by Terri Garner

Daily Cougar Staff

Operation Clear-Water, a Delta Lambda Phi fraternity service project, has been launched to restore the Shyan Tower and fountain, located in front of M.D. Anderson Library.

Members plan to drain, clean and eventually light the fountain starting Friday at 1:30 p.m., said Brian Greul, Delta Lambda Phi's public relations chairman. The fraternity will also need outside groups to donate upkeep materials for this ongoing project; "otherwise, we will have to have a fund-raiser," he said.

The restoration project is in cooperation with UH Media Relations and President James H. Pickering's office.

Greul said the fraternity chose the project because it felt it was "something worthwhile."

"We're here to make a positive contribution to the university," Greul added.

He said the UH Physical Plant is responsible for the fountain's upkeep, but attributes the present state of the fountain to a "lack of available personnel." He added that the upkeep problems are ultimately due to a "shortage of funding at UH," but he maintains there is still "no excuse for its condition."

Greul explained that the fountain was shut down because of rust concerns. "The tower is made of Cortense steel, and the original design of the fountain was that water was to flow from the top, but when the fountain was shut off, so was the filtration system."

The fraternity members feel this project "places them in a leadership role," Greul said.

He adds that the second phase of this project is a challenge to other student organizations to pick a one-time or ongoing project to help maintain the campus.

"All student organizations should strive to make the university a better place," Greul said, adding that all too often, students "place blame instead of correcting (the) problem."

Through its efforts, Delta Lambda Phi is making a difference, he said. "There is no excuse why we can't be the best university; we live in the biggest city. It's a matter of personal commitment."






by Tiffany Vaughner

Daily Cougar Staff

Spirituality came to UH Friday night in the form of <I>Fusion<P>: a mix of song, dance, poetry, film, members of the hip-hop group Arrested Development and, most importantly, the drum.

The multimedia event was the brainchild of Speech, the founder and head lyricist of Arrested Development and the producer of <I>Fusion<P>.

Ajile, one of Arrested Development's newest members and owner of Total Dance Theatre, said Speech approached her about doing the show after seeing her in a previous performance. She said she thinks what attracted him to her was her unique way of doing things and her sincerity about doing something positive.

As the show opened, the lights dimmed and a song about the importance of the drum to all cultures and people, called "We Are The Drum," began. The song spoke of the history and purpose of the drum and compared it to the soul of humankind, the spirit of the world.

Ajile came on and welcomed the audience to join her in celebration by saying, "I'm the kind of person that's gentle and fertile, defensive and overt, loving and kind and I expect the same from other people. So you see you gotta give it up. You gotta feel it. You're in this with me," she said.

Ajile explained what <I>Fusion<P> is and how it can be seen in the music of African Americans.

"Fusion. The merging of positive, distinct elements into a unified whole. Fusion. The importance, the impact, the influence of the African drum. Fusion. Spirituals, blues, rhythm and blues, pop, the walk, the talk, the sway, the jump. Fusion. The influence of the drum," she said.

Ajile said rap could be traced back to West Africa, where drumming and dancing merged and evolved into not only a source of entertainment, but also a major force in making things happen, be they political, social or spiritual.

Narratives began with the slave trade, with Ajile giving a dramatic presentation about a pregnant African woman suffering a miscarriage during the passage to America. They continued through the lives of the slaves on the plantation – a life without the drum.

As part of the performance, Ajile told of how the Europeans took the drums away after noticing the power and influence they had over the Africans. All they saw was that the drum could be used to send messages across many miles in a language they couldn't understand. What they couldn't see was that the drum was also a life- affirming instrument that was deeply rooted in the psyche of African people.

So without the drum, the new African Americans found different ways to express themselves: through song and dance.

The African American songs and dances in <I>Fusion<P> cover the years from the Calk Walk in the early 1900s to the Charleston in the '20s, the Lindy Hop in the '30s, the jitterbug in the '40s and '50s to the Twist in the '60s. The change showed how African Americans changed their dances to a more Westernized variety, yet were still able to keep the sensual and distinctly African flavor of their homeland.

The latter half of the program took an even more serious turn with the subject of inner-city violence, particularly African Americans killing other African Americans.

