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Tech Review

While you've been busy doing nothing, here is what the men in white have been up to-

Bug in a Bun - Insects, it seems, are much more metabolically efficient than your average beef patty. They cost less to harvest, too. So with world population rising, the logical step forward is to eat insects. With all these pros, 'fried rice with roaches' is bound to be a hit at the dinner table. Now all that's left to do is to find out whether they really do taste like chicken.

Rods from God - “And thou shallst receive punishment from Above”- Looks like that prophecy is about to be fulfilled. Rods from God is a concept weapon designed by - who else - the US. What sets this one apart, though, is the sheer simplicity of its design. Virtually no energy is required to launch it, and gravity alone gives it its pulverising power.

Comprised of two satellites orbiting the earth, one houses the communications unit and the other the rods themselves (the missiles). The rods are launched by a gentle push from the housing unit in space. Gravity does the rest, pulling them towards the earth, making the missiles accelerate downwards. By the time they hit their target on the ground, they will have a velocity of 36,000 ft per second. At speeds like these, they could very well do the same damage as a nuclear weapon, even without the nuclear. Doesn't make it any less scary, though.

Powered by Poop - Think your car is a piece of **!*? Well, this one really is! This Volkswagen Beetle converted by the Bristol Sewage Utility in the UK runs completely on human waste. Named the Bio-Bug, and nicknamed the Poop-Coupe, the car can run about 10,000 miles a year on fart alone. What makes it different from other gas-powered vehicles is that it has a sewage-to-methane conversion unit built right into the car. The surprising thing is that even though it's full of human excrement, it reportedly doesn't stink at all. Nor does it stink up the environment, producing only water and carbon dioxide; but that too, in far lower amounts than traditional fuels.

Toilet Tech - Here's another piece of technology from the toilet. The High-dro Power as it is called, is a turbine attached to the bottom of the sewage pipe, which converts falling wastewater into electricity. Every time you flush the toilet, the water runs down the pipe and makes the turbine spin. It's connected to a generator which produces electricity. This also works with drained sinks and bathtubs, using the energy of moving water to generate power. It works especially well since we are given to living in high-rise buildings. Because, with the High-dro Power, the greater the height that the water falls from, the more energy it has, and thus, the more electricity you have.

When mounted on your average seven-storey building, this can save around Tk. 73,000 a year in electricity bills. The only catch is when toilet residue clogs up the turbine blades, not only are you left with no electricity, but also with a very messy situation indeed.

A Salty Story - Your average packet of Lays will never be the same as before. With FDA regulating the amount of sodium in food, Frito Lay has decided to call in the scientists - not to reduce the amount of salt, but to redesign salt itself. Salt, the main source of sodium in our diets, is also what makes the crisps so good. But only 20% of it dissolves on the tongue. The rest dissolves further down the gut, which means it has no effect on how the crisp tastes in your mouth.

But the new salt molecule has a greater surface area, which means more of it can dissolve on the tongue. Each crisp is now just as salty, with only 20% salt as before. The idea is such a success that junk-food lovers are petitioning for the patent on the new “supersalt” to be removed, so that it can be used to make other artery-clogging foods slightly less artery-clogging. That means you get to eat your way through more of your pick of poison before you finally get that heart attack. Bliss or what?

By TheAlien4mEarth

DIY: Voodoo Dolls

What you need: Ping pong ball; useless rag/bundle of newspaper; small ball of wool; glue (not the lame tube kind - try Superglue); paint and paintbrush; scissors; string; needle; pins.

So the reason you haven't yet stuck a pitchfork up the behind of that teacher who hates you or that guy who dumped you 'coz you don't really want to get kicked out of school/society. You haven't yet made a shrine in the back of your closet where you pray to the evil deities to send your foes to an unmarked mass grave where they will be forever tormented by Hitlerian methods because your mother often spontaneously decides to go on a cleaning spree and you don't want to go to a mental asylum either. Have you considered a third option?

