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April 3, 2012 Issue 98, Volume 77
UH: A $638 million construction site
University to continue expansion while trying to stay unintrusive SPECIAL REPORT
A construction worker works on the site of the newest addition to the Bauer College of Business. The new classroom building is the second one recently built for Bauer, after Cemo Hall. | Emily Chambers/The Daily Cougar
Students must drop today or stick with courses until end
25,000 guests fill park for Japanese festival
Today is the last day students can drop a class and receive a “W.” After today, students will no longer be able to drop courses, and will remain enrolled in all courses until the end of the semester. Students are allowed to receive W’s for dropped courses six times throughout their UH undergraduate careers. — Cougar News Services
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Since 2008, the University of Houston has spent $219 million on construction, while another $219 million is being spent on current projects and an additional $200 million is allocated to proposals in the design and financing phase, said UH President Renu Khator in her fall 2011 address. This has resulted in several construction sites sprawled over campus, closing walkways and obstructing traffic.
Every Tuesday, The Daily Cougar will discuss the University’s current and future construction plans and how they will affect the student body.
CONSTRUCTION continues on page 3
Today: Construction overview April 10: Parking and construction April 17: Residence and dining halls April 24: Building Renovations Track this series at thedailycougar.com/tags/construction
First meeting of 48th senate Cultural event draws to feature presidential veto crowds over weekend The 48th Student Government Association senate will hold its first meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Rockwell Pavilion in M.D. Anderson Memorial Library. The only legislation on the agenda is a presidential veto of the Medical Amnesty Protocol, called the Good Samaritan Act. The bill, written by Michael McHugh, would provide limited amnesty to students who call for medical aid in drug- or alcoholrelated medical emergencies. The students would not be subject to sanctions for violating certain rules pertaining to drug and alcohol use and possession in the student handbook as long as they meet the dean of students’ requirements. The veto was made by Michael Harding, who said he will release a statement today explaining it. — Cougar News Services
THE DAILY COUGAR Vendors and performances sprawled out over Hermann Park and more than 25,000 guests flooded the grounds for Houston’s 19th annual Japan Festival on Saturday and Sunday. “The Japan-America Society of Houston instituted the festival in 1993 in the hopes of furthering their mission to develop a stronger relationship between the greater Houston community and Japan,” says the event’s website. Some of the entertainment featured included a martial arts stage, traditional Japanese festival games and informational booths on things like the Japanese space program. “This festival provides the
The Japan Festival featured demonstrations of traditional Japanese arts, such as martial arts, dances and vocal performances during the two-day event at Hermann Park. | Catherine Lara/The Daily Cougar people here with a chance to experience Japanese culture through art and musical performances,” said Japanese professor Helen Nakamoto, who performed at the festival with the Japanese Ladies Chorus of Houston. Omar Escobedo, a Hotel and Restaurant Management senior, said he was impressed by what the food vendors had to offer. “You can’t find a lot of the food here in local Japanese restaurants,” Escobedo said.
The Japan-America Society of Houston instituted the festival in 1993 in the hopes of furthering their mission to develop a stronger relationship between the greater Houston community and Japan.” The event’s website, on why the festival is held The food stalls offered attendees treats like cold soba noodles, sushi and the popular takoyaki — a ball-shaped dumpling filled with octopus, shrimp and diced vegetables.
Other activities included a cosplay competition and a yukata photo shoot for women in Hermann Park’s own Japanese Garden. email@example.com
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Car crushing for a cause tudents took a sledgehammer to a car Monday in front of the University Center to raise money for “Push America,” a charity for severely handicapped people. The car smash was part of a week-long fundraising event by fraternity Pi Kappa Phi called Push Week. The next event is a wheelchair basketball tournament from 6 to 8 p.m. in Cullen Oaks, in which the Rollin’ Coogs will play against a team made up of members of a sorority and Pi Kappa Phi. Push America was founded in 1976 by members of Pi Kappa Phi and has remained exclusively the fraternity’s charity. | Catherine Lara/The Daily Cougar
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ABOUT THE COUGAR The Daily Cougar is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters, and Wednesdays during the summer, at the University of Houston Printing Plant and online at http://thedailycougar.com. The University seeks to provide equal educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability or veteran status, or sexual orientation. The Daily Cougar is supported in part by Student Service Fees. the first copy of the Cougar is free; each additional copy is 25 cents. SUBSCRIPTIONS Rates are $70 per year or $40 per semester. Mail subscription requests to: Mail Subscriptions, The Daily Cougar, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 77204-4015. NEWS TIPS Send news tips and story ideas to the News Desk. Call (713) 743-5314, e-mail news@ thedailycougar.com or fax (713) 743-5384. A “Submit news item” form is also available online at thedailycougar.com. COPYRIGHT No part of the newspaper in print or online may be reproduced without the written consent of the director of the Student Publications Department.
