COUGARS TAKE SECOND IN CROSS COUNTRY CLASSIC

 

Cougar Sports Service

WILLIS – The University of North Texas men’s cross country team took the first four spots and two more top—10 finishes to run away with the Cougar Classic Cross Country Meet Friday at the Texas National Golf Course.

North Texas’ James McGee won the men’s five—mile race with a time of 25:08 minutes to defeat 55 competitors from seven schools.

McGee was followed at the finish by his teammates Mark Robinson, John Gardner and Allen Triggs to complete the Eagles sweep of the top four places.

Houston’s James Thomas finished fifth with a time of 25:33.

The Cougars finished in second place in the men’s meet.

Other Houston finishers were Joaquin Torres seventh, Will Vespe 12th, Wayne Newsom 17th, Oscar Bauman 18th and Spencer Lightsy 23rd.

In the women’s five—kilometer race, Sam Houston State senior Stacie Putman defeated 27 other competitors from six schools for top honors. Putnam edged Baylor’s junior Tysa Renfro by three seconds to win with a time of 19:04.

Houston’s Ericka Sampson was third with a time of 19:11.

Other Houston finishers in the women’s race were Stephanie Olmstead eighth, Missy Gilberti ninth and Torri Rhodes 23rd.

 

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EVENTS ADDRESS SOCIAL BARRIERS

by Rosalind Coronado

News Reporter

October is National Disabilities Awareness Month, and to draw attention to the challenges physically disabled students face daily, UH student groups are hosting the fourth annual Disabilities Awareness Week beginning today.

"Our purpose is to make the public more aware of the what its like to be disabled," said Roger Peters a physiology graduate student and chief organizer of the event.

The week's activities are dedicated to the late Gladys Turner, a UH student who was paralyzed by a childhood accident, yet strived to be involved in UH activities. Turner organized the First Disabilities Awareness Week in 1989. Turner died in the beginning of her senior year in September of 1989.

"Gladys was really sensitive about the challenges that faced handicapped and disabled students, and she loved the freedom and accessibility she had at UH," said Turner's brother,Herbert. "Her dream was to do counseling and to get a master's in psychology."

The host groups for Disabilities Awareness Week are the Student Advisory Board for the Physically Challenged and the Center for Students with DisABILITIES. To open the festivities, local band Dashboard Mary will be playing today from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UC Satellite.

"The biggest barriers for students with disabilities are the social barriers," said Peters who is wheelchair-bound, "for instance job discrimination and being grouped together with people with mental disabilities. Being handicapped has nothing to do with intelligence."

Peters said that throughout his life he has encountered ignorance in some unlikely places.

"Even the church has misconceptions," Peters said. "When I was a kid, the church we attended asked my parents why they thought God was punishing us. And once we were asked to leave a barbershop because the owner said we were scaring the other customers."

With such widespread ignorance, even universities are not exempt, Peters said. This week's events will attempt to shed some light on the problems of the handicapped at UH.

CSD will host an open house Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Services building to familiarize the faculty and students with the support staff and facilities available to disabled students. CSD assists disabled students by providing wheelchair services, a private testing room and verbal exams.

Wednesday's event is "Blind For A Day," a day-long event in which blindfolded students are led through their daily activities so they can better relate to sightless students.

Thursday, "Wheelchair For A Day" event coordinators will provide 45 wheelchairs to able-bodied participants, so that they may face the challenges of being confined to a wheelchair.

 

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RINGS NOT PRIORITY FOR MANY GRADS

by Gram Gemoets

News Reporter

While students at Ivy League universities line up in droves to buy graduation rings, students at UH are divided on the issue.

For students at Harvard University, the purchase of college rings tops the list of graduation purchase priorities beating out parties and new interviewing wardrobes, according to a Harvard study.

In the recent poll, Harvard's graduating seniors were asked to choose between vacations, down payments for new cars or gold rings bearing graduation dates with a hypothetical $300 budget, 70 percent of those polled chose rings.

While some UH students see a ring purchase as a way to advertise their hard-earned degree, others see it as a frivolous waste of money.

"I have spent six years here and about $10,000 on tuition and books," said Hector Garza, a UH senior. "The last thing I want to do is spend another $300 on a ring.

Senior Kim Williams sees things differently. "I want potential employers to know that I have accomplished something. My ring will be like a free advertisement. Harvard or no Harvard, I want the ring."

Ranging from $150 to $800, a college ring is anything but a free advertisement. Despite payment plans and other purchase incentives, graduation rings may be out of the financial reach of many.

Not so, says Dan Grisslo with Art Carved, the nation's largest producer of school rings. Art Carved has seen a 14 percent increase in purchase response to its on-campus displays.

"We are out there every semester selling rings and we are doing better this year than last year at this time," Grisslo said.

