HOUSTON'S MCCOY BREAKS RECORD

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

Ryan McCoy broke the record.

His stop of Cincinnati's David Small on a run off right tackle in the second quarter was the 473rd tackle of his brilliant Cougar football career.

On that play he passed Gary McGuire's 472 tackles to become the all-time Houston leader in career stops.

"It's no big deal. I didn't really even know (that the record was broken on that play) until I stepped out of the game and somebody told me," McCoy said.

It was the one bright spot in an otherwise dismal day for the Houston defense. The Bearcats totaled 421 offensive yards, and Small ran for 203 himself. The Cougar defense was clawless in a one-sided cat fight that ended in a 41-17 Houston loss.

McCoy's play was superb as usual, despite the lack of support from his teammates. He finished the game with 18 tackles, 13 were unassisted and two resulted in a loss of yardage for Cincinnati. He sacked Bearcat quarterback Lance Harp once and broke up a pass as well.

McCoy now has 483 career tackles. With two games left in his senior season, he should finish with slightly more than 500 for his career. McCoy is more concerned with winning the last two games than with his new record.

"Part of the responsibility of being seniors is to keep focus and leave something to build upon for next year," he said.

"I'm proud of (the record) but right now it is not something I'm focusing on."

McCoy hopes that the record will endure, however.

"When I'm an old man, it'll be something to tell my grandkids about," he said.

He may also be able to tell them about winning the Butkis Award. McCoy is one of 11 semi-finalists for the national award, and his performance against Cincinnati should move him one step closer to claiming that distinction too.

 

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STUDENTS BUILD AWARD-WINNING STRUCTURE

by Elizabeth Gonzales

News Reporter

Engineering students were forced to take the long way to classes on Thursday as an award-winning bridge was reconstructed in the atrium of the building.

Members of the Association of Student Civil Engineers participated recently in the Steel Bridge Building Competition at UT-Arlington.

Schools from Texas, New Mexico and Mexico competed in the competition sponsored by American Institute of Steel Constructors.

The UH engineering students came away with the Modern Art Award and the Lateral Deflection Award for their design.

Linda Pachacek, a graduate student in civil engineering, said, "The bridge is based on a 1-to-10 scale model. The bridge will span a 20-foot river, which represents 200 feet. These students do so much themselves with limited funding."

The 20-foot, 279-pound bridge is in the shape of a modified pyramid.

"Looking at the previous year's bridges, none seemed original. I thought I'd come up with a design never done before. I analyzed the properties of this type of geometry and found it was very stable," said Selim Erdil, the bridge's designer and a senior in civil engineering.

Judging was based on five categories: weight, stiffness, construction time, strength-to-weight ratio and aesthetics.

The students participating in the project, Ingrid Penarrieta, Matt Lopez, Selim Erdil and Jeff Talbot, began working last summer.

Penarrieta, the project co-coordinator and a postbaccalaureate in civil engineering, said, "Selim came up with the idea and we really liked it. From design to fabrication, the bridge changed a lot. From paper to reality, it is so different and we had to take that into account."

ASCE, the civil and environmental engineering departments and the students provided funding for the project.

 

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BURSAR'S OFFICE FACE-LIFT UNDER WAY

by Matt Waterwall

News Reporter

An extensive customer service campaign is under way attempting to change how students and staff perceive and do business with the Bursar's Office.

Pat Deeves, assistant to the senior vice president of Administration and Finance said, "Unfortunately for many students past encounters with the Bursar's Office have not been pleasant. We do not want students to look back on their college careers some day and find their defining college experience at UH to be the difficulties encountered in conducting business with the office."

Joyce Deyon, director of Finance and Accounting, met with Bursar Phyllis Bradley, and Assistant Bursar Monique Roberson. Together, they drafted the Bursar's Office Enhancement Plan Phase I, a comprehensive agenda that includes specific plans regarding how to improve the productivity and public relations of the office.

About half of the plan's objectives have already been implemented, and Deyon anticipates the remainder to be completed within a few months.

One of the proposals already in place requires bursar cashiers to wear red blazers with clearly identifiable name tags. "This will help students identify employees who are there to help them, and create a more professional look," said Roberson.

For the most part cashiers at the office are pleased with the new look. Tammy Valyan, a Bursar's office cashier said, "I like the blazers, they make us feel united, like we are all part of the same team."

Some of the more popular changes with the students included the offering of free popcorn to customers waiting in line and the implementation of a drive-through lane for fee payment in the loop east of E. Cullen. However, Deyon said, "The most important aspect of the plan lies within the continuing education of our employees. We are providing them with valuable skills that will help them further their own careers as well as better serve our customers."

