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     Volume 4 Issue 34 | February 18, 2005 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   Time Out
   Straight Talk
   In Retrospect
   Photo Feature
   Food for Thought
   Dhaka Diary
   On Campus
   Book Review
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Dhaka Diary

Feed thee knowledge!
In our traditional Bangladeshi education system, we are always learning about the age-old formulas and inventions. We hardly learn anything about the current affairs or significant parts of world history from our textbooks. A few days ago, while browsing through the net, I came to know that there are 118 fundamental scientific elements in the world, which were discovered recently. We are still being taught that there are only 112. It is only because of our education system that we have no knowledge of things happening around us. The other day, the young scientist Aref Chowdhury came to our college in a science workshop and said that we should be acquainted with current affairs to keep pace with the rest of the world. We should definitely start viewing education from a global point of view and not trap it inside books.

Jafrin Jahed Jiti Viqarunnessa Noon College

A Close Encounter with an Extra-Terrestrial
I have read science fiction stories about people in the future establishing colonies on other planets, and possibly shifting from Earth altogether. I have heard people, exasperated with crowded urban life, imagining buying plots of land on the moon. A few days ago, however, it seemed to me that these fantasies are soon going to turn real. As I was going down 6 in Dhanmondi, an advertisement banner caught my eye. Normally, I would not have noticed it. With the apartment craze exerting its influence all over the city, advertisements of real estate or building companies are seen peeking out from everywhere. This banner, however, was surprising - and confusing. Apparently, it was advertising a company named "Alien Properties"!

I could not help but wonder what this company's actual business was. Did they build dream homes on the moon or on Mars? Or perhaps they were exclusive sellers of land on other planets? Who were the owners--little green men, or scrawny grey creatures with enormous eyes?

I still chuckle every time I pass that banner. Perhaps this unique name was a product of the company's sense of humour. Or perhaps it was just another laughable result of a limited knowledge of English.

Tania Hossain Firoz Dhanmondi

Chittagong Diary

An extra five
I was going to go to Chandpur from Laksham by train for the first time a few days back. When I went to the ticket counter of Laksham junction, I saw a board where the ticket fares were posted for the travelers. According to the chart, the fare for Laksham to Chandpur was Tk 25 by the meghna express. However, when I went to buy a ticket from the ticket counter they asked for tk 30. When I wondered aloud at this, they explained that the 'Tk 25 was for government purposes and another Tk 5 for non-government fare'. At that moment, there was a police man and I asked him as to why I was being charged five extra takas. He simply replied with a smirk on his face, that he did not think it necessary to answer my question. Even though this incident sounds normal, especially in a highly corrupt country like ours, I think it was barbaric, both on the part of the police officer and the men sitting at the ticket counter.

Sultan Md. Wohid IIUC, Chittagong.


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