The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 14, 1995 -11
Effects of caffeine cause concerns
Despite symptoms, A2 coffee drinkers buck national trend toward decaf
By Vahe Tazian
Daily Staff Reporter
The possible dangers and side ef-
fects from caffeine usage are creating
growing concerns among many
Americans, according to medical ex-
Sales of caffeinated coffees at
some coffeehouses reflect this con-
Starbucks, a nationwide coffee-
house chain, reports that 10 years
ago, less than 5 percent of the coffee
sold was decaffeinated. Today the
figure is 20 percent.
However, some local coffee mer-
chants have not noticed similar trends
in sales of decaffeinated coffees.
Hicham Churbaji, an employee at
Rendez-Vous Cafe on South Univer-
sity Avenue, has not seen a rise in
consumption of decaffeinated prod-
ucts. "I would say that about 90 per-
cent of all our coffee sold is
caffeinated," Churbaji said.
He added that the greatest con-
sumption of caffeinated products oc-
curs between midnight and 1 a.m. -
the hours when many people leave
Studies show caffeine to have both
positive and negative effects. Experts
say it can produce anxiety and serious
withdrawal symptoms for some, yet
can help others think more clearly
and accomplish routine tasks with
This is the paradox and confusion
revolving around caffeine use. It can
make users tired or jittery. It also can
relieve migraine headaches or make
Jason Wine, an LSA junior, is a
regular caffeine drinker who experi-
ences many of the symptoms linked
to caffeine use. "I become jittery
when I drink caffeine, but I'm also
Are you addicted?
The American Psychiatric
Association has compiled a,
manual to help diagnose caffeine
addiction. According to the APA you
have a problem if you are
consuming more than 250 mg of
caffeinated products daily -2 or
3 cups of caffeinated brewed
coffee -- and you have 5 or more
of the symptoms during or shortly
after the use of caffeine. Here are
signs to look for:
12 Increase in urination
lQ Muscle twitching
U Stomach or intestinal disturbances
J Rapid or irregular heartbeat
U Rambling thought or speech
L Agitated thought pattems
U Periods of inexhaustibility
O Reddening of the face
very alert," Wine said. "Caffeine is
very addicting for me. I always feel
like I need more."
Some of the withdrawal symp-
toms - lethargy, irritability, head-
aches, anxiety, depression and nau-
sea - are often the same symptoms
associated with caffeine intoxication.
These contradictions make it very
difficult to diagnose caffeine-related
"Someone who has anxiety could
be overindulging or withdrawing,"
said Thomas Uhde, the chair of the
Wayne State University psychiatry
department and a former researcher at
the National Institute of Mental
"What makes it even more com-
plicated is that the people who go into
withdrawal are often the people who
overindulge. So it can get into a vi-
cious cycle," Uhde said. "What you
should do under those circumstances
is stabilize the intake and then gradu-
ally taper it down."
Research shows that caffeine can
exacerbate psychotic symptoms in
some patients with mental illness.
However, caffeine is not considered
a dangerous drug. Studies do not show
any evidence that it causes cancer.
Probably the worst it can do -
which can be serious - is rob the
body of calcium, promoting
osteoporosis, but one glass of milk
can offset that effect.
- The Associated Press
contributed to this report.
A student sips on caffeine-filled latte while reading over some notes.
'U' students create own alternatives to Alternative Spring Break
By Danielle Belkin
Daily Staff Reporter
While some students are off to lay in the
sun, a few enterprising students are off to
build low-income housing.
One option for the nine-day hiatus, the
Alternative Spring Break, offers students the
opportunity to volunteer with organizations
Nikhil Parikh, an LSA sophomore, ap-
plied to participate in the Alternative Spring
Break programs through Project SERVE. But
after he was not accepted, Parikh decided to
organize his own trip.
Parikh went back to Project SERVE and
asked for names of other students who were not
accepted. Parikh recruited nine of those stu-
dents to fill his group.
The group will travel to Fort Lauderdale to
work on a house for Habitat for Humanity, a
non-profit organization that builds low-in-
"It's an opportunity for University stu-
dents to spend spring break helping a commu-
nity," Parikh said. The trip is comprised of a
diverse group of students, he added.
Betsy Sargeant, an LSA sophomore, is
also running a trip on herown. "Project SERVE
had almost double the number of applicants
than spots," Sargeant said.
For more information
To organize your own project for spring
break or over the summer, call Habitat for
Humanity at 1-800-HABITAT.
Sargeant obtained the number for Habi-
tat for Humanity, called them, and they sent
her the necessary information. She gave the
number to Parikh so he could set up a trip as
"It's not that difficult to organize," Parikh
said. "If students want to do this there are still
a lot of different sites."
Sargeant said she chose a location in Geor-
gia for her trip because she wanted to go
Parikh said he chose Habitat for Humanity
because of its program. Volunteers must pay
for their transportation and a $50 fee.
On site, the volunteers typically paint
houses and landscape yards in preparation for
a new family.
Habitat provides site leaders, who instruct
students, and housing in a church or dorm, but
Volunteers have tried to defer the cost of
the trip through fund-raising efforts like a
bake sale in the Fishbowl, and enlisting cor-
porate sponsors like Cottage Inn.
The trip is one week long and the partici-
pants are excited to go, Parikh said.