Other aspects of the plan that have been implemented include the hiring of four part-time employees to help during the peak periods, and a line monitor to be available to answer questions from students waiting for the next available clerk.

While most of the plan calls for changes centered in the bursar's office, other parts of the plan will require the coordinated effort of other enrollment service groups as well.

These include the most ambitious proposals of the plan and will have a significant impact in making the office user-friendly. New proposals include the establishment of a direct telephone hot line among enrollment management to facilitate problem-solving in a one-stop-shopping fashion so students do not have to run from office to office to get answers to registration problems.

One proposal would decrease the number of students requiring direct contact with the office by creating an electronic link with the bookstore and the financial aid office to handle book loans. This system would be used to replace the current system of issuing checks that have to be cashed at the bursar's office.

Another proposal would establish an electronic transfer system for guaranteed student loans. The funds would be directly deposited into students accounts, cutting out the bursar's role as middle man.

 

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HIGHTOWER ENCOURAGES INVOLVEMENT

by Jason Jaeger

News Reporter

Grass roots organizing is the key to getting more people involved in politics said Jim Hightower, a populist and syndicated radio commentator in a lecture last week.

Hightower, a Democrat and former Texas agriculture commissioner, lectured as part of the seventh annual Walter and Helen Hall Lecture Series at Rice University.

Hightower's political speech was irreverent, humorous and full of one-liners.

"No offering is gonna be taken here tonight, so you Baptists move forward," he said.

Hightower offered his opinion on American politics in general and targeted Republicans specifically.

"I believe that Americans are crying out for progressive politics ... (but) the Republican Party puts down women and minorities," he said.

College Republicans at UH Chairman Robert Fugarino disagreed and said the country's problems lie with a Democratic Party that hinders the financial progression of the people, whereas the Republican Party is about empowering people.

Hightower said, "The Democratic Party is cowering under the title "new Democrat ... (which) is part Republican and part Democrat. They've got too much "Brooks Brothers" and too little Sears and Roebuck."

Hightower said Democrats talk big but seek compromise too often with the "powers that be." Hightower referred to Clinton's health care plan and the middle-class tax cut as examples of political compromise.

Democratic National Committee member Billie Carr said, "I think politicians have to have some courage."

Hightower said the Democratic Party is not close to being what it was in the days of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He said politicians nowadays are more concerned with their corporate connections than with the people who elected them.

At the heart of American values are "economic fairness, social justice and equal opportunity for all people," Hightower said.

In the '80s under Reagan and Bush, Hightower said 80 percent of Americans lost money and the only people who prospered were the rich.

He said that a chief executive at a large corporation earned $600,000 a year in the '80s. Now chief executives earn $4,000,000 a year and hand out 2,000 pink slips a day.

But Fugarino said "statistics can say whatever you want them to."

Hightower said some of those at the top these days are "so wealthy that they could afford to air-condition hell. And the way they are performing, I think they better be setting money aside."

One of the corporate elite Hightower criticized was Texas billionaire Ross Perot.

The whole Perot phenomenon and United We Stand America caught on because people felt the government was not working for them, he said. "(But Perot's) flakier than momma's pie crust," Hightower said.

Carr said Perot's popularity is fading along with the Perot phenomenon and the American people will be looking for a new hero soon.

But Hightower said the task of developing a strategy for change belongs to the working class.

Change "always comes from the bottom up," he said.

Hightower, who does about 50 lectures a year, said he thinks he can make a difference.

He said he has no plans of getting back into politics and enjoys the freedom he has now.

Don Henley, Willie Nelson and Norman Lear are a few of the people who approached Hightower about doing a radio commentary. Hightower reaches about 750,000 people with each broadcast.

"I see myself as something of a trailblazer," he said. The right- wingers have known the power of radio for years.

Carr agreed, saying, "I think in the media game (Democrats) are behind."

Hightower encouraged those listening to his lecture to play their part in making political change.

"My voice alone isn't going to do it," he said.

Hightower's two minute radio commentary airs Monday through Friday at 6:31 a.m. on KPRC and at 9:00 p.m. on KSEV.

 

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COLLEGE SLANG: A COOL BEANS ADDITION TO VOCABULARY

by shane patrick boyle

Daily Cougar Staff

The chogs at Merriam-Webster recently conducted an informal survey, asking homeskillets on college campuses "wat up?" in an effort to compile a list of fly college slang.

What they found were the phat, the cheezy and the heinous.

The result of their 24-7 blizz is a beauteous maximus, listing roughly four spoinks of hot words that they have every right to be stoked and forclempt about.

