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The week in re(ar)view

We've got X Files
44 pilots of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) have been killed so far, 10 percent due to pilot error, 40 percent due to mechanical fault and the rest unknown hidden away in the X Files.

According to boss public in the air force it is said that “deaths are lower than in neighbouring countries.' By neighbouring countries we guess they mean India on the west, India on the north and India on the east. Point is our neighbouring countries have way more planes. They also have way more pilots. So when you end up comparing the actual PERCENTAGE of deaths than we would be shocked to find that deaths in our country are way, way higher.

Backup copter
The Prime Minister believes in backups so much that two helicopters have been purchased so she could breathe the fresher air above. That and the fact that for the coming elections she will be needing the choppers to go all over the country quickly making quick promises that are quickly forgotten. Apparently if one breaks down there's going to be a backup. Kinda expensive this backup at 71 crore.

The Resident Conspiracy Theorist would like to propose a bet here: The bet is that these choppers will soon break down and become useless especially if the government changes. You can place your bets at the RS cubicle.

Squash 'em all
Energy advisor Mahmudur Rahman says kerosene and diesel prices should be hiked as well as the octane and petrol. This dude is all for equality. His argument is that petrol and octane accounts for only 10 percent of the total fuel consumption and it won't make much of a difference in the budget.

Kerosene and diesel generally used by factories and public transport (all owned by rich guys) accounts for the rest of the 90 percent of fuel consumption. Of course, these two fuels are also used in huge quantities by poor farmers who will get squished just a bit more than usual.

By Gokhra and Mood Dude


Gift ideas for mother's day

Mother's Day is right around the corner and almost every year we, the darling children, avoid the trouble of getting a gift with the lamest excuse… 'We didn't know what to get you!'

Get creative:
Well if you're a bit tight on your budget try making something yourself. It can be a candle with writings engraved, a collage of pictures which will touch your mother or simply a cardboard handmade photo frame with a nice picture of the family in it. Following are steps of making a simple photo frame:

1. Cut out a piece of card board in the shape of a frame. Dimensions will depend upon size of the photograph.

2. Wrap it up with decorative paper (try not to use the silvery shiny papers, go for the more sober/artsy look that can be found in handmade paper, Aarong wrapping papers are my personal favorites.) You can also design the paper yourself, like colouring it in marble paint, or stenciled spray paint etc.

3. The backing will be of a square cardboard piece, wrapped in the same paper, of a size slightly greater than the inner dimensions of the frame. Use strong glue to attach three sides leaving the fourth open to insert photo.

4. Make a support out of another piece of cardboard cut into a triangular shape and attached at the back so that it can be retracted out to act as a stand.

5. Finally comes the decoration of the frame: If using store bought paper then use colour co-coordinated sequins/ laces/ beads to enhance the patterns on the paper.

If using plain hard paper then you have more freedom in choosing your design and making them abstract combining handwritten scribbles with psychedelic patterns, miscellaneous objects, pasting coloured pieces of paper. This helps to put on the 'collage look'.

Store-bought
If you don't have all the time and are willing turn out your pockets a bit, then you can try something different from stores instead of the clichéd gifts like store photo frames and mugs saying “Best Mom” (or whatever it is that they say). For example

“Basket of Favourites”: This will contain all your mother's personal little favourites, they may include her favourite type of chocolates, a CD of songs from her time, a particular shade of nail polish that she has been wanting to buy etc. Tie up a ribbon or lace with the handle of the basket and there, it's the perfect gift.

Spa basket: This will cost a bit more than the stuff so far. Don't try to look for the entire package from one place; it will cost an arm and a leg. Buy small cute containers of Shower gel, bubble bath, scented candles, scrub, foam, bath salts, etc separately. Make them as close to a particular colour scheme as possible. Put it all in a nice basket or any other type of suitable container and stuff the insides with streamers of colours that complement the chosen colour scheme. Using potpourri instead of paper would be even better.

