by Tom Turner

Daily Cougar Staff

By now, most have probably seen the humorous facial expressions of lead singer Brad Roberts, or heard the group's hit release that is made up of only one letter. That's right, it's the Crash Test Dummies, who recently performed at Rockefeller's.

The Crash Test Dummies are currently on tour in support of the group's latest release, <I>God Shuffled His Feet<P>. On Thursday, the Canadian-based group graced the stage at Rockefeller's with a nearly full house welcoming its members with open ears. The last time the group visited Houston, it performed at Fitzgerald's after the band's first release, <I>The Ghosts That Haunt Me<P>.

The rest of The Dummies are younger brother Dan Roberts, bass; Benjamin Darvill, guitar and harmonica; Mitch Dorge, drums; along with Ellen Reid and Kathy Brown, both on vocals and keyboard.

The Crash Test Dummies' set had a laid-back, comfortable feel, but was still musically very tight. The songs flowed through Rockefeller's, and the audience was treated to fine musicians, good music and was entertained with a little humor. In between songs, Roberts joked with the crowd about the meanings of a few of the songs and how some came about.

The group is lyrically, as well as musically, very solid. The deep, bass voice of Brad Roberts filled the venue, keeping the audience entranced for the hour-plus set. The members have "created a world where philosophic interludes in unlikely settings flourish with an almost tropical luxuriance."

Through the use of melodic vocal lines and a tight rhythm section, Crash Test Dummies proved they are worthy of the spotlight they have now attained.

One of the tracks on the latest release, "Swimming In Your Ocean," was described as "explicit sex the whole family can enjoy." And of course, the group played the hit single "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" (funny faces and all).

As the night drew to a close, the group departed the stage only to return a minute later to perform a three-song encore. Roberts described the idea of an encore as a "Catch—22." He stated that you can leave, not come back and look like a jackass, or you can leave, knowing that you are coming back, return to the stage and still look like a jackass. The group ended the evening with "At My Funeral," a moving song dealing with the shortness of life.

If you missed the Crash Test Dummies at Rockefeller's, buy the latest release, <I>God Shuffled His Feet<P>. Next time, make a note on your calendar to be in attendance the next time the Dummies make a stop in town.






by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Whatever the reason, the decision-makers behind the University of Houston's future conference realignment aren't talking about their position or their plans.

And when they do talk, they're saying even less.

That could be a direct result of UH Athletic Director Bill Carr declining to attend a meeting today in Dallas between the ADs of Rice, Texas Christian and Southern Methodist, the other schools left out of the Southwest Conference-Big Eight merger, and the ADs from Tulane, Tulsa, Louisville and Memphis State.

The schools are there to discuss forming a new conference.

Why Carr wouldn't want Houston to be a part of the meeting would seem to mean he is holding out for something better.

"You (the media) had that quote (Rice AD) Bobby May made that each school has to look at their own situation," Carr said. "This situation is just very fluid. You have to be alert and flexible."

Asked if he could comment on the notion that Houston was still waiting for an invitation from the Big Eight, Carr said, "No, I can't. I would prefer to say we have to maintain our awareness and be ready for any possibility."

One possibility mentioned before resurfaced Sunday from, of all sources, Louisiana State baseball coach Skip Bertman, in town for a two-game series with the Cougars.

"Don't be surprised if Houston ends up in the SEC (Southeastern Conference)," Bertman said. "Somebody's going to get into the SEC. That's the wave of the future."

Houston has ties to SEC member Florida. Carr is a former Florida athletic director, and head football coach Kim Helton played and coached at Florida before moving on to Miami, the pros and finally Houston.

Carr said he is focused on keeping Houston a member of the SWC until 1996, when Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech split from the conference and move on to the Big Eight.

"That's what everybody needs – stability," Carr said. "I hope (the SWC) does stay intact for those two years. An important part of the future is keeping it together."

Asked if there was anything that could disrupt the conference before the two years are up, Carr took his time in answering.

"Decisions by individual institutions that don't consider it in their best interest (could end the SWC before that time)," he said, adding, "I'm not aware of any talk."