The Daily Cougar
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
In the business of expansion The University is constructing a Classroom and Business Building behind the University center. The project’s budget is $31 million, according to UH’s website.
Photos by Emily Chambers
CONSTRUCTION continued from page 1
“You see it every day when you try to get through campus,” said Director of Facilities Planning Mike Yancey. “We are going to wrap all of those (projects) up as soon as we can.” All of the construction going on at once has forced students to accommodate to the changes, which include campus sidewalk closures and parking lot closures and reassignments. “We try to keep the sidewalks open and have good accessibility, but at the same time, we have to do these projects,” Yancey said. In order to try and limit additional burdens on students, the University has tried to set tighter restrictions on the construction boundaries.
“We limit the contractor’s footprint of the site to where it’s up real close to the building and still allows people to get around,” Yancey said. “The issue is that when you get multiple buildings in the same general location, you get these little narrow slices of traffic.” Yancey said the University is trying to keep construction at a constant pace to be as non-intrusive as possible. “I don’t think it’s all at once. It seems that way because we are active right now,” Yancey said. “What I would like to see is that it continues at an even level so you don’t have big spikes and valleys.” There are currently three projects in pre-construction — the bidding and procurement phase — they are still being designed and negotiated with contractors. These projects include a parking
garage where Lot 1A is currently located, the University Center transformation project and renovations to the old science building. “We do some construction-managerat-risk projects, where you involve the architects and engineers at the same time you involve the general contractor,” Yancey said. Two residence halls, a dining hall and several academic buildings around campus are considered in the active construction phase, also known as the building phase. These are a mixture of completely new structures as well as renovations and additions to old structures. “While we are renovating, we are improving,” Yancey said. “The campus is getting better, and I’m really happy with it.” The financial support for these
projects comes from various sources. “There are a lot of different funding sources, from tuition revenue bonds and HEAF (Higher Education Assistance Fund) to grants and local funds,” Yancey said. “Each project has a different funding source or sources. You can see how the money is combined to do the project.” Yancey said he does not see a time when construction will not be happening in some form on campus. “If you look at the life cycle of buildings and the components in a building, in order to maintain and operate it properly, you have to replace certain components in (that) building,” Yancey said. “As the students and academic people’s needs change, (the University) will necessarily re-purpose the buildings.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The Daily Cougar
EDITOR David Haydon E-MAIL email@example.com ONLINE thedailycougar.com/opinion
THE DAILY COUGAR
KIPP Academy Changed My Life
EDITOR IN CHIEF MANAGING EDITOR NEWS EDITORS SPORTS EDITOR LIFE
& ARTS EDITOR
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Daniel Renfrow Mary Baak Taylor McGilvray, Joshua Mann Joshua Siegel Jose Aguilar David Haydon Amanda Hilow
Georgia passes fetal pain abortion bill
eorgia lawmakers passed a bill on the final day of their legislative session that prompted female democrat senators to walk out of their chamber and shout, “ We will remember” in unison with protestors cloistered in the hallways outside the chamber. They will remember, and Georgia women will remember. The bill, HB 954, bans nearly all abortions performed after the 20th week of a pregnancy. Proponents of the bill claim that at 20 weeks a fetus can feel pain, hence it should be delivered to term. However, many medical doctors claim that a fetus is not developed enough to feel pain until the 25th week of a pregnancy. One of the most horrifying elements of the bill — there are many — is that it includes no exception for women who are the victims of incest or rape. This means that if a woman — a minor even — is raped by a relative, she will be forced to carry the child to term. If this bill is signed into law by Georgia’s governor, the only way a woman will be able to get an abortion after the 20 week mark is if her pregnancy is deemed “medically futile.” This means that a woman’s doctor would have to declare that the fetus has congenital or chromosomal defects that would prevent it from living outside of it’s mother’s womb. Perhaps the most horrifying thing about this bill is that the version that is passed was a “compromise” version. In the origional version of the bill there was no exception made, even if a fetus had no way of surviving outside of its mother’s womb — This would have forced women to carry dead fetuses to term. Georgia doctors who continue to perform abortions after the 20th week of a pregnancy on women who do not meet the restrictions of the bill could face up to ten years in prison. It appears there is no end in sight for the Republican war on women.
