by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Jesse Drain was able to get away from the gang-infested streets of Saginaw, Mich., foregoing firearms for a deadly three-point shot.

Wait a minute. Saginaw, a hotbed for gang activity?

Yes, says Drain.

"It was very easy to get caught up in gangs," said Houston's 6-foot-7 junior forward, who made 42.6 percent of his three-point attempts last season. "A lot of my cousins were in them. I appreciate the fact that I did get into basketball instead of running with them.

"My father wouldn't let me anyway."

Jessie Drain Sr. made sure his son steered clear of the violence that brought his own dream to a tragic end.

In the mid-1970s, Jessie Sr. was going to The Show. Baseball's Detroit Tigers signed him on as a pitcher, but before he even stepped into camp, Drain was caught in the middle of a Saginaw riot, the younger Drain said.

A bullet behind his ear ended a career that never began.

Now, the younger Drain takes the knowledge of his father's experience and his grandfather's battle with cancer, which is in remission, onto the hardcourt with him every game.

"When I think about inspiration, I think about those two things," Drain said.

The inspiration should be pouring out when the Cougars go on the road. Drain said his father would be at Purdue and the Iowa Hawkeye Classic where Houston plays in early December.

How do his parents feel about him playing for Houston instead of Michigan, the only college that counts to those in the Wolverine State?

"They love it," Drain said. "I was planning on going to Michigan until they started signing all those top recruits. I know I would have had a hard time starting there and getting the amount of playing time I deserved."

Drain started all but one game as a sophomore last year, when he probably would have seen the bench at Michigan behind the Fab Five of Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson.

Now in first-year head coach Alvin Brooks' new up-tempo style of play, Drain feels right at home.

"Last year we didn't run as much as we wanted to," he said. "Everybody on the team had a running system in high school. It will help boost everyone's playing potential."

With new faces on the team and freshmen expected to play, Drain will need to increase his output average of 10.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game last season, especially if his dreams of playing in the NBA are to become a reality.

With a little family inspiration, anything can happen.






by Matt Waterwall

News Reporter

As the Senate toughened its anti-crime bill to include a federal death penalty for gun murders this week, the UH chapter of Amnesty International brought their anti-death-penalty message to the campus during an open-mic forum.

Patrick Brooks, area coordinator for Amnesty International opened Wednesday's forum by outlining the organizations opposition to the controversial punishment.

"The death penalty is premeditated cold-blooded killing carried out by the state," Brooks said.

Brooks added that as part of Amnesty International's continuing effort to protect human rights it works hard to abolish the death penalty.

"Studies show that the death penalty does not deter violent crime. In fact, in some areas where the death penalty has been reinstated, violent crimes have actually risen," Brooks said.

Brooks' opening statements received mixed reaction from the sparse crowd gathered on Satellite Hill.

Mike Griggs, a junior business major, said, "I like most of what the organization stands for, but I am not sure I agree with their views on the death penalty. I think it does have an effect on deterring crime."

Lori Edwards, a sophomore English major, said, "The disturbing thing about the death penalty is its finality. The possibility of an innocent man wrongfully executed is horrible."

Local photographer Patricia Moore said Ricardo Guerra, a Mexican national who has been sitting on death row for more than a decade, is facing a wrongful death sentence. Guerra was convicted of capital murder in the shooting death of officer J.D. Harris in 1982. Moore points out that there are a number of flaws in the prosecutions case that prove Guerra is innocent.

Babita Patel, a sophomore pre-pharmacy major, asked, "If we put anyone to death, guilty or innocent, what have we accomplished?"

The forum was part of the Human Rights Week activities sponsored by Amnesty International.






by Kenny McIntire

News Reporter

Entry-level engineering students have been thrust into the computer age in Professor John Glover's engineering and computers class. His students use electronic mail instead of paper for homework assignments and projects.

E-mail is a method of sending information from one computer terminal to another through a network. This is the first time an e-mail version of this course has been offered, Glover said.

"The only paper we use is in the course guide (syllabus) and exams. I am not against using paper, but I feel that there are certain times and places for it," he said.

