Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 57, Tuesday August 9, 2005




The box that captured magic…

With technology advancing at the rate of knots, it has become almost a novelty to find antique photographers anymore. With the digital cameras and such, each boasting more mega-pixels than the next one, everyone has switched to this highly convenient and much more gratifying method for taking photos. Its simple really- with the digi-cams you can take as many photos you want and if you don't like it then just delete it at the press of a button. The best part is that you can look just the way you want.

All this advancement had us at Lifestyle thinking. What had become of the antique cameras from the days of yore? The ones that we see now are only in old TV movies or advertisements for Indian peppermints. Thus we set out on a quest to uncover what had happened to this forgotten relic.

Visiting the back streets of Gulistan, we came upon the brownie camera and Mohammed Nizamuddin. Although he looked old enough to be my grandfather he claimed to be only forty five and said that he had been in the photography business for almost thirty years now. For the best part of this time he had only used the brownie camera or as it is more widely known, the box cameras.

Business had been booming in the early days, he said, and he turned in proceeds that would amount to more than a thousand each day, adjusted to today's rates. Also he claimed his customers included the who's who of Bangladesh at that time.

Sadly, as with most other things, time has not been kind to the brownie camera or Nizam. With the technological advancement carrying us all away with its speed and precision, the brownie camera all to quickly turned into a thing of the past- something either for antique hunters or people who were not well-off enough to use the new and advanced trends.

Nizam's business has dropped remarkably over the course of time and he admits that he is lucky to earn about two hundred takas a day even though he charges a good Tk. 20 for each photo. He agrees that not being skilled enough to switch to new models have effectively robbed him of his living. There are many like Nizam today, forgotten people, who are still trying their best to keep up this lost art.

The brownie camera can be traced back to more than a 100 years. The dawn of the 20th century saw Kodak launch its Kodak Brownie. It cost only $1 and was so easy to use that even children and rank amateurs could take almost perfect photos.

This simple black box launched a new industry and forever changed the way we communicate- photojournalism, the movie industry, medical X-rays, Satellite Imaging and even The Internet. Every technology that we use to communicate with pictures can trace its ancestry to that first black box.

The brownie camera is a relic and a vintage item. People such as Nizam expect that we should try our best to ensure that its not lost on us or our future generations.

By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam

Check it out

New courses at FID

Fashion Institute of Designing Ltd is a premier fashion school in Dhaka and invites young people with creative minds to join their Fashion Designing Course.

FID offers among others a year long diploma including 1 or 3 months training in Bangalore, a 6 month certificate course on Fashion Design Technology & Customised Training Programs. After completion of the Course students have to undergo 1 or 2 months internship at different organisations and are also given opportunities to participate in events and shows.

The admission for the 8th batch starts from 7th August 2005.

FID is located at Tower Hamlet, 5th Floor, 16 Kemal Ataturk Avenue, Banani, Dhaka.


Popular brand, Bibiana have just inaugurated their second branch on the 5th of August at 135 New Baily Road after two years of operations at Dhanmondi

Fresh with all domestically made garments and traditional ethnic designs Bibiana is a unique store for fusion garments.

-LS Desk

Diary of a Food Obsessed Person

BY Sam Q

Dear diary,
Wow! Has it really been a month since I opened you diary? Well, you know what? I am not even going to apologize. How can one apologize for having fun? And I have been having, sinful, glorious, mind-blowing fun. Believe you me diary, I truly am convinced that I am the chosen one. Life is good.

Anyway diary, first let me tell you that, yes, my honey roasted cashew fantasy did come true. I did get to sit on my sister's deck with ice-cold iced tea, reading the 'O' magazine with Oprah's cheery face smiling down on me, the right amount of breeze ruffling my over grown eyebrows and me enjoying "me" time to the fullest. If this isn't life, then please tell me, what is?

Now diary let me tell you a bit about Canadian hospitality. A whole lot of us from Dhaka descend upon these poor unsuspecting Canadians, who happen to be our friends and family. Poor things, little did they know these horrors from Dhaka were about to turn their organized lives into a chaotic frenzy. Not only did we come in single family batches, we also had to be taken to the airport for small side trips and also have to be picked up again and dropped back to go home…Dhaka.

And of course, lest I forget, our daily food consumption. Some of us wanted only snacky food, some wanted halal food, some wanted good ol' "bhaat-dal", some wanted main courses all the way. No wonder, our friends took leave from work to cater to our whims and shopping expeditions. And talking about whims…Titash would plan something for the day (half a day actually, 'cause for Asif, half a day's outing would actually mean a full days workout). And by the time he would come out of the shower, dress and had gotten ready, the whole plan, which he had made with every ones approval, had turned into a whole new ball game. By the third day, Titash had given up planning and left it to fate. Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be…que sera sera. And my poor B.I.L (brother-in-law), the epitome of patience and compassion. I wish I could get into his impassive mind and sneak a pre-view of what he was thinking.

