In the Can

Glenn R. Wilson Jr.

Let's talk about these Oscars!

Like most Americans who follow the movie industry, I was expecting this year's Oscars to be Steven Spielberg's Bar Mitzfah, but I was not expecting such a hard edged show.

Having been barraged in the past by Richard Gere's pleading on behalf of the Dali Lama or Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins preaching down their liberal clap-trap, it was nice to see a relatively politics-free ceremony.

Granted Tom Hanks gave a moving acceptance speech regarding AIDS and America. But before you take it too seriously, it's important to remember that it was a <I>Best Actor<P> Oscar and the speech sounded very well rehearsed to me.

But I don't want to sound <I>too<P> cynical! So I'll just stick to the awards themselves.

There's something about the Oscars that just appeals to Americans. Usually, the winners deserve to win even if it isn't for the particular film for which they're nominated. (See Al Pacino and Paul Newman.)

This was a good year for me and my Oscar picks. In fact, I correctly guessed all major categories (Yes, I even picked Anna Paquin!) and got most of the minor categories. Next year I'm going to try the technical awards that they give out before the main event!

As I said earlier, Tom Hanks was given his Oscar by a gracious Academy who was more than willing to forget that whole <I>Bonfire of the Vanities<P> debacle. And I won't even get into <I>Joe Versus the Volcano<P>. But if you really want to get technical, <I>Philadelphia<P> wasn't all that hot either.

The three principal women involved with <I>The Piano<P> all walked away winners. The most surprising being Anna Paquin's Best Supporting Actress win. This 11-year old should have no trouble getting the lead in her school play now!

In the last of the major categories, Tommy Lee Jones won for his playing of an intense, fair, fast-speaking and down-to-business character in <I>The Fugitive<P>. Basically he was playing Tommy Lee Jones, but he did it so well, they gave him an Oscar.

Most importantly, Milli Vanilli never won an Oscar! And that's all I ever need to know.

Wilson is a postbaccalaureate student studying history and government.






by Christian Messa

News Reporter

Last Wednesday's assassination of Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio in Tijuana should not adversely affect the economic ties between the United States and Mexico, according to Emilio Zamora, associate professor of History.

"I don't think Colosio's death will have far-reaching consequences in the economic arena," Zamora said.

He said, however, the assassination has made investors nervous and made them temporarily realize "that there are serious problems in Latin America that must be addressed if they expect to be received well in Mexico."

Lorenzo Cano, associate director of the Mexican American Studies Program, also said investors will be wary.

"Some investors might not invest at all, but they are a small minority," he said.

Although shares in stock of Mexican companies had dropped, Zamora said the United States has offered loans to Mexico to control any devaluation of the peso.

With their presidential candidate murdered, Zamora said it is too early to know how the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, will be affected. He said the assassination could create a possible positive consequence by contributing to further democratization of the political process.

The PRI is the main political party in Mexico that has never lost a major election. The President of Mexico, as the PRI party leader, selects the PRI presidential candidate at the end of his one time six-year term. This candidate has a virtual lock on the presidency since the PRI almost never loses an election.

But now, because of the assassination, Zamora said the party must hold an open selection process before the Aug. 21 presidential election. This might be encouraged with public debate.

Zamora said the opposite could also happen. He said the PRI might become authoritative and select a candidate "behind closed doors without any public debate."

Cano said the assassination gives the various factions within the PRI party a chance to offer their own suggestions for a presidential candidate.

The PRI now has the opportunity to reform itself, he said.

On Tuesday, the PRI chose 42-year-old Dr. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon as the party's new presidential candidate. Zedillo has a master's and doctoral degrees in economics.

Rumors that alleged assassin, 23-year-old Mario Aburto Martinez, is involved with the Zapatista movement in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas have not been taken seriously by Zamora. He said conspiracy theories are interesting to talk about, but currently there are none with any basis in fact.