E D I TO R I A L P O L I C I E S STAFF EDITORIAL The Staff Editorial reflects the opinions of The Daily Cougar Editorial Board (the members of which are listed above the editorial). All other opinions, commentaries and cartoons reflect only the opinion of the author. Opinions expressed in The Daily Cougar do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Houston or the students as a whole. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Daily Cougar welcomes letters to the editor from any member of the UH community. Letters should be no more than 250 words and signed, including the author’s full name, phone number or e-mail address and affiliation with the University, including classification and major. Anonymous letters will not be published. Deliver letters to Room 7, University Center Satellite; e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org; send them via campus mail to STP 4015; or fax to (713) 743-5384. Letters are subject to editing. ADVERTISEMENTS Advertisements in The Daily Cougar do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the University or the students as a whole. GUEST COMMENTARY Submissions are accepted from any member of the UH community and must be signed with the author’s name, phone number or e-mail address and affiliation with the University, including classification and major. Commentary should be kept to less than 500 words. Guest commentaries should not be written as replies to material already printed in the Cougar, but rather should present independent points of view. Rebuttals should be sent as letters. Deliver submissions to Room 7, University Center Satellite; e-mail them to email@example.com; or fax them to (713) 743-5384. All submissions are subject to editing.
n Tuesday’s issue of The Daily Cougar, Lindsay Gary wrote that “KIPP has room for improvement.” I agree with Gary that KIPP has room for improvement, but my experience at Marissa Kipp Academy Middle Bonner School was different from hers, and I am only one year older. I, too, am African American and was a minority within a primarily Hispanic school. My experience at KIPP helped me get where I am today. I do not have fancy statistics or data to share about KIPP’s success; results are not just numbers, but people and changed lives. I grew up in Third Ward right down the street from the University of Houston. I had always felt different as an African American youth who could not identify with her surroundings. I can honestly say that KIPP changed my life. I will never forget the first day of fifth grade, sitting on the cold floor with my fellow KIPPsters because we had yet to earn our chairs. The first message that co-founder Mike Feinberg gave us was that “we are on a journey up a mountain.” To a group of preteens collectively wondering what this “mountain” was, it seemed logical that Feinberg was crazy. But as it turns out, that mountain was college and the top was a degree. Just as any experienced mountain climber will tell you, it takes years of hard work and dedication to reach the top, but once you’re there and looking down at what you have accomplished, you cannot help but be grateful for the people who pushed you and held your hand as you made that journey. The teachers and staff at KIPP taught us the importance of giving back and becoming more than what society says
we should be. After that first day, there was never a doubt in my mind that I would go to college and make something of myself. I wanted to give back to the educational system that helped shape me into the person I am today. One of the hardest lessons any KIPPster had to learn was that nothing is going to be given to us; everything we want must be earned, whether it be a seat in class or end-of-the-year trips all around the country. That lesson still haunts me to this day. When you have a school filled with minority students, it is important that they know the real world has already stereotyped them and if they do not work hard, then they are forced to perpetuate the stigmas already in place. Now standing a month away from the top of my own personal mountain — a B.A. in creative writing — I can look back on my time at KIPP and smile the biggest smile. From my teachers like Jill KellyKoren, who inspired me, to my friends, who shaped my life, everyone at KIPP saw something in me and pushed me to tears because they knew I had potential. My time at KIPP was a constant learning experience. Without the dedicated teachers and, most importantly, the commitment and support from my mom, I could have wound up at a high school that didn’t continue to prepare me for college rather than going to Carnegie Vanguard. I would not have found my love of English and writing in seventh grade and been able to get into one of the finest creative writing programs in the country. Although both of my older siblings and I all went to the same KIPP school, we all turned out differently. My older brother is a Staff Sergeant and a part of the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and my sister is