Some very useful information came out of the research.

For example, before you jet from your crib to go scamming and end up hooking up with a high postage or a herb, you better momaflage a jimmie in your kicks or you'll be taking the L train.

And after you and your dogs have an evening of the sauce, heaters, the kind and the circle of death, you're going to boot in the morning.

Translation: <I>Before you leave your house to go looking for guys or girls and get involved with a conceited female or a geek, you should hide a condom in your shoes (so your mom doesn't find it), or you're a total loser.

And after you and your buddies indulge in beer, cigarettes, your favorite drugs and bad pizza, you'll wake up sick.<P>

These are words anybody can live by, but they vary according to region, and only a chip head can keep up with all of them, so there's no reason to feel like you've zoned out or you're reality impaired if you don't recognize all of these virtual words.

Phat, meaning cool, is the most universal word on the list. It is used in the East and the Mid West, but if any salt sucker tries to claim credit, the chogs will call that person a "long nose."

Other hot phrases in the East include zone out (to lose concentration), boot (to have a hangover), herb (a geek), crib (home), high postage (conceited female), take the L train (lose), beauteous maximus (good job), chip head (computer geek), fly (cool), spoink (an indefinite measure), momaflage (to hide something from your mom), heater (cigarette), circle of death (a bad pizza) and long nose (a liar).

Anyone from New England would be referred to as a chog in the Midwest, and individuals from the Midwest who go to the coast and swim with their mouths open are called "salt suckers."

Other popular words in the Midwest include stoked (pumped up), ken (a guy who cooks), forclempt (all choked up), heinous (repulsive), 24-7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), reality impaired (adjective describing air heads) and cool beans (great!).

Cool things to say in the South (according to Merriam-Webster) are dog (buddy), jet (to leave), jimmie (condom), scam (cruise), sauce (beer), wat up (how are you doing), kicks (shoes), buff (muscular), cheezy (corny) and homeskillet (a good dog – see above).

Somebody in the Midwest would pull a 24-7 to cram for a test and those in the South can get the notes from their dogs or homeskillets and write them on their kicks, but in the West the thing to do is bump (skip or drop) class, and maybe go hook up (have sex) with someone for the kind (favorite type of the drug – Asking a dealer for "the kind" is like walking into a restaurant and ordering "the usual.") or go tag (mark with graffiti) a wall with something random (strange, weird or unexpected).

 

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TEARS FOR FEARS SHOWS NO REGRETS

by Chuck Deaton

Contributing Writer

Even with one Tear for Fear subtracted from the mix – bassist Curt Smith is gone, but Roland Orzabal remains – the lush sound of Tears for Fears continues to improve.

Stopping in Houston Saturday at Rockefeller's West to promote the new album <I>Elemental<P>, Tears for Fears proved once again why they have staying power after 10 years on and off the charts.

Fans were not kept waiting long. The doors opened promptly at 8 p.m., five minutes after the rain began. Jellyfish, a ‘70s-style rock group clad in apparel from that era, opened the evening and surprised those who new nothing about them. Rob Reedy, a student from San Marcos, said, "They sounded like Lenny Kravitz, Queen and the Beatles all wrapped up in one. I'm always impressed when the lead singer is also the drummer."

Tears for Fears came on stage around 10:30 and began with "Elemental," the title song from their new album and the name of the tour. With the help of technology, every little, extra, quirky thing you hear on the album, but don't expect to hear at a live performance, was there – including the sounds of elephants roaring on the first song.

Smooth segues and sweeping guitar-keyboard interplays which fan's have come to expect were provided during "Cold," "Mr. Pessimist" and "Power."

Lighting was what you might expect from a band that has been around a while and can afford to give the people what they want. Compared to the Christmas lights hung across the stage for Jellyfish, the lighting for Tears for Fears was quite impressive. Yellow was the dominant color for "Sowing the Seeds of Love."

Fans know that yellow correlates with the sunflower in the video. The perfect synthesis of fancy and form, combining sublime pop orchestration with genuine insight was as gratifying as the studio recording.

Orzabal's new bass player, who isn't mentioned on the album and so must be very new, did a fair interpretation of "Woman in Chains," a duet Orzabal recorded with American singer-songwriter Oleta Adams.

The stage setting was four large silk-screened panels consisting of the collages included inside the <I>Elemental<P> CD jacket – all credited to designer David Austen.

Rockefeller’s was the perfect venue for the band. They may have underestimated their popularity in Houston – they sang to a sold-out crowd. Orzabal seemed less stiff on stage when it came time to play some old tunes like "Shout," and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." Fans sang the chorus while he listened periodically and waved to people in the upper balconies.