A factor contributing to the increased sales may be reflected in the number of seniors currently registered at UH, said UH Media Relations Director Geri Konigsberg who said UH has seen a 4.8 percent increase in the number of seniors over last year.

 

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UH HOSTS STATE CONFERENCE

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

UH hosted a 23 school conference for the Texas Students' Association to discuss campus issues and plan lobbying strategies for the next legislative session.

While public universities were in grave danger of losing state funds last year, TSA spent time lobbying the legislature for fewer financial cuts and better student representation.

TSA pushed the failed student regent bill which would have placed one student on each board of regents in Texas.

They also stood against performance funding, which would have appropriated funds to universities according to efficiency guidelines that they agreed are unrealistic for some schools.

While performance funding never went into effect and funds were cut less than expected in the last session, legislators say that these issues will arise again in the next session.

Rep. Robert Eckels, D-Houston came to speak at the convention and told students to start taking action for the next session now.

"By the time the legislative session starts, decisions are already made. They are meeting on the budget already. Start talking to legislators today," said Eckels. He also said that the best representative to talk to is "the one from back home."

TSA Legislative Director Russell Langley from Texas A&M University said that the biggest concerns for the next session are tuition increases and the states failure to appropriate funds that match the raises in tuition. He said that TSA will start addressing the legislative budget board on these issues immediately.

Other political speakers who spoke at the conference are Garnett Coleman, D-Houston; Sheila Jackson Lee, city council candidate; Debra Danburg, D-Houston and Roman Martinez candidate for State Senate District 6.

The last TSA conference was held in Austin and focused mostly on visiting legislators in their offices while they were in session. Very little time was devoted to on-campus issues.

This year's conference offered seminars on breaking racial barriers on campus, finding money for financial aid and student regent success.

"We want to build unity among the schools. We are going to keep working with each other and share information between the schools, "said Langley.

At the end of the conference, TSA elections were held and SA President Jason Fuller was elected TSA vice president. Fuller will be working with newly-elected TSA President Sherry Boyles of the University of Texas.

SA Director of Public Relations Angie Milner was elected to the position of TSA Service Information Director. UH was the only school that placed two students in TSA executive positions.

 

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MEANDERING CUTS SHORT ON CONTENT

by Devor M. Barton

Contributing Writer

Robert Altman's latest feature, <I>Short Cuts<P>, combines the disaster-laden melodrama of <I>Grand Canyon<P> with the plotless ambiguity of <I>Slacker<P>, resulting in three hours of uncomfortable pointlessness.

Altman, after the success of his cameo-filled <I>The Player<P>, seems to have decided that he no longer likes working with unknowns. The 22 lead characters in his latest film (Tim Robbins, Chris Penn, Lily Tomlin, Matthew Modine, Andie MacDowell, Jack Lemmon, Madeline Stowe, etc.) have well-deserved name recognition.

In exchange for a star-studded cast, Altman almost completely eliminated the cameo appearances that littered <I>The Player<P>. Altman has also featured three musicians here: Lyle Lovett, Tom Waits, and Huey Lewis (of Huey Lewis and the News). Lewis probably has the most notorious role here, doing what Michael Douglas wanted but failed to do in <I>Basic Instinct:<P> – exhibiting a penis in an R-rated flick (don't worry, it's not a close-up).

The script, which starts off light-heartedly but gets progressively heavier, is based upon nine short stories by Pulitzer Prize winner Raymond Carver and was written by Altman with Frank Barhydt.

A plot synopsis for the entire film is impossible – there isn't one. Even the individual stories combined for this film seem to lack any forward momentum. In effect, the movie is just about characters in Los Angeles who briefly interact with each other going through life's everyday trials and tribulations.

The only things these people really have in common with each other are they're all being sprayed for medflies and that there's a two-and-a-half minute earthquake that climaxes the film. The characters interact for a variety of reasons: there's a dinner party, a fishing trip; a boy getting hit by a car the day before his birthday; and numerous affairs and relationship problems.

The final result is a movie crediting Raymond Carver (who died in 1988) while having only the barest essence of his material survive. His settings were changed from the Pacific Northwest to Southern California. His characters' names and identities were changed at the writers' convenience. His stories, rather than being taken individually (as they were written), are instead mixed together and intertwined, resulting in the three-hour-plus play-length making the title more annoying than amusing.

The high point of the film is the acting, which enables you to lose track of the passage of time.

The actors all bring their characters to life as real people, even though they aren't people you might want to spend much time with. It's not that you can't feel for them – you just don't want to.

From Lily Tomlin and Tom Waits as trailer trash, to Huey Lewis urinating on a dead girl, to Jennifer Jason Leigh performing phone sex while changing her children's diapers, the actors manage to both attract and repulse at the same time.

The most endearing character is, once again, Lyle Lovett's portrayal of an overworked, vengeful baker. It's amazing how such an unassuming man can steal an entire movie from a highly talented cast (it helps that he has the best role with the best lines).