Ajile and the company performed a piece about a woman trying to get out of the inner city to make a better life for herself, only to have her boyfriend killed in front of her.

"We live in violent times. Violence is a thang. We show you this scene not for glorification, but instead, a mirror to serve as a refection of ourselves for our understanding that we must work for peace," Ajile said.

After the show, she said her message stays the same no matter who may be sitting in the audience and added that she realizes messages may be perceived differently depending on what culture from which the listener comes.

"I think everybody identifies with things a different way, but the message goes out to all people the same way. And the message is basically saying that Africa is a source for something very powerful. The drum serves as something greater than just a beat. It's life. It's fertility," she said.

The event was sponsored by UH's Pan African People For Progressive Action in association with the Council of Ethnic Organizations and the Student Program Board as part of Diversity Month.






by Terri Garner

Daily Cougar Staff

Darkness settles over the countryside as looming, hooded figures emerge from the villages to roam the land, lighting their journey with candle-lit skulls.

No, this is not the latest setting for a Stephen King novel, but rather one of the many possible origins of the modern holiday known in America as Halloween.

Halloween, or All Hallow's Eve, is traditionally celebrated on Oct. 31. Its beginnings can be traced back to Celtic mythology.

The <I>Dictionary of Celtic Mythology<P> by Peter Berresford Ellis describes one of four Celtic festivals called Feis na Samhna, or the Samhain ("sa-win") festival, which was named after Samhain, or "god of the dead," and celebrated on Oct. 31/Nov. 1.

The Celtics believed that on one night of the year, the Otherworld became visible to mankind and that the inhabitants could "set out to wreak vengeance on those living in this world who had wronged them."

Another of Ellis' books, the <I>Dictionary of Irish Mythology<P>, tells of the lighting of bonfires to ward off evil spirits; once they were extinguished the fires "could only be rekindled from a ceremonial fire lit by the Druid priests on Tlachtga (Hill of the Ward)."

Ellis explains that in an effort to discourage the celebration of pagan festivals, "Christianity took over the holiday and celebrated it as a harvest festival, which was initially named St. Martin's Mass and then termed All Saint's Day, which now honors the martyrs of the Roman Persecutions." Over time, the name was changed to "All Hallows Day," with the previous evening named "All Hallows Eve" and finally "Hallowe'en."

Susan Rasmussen, a UH anthropology professor, terms the combining of these diverse religious elements as "syncratism," or "a mixture of themes from folk religions." Rasmussen also explains that in her own studies of the Twareq people of West Africa, people believe "both in spirits and read the Koran and see no contradiction of the two."

Incidentally, according to William J. Schnoebelen, a former witch and current leader of the Saints Alive Ministry, "In America, the Founding Fathers forbade Halloween. It was not celebrated until the 1900s, when the Irish immigrants brought it over."

The various customs and symbols associated with Halloween have origins not only in the Celtic traditions, but also have been borrowed from other cultures as well.

"Ron," an employee at the Magic Cauldron, an occult supply shop on the Katy Freeway specializing in tarot card classes and psychic consultations, stated that costume-wearing is borrowed from the Italians, who celebrate Oct. 31 as Americans celebrate Thanksgiving.

This feast, called the Estrega, is a big party in which "the departed visit." Ron says the Italians also believe "the veil between the two worlds is thinnest at this time," and serves as the best time in which, "spirits manifest themselves."

He explains that the mediums who channeled these visiting spirits described the clothing the spirits were wearing, thus people began "dressing in the clothes of the period."

The symbolism associated with Halloween also consists of somewhat strange mythological and ritualistic origins. The cartoon-like depictions of witches riding broomsticks is taken from an actual ritual as described in Doreen Valiente's book, <I>ABC's of Witchcraft<P>, in which "... witches mount broomsticks (symbol of the male organ) and leap high around the fields to teach the crops how high to grow." The black cats that seem to accompany witches, according to Valiente, serve as the witches' "familiar or magic helper."

So Cougars, be warned this All Hallows Eve, lest we forget our garlic to ward off the vampires, a gun with a silver bullet to take care of those pesky werewolves and a rabbit's foot just for luck.








by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

WACO – The bad part was that the Houston Cougars had a load of injuries, but the worst part was that the Baylor Bears really didn't seem to care.

