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Thought of the week:
"Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect!
~ Owens Lee Pomeroy

This week, we conclude our discussion on religion. Thanks to all those who wrote in with your views. Our final letter is from Ridwan, who writes a rebuttal on the letter submitted by Naima last week. He says:

"Firstly, I cannot agree more with this week's writer when she says that sports should be a part of the curriculum in our country, and I believe she will find that authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) do not conflict with her view. However, Islam maintains that segregation of the sexes is an essential prerequisite. I don't interpret this as being undermining for women, but rather a responsibility entrusted on both the sexes.

But I admit that the writer's bitterness is understandable. Because whenever we talk about "covering up women in Bangladesh," as the writer puts it, invariably the image arising in our subconscious is of women being deprived of freedom of _expression and free thinking. This, how ever, has nothing to do with Islam. I mentioned in my previous article that two opposite extremes prevail in our country, while it is Islam who can provide the balance. To my knowledge, there is not a single injunction in Islam absolutely barring women from going outside or, as the writer says, "enjoying nature on her cheeks." Indeed, the opposite is true for Islam. But modesty and decorum are two aspects that both men and women are supposed to acquire.

It's in this context that Islam has laid down some obligations that has to be fulfilled by both the sexes, which the writer, through her frustration (understandable to a degree) might have termed as "taking the brunt." Islam does not tell us to take the brunt, but it tells us to appreciate the reality and accept one's own responsibility. I may add that the Qu'ran speaks about the "hijab" of men before it does about "hijab" of women.

I would like to finish by saying that Islam is opposed to blind belief and I welcome the critical way of thinking by our previous writer. This, coupled with the zeal to know the truth, shall help us bring out the true form of Islam, which is compatible with all ages."

Thanks also to everyone who participated in our 500 Feat. If you haven't sent in your entry yet, but still want to take part in the contest, hurry up and mail it to rs.readers@gmail.com! The contest closes at midnight tonight, so you still have a couple of hours to go. Keep reading the RS to find out who won.

As May approaches and our anniversary draws near, I can't help but get nostalgic. I've been in the RS for four years now, and I've seen the magazine slowly grow and evolve, go through its peaks and pitfalls. I've seen my column undergo many changes; from a confused little chat column to a spring-board for new features in the RS, an announcement booth on print, a forum for debates, and so much more. I think, amongst Tete-a-tete's biggest achievements over the past year, the formation of the RS Anime forum has been something Lancer and I both feel extremely proud of. We've got around 13 members now, and still growing. If you like anime, and want to meet up with other anime enthusiasts around BD, just drop me a line, and I'll sign you up.

Well, this week, it's all about food and canteens. All that research about the food items and health and hygiene concerns has put me off my food! So I think I'll keep today's tete-a-tete short, and sign off here. Till next week, take care.

Send your polls, love letters, hate mails, and opinions to thegirlnextdoor1@hotmail.com, or mail me at my yahoo address at teteatete_tgnd@yahoo.com

By The Girl Next Door

Oddly Enough…

Man vandalizes stranger's cars for art
Police in London are investigating an artist who recently announced his most recent work was vandalizing (47) cars. Mark McGowan claims he used a key to scratch nearly 50 cars since March. He also says he intends to display pictures of himself damaging the vehicles.

This isn't the first time McGowan has displayed a flair for the eccentric. He once pushed a nut for seven miles with his nose towards Tony Blair's office. He did that to protest against debts run up by students to pay for their studies. He also rolled himself across London for four miles singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" to highlight the work of office cleaners. - local6.com

Lawyers for highway sniper to argue he didn't know it was wrong to shoot innocent people
Attorneys defending a man charged in a string of highway shootings, including one that killed a 62-year-old woman, conceded Monday that their client is the one who fired the shots in the 6-month spree. Still, defence attorneys said, jurors must decide what crimes were committed and whether Charles McCoy Jr. understood that his actions were wrong.

McCoy, 29, who has paranoid schizophrenia (psychotic disorder), has pleaded innocent by reason of insanity to aggravated murder and 23 other counts in 12 linked shootings. He could face the death penalty if convicted of the most serious charge.

The defence will attempt to prove that McCoy has a mental illness that kept him from knowing right or wrong during the shootings. - cleveland.com

Seventeenyearold arranges to have his $50K BMW stolen so he can use insurance money to get a better car
A 17-year-old youth was arrested on suspicion of arranging the theft of his $50,000 BMW so he could collect the insurance money to upgrade to a pricier Bentley. The teen allegedly worked out a deal with accomplices to steal his white 2002 BMW M3 outside a building. He planned to use the insurance payout to get a more expensive car.

