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The week in re(ar)view

Nano villages
Here's proof that some of our villages are no larger than two 5 feet by 5 feet. Hanif's bus counter (approximately the size mentioned) has 21 registered voters using it as their living address. Village Munshinagar on the other hand has only 3 voters.

Further discrepancies include underage madrassa students being drafted into the voter, 122 of them. You'd call it being dishonest, we'd say it's providing even kids a chance to be grownup and vote, sort of. See? No you can't say we don't put a positive spin on things.

Over 222 fake voter registrations have been detected in Mohammadpur alone. Thus, we have decided not to vote because we are sure someone will have voted on our behalf in Dhaka and also in our birth places and all the places in Bangladesh we ever visited.

Pollution brings hope
Savar is fast turning into a wasteland, which is promising for Bangladesh's future. How you ask? There are about 300 factories in the Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) in Savar. All that processing leads to a lot of waste that simply goes into underground tanks and then into lakes, canals, rivers etc. Places like Ashulia, Zirabo, Dhamsona etc are slowly turning into wastelands. Roads are narrow, transport is continually unavailable and electricity plays hide and seek. Doesn't that read like the perfect Hollywood setting for a post apocalyptic movie? Cheap labour too. Just imagine Spielberg using Savar as a War of the World sequel. In fact, we just received an email from him and he says he has never seen such disregard for nature. The place also has no fire station so just don't light a cigarette because you never know what flammable waste you are walking on.

Goats in the parliament
Ever wonder what kind of people runs this country? No, NOT goats though they sure sound like it. State Minister for power Iqbal Hassan Mahmood has been booted for inefficiency and sent to look after agriculture. A low profile finance minister has been appointed in his place to look after power. It's like a hit-and-miss practice to find a suitable candidate. We know what ministers will be really good at; cleaning toilets.

Mobile court: 0, Public: 1
That's what the score is till date. Hotel staff in Topkhana Road attacked mobile court led by Tapan Kumar Biswas. In the latter's own words he is upset because he went about fining one place for 1 lakh and another place for 30,000. Figures sound a bit arbitrary though. Processions were brought out and a cop car was damaged although cop cars look that bad all the time anyways. After a lot of clashing a few employees were detained by the cops. Those employees will be served boiled eggs for lunch during the police detainment through passages not meant for eggs to go in.

By Gokhra and Mood Dude


Sci news

Dear fellows and countrymen, from this week on I'll be bringing you a few bizarre and WOW-ish recent scientific break-throughs regarding the ever fanatic mankind to all its mind-swirling surroundings from galaxies spitting out black holes to microscopic views of a fly's foot. So bear with me people!

Of Mice, Rats and Mozart!
Rats are troublesome… that's why they are rats. Especially during winter, when those rodents can't resist the chill outside and so forth take shelter indoors, and I get to kill nine to ten of them just from my room! Nonetheless, these creatures are sly and sleekly and scientists have found a method to make them even smarter - just great!?

The idea is at least as controversial today as it was when an attention grabbing 1993 study suggested that listening to Mozart makes you smarter, at least temporarily. Some researchers' say the notion is outright stupid, though that hasn't shut down a booming industry in Mozart CDs marketed as brain-boosters. So what's this got to do with rats and mice?

Well, very few, if any people would agree that rodents appreciate classical music; other than a few scientists maybe. Yet studies from three laboratories have found this much: Mozart does something for them.

Apparently rats and mice exposed to Mozart music complete mazes faster and with fewer errors compared to rats and mice exposed to death metal, techno or any other type of music or none at all. Scientists have found the improvement was associated with increased levels of a molecule associated with “neural plasticity” a sort of flexibility in brain circuit wiring, believed to facilitate learning. The molecule, a protein, is called TrkB.

Critics to this “intelligent rats” discovery, however, pointed out that rats and mice can't even hear most of the notes in the Mozart music played, both of the animals' having hearing range that covers much higher pitches than human hearing range does. Also mice and rats are born deaf. So they debate heat is still on and growing.

