by Paul T. Sacco

Contributing Writer

Stop reading and listen for a moment.

Can you hear it?

If you can't, it's probably because you're in a classroom and everyone around you is talking; but if you did hear another noise, it may have been the sound of drums pounding out a twisting, rhythmic beat.

The Houston Zoological Gardens and the Da Camera Society present What Is Percussion?, the first in a series of four musical performances of Da Camera Goes to the Zoo.

This first concert takes place Saturday and features a variety of artists, including Richard Brown and Rice University's Shepherd School of Music Percussion Ensemble and the equally talented Alafia Gaidi of the African percussion ensemble, DRUM (Divine Rhythm, United Motion) Acoustic. The concert begins at 4:00 p.m.

An hour before the performance, Da Camera will sponsor a musical instrument "petting zoo," containing a variety of instruments for children to handle and play.

The zoo is intended to be both an educational and fun experience, giving children a hands-on approach to learning about music. Musicians will also be there to answer questions and to demonstrate how the instruments are played.

Other performances down the line include Fun, Funny... or Farce on Oct. 30, La Guitarra on Feb. l9 and What is Ragtime? on March 26. All performances are on Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. The "petting zoo" will be held before each concert.

The concerts and the "petting zoo" are free with paid admission to the zoo, rates for which are $2.50 for adults, $2.00 for seniors and 50 cents for kids 3-12. Children under 3 get in free.






by Rebecca McPhail

Daily Cougar Staff

First thing's first -- <I>Boxing Helena<P> doesn't live up to its hype. Few movies could.

Reports of the film date back nearly two years. The media followed the project through it's attempts to find a lead (Madonna was the early contender), a lawsuit with Kim Basinger (who later backed out of the role) and the film's search for a distributor.

Why all the attention for this low-budget film from a first-time writer and director? Because the writer and director is Jennifer Chambers Lynch, daughter of well-known director David Lynch, and because the film centers around a doctor who, in his obsessive love for a woman, amputates her arms and legs in a bid to gain her total devotion.

Dr. Nick Cavanaugh (Julian Sands) presents a perfectly respectable exterior. He's head of surgery at a major metropolitan hospital, he's just inherited a beautiful home from his late mother and he's involved in a loving relationship. Unfortunately, Cavanaugh's mother was a cold but beautiful woman who barely acknowledged his existence.

Enter Helena (Sherilyn Fenn), with whom Cavanaugh had a one-night stand. She's coolly beautiful and utterly uninterested in Cavanaugh; he's hooked.

After failing in a last-ditch bid for her love, Cavanaugh watches Helena angrily run from his house into the street. She never makes it to the other side, though. Cavanaugh, instead, "rescues" her by performing amputations of both her legs.

Hoping Helena's helplessness will foster a sense of devotion, Cavanaugh is disheartened to find she is still unattainable. When Helena attempts to strangle him, Cavanaugh is pushed to the act of removing her arms.

Oddly touching are the scenes in which Cavanaugh tends to Helena's smallest needs, including applying her makeup and catching an eyelash which has fallen on her cheek.

By the end of the film, it's hard to say whose version of love is right.

Upon discovering the limbless Helena at Cavanaugh's home, Helena's ex-boyfriend screams, "How could you do that to her? She was beautiful!"

An incredulous Cavanaugh replies, "She still is beautiful."

After a life of simply being a beautiful body, Helena is for the first time seen as something more.

To her credit, Lynch steers clear of the temptation to produce a revenue-generating gore fest and, instead, turns out a solid, thought-provoking piece of work.

Although the film does slip into melodrama at some points, it is illuminated by moments of dark humor. Scenes such as the love-struck Cavanaugh dumbly rehearsing a phone conversation with Helena (and then hanging up when he finally reaches her) will strike a chord with most viewers.

Even more surprising is the sympathetic portrayal of Cavanaugh. Although his actions are the handiwork of a psychopath, his devotion to Helena is startling in its purity.

<I>Boxing Helena<P> is not an easy movie to watch. It dares to take an unpopular stand on the age-old subject of human relations -- but it will make you think, and that's a welcome change from most other films.






by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

Though few, there were some positive elements to the Houston Cougars' 49-7 loss to Southern California last Saturday.

Take safety Donald Douglas and offensive lineman Jimmy Herndon, for instance.

"Both played like they expected to win," said head coach Kim Helton.

Douglas provided exceptional coverage in a secondary without standout corner John W. Brown. He contributed six tackles, including four unassisted, and broke up a pass.

"I thought he was all-pro," said Helton. "He played with all the guts and determination you could ask for."