Allusions to the split with buddy Curt Smith abounded, with "Fish out of Water" echoing spiteful sentiments such as: "With all your high class friends you think you've got it made/the only thing you made was that tanned look on your face."

Tears for Fears found their sound with "Sowing the Seeds of Love" and cultivated it with "Elemental." Saturday night's crowd was like a big sponge that was soaking up all the music they could hold, which was plenty considering the encore lasted 45 minutes.

Tears for Fears' debut album, <I>The Hurting<P> topped a million in world sales and spawned three top-5 singles in England. Smith and Orzabal moved on to haunt the summer of 1984 with the multi-platinum, hook-laden <I>Songs from the Big Chair<P>. The band's third album, <I>The Seeds of Love<P>, which is shamelessly Beatle-esque, sprang from five years of uncertain silence to surprise critics and fans with a new direction in October, 1989. The five-year dry spell ended when the band recruited Adams for song-writing inspiration.

In a year that has seen the return of Duran Duran, Boy George and Cyndi Lauper, Tears for Fears' splendid concoction only proves that, eventually everything old is new again – including their live performances.

 

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FLAMENCO A GO GO GOES GROOVY

by Frank San Miguel

Daily Cougar Staff

The Flamenco A Go Go is possibly one of the best new Japanese garage bands whose records you’ll never find.

The band is among a crop of crews out of Japan plugging away at the modern arts. On its self-titled debut, available by mail via Asada and Cranky Disc, the Flamenco A Go Go shows why it is one of Japan’s better bands to deal with.

A four-piece outfit (guitar, drums, bass and kazoo), the Flamenco A Go Go sounds like a hotel act influenced by the Ramones, Nancy Sinatra and the B-52s yet with a saucy, completely enjoyable groove all its own. The band produces enough energy to whap even the cynics out of their chairs, and the enthusiasm is fresher than a head of lettuce.

The beatific "No Smile" opens the band’s 10-song long player with a bouncy charm. It’s one of those songs that will have you tapping your toes and whistling the tune two hours later. The bass riff here is likely to snare you like a tiger trap until the guitar sweeps in for the kill. Best of all, it keeps the fun of live music.

"Stuff’s Loaded With Fun" is a mosh-pit cabaret song that combines the stop-start of a bump-and-grind with happy rock and a boss kazoo. What’s <I>not<P> to love about a song whose singer croons its opener in a mock-sultry: "I’m a yellow-skinned fox"?

"People Say" is of quintessential punk attitude, with its I-don’t-care-what-they-think sentiment. "Crazy Sound" opens up with an almost surfy, sort’ve rockabilly guitar riff only to flow into suave rock ‘n’ roll. The music here is thoroughly enjoyable and less filling.

Background beats, courtesy of drummer Wakana Katsuta and bassist Ryosuke Izuhara bomb a vibe funkier than an unbathed skunk wearing Patrick Ewing's old gym shoes. It drives like white boy soul-influenced hard rock on a fast train to everywhere.

Somehow the rhythms don't completely fit Fusae Oyanagi's chopping guitars, but such is forgiven when Satomi Asano's slightly flat but endearing vocals dice the chunklet up into a warm, steamy powder. Her kazoo work, darting in at unexpected spots or where one might see a guitar solo, only makes the music more invigorating.

This band’s music isn’t all novelty, nor it is apparently dead-set on splattering convention all over your new carpet. Songs like "Please Don’t Tell A Lie," "The Lust of the Sick Silly Boy" and "Pitty Thing" are straight-ahead rock songs with a variety of influences that draw from many eras and styles, not just rock. It’s indicative of the Japanese music scene that bore Flamenco A Go Go – a scene that gene-splices lots of sounds, creating completely different animals.

These hybrid sounds are what attract people to bands like the Flamenco A Go Go.

Still, the band may be forced into the status of a novelty act by virtue of its homeland. Like Shonen Knife, Eastern acts first get attention here with their pedigree rather than from their sizable talent. As more Japanese acts break into American popular culture – and, as Shonen Knife's opening slot for Nirvana’s tour stateside shows, you'll be seeing many more – the band will then be weighed on its many merits.

The Flamenco A Go Go’s introduction to select American audiences actually happened a while back when its first single, "No Smile," propelled the band into the College Music Journal's new music showcase last year in the Big Apple.

At that showcase, the Boredoms, one of Japan’s better-known experimental bands, and accordion act the Nelories were the draw, but everything from Japanese death metal to hip-hop got attention. Flamenco A Go Go won many a heart.