Aburto has refused to say if he is involved with the Zapatistas, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Concerning any comparison between Colosio's assassination and Sen. Robert Kennedy's assassination in 1968, Zamora said he did not see any similarities. He said Kennedy's assassination took place in a "completely different election and country."

Cano said the Mexican people's shock over Colosio's assassination was similar to the response in the United States after Kennedy's assassination, but "the political analysis remains to be seen" between the two events.






by Naruth Phadungchai

Daily Cougar Staff

On Wednesday, Tamotsu Aoki, Professor of Anthropology at Osaka University in Japan, spoke at a luncheon held in the University Hilton's Shamrock Room. He lectured on contemporary Japanese culture to an audience of more than 80 people.

Modern Japanese society, said Aoki, is a "hybrid" of Japan's native culture mixed with Asian and Western cultures, particularly American.

As proof, he cited the influences seen in the architecture, clothing, food and language of the Japanese. There is an "openness to the influences of other cultures" in Japan, said the professor.

Aoki also noted that his grandfather is among those credited for bringing baseball to Japan, which has become one of the most popular sports there.

Using an analogy of a human's digestive system, Aoki said that the Japanese "metabolize" certain aspects of foreign cultures that are compatible to their own, while rejecting those aspects that are "indigestible." The end result is a uniquely Japanese flavor of those cultures, he said.

Edmundo de Hoyos, who is studying Japanese at UH, was among those listening to Aoki's speech. He said he liked the professor's analogy and layman's language. Said Hoyos, "He put it in a way I was able to understand."

The Japan America Student Association and the Consulate General of Japan in Houston organized the event. Officials from the consulate, businessmen, and UH professors and students attended the luncheon.

Toward the end of the lecture, Aoki pointed out that in Japan, the good of the group is placed above the good of the individual.

Later, the professor was asked if there is a revolution Japan, among the young people, to put more emphasis on the individual rather than on the group. Aoki said, "the younger generation (does emphasize more) individualism." But he added that he thinks they are also "more selfish."

Hoyos said of Aoki's description of Japanese culture, "I think what he said is true," and added that he was pleased that he had the opportunity to listen to the lecture.






by Megan McVeigh

News Reporter

Laura Pederson, author of "The Street-Smart Career Guide," told students and business people that a degree from Harvard, money and family connections are not necessary for success.

Pederson, who at age 20 was the youngest seat-holder on the American Stock Exchange, spoke Wednesday as part of the Inventive Minds speaker series.

Determination and good ideas are needed to be a success, Pederson said. "Sometimes we think of an opportunity, but we don't have confidence in our ideas," she said.

By age 12, Pederson knew she wanted a job on Wall Street. Growing up in a middle-income family, she understood she would need to work hard to achieve a comfortable lifestyle, she said.

Each year, from ages 12 to 17, she requested an application from the School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, "just to look at it," she said.

Pederson was not accepted to the school after high school. "It was the greatest disappointment of my life," she said.

However, she did not let this stop her from living her dream. She got an entry-level job on the floor of the stock exchange and gradually moved up the career ladder. By age 22, the young woman who had failed high school algebra had earned $1 million, and a finance degree from New York University, Pederson said.

In 1989, Pederson had burned out on Wall Street, and wanted a career in the television industry, she said.

After interning for two months with "The Joan Rivers Show," Pederson became Rivers' personal assistant. "I really admired how hard Joan worked," she said.

In fact, Pederson said she finds most people work hard for many years before becoming successful. "What makes a person successful is the fact that winners lose more than losers," she said.

Pederson said students should disregard the "Generation X" label tagged on them by the media. Although there may be fewer companies hiring, this lack of security may lead to more creativity, she said.

Students should study something that really interests them and that they have a passion for, she said. They need to go beyond what is in the course catalog, and the jobs that first come to mind, Pederson said.

She advised students to get involved in professional organizations and to take a public speaking course.

Also, Pederson suggested students pass out business cards and get recommendation letters from professors and employers. This can help give a person an edge on the competition, she said.

"If we combine what we are good at and what we are passionate about, we are bound to do better than others," she said.