Douglas, however, thought otherwise. "Playing defensive back is still very tough," he insisted. "I feel like a rookie out there, because I'm still learning my position."

Learning positions was an area Helton said he feared would be a problem for the Houston offensive line.

Ironically, however, the line might be the most impressive part of an offense experts view as being as explosive as any in college football.

Anchored by Herndon, the line held the Trojan defenders to only one sack on starting quarterback Jimmy Klingler. For the day, the offensive line allowed just three sacks on Cougar signal callers.

Herndon's protection proved vital, since he covered the left side of the line, which is Klingler's blind side.

"I thought Jimmy dominated the offensive line," Helton said. "I felt that, along with his contribution, the offensive line gave us enough time to have a chance at winning the game."

Maybe even more impressive was the fact that Herndon was able to keep USC All-American candidate Willie McGinest at bay by constantly drawing him away from Klingler.

Performances such as these from Douglas and Herndon are what Helton is looking for from the rest of the team.

"It would have taken the best game by every player on the team to have stayed in the game," Helton said.

Douglas and Herndon empathized.

"We've got to ask ourselves what we did wrong, and then improve on it the next time," Douglas said.

"We can't dwell on the past," said Herndon. "You've got to realize that today is a different day, and if we work hard, good things will come."

Nevertheless, if the Cougars consistently play at the level of Douglas and Herndon, Houston can look forward to competing more aggressively than it did Saturday.






by Kristine A. Fahrenholz

Daily Cougar Staff

Although the launch of the UH Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center's Wake Shield Facility was scheduled for this fall, observers will have to wait until the beginning of the year.

The original launch date for the SVEC's grand project was Nov. 10.

"If Discovery is launched this weekend, then the launch for STS-60 will be in late January or early February," said Mark Sterling, the SVEC program manager.

Discovery is the shuttle that will carry the Wake Shield Facility.

Because the Discovery shuttle mission has been delayed due to sensor and main engine problems, the Wake Shield Facility mission will be delayed.

"We are now waiting for a review of one of the payloads that has a number of components responsible for the Mars observer failure, " he said.

The Wake Shield Facility, a free-flying object, will extend about 40 miles from the shuttle so growth of the thin film materials are not contaminated.

The main objective of the mission is to grow ultra pure, thin film materials in the almost perfect vacuum of space.

If the experiment is successful, computers could become 'supercomputers' with machines running eight times faster, said Alex Ignatiev, the director of SVEC.

The SVEC, part of UH's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, was chartered by NASA in 1986.

The Wake Shield Facility cost $12.5 million to build. The original estimated cost was $50 million to $100 million.

The Facility was moved to Cape Canaveral, Fla. from Ellington Field July 1.

It is located in Hanger S where the seven original astronauts were trained thirty years ago, Sterling said.

Many of the SVEC workers are working in Florida, conducting test growths of gallium arsenide -- the thin film material, Sterling said.

Among the seven astronauts conducting the mission, two are Russian cosmonauts.






by M. McBride

For the first time in five years, the Associated Collegiate Press' awarded The Daily Cougar the exclusive rating of an All-American college newspaper.

Of the 191 colleges nationwide the ACP rated, 20 percent received their highest award of being All American. Of that 20 percent, or 38 university papers, five schools newspapers including The Daily Cougar received the additional honor of having four to five marks of distinction, said Annie Witta, ACP's manager of critique services.

"Getting four marks of distinction means there are strengths in all areas," Witta said. "It means the paper is well-rounded."

Newspapers were evaluated and judged on five criteria: coverage and content, writing and editing, photography and art, layout and design and campus leadership.

Witta said 50 percent of the schools received their second highest ranking as a First-Class newspaper. Other schools earning All American honors include the University of Kansas, Kent State University, University of Pennsylvania, Indiana State University and the University of Texas at Austin.






by Annette Baird

Daily Cougar Staff

UH has seen an increase in the number of Pell Grant awards and the dollar amount awarded, despite a national downward trend.

This nationwide trend comes in the wake of changes in student aid laws passed by Congress last year.

Robert Sheridan, director of financial aid, said the number of Pell Grant awards at UH is up by 6 percent from this time last year, and the total amount awarded is up to approximately $6.3 million from $6 million last year.

"We have gone through an interesting transition. The average award is $80 higher than this time last year," he said.

Sheridan also said the total amount awarded has climbed steadily in the last four years.

Nationally it is true that eligibility for Pell Grants is down, Sheridan said. But our students are not typical, generally they are older students, he said. Many of our students do not fall into the 18-2 year old category, a category more likely to be affected by the changes in the law, Sheridan said.