Students in the class have three major projects and one lab assignment per week during the semester.

"It would be tough for me to imagine 375 projects and lab assignments turned in and expect them to be graded and returned in a decent amount of time. E-mail eliminates hundreds of papers to keep track of," he said.

Class notes and other additions or changes made to assignments can be made once and then sent to a message file where students can access the changes.

"This makes it easier for students to get notes without having to make an appointment to come and see me," Glover said.

He said since this is the first semester e-mail has been used in the class, there have been a few problems.

"There was one time when the system couldn't take any more assignments because our mail box was full, and students couldn't send in their lab assignments. I think that this was a one-time problem and shouldn't happen again," Glover said.

There have also been problems with students' knowledge of computer use, he said.

"Not every student coming out of high school has had as much computer experience as we think. There have been students who we needed to show how to use a mouse and other basic skills. One of the benefits of e-mail is that it gives students basic computer knowledge."

Students' said their reaction to e-mail was positive, but there were some secondary problems.

Roberto Gutierrez, an engineering sophomore, said, "I think the e-mail system is good, but it would be nice to have a printout and see the hard copy. Also, one of my lab assignments did not get mailed and I didn't find out for two weeks."

There was also some technological stress the first days of class.

"The first three days of lab, everyone was looking around for help because no one knew how to use the system," he said.

Mark Frinzel, a post-graduate student, said, "I have no problem with e-mail, but with the teaching assistants and their lack of effort to help explain the system. Thirty percent of our grade depends on our lab work, and our lack of knowledge can hurt our grade. This is the worst class that I have ever taken."

Daniel Gutierrez, a mechanical engineering sophomore, enjoyed the class. "This class is taught more realistic to the real world because not everyone is going to help you solve your problems. I would sometimes like to see a hardcopy, but the grading and returning of assignments has been quicker than other classes."






by Scott McGregor

News Reporter

The steady increase in tuberculosis cases in the United States since the early 1980s can be directly attributed to the emergence of AIDS, according to a lecture by Joan Taylor of the City of Houston TB Clinic.

Taylor, a registered nurse with the clinic, spoke to a group of UH students recently at the Social Work Building.

"People who are HIV positive, or who have AIDS, have no immunity system. They have nothing to fight off diseases. TB just happens to be one of the diseases they can get, in addition to pneumonia," said Taylor.

According to Taylor, TB was believed to have been nearly wiped out in this country. Because of this, no research was done, no new drugs or treatments were developed, and very little screening was done.

"It was never wiped out to begin with," said Taylor. "It was just laying dormant. All of a sudden AIDS comes along and [the number of cases of] tuberculosis starts rising again."

"When someone comes in contact with a person with active TB, the first thing that happens is nothing," said Dr. Nora Klein, a pediatrician with CIGNA Healthplan. The disease locates itself in some part of the body, but there are no outward signs or symptoms. When a person's defenses break down the disease becomes active."

In addition to AIDS, many things can cause a person's defenses to break down. Contracting measles, the flu, age, or even being a smoker can lower the body's resistance and cause TB to become active, according to Klein.

TB is transmitted through the air. When a person who has active TB coughs, the bacteria is emitted into the air. In some cases the bacteria can be spread by talking or even breathing, according to Taylor.

It is estimated that 4 to 6 percent of Americans, or 10 to 15 million have inactive TB, which is not contagious. Because people with AIDS are more likely to develop active TB, the result has been an increase in the number of people spreading the disease, according to Taylor.

The most common symptoms, according to Klein, are coughing, weight loss, fever and night sweats.

According to Taylor, TB in the lungs is the most common, but it can also manifest itself in other parts of the body. TB of the brain can cause paralysis and slurred speech. TB in the kidneys or bladder will result in blood in the urine. To determine whether a patient has latent TB, a skin test is done.

"We have switched the method we use for testing," said Klein. "We now use an 'intradermal' test where we inject a substance into the skin. It's a much more accurate test than the 'Tine' test we used to use."

According to Taylor, if a person is not around anyone with TB, there's no need to be tested. If you work around the poor, in prisons, or with AIDS patients, you should be tested.

