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The week in re(ar)view
Batteries not included


Sugar tastes bitter
Heck, the headline on 17 December was so brilliant we couldn't help stealing it. You see, sugar previously cost about 35-40 taka/kg. That was even during the eid times when prices are generally high. Now it's about 42-48 taka/kg. That does leave a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. People are cautiously consuming less due wallet constraints. We can predict one thing: dentists will not be happy.

Dhanmondi Dew
8A December 18 report stated that DCC (Dhaka City Corporation) is planning to lease the Dhanmondi Lake to a water bottling plant. We tried real hard to look into the depths of the bleak murky green waters to see is we can spot any signs of life. We didn't. We did manage to see the future of mankind. It's bleak, murky and green.

You see a lot of the houses nearby reportedly dump their personal, um, digested food by products into the lake. If that water is treated in typical Bangladeshi manner (i.e. not very well) then people end up drinking their own wastes. Is this what they call a vicious cycle?

We wonder if they will be calling the bottled product Dhanmodni Dew considering it's murky green shade.

Reach for the sky
Previously we mentioned how builders especially in Dhanmondi and Lalmatia are ignoring the height limits and creating sky high structures. They are even going as far upwards as 9-12 storey high. RAJUK (Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakhkha) officials are confused. People are aghast. Builders are impatient. High Court is annoyed. Heck, that's a lot of emotions swirling around. Building restrictions are there because each area can only accommodate so many people. Higher buildings equal more tenants leading to water crisis. Then of course there are traffic jams due to super narrow streets.

Resident Conspiracy Theorist (RCT): I think it's a government conspiracy against the population. They want to curb the population by providing inhospitable living conditions. So many people living together will create tension that will lead most of them to the high rooftops from where they can jump and end it all.

By Gokhra and Mood Dude

Strange Christmas facts

* Saint Nicholas of Myra, the original Santa Claus, was the patron saint of children, thieves and pawnbrokers.
* Based on previous surveys, 17 percent of you will embarrass yourselves in some way at your office Christmas party.
* A Mongolian wild ass can run 8 mph faster than a reindeer.
* Christmas pudding should be stirred from east to west.
* 56 percent of Americans sing holiday carols to their pets.
* 53 percent of Americans plan to "re-gift" this year.
* 1 in 3 men will wait until Christmas Eve to finish their shopping.
* 1 in 6 men would like to get rid of all the "gift-giving nonsense."
* A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.
* On Christmas Eve in 2001, the Bethlehem Hotel had 208 of its 210 rooms free.
* There are 1.76 billion candy canes produced every year.
* Based on a 1999 estimated population count of North America and Europe, on Christmas Eve of that year Santa Claus had to visit 42,466,666 homes in a 12-hour period -- that's 983 homes per second.

RS Mailbox

Your one stop junction for comments, suggestions, praise, love letters to RS, criticism and hate mail. We promise not to hunt you down with laser guided missiles if you complain.

Conundrum regarding the Coaching Conundrum
Hi Tausif Salim,
In Bangladesh, many people are trying to learn English and most of them can do a decent job of expressing themselves within 5 or 6 months. At least people are trying.

Off course, I must admit that there are quite a few 'DHANDABAJ' institutions who are giving those pathetic ads as they don't have sufficient students. Many of our coaching centers are like chicken coops. Also we (specially the English medium students) have insufficient good teachers. Those who are very good at teaching have more than 50 or 60 students in a batch which brings in the chicken coop syndrome again. Unfortunately if we want to continue our studies in Bangladesh then we have to adapt to these weird situations.

Anyways, I know you are a good writer and have a long way to go. So, keep writing.
Rayna Awal

Desperately seeking B13
I find the movie reviews very precise in their dissection. I was wondering where I could find the movie B13 reviewed couple of weeks ago. I live in Mirpur and none of the video rentals have it on the shelf. I also checked a few of the shops nearby and they don't sell it either. I love action flicks but are the subtitles actual English or an alien version typically found in Japanese movies?
Sameer Rayhan

B13 can be found in Rifles Square and almost any other shop in Dhanmondi and Gulshan. Yes, the English subtitles make a lot of sense.~RS Desk

Sleepless in Dhaka
The movie reviews always focus on action movies, cartoons, comedies, thrillers and other things like that. How come romantic movies never get a mention? Some of us DO watch them.