A Federal Pell Grant is an award to help undergraduates pay for their education. A formula established by Congress produces an Expected Family Contribution number. This formula uses the student's income and, if they are dependent, the other incomes in the household to produce the EFC number.

"The EFC number is used as an index number to establish your eligibility for Pell," Ralph Perri, financial aid counselor, said. "This year if your EFC index does not exceed 2100, you're eligible for a Pell Grant. Last year the (maximum) EFC index (for Pell Grant recipients) was 2200 which meant more people were eligible," Perri said.

The amount a student receives depends on the EFC number, the cost of education, and whether the student is attending full-time or part-time. The maximum Pell award for the 1993-94 year is $2,300, down from $2,400 last year, Scott Moore, a financial aid counsellor said.

"(The changes in the formula) really hurt independent students with no dependents because it lowered their allowance drastically," Perri said. Independent students who were eligible last year for Pell find they are not eligible this year even though their income has remained the same, Perri said.

Those qualifying for Pell Grants are students with a high economic need. It would be difficult to categorize students, because each is a very individual situation, Sheridan said.

Robyn Taylor, a senior biology major, has received a Pell Grant for the past five years. "This year is the first year I have applied as an independent student. I don't believe I will qualify this year. I was told, by the Financial Aid Office, the income from my job had to be less than $6000 per year," She said.






by Michael Sandlin

Contributing Writer

In Jeffrey Eugenides' <I>The Virgin Suicides<P>, life in suburbia is portrayed as stagnant, banal and sometimes deadly.

In this novel of suburban decay and abject alienation, Eugenides' narrator assumes the collective point of view to speak for both himself and his childhood companions 20 years after their neighborhood endured a "year of the suicides."

That period spans 13 months in which five teenagers -- Mary, Lux, Bonnie, Therese and Cecilia Lisbon -- end their lives for reasons not wholly understood.

Throughout the course of the novel, the girls sink deeper and deeper into isolation and despair.

The formerly demure, innocent adolescents slowly degenerate into desperation, seemingly doomed to a life of imprisonment in their own home.

All the while, the girls' parents -- weak, fragile Mr. Lisbon and Mrs. Lisbon with her "queenly iciness" -- seem to retreat into hiding right along with their daughters.

In an attempt to satisfy his obsessions with the Lisbon girls and their tragic suicides, the narrator approaches the dilemma like a lawyer preparing for a trial

-- using "exhibits" consisting of old photographs, overhead conversations, snippets of gossip and his own recollections to try to come to terms with this perplexing family.

The narrator and his companions recount the mesmerizing lights emanating from the Lisbon house, blinking like some sort of codified signal. They witness the increasingly promiscuous Lux having intercourse on the roof of the house on winter nights. They receive mysterious phone calls with records playing at the other end, seemingly relating to the girls' desperate situation.

The narrator and his cohorts perceive these strange events as obvious cries for help, and decide to chance a visit to the cryptic Lisbon abode. To them, it was an inevitable mission to salvage a stultified existence. It is only in this final confrontation that the ulterior motives behind Lisbon girls' "signals" are revealed to the narrator and his band of juvenile sleuths.

Finally, the boys become privy to the so-called "Rosetta Stone" that divulges the haunting mysteries shrouding the Lisbon family.

Eugenides' style of re-examining the past doesn't allow the reader a look into the mind of any of the characters -- with the exception, of course, of the narrator himself.

Still, Eugenides seems to provide the reader with just enough background to avoid flat stereotypes. This background enables him to conjure up a world of shadowy suburban life that is unremittingly foreboding and always engaging.

Eugenides' minimalist dialogue is terse and effective, and his graceful prose style seems to weave effortlessly in and out of gallows humor, overt social commentary, boyish wistfulness and melancholic regret.






by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

A new agreement requiring students, full and part time, to begin paying a $34 fee for UH intercollegiate athletics may have bitter-sweet effects.

The Student Fees Allocation Committee signed an agreement Friday that, if passed by UH President James Pickering, and voted in by students, will change the way students pay their service fees by designating a specific fund for athletics.

Currently, students enrolled in more than seven hours are required to pay $96 per semester in student service fees. Thirty-five percent of these fees go straight to athletics.

The new agreement will stop athletics from receiving a flat rate of all student service fees and will require all students, even those taking under six hours, to pay the $34 athletics fee. Summer school students would pay $17 for each session.

According to the agreement, the service fee that students presently pay will be reduced by an amount that is comparable to the new $34 fee. If the agreement passes students may end up paying about 40 cents more in fees.