It's easy to do. Cut the wool into sections sized proportionately with your victim's hair length. Grab the ping pong ball and the superglue and stick the wool over one side of the ball. Keep the face bare. Now take the rag and scrunch it up to make it look somewhat like a body and use the string to tie it in place. A newspaper will serve the same purpose. Glue one side of this to the lower part of the ball. Don't forget to leave space for the face! Now roll up two lengths of torn newspaper tightly and cut it to size for the arms. Tie it in place. Ball up bits of the paper and tie it to the ends of the arms for the hands. Repeat for legs and feet. Glue the limbs to the body and voila! Having completed this stage, you may rub your hands together and execute your 'evil laugh'. If you don't have one, begin practice. It's important that all doll-users have a signature evil laugh.

Here's the tricky part: the face. Use a thin paintbrush and black paint to carefully work in the eyes, nose and mouth. You may ball up tiny bits of newspaper and glue it on for the eyes instead. Remember that the doll's effectiveness increases with similarity to the victim.

Having completed this part of the process, allow your doll to dry. Then grab the pins and proceed to maul it. The paint will make the newspaper crunch when you push the pins through and provide further satisfaction.

Tips: Threading a pin through the nose is extremely painful. You could also use a needle and thread and stitch through the rest of the head (the plastic is difficult to puncture; don't ruin the needle). Sewing the mouth shut would make 'em shut up too! Repetitive asphyxiation is taxing to the brain, heart and lungs. For this you could tie a string below the head and pretend it's the neck. Keep the victim's face in your mind as you work. Also call forth your inner demons and visualise the process as it would happen in real life. Pour your vindictive soul into the doll. Increases effectiveness by a total of 69 percent.

Warning: Voodoo dolls are not meant to be used for good. Attempt to make the victim fall in love with you may have consequences. Attempt to kill the victim may have consequences (the good nature of this deed comes from the reduction in population). However, feel free to manipulate the victim's love life in any other direction, which could induce physical harm/mental scars upon the victim.

Proceed at your own risk. Even professional practitioners of the Voodoo are not fully aware of the vicious nature of the art.

By Professor Spork

Book Review

Prothom Alo

There was a time when this subcontinent had a renaissance. Literature, architecture, arts and philosophy became the driving force of the society. That was the time when nearly all the elite people wrote something, painted something, women and men alike. That was when great poets and writers were born and matured, who still are appreciated throughout the world. That was when the people of this sub-continent understood how confined they had been and understood what it felt like to be imprisoned in their own land. That was the time when they learned to wake up.

Prothom Alo by Sunil Gangopadhyay is a book about that era. But that is just the beginning of it. It shows India from 1830 to 1907, portraying the fall of a great empire and the beginning of another. The story opens up in Tripura, in the palace of a kingdom which still hadn't given in to the British Empire and where the people were still free. The king of Tripura, a man who appreciated literature, found out about a little known poet who wrote beautifully in a simple language. He wanted to reward him. The young poet was the youngest of a very famous family, called Vaanu or Robi by his friends and we all know him as Rabindranath Tagore.

The book also observes his transformation from a shy boy to one of the most powerful men in his time. There are also many subplots that include characters like Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose and Swami Vivekananda who are remembered and revered for changing India and giving them a face in the world.

The great thing about this book is that it's not a fanatic attempt to bring out the best in these people. There are tons of fan fictions giving us that. The parts written about Tagore that shows that despite everything that has been said and written about him, he's just a human being capable of making mistakes and having regrets. There are average people who are far important in the story, showing more strength than him at points.

This is a book written in an epic style, in two big parts but it's not just another huge tiresome book. The amount of research that Sunil Gangopadhyay has done is extraordinary, making it even more authentic than just a novel. It is basically a research-story where time takes the lead. It's a must-read for any Tagore fan, with an insight to the times that made us who we are.

By Orin


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