THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD – ON BALSA WOOD?

ARCH project gives students heavy burden

by Niki Purcell

Daily Cougar Staff

Destructive chaos is the main focus of the College of Architecture's "Wood Break" contest, to be presented by Paul Lodholz' Architectural Structures class today at 10 a.m. until the destruction is complete.

Forty teams will compete to determine whose models will win or lose. Weights are added to the models, sometimes reaching 200 pounds, until they explode into smithereens.

"The most weight we've ever had on a model has been about 250 pounds, which was last fall," said Warren Block, teaching assistant for the class.

Two-hundred-and-fifty pounds ... that's one semester of textbooks.

More than 150 UH architecture students at the undergraduate and graduate levels will participate in the demolition activities.

The students were given predetermined specifications for the design, which this year is a column, but were able to free- design the column models themselves.

"The design of the structure is one thing, but the actual structure is something else. The drawing can be put together well, but the model is the most important," Block said.

Architecture students will learn firsthand how a structure responds to weight.

"The simpler (model) is the one that is well-crafted," Block said. "Those seem to be the models that can hold the most weight."

The students were able to use 1/8-inch-by-1/8-inch balsa wood that was three inches long and 10 inches high.

"The (students) that have lived through (the contest) like to watch the ones who are doing it. The ones actually involved grumble a bit because they have other projects due for other architecture classes, but on the whole, they seem to enjoy it," Block said.

"It brings the entire building together in the atrium," he added. "Everyone knows it is going on because there is a lot of crashing and laughing."

All UH students are welcome to watch the mayhem and destruction evolve as students see if they have what it takes to be one of the successful column builders.

The event takes place in the atrium of the Architecture Building.

 

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TWO SUICIDE ATTEMPTS JOLT DORMS

by Robert L. Arnold

Daily Cougar Staff

Two female students, who were reportedly depressed, attempted to commit suicide in the dorms Wednesday night.

UHPD Lt. Malcolm Davis said one female student in Moody Towers and another in the Quad residence halls were depressed over personal problems and tried to commit suicide, adding that the two incidents were not connected.

"The first call came from Moody Towers around 7:45 p.m. that a girl had tried to kill herself by taking a lot of Advil," Davis said.

According to a friend, the female student in the South Tower has made attempts to take her life several times in the past.

The student was taken to Ben Taub Hospital, where she is reported to be in good condition after having her stomach pumped.

Davis said UHPD received another call at about 10 p.m. from the Quad about a female student attempting to commit suicide by ingesting a large amount of Tylenol.

"The girl was lucid when officers responded to the call, and she was taken to an area hospital last night," Davis said.

The student, a third-floor resident of Law Hall, was released from the hospital and returned to school Thursday.

Police could not release information on either of the callers.

Sherry Whelchel, area coordinator for the Quad, said this is the second suicide attempt she has had in her area since she started as coordinator in the spring semester.

"I haven't been here for a fall semester, but this is very unexpected for me. Everyone responded well, and the person is all right," Whelchel said.

Karen Elkins, area coordinator for Moody Towers, said the resident advisers in the Towers responded to the call "excellently and efficiently."

"After we have a suicide attempt, the person making the attempt is referred to the Counseling and Testing Center and urged to make an appointment.

"We also try to give counseling to friends and acquaintances that lived in the dorm with the person trying to commit suicide," Elkins said.

A resident and former desk assistant of Moody Towers said suicide attempts are not an uncommon event on campus.

"I have been living in the Towers for three years, and I have seen at least four to five attempts every year," said the resident, who asked to remain anonymous.

The two students may be expelled by UH under the disciplinary policy for Bodily Harm, listed in the Student Handbook. Sources involved with the disciplinary process were unavailable for comment.

 

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ENGINEERING CONFERENCE A NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY

 

by Ivana Segvic

Daily Cougar Staff

The Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference will be having its sixth annual convention this weekend at the Hyatt Regency.

The two-day event offers students majoring in engineering, math, science, computer science and business an entire weekend of networking. This year's theme is "The New Competition," and students are given the opportunity to explore many career routes in science and technology in addition to providing the leadership training necessary in today's marketplace.

Last year, more than 1500 high school students, college students and professionals attended the conference, where nearly 50 corporate, government and university sponsors were present to recruit students and professionals.

Co-hosting this year's event are the University of Houston, Hispanic Engineer Magazine and Rice University. HENAAC's university program includes career-development seminars, leadership seminars, career-fair participation, motivational speeches and opportunities to network with leaders in the corporate world, government and academia.

Student packages to attend the conference are $90. The fee includes hotel accommodations for a two-night stay at the Hyatt, a banquet ticket, Career Fair admission, a student-networking party, student seminars and a concert.

To make a reservation or for more information about the HENAAC conference, call 654-1234.

 

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HELTON MAY SIT OUT SMU

by Jason Paul Ramírez

and William German

Daily Cougar Staff

At this point in the season, the Houston Cougars are desperate for a victory, and Chad O'Shea may be called upon to lead the way.

