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Green Revolution?

“Global warming has caused numerous European plant species to migrate to higher elevations over the past decade' that is what all human news have reported, Your Highness,” the laboratory workers informed. Humans had no idea what they had done. But as always, King Seed-Shoot, leader of the EuroPlant 450 tribe did. Those big, two-legged foolish men thought they were the boss of everything. But Seed-Shoot knew better.

The humans were pretty much clueless about the great achievements of plants. They did not know about the continual fighting going on between Grand King Oak and Lieutenant Thunder or the revenge the Fir Community took when the Prince of the Giraffes ate their army chief. So it was plants who ruled the world.

Then there was this global warming thing. Dumb humans and their dumb damage. They had put their own lives in grave danger. It was a minor fact to plants. They could not care less what happened to humans. What they needed was a way for the next generation to be safe when something terrible happened. Then there was a third party. A party with the same intentions as the plants but for evil. A team who wanted all fortune for themselves and wanted to spread crime. A team with an 11-year-old leader who thought highly of himself. A leader who had pretty much convinced the plants that he would keep them safe. But of course there was a catch.

This was no regular leader we were talking about. For one thing he was 11 and for another he was a criminal genius. To him the trees did not matter much. He had discovered everything about them and now he wanted to make a deal. This deal had kept King Seed-Shoot awake for eight consecutive nights. It kept him thinking. No other person had such effects over the most powerful plant alive before. This was only possible for one Blade Spikes.

Plant technology was way superior to human technology. Humans thought they were just simple, green things. But Blade, with his brilliant brain, knew it all. And in order for him to keep this secret and to provide them safety from global warming, the plants were needed to give up their most precious thing their gold.

Selfish, greedy, power-hungry. That was Blade Spikes. Or as his family called him Bobby. As soon as he read about Artemis Fowl he wanted to become him. Too bad fairies didn't exist. So he did whatever was possible. By age four, Blade had opened his own account in the continent's police website (under the name of a foreign agent), hacked into the criminal files and registered his own name in the criminal records so that the police were aware just who they had to deal with. In later years he stole precious jewels, robbed companies like Microsoft and fought policemen (being well trained in karate). Now, at 11, it was time to start something big.

Nothing was as big as building up his small team of men into a huge army. An empire, a criminal empire. But he needed money. His superb technology skills helped him find out all about the plants. Any normal person would have told the world and earned millions of Euros. Not Blade Spikes. Blade had his own ways of playing games. He researched more and more until one day he came across some rich information about the plant world's treasure. He simply couldn't resist the fact that the soil underneath them was their storage for their gold. And so that was what he was after. To use the gold to establish the Spikes Criminal Empire something that would go on generation after generation. So he needed to think up something equally good to offer the plants as robbing trees off their gold was not really his way of winning.

EuroPlant 450 ran the Plant World's government. They controlled the police force, army, navy, air force and everything around. So the gold was their responsibility as well. Blade had contacted them about his wishes, going into some fiery arguments with King Seed-Shoot himself. The plants needed to live and Blade knew how important that was. He was ready to offer just anything for the gold. So the EuroPlant450 tribe weren't too surprised to see two figures one giant and one quite small climbing up the snowy mountain the next morning.

Blade Spikes and his huge bodyguard acted as if they had been here a million times. They walked right into XxChloro544 City, past the Royal Police and Blade looked straight at Seed-Shoot.

“Seed-Shoot. King, EuroPlant 450, XxChloro544 City, The Alps, Europe, Plant World. Am I right?” he asked, looking around, enjoying the commotion he had caused in this pleasantly cold environment.

“All the facts, Spikes. Well, we are all clear about your intentions and vise versa. You want our gold as the fortune for your criminal empire and in return you offer us some kind of safety when the world goes down, right?”

“Uh-huh. Exactly. Think about it. My home, my lab. Strongly built. We have a greenhouse and a garden. Strong mud. But even stronger outside walls. And glass. Nothing will happen to you. And for my betterment, you'll give me your gold and technology and help me build my empire. Think about it. You can get back at everyone for doing this to you. We'll have fun. You hate humans. I know, I'm also one but hey, we'll be partners and I have not contributed for global warming, trust me.”

This was a pretty convincing speech, not to mention impressive. The plants seemed satisfied.

“Ah. Spikes, I believe you are right. Our children and grandchildren need to be safe. And in return you will get what you want. Just get a shovel and dig deep into the soil. We'll give you the password and gold will appear before you. And together, we shall conquer all humans. It's great just thinking about it,” Seed-Shoot said, re-considering the deal over and over again.

“So come on. You're more than welcome to join Spikes Empire!” Blade said, the winning smile across his face. The plants faced no other choice. They picked up the roots and ran to Blades' Private Jet. Powerful or not, humans were too clever there was no stopping them.

By Padya Paramita

Fighting Acid Violence

Since its inception in 1999, Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) played an incessantly vital role in aiding acid victims and reducing acid violence in Bangladesh. According to official records, acid violence has dropped from its peak of 487 victims in 2002 to 193 victims in 2007. Of course, certainly not all cases of acid violence has been recorded, so the numbers can be expected to be less than the actual, but even still a 152% drop is by no doubt a big achievement.

One of the major ways that ASF battles against acid is through awareness via the media. Within 24 hours of a reported crime, the act is notified through the news and treatment is provided to the victim within 48 hours. Other than direct reporting, issues are addressed through advertisements, small skits, short documentaries, songs and other mediums where the recovered acid victims themselves take part in. ASF acknowledges this effort made by various newspapers, reporters and writers based on which the Media Award is given.