One of the hardest lessons any KIPPster had to learn was that nothing is going to be given to us ... That lesson still haunts me to this day. When you have a school filled with minority students, it is important that they know the real world has already stereotyped them and if they do not work hard, then they are forced to perpetuate the stigmas already in place.” an HPD officer. My younger brother attended the first all-boys KIPP school, KIPP Polaris. He is class president at St. Andrews in Delaware and the only freshman on the varsity basketball team. Without KIPP, our lives would be different. I do not want to know what path four African American kids growing up in the Third Ward would have taken if it wasn’t for KIPP. I am beyond appreciative and far beyond grateful and lucky, because it was our hard work that got KIPPsters to where we are today. It would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the idea that “knowledge is power” and that we must “work hard and be nice.” I offer you an invitation to visit a KIPP school yourself. They have an open door policy and love visitors. The number to arrange a visit is (832) 328-1051. I hope you witness part of the experience I had as a KIPPster and a person who is now at the top of the mountain to and through college. Marissa Bonner is a creative writing senior and may be reached at opinion@ thedailycougar.com.
“Can’t afford not to care” If you do support universal health care, this is not the way to go unless you want to jack up health care costs. Under a lot of states’ Medicare/Medicare program, most of the uninsured are eligible but due to idiotic bureaucratic mentality and the notion we should protect government jobs that plagues certain states, while teachers are being laid off. The sad fact was that if it was easier for the poor to register Medicare, the money was already budgeted, so it will ensure more. So some Republicans at one point supported it, they at one point supported (and still do) the Patriot Act. They are a few republicans that does not, and the republicans would not support the massive bureaucratic mess that the bill would impose on doctors. Doctors loath the AMA because they supported the bill, which would increase administrative burden on them. More administrative burden, means higher health costs. Unions and many businesses want
to be exempt from this bill because it jacks up there costs, and they couldn’t keep there coverage under the bill. I mean good affordable “Cadillac” plans. Pardon me? Americans taken care of each other???? When did this happen, and even if they did. Why should it be mandated by law. — user “derar deek”
You’re going pretty overboard here. First of all, I’ve never heard of terms like ‘thinspo’ or ‘thinspiraiton’ until you mentioned them, and all the other stuff you mentioned here. So should we censor this article too, since it mentions those words and several bad dieting habits? So a few social networks (never heard of Pinterest) decide to ‘prohibit’ such stuff. You say it might help since you claim youths frequent these sites, but if people really wanted information, they will search for it through Google or Bing anyway. Someone might share it through
social networks, but the real content is just a web search away. Unless you want the internet regulated by some quasi-govt. organization, wishful thinking about all content sites doing what you want in article form won’t make a difference but publicize that there is stuff such as thinspiration. Instead, you should be requesting more effective and targeted ways of reaching out like through middle school and high school health programs (we were required to take a personal health class in CFISD, and we had several lessons on healthy eating, and avoiding anorexia and such) or celebrity endorsements and such. — user “quickboy”
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Daily Cougar welcomes letters to the editor from any member of the UH community. Letters should be no more than 250 words and signed, including the author’s full name, phone number or e-mail address and affiliation with the University, including classification and major. Anonymous letters will not be published. Deliver letters to Room 7, University Center Satellite; e-mail them to letters@ thedailycougar.com; send them via campus mail to STP 4015; or fax them to (713) 743-5384.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The Daily Cougar
EDITOR Joshua Siegel E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org ONLINE thedailycougar.com/sports
Cougars continue climb up conference ladder Joshua Siegel
THE DAILY COUGAR The Cougars continued their ascension in the Conference USA standings this weekend, taking twoof-three from UAB in Birmingham, Ala. The Blazers (20-13, 7-2 C-USA)
took the first game of the series 3-2, and UH (20-15, 9-3) responded Saturday by winning 2-1. The Blazers had a chance to take the series, but threw it away. In the rubber match of the series, UH’s 6-5 win was aided by five UAB errors. The Cougars clung to a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth before the Blazers scored two
runs on starter Diedre Outon. With the tying run on third, Bailey Watts came in relief and got the Cougars out of the jam. “I don’t think it was our prettiest game of the year, but on day two when you’re in midseason of conference play, you sometimes just have to find a way to win,” head coach Kyla Holas said.
