Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 33, Tuesday January 13, 2004






Tech special

Tunes for your car

Even the cheapest cars come with a radio but who listens to it these days especially when one of your alternatives is Bangladesh Betar? The radio stays off and its time to put in some of your own tunes to get in the mood. Do you pick a little rap for cruising? A little ballad as the wiper swishes away the rain from the windshield? A little alternative for an alternative mood or just go for some Limp Bizkit to shake out your demons? Half the joy of listening to music is the medium it comes out through. There is a wide choice available. Do you go for cassette, CD, MP3, ATRAC or some other form of digital music? Do you listen through factory-installed speakers or custom eardrum melting equipment?

The basic cassette player will cost you about 2500 taka. It is completely mechanical and will require you to push hard on the buttons. These are not at all powerful but do get the job done, sort of. Better units are available for 5000 taka and upwards. These are mostly digital and will be easy on your pampered fingers with the soft touch buttons. These will also contain separate controls for bass and treble. There is a nice one from Sony for 6790 taka that can be easily hooked up with CD units. More sophisticated units will have a greater range of control.

You might want to completely leave tapes alone and go for the CDs. If your existing cassette player is digital and support CD playback then you can add a CD changer for about 10 thousand taka. You can mount it in the trunk out of sight and can hold 10-12 CDs. 10-45 thousand will get you CD players that fit directly into the dashboard of your car. The lower priced ones store single CDs and are loaded up front through a slot. The pricier ones usually can store upto 6 CDs.

On a smaller budget you can simply buy a Discman and the accompanying adapters to use with your existing cassette player. A brand name Discman from any of the showrooms will cost you 5000-11000 taka. There are lower priced brands for 3000-5000 taka available at Baitul Mukarram, Eastern Plaza and Rifles Square. The adapter set consists of a power cord to hook up the CD player with your car battery using the cigarette lighter socket and another that connects the Discman with the car unit via a cassette. These are available for about 1200 taka. If you want an even simpler set-up you could buy a computer CD-ROM for about a 1000 taka and have an electrician fit it in. It works as I've seen on countless old cars half of which are taxicabs. Being white they definitely look out of place but at least you get to play back your favourite CDs albeit for a about a year till it goes bust.

You need speakers to go with your set. A basic unit will only need basic speakers and you can have low powered Pioneer speakers for under a thousand taka a pair. Good ones will cost 3-7 thousand a pair and these will include tweeters as well for higher frequencies. If you want to rearrange the placement of your internal organs with every beat then you should put in something a bit more powerful like a subwoofer. Every thump will end even bystanders stumbling. These can cost anything from 3000 to 15000 taka. These require their own amplifiers but make sure you never cross the limit of the speakers or else these will cut out. You can buy subwoofers enclosed in specially designed casings with in-built power supply for 13-20 thousand from Kenwood. You can store them in the trunk or display them in the back window

Music soothes the savage beast. I read something like that somewhere. Sure, but did anybody ever think that it could be a savage beast itself? Look at what happens in a concert where the people are shaking their heads wildly. It is as if it is an irritating thing to be removed by force from the base of the neck. That's what people do when a cockroach jumps onto their hand. The right set-up will put that concert in your car.

Music and driving go together like Coke and fries. One complements the other. Just don't let it drive you wild.

By Ehsanur Raza Ronny

Shop talk

Denim pants for ladies
It's chilly outside, and a lot of girls now go outdoors wrapped up in shawl and jeans. It's during winter that the demand for denims sky rocket. If you are looking forward to buy a pair of comfy and trendy jeans this winter, then there are numerous places to choose from. If you have plans to haggle with the price then check out the market opposite to Dhaka College; over there, you can even purchase a pair of jeans for as low as Tk.150. If you want to shop in spacious surroundings furnished with trial rooms and friendly salespeople, then opt for Westecs. The prices will be definitely higher at the branches of Westecs. At Westecs, you can buy those trends pairs of denims within Tk.450 to Tk.550.

Add drama to your eyes
Want to give that luscious look to your eyes? Then what else could be the makeup kit if not eyeliner? Since this is the top season for wedding receptions, line your eyes stunningly to be the center of attention of every wedding reception you attend. Gorgeous makeup is must for evening parties. There are beautiful eyeliners of numerous brands available at stores like Almas and Priyo. L'Oreal is a renowned brand in the world of cosmetics; L'Oreal's eye liner will cost you around Tk.350. Besides, you can also opt for Almay, Lakme, Clinique, Jordana, Elle 18 or Espana. The prices of these brands will vary from Tk.50 to Tk.350.

Dabur Honey
For kids and elderly people, honey is a must-have item during the winter. Honey is recognized for its medicinal power. Besides, women also use this natural extract for beauty treatment. You can purchase Dabur honey this season for you and your family. Manufactured by Dabur India Ltd., each 100g bottle will cost you around Tk.38 in superstores like the PQS. Dabur honey is marketed in Bangladesh by ACI Limited.

Moisturize your lips
Chapped lips are a definite NO in this winter. You can always apply something to maintain the moisture of your lips. In this biting cold, a stick of lip balm will prove to be superbly handy. There chap sticks of brands like Chap et, Nivea and La Bello available in all the renowned stores of the capital. Within Tk.45 to Tk.50, you can purchase one of these chap sticks to fight chapped lips for the rest of the season. Carry a chap stick in your bag or pocket whenever you go out-of-doors in this freezing season.

Mini version of cold creams
Celebrated brands like Nivea, Dove, Crème 21 etc have mini versions of their moisturizing and cold creams. You can keep one in your tote throughout the winter to avoid parched cheeks and hands. You can purchase one of these little containers of cold cream within Tk.100 from the superstores and general stores of Dhaka.

Exotic jewelry
You must be attending too many galas in this winter, and since jewelry is a must-have item to compliment your attire, you must be craving to get some really dazzling jewelry to dazzle your friends and family. Check out the stores on the second floor of Metro Shopping Mall; there numerous shops at this shopping plaza, selling glamorous jewelry just for the ladies. Prices will vary from collection to collection. Do check out the place to highlight yourself during this festive time of year.

By Wara Karim




Essentials Special

Combating air pollution
The air pollution rate in Dhaka is definitely alarming. Banning all the two strokes was a positive move. Recently government is planning to train mechanics of different workshop to control air pollution. This program should be continued for a long period. Free training should be provided for drivers as well, so that they can take care of their vehicles themselves.

Fit vehicles
Previously when we talked about air pollution we blamed it all on two-strokes. In many cases other vehicles were ignored. All activities were visible just during the Traffic Week, which means once a year for a week or so. The traffic week pattern still prevails. Dhaka is full of unfit vehicles. It can be felt when we are stuck in the traffic jams or during signal. Something must be done to maintain the fitness and not just during the traffic week.

Polythene still exists
The fight against polythene was going on well but we did not completely succeed. We still see reports in newspapers that "lots of polythene was seized" especially outside Dhaka. It means they are still being produced.

Proper waste management
What happens to all the waste that we make in Dhaka? Usually they are dumped someplace outside the city. Miles of land are totally ruined because of this. If we could only make a way to reuse all the waste material it would mean less dumping. By the way, municipality should learn more about waste management. There is more to it than just dumping it in someplace where we cannot see it.

Start recycling
We should seriously think about reusing the waste we make. Here is an easy way of reusing organic waste. Everyday we make a lot of organic waste mostly vegetable peels. All you need is a bucket. Keep all the vegetable waste in the bucket. Cover it well so that the odours do not come out. After months you get perfect organic fertiliser. Use it on the houseplants and see how they grow.

By Shahnaz Parveen






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