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Killer phones

"A rumour is a piece of purportedly true information that circulates without substantiating evidence. The information content of rumours can range from simple gossip to advanced propaganda techniques.” - Internet

Rumours can spread through various means and for just as various reasons. A simple conversation can lead to one being created, and it's not really that difficult to spread it, either, for those of us who have a lot of time on our hands, a bit of skill and persuasiveness, and several ounces of mischief. Initially, the little devils used to travel and spread orally, when technology of any sort was either non-existent, or in its stage of infancy. In the 21st Century they spread like wildfire constantly stimulated and fuelled by the internet and various telecommunication services. Indeed, some rumours can be so bizarre and utterly ridiculous in nature, that it is hard to imagine how anyone could actually believe them.

But, hey, Louis Lane, intellectually equal to Clark Kent or Superman can't tell one man from the other. Considering that, and considering also the technological capabilities of today, why should us simple minded and somewhat backdated people be ridiculed for believing something as plausible as a 'cell phone virus'?

And some of us really did. Some of us became a bit excited; some a bit hysteric, and some of us a bit careful about the phone calls we received. Some of us were kind enough to warn and caution the rest of us who were ignorant about this... so-called 'virus'.

Word travelled quickly; soon we all heard it. They say that several people died after receiving phone calls from the number “+00”, due to the contraption exploding. One must stop to wonder however, how 'investigators' were able to deduce such a specific number if the mobile phone had exploded. But, then, I don't claim to be a gadgety genius, so, I wouldn't know. Other alleged methods included the sounding of a noise at a certain frequency that proved to be fatally harmful to the human brain, subsequently making nerves and what not explode and/or burst, with the ultimate result of, again, killing the receiver.

Interesting to note would be that upon answering the call, the last thing answerers would hear was a prayer. More interesting is how others came to learn of this fact, since the only 'witnesses' were not present for comments. Indefinitely. This silly, yet massively widespread outbreak found its way not only to Bangladesh, but also Pakistan, and to an extent Afghanistan (strange, that all three are Muslim countries.). People from overseas, UK or the US, mostly, stopped calling their relatives at home, businessmen suffered from a lack of customers, and the newspapers and news-sites are filled with articles about it, associating different types of deaths with the “Virus”, while Bloggers are sending out their sympathies to the unfortunate 'deceased'. Some even claim to be infected by it, as if it was some sort of biological ailment and have admitted themselves to hospitals in hopes of being cured, leaving doctors completely clueless and flabbergasted.

The rumour was taken a tad bit seriously in Bangladesh and widely affected enough (although, not even close to nearly as much as Pakistan, where it all began and caused quite a panic), to reach national television news.

As plausible as they are in this age of science, one just has to look at reality seriously, because they aren't really all that plausible. The sheer impossibility of it is somewhat laughable, unless this was the 30th century where we assassinate one another through cellular technology. It's not, though. And in the end, some of us were made fools, while at the other end, the people who began this little shenanigan, though may not have intended it to reach international coverage, had a good laugh. After this passes over, some would probably say to each other, “People get excited by the littlest things, really,” with themselves not being any exception a bit back.

But, hey, again. Let's remember Mad-Eye Moody's infamous words from the Harry Potter books, “Constant Vigilance.”

This article, along with the paper, will self-destruct in... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1.. ... ... ... Or not.

By SS Emil

Virginia tech shootout: Lessons to learn

If you have been listening to the airwaves last week, you would know that the biggest story was that of shooting in Virginia Institute of technology, just on the outskirts of Washington DC. It was a tragic affair which claimed the life of more than 30 innocent students. The incident took place on the 16th of April and the killer was identified as a young 23 years old Asian American student named Cho. Although he was an Asian-American Citizen the TV channels continuously identified him as being “Asian” only at all times.

By now of course, everybody knows what has happened, with the video of the assailant now airing on all the major international news channels. I won't say much on what are the facts in the story, for everybody knows what happened. But I would like to say a few things between the lines on such incident.

The Virginia Tech shootout, the largest tragedy of its kind in the USA, immediately reminds one of the Columbine Tragedy, where a school student, armed with a gun, caused so much trauma in the lives of so many students, teachers and parents. Incidents like these leave scars much too bigger for us to forget. Even though we are sitting here thousands of miles away from Virginia, there are lessons to learn, and things to ponder upon.

If we look in the situation of the youth of our country, we too can be alarmed by the amount of juvenile crime or crimes including gun in our college or university campuses. Michael Moore”s “Bowling for Columbine” has shown us that the problem is not that an eccentric crazy psychopath has gone around shooting mindlessly in the middle of the school, but the problem is that of gun control in the USA and the societies disability to treat young people as individuals with regards. The problem is not that young students like Cho has a gun or he is sick, the problem is that the society has made it possible for him to own a gun or has no given enough attention to listen to his problems.

