Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 7, Issue 20, Tuesday, May 15, 2012




Laura Holson in “'What Were You Thinking?' For Couples, New Source of Online Friction” looks at how the use of Facebook and Twitter is causing 'a new layer of social etiquette' among couples (New York Times).

Since we can share our private lives publicly, this can be an issue for say, a couple where one of them doesn't want the pictures of their honeymoon out and about. Irritation, embarrassment, and bruised egos are rampant. The best defense? Ignorance.

The Guardian this week features Alphonso mangoes, the short lived fruit with its “voluptuous shape and sunshine-yellow skin” and its “succulent saffron-colored flesh that's smooth and buttery”. The article takes a special look at the fruit, its origins, and place in culture, and how it has become a national obsession in India where newspapers constantly update its prices over the summer.

The new book Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is the Pulitzer Prize Anna Quindlen's memoir as she celebrates what matters to women the most at different ages, like marriage, friends, loss, faith, our bodies to parenting. One comment on marriage: “You wouldn't believe how cheaply I can do a kitchen renovation.” It is an honest and funny book, written for all of us to relate.

Tracey Gravis-Grave's new book On The Island is about a woman who agrees to tutor a teenage boy, T.J. on his vacation, but they get stranded on an island in the Indian Ocean when the plane taking them to the Maldives crashes. As the two try to survive gathering the basics and the fear of T.J.'s cancer coming back, we are left to wonder and see how a 30 and a 16 year old can have anything in common.

A lot of sharing has been taking place on the latest Ask E. Jean column in Elle magazine where she offers advice on how to curb a sugar addiction. According to Jean, “sugar is a woman. She's a witch. A siren. A mother. A genius.

A baby. A devil.” Her hilarious advice includes getting a friend to yell at you every time you have dessert, turn sugar into a devil in your head, and ignore the scale all together.

Myanmar's new age and its constitution are discussed in the Economist in the Asia section this week shows the shaky start to a new era of possible democracy in the country.

The center of it all is the un-democratic constitution which is “a document of the army, by the army, for the army.” While the blueprint for democracy is there (economic reforms by Miss Suu Kyi, freedom of the press, etc.) it's not really going far yet, and much is to be seen.

By Olinda Hassan


Foods that can help soothe a headache

When a headache strikes, certain foods may ease and prevent the severity of the pain.

Baked Potato: The side you love with dinner could help soothe your aching head. A baked potato (with the skin) is one of the most impressive sources of potassium, containing a whopping 721 mg.

Watermelon: Dehydration is a major cause of headaches. So consider reaching for water-rich foods like the watermelon. Other foods with high water content include berries, cucumber, melon, soups, oatmeal, tomatoes and lettuce.

Whole-Grain Toast: By reducing energy to the brain and causing dehydration, low-carbohydrate diets can trigger headaches. When one hits, consider reaching for healthy carbs, such as those found in whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, fruit or yogurt.

Almonds: To increase your magnesium intake, try consuming magnesium-rich foods such as bananas, dried apricots, avocados, almonds, cashews, brown rice, legumes and seeds.

Spicy Salsa: Spicy foods such as salsa and hot peppers may help you snap back from a headache faster. Depending on the type of headache, spicy foods may be helpful.


Z is for Zoological Wonders

Munize Manzur

“All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.”

Thus the hymn goes. It makes you take a pause, especially when you consider there are trillions of animals in the world. According to one count, there are 62,305 types of vertebrate animals and 1,305,250 types of invertebrates. Out of this, one species claims to be the most superior; human beings. And, rightly so. Consider the following:

· There are about 1 million species of insects in the world. There are about 7 billion humans in the world. Out of this, however, a large portion is beyond classification.

· A cockroach can live for up to a week without a head. Some humans can live an entire lifetime without a brain.

· Cats have about 250 muscles in each ear. Gossips have 2 plus 2 muscles in both their ears that are directly connected to 5 muscles in their tongues.

· The hummingbird is the only bird that can hover and fly straight up, down, or backward. The elected official can hover up, down and backward over an issue for 4-5 years without any practical solution.

· The tusks of elephants grow through their life. The tusks weigh over 200 pounds. If left unchecked, the ego of a human can grow so disproportionately big that it can outweigh the human's body.

· Cheetahs may be large and fast, but when they roar they chirp. When female humans get angry, they don't roar. They give silent dirty looks. And if they say, “Nothing is wrong” it's prudent to take cover.

· Goldfish have a memory span of 3 seconds. Grandparents have a memory span of 2.2 seconds regarding their 3rd generation's mischief. (Strangely, these same beings as parents had a memory span of 21 years regarding their 2nd generation's mischief!)

· A chameleon can move its eyes in two directions at the same time. A venerable ex-leader can shift loyalties in three directions at the same time.

· While there are so many cows grazing in the world, no two cows will ever be found with identical pattern of spots. Of all the balding male humans in the world, no two thinning scalps are ever disguised in the same manner.

· A leech is a worm that feeds on blood. It will pierce its victim's skin, fill itself with three to four times its own body weight in blood and will not feed again for months. There is a special Automated Unpleasant Notorious Tart-tongued Y-chromosome human specimen that likes to feed on bad blood. She throws innuendos to injure her victim's self-esteem, fills herself with hot air and feeds voraciously under spotlights.

· An albatross can sleep while it flies. It apparently dozes while cruising at 25 mph. A traffic police can sleep while on duty. He dozes on confiscated rickshaws artfully parked in discreet corners, totally oblivious to the 106 decibels level of the traffic jam's noise around him.

· Amazon ants steal the larvae of other ants to keep as slaves. The slave ants build homes for and feed the Amazon ants, who cannot do anything but fight. They depend completely on their slaves for survival. Certain human offspring are so sheltered under fattened-fingers-like-banana-trees that they are unable to carry their own school bags from car to school gate. Despite their girth, they have special staff to carry their paraphernalia from Hotel Lobby to swimming pool; to hold their water bottles at fast-food joints; and to tie their shoelaces at neighbourhood parks. They depend completely on their staff for locomotive purposes when burdened with anything heavier than an ice-cream cone.

· A lion's roar is so loud that it can heard up to a distance of 5 miles. A teacher's disapproving look is so piercing that it can be felt up to an epoch of 15 years.

· A zebra's black and white stripes may seem to make it easy to see, but when it is moving they actually blur its outline and confuse predators. Humans bearing opposition stripes are easy to see when on podiums. But, once removed, they blur the vision of the country's best detectives, confuse leaders and can bring the country to a standstill for 3 days at a time.


From this week onwards, Star Lifestyle will expand to a 20-page magazine. In keeping with our motto of continually reinventing ourselves and keeping things fresh, there will be some changes made to the format and content of the publication. And this time, we are hoping that our dearest readers will not only be part of the change, but lead us in new directions by expressing themselves and letting their views and preferences be known. Lifestyle readers can send story ideas, suggestions, articles and letters at lifestyleds@yahoo.com and raffat@thedailystar.net Selected input from you will be published. Here's looking forward to hearing from you and continuing to bring you the best in lifestyle journalism.


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