All in all, if you're looking for a full evening's entertainment, and you like <I>any<P> of the actors present, this movie is not a bad choice, but keep in mind: it will, very often, make you feel very uncomfortable.

 

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SUNDAYS IN ITALY PASSIONATE, PROFOUND

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by Melissa b. Brady

Daily Cougar Staff

<I>Especially on Sunday<P> is an expression of human passions and deep, longing love, told in three stories about the inhabitants of a small Italian village. Writer Tonino Guerra's stories linger on the mind like a fine cabernet on the palette. The sip so sweet and dry you salivate and eventually melt.

<I>Especially on Sunday<P> is a collaboration of Tonino Guerra and three of Italy's finest directors: Giuseppe Tornatore, (best known for the Academy Award winner <I>Cinema Paradiso<P>); Giuseppe Bertolucci, (<I>Segreti Segreti<P> and <I>I Cammelli<P>); and Marco Tullio Giordana, (<I> To Love the Damned<P> and <I> Appointment at Liverpool<P>).

<I>The Blue Dog<P>, the first of the three stories, is directed by Giueppe Tornatore and stars Philippe Noriret (he was the lead in <I>Cinema Paradiso<P>).

Amleto, a shoemaker/barber, finds himself followed by a beautiful brown-eyed dog. The dog, who has a strange blue spot on the middle of its forehead, "finds" an owner in the flea-hating Amleto. Feeling tormented, he yells at the dog to leave him alone.

The story is that of a man who has lost passion for loving anyone or anything, and the dog seems to sense his decaying soul and isolation. Amleto's passions, dulled by his manual day-to-day middle-class existence, has created hate that runs deep into the caverns of his arteries. The blue dog – in lieu of Amleto's attitude or because of it – adopts the shoemaker as his master, laying the ground work for lighthearted, touching scenes of "chasing" and chapels.

After many consecutive nights of the dog barking up to Amleto's window to be let in, the blue dog is finally drawn away by one of the most putrefying human acts known. Once gone, the falsely pleased Amleto discovers how cold and empty his life is without the companionship of his tormentor.

Philippe's expressions and zen-like understanding of the character, translates into an unquestionable cognition of his character's thoughts, during the most crucial of the film's scenes. The "acting" of the dog is equally, if not more, astounding. This segment is to be adored.

The second story, <I>Especially on Sunday<P>, stars Bruno Ganz (known for his roles in Winders films) and Ornella Muti (famous for her role in <I>Swans of Love<P>). Directed by Giuseppi Bertolucci, it is a story of an estranged couple's relationship.

Marco (Andrea), a strangely shy younger man who spends every Sunday afternoon with Anna (Ornella), a beautiful woman unable to show affection to a man as shy as Marco. While spending Sunday afternoon by a small Italian river, a stranger happens to run into them and makes their acquittance.

The smooth-talking, sophisticated, and unabashedly seductive Victorio (Bruno) is everything that Marco isn't, and Anna seems to notice. She becomes captivated by the sexual passion she senses from Vittorio, but feels a poignant and lasting tenderness toward Marco. It is this sense of unfulfilled longing that unites the characters, each unable to express the passion they feel, but finally have their passions realized.

The landscapes and wide-angle shots, beautiful in and of themselves, add to the stunning work of the actors. Bruno Ganz has the ability to amaze audiences regardless of his roles (as in <I>Wings of Desire<P>).

Ornello Muti shines with her smooth sultry beauty. Her femme fatale gaze, intensity of character, and womanly way of knowing of her environment like a sixth sense draw you in.

The last of the three segments, <I>Snow on Fire<P> is far beyond average, bringing new definitions to the terms "mother-in-law" and "unconditional love."

Directed by Marco Tullio Giordana, this story revolves around Caterina, an elderly widow nostalgic for her deceased husband. She lets her son and his new wife live in her house for the winter.

During Italian winters, couples – especially newlyweds – develop creative ways to keep each other warm. Night after night, Caterina hears her son and his bride making love in the room directly below hers. She longs for her past love, and is nostalgic for the pleasures of youth.

One evening she discovers one of the bricks in her floor is loose, removes it and sees the newlyweds making love. The bride looks up while in her lover's arms and sees her mother-in-law. Caterina gestures for her to be quiet, and the bride agrees to not to speak.

The couple continues making love and Caterina watching them as if to share the passionate love. A bond grows between Caterina and the bride. Eventually the bride in unable to sleep with her husband unless Caterina is watching and Caterina is unable to sleep at night without feeling the desires of the couple. Not too long after this pattern develops, Caterina dies, and the bride has to deal with the loss of her companion.

The original story mesmerizes. The audience comes to realize that passion and unconditional love are oddly some of the most beautiful characteristics humans possess. The unselfishness of the bride, the accepting mother, both show the audience how human beings can fill each other's needs.