Is Cho a psychopath? Yes sure. You could guess that if you saw the video footages that he released before committing the crimes. But what has led this young man of only 23 to go around and commit such an act with cold blood? Even around us here, in Dhaka, we see the ghosts of the modern western society's problems looming amongst us. Cho wasn't a student whom many of the students or the officials remember. In fact, on the first two days, none could identify this man. But he was a full fledged student of Virginia Tech. Later when we see his video footage we find out that he was a disturbed person. He kept on saying that he couldn't take it any more and he has shown his anger towards the rich students in his campus. He was not born as a social psychopath but was made into one.

Psychopaths are indeed not born. If it is a disease, it is not something that we get from mosquito bites or from genetic disorder. The root of the problem is the society around us. Just think of our society and the young people around us. We all know about the terrorists that reside in many of the public universities in Bangladesh. They are also some kind of social psychopaths. The interesting this is that only are some of the most brilliant and the chosen ones who entered universities in the hope of securing a bright and stable future. But what is it that transforms these bright young talented students into terrorists? It's the pressure that we put them on. They realize that their surrounding and the 'system' will not enable them to attain their dreams. That it is wrong to. Those who are in power or the well off of the society is trying to curb you from reaching your goal. From the word go, he enters the rat race of survival. But he has to find a job to support himself and his poor family. He is looking for support and help. And when they find none, they look towards these politicians who promise them a better life and hand them a gun. This is the start of the life of a social psychopath. Why am I comparing America with Bangladesh? Because there are connections. In America such a killing occurs once every five years and it has devastating effect. But in our country, campus killing and shootout are common phenomena. In American, people talk about gun control and how is it possible for a high school student (Columbine Tragedy) able to get access to gun. In our country it is possible to get a gun for about 100 taka. Young students are taught to make bombs in the name of political ambition and Jihad. How are we any different from Virginia or Columbine? Except that over here, it has become such a commonplace that we don't even call it a school or a University tragedy. We just call it murder. But the real question is, who's the real culprit? Who is behind it all?

If anything, the Virginia tech incident should teach us lessons about imposing stricter measures for gun control, and to identify with the young people and understand their needs. We are pushing them towards the path of social psychopaths. Else there will be a Cho in every street of Dhaka.

By Monty Python

Campus news
Earth Day Celebrations @ IUB

There's been a lot of talk in the air about global warming, and it seems to have become a buzzword everyone's using but not really thinking about. Be honest, are you? Really?

That's where a film like An Inconvenient Truth comes in. A documentary film on environmental issues by a former Vice President of one of the two countries that didn't sign the Kyoto Protocol is reason enough to watch it, just out of sheer curiosity, but then you realise that it was a good film by itself, a shocking, yet hopeful coverage of the most pressing environmental concerns around the world.

This write-up isn't about this film, however, although it's definitely a must-see. It's about how a student organisation in one university observed Earth Day last Thursday. The Environmental Club, an organisation run by students of the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESM) at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) observed this particular occasion with a screening of Al Gore's Sundance Film Festival hit An Inconvenient Truth, which followed a photography exhibition featuring snapshots of the various field trips and excursions undertaken by the students of SESM.

Dr Guy Welbon, President of the American Institute for Bangladesh Studies (AIBS), commented on the occasion, stating that he was impressed by the endeavours of the students of IUB. The Environment Club at IUB has been active in spreading awareness about environmental issues, and this last event was yet another feather in their caps.

By Sabrina F Ahmad


On the 1st of February, we from the Year 7A of Australian International School (AusIS) went to the Centre of Rehabilitation for Paralyzed to study, observe the life and intensive care of the special need children. We took them dry foods with the money we raised from a food sale we had earlier in the school.

CRP is set away from the city in Savar (main branch). The other braches are in Gonok Bari, Mirpur and Sylhet.

CRP or Centre of Rehabilitation for Paralyzed is an organization which treats the paralyzed and non-paralyzed and continues to be the centre of its kind in Bangladesh. It is a non-government organization which provides everything required for a proper living and educational environment for the special need people.

In the school, disabled students learn with other able bodied children, and in another part of the school they are taught differently. After school is over, all the special need students take special therapy to aid their problem (or problems). Some of these children stay in the hostel, others go home with their family. There is a hostel for special need children. CRP takes fees only form those who can afford it.

After the age of 15, special need students aren't taught any more, but instead they are given a vocational trading, here they do some other activity, such as: sewing, candle making, repairing electronics etc. They are given this training so that they can earn a living after they leave CRP. There are also different types of mobility aids, wheel chairs, braces, etc.

They use schools, vocational, education, halfway, hostel to train them for local community and hospitals for treatment. In the hostels they separate the room with disable people and normal people. There is something called halfway training in CRP. Patients before going home they take special trading in CRP. Disable people learn to take care of pets so they can keep rabbits, birds, etc

CRP is a very helpful organization and this place makes disabled people more happy then before and it is a good place to live in. We hope that it could be a role model to other upcoming organization and continue to be one in the near future.

Courtesy of Year 7A of Australian International School


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