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Thought of the week:
""Your initiative will be noticed. I like people who don't give up. But being a pest is detrimental."
-- Donald Trump in You're Hired"

A couple of nights back, we had company for dinner. Our guest was sweating profusely, and not just because of this insane heat wave we've been having. Apparently, the gentleman had just caught a show on the Discovery Channel, where they showed how the Earth's electromagnetic field is gradually weakening, leaving us more susceptible to the sun's harmful UV rays. "The last time this happened, the dinosaurs became luncheon meat. We're all doomed!" he wailed. While I'd like to believe we still have a couple of decades before that comes to pass, the conversation reinforced my belief in the old adage we've been taught over the years: that we should never take anything for granted.

What does this have to do with today's tete-a-tete? Nothing really, but I've been in a reflective mood lately, what with a certain sore loser bugging us about why he didn't win a certain contest we ran recently, phone calls from people asking us when they're to start work as RS staff, and what not. I'd like to make it clear to all our applicants that we are in the middle of the screening process. The fifteen people (out of a staggering 100 applicants) who are selected for the interview, will be notified by phone. So your best bet is to watch your phone for the next two weeks.

Calling us and pestering us about whether or not you've been selected, or trying to pull strings with the higher management in the hopes of landing a job will not improve your chances of getting in. I know it sounds weird, but there are actually many people who have tried these tactics over the last few days. Why they'd want to start off on the wrong foot, beats me.

I'd like to end here by wishing all our applicants the very best of luck. Here's hoping for a breath of fresh air into your favourite (I can dream, can't I?) teen magazine.

Questions? Comments? Love letters? Mail me at thegirlnextdoor1@hotmail.com or teteatete_tgnd@yahoo.com

By The Girl Next Door

Oddly Enough…

Mike Tyson pigeons' rights activist
He has beaten men unconscious, gone to prison for sexual assault and bitten a hunk out of a man's ear.
Now, he defends pigeons.

That's right. Mike Tyson is a closet softy, at least when it comes to his birds. The former heavyweight boxing champion stunned the City Council by showing up unannounced and asking that they not impose new restrictions on the number of pigeons kept on residential property.

"I am just here for anyone that's for the pigeons. They're pretty harmless," Tyson said. The boxer has been a pigeon aficionado since childhood and now owns 350. The new proposal would limit that to 40 birds. It's not clear how Tyson became interested in pigeons, but an oft-told story is that he got his first taste of fighting after beating up a bully who killed one of his beloved birds. azcentral.com

Good news for the depressed: You won't live very long
Depression shortens life by unleashing a cascade of harmful effects on the body, and cutting-edge studies reveal exactly how the damage is done.

Depressed women in their early 30s score significantly worse than those who are not depressed on physical tests tied to health threats -- from cholesterol to glucose and inflammation levels. And studies with formerly depressed adults show they have higher levels of chemicals that reflect soreness than people who were never depressed. These chemicals are tied to a greater risk of heart disease.

The craving for carbohydrates and the hormone insulin are key players of the biological mischief caused by depression. Many depressed people give in to a craving for carbohydrates because starches subdue anxiety. But eating a lot of carbohydrates shoots up the body's insulin levels, which, in turn, increases bad cholesterol, blood pressure and blood clotting. All of these effects make adults more vulnerable to heart attacks and other lethal diseases. indystar.com

The Governor of Pepsi -- err, California -- Arnold Schwarzenegger slammed for product placement in political commercials
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked to pull a political commercial off the air that promotes the junk food products of his campaign donors and to return the quarter-million dollars he received from companies featured in the ad.

The TV ad features him talking to people in a lunchroom, and places Pepsi and Arrowhead Water in prominent spots next to the governor for one-third of the ad. Donors connected to Pepsi Co. and Arrowhead Water's parent company, Nestle, gave the governor a total of $279,800 in campaign contributions. Also recognizable on-screen are products of several other brands owned by Pepsi.

The practice, known as "product placement," is increasingly common in TV series and films but is unheard of in political advertising. In fact, political ads typically avoid using logos because companies may not want to be associated with a particular candidate or issue. consumeraffairs.com

NASA engineers get tired of stuck rovers, begin construction on airplane that will cruise the skies of Mars.
Recent findings of methane in the Martian atmosphere, which could be a sign of local microbial life, have reinvigorated engineers and scientists developing an airplane to fly through Mars' skies. Engineers are building a full-scale test vehicle that is scheduled to make a high-altitude flight next year.