"The high risk groups are the homeless, health care workers, drug users, and the prison population," said Taylor. "Also black men between the ages of 24 and 45, and Hispanic men over 50 are at a greater risk. Many people want to believe it's foreigners but it's not."

"I came to Houston from the east coast," said Klein. "We tested all our patients every year. I was shocked when I first came [to Houston] to find that they were not testing children every year, especially being so close to the border."

According to Taylor, if a person is exposed to TB, it may take 3 months for the test to show up positive. She recommends getting retested in 3 months.

"Most patients can be cured in 6 months," said Taylor. "They may have to take as many as 15 pills a day."

The biggest problem in treating TB patients, according to Taylor, is that so many patients will take the drugs for a few weeks and then quit. After a while the disease gets activated again. When this happens patients run the risk of becoming resistant to the drugs.

They create a drug-resistant strain of TB. In Houston last year, 3 cases were recorded in which patients carried a strain of TB that was multi-drug resistant, resistant to two or more drugs, according to Taylor.

To combat this, Taylor says that patients are placed on directly observed therapy in which someone from the clinic actually goes to the patient every day to give them their medicine.

"I had one girl who used to come to our clinic, I used to buy tupperware from her to keep her coming in to get her medicine. We even pay patients to come in. We give them 2 dollars and two bus tokens to get them to come in and get their medicine," said Taylor.

Some patients who were totally uncooperative have been placed under quarantine," said Taylor. "We have to protect other people as well as them."







by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Area Women's Center and local Walgreen Drug Stores have linked up to provide pharmaceutical products for rape victims.

Victims of rape can go to the Women's Center and receive a voucher, which they can then take to any Houston area Walgreens for prescription medication.

"They can present (the) voucher and receive products for pregnancy prevention and sexually-transmitted-disease prevention," said Mitzi Vorachek of the Women's Center.

"The Women's Center reimburses Walgreens."

This voucher can also be used to purchase toiletries for sexual assault victims.

The voucher system was developed by the Houston Area Women's Center and Marshall Adams, a Walgreens supervisor.

Jim Landgraf, Walgreens district manager, also assisted the Women's Center by donating money for these supplies.

On Nov. 2, Marshall Adams and Jim Landgraf both received a community service award from the Women's Center for their financial assistance to sexual assault victims.

"I did not consider (the voucher program) that big of a deal," Adams said.

"(Walgreens) just called me and asked me for a billing program, and I set them up on the computer.

"(The Women's Center) had had a problem finding a pharmacy to help them do this program," Adams said.

The program began over a year ago and has had nothing but success since.

"It has worked out very well," Adams said.

"It is very comforting for rape victims to have this service."






by Sarah Myers

Contributing Writer

The federal government has been considering raising the cigarette sin tax to raise money for health care expenses and to deter people from smoking. These discussions have earned it both cheers and groans from the citizenry.

To make a significant dent in the enormous costs of the new Clinton health care plan, there has been talk of a 75 cent increase in the federal tax. Additionally, Texas has proposed implementing a $1.25 state tax.

"There has to be some revenue to help pay for the Clinton health program," said Dr. Joseph Nogee, a UH political science professor.

"The cigarette tax makes sense because tobacco smoking creates a great (many) health problems."

According to the Texas Health Commissioner, in Texas alone nearly 25,000 people die each year from smoking related illnesses.

Nationally, some 45,000 deaths of non-smokers have been linked to exposure to secondhand smoke.

According to the Surgeon General’s office, $52 billion a year is spent on illnesses related to tobacco use.

"The benefit of this tax is not only raising revenue, but it will, hopefully, discourage some people from smoking," Nogee said.

Although theory predicts that the increased cigarette tax will decrease the number of smokers, some UH students feel the tax won't stop most smokers from lighting up.

"Long-time smokers will keep smoking regardless of the cost," said Tom White, a business major.

"They won't quit. (Smokers will) just change to a generic, less expensive brand."

The Surgeon General also reported that 17 million people try to quit smoking every year. Out those, about 92 percent fail.

Tobacco advocates say that they have been unjustly singled out by the proposed tax.