One thing is for sure though, if you share your house with these Jerry-relatives keep away from Mozart music unless you want intelligent had-to-catch mice roaming around and consuming all hardware that you have… better safe than sorry!

Living Sculptures
X-Men certainly were mutants but they should thank Marvel Comics that they didn't have to face this. Apparently, as per most animations, mutants have powers; and any mutant affected with this disease has the power to turn into statue. No kidding! This rare and deadly disease, called Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, or FOP as I believe many would prefer, affecting 2,500 people worldwide, progressively converts more and more muscle, tendons and ligaments into bones, eventually locking joints in place making movement impossible and turning their victims into living “statues”!

The disease begins in childhood and the bones are perfectly normal in every way, except that they should not be there. Surgically removing the bones, as well as bumps, bruises or injections, make them grow back faster. It's like they have an Artificial Intelligence for survival. Victims often die, typically in their 40s, from complications related to difficulty breathing as the bone restricts the space available for their lungs to move! There is no effective treatment, other than avoiding much physical activity.

After 15 years of research on the disease, the source of mutation was finally found to involve a gene encoding a molecule called ACVR1. Scientists are hoping that this will help find a cure for the disease and other skeleton based diseases. The mutation in ACVR1 causes a disruption in a pathway involving the formation and repair of the skeleton and causes the formation of the extra bones until the victim turns into nothing but bones. Talk about a person having a beautiful bone structure!

By Adnan M. S. Fakir


Dhaka in rain

Ice cream steaming in the road-side van
Rain etching itself down feeble walls
Children running wild in the water by the drain
Whilst an old man cuddles himself to the chill of rain.
The careworn farmer elates to the gift of God
And crops float with the rhythm of the waves
As a city girl with flowing black hair
Stares out to the silk of rain.
Beggars crowd the hide of railway stations
While rickshaw pullers embrace their fate
Crows rinse on telephone wires
Whereas hungry dogs search wet garbage bins.
Few cars splash water on the drenched streets
And clouds play with the dews of spring,
Families on roofs feel the mirth of rain
Just as everything remains the same.

By Adnan M. S. Fakir


Struck by love

Love can be such a tricky game
It plays mercilessly with two bleeding hearts
And still always escapes its share of blame.
Love can fall for the wrong person
Or the wrong person can fall for love
Both ways love clings on to its greatness and glory,
Apparently the struck one limps on with
Shadows of agony and the excruciating pain.
Unanswered prayers may seem to hurt
But untold love can provoke to evoke
A raging fire within the wounded soul,
Neither the healing power of time nor
The promise to mend it all up
Succeeds to douse that dreadful autumn flame.
Struck by love, not being in love with someone
Rather with love itself once again,
Willing to sacrifice it all expecting nothing to gain
The road is uncertain, may lead to infamy or shame
Still love is the name we all wanna game.

By Mohammad Tanvir Hossain


Regret

Looking up to the shining sky,
Brightened by the sun so high,
I can only sigh
For saying good-bye.
We all parted
Throwing away all those wonderful memories
We became disheartened
Now I can only feel the lonely breeze.
All alone now
Away from each other
Tell me how
We shall live alone forever?
We spent all those days
All together
Now, we live in a maze
Away from each other.
We live now unhappy
All alone; this lonely fate
Now, we say sorry
When it is too late.
Now we feel miserable
Now we realize our mistakes
When we are unable
To fix it and don't have what it takes.
The green trees,
The lonely breeze,
The winter freeze,
When and where we used to tease
We are all so lonely
We lost the memories so lovely
We forgot the classes so noisy
Now we suffer days so lazy.
When the days are rainy
I remember,
When we played together so happy
Those days which are lost forever.
Those days so wonderful
That time so beautiful
Now, we all are so regretful
And all so remorseful.
We parted
Throwing away all the memories,
We want to get rejoined
And enjoy together the pleasant breeze.

By Sarwat Tahsin Khan


 
 

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