Whatever the gift is it important to personalize it; add a bit of something which will make it special and touching. The best way to do this is through the card that comes with the gift.

More than the ingeniously worded greetings of the Archie's cards, what would strike a chord in any mother's heart are a few clumsy words coming straight from the bottom of the heart. So try making a handmade card, simple and smart, and don't be shy about writing out your true feelings.

By Midnight Maiden


RS Mailbx

Your only line of contact with RS is risingstars@thedailystar.net. Of course, then there is snail mail, pigeon mail, courier and magic. But we prefer email.

At the risk of being repetitive... I can’t really help it but say that hands up, hands down you people ROCK! I m just another of your zillion regular readers and this is my first mail to you. I'd specifically like to say to "Faria Ahmed" that her small story "Loved Back" was phenomenal! I simply loved it. If I'm not mistaken then this is not her first article printed in RS, there were a few more, but that's a different story. This is just to say that it was a pleasure to read such articles in RS.

On a more personal note, your story was based on true events. Well... ahm ahm... reading it felt like I could connect to it, way too much! Each and every event was like a part of my life that I am going through or have gone through. So just a request, I'd really appreciate it if you could give me a couple of advices regarding this situation. And since it was more of an msn messenger chat session.. here's my id.. please DO add me up! Onindo88 @hotmail.com! Hope to see a lot more of great stories.
Take care
Asif Ahmed Noor

By the way RS, could you let me know the procedure for sending stories to RS?

A lot of readers ask us how to send in material. You simply e-mail it to us and if it is decent and original in terms of content, grammar and style we print it. Simple, eh? Oh yeah, we want edited material written in proper English and no sms/msn format. - Ed

Where art thou?
Last weeks cartoon depicting Terror University was cool but I could not find the artists name anywhere. I am a fan of Ronny's artwork and am assuming that it was done by him as there is a dog peeing in the picture. He generally has a dog in the pic and that looks more like a signature than anything else. Right or wrong?
Armeen

Right, a peeing dog generally stands for Ronny. - Ed


Sony slashes price of its PlayStation 2 console

Sony dropped the price on the PS2, from the previous $150 to $130, a $20 price cut. This makes the official price of the PS2s come down to around 9000tk.

It'll at least take some time for this to have an effect here in the local markets. A 1500tk price cut isn't terribly much, but every bit helps. Here you can buy a modded PS2 for around 17000tk, so the new price should come down to around 16000tk and hopefully even lower.

I talked to some of the local PS2 sellers about how or when this would start having an effect on the local prices. What they had to offer was a bit upsetting. Apparently, the PS2 importers are having trouble importing the consoles and currently there aren't enough available in the market. In fact, due to this, the prices might even increase, instead of decreasing along with the rest of the world.

Talk about tough luck! Although it's just me, I have a feeling that the consoles getting out of stock in the local markets could just be an artificial issue, made up by the sellers so they can increase the prices.

Still, the $20 decrease is good news for anyone lucky enough to be able buy the console from aboard.

For the well-informed gamers who'd rather have a five-year-old console than a brand new gaming PC, this is good news. (It's the game library that really matters. There's not point buying an expensive gaming PC that offers breathtaking graphics in a handful games if you can't play the best games of our time.) On the next-gen front, Microsoft's Xbox 360 hasn't been impressing enough to warrant its $400 price tag, and it'll take a long time before Sony's next console is released and becomes properly available. What the gamers around the world are really excited about recently is Nintendo's Revolution console, which, it now seems will actually be faithful to all the crazy promises Nintendo made last year. Of course, all will be unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in May, and we'll keep you updated.

It'll take quite some time before gaming moves on to the next-gen goodness that we now can only dream of. Until that happens, the Playstation 2 will continue to be the gaming platform of choice. Even though the PS2 is at its final years, it has been one hell of a brilliant console and will continue to be so for years to come.

By Niloy


 
 

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