Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


Myth Box
Mystical Manticore

The manticore is a legendary demonic yellow-blooded creature sometimes to be referred as being the cousin of the Egyptian sphinx. It has the body of a red lion, a human head with ears, blue eyes, three rows of sharp teeth, and a trumpet-like voice, or even in some places it has a voice capable of rendering in human speech. In some stories, the manticore is often depicted of also possesing giant leathery wings that give it the ability to fly and swoop over prey. Other aspects of the creature vary from story to story. It may be horned or not. The tail is that of either a dragon or a scorpion, and it may shoot poisonous spines to either paralyze or kill its victims. The manticore is reputed to roam in the jungles of India, and is known to have an appetite for humans. Sometimes manticores mate with humans to create hybrids so they can blend in, they kill their mates after conception and raise the children as one of them, but there is no known vanquishing potion.

According to the popular Encyclopedia Mythica, the Manticore is believed to be a monstrous creature which inhabits the forests in Asia, especially in Indonesia, Malaysia and India to this living day. The monster stalks through the forest in search of humans. Like its cousin, the Sphinx, it would often challenge its prey with riddles before killing. On an incorrect answer, the manticore fires a volley of poisonous darts at the victim, who dies immediately. This unfortunate person is devoured completely, even the bones and clothing, as well as the possessions this person carried. When a villager has completely disappeared, this is considered proof of the presence of a manticore. The reason behind these beliefs are that the manticore is an extremely efficient hunter and is not seen or heard by its prey until it is too late. The poison, which is in each of the spines on the end of its tail, is extremely potent and fast-acting. Whenever a person disappears completely, it is said that the locals consider it the work of the manticore. The myth is believed to be of Persian origin, but later also got into Greek stories during the time of Aristotle. This was then incorporated into various English stories, often claiming that the name was derived from the Latin word 'mantichora' meaning man-eater.

However the manticore has inspired various writers to incorporate this fantasy character into their books, notable of them Salman Rushdie in “The Satanic Verses” and J.K. Rowling in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”. Besides popular games like Warcraft have made it a prominent charater in the game.

In 1781, the scientific name Manticora was given to a group of large, flightless tiger beetles from Africa; they are voracious predators with large jaws.

By Wahid T. Khan
Resources: Encylopedia Mythica, Wikipedia

RS Mailbox

Dark Lord Rules

Being one of the consistent readers of the Rising Star and The Star, I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to The Dark Lord who wrote such a magnificent article named "Blessed With An Angel". The article has really touched the bottom of my heart. The way he has expressed his love and affection towards his mother is really unparalleled. We often fail to express our love to our mothers but never fail to throw looks of rage towards her. I am pretty sure that his love is not a show-off or fake. I can say that because the writer has not revealed his true name. I really hope and wish that every mother of this or any country of this world could read this article to know how a child, who fails to express his love, feels for the angel of his/her life. I salute The Dark Lord for expressing the love on the behalf of every child living in this universe. Once again thank you.
By Anthea Taplette

Crysis Warhead: The Truth
Crysis Warhead was an excellent game, regardless of how amateur gamers of this particular franchise review it. Anyone who has played Crysis can easily get swooped right into the story of its sequel. Sure, the storyline sounds almost the same, but then the reason is because the whole plot is based on the original, except you play as a different character and on a different island. As for the graphics, they REALLY are something to drool over.

Whereas Crysis really emphasized on the storyline, the new installment mainly focuses on what happened between all the twists and turns. It still manages to create a very playable game. Of course die-hard fans of the its predecessors and even most gamers can declare that Warhead is not as good as the first one, but that doesn't mean it sucks because it really doesn't. Sure, if you don't enough have enough skills to get past the first few phases of the game then it is obvious that you would blame your failures on the game.

Any game that gains a 9.0 rating by Gamespot deserves to be shown respect and obviously actually played before passing judgment. Believe what you must, Crysis Warhead is a game that should really, really be played.
By Osama Rahman

Where's the music?

Underground music in Dhaka has gone through several revolutionary changes in the last decade. It had its fair share of ups and downs, enjoyed numerous glorious moments and inglorious ones. But nowadays it is seen that the underground music scene is in severe decline in terms of quality despite the fact that shows and concerts occur frequently. The reasons are many, starting with the 'trend' of almost all kinds of bands lining up to perform. In a way, you could say it's a really good thing since listeners get a lot to listen from. But a recent survey has shown that 60% of these 'bands' are really not up to the mark. Anyone who can somewhat strum the guitar gathers up a few of his friends to learn the other instruments and voila you get your hip rock band with weird names (!).

