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The week in re(ar)view

Ghatak CNG
Due to recent explosive news, we should start referring to exploded CNG tanks as “Ghatak (killer) CNG tanks” like we refer to large out-of-control trucks as “Ghatak trucks.”

13 people were hurt on July 5 as yet another CNG tank exploded. This time it happened in an automobile workshop where an automobile (what else?) was being worked on. The tank inside the car blew up resulting in another car burnt to a smouldering wreck. Apparently, carrying presurised tanks inside cars can be quite dangerous as evidenced by several other such cases. It seems nothing is ever too good to be true. CNG saves fuel costs with an inherent risk. RS provides a solution to minimize that risk.

National ID card? What the heck is it?
Who says you can't run before you walk? At least who says you can't wish for it before you stumble face down into the ground? That's the policy followed by our ministers. Home ministry has asked for Tk 1561 crore to spend on machines that can electronically read passports, visas and national IDs. Of course, the government is yet to frame laws that make national ID cards mandatory for citizens. Then there is the slight matter of actually issuing the cards. Do you know anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone who knows a guy who knows another guy who has a national ID card? No? We figured as much.

Fight pirates in air conditioned comfort
Navy wants to purchase six high speed air conditioned patrol boats at a tender price of 14.5 crore. Similar boats were purchased at 9 crore in 2005. Funny thing is that they actually selected a bid that was higher than several others (as reported on July 7) including the manufacturers they previously purchased from. Isn't the whole purpose of buying through tenders is to get the lowest price?

By Gokhra and Mood Dude


Ramblings of a not-so-idle mind

Ultraviolet rays are generated by orbital electrons of atoms, as in high voltage gas discharge tubes…ultraviolet rays are generated by orbital electrons…” Oh God! This is more strenuous to memorize than the structure and working of the human heart. How am I ever going to sit for Physics in my first sitting? I am certain that Biology would have been a lot easier, even with all its perplexing diagrams. I mean, I can still remember the functions of blood and the whole digestive system even after the fact that I had memorized them about six months back! I can actually FEEL the oxygen binding with haemoglobin of red blood cells to form oxyhaemoglobin and thus transporting the oxygen to different parts of the body.

What if I accidentally inhaled some carbon monoxide? Something would happen, the ultimate result of which would be death. I can clearly remember Shirin Miss emphasizing on the reactions that would occur between the blood and carbon monoxide, but there are absolutely no clues in my mind about WHAT she said. This is not fair! Why can't I ever remember any chemical reactions? After all, that is what chemistry is about. Yesterday, I spent TWO WHOLE HOURS trying to learn the economical aspects of the industrial manufacture of alcohol by fermentation, but my mind (that is presently suffering from short-term-memory-loss I guess) cannot even recollect what is meant by fermentation!

YES, I know why I had not been able to memorize that answer even after spending two hoursit is because the word “ECONOMICAL” was there. Why on Earth did they have to include economics in chemistry? The very word “economics” is a curse for me. I don't understand a single word of it. The only way I can pass in my examinations is to gobble up whatever that is written there in my copy and then vomit on the answer script. Accounting is a LOT better! Albeit the fact that it has got lots of mathematical expressions in it, I find it easy. Maybe that is because I like mathI take pleasure in being logical. Hey! Can't this be put into logic? Hmmn…I like math, and accounting involves mathematicsso that means I like accounting.

These logics can sometimes be SO hilarious. The other day, I started off in school“Sehla is fat; an elephant is fat: so Sehla is an elephant. In addition to that, Sehla is black; a crow is black: so Sehla is a crow. Now summing up all, Sehla is an elephant and Sehla is a crow: so that indicates an elephant is a crow since this is literally impossible, the common term Sehla does not EXIST!” Sehla was so amused by this that she was on the verge of choking with laughter! To say the truth, Sehla is neither an elephant, nor a crow. She is a very sweet and extremely brilliant girl. However, what I don't understand is that how could she have a crush on Javed, leaving everyone else. That noodle-haired boy is not even worth the dust on Sehla's feet. Nowadays, he is trying to get “stylish” by making his curled up hair “straight”, as he likes to call it. I would rather say that he now looks like a monkey (logic is applicable in this case). However, I must say that he is a quite good basketball player. I have never seen him practice at B.F.T.S (Basketball Federation Training School), though.

OH! Thinking about B.F.T.S makes my heart cry. I used to ENJOY playing there. Going to AISD (American International School of Dhaka) tournaments have become a dream now. Although, of the two times we had participated, we could never manage it to the semi-finals, I still yearn to go there. There are innumerous things to explore. The school itself is a dreamlandkeeping aside the 100% chances of meeting all the cute, cool and hot boys in the cute, cool and hot school premises.