Maria Maddalena Fellini as Caterina shows exceptional ability in her film debut. Bruno Berdoni plays the role of a hungry lover very well also, but the bride (Chiara Caselli) is the most fiery of all far and away. Her expressions, empathy, confusions, beauty and loving -- all are as inviting and as comfortable as a handmade quilt in winter.

Tonino Guerra's writings are astounding. The three directors capture the astonishment and more, coloring each frame with a vision that is uniquely theirs.

The blend takes you on a vacation to the Italian countryside, where you lie on a green hill, lazily dreaming as Guerra's thoughts pet your hair and enhance your dreams.

The Italian vacation, unfortunately, is only lasting for at the Saks Pavilion. Take the mental trip; this is not to be missed.

 

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THE BLUES LEGACY: THE MUSIC OF EVERYDAY LIFE

by Kenny McIntire

News Reporter

About one hundred Yates High School students got the "Blues in School" Friday from the Houston Blues Society and UH Graduate School of Social Work students. The "Blues in School" program was designed to inform students about the history and methods of playing blues music.

Joe Kotarba, assistant professor of Sociology and chair of the education committee for the Blues Society, said that the program was designed to help teach students the history of Texas and Gulf Coast blues.

"This is one of the most important things that this organization has ever done," Kotarba said.

UH Graduate School of Social Work students decided to sponsor the program as a community service project for Professor Susan Robbins Confronting Oppression class. Darlene Hurt, a member of the group, said "We thought that this was an interesting project and it would be informative to see how students reacted to it. We choose Yates because it is in the inner city and close to UH."

The students were treated to performances by five local area blues musicians. Mike Durbin and Shorty Wilson displayed their talent for playing 1930s and '40s acoustic blues.

Wilson played home-made drums consisting of a washboard, cans, a toy cymbal and a suitcase for a bass drum. Durbin played guitar and demonstrated a "Diddley Bo" that was constructed of two cans, a board and wire.

"This was one of the original blues instruments that originated in Africa," Durbin informed the audience.

Sonny Boyd, the president of the blues society, accompanied on harmonica.

Big "Thunder Bird" Walter, a 75-year-old piano player, played and told the students that blues is everywhere and can be found in the simplest things.

Jimmy Dotson played electric guitar and said, "Blues is not just about bein' down, but everything that happens to you everyday can be included in a blues song." Dotson played the first song he ever wrote, about walking to his grandmother's house when he was thirteen.

Bluesman, Mike Durbin said he thinks kids really don't know a lot about the blues. "I don't think that kids really know where it began and how it evolved. We also wanted to show that you don't need a lot of equipment or high tech instruments to play good music," Durbin said.

Students said they enjoyed the presentation all-around.

Shermica Jefferson, a sophomore, said "I thought that the show was great and I never knew about Thunder Bird."

Dorsey Spencer, a senior, said "All the acts were real good, and I only knew bits and pieces about blues music before this."

Joe Kotarba said, "It was great that we got to pass on this most cherished tradition." There are more shows planned for other schools and I think it is great the way we brought institutions together Kotarba said.

 

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VERTICAL SPORT LOOKING UP

 

by Vicky Tickell

News Reporter

Go climb a wall. For UH students, that paraphrase is quite possible, more so than many realize.

A climbing wall, located in the northwest section of UH’s football stadium, is open to UH students and non-students. The wall is used regularly by the UH Wall Crawlers, a student-run organization whose faculty advisor is Army Captain Jeff Woods of the Military Science Dept.

"We’re not as structured as we’d like to be," said Woods. "We meet formally only once a semester. Most of our members hear about us by word-of-mouth, so we’re not very big yet."

Rock climbing, while not extremely treacherous, requires physical strength and a knowledge of safety procedures. Once these two criteria are met to a reasonable degree, the average person should be able to try to climb the wall.

"UH’s wall is a great place for beginners," said Bill Ryan, an Austin resident who had heard about the wall from other climbers in Austin.

"This is my third time to come to this wall. There’s always been someone just trying it out," Ryan said. "Once you learn a few grasping and leg techniques, you can top this wall."

The wall is located on the second floor of the stadium and reaches to the top. Its sides are concrete and equipped with concrete knobs and indentations for grasping with the hands and feet, and spiked metal loops to support the ropes that the climbers use as a safety measure.

"I guess the hardest part of learning the sport is knowing when to depend your legs and not your arms for your main climbing strength," Ryan said, offering me my first chance at climbing.

After I had climbed about eight feet, my arms weakened and my foot missed the nearest crack. I was very grateful for my safety rope attached to my harness, which Ryan had installed moments before.

"You’ve got to climb with partner and have equipment that’s in excellent condition," Ryan said. "That’s why you rarely see used equipment for sale, unless it’s a chalk bag, or something."