Now, with the Boredoms signed to American major Reprise Records, the Nelories doing the deed on England’s Sugarfrost label, and another Japanese rock act, SuperSnazz, being distributed through the megaindie label Sub Pop, the Flamenco A Go Go, along with a stack of Eastern exports, are looking for a home in the comfort of your basement.

The Flamenco A Go Go’s full-length release as well as its colored vinyl 7-inch, which includes "No Smile," "The Lust of the Sick Silly Boy" and two other unreleased cuts, is available from Asada, Inc., #303 LSP 1-39-7 Sangenjaya Setagaya-Ku, Tokyo 154, Japan.

 

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UH CHAMELEONS TURN BLUE DURING LATEST WINTER CHILL

by Ivana Segvic

Daily Cougar Staff

Howling winds drive sheets of icy rain against the exposed skin of unwary pedestrians.

Inclement weather – brought on by visiting cold fronts or lingering thunderstorms – has been a frequent visitor once more.

How are students handling the weather? Most say they love it when the temperature drops.

Alex Heyns, a sophomore RTV major, said it is a novelty to have the cold weather visit Houston. "I love it. I think it's awesome," she said.

Eric Lauritze, a sophomore engineering major, said he also enjoys the cold weather. "I used to live in New England and this is a nice change compared to the hot weather we are so used to," he said.

When the cold fronts force students to don leather jackets, overcoats or woolen sweaters – as it did recently – some folks still refuse to surrender to what South Texans think of as Arctic conditions.

Bill Carroll, a junior German and political science major, wore shorts on one cool day. "It has been cold for only a few days. Every time it gets warmer I put on shorts. I lived in Hawaii for three years so I am used to the warm weather. I don't like to wear long pants. I much prefer warm weather to cold weather. But at the end of summer I get sick of it. Then by the end of winter you're begging for it again. I think it gets too hot here and so everyone wants cold weather," he said.

Betsy Bartlett, an undeclared sophomore, said she likes the cold weather. "I like it, definitely. I feel like it's almost Christmas time," she said, smiling.

However, some students are not enjoying a break from the heat. Lisa Loye was sitting outside on a dreary, cool morning. "I hate it. I'm one of those people who likes spring and summer. This is killing me. I seem to have bad luck in cold weather. I can't find a typewriter. And when I do, they cost twenty-five cents, and I don't have twenty-five cents. I just have such bad luck when it gets cold," she said.

Loye might be in for some good luck. The weather should stay warm, humid and partly cloudy for the time being – or it may not; but don't put up all those summer clothes just yet.

 

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'CATS CRUSH COOGS

Mistakes send Houston to 41-17 defeat

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

This time, the Cougars did it to themselves.

In an all-around sloppy game, Houston dropped a 41-17 decision to the Cincinnati Bearcats, mainly as a result of six turnovers.

The announced attendance of 10,825 looked more like 5,000 in an Astrodome that took on the aura of study hall the day before midterms.

The Bearcats made sure that both the crowd and the Cougars knew they were there.

Cincinnati linebacker Patrick John collected the first two interceptions of his career off Houston quarterback Chuck Clements, starting in only his third collegiate game.

The first one led to a 22-yard field goal, which gave the Bearcats a 16-0 lead.

The second pick set Cincinnati up at the Houston seven and tailback David Small tumbled into the end zone two plays and 43 seconds later. Quarterback Lance Harp added a two-point conversion on a keeper, the first attempted against Houston this season, for a 24-0 lead and control of the game.

"Chuck made some very poor reads in the first half and did not look comfortable throwing," said Houston head coach Kim Helton, whose team drops to 1-7-1. "We kept trying to force the ball over the middle when coverage dropped off."

Houston added five fumbles to the mix, four which it lost, that led to 10 more Bearcat points.

"I was trying too hard, trying to make things happen," said running back TiAndre Sanders, who lost two of Houston's fumbles on five receptions. "(The ball) was going all over the place."

Clements also had his problems, fumbling three times. Two came during sacks and one under heavy pressure as he cocked his arm to pass.

But Cincinnati's plus-6 turnover ratio Saturday was not surprising. The team had only thrown six interceptions and lost five fumbles prior to its arrival in Houston and boasted a plus-8 turnover ratio.

"Our strength has been in turnover ratio," said Cincinnati coach Tim Murphy, who is enjoying his first winning season with his 7-3 Bearcats.

In contrast, Houston has been poor at forcing the turnover but has also been stingy in giving it. The Cougars had thrown only six interceptions and lost nine fumbles this year.

"They dominated the football game," Helton said. "They're one of the better looking teams we've played."

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