Carr said the sooner the situations unfold, the better.






by Naruth Phadungchai

News Reporter

In the midst of the most important celebration in Muslim religion, Ramadan, a tragedy occurred in Israel late last week when a Jewish physician opened fire and killed more than 50 people who were worshiping.

The mass murder, which spawned riots and fighting all over Israel and Palestine, has brought the Muslim religion and its accompanying celebrations to the forefront.

On the Muhammadan calendar this month is Ramadan, the month of fasting. Actually, this year, Ramadan began on Feb. 14 with the observance of a new moon and will end the next new moon.

During this time, from sunrise to sunset each day, all Muslims must fast. However, at the end of the day, after prayer, dinner is served. At UH, prayer and dinner take place on the second floor of the A.D. Bruce Religion Center, Mondays through Thursdays, starting at 6:15 p.m.

The prayer services and dinners are organized by the Muslim Student Association. Abdul Ghani, general manager of the association, said all Muslims and anyone curious about the event are welcome, especially those Muslim students from abroad.

According to Muhammed Uddin, a pharmacy student at UH and a volunteer helping to set up the dinners, Ramadan involves more than just fasting. During this month, Muslims also need to put "a double emphasis on self-restraint and (abstinence) from sins," he said. The reasons for fasting, he said, are "to purify oneself, to be thankful for the food, and to increase (one's) generosity (through food giving)."

The food, which the Muslim community in the area donated, is mostly Indian and Arab dishes.

Of those attending the prayer service and dinner Thursday, many were from places other than Arab countries. Haroon Rasheed, treasurer of the MSA and a sophomore biology major, pointed out that many who come are from countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia and Turkey.

Davon Akramov, a law student from Usbekistan, a former Soviet republic, said in addition to coming to the center to breakfast with other Muslims, he also attends weekly prayer services on Fridays.

Mohamad Sugirin, a sophomore French and finance major from Indonesia, came "to get together with other brothers.

"(The Religion Center) is the closest place in the vicinity of the campus" where he could come to observe Ramadan. "Other universities don't have this," he said.

At the center, men and women are separated during the prayer and dinner. A few children who came went with the women. "(Other than that), everything's the same," said Huma Qureshi, a senior business major and a member of the MSA's women's committee.

Hajra Syed, head of the Women's Division of the MSA and an elementary education junior, said anyone interested in learning more about Ramadan can pick up a newsletter at the A.D. Bruce Religion Center.






by Kevin Sinclair Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

Although the UH Directory lists him as a maintenance mechanic, Dean Ruck, also a professor of art, does much more than fix odd pieces of equipment.

Ruck was instrumental in saving the 3D arts program when the reshaping had attempted to phase it out. One of the things that helped him save the sculpture, jewelry and ceramics department was community outreach.

The Buffalo Bayou Art Park, at the corner of Bagby and Franklin, is just one of the projects that helped to save the department.

"You can't have a respected art department without three-dimensional studies," he said.

"We won that battle. It was important to make some noise and get the community involved," he said.

But there were compromises. The three departments will be merged into one. "It's hard to say what will happen with the faculty and staff positions in that area," he said.

He continues to maintain the art community's strong role in saving the department. "If we sat on our hands, they would have steamrolled us," he said.

The Art Park is exactly the community effort Ruck talks about. Started in 1986 on a whim by several renegade artists, it has blossomed into a nine-month show of site-specific sculptures.

Watermelon Flats, the area at Bagby and Franklin, was a place artists used to gather. They left their sculptures and saw how long they would stand before the city would remove them.

"The Art Park is acting as a facilitator for artists to put their sculptures out," Ruck said.

In 1990, when the first show in conjunction with the city occurred, the sculptures only stood for four days. A flood wiped out most of the sculptures, including Ruck's.

"The biggest expense is floods and vandalism," said Charlie Sartwell, president of the Art Park.

The Art Park doesn't judge the work, although there are rules for public display – nothing religious, nothing overtly sexual and it must be safe.