"Everything causes cancer nowadays," said one insider in the tobacco industry who wished to remain anonymous. "If you eat too much red meat you can get cancer, (but) meat isn't taxed."

He said that if cigarette taxes continue to rise, the whole idea of a tax for health care revenue will backfire on the government because a black market is sure to develop in the United States.

He said that there is already a strong black market for cigarettes in China and Canada.

In the United States, the tobacco industry is taxed more than most products. Customers currently pay a federal tax of 41 cents for each pack sold.

Although additional federal taxes may not destroy the tobacco industry, they could definitely cause a decline.

Any decline of the tobacco industry could lead to a loss in government revenues that's greater than earnings from taxes.

The industry generates $6 billion a year in profit and is undeniably responsible for a large number of jobs in the U.S.

Tobacco advocates claim that if this tax is implemented, close to a quarter of a million people will lose their jobs.

For now, the idea of raising the federal tax or creating a state tax on cigarettes have not reached any formal legislative level.

"There is no clear indication of the fate of a potential cigarette tax," said Dr. George Antunes, a UH political science professor.

However, both he and Nogee agreed that the possibility is strong that there will be some type of tax at the federal level.

The only question remaining is how much?






by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

A free ticket to a ball game can brighten any child's Saturday afternoon. It can also educate a young student on the importance of staying in school.

Several Houston Independent School District elementary and middle school students were given free tickets to Saturday's University of Houston vs. Cincinnati football game through an athletic department program geared toward generating youth interest in college.

If the initial response is any indication, the children are indeed interested and enjoying the opportunity to witness university life first hand.

"Well, I can't keep up with them, so I guess they are (enjoying themselves)," said Ernest McBeth, who brought his son Omar and friends Misty and Keisha Davis to the game. All three attend McWilliams Middle School.

"It makes sense. They need some type of interest while they're still young," McBeth said. "It may not solve all the problems, but it will help."

Helping children understand the importance of staying in school now so they can someday go to college is the goal local real estate broker Bob Berry has for the program.

Berry, a University of Texas graduate, is a business partner and corporate sponsor of HISD.

He has worked with UH Athletic Director Bill Carr, Associate Athletic Director of External Affairs Bobby Risinger and Assistant AD Bob Derryberry to start the program, which gave 10,000 tickets to more than 30 HISD schools for Saturday's game.

"I'm hoping students can truly identify with the reason they are in school today," Berry said.

The game was the first attempt to institute the program this season. It was originally tried last season when 300 Wesley Elementary School students attended the Houston-Rice football game.

Plans include giving 10,000 tickets for every home football game next season and donating between 750 and 1,000 basketball tickets for each men's and women's weekend home game.

Private citizens purchase the tickets at a discounted price and donate them to the program.

Because of this arrangement, the athletic department can benefit financially with the expanded ticket-selling revenue base.

"It's a win-win situation," Berry said.

The students will also get a tour of the campus. UH student volunteers will greet the children and introduce them to professors from different departments before the game.

"Once they get over there and start touching the walls, it's worth a thousand words," Berry said.

Johnnisa Theus, a seventh-grade member of the McWilliams Pep Squad, understands the idea behind the program.

"It's about going to school and not taking things for granted and getting good grades," she said. "It takes a smart person to do that."

Theus attended the game with the entire pep squad, which is in its first year of existence under sponsor Tammy Smith.

"I wanted to give them a chance to see what the older kids do at halftime," Smith said.






by Andrew Nicolaou

Daily Cougar Staff

Fudge Tunnel's double entendre of a name might be labelled lamely sophomoric at best, but the same simply cannot be said of their music.

Fudge Tunnel was first brought into the spotlight of many an ugly American two years ago when its first full-length album, <I>Hate Songs in E Minor<P>, was released in the United States through Earache and Relativity Records.

The record was a curious guitar-heavy assault that found a diverse group of fans ranging from grindcore aficionados to noise rock buffs, thanks in large part to heavy airplay on college radio and, to some degree, MTV for the band's eight-minute cover of the classic "Sunshine of Your Love."