Last Saturday's starter, Clay Helton, is experiencing arm soreness from that evening's 38-7 loss to Texas A&M and is listed as questionable for Saturday's game against the Southern Methodist Mustangs (1-5, 0-2 in the Southwest Conference) in Dallas' Cotton Bowl.

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. The game will be televised locally by Raycom on KHOU-TV, Channel 11.

Houston (0-5, 0-1) will be looking for its first win after being outscored 90-7 the last two weeks against nationally-ranked Ohio State and Texas A&M.

Head football coach Kim Helton summed up the quarterback situation quite simply earlier in the week.

"If he is physically capable, Clay will start the SMU game," Helton said. "If not, Chad (O'Shea) will start."

The decision will be held off until game day

The Mustangs themselves are having quarterback problems, as sophomore signal-caller Ramon Flanigan is nursing a sprained ankle, but is still listed as probable for Saturday's contest.

"SMU has played a lot of good teams close," Helton said. "They have played a lot of quality games when their quarterback (Flanigan) is healthy."

Those games include a 17-10 loss at UCLA Sept. 10 and a 28-24 loss to North Carolina Oct. 1. Both of those teams were nationally ranked at the time.

To his credit, the sophomore quarterback receives lots of help in the Ponies' Run-and-Shoot offense, as wide receiver Mick Rossley is leading the league in receptions (44) and receiving yards (400).

"We haven't seen the Run-and-Shoot this year, so that always concerns you," Helton said. "And you know you're always going to face a tough game in a (SMU coach Tom) Rossley team."

 

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NETTERS STREAKING INTO OU

by Hiren Patel

Daily Cougar Staff

The No. 24 Cougar volleyball team will try for its eighth consecutive win tonight when it faces Oklahoma at 7:30 p.m. in the Field House at Norman, Okla.

Houston (10-3 overall, 5-0 in the Southwest Conference) enters the match leading 4-1 in the all-time series against the Sooners (9-7, 0-4 in the Big Eight).

The Cougars' undefeated SWC status marks the first time Houston has started the conference season 5-0. During its eight-match win streak, it has shut out five opponents three games to none.

The Cougars have captured the last four matches against Oklahoma, including a thrilling five-game win last season in Hofheinz Pavilion.

Lilly Denoon-Chester, Houston's senior hitter, demonstrated against the Aggies that even a "praying defense" is not enough to slow down her level of play. The SWC Player of the Year candidate had 22 kills and 11 digs while hitting .288.

Denoon-Chester ranks in the top five in the conference in hitting percentage, kills per game and blocks per game.

Sophomore setter Sami Sawyer finished the match against the Aggies with a season-high 56 assists and added eight defensive digs. The 1993 SWC Newcomer of the Year ranks second in assists per SWC game.

The Sooners, coming off a tough five-game loss to Big Eight rival Iowa State, are guided on the offense by seniors Kartina Sullivan and Gretchen Anderson, who combine for an average of seven kills per game.

If last season's match was any indication, the Cougars will face a tough and much-improved Sooner team, which added to its front court, freshman outside hitter Melissa Peterson. The Fremont, Calif., native is averaging 3.5 kills per game.

 

 

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SKA BAND LITERALLY FINDS SELF IN A PICKLE

by Valérie C. Fouché

Daily Cougar Staff

That funky underground ska band Skankin' Pickle will be performing at 10 p.m. tonight at the Abyss to promote its third release, <I>Sing Along With Skankin' Pickle<P>, on Dill Records.

The band formed in 1989 as a product of Mike Park and Lars Nylander, who performed together in a San Francisco bay-area band, Skankhead.

Its first two releases, <I> Skafunkrastapunk<P> and <I> Skankin' Pickle Fever<P>, have sold a combined total of 35,000 copies. Its music also appears on Moon Records' compilation, <I>Skaquake<P>.

Band members consist of Lars Nylander, trombone and vocals; Mike "Bruce Lee" Park, sax and vocals; Lynette Knackstedt, guitar and vocals; Gerry Lundquist, trombone; Ian Miller, bass; and Chuck Phelps, drums.

"One of the band members and his friend were sitting in class doodling around and drawing all kinds of stuff; they just happened to draw a pickle with some legs. The guy thought of the name Skankin' Pickle, and Mike thought, 'What a great name for a band,' " Knackstedt said.

Some have associated the band's name with the ska scene. The band has never thought of itself as a ska band, but it was grouped into that category. "The true ska crowd totally hates us; they've come to see us just because of our name. We used to think of ourselves as ska-funk-rasta-punk; now it's more ska-punk," Knackstedt said. The band has created its own label, Dill Records.

Tagging along on the tour is a band Skankin' Pickle recently signed to Dill, Tantra Monsters, a Hawaiian ska-groove-funk band.

Skankin' Pickle's performance is powerful and full of energy. The band has been known to break-dance on stage and show sing-along cards in Japanese.

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