The youth's accomplices took the car, and it was reported stolen. Police later caught four people stripping the car of its parts.
The men implicated the teen in the crime and he was arrested at his workplace. - seattletimes.nwsource.com

"Why in the world would you think your cell phone would work in your house? The customer has come to expect so much. hey want it to work in the elevator, they want it to work in the basement." Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg
Couldn't the company correct customer expectations by distributing statistics on how often Verizon's service works indoors or by providing more detailed coverage maps that show all possible dead zones? Seidenberg said it wasn't Verizon's responsibility.

Verizon owns and operates Verizon Wireless through a joint venture with Britain's Vodafone Group. Verizon Wireless was the most highly rated wireless carrier in a survey published by Consumer Reports magazine.

The Verizon chairman also mocked San Francisco's interest in building a municipal wireless Internet, or Wi-Fi, network. "That could be one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard," he told the Chronicle. "It sounds like a good thing, but the trouble is someone will have to design it, someone will have to upgrade it, someone will have to maintain it and someone will have to run it." - sptimes.com

In an attempt to improve school standards test scores, principal helps students cheat on tests
A veteran principal and school administrator has been suspended while officials investigate allegations that she helped students cheat on tests. Jayne Gibbs was placed on a paid leave after eighth graders her Junior Academy said she had given them answers to questions on a School Assessment test.

She was previously principal at another middle school in the district where students' scores on standardized tests improved dramatically during her tenure. Between 2002 and 2003, the percentage of students testing proficient in math on the local exam jumped from 11 percent to 71 percent. - channelone.com

Compiled by Ahmed Ashiful Haque

He who made it big
It's a shock to see Mr. Bill gates not at number 1, but at number 5.
With 60 billion dollars to his name, he is currently the richest man living.

Dear Readers, incase you thought, its a mistake- I would like to clarify that its not. Since this column is dealing with the richest men, irrespective of time, Mr.Bill Gates stands at number 5.

With an aggressive, winner-takes-all attitude, he transformed Microsoft, a small niche company, into the most influential company in the computer industry and the world for that matter. He's driven, intelligent and doesn't apologize for the fact that he can take you down in a flash

Bill Gates is the co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, the world's largest and most powerful (and most profitable) software company. And by the way, he is the richest man on the planet with an estimated fortune of $70 billion US (as of November 2000).

Bill Gates. What can be said that hasn't already been said? Has any modern day businessman been more vilified and loved at the same time (don't forget that until the DOJ case, Gates was widely portrayed as a visionary)? The man is the richest person in the world, worth more than the GDP of over 100 nations. Don't even bother telling us he is Darth Vader or the Anti-Christ; if anything he's Richie Rich.

William H. Gates was born October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington. The son of William H. Gates II, a Seattle attorney, and the late Mary Gates, a former schoolteacher, University of Washington regent and chairwoman of United Way International, Gates' fascination with computers began at an early age.

After attending a public elementary school, Gates attended the private Lakeside School, where his career in computers would begin to manifest itself. A math whiz, Gates was already on the road to programming -- tic-tac-toe games -- and scrounging for programming remnants outside a computer company, with classmate Paul Allen.

Gates went off to Harvard University with the original intention of becoming a math professor. It was during his Harvard days that he and Allen developed Basic, the programming language for the MITS Altair (the first microcomputer). Incidentally, Gates lived down the hall from the present CEO of Microsoft and fellow Harvard student, Steve Ballmer.

Gates never made it to graduation, as he had bigger and better plans. He opted to focus his energy on his and Paul Allen's company -- a then small Microsoft. Gates and Allen were driven by the belief that in a matter of time, every home and office would need a personal computer, and thus the company was born.

Microsoft's road to success began after Gates and Allen struck a deal with IBM to install the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS) in their computers. After Microsoft developed more software applications, the company eventually became the standard in the PC market. The IBM/Microsoft relationship started after Big Blue asked Microsoft to develop an operating system for its PCs... and the rest is history.

CEO and President of the biggest software company in the world -- to say the least -- until November 2000, Bill Gates passed the throne to Steve Ballmer. Presently Chairman of the corporation, Bill Gates holds the title of Chief Software Architect, where he remains an active force at Microsoft

"In this business, by the time you realize you're in trouble, it's too late to save yourself. Unless you're running scared all the time, you're gone."
-Bill Gates

By Taskin Rahman

Things that every woman should know

1. That you should RSVP within a week of receiving an invitation.
2. That your doctor does not have all the answers
3. That being female is no excuse for not knowing how to get on the Internet or to program a VCR.
4. That your carry-on luggage can be an expensive indulgence, but the luggage you check shouldn't be.
5. That if your date often has trouble finding you, you may be wearing too much black.
6. That massages, vacations and high thread count cotton sheets are necessities masquerading as luxuries.
7. How to keep a secret
8. That nobody changes all that much. But they, and we, can adjust.
9. Never to argue in front of anyone else.
10. How to give a compliment.

By Mary Poppins


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