And the people who are usually behind their encouragement are none other than the organizers who support the process of “Push-Sell”. Now Push-Selling is the forcing of junior bands/artists to sell at least 20-30 tickets for a show in advance in return of an empty slot for them to perform on. So in this way, the respective organizers do not really care about the quality of the bands since they get their money back anyway. As a result the audiences are delivered a show consisting of bands devoid of any kind of talent. In some cases, the ones that are actually talented lose their golden opportunity and suffer from the tragedy of breaking up.

Another problem that has become quite rampant is people are currently pushing one particular genre towards more popularity. So the bands that play a different genre is discouraged which again leads to the splitting of bands or the bands forcefully shifting their genres. The recent craze of listening to thrash metal or death metal has been on the rise as well. If a band plays alternative rock in such a show, then it is immediately brought down from the stage with jeers and cat-calls. This has a stern demoralizing effect on such bands since they are not even given the slightest chance to prove themselves.

When asked about this predicament, Zohad from Nemesis had this to say, “I don't think a musician under any circumstance, should change his/her beliefs towards why he/she is doing music. So a musician changing their respective genres for crowd pressure is absolutely bizarre.” He also added that Nemesis, after being in the underground scene for ten whole years, has learned this much that those bands that have stuck to their kind of music made it big including names like Aurthohin, Artcell, Black, Kral, Powersurge and of course Nemesis.

When asked if they ever felt underrated, Zohad replied that though they never felt that way, they did take it up as a challenge and so far everything has been going great for them. He also advised the young and upcoming musicians to believe in themselves and have respect for all types of music. “Selling yourself out is not the way you can solve this situation. We are there for the crowd to do music and to get our message across in our way.”

We also happened to catch up on Emil from Shunno who conveyed the same message as Zohad. He believed a band should not be threatened by the pressures since good melody is always appreciated by everyone. “It might be late to achieve success but if a band has got talent, then it will surely get the taste of it.”

After these interviews, the point to be noted was one should look forward to shows with a variety of genres. Organizers like 'The Lost Children' recently made a commendable effort by organizing a successful show which consisted of bands that played alternative rock, punk rock and etc. Omar, a spectator, said that these kinds of shows should be held more in the future as it had a line-up consisting of a variety of bands. The highly acclaimed Wireless Sessions proved that electric guitars and thrash metal are not needed to make a concert popular. Incursion Music is also another group that has been lending their hands to other shows and organizing their own unique ones (once they had a show which made a tribute to U2). So the prospect is not all that grim after all! Let us hope that there will be more such organizers who will come forward to provide audiences with better music.

By Faria Sanjana

Sleeping Sentinels

Clink, clank
Jangling keys in Eden
Fidget in anxiety:
Is he here?
Are they done?
Speculations hurl them in quandary.

Entrusted with Earthly desires
Keys twist
And turn:
Muscular Ferrari's roar,
Lockers reveal our prized goodies;
Dreams burn.
Reality bites.

The blinded Entourage
Bound by bliss,
Smeared with lust,
Ahead of Divinity;
The locks of Heaven rust,
The keys,
Await Our coming.
By Navid Akbar

Laff lines

Seeing stars
A new employee calls the Help Desk to complain that there's something wrong with her password.
"The problem is that whenever I type the password, it just shows stars," she says.
"Those asterisks are to protect you," the Help Desk technician explains, "so if someone were standing behind you, they wouldn't be able to read your password."
"Yeah," she says, "but they show up even when there is no one standing behind me."

"Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use." --Wendell Johnson

Sad confirmation
Eric is sitting at the bar staring morosely into his beer. Tom walks in, sits down and asks him what the problem is.
"Well," said Eric, "I ran afoul of one of those awkward questions women ask. Now I'm in deep trouble at home."
"What kind of question?" asked Tom.
"My wife asked me if I would still love her when she gets old, fat and wrinkly."
"That's easy," said Tom. "You just say 'Of course I will'".
"Yeah," said Eric, "That's what I did, except I said 'Of course I DO...'"





home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2008 The Daily Star