Outon earned the win, her seventh of the season, going five innings, allowing five earned runs while striking out four. Watts picked up the save, her first of the season, by setting down four batters, while striking out two and not allowing a hit. The win puts the Cougars a game up on the Blazers, and a
half-game back of Tulsa for first in C-USA. The Cougars face another challenge this week, when they play a mid-week double header against Texas State (22-11, 8-2 Southland Conference) on Wednesday at Cougar Softball Stadium. email@example.com
UH needs to get it together Halfway through the regular season and two series into the conference schedule, the Cougars’ season is on the brink of taking a Gilbert steep downward Requena spiral. The Cougars (10-16, 1-5 Conference USA) have lost four consecutive games and six of their last seven. They’ve stumbled out of the C-USA blocks and find themselves at the conference cellar dwellers. But the mounting losses are not because of a lack of effort or will from the Cougars; it could be more because of the arduous schedule they’ve had to play. Through the team’s first 26 games, they have played 10 games against teams previously or currently ranked in the top 25 (No. 4 Arkansas , No. 5 Rice, No. 14 Ole Miss., No. 17 Central Florida, No. 21 Baylor and No. 24 Texas Tech). Six more games have come against top-50 teams Oklahoma State and Texas State and three more against perennial C-USA power Southern Miss. Also factoring in to the sub-par record is the performance, or lack of it, on the field. Head coach Todd
The Cougars stranded 37 runners this weekend when they were swept by UCF. The Knights outscored the Cougars 20-5 over the three-game series. The Cougars face second-place East Carolina this weekend. | Hendrick Rosemond/The Daily Cougar Whitting said that the team has been inconsistent in two facets of the game — fielding and hitting. Though they show occasional flashes of brilliance on all sides of the diamond, the Cougars
just can’t manage to consistently play games where all parts gel together. When they get a great performance from one of their starting pitchers, it goes by the wayside
because the offense can’t string hits together or get the timely one to plate a few runners. And the same goes for the offense and defense. In nine games this season, the
Cougars have stranded doubledigit runners. The only thing consistent about the Cougars’ season has been their inconsistency. The biggest problem that has plagued the team this season is errors. The defense has given up a league-leading 48 errors, nine more than any other team in conference. Their .952 fielding percentage is also 242nd out of 291 teams that play division-I baseball. The good news for the team is if they can manage to climb up the conference standings and finish the season on a tear, their RPI and strength of schedule is good enough to earn them a bid to postseason play. They do invite 64 teams to the tournament, after all. There is still a lot of time left in the season for the Cougars to fix things before the wheels fall off their wagon, but the clock is ticking. The second half of their season gets underway at 6:30 p.m. as they take on McNeese St. at Cougar Field. firstname.lastname@example.org
UH competes against top-ranked schools Cougar Sports Services
Curtis Reed finished tied for 55th at the Insperity Augusta State Invitational. The Cougars finished 12th in the 16-team field. | Courtesy of UH Athletics
In a field featuring eight schools ranked in the top 50 by Golfweek, the Cougars finished play Monday in 12th place at the Insperity Augusta State Invitational. No. 1 Texas tied host No. 43 Augusta State for first, shooting 26-under. The Cougars shot three-over a team, one stroke ahead of No. 16 Clemson. Junior James Ross led the Cougars, finishing eighth overall individually. Ross improved his score in each round, opening with a 71 and closing with second- and third-round scores of 69 and 68, respectively. Ross birdied six holes in his
final round. Ross has had a strong spring for the Cougars, finishing tied for 16th at the Border Olympics, tied for sixth at the Louisiana Classic and tied for ninth at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate. Freshman Roman Robledo finished tied for 34th place, and sophomore Curtis Reed tied for 55th. The Cougars also sent two golfers, sophomore Bryn Flanagan and senior Eric Adler, to the Jim West Intercollegiate. After two rounds, Flanagan is tied for 10th and Adler is tied for 32nd in the 69-golfer field. The final round continues today from Victoria Country Club. email@example.com