The partner who is not the climber uses a technique to support the climber called "belaying." The belayer wears a harness identical to the climber’s and the safety rope runs from the top of the wall to the belayer. The belayer’s body weight is what supports the climber during a fall.

After my fall at eight feet, I managed to complete the twenty feet to the top.

Indeed, to get started in the sport, all one needs to have is a good pair of tennis shoes and a chalk bag, which holds the chalk climbers use to secure their grip.

Some of the surfaces climbers encounter would be almost impossible to attempt without chalk, according to Ryan.

"You can expect to spend anywhere between $50—$130 on good climbing shoes, and another $100—150 on a rope and harness, if you want to get serious about this sport," Ryan said. "But mostly all you need is your chalk. There’ll always be someone, who has his own equipment, willing to show you."

"UH climbers are usually out here on the weekends, but on any given weekday, you will see a few guys out there," said Woods.

UH students can pay a fee of $15 to join the Wall Crawlers for one year, and non-students can join for $25. In addition to the fee that the non-students must pay, they are asked to obtain an annual membership with UH’s Alumni Organization. All climbers are asked to read and sign a liability waiver that renders UH’s athletic department not responsible for any possible injuries or damage during any climbing activity.

 

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OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND IN PR

by Scherilyn Ishop

News Reporter

Women seeking careers in the communications field must be tenacious, aggressive and experienced said Helen Vollmer, a public relations executive who spoke at a recent meeting of the UH Women in Communications, Inc.

Vollmer, who owns Vollmer Public Relations Firm, began her career as a copywriter at Foley’s then worked at various television and radio stations before starting her communications management firm, which was ranked number six of the top 100 Houston businesses.

"I wanted to be a reporter at first, but the jobs in that industry were becoming fewer and fewer, so I embarked on a public relations career," she said.

A San Antonio native who has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in radio/television-film from the University of Texas, Austin, Vollmer stressed that school is critical, but the most important things employers look for is experience.

"Find out about other activities going on outside of school. Internships provide valuable experience. Even when you get that first job, keep in mind that it is a stepping stone to other things. Use everything as a learning experience," she said.

A very big part of getting a job is being very aggressive, Vollmer said.

"Sometimes you have to call people every week to keep hounding them and reminding them that you are still out there. That lets them know you really want the job," she said.

Vollmer told students not to overlook small agencies and companies when job searching. Most of them need communications support or they may not have a public relations department.

"In this case you can possibly create a job for yourself, but do your homework about what that company’s public relations needs are," she said.

Vollmer gave students résumé advice saying the first thing she looks for is grammatical and spelling errors, which can immediately land a prospect’s résumé in the garbage.

She looks for experience, whether it be internships or summer jobs, negotiating skills and personality.

"Chemistry is 95 percent. You can’t do your job if your personality clashes with everyone in your office," she said.

Vollmer also reminded students to recognize different perspectives in the media, specifically the growing Hispanic market.

"I would advise anyone planning to live or work in the Southwest to bone up on their Spanish, because it’s a burgeoning market and you have to recognize and appreciate changing demographics," she said.

 

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ERASING GRAFFITI KEEPS CUSTODIAL STAFF BUSY

by Lisa E. Ferro

Contributing Writer

It could be anywhere.

On the bathroom wall or the desk where you sit, even in the used textbooks you purchase at a bookstore.

No, it's not some exotic disease. Welcome to the world of campus graffiti.

The University of Houston, like other universities, has its share of unsolicited prose and artwork on campus property. It ranges from profanity scrawled in the stairwells of Agnes Arnold Hall, to some derogatory statements in the Architecture building, to a miniature, barely noticeable portrait in a side hallway of the Roy Gustav Cullen building. Pencil and ink are the media of choice.

But have you ever really searched closely for graffiti at UH? Well, it doesn't remain for long, said one UH custodial employee. That's because the custodial staff subscribes to the "now you see it, now you don't" approach to ridding the campus of graffiti. "We try to clean graffiti as soon as possible," said Tony Gonzales, assistant manager of Custodial Services for UH.

He said cleaning graffiti from campus property as quickly as possible helps reduce the incidents. Gonzales remarked that in the three years he has been at UH, there is less graffiti now due to a quick clean-up policy. "It's mostly confined to restrooms and stairwells and usually consists of profanity and phone numbers," he said.

The UH Police Department Campus policy is that people who write graffiti are subject to criminal mischief charges. Depending on the amount of damage to campus property, it is punishable by fines and or jail time.

"It's not prevalent," said UH police Lt. Brad Wigtil. "There have been some reports ... someone wrote in an elevator at the library. Some Greek letters were sprayed (randomly) on retaining walls. Nothing organized."

Nevertheless, graffiti does have its proponents. Quipped one RTV senior who wished to remain anonymous: "It's a form of creative expression and a way of being heard. I don't agree with the profanity, but if it's art or a political or social statement, I see no problem. It makes people think."