As of September 1993, the Art Park is a nonprofit organization. It works with both the city's parks and recreation department as well as the municipal arts committee.

In a hearing during the week of Feb. 14, the municipal arts council approved 32 works which will go on display April 23. The show will coincide with the International Festival.

The art will stay up for between three to nine months.

"We are trying to create dialogue with the public and the art community," Ruck said.

And the Art Park is growing bigger each year. It has yet to turn any artist away from displaying his or her works, but its growing size worries Ruck because, he said, he doesn't want to have to judge another artist's work.

One option is to expand the project to many different parks.

"We hope to make this bigger and better," Sartwell said, adding "The Art Park has been strong on presenting thoughtful ideas."

But the public display of art involves all the foibles and disappointments of public life. The city's downtown restoration plan may force the Art Park from Watermelon Flats. This plan was discussed last year, but never materialized.

"If that happens, we're sort of like gypsies," Sartwell said, adding, "We'll survive no matter what."

"Everyone downtown is supportive; they want to make (downtown) more human," she said, adding that the impending fight with the city may not amount to much, since "maybe we'll get to come back."

If not, they will just move to another park, she said.






by Edward Duffin

News Reporter

In light of the FBI's arrests of a 31-year veteran official of the Central Intelligence Agency and his wife on charges of spying for the Russians, many are wondering what this case will do to U.S.—Soviet relations.

Aldrich Hazen Ames, 52, and his wife Maria del Rosario Casas Ames, 41, allegedly sold U.S. secrets to Russia and the former Soviet Union for more than $1.5 million, FBI officials said.

As CIA counter-intelligence branch chief in charge of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Ames had access to a wide variety of information, including CIA documents detailing U.S. intelligence operations and agents.

The couple is accused of selling secrets to the KGB, the former Soviet intelligence agency, and the current Russian intelligence agency, SVRR, since 1985. If the two are convicted, they face life in prison and a fine of $250,000 each.

The Ames' covert dealings with Russia began to unravel when FBI agents found a computer-printer ribbon and analyzed it. From the ribbon, agents reconstructed a memo detailing a trip Ames made to South America – a trip he did not inform the CIA about, as required by policy. After the trip, the couple made 12 deposits in five weeks totaling $86,700.

Three days later, the FBI copied diskettes found at Ames' home. According to the FBI, the diskettes contained memos to the SVRR pleading for money.

Some say this case may undermine U.S. relations with Russia. "I think any damage to U.S. and Russian relations will be short-term. This is not to minimize the acts. There is a certain amount of espionage that goes on with all great world powers," political science professor Joseph Nogee said.

Political Science Professor Gholam Razi added, "This event certainly is not beneficial to the United States; however, we must remember that the U.S. recruits Soviet citizens here for the purpose of espionage."

The two arrests came at a turbulent time in the history of relations between the United States and Russia. While President Clinton is trying to further foster reform with Soviet President Boris Yeltsin, the two leaders are also exploring the possibility of a joint space venture to build a space station.

The Clinton administration is feverishly trying not to let the case overshadow the advances made with Yeltsin. Clinton said the case was a "very serious" breach of U.S. security, but urged officials not to act with haste by drastically changing U.S. foreign policy toward Russia.

Nogee said it would be in the United States' best interest to continue to finance socio-political reforms in Russia. "A democratic Russia with a market economy would make a much better neighbor," Nogee said.

Senate Minority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., said the case is "as damaging as any in U.S. intelligence history." He recommended a temporary freeze on U.S. aid to Russia until the administration is convinced the Kremlin will cease its espionage operations against the United States.

In addition, the FBI Thursday accused Ames of betraying 10 Soviet citizens who were spying for U.S. intelligence agencies. Moscow responded by executing the suspected agents in December 1991.

The FBI has not yet revealed the names of the U.S. agents they say Ames betrayed. However, two of those executed are believed to be among the first intelligence officers the United States ever recruited from the Soviet embassy in Washington, DC

Ames' wife once was a paid CIA informant based in Mexico City. She comes from an elite Colombian family with social ties to Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Her arrest dominated Colombian newspapers and television broadcasts. The Colombian press has labeled her a "Colombian Mata Hari."