Pederson said she is working on a book about trends in consumerism.







by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

The Willie Nelson classic "On the Road Again" should be the Houston Cougars' theme song for the rest of the Southwest Conference season.

Houston (23-14, 3-3 in the SWC) travels to College Station to take on the Texas A&M Aggies in a three-game series this weekend.

This trip is only the beginning.

The rest of Houston's games are at neutral or away sites. Scheduled home games must be played at alternate sites because of the construction of a new stadium. Practices are being held in Humble.

"It all depends how well we perform on the road," said Houston head coach Bragg Stockton.

The Aggies (18-15, 0-6) are winless after the opening two weeks of the conference season for the first time in their 43-year history.

"It's been tough," said A&M head coach Mark Johnson. "Our guys have always had high expectations. There's a lot of frustration."

Stockton said he hopes the Aggies stay frustrated until the Cougars can get out of town.

"I just hope A&M doesn't wake up before we get to College Station," he said.

Johnson is equally wary of the Cougars.

"A Bragg Stockton team is always a well-coached team," he said. "I haven't seen (Houston) play, but they've certainly got our attention. They beat Rice and Rice swept us."

While A&M has played poorly in the first two conference series against Texas and Rice, Johnson said he doesn't believe his team needs any major changes in order to turn their misfortunes around.

"There's no question we should be playing better than we are," he said. "I don't think there needs to be a major shake up."

A&M is tied with Houston for the worst team batting average in the conference (.277). However, the Cougars make up for some their hitting woes with a conference-best .961 fielding percentage. The Aggies are near the bottom in defense at .952.

Houston's team ERA of 5.12 is a full run more per game than A&M's 4.12. Most of the Cougars' pitching problems have come in third games of conference series. Houston has given up 43 runs in its two series-ending games.

The probable starters for today's 7 p.m., nine-inning game are Bo Hernandez for Houston and Trey Moore for A&M. Saturday's seven-inning first game matches Houston's Matt Beech and A&M's Chris Clemons. Ryan Rupe, a 6-6, 210-pound freshman, is the Aggies' third game starter.

Houston's third game starter is unknown. Brad Towns started the third game of both the Rice and Texas series but didn't last past the second inning in either start. Kevin Boyd, who threw three scoreless innings against No. 21 Lamar Tuesday, is being considered to start the third game against A&M.

"(Boyd has) been hoping for this opportunity all year long," Stockton said. "I hope he can make the move."







by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

Today marks the start of the inaugural Erin's Closet Last Annual Invitational Golf Tournament. The match will tee off at 10 a.m. and will be played on and around the UH campus.

The tourney is being hosted by Travis Baker, creator of the cult cartoon Erin's Closet. Baker is a senior theater major and artist.

Joining him in the world class event is senior theater major Noel Bowers, who is represented by the little guy in the corner of Baker's editorial cartoons. You know, the guy in the Shriner's cap.

The choice of Bowers as the sole invitee of the tournament came with some skepticism from the critics but as Bowers said, "(Baker) had to invite somebody so it could be an invitational."

"He's one of the few people who would blindly go forth in this effort for the sheer reason of doing it," added Baker. "Because when you think of it, it's silly."

Bowers was almost moved to tears when he heard of the invitation.

"I was honored to be asked by such a great artist and to be seen with him on campus is beyond belief," he said. "In the same respect, I'm going to kick his ass."

Even though the course is 18 holes it is undoubtedly not sanctioned by the PGA.

The first tee is located by the statue of those people with the long legs in between the Communications and Fine Arts Buildings. The writer of Dan's Notebook (me) humbly refers to this art as "Three Basketball Players On Their Way To Practice." Spectators are more than welcome to the event.

Holes will include certain landmarks on campus. The Mortal Kombat II video game in the University Center will be the ninth hole. The last stall in the men's room in Melcher Hall is the sixth. A coffee cup on the desk of Dr. Sidney Berger (chairman of the Theater Department) will culminate the course and another hole will hopefully be Dr. Pickering's desk.