Monday’s final-round results from Augusta, Ga. Indiviual results 8. J. Ross T34.R. Robledo T55.C. Reed T70.J. Droemer
71 72 78 76
69 71 69 75
68 74 73 74
208 217 220 225
-8 +1 +4 +9
75 80 75 230 +14
Team results 1. Texas 1. Augusta St. 3. Illinois 4. Baylor 4. TCU 6. Tennessee 7. Virginia Tech 7. S. Carolina 9. Oklahoma St. 10. SMU 10. Coastal Carolina 12. Houston 13. Clemson 14. Lamar 15. Georgia St. 16. S.C. Aiken
282 283 291 291 290 291 293 284 290 299 287 294 299 292 292 298
277 279 276 279 273 282 284 277 276 286 277 286 284 281 285 289 284 286 279 283 284 290 284 289 283 286 286 293 290 290 287 288
838 838 846 852 852 854 858 858 860 861 861 867 868 871 872 873
-26 -26 -18 -12 -12 -10 -6 -6 -4 -3 -3 +3 +4 +7 +8 +9
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The Daily Cougar
Fresh out of logic by Kathleen Kennedy
Newsgroup by David Haydon
Robbie & Bobby by Jason Poland
CLASSIFIEDS Bulletin Board
Find a home. Find a job. Find it here.
ACROSS 1 ___ throat (painful ailment) 6 Short commoner? 10 Big name in small construction 14 Airport in “Home Alone” 15 Showgirl Manilow sang about 16 Bizet’s “Habanera,” for one 17 Exciting adventure 19 Old-fashioned pen points 20 Paul’s brand, Newman’s ___ 21 Word with “grown” and “follow” 22 “Pinocchio” insect 24 Snail-mail system (Abbr.) 25 “Don’t use that ___ of voice with me!” 26 A company picnic could be one 31 Mess with someone’s hair 32 Activate, as a bomb 33 Boy, as an adult 35 Tiny quantities 36 Snaky character? 37 Egypt’s capital 39 Also mention
40 Longtime Hawaiian staple 41 Hair-setting item 42 A-list wannabe 46 Kachina doll carvers 47 1st and 2nd in NYC 48 Military newbie 51 Bachelor’s digs 52 Lineman farthest from the center 55 Sound that’s coming back? 56 One needing a fence? 59 Calla lily family 60 Small part of a fork 61 Caribbean cruise stop 62 Unsophisticated one 63 Citizen of Edinburgh 64 Like a car without a muffler DOWN 1 Area of London or New York 2 Winter-ending event 3 Some precipitation 4 Go down the wrong path 5 Careful examinations 6 Crinkledcotton 7 “El” pluralized 8 Certain college voters 9 “Cheers”
setting 10 Surgeon’s blade 11 “CHiPs” co-star Estrada 12 Mocking remark 13 Brewer’s oven 18 Present for the teacher 23 Outs’ counterparts 24 ___ Major (Big Dipper locale) 26 Imperative and subjunctive, e.g. 27 Achieve a personal best 28 101, in a course name 29 Nellie’s “South Pacific” love 30 Harder to find 31 ___ Maria (coffee liqueur) 34 Easter starter? 36 Related to the earliest period
of human culture 37 Stand-up kind of guy? 38 Altar attire 40 Ardent supporters of the Vatican 41 Be in competition with 43 Harley-Davidson trim 44 Letters from a short person? 45 Small flap on a garment 48 Something to fall back on 49 Beige-like shade 50 Minnow cousin 52 Case for pins and needles 53 Birds’ beaks 54 Farmer’s cart 57 Yoko who married Lennon 58 Away, idiomatically
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The Daily Cougar
EDITOR Jose Aguilar E-MAIL email@example.com ONLINE thedailycougar.com/arts
UC patio to be site of outdoor film screenings Christopher Shelton
THE DAILY COUGAR Each semester, an interesting cross-section of movies is featured on the University of Houston’s version of the big screen, making the annual Outdoor Movie Festival an interesting facet of UH life. Last year, “Kick Ass” and “Toy Story 3” were among the films shown. Breaking from that mode, UH’s Student Video Network, which organizes the event, selected a different theme of movies this semester. The festival begins at 7 p.m. tonight with the screening of David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” which is sponsored by the Council of Ethnic Organizations. The Student Programming Board sponsors the Wednesday night showing of “Woman in Black,” which stars Daniel Radcliffe. For the closing night of the festival, Tom Cruise fans may be left disappointed because the plan to show “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” was scrapped. The Metropolitan Volunteer Program, however, sponsors the sci-fi thriller “Chronicle.” Ali Iqbal, SVN’s vice president of production, said the festival is a great place to bring a date. “It’s very relaxed, it’s chill and it involves students,” Iqbal said. “You can just come out and bring a friend. So grab a friend and enjoy the movie.” If