In taking advantage of several injury holes in the Cougar defense and the inexperience of the offense, Baylor exploited its obvious advantages on its way to a 52-13 Southwest Conference victory Saturday before 35,174 in Floyd Casey Stadium.

As if Houston (1-7 overall, 1-3 in the SWC) didn't have enough problems already, two more Cougars limped off the field Saturday. Right tackle Eric Harrison and wide receiver Damion Johnson became the latest of the Cougar casualties.

Harrison had to be put on crutches, suffering a sprained right knee, while Johnson sustained a separated left shoulder and could be lost for the rest of the season.

If Johnson does, in fact, miss the rest of the season, he will be the 11th Cougar to have gone down with a season-ending injury this year.

But even with a healthy Houston team, the Cougars still might not have stood much of a chance against a fired-up Baylor team (6-3, 3-2) desperate to break its SWC two-game losing streak and take advantage of this season's wacky conference race.

Right out of the gate, the Bears took advantage of a Houston miscue on the team's first drive as the Baylor defense forced starting quarterback Chad O'Shea to fumble at the Cougar seven-yard line 4:26 into the contest.

On the very next play, Baylor quarterback Jeff Watson threw a seven-yard pass to split end Ben Bronson for a touchdown.

The score increased to 17-0 before the Cougars started amounting a scare.

But two drives that could have easily resulted in touchdowns led to just six points.

On the first scoring drive, O'Shea apparently hit Johnson with a completion from third-and-goal at the Baylor nine; he then fumbled at the goal line. But the Cougars seemed to recover in the endzone.

However, the officials ruled that Johnson never had possession, and Houston had to settle for a 26-yard Trace Craft field goal.

"I thought (the incompletion call) was a good call," said Houston head coach Kim Helton. "(Johnson) never had possession. It was a great call by a crew that has done the best job calling a game that I have seen since I've been the head coach at Houston."

Johnson, however, disagreed.

"I did catch (the pass)," Johnson said. "We recovered in the endzone. But there's nothing you can do about (the call)."

Following a 25-yard Rusty Foster fumble return on Baylor's next series, the Cougars again set up shop with a first-and-goal at the Baylor four.

But a key third-and-goal, seven-yard sack from Baylor's Glenn Coy on O'Shea led to yet another Craft field goal, this time from 25 yards out.

"(Houston) could have made it 17-10 with a touchdown," said Baylor coach Chuck Reedy. "When they came away with only three points, I thought that was the turning point."

Indeed it was. The Cougars never got any closer as the Baylor defense proceeded to sack O'Shea five more times, and the offense ran for 340 yards on the ground as the score increased to a whopping 52-6 before Houston could amass another scoring drive.

Backup QB Clay Helton and receiver Julian Pitre hooked up on a 12-yard play that was the first career scoring pass and score, respectively, for both players.

"(Baylor) blitzed us a lot in the first half and had us guessing with them most of the second," said O'Shea, who completed just 12-of-29 passes for 135 yards and three interceptions to go along with the six sacks.







Volleyball team conquers No. 19 Georgia, Tennessee

by Chris Peña

Contributing Writer

With an undefeated record in the Southwest Conference, the Houston Cougar volleyball team already has proven to this part of the country that it is for real.

And after defeating both Tennessee and No. 19 Georgia (18-6 overall) this weekend at Hofheinz Pavilion, the 20th-ranked Cougars (17-3) made sure the rest of the country knows how good they are by both beating another ranked team and extending their win-streak to 14 matches.

Saturday, Houston beat Georgia in a three-game sweep before 491 fans. The Cougars won handily by scores of 15-4, 15-9 and 15-7. It was quite a contrast from last year's matchup between the two teams in Athens, Ga., when the Cougars prevailed in five games as the two teams combined for over 200 kills.

Although the Lady Bulldogs featured All-America candidate Priscilla Pacheco at outside hitter, the 5-11 senior from Austin did not live up to her hype.

Pacheco did deliver 16 kills, but she also committed nine attacking errors and only hit .163.