A graduate student in English, who likewise requested anonymity, said, "Graffiti has gotten a bad rap. It's not all negative. Some groups use graffiti art as a way of helping inner city youths do something constructive. I think a mural would look really cool on campus."

 

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AIRBORNE AMELIA

FIRST LADY OF FLIGHT: DOCUMENTARY FOCUSES ON AMERICA'S PREMIERE AVIATRIX.

by Ivana Segvic

Daily Cougar Staff

<I>'As soon as we left the ground I knew I myself had to fly … ,' I told my family casually that evening, knowing full well I'd die if I didn't.<P> – Amelia Earhart<P>

Many women have secret dreams of rising high in the man's world. Amelia Earhart did just that.

However, the price to rule in a male-dominated world was high. As quickly as the wings of fortune brought her fame, they mysteriously took it all away.

Earhart was born July 24, 1897. At age 23, she went on her first airplane ride. Something magical happened to her in the sky – and she was convinced she had to fly.

In 1928 Earhart met publisher and promoter George Palmer Putnam. He had published Charles Lindbergh's account of his flights, and was in pursuit of creating a "Lady Lindy." He made it possible for Earhart to make a transatlantic flight as a passenger. She quickly became a worldwide celebrity.

Earhart returned to the states and wrote about her adventures. Somehow between the writing and flying, she managed to find the time to fall in love with Putnam.

She continued her career as "the First Lady of the Air," by taking a month long trip around the country, flying her own biplane. She gave interviews and speeches and became the center of attention in the 1920s. She teamed with Eugene Vidal to help launch TAT, the country's first passenger airline and predecessor of TWA.

In 1931, Earhart married George Putnam. Soon thereafter, they began making plans for her next flight. The decision was to make Earhart the first woman to make a trip across the Atlantic, solo.

The success of the flight made Earhart the queen of the skies. She used her popularity to promote equal rights and opportunities for women. She once said, "I've had practical experience and know the discrimination against women in various forms of industry. A pilot is a pilot. I hope that such equality could be carried out in other fields so that men and women may achieve equality in any endeavor they set out."

In 1936, Earhart announced a flight in which she would circle the equator. Out of the three crew members she assembled for the trip, she left with only one – a man with a drinking problem who knew little about radio communication.

The flight was a success until the very end. On July 2, 1937, Earhart was to make a stopover on Howland Island in the South Pacific. She became ill and her map was off five-and-a-half degrees. She attempted to contact the Coast Guard but couldn't find the right frequency.

From that moment – although there have allegedly been sightings of an elderly Earhart in Borneo and other islands – the famous aviatrix was never been heard from again.

Three weeks before her 40th birthday she disappeared into the silent swirl of the Pacific. Her memory continues to soar over the Pacific, infusing the winds of equality for men and women.

<B>A special documentary series will explore the life of the legendary Amelia Earhart. "The American Experience: Amelia Earhart," premiers Wednesday, October 27, at 8 p.m. on Channel 8, KUHT.<P>

 

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HEMP IS HIP FOR SOME

by Sheryl Gibbs

News Reporter

Something with so much value, both medicinally and economically, should not be illegal, say marijuana supporters all over the United States.

The Hemp Store located at 1304 West Alabama celebrated its first anniversary during the Westheimer Arts Festival Oct. 16 and 17. Owners Richard Tomcala, Richard Lee, and Amy Doktor decided to open their store as Tomcala says, "for the purpose of informing folks of the incredible scam the government is trying to pull off."

Tomcala says, "Hemp is 26 times more durable than cotton and can produce four times more paper than timber." The Hemp Store carries many products made of hemp or what is more commonly known as marijuana. Their products are manufactured in the United States; however, the hemp is imported from both China and Hungary, where Tomcala says, "it is legal to grow hemp for fiber purposes."

Tomcala says that in the 1930s when marijuana was still legal, "Families, such as the Dupont family, got the government to pass laws to ban marijuana." He says the reason for this is "the families had a monopoly on the oil, cotton, and timber industries and wanted to protect the price." Tomcala says the families realized that marijuana could replace their products and made it illegal.

"Since the 1930s, the government has led the public to believe that marijuana is as bad as drugs such as heroin and the punishment for being caught with it is just as bad in some cases," says Tomcala. He says marijuana is now prescribed to only 12 people in the United States for glaucoma, a disease of the eye which causes the eyeball to harden. Marijuana helps with the pain resulting from the treatment.

"If marijuana could be prescribed, like such hard-core drugs as cocaine and morphine are, it could be given to patients undergoing chemotherapy," Tomcala says. "The marijuana helps stimulate the appetite after the chemotherapy treatment and also helps with the pain."

