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We Love Balls

By The Alien4mEarth

Bangladesh has had its share of waving flags and cricket craziness. But considering the lack of a *functioning* national team for both sports (ahem), maybe it's time we tried something different... This is where basketball comes in. It's cheap, easy to learn, and can be played with half the people you would need for a football or cricket game. Basketball is already very popular at the school level, with almost every major school having basketball teams for both boys and girls. To the missionary schools like SFX Green Herald and St. Gregory's, the sport is something of a tradition. It was they who first started playing basketball in Dhaka, long before it spread to the masses. They've still kept up the spirit, hosting regular tournaments and producing players who eventually go on to play for the national team (yes, we do have one). A women's national basketball team has also been put into action last year, and they've shown promise by comprehensively winning a series against the visiting Tripura team. The men's team participated in the SA Games earlier this year. They put up some decent performances before finally crashing out to Afghanistan.
Besides the national teams, basketball is quite popular among the armed forces. The Army, Navy and Air Forces all have teams who play each other in competition or in friendly matches. The Dhaka Cantonment boasts some of the finest basketball courts in town, with the one at Adamjee Cantonment School and College being the most well-known.

Even though basketball is played professionally in the country, it remains primarily a sport that is popular among the youth. Very few choose to keep it up till the highest level. Indeed, basketball is a demanding game, requiring not only physical fitness, but also commitment. But for those who are just looking to play for fun, there are plenty of options to pick from:

Abahani Indoor Gymnasium in Dhanmondi runs basketball training classes six days a week. It's great if you're a beginner and want to learn the game. Amazon Club in Gulshan has similar classes for youngsters and it's a good way to find like-minded people to play with. Gulshan Youth Club (behind Wonderland) and Baridhara DOHS are also good places for playing basketball. There are tournaments held there regularly. The place provides a nice environment if you bring a ball and a couple of friends. The Gymnasium at ISD is also a major venue on the youth basketball scene. They routinely host tournaments, which are sometimes open to players from outside the school. Besides the 5-on-5 matches, they also have other events like the Shooting Stars, 3-point contest, and the Skills Challenge.

Besides these usual places to play, you could also take up basketball at school. Most schools nowadays have a hoop, at least, if not a court. Playing for a school team is usually more rewarding than playing for a private team. The interschool tournaments tend to be well-publicised and better managed than many of the privately organised ones. The Mother Dolores Memorial Basketball tournament held annually at the SFX Green Herald School is one example of just how big and exciting it can get.

But Dhaka's love for basketball doesn't end here. Popular interest has led to many private teams being formed, some of them having quite a number of fans. Teams like Dhumketu and Wildcats are big names that have huge crowd following at tournaments.

Of course, it's not all about the game, either. Big Bang Ballers is a group of dedicated players that seeks to 'make a difference through basketball.' They hold charity events, volunteer to help repair neglected basketball courts, and generally try to popularise the game. Through the sport, they try to bring young people together so they can help take the joy of basketball to less privileged ones as well.

5 for Fairness is another such group in Bangladesh. It is a basketball program for girls living in refugee camps around the country. Says the founder Petar Rustic “...by playing organised sport, they learn important life skills like working together and respecting each other.” Indeed, those are skills that we could all do within our lives, and more so in the country. So bug that friend to get off the computer and put on those sneakers. Who knows, maybe one day, we'll actually have a national team worth being proud of.

Last week's topic was Five Superpowers and Why They Would Suck. We expected people to actually put down the superpowers using basic logic and science. Unfortunately, this write-up was one of the only articles that was written that way. This week's topic is Miles to Go Before I Sleep. However, we are also including the topic for next, because it is more in the vein of reporting. We ask the readers to go out and interview anyone who makes a living off of the street; beggars, rickshaw pullers, hawkers, etc. To validate your article, please include a picture of the person being interviewed. The articles and interviews have to be written within 600 words. Articles for this week must be handed in by 12 AM Saturday. Remember, this week it's Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Want to be a superhero?

By Maofic Farhan Karin

Watching superhero cartoons, movies and reading comic books is an obvious part of growing up. And who wouldn't want to become Superman, Spiderman or Batman? Sure, some powers seem great, but those abilities don't really work out in real life. Let's find out what would really happen if we did have super powers.

Although invisibility allows you to be non-detectable, your clothes are not invisible with you. Today, there are technologies like ultra-violet radiation, infrared (body heat) and sonar that can easily locate an invisible being. I'm sure a lot of us have seen them in movies like Hollow Man. You're also detectable by the sounds you are most likely to make, or someone could just dump a bucket of paint on you.

Super Strength
Super strength makes you a 100 times stronger you can lift and throw heavy objects, break them into pieces, and no one would dare mess with you. But this does not make you invulnerable, so a bullet can kill you. With this incredible strength, everything in this world becomes fragile to you and you have to be super careful all the time. Your friends and family, your precious cell phone, your car - everything will be at the risk of your touch. No wonder Hulk was so pissed all the time.

Super Speed
Running as fast as Flash will help you save jobs, time and even lives. It's fun to travel in an instant and it saves a hell of a lot on plane tickets. But did you ever imagine how tired you'd become running at that kind of speed? Now, let's talk physics - on a rollercoaster ride, did you try to open your eyes and feel the wind sting your eyes? Imagine yourself moving a 100 times faster than that. So, when you are moving with your super speed, you're just plain blind and you are definitely going to bump your head on something and that bump will blow your head out. Also, there is air resistance and air pressure that will build up around you; the air friction alone will rip off your skin.

Who wouldn't want to soar high up in the sky and escape from everything down here?

But just like super speed, the ability to fly experiences dilemmas of air resistance and pressure. Unlike Superman, you would have to strictly stay close to the ground or else the changes in air pressure will destroy you.

Time Travelling
For me this has got to be the ultimate super power. You can jump from the present to the past or to the future; you can even stop time. This ability is also the worst possible one to have. For those who flunked chemistry, temperature is caused by the movement of molecules against one another. When time stops, movement stops and everything freezes. You stop time and suddenly you and everyone else dies as temperatures plunge to absolute zero. On the contrary you can travel through time instead but the only way that is possible is by moving at the speed of light! Raising your own speed would cause you to burn hotter than a neutron star and likely take the rest of the planet with you.

It's amazing how things actually work in reality. So would you really want to become a superhero and have the awesome abilities they do? Ahem, I think I'd rather sit back home and enjoy my life with my mere human powers.



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