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Album Review

64m 53s

By Zeeshan B. Rahman

The existing rock bands in Bangladesh can be divided into two categories a. the bands that have been the pioneers of this modern style of music we see in the country and b. the bands that are emerging in the industry, following the trend that was set by the previous. Although Arbovirus would probably fall under the second category of bands, their style of music has captivated many a listener and has established the band as one of the most popular band of the country. Arbovirus' debut album, titled '64m 53s' was released on July 20 at Bashundhara City. The album, which was supposed to be named 'Britto' earlier, came out under G-Series and was sponsored by Djuice.

Arbovirus is band that has improved constantly and the album is a proof of their consistency in quality. The first track of the album, 'Shikarokti' is an awesome track. The track has an alternative rock style and the guitar works in the track are excellent. The second track, 'Uttaridhikar' is a fast tempo track just like the first track. It should also be another Arbovirus head-banger in the future. Sufi's vocals as well as the riffs were very good in this track. Track 3, 'Ja Ichche Tai' is a soft and melodious acoustic number. The next track, 'Mukut Chara Raja' is a soft rock number. This one is also very melodious and has great guitar work and drumming. 'Adhar O Ishshor', the next track, is a slow hard rock number. The composition of this song seems pretty experimental and the lyrics is also nice. Track 6, 'Prithibir Shesh Prante' is another soft mellow track nothing very special, but does have nice guitar leads in the middle. 'Amader Gaan' is the next track in the album. This is another soft rock song. It might have been a good one, but after listening to the same sort of slow tempo songs for the last 25 minutes or so it gets a little monotonous. Of course, 'Omanush' is a relief. This song is simply great. Be it the vocals, guitar, bass or drums Arbovirus does everything right in this track. 'Chayamanush' is another good fast track. This track has awesome guitar leads and is a display of Suharto and Ranjan's talents as guitarists. Track 10, 'Corporate Anthem' is also a fast tempo track. Although the leads in this track are good, the composition is unimpressive. 'Shekhor' is a hard rock track with good vocals and leads. The last track of the album, 'Shorger Shishura' is a very experimental one. This 12 minute long song starts off with a short speech. Song goes ahead on a slow tempo, but the lack of variation makes it pretty boring by the end. The lyrics are nice though.

Bangladeshi bands have had a tradition of making excellent cover and sleeve designs. '64m 53s' does well to keep up to that tradition the album cover and sleeve design and the photography looks great. The album was recorded at 'Dream Desk' and 'Studio Bass'.

All in all, '64m 53s' is a more commercial album than an experimental one. In fact, Arbovirus itself is a better band when following a certain style than when experimenting. But commercial or not, most of the songs are nice to the ears. And although it gets a little repetitive in the middle, the overall quality of the album is good. Nowadays when 'alternative' basically means mainstream in the rock community, style doesn't matter as much as quality. Here you have the substance as well as the style which makes the album a good buy.

From RS deskz

Ancient astronomy dates back to the dawn of history when ancient Egyptian civilization flourished in the Nile delta. After the Egyptians, the Chinese have been recorded to practice astronomy followed by the Arabians up to 17th century. In renaissance period astronomy was an ugly business. Copernicus' heliocentric theory wasn't accepted easily and Galileo was condemned of heresy and executed by the church. Then came Newton with his theory of universal gravitation followed by Einstein with his theory of relativity. Throughout the ages astronomy has evolved and now it is a sophisticated and complex branch of science.

Bangladesh Astronomical Organization has organized 'Bangladesh Astro-Olympiad 2006' for the first time in the history of our nation. This organization feels that when the world is accelerating towards sophisticated science and technology, Bangladesh is retarding because we do not encourage practicing these complex branches of science. For the last 18 years this organization has been working enthusiastically by organizing various programs to encourage the youngsters to practice science. As for this year, 2006 they have decided to organize 'Astro-Olympiad 2006' for the school-going as well as the college-going students. It is a quiz competition based on Astronomy.

Six division-level competitions will be held throughout the months of August and September. The schedule is given below:
1. Barisal- Saturday, 5th of August, 2006.
2. Khulna- Saturday, 12th of August, 2006.
3. Rajshahi- Saturday, 19th of August, 2006.
4. Shyllet- Saturday, 26th of August, 2006.
5. Chittagong- Saturday, 2nd of September, 2006.
6. Dhaka- Saturday, 9th of September, 2006.
The national competition comprising of the six winners of the six divisions will be held on Saturday, 7th of October, 2006.

Procedure for Enrollment:
1. Anybody ranging from 14-17 years of age is eligible.
2. An application of enrollment has to be sent to the organization.(address given below)
3. No entry fees are needed.
4. Birth certificate has to be given with the enrollment application.

1. First 20 winning participants will be handsomely prized along with certificates.
2. Every participant will be certified.
3. The first and second place holding winners will be invited as spectators of the World Astronomy Olympiad which will be held from 10th to 19th of November, 2006, in India.

The contest will consist of multiple choice question, filling in blanks as well as identifying pictures. An example is the pictures posted here where the contestant will be asked to identify each (Left: Stonehenge, right: Moon). Next week we will print some sample questions. For now interested participants start reading. It is bound to be an exciting quiz competition and should be appreciated and participated in.

The enrollment application will have to be sent to:
Bangladesh Astronomical Association, 75, Science Laboratory Road, 3rd floor, (beside Coffee House), Dhaka-1205.