Within The Hemp Store, there are many posters of rock and rap groups such as Cypress Hill and The Black Crowes. These groups and several others such as House of Pain, Skid Row, and local groups like Mike Gunn and Love Witch are known supporters of the legalization of marijuana. Tomcala says, "It's very good what these groups are doing, they are trying to combat the disinformation about marijuana."

"Not only can hemp be used for clothes, clothing accessories and paper, but its seeds can be used for cooking," says Tomcala. "The oil from the hemp seed is low in saturated fats and high in fatty acids which are essential in one's diet.

 

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BRAVE BIG BATS IN MUSEUM

by Tom Vinh

Contributing Writer

Halloween is fast approaching and no doubt the standard array of haunted houses, seasonal slasher movies, and entertainment venues will be vying for your money. One of the more interesting events will be a new exhibit, <I>Bats<P>, which opened Friday at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

The exhibit showcases everything you would ever want to know about bats, including their anatomy, habitat, lifestyle and ecological importance.

Bats grab our attention and imagination just as snakes and sharks seem to. But unlike the dangers that sharks and snakes may present, bats are perfectly harmless to the human population.

In fact, bats have been found by researchers to be very helpful in many ways, such as controlling the insect population.

Since bats are so useful one might ask "Why the negative stigma?" The answer is simple. Bats retain certain characteristics that people consider ominous.

Bats aren't exactly cute like a puppy dog or a kitten. They're nocturnal and fill the skies, numbering in the thousands, forming a black cloud. They live in dark and dank places that people associate with danger such as caves and abandoned buildings.

At the exhibit, there will be photographs, illustrations, informative text panels and interactive, hands-on displays. There will even be a people-sized bat house for children to enter and hang upside down just like a bat. The exhibit will run through Jan. 31. Admission to the museum is $2.50 for adults and $2 for children.

 

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COUGARS' MIDDLE LINEBACKER IS REAL MCCOY

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

He has never missed a game in his Cougar football career.

He is closing in on the all-time school record for tackles. He is one of 10 semifinalists for the Butkis Award, which recognizes the nation’s best college linebacker.

But Ryan McCoy is not satisfied.

"I’m still waiting for my best game," said the senior, who has been the starting middle linebacker for Houston since his freshman year in 1990.

He is also waiting to play in a bowl game. Houston has only produced one winning season during McCoy’s tenure.

"It’s been tough the past couple of years," he said. "All the seniors, this is our last chance. We’d like to go out with a bowl invitation. We have a chance to win the rest of our games."

The Cougars must win the remainder of their games this season to be considered for a bowl invitation. It has not always been so difficult for McCoy, however.

"My first year was like everything I expected coming to UH. I came here knowing that UH was going to be a team to reckon with. It was sort of a storybook beginning. I was starting, and I had three more years left. I had high expectations."

McCoy had 116 tackles and was named the Southwest Conference defensive newcomer of the year in 1990. Houston finished 10-1 but was ineligible for postseason play because of NCAA probation.

Reality began to intrude upon McCoy’s expectations during his sophomore season. An early four-game losing streak, which began with a devastating 40-10 loss to Miami, ended Houston’s season before it began.

"Everybody expected us to compete for the national championship. When we went to that Miami game, everybody expected a good match-up. Miami beat us pretty good. It was a reality check."

The reality this season is that McCoy is averaging more than 15 tackles per game and with 442 in his career, he is only 30 shy of Gary McGuire’s school record of 472.

McGuire set the record as a linebacker for Houston from 1985—87.

"It would be great for me to break the record," he said.

McCoy should surpass McGuire’s mark in the Astrodome against either Texas or Cincinnati, but he is not worried about the time or place.

"When it happens, it’s gonna happen. I’m not going to be out on the field keeping stats."

What McCoy will do on the field is lead the Cougar defense. After three years of development, he is now the experienced veteran.

"This is my first year to have all the responsibility on my shoulders. Other players look up to me to make the big plays. That’s something I’ve accepted. I enjoy it."

McCoy said he learned to be a leader from watching ex-Cougar veterans such as Eric Blount and Reggie Burnette.

"Meet me at the ball," is a saying that Blount started and McCoy still uses. However, Burnette made an impression on McCoy for a different reason.

"I’ve never been around anybody who worked so hard. He was not the most vocal person, but he led by example."

McCoy said he also tries to lead by example and hopes the younger players on the team can learn from him.

"When it’s game time, I strive to be the best. That’s one thing I’d like to leave (the younger players)," he said.

Defensive coordinator Gene Smith said, "His experience helps everybody on the field. Anytime you have a guy who’s played for you that long and has his experience playing that many games in a row, you’re going to miss a talent like that."

McCoy is not leaving just yet. He still has five more football games to play before his time is up at UH. Barring injury, he will break McGuire’s record and finish with more than 100 tackles for the third time. Looking at his past, injury does not seem likely.