Now let's get back on track…food. These guys sure can barbecue. The steaks, with little bits of crunchy fat hanging on were well worth the extra block of walking. The salmons were pink, fresh and delicious, Minnat's own concoctions of salads with fresh avocados, mango, mandarins, mushrooms, feta cheese mixed with ice-berg lettuce would have made going on a diet worth it. Her standing ovation of course was once again, a dessert of her own concoction. It was something like two types of cream topped with chopped walnuts, blueberries and strawberries, served in individual glasses. No wonder North American people are so big. They simply can't help it. The food type they have invented will do this to them. And the portions they serve don't help either.

And, who is saying all this? The lady sipping a French vanilla with double double cream and sugar with a chocolate chip 'bran' cookie on the side, your very own
Sam Q.

A tangy recipe for you today.
B-B-Q Chicken Salad
Prep 20 mins
Grill about five minutes
Makes four main dish servings
½ (8 ounce) package vermicelli rise noodles
1/3 cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 table spoons fresh lime juice
1 small garlic clove crushed
1 pound chicken breast
¼ cup water
½ head lettuce, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, shredded
½ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
Heat medium covered saucepan of water to boiling over high heat. Add rice noodles and cook as label directs; drain.
In small bowl, combine fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and garlic. Transfer 3 tablespoons fish sauce mixture to medium bowl; add chicken and toss to coat. Stir water into remaining fish-sauce mixture.
Place chicken on hot grill rack and cook 5-6 minutes or just until chicken looses its pink color throughout, turning over once. Transfer chicken to cutting board; cut into 1-inch chunks.
Divide noodles among 4 large dinner plates. Top with lettuce, carrots, cucumber, mint, chicken, and, if using, peanuts; drizzle with remaining fish sauce mixture.


For your child
Most children these days tend to spend a lot of their free time playing computer games. Now while it's not a criminal offence to play computer games, it's not something which is very constructive either.

Don't get us wrong here; we're not trying to suggest that you should impose a ban on your child playing computer games. What we're suggesting is that you ensure that your child doesn't spend the whole of his/her free time playing just computer games, as research has shown that by spending too much time playing these games your child can become obese and also do serious damage to his/her eyesight.

We suggest that you encourage your child to engage in outdoor sports like football, cricket, basketball, volleyball and badminton. By doing so, your child will get plenty of physical activity and thus remain fit and healthy.

Another thing that we strongly advise you to do is to encourage your child to read storybooks during his/her spare time. Reading is a great way of spending a child's free time, as it'll help them to develop a writing style of their own and also play a significant part in improving their vocabulary. Initially, you'll probably find that your child will be reluctant to read, but if you buy them books that can generate interest, then they'll begin to appreciate them. One book that you can almost be assured that your child will become spellbound about is J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter."

Other things that you can encourage your child to do are to take art lessons, singing lessons, dance lessons etc. Such activities will go a long way to ensuring that you child will develop an interest for extracurricular skills. These extracurricular skills will come in handy in future, especially when your child will make his/her university applications, as universities tend to look favourably towards applicants who possess extracurricular skills.

By Sayeed Mahmud Nizam

Driving in the rain
Losing control of your car on wet pavement is a frightening experience. Unfortunately, it can happen unless you take preventive measures.

You can prevent skids by driving slowly and carefully, especially on curves. Steer and brake with a light touch. When you need to stop or slow, do not brake hard or lock the wheels and risk a skid. Maintain mild pressure on the brake pedal.

If you do find yourself in a skid, remain calm, ease your foot off the gas, and carefully steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go.

While skids on wet pavement may be frightening, hydroplaning is completely nerve-wracking. Hydroplaning happens when the water in front of your tires builds up faster than your car's weight can push it out of the way. The water pressure causes your car to rise up and slide on a thin layer of water between your tires and the road. At this point, your car can be completely out of contact with the road, and you are in danger of skidding or drifting out of your lane, or even off the road.

To avoid hydroplaning, keep your tires properly inflated, maintain good tread on your tires and replace them when necessary, slow down when roads are wet, and stay away from puddles. Try to drive in the tire tracks left by the cars in front of you.

If you find yourself hydroplaning, do not brake or turn suddenly. This could throw your car into a skid. Ease your foot off the gas until the car slows and you can feel the road again. If you need to brake, do it gently with light pumping actions. If your car has anti-lock brakes, then brake normally; the car's computer will mimic a pumping action, when necessary.

A defensive driver adjusts his or her speed to the wet road conditions in time to avoid having to use any of these measures!

-LS Desk


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