"If we can get into his office, his desk will be the 11th hole," Baker said. "If we run into the secretary bunker, we'll just have to stop there."

When asked about possible campus police intervention, both participants failed to show fear.

"We're going to be wearing running shoes," Bowers replied. "I figure by the time Barney Fife takes his bullet out of his pocket and puts it into his gun we ought to be gone."

"Play through," Baker said.

Both of the contestants boast prior golf experience, though Baker's seemed more extensive.

"(I played) many years on the putt-putt circuit," he said. "I played real golf twice, I shot a 76. Of course it was a nine-hole course."

Bowers refused to give Baker the edge. "I play putt-putt a lot and went to a driving range once. Putting is my forte," he said. "I have more experience than Travis does."

When it came to foreshadowing the outcome of the tournment, there were varied predictions.

"I predict I will kick his butt," Baker said.

"Pain," Bowers said.

Even though scoring will be kept in the traditional method, there is a special winning condition.

"In the course of the game, if one of us can smack (Students' Association President) Jason Fuller in the head, it will be outright victory," Baker said.

Although the purse -- "a heady ale," said Baker -- is important to the winners, there is more to it than that.

"Why did Washington cross the Delaware? Why did what's his name cross the North Pole? I've been here four years, it's sort of a farewell tour of campus. I want to see if I can smash a window."

Baker then paused and the real meaning of the event was known.

"Stuff like this has been going on ever since Pythagoras created the first academy, and we hope this will help people take the world a little less seriously and in some small way help them to apreciate the absurdity of life; and revel in it."

Sports Editor's Note: While we, the sports staff, like Dan, we in no way condone his subversive writing (Dan, put your straight jacket back on now!). As a matter of fact, we don't even like to admit he's a sportswriter, but his parent's paid us a hefty sum of money to take him in. Usually we just let him play with the keys of a powerless computer and he seems to be happy. If he sneaks onto the sports pages again, it 's not our fault.






Cougar Sports Service

The women's track team will be competing in the Rice Bayou Classic April 1-2, a women's-only meet hosted by the Owls.

Rice held a men's only meet earlier this year. The men have the weekend off.

The Lady Cougars are having a good season with strong showings from the 1,600-meter relay team (Nicole Ates, Cynthia Jackson, De'Angelia Jackson and Drexel Long) and such individuals as Edwina Ammonds, Dawn Burrell and Starlie Graves.

The mile relay team is one of the best in the nation. They finished second at the NCAA Indoor Championships two years in a row.

Last weekend, the Cougars competed in the Texas Quadrangular meet where head coach Tom Tellez said he felt the team performed well.

The Cougars are swinging into full gear as the Southwest Conference Outdoor Championships draw near. They will be held at Rice April 23-24.






by Tom Turner

Daily Cougar Staff

Only one thought came to mind upon listening to Gumball's latest release, <I>Revolution On Ice<P>. Quite simply, you may not know who these guys are, but they rock!

You may also find yourself wondering, "Why didn't I ever hear about these guys before?"

<I>Revolution On Ice<P> is the second full release by the Columbia recording artists Gumball. The group emerged from the Washington D.C. area punk scene in the early '80s under the name of the Velvet Monkeys. After two EPs and two other albums, the band has maintained its raw, flowing, straightforward sound.

The group relies on its sense of originality and musical talent, both of which seem quite plentiful, on the 12 track album. The latest release has a spectrum of sounds ranging from punk to flowing, almost tranquil, melodies. Gumball carries a powerful, original sound throughout this latest release, scheduled for an official unveiling in mid-spring. Each of the songs is strong in one way or another, which, in turn, sets the group apart from many other bands.

Gumball is a solid band that simply hasn't received enough of the exposure it deserves. After touring throughout the United States, Europe and Japan with several different groups, one of which was Dinosaur Jr., Gumball is sure to become a commonly heard name in music.

<I>Revolution On Ice<P> is due out in stores around April 12. When this one hits the shelves, go out and get it by any means necessary.

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