While full time students and the Athletic Department may reap the benefits of this new agreement, part time students will pay close to double what they used to pay.

"Most people don't like paying fees, but it is necessary to generate revenue. We are not trying to delineate between part time and full time students," said Jason Fuller, president of the Students' Association.

While Roger Peters, SFAC chairman, said he didn't realize part time students would be so harshly effected, he also said he feels they can reap the benefits.

"Part time students can utilize these services and they do," he said.

However, Peters said the agreement would prevent athletics from receiving additional funds each time the student service fee increases.

"Every time student service fees go up, athletics gets more money. With this agreement they get a flat rate, and they won't get an automatic increase. Now they have to ask us for an increase.

"If we don't think it's justifiable we can just say no," said Peters, a graduate student in biology.

Peters said that without asking SFAC for an increase, the only way athletics will increase their revenues from student fees is through an increase in university enrollment. However, enrollment has dropped this semester by more than 1,000 people, according to figures compiled before late registration.

Dean of Students William Munson believes the new agreement would make athletics present their spending in greater detail to SFAC.

"Since it has generally been understood that athletics would receive a definite percentage, there has not been as much scrutiny on a line item basis. Now there will be an emphasis on accountability," said Munson.

While the new agreement makes athletics more accountable to the public, it may upset part time students. Students taking only one class usually pay $33 in service fees. With the new agreement these students will end up paying $56 per semester.

"For the first year athletics will generate about $150,000 more than they did with the old agreement," said Munson.

He also said that the increase in revenue would be partly as a result of funds coming in from part-time students.

If the new agreement is signed by Pickering, a referendum vote will be held on Oct. 27. The new fund would go into effect with the fall 1994 semester.

Currently, athletics can not receive more than 35 percent of student service fees. Under the new agreement this funding cap would no longer be in effect. Athletics will gain as much money as enrollment may bring in.

If athletics asks SFAC for an increase in funds which exceeds 10 percent than what they previously received, students must vote before the money is allocated, according to the agreement.

Students would also benefit from the program by receiving UH sports ticket vouchers after paying their fees. All home games would be free for full and part time students.






by Rashda Khan

Daily Cougar Staff

If actions speak louder than word then people like John Dies and Michael Fain speak well for the University of Houston.

John Dies, a junior political science major, represented UH at the National Forensic Conference held last year at Rice University.

This was the first time in nearly 11 years that a UH student has participated at a national speech competition.

Dies has a distinguished background at speech contests. Alone or with his partner Nick Hernandez, Dies has won numerous state and regional championships.

However, he was absolutely thrilled about finally making it to the national level.

"It was an incredible experience," Dies said. "I had to face 450 contestants from all over the country and everyone of them was awesome -- the cream of the crop."

Dies participated in impromptu speaking, a category in which topics are of a serious and proverb nature with rules permitting limited notes.

To prepare for impromptu speaking, many students are well read in subjects such as philosophy, history and political science.

Dies said appearance and composure also count in the contest's ratings. It's best to act normal and mingle with people, he said.

Dies said the only time he got nervous was after he finished speaking and he had time to reflect on all of his mistakes.

Although Dies only made it to the middle of the competition, he wasn't too disappointed.

Michael Fain, volunteer director of the contest's individual events, is the miracle man who helped Dies make it to the contest.

Fain has coached the Rice forensic team for the last six years. He moved Rice from not having any speech/forensic program to being one of the top teams in forensic competitions.

Fain continues to teach at Rice while volunteering his time and experience to UH's forensic program.

Fain, a UH alumnus, explains his attachment to UH by simply stating, "this is my home."

The forensic program at UH has greatly dwindled in the last 15 years, Fain said. Although at one time the program had a budget of $20,000, financial cuts have cut that amount drastically.

Currently, the UH forensic program is two-thirds self-supported, Fain said. He has managed to increase last year's membership from 1 student to approximately 30.

UH students' intellect and abilities are equal to that of the members from any top team, Fain said, and because UH students tend to be older and carry more responsibilities, they are more experienced and eager to succeed.

"There's an enormous amount of talent out here,'' Fain said. "All that's needed is opportunity."






It was the 1960s when New York City was a place throbbing with possibility. Everyone seemed to know everyone else, and everything of importance seemed to happen here first.

Willie Moris was the youngest-ever editor in chief of Harper's Magazine.

He spent his evenings at the world famous Elaine's or at glittering parties in penthouses high above the city with William Styron, Woody Allen, Bobby Kennedy, Leonard Bernstein and many other leading cultural and political figures of the time.

