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Check It Out

Microsoft chatrooms to close

Microsoft is pulling the plug on all its chatrooms, used by more than 1.2 million people a month, amid growing concerns they are being used by paedophiles to find child victims. It will axe all its chatrooms run by its MSN websites in 34 countries while others will be more tightly monitored or operated on a subscription only basis. The company, which runs the world's leading Internet service, has taken the radical step in a move which has been universally applauded by children's charities.

Tens of thousands of chatrooms run by MSN - the internet arm of Bill Gates' Microsoft empire - will close on October 14. Subscribers have been given a notice of the decision when they logged on to the sites.

Chatrooms have an increasingly tarnished reputation as they offer computer users anonymity. They have been repeatedly used by paedophiles to groom young children for sexual abuse. However, the decision has created a spark of controversy. Thousands of users around the world claim that they shouldn't suffer for something some 'deranged' person has done. The decision has also become a topic amongst the teenagers in Bangladesh, as well as some older users. Regular users of MSN Chat shall definitely have to find alternatives, however the more popular MSN Instant Messenger remains to be used by most internet users. Microsoft hasn't put a ban on it since it is said to be far safer, considering the fact that one can only chat with people on the "Buddy list".

A series of cases involving children abused by adults they encountered in internet chatrooms has caused Microsoft's decision. In June this year, Michael Wheeler, 36, of Cambridge, was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to 11 sex offences against young girls. He had abused two 13-year-olds after making contact with them via a chatroom.

A recent survey of the way nine to 16-year-olds used the internet also exposed the dangers posed by chatrooms to children. It found that 25% of the age group who chat, have requested a meeting with someone they have met in a chatroom and that 10% had actually gone on to meet up with a stranger.

One in five people in chat rooms are said to be spammers and there were a smaller number of paedophiles. People have to be responsible for keeping themselves safe and just because people are using the internet at home, it doesn't mean it is safe, however this Microsoft decision makes sure that the internet is safer for all users. This decision definitely has its pros and cons, but it seems that it does make the internet safer for our younger generations.

By Mishel Ali Khan

Check It Out

Jazz it!
The American Center of the U.S. Embassy Dhaka will be hosting a group of four Jazz musicians to perform Jazz music at Osmani Memorial Hall, on Thursday, October 2, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. The group is known as "Jazzisimo" and the U.S. State Department is sponsoring their tour. The group comprises of tenor saxophonist Virginia Mayhew, drummer Allison Miller, pianist Daniel Kelly and bassist and bandleader Harvie S.

The quartet will be highlighting the influence of Latin rhythms on American jazz. The music draws its inspiration mostly from African music and also from indigenous American music such as spirituals, work songs, blues and field hollers. The event is definitely one to look forward to, so rush to the American Centre to pick up tickets.

The American Center is giving out complimentary tickets from the American Center reception everyday between 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

Panjabi at Dressydale
The scene is full of so many festivals. First comes Durga puja and then Lailatul baraat. A panjabi is a must-have for both occasions. Keeping these festivals in mind, Dressydale plans to bring out a special panjabi collection starting October 1.

Dressydale has been serving the fashion lovers for almost eight years. The new panjabi range is the first of its kind (at Dressydale) after a long hiatus. Design co-ordinator of Dressydale Maya Rahman tells us why: " I wanted to present my customers with something special."

They have tried to come out of the traditional trends, using embroidery, hand paint, button, bits, and sequins on handloom. The panjabis will come with churidar and shalwar.

So now it's time for men to get dressy.

Pasta-the Italian sensation

City dwellers are seeking variety in cuisine and taste buds. They look for "new" flavours good presentation and sometimes a little more sophistication and adventures.
The aspiring flavour comes from Dhaka Sheraton's already popular new Italian outlet "Italian Bar & Bistro". Whether you call it pasta, noodle,t or macaroni the basic is same. It is pasta!

Italian cuisine takes on a new turn at our Italia Bar & Bistro with the flavour of Pasta. Chef Nicholas Rozario has created an array of mouth-watering pasta delights that could create a part of your healthy lifestyle. Get a plate and select your pasta and choose from chicken to vegetable, and olives, peppers, tomato or cheese.

The catch here is if you savour a great selection of Italian Pasta at lunchtime you can enjoy a FREE soup or salad or dessert! Dine in an informal style at "Italia Bar & Bistro" during the lunchtime between 11.00 am to 3.00 pm from October 1 to October 25, and make it a memorable time for you and your family.

South Indian Savories

Here are some light snacks that can be served as Breakfast or as tea snacks.