By contrast, the Cougars' own senior All-America candidate came through big. Lilly Denoon-Chester spiked 16 kills, while only committing one attacking error for a hitting percentage of .682.

After the game, Denoon-Chester said the win over Georgia was a sweet victory.

"We came out focused tonight," she said. "We came ready to play, and it just seems like they (Georgia) took us for granted."

The Cougars blocked and dug effectively to repel the Georgia attack. Sophomore Marie-Claude Tourillon led the Cougars with six block assists, while Denoon-Chester led with four solo blocks.

The Cougars finished the Georgia match with a 15-4 advantage in team blocks.

Houston head coach Bill Walton said the Cougars were prepared for the Georgia attack.

"Every practice this week was spent preparing for this game," he said. "Although we didn't talk about Georgia specifically, all the drills were geared toward stopping Nikki Nicholson and Priscilla Pacheco's attack."

Friday, the Cougars turned back a hobbling Tennessee team in three straight games also.

As Lady Volunteers head coach Julie Hermann put it, Tennessee put a "M.A.S.H. unit" out on the court.

Once again, the Cougars used superior defense to sweep through an opponent. The Cougars won the match 15-4, 15-12 and 15-4.

Blocking was once again a main aspect of the Cougars' dominance as they led Tennessee (9-15) 10-1 in team blocks.

Walton said he admired Tennessee's courage in playing as well as they did.

"They came out here to play tonight," he said. "It would have been easy for them to come in here and not play very hard.

"Their hitters were swinging hard at the ball. They came here to win; unfortunately, they're just very hurt."

Once again, the Cougars were led by Denoon-Chester, who registered 12 kills and seven digs.

Backing up Denoon-Chester's steady performance was Tourillon, who may have had her best all-around match of the season. Tourillon finished with 10 kills, five digs, two solo blocks and four block assists.

The next hurdle for the Cougars to clear will be Wednesday night at Rice's Autry Court, where they will face SWC cellar-dweller Rice for the conference championship.

As it stands now, the Cougars can finish no worse than tied for first with Texas, but a win over the Owls would give the team its first outright SWC championship in history.







by Chris Stelmak

Contributing Writer

If you have never heard a band trying too hard to be alternative, now is your chance. Marilyn Manson is one of these bands. The band just released its debut album, <I>Portrait of an American Family<P>, under the Nothing label.

Marilyn Manson is from South Florida and was voted best alternative band in South Florida's Rock Awards in '92 and '93. It was also voted best heavy metal band in '92 by <I>New Times Magazine<P>.

The album begins with a prelude called "The Family Trip," which sets a bad tone for the rest of the album. The prelude consists of several small, aggravating noises in the background while Mr. Manson, the lead singer, rambles continuously in his annoying voice for over a minute. The prelude would make almost anyone want to shut off the album. However, the second song, "Cake and Sodomy" is a heavy song with just a bit of funk. It is about white trash and televangelists.

The album just goes downhill after the second song. The next several songs have the same rhythm, consisting of a mix of funk, metal and techno. However, after a few more songs, the album improves. The rhythms get heavier and varied and steer away from techno and funk.

The vocals start as a mild annoyance and get worse as the album goes on. Mr. Manson must use some sort of voice distorter because I do not think it is possible for anyone's voice to be so annoying naturally. By the end of the album, his voice is just plain aggravating and makes me hate the band and loathe him. In moderation, the songs are bearable.

If you are looking for meaningful lyrics, do not look here.

I really expected more from this band after finding out the album was produced under the Nothing label, which includes artists like John A. Malm Jr. and Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, who not only helped mix the album, but also played guitar in "Lunchbox" and horns in "My Monkey."

Like Nine Inch Nails' latest album, <I>The Downward Spiral<P>, part of <I>Portrait of the American Family<P> was mixed in the Sharon Tate House, where Tate was murdered by Charles Manson's followers.

The vocals bring down the quality of the band. Its rhythms have potential. If the band lost the lead singer, it would probably be a lot better off. Hopefully, it is not as annoying live as it is on the album. Marilyn Manson will be opening for Nine Inch Nails tonight at the Summit.

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