We review them all the time……………..once every year. Problem is, good romantic movies do not come out as often as they used to back in the days of You've Got Mail. Now it's all about mutilation, explosion and fart gags.~RS Desk

Sound of music
It's great to see the coverage of the local music scene in RS. We don't get this anywhere else. It's way better than reading reviews of foreign bands that we can simply download. But what about the older bands and artists, the established ones like Miles, Ayub Bachchu, Azam Khan etc? What are they up to?

Access is inversely proportional to fame. More fame for them means less access for RS but we are still working on it. ~RS Desk

Tired of getting the boot
Hi there
This query is directed at Niloy. I am a chat maniac and the problem is I sometimes get booted out from the chat room I enter (hehe....I swear I don't deserve that). Can you kindly let me know of any software (with the name of the sites from where I can download) which will prevent me from getting booted? I already have the Yazak. Please!

Music is another passion of mine but I can't play instruments that much but I want to compose music. Can you tell me some sites, which allow you to download software for composing music?

If I'm sounding too unthankful and rude then Rising Stars, you people are doing cool. Keep the good work going cause you ROCK!
Take care
Dark Light

Live poets society
Hello Sir,
In last weeks issue, Mr. Shanto's (Shafayet Islam) poem caught my attention. He used a classical name but a contemporary subject and style. Of course I am not a great critic of poetry, but being a student of literature I couldn't help appreciating the poet.

The other poems are also very touching written by Sabreena and Tawsif.

It will mean a lot to me, if the "Rising Star" convey my appreciation and good wishes to them.
Thank You,
Salman Waseq

Austin Powers, RS and lost mojo
Dear RS,
I've been reading your paper for a pretty long time and although this may come as a shock but I think RS is losing its mojo. Yet still I read it regularly because I believe in hope and that RS will get its groove back. Like Ananya I do miss Pintu and Babu but I would have to disagree when it comes to "Rear View". At no point have I ever found it to be funny or remotely amusing. I usually just brush over the titles and that's it. At times I've thought that maybe it's because I'm growing up that I am losing interest in such stuff but many of my friends and other people (names will not be mentioned to protect their privacy) have agreed to what I say.

I miss the days when I would wake up on an early Thursday before going to school waiting for the paper-man to drop off the paper; the front page with a very fun, cool, informative, happening or amusing essay (I still remember reading an essay about the interview of a ghost-I was a lot younger back then but I still loved it).

The Spice page filled with funny riddles, jokes, RS-soaps, Hamdu Mia's ridiculous horoscope readings. The third, sixth, seventh pages are a lot the same, maintaining their standards but I think sometimes RS forgets that we the readers are tired of the clichéd articles, like the typical love stories, adventures ending up to be dreams and stuff like that. I think the last page was always the first page I would read-Beetle's funny incidents were always and still are the best!

RS may say that everyone deserves a chance to have their articles published (clichéd idea or not) but is it worth more than the loss of readers who just like me want to see a more fun loving RS? I know many teenagers who are embarrassed to admit that they are regular readers of the RS. It's almost like being labelled a loser. "Tumi RS poro? Oh! Kaj kaam nai eto faaltu jinish poro? You must live a very boring life?", were the exact words of a girl when I had told her this.

In reply all I could say was "At least it's better then watching those stupid soaps that you waste your time on!" But you know what? She did get to me when she called RS faltu more than saying that I had a boring life because she didn't know me at all. But hey that's what many teenagers are saying now. It's the "uncool" thing to read RS.

I know, like Ananya there maybe many people out there who think the same and will probably fire-back in response to this mail but like me there are also many who feel that RS is losing its touch.
Waiting to see a change,


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