"Everyone paid more attention to the covers than the songs," complained Ryley in reference to the Cream cover and the band's recording of the Ted Nugent gem "Cat Scratch Fever". "Basically that's why we didn't do any covers this time."

"This time" is <I>Creep Diets<P>, Fudge Tunnel's second long-player released a scant month ago through Earache and Columbia Records. <I>Creep Diets<P> finds the British trio in territory that will be instantly recognizable to fans of the band's Black Sabbath-influenced first album.

Fudge Tunnel, while hardly a simple studio project, is not a big fan of touring. "We just don't enjoy it basically", said Ryley. "We're really not into the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. We enjoy the 45—60 minutes on stage – that's great, that's why we do it – the rest of it's a load of bullocks though."

While the band might not enjoy touring, it is making its first ever tour through the United States with Season To Risk and Houston's own Pain Teens.

"It's going pretty well so far. We didn't want to go out with three bands who sounded like Fudge Tunnel. Season To Risk is a probably a little bit more like us than Pain Teens but are still very different," said Ryley.

The band, that has also appeared under production credits as the Sphincter Triplets in a nod to Mick Jagger's and Keith Richards' Glimmer Twins pseudonym, tries not to put too much emphasis on gravelly vocalist Alex Newport's lyrics.

In fact, whenever Newport sings it seems as if the vocals are at the bottom of the mix, under a brick wall of guitars and the biggest bass sound people may have ever heard on a recording.

"We like to let people make up their own minds about the lyrics," said Ryley. "It's not like they're completely unimportant to us but we'd rather people thought for themselves, really.

"Besides, Colombia very politely remastered the album for its American release and boosted the mid-range frequency (which includes vocals) without asking us first," he added.

While the vocals are a little higher in the mix this time out, it's not the only change between <I>Hate Songs in E Minor<P> and <I>Creep Diets<P> noticed by the band.

"The two records are different records with different songs from different times with a different attitude and a different approach," said Ryley.

"The songs have become slightly more complex on <I>Creep Diets<P>, the title track in particular. We wrote it wanting to write some epic eight-minute songs with as many riffs as we could jam into it.

"We've gone as far as we wanted to with that sort of total noise guitar sound. We wanted to back off from that a little bit and give the songs a chance to breathe," he said.

While Ryley concedes that the Colombia remaster is a better cut, it's not the only trouble Fudge Tunnel seems to be having with their label. The band has run into a problem on tour – a lack of funds.

"We've almost run out of money and I think we might have to cut the tour short," Ryley said. "The record company is being very awkward about it and won't give us any more money to finish the tour, which is mind-boggling; that they'd actually let something of this scale happen and then drop the floor out from under us.

"We're all very homesick, though, and as much as we would like to finish the tour we wouldn't mind seeing England a little bit sooner."






Rating ***

Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Tim Curry

Director: Stephen Herek

by Glenn R. Wilson Jr.

Daily Cougar Staff

There's an old aphorism in Hollywood: Nobody has ever made a bad movie version of Alexander Dumas' classic novel <I>The Three Musketeers<P>.

Now Disney takes its turn and the result can be kindly referred to as "Mickey's Musketeers"!

This is a thoroughly modern retelling of this age-old tale of chivalry and honor. The actors didn’t waste time learning those pesky accents, they just jump hip-deep into a film set in the 17th century, which sounds remarkably like a California beach party gone horribly awry.

But I can't really fault the filmmakers because they never really show any ambition to rise above this standard. They seem quite content with a film that is neither historically accurate nor faithful to the original material.

Instead, it is a shameless swashbuckler (say that five times fast), and it performs well within this self-imposed boundary.

As far as the performances are concerned, Tim Curry commits grand-theft-film, and blatantly at that. As Cardinal Richelieu, the bad guy, he grabs this film by the horns and runs away with it never to return.

This is the best movie bad-guy since Alan Rickman traded shots with Bruce Willis in <I>Die Hard<P> and Kevin Costner in <I>Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves<P>.

Curry is both evil and devious, and keeping with modern movie tradition, he is given a bus-load of one-liners, most of which work.