Razi said, "People should not be surprised the wife sold information to the Soviets. The CIA used her as a paid informant; she simply went somewhere else that paid more."






by Ryan Carssow

and Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

The Louisiana State Tigers brought their brooms and their entourage to Cougar Field and swept Houston this weekend.

Sunday, the defending national champion Tigers (4-2) used good pitching and poor Cougar defense to pull out a 7-2 victory.

The standing-room-only crowd saw the Tigers rally behind the pitching effort of Scott Schultz (1-1).

The game started in a pitching duel as Schultz pitched eight innings of almost perfect ball. He gave up only two runs, one earned, struck out six and walked none.

Cougar starter Matt Beech (3-1) retired the first nine batters in order. He pitched four more innings before Jeff Schneider relieved him. Beech allowed seven runs, but only two were charged against him. He mixed five strikeouts in with four walks.

The seventh inning was the crucial one for the Cougars. The Cougars (10-6) had pulled within one, trailing 3-2.

LSU's Kevin Ainsworth led the inning off with a single and stole second.

Then UH's Ricky Freeman and Carlos Perez collided on a Ryan Huffman pop-fly behind first base, and Ainsworth advanced to third.

Jason Williams singled up the middle to score Ainsworth, and Huffman scored on a wild pitch. This put the Tigers up 5-2 and the Cougars never threatened again.

An interesting development occurred in the top of the ninth when Freeman, who starts at first base, replaced catcher Mike Hatch behind the plate.

Reserve catcher Chris Aguilar left the team for personal reasons, and Freeman had not caught since high school.

"Chris Aguilar could be out for the season. (The game) was a good chance to break (Freeman) in," said Houston head coach Bragg Stockton.

Saturday, the Cougars were behind before they ever batted.

Houston starter Brad Towns walked five and allowed four runs in the first inning.

"It's hard to say anything to the team," Stockton said. "Towns walked nine today; that's just not him."

Hatch, along with a majority of the Houston team, said he believed plate umpire John Kliese's strike zone had more to do with Towns' control problems than a poor performance.

"The umpire was very inconsistent. He squeezed us the first three innings," Hatch said. "It was like throwing in a coffee cup."

Towns threw three innings and gave up five runs. Reliever Daryl Renfrow continued the wildness with four walks in three innings.

LSU added a run in the top of the fourth and fifth innings.

Houston found some offense in the middle innings and fought back to pull within three.

Hatch knocked in third baseman J.J. Matzke with an RBI single in the fourth for UH's first run.

In the fifth, Perez reached on a bunt single, and Freeman chased him home with an RBI triple. Freeman scored on the first of LSU shortstop Russ Johnson's two errors.

Johnson's second error plated Chris Scott in the eighth. The potential run-producing inning ended when Perez looked at a Brian Winders third-strike fastball.







by William German

Contributing Writer

The Lady Cougars have not had much luck with the Texas Longhorns in their history, winning only once in 51 tries.

Saturday night at Hofheinz Pavilion, the Cougars (10-13 overall, 5-7 in the Southwest Conference) lost attempt No. 51 and their composure to Texas 89-74.

"We really reacted to the officials tonight and lost our focus," said Houston head coach Jessie Kenlaw. "There were a lot of bad calls."

The Cougars played trouble-free most of the first half, overcoming an early 14-7 deficit to post leads of 18-16, 20-18 and 27-26 with as little as 6:14 left.

But a technical foul on senior Michelle Harris with 4:12 to play put the Cougars down 31-28 and seemed to wake up the Longhorns, who finished the half on a 16-2 run.

"If the refs call a foul, you have to know not to react," said freshman Pat Luckey, who finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. "The refs said if we do any little thing, they'll call it. That wasn't smart on (their) part."

Another big call in the game came in the second half with the Cougars rallying from a 21-point deficit to close within seven at 65-58. Senior Sharon Bennett was called for her fifth foul, a block on Texas' Nekeshia Henderson, with 7:11 remaining.

