger explosion to sleep deprivation, in which a decision to go ahead with the launch, despite faulty O-rings, was made. This decision, according to Dement, was made by NASA's top officials, who were deprived of sleep for three days.

Hishkowitz said 10,000 people die annually in sleep-related car accidents. "It takes three seconds of sleep to die in a car accident when going 60 mph. There's no way you can feel it coming on," he said.

Hishkowitz added that sleeping is a process of letting go. He said many people are unable to sleep because they are trying too hard.

His advice? If you are unable to fall asleep, try to bore yourself to sleep by reading one of your most boring textbooks. Don't go to bed until you are tired because counting sheep has never been proven to work.

Besides taking drugs to stay awake, many students have their own methods. Freshman biology major Ben Harnden invented his own recipe, a mixture of Espresso and Hershey syrup which he guarantees will keep anyone awake.

If you have any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder:

*Do you sleep less than five hours per night?

*Do you need more than eight hours of sleep per night to feel rested?

*Does it take you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep?

*Do you lie in bed awake for long periods of time?

*Do you wake up more than three times during the night?

*Do you frequently have nightmares?

*Do other members of your family suffer from sleep disorders?

*Have you been told you snore loudly?

Students who suffer from sleep disorders can call Baylor University's sleep lab at 798-4886, and counselors at the UH Counseling and Testing Center treat students with sleep disorders on a walk-in basis Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

 

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BAHAMAS? HAWAII? WHAT ABOUT HOUSTON?

by Joanna Davila

Contributing Writer

Houston may not be anything like South Padre Island or Cancun, but it can provide students with plenty to do.

From museums and movie theaters to the Galleria and Astroworld, Houston is definitely not a humdrum city.

Spring Break can be an excellent time to soak up some culture by visiting Houston's museum district, as many museums are located just minutes away from UH near the Texas Medical Center. Among them is the Museum of Natural Science.

"We have many things for college students to visit, including the Imax Theater, Rock Laser shows and 18 permanent exhibit halls," said Mike Olson, public relations manager for the Museum of Natural Science.

Imax is presenting two features: <i>Tropical Rainforest<p> and <i>Fires of Kuwait<p>, each showing separately. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the Burke Baker Planetarium will be presenting a laser light show set to music from artists including Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, each showing separately. For more information, call 639-4629.

Another big attraction during Spring Break is Astroworld's Spring Break-Out '93.

Astroworld is featuring a sports extravaganza in the lagoon area of the park, where spring breakers can snow-ski, rock-climb, video-surf, in-line skate and still enjoy the popular rides. Students can enjoy all of these activities free with admission to Astroworld, $23.95 plus tax for adults. For more information about discounts, call 799-1234.

Students don't have to go to Houston's many attractions to have fun when they have the Galleria, many movie theaters and local pools nearby.

The Galleria offers a kaleidoscope of shops, a skating rink and three theaters. Whether shopping, ice-skating, going to the movies or just people-watching, the Galleria has a lot to offer.

Movie-going is also a popular spring break pastime. Some of the movies showing through Spring Break include <i>Fire In The Sky, The Crying Game and Mad Dog and Glory<p>.

Probably the most popular thing to do during Spring Break is to work on that summer tan, and the best place is at a local pool. Houston's weather, although unpredictable, may provide Spring Breakers with summer-like temperatures to hone that glowing, bronzed look.

 

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COOGS DROP FOURTH STRAIGHT AS NINTH-INNING RALLY FIZZLES

by Patti Warner

Daily Cougar Staff

After spiraling out of the Top 25, the Cougar baseball team continued its downward trend by losing to the Sam Houston State Bearkats 9-5 Tuesday at Cougar Field.

Houston fell to 19-9, and Sam Houston improved to 13-11.

Freshman Jeremy Tyson started the barrage of Cougar pitchers for the day. Tyson went 2 2/3 innings, striking out one, and giving up three hits, one walk and four runs.

"We're continuing to walk too many," Cougar coach Bragg Stockton said of his staff's 10 free passes. "The free passes are killing us."

The Bearkats jumped on Tyson (1-1) when center fielder Mike McCreary knocked a 2-0 pitch over the right field fence to put Sam Houston up 1-0.

McCreary touched Tyson for another home run in the third inning, this time with a runner on base, to increase the Bearkats lead to 3-0.

Junior Brian Hamilton relieved Tyson in the third inning only to walk the next two batters and give up a single. Right fielder Jim Mackey was caught napping off third base and Cougar third baseman Ricky Freeman tagged him out to end the inning.

The Cougars got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning when center fielder Phil Lewis hit a lead-off double. Right fielder Shane Buteaux broke an 0-for-12 slump with a ringing double off the left field wall to score Lewis.

Houston added two runs in the sixth inning when Buteaux singled and Freeman brought him around with his fourth home run of the season.

Sam Houston added four more runs in the seventh, courtesy of Cougar pitchers. First baseman Jeff Jensen doubled and was followed with Houston pitcher Brett Jones' error to put runners on first and second.

Three walks and another Cougar pitcher later, the score was out of reach.

Senior Rich Paschal relieved Jones and gave up three walks in one-third of an inning. Freshman Greg Lewis came in after Paschal to end the inning.

Houston hitters tried a comeback in the bottom of the ninth. First baseman Carlos Perez and designated hitter Billy Waid walked to lead off the inning and scored on consecutive singles by left fielder Brian Blair and Lewis. Buteaux struck out to end the game with the bases loaded and Freeman, the conference leading hitter on deck.

"Buteaux hit home runs in junior college," Stockton said. "We were hoping he would have hit one there.

