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Thought of the week:

"Forcible ways make not an end of evil, but leave hatred and malice behind them."
-- Sir Thomas Browne

Yet another grenade attack, more deaths, and more hartals. I wonder when the perpetrators will be satisfied, when the appropriate action be taken, and when people will stop mud-slinging and name-calling and actually work together to cleanse our beautiful country of the plague of terrorism.

In a repeat of the horror of the August 21 attacks, January literally ended with a bang as another grenade blast created another tragedy last week. This attack, riding in the wake of the jatra bombings, was of course followed by a few hours of total lawlessness, as agitated people sought to vent their anger by going on a rampage, tearing up rail lines, breaking shop windows, wrecking cars. Once again, I ask, what will this additional violence solve? Why spread hate when there's already so much of it?

Well, Hammad Ali has already waxed eloquent on the subject, so I will not dwell on it further. Moving on to more pleasant things, I've started receiving entries for the Stupid Inventions thread. For the less informed, last year we featured wacky inventions in our New Year double issue. We're looking for all the budding Edisons and Einsteins to provide us with their original ideas for a repeat of the column. So, if you've got an idea for a weird invention that the world could do without, send it to theconnection123@hotmail.com. The best 10 inventions get featured in a special issue of RS.

Well, that's all from me this week. Take care, and see you in our next tête-à-tête.

Send your polls, opinions, and queries to thegirlnextdoor1@hotmail.com or teteatete_tgnd@yahoo.com

By The Girl Next Doo

Science tidbits

Russia plans 500-day Mars trial mission
Russia plans a 500-day space flight experiment in 2006 to prepare the way for a manned mission to Mars, the Moscow Times reports. "We have informed our American colleagues that we plan to start an imitation of a manned flight to Mars with the help of volunteers in 2006," Yevgeny Ilyin, deputy director of the Russian Institute of Medical and Biological Problems, told a Russian-American working group last week, according to the paper. "Any medical and biological experiments made on board the International Space Station aim at long-distance space flights of the future," Ilyin said. Russia has logged far more long-duration space flights by its cosmonauts through the 1980s and 1990s than the United States has, some of them well over a year in duration. The medical data gained from these missions is regarded as essential preparation for any future manned missions to Mars or any other planets in the Solar System.

Fish outfox dogs and hamsters in smarts
The concept that fish is brain food might come from the fact fish have proved to be smarter than dogs and hamsters to Oxford University researchers. In tests using blind Mexican cave fish, rezsearchers built an underwater obstacle course and let the fish become familiar with it. The scholars later began making a series of increasingly difficult alterations to the layout, which the fish recognized and learned to circumnavigate in just a few hours, The Sun reported. More startling, the fish remembered the original layout months later when it was restored, researchers said, describing those mental abilities as "very capable."

The scientists said the swimmers were competent at completing complex mental tasks that would baffle such pets as dogs and hamsters, presumably on dry land.

Vitamin E may help restore hearing
Israeli scientists say early study results show vitamin E may restore sudden onset hearing loss of unknown origin or idiopathic sudden hearing loss. The findings, presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation annual meeting, suggest further research may reveal the role of antioxidants in the prevention and restoration of hearing loss. Each year, some 4,000 Americans report the onset of sudden hearing loss. Causes can include infectious diseases, circulatory disorders, traumatic injuries and immunologic, toxic, metabolic and neurological sources.

However, the cause of SHL can only be identified in 10 percent to 15 percent of patients, the remainder of cases, which have no obvious cause, are termed idiopathic sudden hearing loss. About two-thirds of these patients recover without treatment within days.

New batteries could ease global warming
Scottish researchers think a new generation of rechargeable lithium batteries could help reduce global warming. BBC News Online reported Wednesday that the batteries could be used to store electricity produced by renewable energy sources such as wind power, according to researchers at St. Andrews

University. Hybrid cars, incorporating lithium batteries along with gasoline or diesel power, would help reduce reliance on fossil fuels. In the case of the United Kingdom, hybrid road vehicles would help meet its renewable energy targets for 2020. The vehicles would be fueled by a combination of gasoline and a battery that is charged by the engine. The reduced gasoline consumption thereby would contribute to reducing the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming, researchers said.

Lithium rechargeables can store up to three times the energy per unit weight and volume of conventional automobile batteries, leading to significantly smaller and lighter hybrid vehicles.

They also lack the lead and cadmium contained in some batteries, so their widespread use would not contribute to a build-up of the toxic metals. The key hurdle, researchers said, would be developing new, lithium-based materials, because current rechargeable lithium technologies cannot provide the electricity needed to power a hybrid car.