Bennett subsequently picked up a technical foul for arguing, and the Horns went on a 10-0 run that left them in control the rest of the way.

"It's unfortunate that a bad call can change the pace of a game," Kenlaw said. "Tonight (the officiating) was a little lopsided, but we have no control over that. If we just do the things we're supposed to do, it won't matter."

"I felt we could have beat them," Luckey said. "They weren't doing anything different, weren't playing real tight defense or anything."

Indeed, the Cougars trimmed a 16-point second half Texas lead to seven after scoring nine straight points on four layups and a free throw.

"Houston is a momentum team. They've always played that way," Texas head coach Jody Conradt said. "They're capable of falling behind and closing the gap."

Texas (16-8, 8-4) snapped an unprecedented three-game conference losing streak by defeating the Cougars in their final home game of the season.

Super-freshman Danielle Viglione, who bombed the Cougars silly with an NCAA-record 11 3-pointers in the teams' first meeting, scored 23 points in only 22 minutes Saturday.

"It was weird sitting on the bench," said Viglione, who sat out nearly all of the second half after picking up her fourth foul with 8:21 left. "I've never had four fouls, usually only one or two. But I have faith in my team members that they can get the job done."

The game was billed as a battle of two of the SWC's premier freshmen, but with Viglione riding the pine and the referees T-ing up Houston players, the Luckey-Viglione comparison was secondary.






by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

AUSTIN – The Houston Cougars came out of the Frank Erwin Center having made a statement.

But it wasn't enough.

Behind some outstanding pickpocketing by the Texas Longhorn defense, the Cougars committed 33 turnovers and sealed their own fate in an 88-70 loss before 10,502 fans.

The 33 turnovers matched the same number the Cougars had in a 110-78 loss to Texas in Hofheinz Pavilion on Jan. 29.

"The bulk of our turnovers came from our older guards," said Houston head coach Alvin Brooks.

Brooks was referring to seniors Anthony Goldwire and Tyrone Evans, who were both guilty of seven turnovers apiece.

However, Houston (6-18 overall, 4-9 in the Southwest Conference) did have a chance to come out on top of the Longhorns (19-7, 9-2).

With Texas holding a 53-30 advantage at halftime, the Cougars put their defensive clamps down and caused the Horns to shoot only 35.3 percent from the field after the break.

Houston held junior guard Terrence Rencher in check all afternoon as Texas' fifth all-time leading scorer could only score four points on 2-of-5 shooting.

"I just want to say that Houston has improved dramatically," said Texas coach Tom Penders. "They are a whole different ballclub than they were when we last played them."

Cougar freshman guard Willie Byrd again showed why he is going to be a force to be reckoned with in seasons to come. Byrd scored 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting.

"Byrd didn't surprise me," Penders said. "He's a nice player and a good athlete."

But the Cougars were unable to stop Texas forward Albert Burditt. The 6-8 senior constantly burned the Cougars on the high post as he scored 25 points and registered seven blocked shots.

Had it not been for Burditt and a rough outing by Goldwire, the Cougars might have walked away with the victory.

In addition to his seven turnovers, Goldwire scored just three points, a total that was higher than the number of shots he took – two.

"They continued to trap Anthony in every opportunity," Brooks said.

Trailing by 23 points at the half, Cougar center Rafael Carrasco canned two free throws to cut the deficit to 12 at 73-61 with 4:44 remaining.

But Houston couldn't capitalize on the Horns' 10 turnovers and poor shooting in the second half.

There was an instance when sophomore forward Tim Moore missed a wide-open dunk that bounced about 20 feet in the air.

Another easy scoring opportunity went by when junior forward Jessie Drain couldn't hold on to a nice zip pass from Goldwire.

"We lost our poise in the last five minutes," Brooks said. "We got (the deficit) down to 12 and thought we had a chance to make a little run."

But the Longhorns dashed any hopes of a Houston comeback.

B.J. Tyler sank two consecutive treys to lead Texas on an 8-0 run to give the Horns an 81-61 advantage.

Tyler scored 23 points despite shooting only 8-of-23 from the floor.

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