"Fortunately, I haven’t had any injuries. You have to keep your head on a swivel out there. You have to strive not to get run over and be on someone else’s highlight film," McCoy said.

"I’ve never been on anybody else’s highlight film."

 

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BEG FOR MERCY

NEW RESTAURANT'S DECOR IS SPARTAN, WHILE THE BOARD-OF-FARE INVITINGLY SUMPTOUS

by Debora K. Dayyani

Contributing Writer

The restaurant trends of the '90s swing through a wide spectrum: from mass-produced clones of one another to other end of the rainbow that include bizarre avant-guarde restaurants.

The Mercy Warehouse Cafe and Bar falls into the latter category.

When you first walk into the restaurant, you are struck with the starkness and feeling of incompleteness.

The place feels like it is in a stage of demolition or else in need of renovation.

No pictures or color adorn the walls, everything is concrete or sandblasted stainless steel.

Once you sit down and hear owner Benalu Devereux describe the concept and the menu, you begin to understand and appreciate the stark beauty of the restaurant.

The restaurant is a large wooden box inside a concrete shell. The plywood walls are bare and unfinished. The floor is painted concrete, the tables and chairs are sandblasted steel. There are two corrugated, translucent, fiberglass garage doors at the front of the cafe. Lighting comes from low-intensity lamps recessed in the floor.

Seating capacity is about 60. The people, music and the great food create the real atmosphere of the café.

The cuisine of Mercy has a Southwestern flavor and is absolutely fabulous. The menu offers a delectable choice of soups, salads, homemade sandwiches and desserts.

The plate presentation is wonderfully colorful and possesses a delightful symmetry. The dishes are as pleasing to look at as they are tasty.

One of the more popular dishes is the tortilla soup, made with chicken and crispy light vegetables topped of with tortilla chips. The turkey breast sandwich is exceptional. It's served on a hearty, thick, homemade Santa Fe bread, which has little chunks of tomato and scallions in it, marinated turkey and a chutney sauce.

The "One and Only" egg-white salad sandwich is served on a delicious, nutty wheat bread with lettuce and tomato.

Sandwiches are served with a fat-free oven-roasted potato salad that is delicious and surprisingly light.

The best salad for the money is the peppered salmon salad, made with baked salmon served on a bed of mixed greens with the tomato vinaigrette house dressing.

Ah, but the desserts – don't pass them up! Pastry chef Lisa Biggerstaff, formerly of the Inn at the Park, has successfully assembled a fine choice of sweet concoctions that make you want to start with dessert instead of dinner.

The dessert tray is her masterpiece. The Citeron Cake is extremely popular and deserves a "must taste this one" place of honor. It is a delightful lemon cake, with a not-too-sweet butter-cream icing topped with a tangy lemon drizzle.

The Java Torte is a beautiful work of chocolate and espresso-praline cream. A wonderful selection of coffees are offered to compliment your dessert choice.

Mercy Warehouse Cafe and Bar is destined to make the top-10 list of restaurants by virtue of its healthy offerings and uniqueness in the vast sea of restaurants in the Houston area.

Because it is located in the Kirby/Westheimer area, it's a great place for a before-the-club dinner and a wonderful late-night spot for coffee and dessert.

 

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ART EXHIBIT STARTS CONVERSATION ON RACE

by Eric De Beer

Contributing Writer

Barnes-Blackman Galleries and Midtown Art Center will search for an answer to racial divisions in their dual location art exhibit entitled "Blacks & Whites Together: A Conversation for Racial Harmony."

Exhibition coordinators said they hoped to start a conversation on the theme of relatedness between black and white people.

"The aim of the exhibit is to open up the subject , explore the previously unsaid or half-hinted-at, and to demonstrate and celebrate the possibility of racial harmony," said Susanna Sheffield, exhibition coordinator.

Explaining why the show is called a conversation, Sheffield said, "One of the underlying premises of the show is that a work of art is a form of speaking -- an expression of the artist's point of view."

She added that organizers want to create an open forum for any artist who has something to express on this subject.

Fifty-six artists, most from Houston, submitted work to the open forum. The show was opened to anyone who wished to exhibit a work on the subject.

"We're all surprised and heartened by the wide response on the part of the artist," said Michelle Barnes, director of Barnes-Blackman Galleries.

The large response made it necessary to extent the exhibit to a second location at the Midtown Art Center.

"We discovered that not only is the topic often on the artists' mind," said Sheffield,"but that many of them already had works that were if tailored made for the show."

One of the works is "The Long Voyage" by artist Gail Siptak. It depicts black and white people cramped together in a small life boat at sea that seems to suggest that we all must cooperate or drown with lungs full of salt water.

The show opened Friday and will run through Nov. 20.

Barnes-Blackman Galleries is housed in the Community Artists' Collective at 1501 Elgin and open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Midtown Art Center is two blocks away at 1714 Holman. Midtown's hours are Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.

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