"A couple of back-to-back singles and an extra base hit would have put us right back in there."

The Cougars travel to top-ranked Texas next weekend to take on the Longhorns. They return home Tuesday to host Texas Southern at Cougar Field.

"We have a few ideas," Stockton said. "We'll see how they work out."

 

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DISMAL FUNDING LOOMS AHEAD

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

 

UH President James Pickering delivered some positive, but also discouraging messages to about 50 students who attended the annual State of the University Address Monday night.

During Pickering's speech in front of the Students' Association senate, he praised students for their legislative efforts, but also presented them with sobering facts about imminent reductions in higher education funding.

He told students their work has helped to let legislators, who are deciding the university's appropriations fate, know how important UH is.

"We are in the middle of a legislative session. Every time we go into this exercise, the initial signs are ominous and bad," Pickering said.

"The leadership in the state has pledged to the people of Texas -- no new taxes. That informing principle has guided both the deliberations of the senate and the house in terms of funding for all the state agencies."

After informing students on the dismal outlook of state funding, he assured students that the university would not "completely die."

"No one can afford to let us fail. We are the future of this city, and people will look beyond the present and have a long-term vision," Pickering said.

One of the problems Pickering might face is an $8 million loss due to the state's possible reversal on a 3 percent pay raise for state employees. Even though the state provided the raise in January, the Legislature may decide that funds will have to come from individual institutions and not from state funds.

The Texas Senate recently approved a bill which would make each university responsible for providing funds for the 3 percent pay raise. The bill is currently being considered by the state House of Representatives.

Pickering said, "The money will come from across-the-board university funds. The reshaping process will show us how to cut in a priority fashion."

During a question-and-answer period, students asked the president to discuss the high prices of Cambridge Oaks Apartments and ARA (American Restaurant Association).

"The ARA is news to me. I'm not going to tell you to eat less because that's not going to work. If the food prices are too high, we ought to hear about it. We are not here to let anybody rip off our students," Pickering said.

"One of the things we are looking at in terms of phase two and three housing is: Should we build it ourselves? If we do, we can control prices."

On the issue of budget cuts, one student asked if Pickering would be willing to roll UH back to a second-division sports team to save money.

"The SMU report showed that moving from division one to division two doesn't really save you any money. Your expenses stay the same; you still have to ship the 95 football players to wherever you're going to play. Also, any money you may save by not playing on that level is lost in revenue," Pickering added.

 

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SHOP SPREADS SAFE SEX

by David Sikes

Daily Cougar Staff

                                              

If you're in the market for a penis water pistol or a glow-in-the-dark condom, your search is over.

Rubber City, Houston's newest condom and novelty store on the corner of Richmond and Kirby, is a one-stop sex shop that opened two months ago and carries more than 200 brands of condoms.

Owner and manager John Shiao said his shop tries to make sex more fun while not trivializing the seriousness of AIDS prevention.

"We're very open about sex, and we like to educate people on both sex and AIDS prevention," Shiao said.

The store is between a jewelry store and a bank in a small, well-lit shopping center on the outskirts of the Montrose area. It can't be missed from the street because of the colorful neon signs in the window.

Shiao said Rubber City is a good alternative to drugstores for young people looking for a comfortable atmosphere to purchase sex products.

"Unless people are looking for a particular brand or a favorite kind of condom, this shop is better because we give them more choices," Shiao added.

"In a drugstore, people are embarrassed to ask questions about the products, and we're not your typical dark, dingy, sexually oriented store. We don't sell magazines and videos like the places that have peep shows," Shiao said.

Rubber City specializes in the needs of people 18 to 25 years old, and most clients are well-informed, sophisticated people who ask questions, Shiao added.

Seventy percent of Rubber City's customers are college students, according to Shiao, and 75 percent are women buying between 75 and 80 condoms a day, he added.

Employees are screened so they are open-minded enough to answer questions that deal with the products, sex in general and AIDS prevention, he said.

An official at the Harris County Health Department said condom shops are alright only if the employees make sure that people understand the proper use and risks involved in condom use.

"The bottom line with condoms is that some are defective or not used properly. They are only about 90 percent effective," a health department spokesperson said.

"At the same time, some novelty condoms are just that -- not meant to prevent HIV. As long as they (condom shops) tell you they are for fun and not prevention, it's OK," the spokesperson added.

"I don't think they trivialize the AIDS issue at all, said Bill Simon, UH professor of sociology. "On the contrary, condom shops really serve a purpose by promoting people's ability to talk about sex with each other. These shops provide an open atmosphere for the sharing of ideas on sex and the AIDS issue.

"Condoms and condom shops lower the AIDS risk and improve sex lives. What could be better than that," Simon added, referring to the AIDS prevention literature available.

However, Shiao said there are no consumer manuals at this time which inform buyers of the best and worst condoms on the market.

According to the health department, the FDA inspects condom manufacturers, and if it finds less than five defective condoms in a batch of 10,000, they approve the batch.

The health department said they do not endorse any particular brand of condoms. They simply recommend the latex ones.

Shiao said his price range for condoms is $1 for one to $10 for a

3-pack of lamb-skin condoms, which are not safe for HIV prevention.

"People buy the lamb-skin condoms for prestige I think, Shiao added.

"Condoms are not the answer. Personal responsibility for your behavior is the answer. Ninety-eight percent of HIV transmission is caused by high-risk activity such as multiple-partner sex," a health department worker said.

Although business isn't booming yet, Shiao predicts that condom shops like his will be big in the '90s.

"With today's technology, there are many products being developed which make sex more pleasurable and safer," Shiao said.

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