Nevertheless, one thing has always kept pinching my mind. For every friendly match between the AISD team and us, we were the ones playing over in their courts. THEY never came to B.F.T.S. Uh…well…why would they, keeping in mind the 99/100 probabilities of finding themselves in the middle of the “mortal combat” of the “Super-Women” of Dhaka. The government parties are SO childish. If one party says nobody can stop them from carrying out a hartal, then the other party takes it as a personal challenge that no one can stop them from STOPPING the hartal! Only God knows what is more in store for this country……

“Apu! Are you actually studying? Every time I looked at you for the previous one hour, I saw you staring abstractedly at the same page. Are you building castles in the air or something?!” That was my younger sister, breaking my reverie and, in her words, “trying to bring me to the right path” (her view is that from the time I had become an O' level candidate, I have become selfish, bad, non-relinquishingher ideas of a spoilt sister).

“And for the previous one hour, you have been watching on me! DIDN'T YOU HAVE ANY STUDIES OF YOUR OWN ?”

That will do to shut her up; but really, she was right. What HAD I been doing for the past one hour? I had been attempting to learn a Physics answer by heart at 8:30, and at 9:30, I had been thinking about the godforsaken condition of Bangladesh. That means my thoughts went astray for ONE WHOLE HOUR! I could have utilized this time to finish solving the Pure Math Question Paper…I have got SO MUCH to do now, right before my exams. Curse my thoughts !

By Humaira


How pesky can you get?

This scene is pretty common these days. Street kids in rags come up to you while you're stuck in a jam, spread out their palms, make a sad face and mumble something that sounds like, “duita taka d-a-a-en….” But you could've sworn you saw the same kids playing cheerfully in front of the nearby shopping mall minutes ago. Sounds puzzling? Please read on.

The other day I was going to school with my aunt when our CNG halted at the Thana road signal. A while later a kid not more than two feet strolled up to us. To be honest with you, he didn't seem the begging type to me. But to my surprise I realised he was doing the usual mumbling, still sporting a reluctant face. So I told him to go away. This probably made the little brat annoyed and he started tugging at the corner of my kameez. What followed was a ridiculous tug-of-war between me and the kid. There was no way I was going to let myself lose to that two-foot brat and finally, snatched the corner of my uniform out of his reach. The kid got upset and guess what he did? He slapped me square on the knee and ran away! For a split second I thought about running after him, but then my aunt's giggles brought me back to my senses. You would have thought she'd sympathise with me or something. But she just kept laughing and rocking back and forth. What's worse, she told my mom, “Apa, tomar meye to ek pichchir haate mair kheye ashchhe….” Grown ups, sheesh!

History tells us, the “Fakir Bidroho” or the Fakir Rebellion took place in this country during the 18th century. With pesky little rebels like the one I just mentioned, I won't be surprised if history repeats itself in near future!

By Raisa rafique


Are we in pursuit of money or happiness?

Ever since I read the news in a local paper, I've been thinking hard about it. In the World Happiness Survey conducted by leading professors of London School of Economics a few years back, Bangladesh came out as the happiest nation. Sadly, the" new paradise", US, came in the 46th position (ref: nriol.com). So the inevitable question comes, if we, the food starved nation, are already happier than any other, why do we need to become a developed nation? Cause simply the richer nations are not happier than us. All we need to do is maintain this ha-ja-ba-ra-la state of this nation cause we are happy with it!

Let's put it into perspective using an easy example. When a football team goes to the field to win a match, their priority is to score goals, not how they do it. I believe there's no crazy team in this whole world (at least professionally) who would go out to play a match with a target of scoring goals only from free kicks or penalty. They would accept a goal even it's illegitimate but allowed by the ref. So when the goal of our life is to become happy, is it necessary for us to become so by accumulating wealth, the traditional path unsuccessfully tried by man from the onset of civilisation, or by any way we can? I am not saying that we should all become poor, but that if we are already content with what we have in our respective position, should we go for more and more just because it's a general belief among us?

By Esraj


Victor

Each did betray and has been dishonest
Each did lie and has been a pessimist
Each did make the other cry
Each did sometimes act sly
Each did want to win
But often was out very clean
Each did fall in the clutches of despair
Each did make mistakes beyond repair
Each did bear envy
And did have others as prey
Each did hurt those whom they loved
And hurt those who loved them
But victor is he
Who has hope to be
Better than he is

By Ifad


Snow

Snow is soft and friendly to me
It's like a blanket of dreams
As sparkly as crystals
As soothing as the stars in the sky
It's calm, yet wondrous
Deep in the glimmering snow I lie
Cuddly, cold snow
Is soft and friendly to me

By Priyani Karim


 
 

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