Bread Uppitu (Upma):
Ingredients required:
1 loaf Bread
4 to 5 Onions
10 Green Chillies
½ cup Rawa (Suji)
1¼ cup Water
1 Tea Spoon Salt
Tea Spoon Haldi (Turmeric Powder)
1 Lemon
6 TBL Spoon Oil
½ Tea Spoon Mustard Seeds
1 Tea Spoon Channa Dal
2 Tea Spoon Urad Dal
Few Curry Leaves
Preparation method:
1. Cut Bread slices into very fine pieces.
2. Chop Onion into small pieces and Chillies lengthwise.
3. Heat Oil in a broad frying pan.
4. Add the seasoning, Chillies & Onion.
5. Fry till Onion changes its colour.
6. Pour water with Haldi, Lemon Juice & Salt.
7. When it starts boiling, add Rawa (Suji) & mix for a minute or two.
8. Put Bread pieces to that & fry in medium flame till Uppitu (Upma) becomes hot.
9. Garnish with Coriander leaves & Cashew nuts.
10. Serve Hot.
Note: If Bread is dry, sprinkle some water while frying.

Rawa Idli:
Ingredients required:
2 cups Fine Rawa (Suji)
5 TBL Spoon Oil
10 Green Chillies
2 Cups Sour Thick Curd
2 TBL Spoon Curry Leaves
½ Tea Spoon Cooking Soda
1½ Tea Spoon Salt
¼ Tea Spoon Mustard Seeds
Tea Spoon Black Gram Dhal

Tea Spoon Broken Cashew nuts

Preparation method:
1. Roast Rawa in a frying pan for 2 minutes.
2. Mix roasted Rawa with Curds without forming lumps.
3. Heat Oil, add seasonings & fry for a minute in medium heat.
4. Pour over Curd & Rawa mixture. Add minced Green Chillies, Coriander leaves, Salt & Soda.
5. Mix well and immediately pour in greased plate & steam for 7 minutes.
6. Serve Hot with Coconut Chutney.
Note: For best results pre heat pressure cooker with water first & then keep the Idli plate / stand inside. If Idli plate / stand is not available, any steel utensils can be used for steaming and later cut into desired shape (preferably round).

By Vidya Prasad



The new season's key looks!

The prettiest make-up look of the season and one that, surprisingly, suits everyone is yellow eye shadow (yellow makes the eye whites look bright). Dark-eyed persons should opt for egg-yolk tones, teaming it with black or brown eyeliner and mascara for a bold effect.

Party partings…
A sharp side-parting (worn on the left) and the neatest way to wear hair this coming festive season. To get the straightest parting, comb hair back from the face so it separates into ridges along the comb lines. Pick one line and use the tail of the comb to divide hair. Slick down with gel or wax and hold in place with a hair net until you're ready to go.

Hot hybrid hairdo…
An undo that's more than a ponytail but not quite a bun. Make a ponytail, then pull hair halfway back through the band, leaving a big loop with ends of hair hanging below.

For that perfect pout…
Tinted lips with a softened lip line and stained, matte finish

Bold brows…
Black, thickly stenciled eyebrows.

Lashing out…
Rule breaking, deliberately badly applied mascara that's clumped and clogged on the lashes. Why? It draws attention to the eyelashes and looks pretty and sixties.

Fancy fringes…
Blunt-cut fringe on long straight hair to frame your face.

Hair with flair
Back combed beehive hair. You'll need hairspray and a comb. Around the crown of the head, work from the roots to the ends, drawing the comb gently downwards to lift the hair follicles so hair stands on end. Spritz with spray, tuck and pin the ends.

LS Desk

Hanging Out

Mamur phuchka

Have you ever been to the Azimpur Colony, the quarters, which house our government officials? Well, if you have, then you probably came across a huge playground, located near the middle of the complex. In the northern side of this playground is the number one "Phuchka" shop in town.

For those who don't know, Azimpur Colony is opposite to New Market and the Government Home Economics College beside Nilkhet. The main food options are quite obvious. You get phuchka along with chotpoti, which is equally good. People with weak tummies are advised not to show up since the products offered are very spicy or as we often say "oshombhob jhaal". The best part about this place is that you can have your food under the open sky sitting in the field. You might even be lucky enough to witness a day-night cricket match as tournaments are often organised by the residents of the colony. They even bring in flood-lights. As for beverages, there is tap water in plastic glasses which has perhaps been used by a million people by now. If patient enough, you are suggested to walk across the field (which takes around three minutes) and grab a coke or a pack of Milk Vita Chocolate Milk from the vendor.

The only noticeable disadvantage is that you'll have to watch where you settle down since you might end up sitting on cow dung. You wouldn't want that, would you? The owner of this shop is a bearded fellow and has been around in the business for ages. Everyone one calls him "Mamu". His phuchka is simply out of the world. God knows what he makes his "stuff" out of!

By Alex




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