By Karen Snelling

Daily Cougar Staff

They laugh in the face of death. They giggle at the Grim Reaper. And they're not afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. Who are they? Houston's fearless UH students.

This could be bad news for Houston's haunted houses. Many UH students say that most spook houses are a waste of time and money.

"I've never gotten anything out of (haunted houses)," said Jennifer Franco, a junior psychology major. "I've never been scared or amazed at any of them."

Eric Balderas, a junior print-making major, said after going to one about four years ago, he's never tried a second one.

"They're not worth going back to for a second time," he said.

Haunted houses can't really scare people because according to law, those running the houses can't touch the participants, said Kelly Stroud, a junior education major.

"The last one I went to was a waste of money." he said. However, Stroud has found a need to give spook houses a second try.

"I'm going (this weekend) because my girlfriend wants to go."

So do Houston's haunts have what it takes to make people tremble with fear? Those wanting to find out can check out these locations:

The Little House of Horrors and Screamers on Hwy 249 -- north of 1960; call 370-9900.

Cylo-X on Hwy 59 at Airport Blvd -- in Southwest Houston; call 866-8826.

Main Street Mortuary and Mausoleum at 2713 Main St; call 759-0904.

Night Terror at 4700 Fannin; call 759-0903.






by Tiffany Vaughner

News Reporter

Channel 13 news anchor Melanie Lawson advised students to take an aggressive approach to working on internships.

Lawson spoke at a recent Society of Professional Journalists meeting.

"Be aggressive. Don't come in and work nine to five because the schedule says nine to five," Lawson said.

Lawson added that it helps if you have varied educational experiences.

"I think it helps to know a lot about different things. This is a business where you really have to be a jack of all trades. So you need to take history courses and economics courses and politics courses because that's what the world is made up of," Lawson said.

Lawson also stressed that Houston has become a large news market and that it is no longer possible to walk in off the street and expect to get a "dream job."

"There are many good local markets that are not terribly glamorous, but you can still learn a lot," she said.

Lawson said that behind the scenes jobs like producing and editing are avenues that many students overlook.

"Lawson strongly encouraged us not to have myopia (lack of foresight) and just go after journalism. What we learn in RTV and journalism is usually already obsolete by the time we find a job," said Amie Klanke, president of SPJ.

Lawson worked on the college newspaper but it was radio, she said, that sparked her interest in broadcasting.

"I eventually wandered in to the radio station on campus. I did a jazz show first and then worked on a news magazine format show," Lawson said.

Lawson said her first appearance on TV was an accident. She said that she asked a staff reporter to let her ask a few questions and do a stand-up in front of the camera. Lawson said that at the station, there was a mix-up with the tapes and Lawson's was aired instead of the reporter's.

"I see her as an excellent example and role model for all journalists, male, female, black, white, Hispanic or Asian," Klanke said.







By Stori Carpenter

News Reporter

Recently, the number of visually impaired students at UH increased drastically for a few hours, so that more students may understand the hardships handicapped students overcome.

A handful of students volunteered to be visually impaired at the "Blind For A Day" event as part of DisAbilities Awareness Week to learn about the challenges visually impaired students face every day.

Rodger Peters, a physiology graduate student and chief organizer of DisAbilities Awareness Week said, "Blind For A Day" is a new event recently added to this year's activities.

"Each year we plan to add a new event to increase awareness of how students with disabilities live," Peters said.

Tamara Mills a freshman pre-nursing major, turned down the use of the traditional guide while she was blind for a day. Instead she volunteered to negotiate the campus using only a cane to guide her.

"I ran into everything. I didn't know where I was," Mills said. "I felt very lost."

Another student, undeclared freshman Jim Post, chose to have a guide assist him.

"My senses seemed to be much sharper. I relyed on hearing and touching rather than sight," said Post.

Post was led by his sister Lara Post, a political science senior with experience assisting the blind. The members of her sorority, Delta Gamma, volunteer their time to the Light House for the Blind, an organization dedicated to helping the blind, she said.

When going through the Light House orientation with her sorority, Lara decided to learn how to lead the blind, Post said.

"We learned that simple things make the difference; description is the key," she said. "If I am explaining a coffee cup, for example, I need to describe the shape, where the handle's located and that it may be hot."

After taking off his blindfold Jim said, "Wow, it's so bright."

"I felt dependent on my sister and I didn't like that, but I felt helpless when she wasn't helping me," he said.

Students who didn't want to be totally blind for the day, had the opportunity to try on different lenses that allowed them to experience degrees of sightlessness. The glasses simulated the effects of cataracts or retinal detachment.

Juanita Beeson, a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the Texas Commission of the Blind, said UH has approximately 20 to 30 visually impaired students enrolled.

Although TCB's main function is to help visually impaired students get a job after graduation, the organization also helps students register for classes, get books and find people to read for them if necessary.

"We hope students and faculty don't stereotype visually impaired people as blind, because most do have some type of vision," Beeson said.

Upcoming events will be "Wheelchair For A Day" Thursday and the "Wheelchair Race" on Friday.






by Debbie Callier

Contributing Writer

"Into the Streets," a series of one-day service projects, gives students a chance to give something back to the community.

Projects, coordinated by the UH's Metropolitan Volunteer Program, include feeding the homeless on Sundays (through November), a walk-a-thon, doing office work for the American Civil Liberties Union and supervising horse-back rides for children for the Institute of Research and Rehabilitation.

In addition, volunteers will help the elderly make crafts and Christmas gifts and will cook Thanksgiving dinner for the mentally ill.

"These projects give people the chance to dabble in volunteerism," said David Daniell, staff advisor for MVP.

As students reflect on the experience, the feeling of giving to those less fortunate sinks in, Daniell said.