For further information contact Milon at: 017-111-87-555.


By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam

Yes its' been a long time and yes, its good to be back. After much snide remarks and underhanded comments that have made their ways into the hallowed pages of this magazine yours truly has finally ended his “non-self imposed exile” and returned to what he knows best. What happened you ask? It is a situation in which I would like to call myself the victim of circumstances. More of that later but already I can see sniggers emaciating from nearby so I will continue with what I was saying.

So, a lot has happened in the last two months. A lot. An overdose of football action and a much needed (not really!) refreshment through Wimbledon. But if you are talking sports and you are talking the period of the last two months the only thing that would strike you would be football. And the World Cup. Am I here to talk about it? Yes and no. It would be unfair to SportsWatch's hallowed status if we left out the World Cup. After all, football was its primary source of life and throughout its brief but intriguing history. But no because I don't want to take you through all that again. For those whose dreams ended in glory (stand up those true Italia fans) and for others whose nights were fraught with despair (myself partially included) I do not want you to either relive the glory or feel the pain again so the less said of it the better.

However, Fabio Grosso's thumping penalty kick past a hapless Fabian Barthez sent the Sicilian into ecstasy along with most of the Italian contingent. Many shed tears as years of failed dreams finally materialised. Its been 24 years since Italy won the World Cup and 12 since they played in a final. All together, it culminated into a rising crescendo of emotion that played itself out as far as the streets of Dhaka.

Anyhow, it was a good World Cup as the axis of power re-established itself firmly and of the eight teams that made it to the quarterfinals only Portugal had not won the World Cup before. That's shows how strong the strong teams were at this time. Ukraine were the (disappointing) surprise package and so were Germany to a certain extent, finishing third for the third time in their history.

Fabio Cannavaro proved his worth to the world and Zinedine Zidane left football on his own terms. His headbutt, may have been warranted, but it in no way explains his actions. What he did was wrong and that's that. There should be nothing else said of the issue. That said, it did not stop me from applauding the genius of the pitch as the world bid bye to one of their greatest stars of all time.

Wimbledon provided a breath of fresh air from World Cup monotony and Amelie Mauresmo shrug off her chokers tag in the same week that Italy shrugged of theirs. And since grass was the surface of choice, Roger Federer disposed of Rafael Nadal. That was about as much as yours truly caught of tennis during its tenure.

Anyhow that should do it for this edition. A recap was necessary and that's what I gave you. But I wanted to stress another point. I wanted to run a poll here. I wanted to ask all of you to write in, voting for your favourite match of this year's World Cup. Also write in why you think that the match was so great. The best five responses will appear on SportsWatch.

Till next week.
Mail to: zulquarnain.islam@gmail.com

Review by Gokhra

'Over the hedge' is taken from a syndicated comic strip that explores the attractions and repulsions of city life as viewed by a gang of hapless critters. It is a comic strip that debates in a tongue in cheek manner about population control and global warming among many other things. Americans and nowadays affluent Bangladeshis as well seem to have a preference for large, poorly handling, gas guzzling SUVS (we call them 'Jeep' here). A very interesting question is posed in the movie that makes a great deal about urban wastage, junk food and the popularity of the SUV. "How many people does it hold?" "Usually one." In the Bangladeshi context just add the chauffeur.

The plot:
The movie opens with the coming of spring with many animals waking up from hibernation. Among them is Vincent the bear who wakens to find out that his entire stash of stolen food, including a stolen red wagon, has been stolen! The small thief who stole from the big thief is none other than a raccoon named RJ and coolly voice by the cool Bruce Willis. RJ is caught by Vincent who gives the former a deadline in which the bear either feeds on man made junk or raccoon meat.

Next we have Verne the turtle and his multi-species pals awakening from hibernation as well only to find out that their forest (or what remains of it) is blocked by a mysterious, endless-looking hedge, separating it from a shiny new housing development. They need to forge for food for the next winter but unfortunately there isn't any.

RJ stumbles upon the gang and decided to use them to his benefit. He does so by introducing Hammy the squirrel to nachos cheese flavoured chips. The critters can't have enough of it and the fact that they used to feed on roots and leaves is now a myth.

The movie mainly deals with their antics related to how they grab the food as well as rivalries and near squished experiences. Interesting and ingenious subplots include a take on the pauper to beauty transformation for a skunk named Stella who finds love in a house cat who cannot smell anything.

Everything goes fine until the humans start feeling offended that they have to share their homes with animals. Not only that, but these are very smart animals who know how to use home theatre systems. .

Villainess among the humans is Gladys, the head of the homeowners' association, who is personally peeved with RJ and his cronies who regularly violate her garbage can. She brings in Dwayne, a pest control expert known ominously as The Verminator. She wants all the critters exterminated as inhumanely as possible.

It's a lovely story with RJ discovering the meaning of family and eventually standing up to al the big bad bears and verminators with the help of his friends. The graphics is top notch as proper animation has to be these days for the discerning audience. The action sequences border a bit more on realism than other such flicks.

The comedy comes fast and in good loads although the wit does not quite match up to that of the comic strip. Thank goodness that this movie does not only bank on its star power considering the number of popular celebrities lending their vocal talents and names to the poster. Overall it is yet another enjoyable flick that you can watch several times over without getting bored.



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