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The week in re(ar)view

Diary of a life-obsessed person
9 Jan

In this time of explosive situations yet another CNGrun vehicle exploded at a filling station in Jatrabari. Attendants at the station say it was due to faulty cylinder that could not take the pressure. Driver ran away possibly because he could not take the pressure either.

With all these explosive occurrences no one still bothers to investigate as to why so many cars exploded. Apparently, human life is worth less than 58 taka(the price of octane). As a result people take such risks and to save money on fuel by converting to CNG and thus cannot be bothered about a few explosive situations.

10 Jan
O' and A' level exams began amid clashes, chases and counter chases. People are seen driving around with placards on their cars reading “Student”. Would politicians drive around with signs proclaiming “corrupt”?

Also on the same day
Employees of around 20 garment factories in Tejgaon area vandalized buildings and set fire to several vehicles over the rumor of one of their leaders being killed. Allegedly one owner of one such factory hired goons to have some such workers beaten up. Next day there was a factory shutdown notice hung outside and somehow someone thought a death must have occurred so let's party. It just goes to show the power of a rumour. Truth on the other hand is worthless.

11 Jan
Iajuddin of tea drinking fame quits as chief advisor. According to him voter list is still faulty and thus election cannot take place. That's good news for Awami League supporters. Probably they offered him better tea parties. Why are we not surprised?

11am-5am curfew was imposed and army vehicles were seen plying the road with machine guns taped on top. The Press Information Department (PID) suffers from Ostrich Syndrome. PID verbally imposed censorship on the press directing all print and electronic media not to be critical of the government. Apparently, if you do not see the problem then it does not exist so bury your collective head in the sand.
Bottom line: elections postponed, again.

13 Jan
Curfew gone.

14 Jan
Authorities of Bangladesh Open University were caught in the act of chopping down big old tress by 2 photojournalists. The journos were then detained for several hours possibly for causing indignity to the fallen trees in their hour of death. They were released not by the police who came and went but after the intervention of respective news agencies.

Jan 16
Asthma patients on the rise due to air pollution, say experts. People dying everyday due to cold, say newspapers. Living ain't what it use dot be, say the barely living.

By Gokhra and Mood Dude

Germ Quiz: What's Your Infectious IQ?

There are probably more microbes in your intestine than there are stars in the sky. As romantic and dazzling as this notion might be, a closer look will likely leave you scrambling for the antibacterial soap. But will that really help? Are you having close encounters of the germ kind without knowing it? See what you know about the germs you come to daily contact with:

1) At an office, which of the following is the most germ-laden surface?
a. the desk
b. the phone
c. the toilet seat

2) How many species of microbe live in the human mouth?
a. 5
b. 50
c. 500
d. more than 700

3) Germs can escape a flushing toilet
and contaminate things in the bathroom--such as toothbrushes
a. True
b. False

4) Babies who snuggle family pets are:
a. More likely to develop allergies
b. Less likely to develop allergies

5) It takes germs at least five seconds to contaminate food that has fallen on the floor
a. True
b. False

6) Kitchens are a germ hot spot. Which item is typically the worst offender?
a. Kitchen Faucet
b. Cutting board
c. Sponge or dishcloth
d. Kitchen sink drain area
e. Refrigerator handle

7) How did influenza get its name?
a. Because people thought disease came from the chimney flue
b. Because people thought the flu was caused by the evil influence of the stars
c. From the Italian word for fever and aches

8) When we can finally eliminate germs, humans will be much better off.
a. True
b. False

1) B.Chances are, you are reaching out and touching hundreds of thousands of germs every time you pick up the phone. A microbiologist conducted a study that found 25,000 germs per square inch on phones. Desks were a sick second, with 21,000 germs per square inch. The office toilet seat has a mere 49 germs per square inch. (Of course, individual results may vary.)

2) D.

3)a. Thirty years ago, the same microbiologist who dished us the dirt about our filthy desks and phones also found that a flushing toilet sends an aerosol spray containing bacteria and viruses all around the bathroom for at least two hours after each flush. Please, people. Put the toilet seat down.

4) B.

5) B. While many people have heard of the "five-second rule" that says you have this window of time to pick up a cookie before it's been sullied by floor germs, contamination with microbes would happen as soon as the cookie dropped. Dry floors, found in a study, generally don't have enough microbes on them to infect dropped morsels. With wet floors, this is not the case. (Also, it was found women were slightly more likely than men to eat off the floor.)

6) C. One sponge can have as many as 7 billion microbes growing in its damp, dark crevices. After that, the kitchen sink drain, the faucet, cutting boards, and fridge handles are areas you might want to wipe down with obsessive regularity. The kitchen faucet tested in one particular study had 229,000 microbes growing per inch, which makes the 49 germs per inch lurking on an office toilet seat look appetizing by comparison.

7) B.Influenza is caused by a virus, but before people knew that, they cast their blame to the heavens.

8) B. Not all germs cause disease. Some are essential to health, agriculture, and medicine. Some can even clean up pollution. The fact is, life requires germs--they help us develop immune systems and digest food. Even after we die, germs help break down our bodies. If this didn't happen, dead plants, animals, and people would stack up, leaving no room for the living.

Compiled by Nisma Elias

Twain philosophies

Mark Twain was a great guy. And a great guy with a wry wit, snorting off the truths with a smirk and an all knowing smile on his face. Let's look back and start the day with some Twain philosophies, as I might say.

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”

“Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.”

“Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.”

“I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.”

“Honesty is the best policy - when there is money in it.”

“Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you
are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.

By ttyl…Subehee

A spooky night

The other day I took my dog for a walk 1:30 in the morning. The night was chilly. I seemed to freeze even under two jackets..!

The whole city was buried under a thick layer of fog, or you can
call it smog. The orange sodium lights casted a strange, unearthly glow on the fog.

In a distance, a dog was standing. The dog looked like some mysterious animal, which didn't belong to our world. The odd swirling mist hung over the mosque, with the tall trees. Nothing apart from the mist moved. My breath formed as smoke before my eyes. Everything was calm and quiet. It seemed like a scene from a horror movie. The sodium lights and the old wrecked building standing with its haunted look made the scene more ominous.

Some night bird called from a tree. It was the only sound which broke the supernatural silence. And it seemed as if it had every right to do so. The city was peacefully asleep covered by a misty duvet of fog.

I was walking near the mosque when I heard a faint howling sound coming from beside a raintree. My dog and I went to investigate the source. And there I saw a white sack with something inside it. It was alive and moving! A chill ran down my spine. So, by instinct, I ran away from the place as soon as I could!! But as I ran, I heard running footsteps behind me…

Something bit me on my ankle and I fell hard on the ground. I screamed out loud, turned my head and saw the figure of a dog standing over me… my first thought was that it's a warewolf. Then my dog came flying at it, barking at the top of its voice. The animal left me and fled away fearfully. I stood up and left the place. I let my imagination run wild and thought it was a werewolf. Though nobody believed me, I knew something spooky had
occurred that night…

By Anushua


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