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History's mysteries: Atlantis

Years ago, there was an island/ nation/ continent called Atlantis. How many years, you say? Definitely long before you were born! Anyway let's get back to the main topic. As I was saying the story of Atlantis was first heard in one of the great philosopher, Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critus some time around three hundred and fifty years before Christ was born. Imagine if Atlantis was mentioned during that time, then what would have been the year when it actually existed!

The Myth
Atlantis was supposedly the home of the sea god Poseidon and his mortal wife Cleita. They had children who became the future rulers of the land. It was known the Atlanteans were extremely wealthy owing to the abundant natural resources they had. Suitable climate, a great location, copious animals and trees, what more could they want? To top it up, Plato even said that these people were immortal! But as it happens with all people, too much of everything brings about one's destruction. And so Atlantis suddenly disappeared with all its inhabitants, land and rulers. The cause- Atlanteans became too voracious and corrupt and so were punished brutally by the other gods.

Quest for Atlantis
Ever since the publication of Plato's dialogues, historians, explorers, authors and scholars have tried to delve deep into the mystery of the island. Controversies have sparked whether Atlantis actually existed. Many academics argue that Plato probably got influenced from past and modern events and made up a land of his own to portray his political theories. Nevertheless contemporary personalities like Disney have taken advantage of the story to produce “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”. While Renaissance writer Sir Francis Bacon rediscovered Atlantis as a foundation of a utopian society in his book “The New Atlantis”. In the 19th century, Donnelly seriously believed the reality of Plato's description and suggested that Atlantis existed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. He believed ancient civilization began from Atlantis and spread in other areas like Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Possible Locations
Owing to its vast size, Atlantis was said to be everywhere. In the two Americas, in Europe, in Antarctica and even below the Bermuda Triangle! The most obvious location where Atlantis could have been was somewhere in Atlantic Ocean. According to scientists there would have been no chance of it lying there as the floors of the Atlantic Ocean are too deep. The other location around the Atlantic Ocean is the Celtic Shelf but weather conditions over there did not match the ones that were spoken by Plato. Plato himself accounted that Atlantis was “beyond the pillars of Heracles”. However, his own observations counteract with the fact that if Atlantis was as large as Asia then it never could have fit somewhere in the Mediterranean. A history professor K.T. Frost was determined that Atlantis was the Minoan civilization located on the island of Crete. This was the closest that historians could get to in discovering the actual location.

Causes of disappearance
The first cause mentioned above is mythical of course. Plato emphasized that a failed attempt to capture Athens resulted in the disappearance of Atlantis in a single day. If Atlantis had been the Minoan Empire then a volcanic eruption destroyed the huge civilization. Other scholars believe an earthquake or a tsunami ripped Atlantis apart.

Whatever the cause, whatever the reasons, Atlantis is truly one of the greatest world mysteries. Much heated debates still continue over its existence. Many divers and explorers claim to have found remains of Atlantis but such stories have been classified as mere rumours. No matter what, we at RS, are definitely interested to know updates about this city. Views are most certainly welcome!

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantis, www.activemind.com, www.buzzle.com, www.about.com

By Faria Sanjana

Swapolympics: Pedal for a Medal

Rickshaws can be fun, granted it isn't scorching or raining. So there you are sitting there on your butt taking in the sights and the concentrated pollution, while some dude as old as you father consistently pedals and pedals. And he doesn't get tired, he doesn't stop halfway and tell you he can't pedal no more, nor does he ask for a drink of water every so often.

Imagine that dude riding the Tour De France. I'm serious. You've seen big shots like Lance Armstrong or last year's winner Contador taking the glory after riding a bicycle for god knows how many miles. And these people practice day in and day out to win such titles. So does your average rickshaw dude. He practices everyday and what's more; if he doesn't practice everyday there isn't a loving wifey at home who would still have a hot dinner going. Well that's mostly because dinner won't be there, the rickshaw dude hasn't earned it yet. And even if there is dinner, it would be lukewarm but mostly cold.

While Lance Armstrong may take a vacation to get an expensive and manhood-demeaning cancer removed, the average rickshaw dude would just stick with the pain, swallow the latest offerings from the neighborhood kobiraj and be done with it before going out to pedal again.

The super fast bikes that the likes of Armstrong ride tend to be fast, cool and streamlined. This makes us fat couch potatoes drool and wish we weren't such tubs of lards to actually ride one of them. The average rickshaw dude rides a heavy modified Hero bike to carry even heavier loads (me) for miles upon miles without rest; they don't even have those fancy water bottles that the Tour de France dudes have. And that thing with the polka dot jersey, awarded to the rider with the innate ability to climb rough terrain while riding his bike without falling? Well, remember the bumpy roads with the open manholes and the little kids running into the streets and the untold numbers of CNGs and mishuks vying for road space, and if any Tour de France dude can circumvent such places with the aplomb that rickshaw wallas do, then it's a miracle.