By day, Morris and the country's most celebrated writers worked to transform "Harper's" from an uninspired literary magazine to its apex as the ground-breaking voice of the 1960s.

On Sept. 27 in the Brazos Bookstore on 2421 Bissonnet, Moris will read exerts from his memoirs "New York Days," recounting this exciting period in his life.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Moris will present "New York Days" as a portrait of an era as well as a poignant and deeply personal story of a man's life.

Somewhere in the process of reaching the pinnacle of his career, Morris also experienced profound loss: the dissolution of his marriage and the breakdown of the magazine as he helped to create it.

Now, from a vantage point of more than 20 years and 1,000 miles, Morris asks his younger self: "Where on earth, fast-moving boy, are you going now? And what if anything, did it all mean?''

"New York Days" is the long awaited sequel to Moris' best-selling memoirs "North Toward Home."






by Frank San Miguel

Daily Cougar Staff

Student activism on the issues of abortion and reproductive freedom has been a hot topic on campus for years. On both sides of the abortion war, students rally and debate a woman's right to choose.

At Pokey's Town in Huntsville, three Houston bands will sound the battle cry Thursday. Rock for Choice, organized by Sam Houston State University Students for Choice, seeks to organize students on behalf of the abortion rights cause by uniting them with music.

Houston's rising blues band Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys joins rockabilly hipsters The Roadkings and alternative rock crew Quoting Red as part of the event. In addition, concert-goers can sign petitions in support of abortifacient drug RU 486 and other reproductive rights issues.

Proceeds from the show will go to the California-based Fund for the Feminist Majority to benefit programs of training, surveillance and litigation, voter registration and reproductive rights education.

The Feminist Majority is a leading mainstream organization in the clinic defense movement. The organization has successfully applied clinic defense strategies in protecting women's access to reproductive health care facilities and abortion clinics. Other successes include the organization's winning of court injunctions against such clinic blockaders as Operation Rescue, Rescue America, Lambs of Christ and Missionaries to the Preborn.

Rock for Choice is a bring-you-own-beer affair, but glass containers are prohibited. Tickets are $7 at the doors, which open at 7 p.m. The show starts at 8 p.m.

To get to Pokey's Town, take I-45 north to Highway 30 (Exit 116). Take Highway 30 to Sam Houston Ave., and turn right. From Sam Houston Ave., turn right onto 12th St., and go two blocks to the club, located at 1028 12th.






by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Call the Texas Longhorns volleyball team predictable, and they will probably thank you for the compliment.


For the past 11 seasons, the Lady Longhorns have captured the Southwest Conference title. It has led them to 11 consecutive post-season trips to the NCAA tournament.

This season they are not out to do anything less.

"This year we have a real serious focus on winning the conference again," coach Mick Haley said. "We also want to be the top team in the South Region and to make our way to the Final Four.

"Our goals are the same. The job is a lot tougher, because the competition is getting tougher."

The Longhorns have nine returning players, including five starters.

Leading the way for the Longhorns is senior Katy Jameyson. The middle blocker from Alvin was the 1992 SWC player of the year as well as a 1992 All-South Region player. Her list of honors is as big as Haley's hopes for Jameyson.

"We have our five returning starters, including a first-team All-American Jameyson, our team captain returning and a senior setter to help lead us this year."

The only SWC team that handed the Longhorns a loss last season was the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Although the team finished in third place with a 7-3 record behind the Houston Cougars, they posed a serious threat within the conference and landed a post-season NCAA tournament berth.

The Red Raider squad lost outside hitters Kim Gosselin and Kristen Sparks and setter Rochelle Kaalal. All three were starters.

Fortunately, the Raiders have nine total returning players, with three of the returnees being starters.

The senior tandem of Erica Ruegg, a middle blocker and Chris Fehrle, an outside hitter, will serve as Raider veterans. Setter Ginger Carter will fill the gap left by Kaalal.

The rest of the conference is comprised of the Baylor Bears, Texas A&M Aggies and the Rice Owls.

Last season, Baylor and A&M tied for fourth and Rice rounded out the conference in 6th place.

The Bears have four starters returning and nine players back for another season.

The Aggie core is also intact, with only one starter lost and nine letter-winners returning.

Rice has a new coach at the helm of the Owl program, Henry Chen. With Chen's leadership, the Owls hope to elevate their 1993-94 campaign to better than 0-10 in the SWC.

Former Houston Cougar player Latisha Brown has also signed on as an assistant coach in the Rice program.

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