Facebook is a reliable source of how many people will make their way to the festival over the next three days, then more than 150 students will bring their blankets to the University Center’s North Patio for the free movies. SVN reps are expecting a heftier crowd to appear over the course of the festival. Iqbal said that around 200-300 students could be present each day. Each film will screen from 7 to 9 p.m. through Thursday at the UC North Patio. SVN and sponsors will provide free popcorn and soda. Students will also be able to snag other souvenirs such as water bottles, whistles, wristbands, T-shirts and maybe even some Cougar Trading Cards. firstname.lastname@example.org
The cast of the Moores Opera Center’s production of “Der Rosenkavalier” brought the opera’s playful bawdiness to the Moores Opera House on Friday and Sunday. A final performance of the opera takes place at 7:30 p.m. today. | Courtesy of Moores Opera Center
A+ for an audacious opera
THE DAILY COUGAR The red curtain of the Moore’s Opera House flew swiftly up to reveal the absurd world of an opera filled with swinish relatives, conniving busybodies, frivolous women, a pseudo-lesbian love triangle and several successful attempts at cross-dressing. “Der Rosenkavalier,” or “The Knight of the Rose,” is an opera by Richard Strauss that was performed on campus Friday and Sunday by UH’s Moores Opera Center with a final performance scheduled for today. On Friday evening, the Moores Opera House was filled with powdered white
wigs, glorious gowns, suits, ties and several underdressed students, all of which amounted to a standing ovation for a brilliant comedic opera. In an interview, Director Buck Ross said audiences could expect a lavish, beautiful production with both romance and comedy. Ross counts “Der Rosenkavalier” as his favorite opera and began planning on bringing it to UH a year ago. “The stars aligned and all the right factors were in place,” Ross said. “We’ve never been able to do it before and will probably never be able to do it again. We’ve always done challenging projects here that big opera companies are often afraid to do.” As the curtain rises, we are greeted with a beautifully decorated set that
serves as The Marschallin’s (Cynthia Clayton) bedroom, where she lies in bed with her 20-years-shy lover, Octavian (Mary Brooke Quarles). While the show starts out with more serious overtones, it immediately collapses into hilarity when Octavian must cross-dress as a maid to unnecessarily avoid detection by the Marschallin’s husband; however, it is Baron Ochs (David Ward) instead. As the story progresses, the scenes get more and more absurd — from a dramatic declaration of love-at-first-sight to the Baron’s fiancée, Sophie (Julia Engel), by Octavian to a ridiculous surprise waiting for the Baron at the inn. OPERA continues on page 8
Local film a ‘natural’ surprise Ryan Popham
THE DAILY COUGAR From Houston-born writer and director, Robbie Pickering, “Natural Selection” is an impressive feature film debut. The film is about a barren woman named Linda (Rachael Harris) who takes a road trip from suburban Texas to Florida to find her husband Abe’s (John Diehl) illegitimate son, Raymond (Matt O’Leary). Linda, based on Pickering’s own mother, is a sweet, devout Christian while Raymond is a trashy, impolite, and hilarious fugitive with a big heart. Linda’s previously sheltered world turns upside down during her adventures with Raymond. The interactions that follow with these characters make a witty and funny film that is truly a must see. The film itself is what you would get from a mixture of Wes
Anderson and the Coen Brothers, although Pickering would disagree. During the Cinema Arts Festival Houston in November, Pickering said he obtained inspiration mainly from filmmakers such as Robert Altman and Hal Ashby. Pickering also put to use a method used by Spike Lee — making fun of people he knows and understands for the sake of storytelling. In terms of screenwriting, Pickering said it’s “a very important and difficult task.” The script for his film was one of the strongest points of it all, along with the performances — especially Harris’. “Natural Selection” is a surprising film that serves as a great illustration of character development. The chemistry between Harris and O’Leary is outstanding and unforgettable — both have never been better. It can be watched again and again. Pickering’s film was a huge