The desire to commit for a longer term may take a while -- even five or ten years, he said, but he hopes it will be a positive experience.

Chalandra Robinson, assistant director of MVP, a junior music major, tutors adults who want to get their high school equivalency degrees.

"A lot of them are down on themselves," Robinson said. "Our job is to lift them up, to tell them to try a little harder."

Robinson added that she admires adult students who have found the courage to try to start over.

"You have a sense of making a difference when you help others. You don't have to be a certain kind of person," said Robertson.

Shannon Bishop, a senior creative writing major, helped in the Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen for one day, which turned into a two-and-a-half year commitment.

"Community service is an essential part of higher education," Bishop said. "It is real transforming for people who don't know what they're good at. Into the Streets exposes a lot of people to the benefits of (community) service. We hope people are inspired and will continue," said Bishop.

Some groups, such as the Pre-Optometry Professional Society, have continued since the project started in 1991. They come up with their own ideas, such as working for the Lighthouse for the Blind.

One group of UH students worked in the soup kitchen for the homeless for a day. One of the students told Bishop, "They were so polite. They wanted the same things we wanted -- nice clothes, for instance."

Bishop added that where the students expected to find bitterness, they found gratitude and respect while helping the homeless.






by Scott McGregor

News Reporter

UH will soon be able to help benefit the environment, thanks to a $300,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation recently awarded to the UH colleges of Business and Engineering.

UH was one of three universities to receive NSF grants for research in the area of technical innovation.

The project which will be funded by the grant, Environmental Accounting for Managing Pollution in Chemical Manufacturing and Refining Industries, has been allotted funding for a two-year period, said Beth Beloff, project director and co-principal investigator.

Beloff is also director of the Institute for Corporate Environmental Management, an institute within the UH College of Business which works to foster organizational competitiveness through environmental affairs in industry.

"We're looking at how environmental costs are currently accounted for in organizations, and how those systems can be improved for managing pollution control in the chemical manufacturing and refining industry," said Beloff.

"The goal is to help environmental managers communicate with financial people to help them see the economic benefits of managing environmental affairs," she said.

"Hopefully, the research will prompt companies to ask if it would be more cost effective in the long run to reduce pollution at the beginning of a process rather than fix a problem after it's created," Beloff said.

The project is a joint venture between the College of Business and the industrial engineering department of the College of Engineering.

Corporations don't usually have the cost information they need to make decisions on how to reduce pollution and toxic emissions, said Miriam Heller, assistant professor and co-principal investigator for the project.

"We want to identify current systems of determining environmental costs and how environmental costs affect decisions," said Heller.

It's very unusual for a business school to get an NSF grant, according to David Shields, associate professor of accounting and a principal investigator for the project. These kinds of grants usually go to engineering or chemistry, he said. The size of the grant is also unusually large for a business school, he said.

Beloff said, "The end result of this project will be a guidebook on how to evaluate and identify environmental costs so that they can be allocated back to the activities that generate those costs. This book will be available through the NSF."






by Sean Rainer

Daily Cougar Staff

The excitement lies not in the fact that the winning team has scored at least 49 points in the last three meetings between Houston and Texas Christian.

It lies in that the <I>loser<P> posted at least 35 points.

When the two teams play Saturday in Fort Worth at Amon Carter Stadium, they have every reason to expect an exhausting afternoon.

Consider these statistics:

• In the 1990 game, the teams combined for 1,563 yards, an NCAA record.

• The teams have, in their last three contests, amassed 3,197 yards in total offense.

• That would explain the 280 points and 39 touchdowns.

"Last year, with the Run-and-Shoot, anything could happen," senior offensive lineman Darrell Clapp said. "I'm really comfortable with this new (two-back) offense. I wish it was here a couple of years ago."

But with injuries to fullbacks Tommy Guy and Bobby Rodriguez and tailbacks Lawrence McPherson and Lamar Smith, the offense that Houston (1-4-1) has been trying to move away from, the Run-and-Shoot, has become the only alternative this Saturday against TCU (3-4).

"Four wides is like swimming, you don't forget how," said head coach Kim Helton, who does not like the prospect of another shootout with the Horned Frogs.

The Horned Frogs, just off a stunning 38-13 upset over Baylor in Waco last week, will look for a repeat performance.

Houston does hold the lead in the series 13-4 but is currently looking for only its second victory of the season.

"The morale is under control," Helton said. "They're (the players) not going to revolt. If they do, I'll join them."

One of the questions to be answered in Saturday's game is who will win the starting kicking job. Trace Craft, who missed a game-winning field goal against Southern Methodist, is again competing with Jason Stoft for the position.






by Maryelaine Eckeile

Contributing Writer

Counting Crows is a laid back sounding group of guys from California. <I>August & Everything After<P> is relaxed, almost sleepy for a first release.

With 11 tracks, one wonders if these guys will ever wake up.

Actually, after the fourth listening, this group from the Bay Area begins to be likeable.

Side one starts with "Round Men," which opens with a teasing guitar. The tempo picks up as the other pieces are added.

The band meanders its way through six songs on side one. The sixth song, "Time and Time Again" which could almost be considered a ballad, tugs at the listener to recall the feeling of a deserted relationship. The music here relies heavily on bass to create the atmosphere of loneliness.

Side two starts with "Rain King," a more danceable up-beat song.

There is an overall rhythmic feel to the music. The array of instrumentation implemented is impressive.

The band consists of Adam Durity (vocals), David Bryson (guitars), Matt Malley (brass), Steve Bowman (drums), and Charlie Gillingham (keyboards). Country Crows are well able to give their music an emotional feel.

<I>August & Everything After<P> is worth a second listening. Counting Crows may be a slower form of alternative pop-rock for the radio, but they are truly promising.

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