Taking wing in the thin Martian atmosphere will not be easy. The pressure on Mars is so low that even though the aircraft is being designed to fly a few thousand feet above the planet's surface, it would be the equivalent of flying more than 100,000 feet above Earth. For the test flight, the plane, which is about the size of a business jet, will be carried to an altitude of about 125,000 feet by a high-altitude balloon and then dropped. The team has its eye on a 2011 launch. Dsc.discovery.com

Compiled by Ahmed Ashiful Haque

Generation X

Dude x: Hey, yo man! Dude what's up? I was like thinking and you know, thought I'd talk to you about this freaking thing I am feeling,
Dude y: Sure man, what's coming down with you? You can tell me anything.
Dude x: Well, it's like this bro, I got myself all messed up thinking if I am in love with this woman or not.
Dude y: In love? Wow, that's big, really big. So yeah what happened?
Dude x: Ah, it's wacky dude. I mean, we met like a while back. She like came smiling towards me and was all nice and Sh*#!
Dude y: Oh yeah? You go, old brother, you old...uh...Pink lover
Dude x: DUDE!! No one's suppose to know that!
Dude y: Oh right, sorry man...got carried away. So yeah continue….
Dude x: This is the scary part man. I mean, we're at her house and she makes coffee for me…well, yeah I had tea and she had coffee. She had decaf!
Dude y: At her house? Ouch! Coffee? She sounds damn mature. That's cool, that's cool. My boy's growing up!
Dude x: (Blushing) Well, so anyway she goes back to the kitchen and I am like thinking, "What? Am I in love with this chick?" I mean she even got all personal and started telling me about her family. It feels like I have known her all my life!
Dude y: Oh man, I am so happy for you. God, why can't I ever find love? (Hitting himself with a soft cushion)
Dude x: Hey man, you just need time. But come on, she's gorgeous, smart and mature. I like love everything about her.
Dude y: Dude! You just said love! This is it.
Dude x: It is?
Dude y: Yeah, tell her sweet bro!
Dude x: You think I am ready?
Dude y: Yea hah!
Dude x: All right, I'll do it!
Dude y: Man, I am proud of you, you old dog you!
Dude x: No man, no crying and sh*# now!
Dude y: Sorry…It's time.
Dude x: All right.
Dude y: Okay.
Dude x: This is it!
Dude y: Sure is…
Dude x: So yeah, what are we waiting for? You go and get your mum out here from the kitchen already!

By Shayera Moula

RS Mailbox

It's not just one bad apple

If the whole problem consisted of just one large bad apple spoiling the lot, it could have been solved pretty easily. But this, unfortunately, is not the actual case. The whole lot is spoiled already- just in different ways and in different degrees.

Dishonesty has become almost an integral part of our everyday life. You'll even find it inside those innocent little kids who can hardly spell the word 'spelling' yet. Simply visit them during any class test and you'd hear those soft whispers floating cautiously in the air, see those slyly moving eyes looking here and there.Just a harmless bit of childish cheating? Well, yes, the cheating at this stage itself is certainly pretty harmless. But what's devastating is the reason behind it. Get hold of anyone of them and ask 'Why do you cheat?'. I guarantee you the answer will be: 'Why! Everyone does that.'

Let's go on to the adult versions of dishonesty beginning with the most common one among them- something without which our lives would hardly run-yes, I'm talking of bribing. Bribing itself is categorized into 2 types- the harmless ones like bribing of electricians, to 'save' time in lines etc. and those more serious, deadly ones like bribing of police officers, witnesses, judges etc.

The so called 'victims' of the bribing process (e.g. the person bribing the electrician, the witness being forced to get bribed) sleep with a clear conscience thinking that it was necessary to do so perhaps to save a lot of hassle or maybe even to save one's life (why should I think of your life when I have mine to consider? Why should I not give the bribes if it saves a whole lot of trouble? So who cares if others can't afford it? I can afford it.) Also they have the added advantage of fighting the 'bad' ones in their dreams.

The 'bad' individuals sleep with a clear conscience as well, the same reasoning process going in their mind except perhaps the dream part (they carry out the dream in reality). And the major consoler for both of them is the thought- hey everyone's doing this.

In DU the student politicians misuse their power, thinking that all the other student politicians are doing the same thing. The remaining quiet students remain quiet, thinking that- well you guessed it already. It's like everyone's lost a thinking power of his/her own, everyone's following some unwritten, unbreakable code. They are all waiting for someone to lead them out of their misery, but no one is willing to be that someone. Then there's the brain draining part- people running away from the dying country to save themselves. This is also part of that code- everyone with the chance to run away would do so.

The result? Bangladesh has now become a huge basket of rotten apples. The fungus has grown so quickly that it's not even possible to identify now who was the first bad apple, though most people are very determined to do so, to lay off the blame from their shoulders. After all, everyone's doing this.

By Luma

Lancers article on last weeks backpack was very well written if not a little theatrical. His complaint was a bit on the basis that these cars were all show and no go. That's what the term ricers mean but in Dhaka mechanics can't even handle the simple stock engines so it would be hard to expect them to actually squeeze out some horsepower. So other than adding a free flowing air filter and performance spark plugs all that can be done is to work on the looks in other words to rice the cars. In a country like ours that is the only way to bring in a bit of individuality unless you have really deep pockets.

Admittedly some people go overboard and create monstrosities. But there are beautiful examples of the "garden variety" Corollas and Civics. The problem isn't in how the cars look. It's how the attitude of most of the drivers change as they step into the seemingly fast vehicles. And that's where the core of the rot lies. It's not the machine but the nut behind the machine. I love the cars it's the drivers I can't stand.
Rajib Talukder Baridhara

In the June 8, 2005 issue, in the cover story by Tahiat-e-Mahboob, the writer mentioned that DU students had ransacked Nilkhet. The unrest actually occurred at Shahbagh. The writer apologises for the mistake.


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