"The best part of the program is that while
doing something good, (students) can still
enjoy the vacation," Parikh said. "We plan on
sightseeing, going to the beach, and checking
For students discouraged about going
through Project SERVE, Sargeant stressed that
any student can set up a trip.
"Everyone should do something like this
once in their life, it's a great experience. If you
can't do it now, do it when you're older," she
Student honored at N.Y. film festival
'Body and Soul' of
By Maggie Weyhing
Daily Staff Reporter
A University telecommunication
arts graduate student won high hon-
ors at the 1994 International Film and
TV Festival in New York.
Beth Winsten, who is a teaching
assistant for Film Analysis, won a
bronze medal for her documentary,
"Body and Soul" - a 10-minute film
about Detroit's Cass corridor, focus-
ing on an inner-city music school in a
building that used to be one of the
city's most elegant funeral homes.
Winsten's documentary was cho-
sen out of 3,500 entries from 36 coun-
tries and has been aired a few times on
Detroit public television station
WTVS (Channel 56).
The film was part of a project
required by Prof Frank Beaver for
the telecommunication arts graduate
"This documentary is a contrast of
what was and what is," Winsten said.
"I wanted to do a documentary where
I could tell a story. The image of this
bleak neighborhood with this beauti-
ful and decaying building that is now
a music school certainly tells a story."
Winsten said telling the story
through the words of the people at-
tending the music school allows one
of the film's themes to show through.
"Given today's political situa-
tion, I wanted to show in a tangible
way what art does for a community.
In this particular community (Cass
corridor), art makes a big differ-
ence. You can see by listening to the
people that if the school was taken
away, it would be a great loss." She
also mentioned that she hopes her
documentary will help the music
school to continue.
Winsten said "Body and Soul"
reflects her work with Beaver in that
it is more of a poetic film. She said
that one example of this more poetic
approach is a coffin that is shown
representing the building's past as a
funeral home. The coffin then turns
into a musical instrument case and
opens up, representing the building's
Beaver, the director of the gradu-
ate program, said he noticed right
away that Winsten's film was a win-
"It just had a life of its own which
is what you look for in a good film. It
is a very dynamic film. The idea that
this place was once a place of body
and soul is now a place where won-
derful life emanates from music is
Winsten, on the other hand, was
not sure of her film's potential when
it was first completed.
"There is always that murky part
in the middle of production. You just
don't know until you're finished
whether or not people will respond to
it," she said. "I'm pleased that there
was a response."
Winsten previously worked with
Sue Marx FilmsInc. in Detroit, where
she produced and directed a number
of programs, including documenta-
ries that aired locally, nationally and
Winsten said she decided to at-
tend the University to advance her
career to the next level.
"The disciplined and critical envi-
ronment here, combined with the re-
sources of the University, have
strengthened my foundation, en-
hanced my abilities and moved my
career to the next level."
Winsten and Beaver are currently
working on a film about Beaver's
experience in the early 1960s as one
of the first U.S. soldiers in Vietnam.
Computer Virus Outbreak Detected
Anyone who used a Dell computer at the Angell Hail Courtyard
Computing Site between mid-January and February 3 is encouraged
to check any disks used in these machines for computer viruses.
On Friday evening, February 3rd, Information Technology Division (ITD) computer
consultants discovered several different computer viruses on some of the newly-installed
Dell Pentium-90 computers in the Angell site and took immediate steps to eradicate the
problem. (The machines were virus-free when they left the factory.) Additionally, measures
were taken to increase the virus security of these machines. No Macintosh computers were
affected, and the problem was restricted to Dell machines at the Angell site only.
Computer users who suspect they may have infected disks are encouraged to scan them
using antiviral software as soon as possible. Anybody finding an infection should check any
other machines on which the infected disk was used. A computer station dedicated to
detecting and removing viruses from infected disks has been set up at Angell Hall Courtyard,
and consultants are available to help users check their disks and remove any viruses they
may find. Telephone assistance is also available by calling 764-HELP.
The University has a site license for the F-PROT antiviral package for DOS/Windows
computers. Faculty, staff, and students can obtain free copies by bringing a formatted high-
density disk to Angell Hall Courtyard, the NUBS Computing Resource Site, or other ITD
computing sites with DOS/Windows computers. After authenticating with a unigname and
password, a user .an retrieve the F-PROT package by going to the DOS Utilities m nu (5),
choosing Virus Tools (8), and selecting the appropriate option to copy tne files to risk.
The viruses discovered (AntiCMOS, Monkey, Nolnt, Stealthboot, and V-Sign) on the Dell
computers are "boot sector viruses." Fortunately, none of these specific infections are
particularly damaging or malicious. These viruses can only spread by having an infected disk
in the A: drive when the machine is turned on or rebooted. Since most computer users don't
keep disks in the floppy drives when not in use, we hope that the spread of these viruses
_!Itt__I rn N L _ . _. _.L.I .._ __L __, _ . .L- - - ...
Volunteers read texts to help disabled
By Sam T. Dudek
For the Daily
Every night, as the campus quiets and the sun sets, a
group of people gathers at Haven Hall to take part in a
centuries-old tradition. They read.
Armed with tape recorders, textbooks and coursepacks,
volunteers meet nightly at the Services for Students with
For more information
Call Services for Students with Disabilities at 763-
3000, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
said volunteer Peter Eipers.