According to Wikipedia, the “prix de combativité” is given to the person who been very, what, um…, selfish in his ways to get ahead of the rest. Wikipedia, being the diplomat that it is, has termed this selfishness as the rider who has done the most to animate the race. Well, in that case, with rickshaw wallas penchant to always try and get ahead of the others will surely win them this certain title too. Although, I doubt they'll be able to pronounce the award though.

See, everything is in our average rickshaw dudes favor. Other than his smile with his tobacco smeared teeth. But that can be remedied once he's won and has the prize money. If we could get one our fine rickshaw dudes over to France to participate, who knows, international sports glory might yet come to this fine country.

By Tareq Adnan

'Nuf to make Roald Dahl Proud!

The great façade of the building towered above us. We formed a queue and entered it. A gust of cold air greeted us as we entered the auditorium.

Suddenly the crowd became quiet. Oompa Loompas came from all around, handing everyone candies. The catchy tune of “Candyman” began playing and with it began the Sunbeams School ECA Drama Club's production of the musical adaptation of the ever-great Roald Dahl's “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

To those of us who've grown up reading Roald Dahls, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is a classic. This wonderful story has been turned into two major motion pictures, and on Saturday, 21st June, 2008, the Drama Club was doing the musical version based on Richard George's play adaptation of the story.

This story, inspired by Dahl's childhood school trip to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory tells us about young Charlie Bucket, whose poor family leads a very hard life until one day he finds one of five golden tickets, hidden inside Wonka chocolate bars all over the world, to Mr Willy Wonka's secretive chocolate factory. Hilarious experiences showing different types of characters of the other four ticket winners, their flaws and downfalls and the final surprise awaiting the winner are shown to the audience.

The characters of the story are just great artworks of children's literature, and were portrayed just as well by the members of the Drama Club. They brought out the sad simplicity in Charlie's character, the youthfulness in Grandpa Joe, the greed in Augutus Gloop, the spoilt side of Veruca Salt, Mike Teavee's hilarious addiction to the TV, Violet's side-splitting love for the gum, and of course, Willy Wonka's funny and spontaneous side.

Some actors worth mentioning Auyon Islam, as Charlie, who carried out the whole play in a very lively manner and the crowd favourite Madhuri Kibria, as Veruca Salt. Safieh Kabir did a very good job being the cheerful Willy Wonka, and an honourable mention must go to Daneesha Khan for her accurate voice and posture of Grandpa Joe. A must mention is Serena Ahmad for narrating the whole play in an amusing and natural way. The Oompa Loompas were as crazy as ever. The songs were lively and beguiling very enthralling. The play was directed by Carolyn S Ahmad.

But of course, nothing is perfect, and the obvious drawback was the poor sound quality. It was a musical and thus the songs needed to be clear and loud. Often the mikes got accidentally switched off by the actors (said by a victim), their voices were not so loud and clear and it was a bit too lengthy.

All in all, from casting to make-up, it was a very enjoyable and well depicted show; a milestone for the Drama Club's future road to success. Roald Dahl would have been proud!

By Dynamic Duo

Forgetful Memories

I lie there and I look at you,
And I wonder at all the colours you have brought to my life,
With its share of complications and desires,
Of better living, of better loving

We have had our troubles and our sorrows
Intermingled among those joyful recollections
When nothing seemed wrong and everything seemed right
Time spun past before
I could say a word

We were never good at words, I didn't mind
I knew what you were thinking, every single time
It felt even if the mountains crashed and the ocean spilt over
Nothing would change

Everything now has become muddy and turbid
All I remember is the way you looked when you missed me
And all those times I thought I could get by without you
What I wouldn't do now for a single whisper from you
By Nisma Elias

Scribbles in your Palm

Subtly decorate my eyelids
with drops of your incandescent tears
Let them flow into mine
Gather and converse with my insolent eyes.
Trust not dreams of yearn
That may wary into your slumber
For they will enchant your idyllic poise
Indorsing you with tear;
and should your ever wistfully tread into
Our closed chapters of this egoistic fable,
Of when my fingers trickled on your palm
Scribbling poems that still may loiter in your mind;
Linger for a bit, read my lines,
and coax your tears to ice.
By Adnan M. S. Fakir


I look up into the pale blue sky
Searching for inspiration
But all I saw was dull grey clouds
No signs of motivation
Nothing I saw sparked a light in me
Not the flowers, not the grass nor even the bees
So I decided to go home, and as I walked past the shops
Something hit my nose, it was a tiny raindrop
It was very small and crystal clear
So beautiful it was
It was the inspiration I was looking for
Through all the city fuss.
By Samanee





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