The program took place at the Carnival Hall of the China Friendship Convention Center on the 3rd of July with the chief guest being advisor Rasheda K. Chowdhury and special guest, IG Police, Nur Mohammad. Chairperson of ASF, Ms. Munira Rahman was also present in the prize giving among others. After an opening with an inspiring dance with “prodips” as a metaphor of guidance to acid victims, awards of Best Reporting in Press Media were given to Moniruzzaman Uzzol from Jugantor and Rita Bhowmik from Shomokal; for Best reporting in Electronic Media, Manzurul Karim from NTV and Kishower Laila from Bangla Vision were awarded. Md. Aminul Islam, reporter of Daily Jamuna of Sirajganj, was awarded the best Local Reporter and finally the award for the Best Photographer in Press Media was given to Syed Zakir Hossain from The Daily Star. Two special awards were also given; one to Shafiqul Alam Kiron for his continuous devotion in fighting against acid violence and the second to The Dauly Star, accepted by Mahfuz Anam, for its persistent confrontation against social injustice.

While 57% of the targeted aid victims are women, 24% are men and the rest 19% are children. Studies revealed that 19-44 aged women are the most targeted while 50% of the acid throws are due to quarrels over land where the women and children are unconditionally dragged in, having to suffer for others' disputes. While many may wonder that receiving awards for such a cause is not ethical, ASF's intentions are certainly very honorable. Staying in tune with the MDG, ASF hopes to eradicate acid violence in Bangladesh by 2015, with future plans of decentralizing its headquarters in Dhaka and spreading out to other regions for more efficient action. The program ended with a short cultural program and request to the audience for spreading the acid awareness. As many of the awardees put it, “if all of us play even a small role against acid violence, we will definitely be able to stop this senseless injustice.”

By Adnan M. S. Fakir

Swapolympics: In House Poker Baba

Your 'facial expression' matters. Keeping your 'cool' matters. And it matters the most when you are out buying books from Nilkhet because the shopkeepers there know that all the things said above DO matter.

Ever wondered what would happen if we send a seasoned shopkeeper from Nilkhet or a veteran book-buyer from Nilkhet to a professional poker championship? We would win that thing! Any one who has been there to Nilkhet would be able to relate to the phrase, 'keep your calm!' Buying a book from Nilkhet or selling a book in Nilkhet requires sheer technic, tactic and a huge, working brain. The book keepers there perpetually seem like they never ever sell any book under 600 bucks while you have to keep seeming like all you have in your wallet is 60 bucks. The shopkeepers there would always deign to look at you while you have to keep pretending that you did not want to buy a book in the first place. You are just here on someone's request. The slightest nuances in your facial expression lets the book keepers know if you are not a veteran and what they do next simply makes you tear your wallet in frustration on your way home. And the slightest slip in the expression on their part let you an opening for a hard bargain. This is sheer art, what the buyers and the sellers go through every day in Nilkhet.

So just imagine a bloke from Nilkhet, only sufficiently trained in the different kinds of Chamapagne there is, sent to the Professional Poker Championships. Yes he would not only win the thing BUT stay over there to play more poker and turn into the fastest billionaire in the whole wide world. Talk about all the remittance he would be sending back to the country so we could erect gold fountains all over Dhaka. Just because of him our per capita income would go shooting off the roof.

AND the shopkeepers do not even need to train for all the stuff that they do all day. They just have genes that just mutated to suit their purpose over the past years after Nilkhet came to be. They are what we like to call sheer 'natural talent.'

By Hitoishi Chakma

Lewis Hamilton Buys "LEW 1S" License Plate For $392,000

Doing his best impersonation of a UAE oil sheik, Mercedes-Benz F1 racer Lewis Hamilton has picked up the very vain "LEW 1S" vanity plate for a smooth £200,000, or about $392,000. This, of course, leads us to believe Hamilton is 11 years old and still likes to write his name on desks, in bathroom stalls, and onto tree trunks. Then again, we don't drive F1 cars for a living and get paid $27.8 million a year to do it, so what do we know? Considering Hamilton is living every 11-year-old boy's dream anyway, why not buy ridiculous things with your piles of loot? More importantly, what car is it going on?

While we can't nail it down specifically, the license plate will likely be going onto a Mercedes SUV, which tops out at around $111,900 for the 2008 G55 AMG. Thus Mr. Hamilton will have hung a very expensive plate on a pauper's car. Hey, maybe it would have made more sense to buy a new Porsche Carrera GT to replace the one his dad took one off into foul territory. Ah, the rough life of an F1 superstar.

Vodafone MTV Splitsvilla

The first episode of India's first romance reality show, MTV Splitsvilla, went on air on the 7th of June. As you already must have known by now, the show is about two guys, Vishal (from Roadies 4.0) and Varun (from Roadies 5.0) who are out on a quest for love. Set in a beautiful resort in Goa and with cool dude Ranvijay(ex-Roadie) as the host, these two guys will get to test 20 girls through various dates, tasks, parties and elimination rounds for an entire month. Now who wouldn't envy them!

The winning two girls will in the end, receive Rs. 500, 000 cash as well as an opportunity to host a show on MTV with their respective boyfriends. But surely, all the fun lies in the secret backbiting, romance, plots and cat fights that are definitely in store as the game slowly gets more intense. Well, yeah in the end it is a game, right? So do tune into this show, every Saturday, 7.30 p.m. (Bangladesh time) on MTV. Enjoy!

By Nayeema The Reza





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