Compiled by Gokhra

How others see you quiz

This simple test lets you know how others see you. Simply grab a pen and paper and write down the letter of the answer that best describes you in the following ten questions:

1. When do you feel your best?
(a) In the morning
(b) During the afternoon and early evening
(c) Late at night
2. You usually walk
(a) fairly fast, with long steps
(b) fairly fast, but with short, quick steps
(c) less fast, head up, looking the world in the face
(d) less fast, head down
(e) very slowly
3. When talking to people, you
(a) stand with your arms folded
(b) have your hands clasped
(c) have one or both your hands on your hips
(d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
(e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair
4. When relaxing, you sit with
(a) your knees bent and your legs neatly side by side
(b) your legs crossed
(c) your legs stretched out or straight
(d) with one leg curled under you
5. When something really amuses you, you react with
(a) a big, appreciative laugh
(b) a laugh, but not a loud one
(c) a quiet chuckle
(e) a sheepish smile
6. When you go to a party or social gathering, you
(a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
(b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know
(c) make quietest possible entrance and try to stay unnoticed
7. You are working hard, concentrating hard. You are interrupted. You:
(a) welcome the break
(b) feel extremely irritated
(c) vary between these two extremes
8. Which of the following colors do you like most?
(a) red or orange
(b) black
(c) yellow or light blue
(d) green
(e) dark blue or purple
(f) white
(g) brown or gray
9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep, you lie
(a) stretched out on your back
(b) stretched out face down on your stomach
(c) on your side, slightly curled
(d) with your head on one arm
(e) with your head under the covers
10. You often dream that you are
(a) falling
(b) fighting or struggling
(c) searching for something or somebody
(d) flying or floating
(e) You usually have a dreamless sleep
(f) Your dreams are always pleasant

Okay. Now write down the number that is after each of your answers for the ten questions:
1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e)3 (f ) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1
10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f ) 1
Now add together the ten numbers.
How many points do you have?

Others see you as someone they should "handle with care." You are seen as vain, self-centered, and extremely dominant. Others may admire you and wish they could be more like you, but they don't always trust you and hesitate to become too deeply
involved with you.

Your friends see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, quick to make decisions (though not always the right ones). They see you as bold and venturesome, someone who will try an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.

Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who is instantly the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to your head. They see you also as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who will cheer them up and help them out.

Other people see you as sensible, cautious, careful, and practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or too easily, but someone who is extremely loyal to the friends you do make and who expects the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize that it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but, equally, that it takes you a long time to get over it if that trust is broken.

Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you as very, very cautious and extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment. They expect you to examine everything carefully from every side and then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction on your part is caused partly by your careful nature and partly by laziness.

People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs to be looked after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions and who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or anything. They see you as a worrier, who sees problems that don't exist. Some people think you're boring. Only the people who know you well know that you aren't.

Drinking does wonders

Two guys are drinking together, when one of them throws up all over himself. "Christ!" he says, "My wife ish going to kill me."
His friend puts his arm around his shoulder and offers him 20 dollars.
"Don't worry," he says, "I'm your besht friend - give her thish and tell her that I chucked up on your jacket, and that I gave you thish money to get it cleaned."
"Fantashtic," says the first guy. "You're amashing, really the besht."

Arriving home, the poor guy's wife opens the door. "Where the hell have you been, look at the state of you..." she kicks off.

Quickly he replies, "Look love, it's not really my fault. Jack threw up all over me, but you know he's really a nice guy 'cos he gave me 20 bucks to get my jacket cleaned..."
"But there are 40 dollars here," she replies.
"Oh, yeh, I forgot to tell you," he says, "Jack shat in my trousers as well."

There was a little guy sitting at a bar drinking a beer. A while later a huge guy walked into the bar and he went up to the little guy and karate chopped him in the back. The little guy fell off his bar stool and when he got up the big guy said, ''That was a karate chop from Korea.''

The big guy went to the restroom and the little guy ordered himself another beer. About 20 minutes later the big guy came back and karate choped the little guy in the back again. The little guy got up and dusted himself off and the big guy told him,''That was a karate chop from China.''

The little guy got up and decided he wasn't going to take any more of this, so he left the bar. About an hour later the little guy comes back to the bar and he hits the big guy in the back. The big guy is knocked out cold and he's on the floor. The little guy tells the bartender , ''Tell him that was a cricket bat from the stadium!''

Shout out

Hey people!!
Valentines Day is nearing so as a treat we will be posting all your 'special' messages in a special edition of Shout. So be prepared to bombard us with all your shout outs. Write to shout13@gmail.com or shoutout13@hotmail.com and, as usual, enjoy the column.

Shona Clupi,
I'm dying to be informed if you are alright or injured by a pichki goat. Lol. Dear be serious about your studies. How many days I haven't seen you!! Niku. Big hugs. Bye.

I'm searching for a GameCube chip; I've searched all over Dhaka but no luck. I'm also having troubles finding GameCube games. If you know where to find these things, please contact me at Ryuu_X@hotmail.com.

Dear Shumi
Happy birthday :-) Hoping you have a great day.
From R.

[ ATTENTION: This column is NOT responsible for any negative (or otherwise) outcome of the messages printed in it. Please do NOT abuse the column by using it to play pranks etc. Also, all personal information including email addresses and telephone numbers will be printed at the sender's expense and we do NOT take ANY responsibility for any inconvenience to anyone. ]

By the Hitch-hiker


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