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Cars I would own if I were a footballer

FOOTBALLERS are usually defined by which club they play for, how many goals they score each season, the number of international caps, and the bloated salaries they get. It's what they do with these huge paychecks that is more interesting to me. If I were a footballer, I'd buy cars. Loads of them. The first few ones I'd buy, then, would be:

1) 1987 Ferrari F40 - One of the finest Ferrari has ever made. And extremely rare too, which is a big plus point. What's the point of being a celeb if no one notices you on the streets? The F40 was a road going racecar that sacrificed many creature comforts such as air-con, radio, and umm…door handles, all for the sake of going stupidly fast. Not one to drive every day, this one.

2) 2003 Hummer H1 6.5L - THE biggest, baddest off-roader out there with massive engine, massive wheels and massive proportions even by usual American SUV standards. It will literally chew up and spit out the lesser Hummers like the H3 (usually touted by footballers and celebs with limited imagination). And the only way you can afford the running costs is if you're a Premiership footballer. Roof mounted machine guns like in the Humvees costs extra.

3) 2009 Nissan R35 GTR Spec V - This is what one should get if Porsche 911s seem too common. Showing the Japanese manufacturers some love is made easier for Europe based footballers because of the unbelievable number of motoring awards it has won. If I were a footballer I'd stop being a badge snob and dish out the £140,000 it costs to buy the GTR. No one will know what it is, but the sheer otherworldly presence exuded by this Jap samurai is enough to keep the fans and paparazzi's buzzing.

4) 1964 Lincoln Continental - The world's first and most famous four door convertible. Forget the Rolls Royce drophead coupe; this is the way to move in pure style and luxury. Just sit back, shut the rear suicide doors and revel in the suppleness of the air suspension as the Lincoln glides over tarmac. No sweat drenched jerseys and shorts in this ride. Only to be used when going to footballer of the year awards, with pressed suits on.

5) 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur - Undoubtedly the coolest four door luxury car, with an even cooler name. No relation to the Lincoln though. The Flying Spur was proven the fastest road legal four door car when it came out, and I can't stop imagining a suited Becks sitting in the back with Posh, sipping tea while the maniac chauffeur drifts the Spur at 140mph. One for the family, then.

By Shaer Duita Fish Reaz

Fixing the Country One Debate At A Time

It is truly extraordinary what can be gained from a simulated argument. When educated people sit across each other, and forego humanity's awesome ancient traditions of picking up and using the right tools for resolution, they should theoretically come to a conclusion that would benefit both or all parties. Unlike the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt who enjoyed persuading their advisors to agree, through sharp nudges, their counterparts in the Greek and Roman society found debating with the people's representatives in peaceful 'weapons-free' (this criteria has been often disputed according to historians) environment an excellent way to identify and resolve issues. Thus, with similar resolve, the Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund (BIFC) which is managed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group, in partnership with the U.K. Department for International Development and the European Union, organised an eventful and exciting debate competition on the reforms in Bangladesh which took place at the Dhaka Westin on the 10th and 12th of June, dubbed the "Inter-University Investment Climate Debate Competition".

As part of the BIFC's Academic Partnership Program (APP), which aimed to engage universities, academics and students in investment research and advocacy to help build sustainable centres of knowledge in the issues of investment climate and management in the country, the competition was organised with the objectives of enhancing the students' learning investment climate issues though inter-active extracurricular activities. The APP is also currently supporting five universities in undertaking independent and innovative research on investment climate issues in the country, as well as slowly introducing investment management into the existing curricula.

Humbly titled "Creating Opportunities for Tomorrow", the participants of the debate competition included the representatives from five of the country's most respected universities North South University, BRAC University, Independent University, Bangladesh, East West University and the American International University- Bangladesh. The Competition was adjudicated and governed by some of the most distinguished dignitaries from the academic and private sector, which includes Dr. Nazrul Islam, Chairman of the University Grants Commission, Dr. Syed Abdus Samad, Executive Chairman of the Board of Investment, notable economist Dr. Wahiduddin Mahmud, etc.

The debate competition was brilliantly and diversely designed to explore some of the heated ongoing issues in the country, which include the readiness of Bangladesh to facilitate infrastructure development through Public Private Partnership, the role of E-governance to reduce corruption, the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) and its subsequent impact on the country. The weight and importance of the topics selected for the competition allowed some of the sparks, words and ideas flying about in each of the rounds to converge into resolutions truly remarkable and enlightening.

Although most, if not all arguments were presented with perfection and undeniable logic, by rules of competition, the judges were forced to dispense upon a verdict which dictated that representatives from BRAC University take the award for the first place, followed by their competitors from North South University and American International University- Bangladesh to take the subsequent second and third place.

Debates that dive into topics of such relevance to the economy of the country often generate ideas and awareness that are bound to produce germane outcomes in reality. Even though, most of the major issues seem far from being resolved in the near future, the enlightenment of the current generation is what may provide the fuel for resolution, and that is what is increasing in the country currently as noted by Mr. Habibullah N. Karim, prominent business leader and former president of Bangladesh Association for Software and Information Services (BASIS) as he says, "Universities are in a position to serve as sustainable knowledge centres for the private sector on investment climate issues. The debate highlighted the need for more research to identify business reforms that can help the private sector of Bangladesh to grow and prosper, thereby creating job opportunities for millions." As all arguments and theories point towards the economic and social benefit, perhaps a bit more participation from the people and press, along with a few more female debaters on the stage can help take the words to the world.

By M. Fayaad Islam

Book Review

Breakfast of Champions

BEFORE Michael Moore blasted into the scene with his scathing criticism of Uncle Sam, before Borat made viewers cringe with its disgusting but sardonic take on the attitudes and prejudices of Americans, there was Kurt Vonnegut.

“Breakfast of Champions”, named after the tagline of a popular breakfast cereal, was published in 1973, and describes itself as a story about "two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast."

The two men in question are Dwayne Hoover, a seemingly normal, but inwardly unbalanced Pontiac dealer cum Burger Chef franchise owner, and Kilgore Trout, a highly imaginative science fiction writer, who only ever gets published in porn magazines. The novel, which is set in the fictional town of Middle City, pretty much rambles around and builds up for this momentous event, which has some rather unfortunate results.

The bulk of the novel is taken up by the personal histories of just about any character, big or small, that walks through its pages, thrown into the mix along with plot-lines of Trout's stories, and Vonnegut's own musings in what a Wowio reviewer describes as a 'crazy-quilt' pattern, which flouts the restrictions of the traditional novel format. Interspersed with the writing are simple felt-tip illustrations by the author himself, which are merged with the text in an exercise of visual writing. Vonnegut pulls in characters from his other novels, and even makes an appearance himself as the omnipotent author who holds the fate of the characters in his hands.

The result is like taking a dive into someone's head and being bombarded by thoughts and memories and images shooting unexpectedly from every corner. It certainly takes some getting used to, but once you get into the flow, it's refreshing, incisive, and more than a little insane.

If you're looking for some mental gymnastics to limber up those grey cells after the exams, this is definitely one to try out. Props to Sujan Chowdhury for the generous loan of the book.
Reference: Wowio.com

By Sabrina F Ahmad



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