Although Curry's performance alone might be enough for me to recommend the movie, I'll pay some homage to the other stars.

The best of the Musketeers is Charlie Sheen, who inherited his dad's gift for subtle humor along with the name. Oliver Platt is funny as the second Musketeer, but I couldn't help thinking that he was doing some sort of John Lovitz impression throughout the film. Kiefer Sutherland plays the last Musketeer; he's only slightly less intense than Oliver North, but much cleverer than Ollie. Unfortunately, it doesn't work well in this movie.

Director Stephen Herek (<I>Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure<P>) delivers a fast-paced, exciting film from beginning to end. And writer David Loughery (<I>Star Trek V<P>) provides a fresh, funny, screenplay.

One major complaint is that the action scenes tend to be repetitive.

Recall that old scene where one guy swings his sword at the feet of another guy only to miss because the other guy jumps into the air at the last possible moment is repeated ad nauseum. It seems the 17th century France was well-equipped with plenty of sloping landscapes that allowed for this particular stunt.

With those few faults, there is still plenty of swash for your buckle.






by Tom Vinh

Contributing Writer

<I>Scapino<P> must be Italian for campy because that’s the best way to describe this comedy from the University of Houston School of Theatre.

The complete title for this play is <I>Scapino, A Long Way Off From Moliere<P>, scripted by Frank Dunlop and Jim Dale and co-directed by Carolyn Boone and Mark Olsen. They weren’t kidding when they say it’s a long way off from Moliere, the French playwright who penned comedies such as <I>The Misanthrope<P> and <I>Tartuffe<P>.

The play is set in a café bar in Naples. The plot centers around two young men who set out to marry the women they love despite their fathers' disapproval.

Ottavio’s father, Argante, has arranged for him to be married to the daughter of Geronte, a wealthy friend, but Ottavio is intent on marrying his beloved, Giacinta. Geronte’s son Leandro wants to marry a Gypsy who his father does not know about but is sure to disapprove.

Both young men need money to finance their dreams of marrying the women they love. The two young men enlist the aid of Scapino who comes up with the idea of tricking the young men’s fathers out of their money. Well we all know how this play will end. Here’s a hint, Geronte has a long-lost daughter. Keep in mind this is a comedy and not a tragedy.

The plot isn’t very important. In fact, it is quite unoriginal. How many plays do you can you name that involve young lovers who fight their parents or their community to be together? Probably half the plays out there involve this precept.

The writers’ intent was to get laughs, as many as possible. That’s why they decided to fill this comedy with jokes, physical humor, parodies and every other gimmick they could think of. Some of it you’ll catch,(the Elvis Presley impersonation), and some you won’t, (the song "Danny Boy").

It was difficult finding anything original in the comedy. It appeared that audiences had seen all of it before in Warner Bros. cartoons and Marx brothers films. There wasn't much new here, and still the audience was laughing at some of these jokes – some funny, some not. Nevertheless, the writers should be congratulated for squeezing as many jokes into the play as they did.

It’s always difficult to review plays such as this because they aren’t meant to be taken seriously. How do you review a movie like <I>Airplane<P> or <I>Hot Shots<P> or <I>Naked Gun<P>. You can’t. It all boils down to personal taste and if the movie has lots of jokes. This play falls into that category.

Many of the actors had a Southern accent. Pretty strange for Italians. The Gypsy, Zerbinetta, had more of a New Jersey—Puerto Rican accent than that of an Italian Gypsy. The actors and actresses did the best they could with what they had.

Some had to improvise because certain props were out of place. They also play to crowd and encourage audience participation if the audience is willing.

The costumes were worth a chuckle or two. Some of the actors were dressed in ’70s-era clothing that might shoe up in a B-rated gangster film. Others were dressed in Western wear or attired as Southern belles. The set looked nice and was reminiscent of an Italian villa.

A lot of students were involved in putting this play together, and everything about this production reflects the enormous amount of effort put into it, and they should be proud. The comedy is not spectacular but it’s no fault of theirs.

Just because it isn’t spectacular doesn’t mean that it isn’t funny. That’s purely subjective.


When: Nov. 19—21.

Where: Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre.

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