success at the South by Southwest Film Festival, winning every award it was nominated for. The film also earned Roger Ebert’s respect by winning Golden Thumb awards for Pickering and Harris. Had the film had an opening day with a bigger audience for its 2011 completion, the Academy Awards might have been a realistic inevitability. Pickering has successfully made a Texas-born film that will serve as inspiration for aspiring Houston filmmakers. The film opened Friday at Sundance Cinemas. email@example.com
Rice University School of Architecture’s summer program in architectural design LAUNCH invites applications from undergraduate students in any institution and discipline who are curious about architectural design, building a portfolio for future professional or academic work, or who simply want to engage the city around them. APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, May 4, 2012 at 5:00 p.m.
“Natural Selection” Verdict: Totally worth watching and extremely well written.
Go to arch.rice.edu. Navigate to Academic Programs and click on the LAUNCH tab.
June 11 - July 6, 2012 | arch.rice.edu
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
OPERA continued from page 7
Conductor Franz Krager led his orchestra emphatically and in perfect sync throughout the entire performance. The music compliments the conflict and exposition flow as the group songs began
harmoniously only to transition into a cacophony of noise during the conflict, finally leveling off at the end in bliss when the main lad gets his lass. While the show may drag a bit in the first act — after all, it is a three and a half hour show — it picks back up in the second and third acts, causing uproarious laughter in the orchestra seats. Even through the sex jokes,
however, the opera has some political commentary and some more morose notes on the transitory nature of love and beauty. The mix ends up in a beautiful show that just leaves the opera goer wanting more. Each performer was not only able to sing perfectly in German, a most likely unknown and foreign tongue, but also act the part demanded of him or her.
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The music and vocal requirements are extremely difficult and complex and so singing an entire opera in German also proposed itself as a challenge to the cast and crew on top of the enormous number of costumes, wigs and large sets. The key issue in this opera was casting, Ross said. “We have one faculty member playing a leading role as well as
two professional singers who had come back to UH for degrees so they could teach. We could not have done the show without them,” Ross said. “In addition, the availability of the Moores School Symphony Orchestra and its conductor, Franz Krager, was a deciding factor as the orchestra part is complex and requires significantly more rehearsal than we normally have.” All of these elements came together to make Moores’ rendition of the opera a marvelous one. Each voice and violin was in perfect step with one another, displaying the professional level of performance that is to be expected from Moores Opera Center. The final performance of “Der Rosenkavalier” is at 7:30 p.m. at Moores Opera House. Tickets are $10 for students and seniors; $15 for UH faculty, staff and alumni. For more information, visit www.music.uh.edu/opera. Additional reporting for this article by Jed Ocot. firstname.lastname@example.org
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DEPARTMENT OF CAMPUS RECREATION SPOTLIGHT
Ladies and Gents,
Are you ready to Zumba? niversity of Houston Professional Recreation would like to re-invite you to join us for our biU annual Zumbathon held this April 13th, 2012 8-11pm at the University of Houston Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Last year Zumbathon was great, this year we are looking forward to bigger and better. Bring your energy, enthusiasm, skill, motivation, and just all out fun. Zumbathon participants and volunteers will have opportunities to win prizes and giveaways. If you are interested in instructing or conducting/teaching your own mini-breakout session please let us know. Check us out online at www. uhrecreation.edu/prorec for information on tickets. If you have interest in instructing/teaching please respond by email to email@example.com. You can respond by mail to: Professional Recreation 4500 University Dr. Houston, TX 77204 The Rec Report is a paid advertising section for the Department of Campus Recreation.