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How to be an embarrassment to your friends
There are benefits to it, apparently. Might get you killed though.

How do you choose your friends? Using a thorough and critical elimination process? Peer pressure? Because they're just... there? Or does it just happen?

Whatever process one uses to make friends or develop relationships, there's always that one friend that they have, for a reason that they can't really pinpoint. This type of friend sometimes forces people to ask themselves, "Why on earth do I hang out with him?"

It's usually because these are highly entertaining individuals. They will make you laugh, and failing that, they will ensure you laugh by making fun of themselves. Like tripping on a banana or saying outrageous things. These are the people that fill uncomfortable silences by throwing something utterly ridiculous in the air, hoping someone will catch it and start laughing.

By now, you're probably thinking of that friend and remembering the idiotic things that they've done so far. Like trying to tip a Korbani cow, which just happened to be yours. Or a friend who tried buying DVDs from Bashundhara City wearing a lungi and brought you along clutching a camera. Just cause.

You hear that a lot with such friends: "just because." Normally, justifying their actions is a cumbersome enterprise, so it's easier to stick with "just cause". What this does is, it makes life more interesting. You'll be doing things you never thought you'd do, like having a sandwich with peanut butter, rose petals, apple slices and omlette du fromage. Or trying to gate crash a wedding wearing shorts. Or lungis. Shorts over lungis.

If you aspire to be such a friend/person/nutcase, there are a few simple steps you can take to transform your life, and change others'.

First, let go of all your inhibitions. Say yes. We know what happens when you constantly say yes, thanks to Jim Carrey and his mediocrity filled movie “Yes Man”. But think of all the fun he and others around him had before he dubiously crashed and burned. Life is too short to be short and not take advantage of it. Carpe Diem (insert some more appropriate clichés about seizing the day and living life to the fullest). Start saying yes to the ludicrous suggestions your brain sends your way. Then convince others to start saying yes.

Second, build up an imagination. Read Lord of the Rings and sing all the songs. Listen to Nickelback and try to differentiate the songs. Try your hand at abstract art. Write mopey fiction that no one understands. Attempt making memes on the internet. Do whatever you have to, to unlock and nurture that imagination of yours.

Third, think up situations where you will possibly embarrass your friends, make a fool of yourself, laugh a lot, and end up having a good time with everyone involved. Then actually do whatever you thought up.

One thing you have to know here, one does not simply allow a limit to such badassery. There is no limit, to any situation, bar none. You get slapped, keep at it. You get cursed at, stared at, shouted at, hurled at with medium sized projectiles, doesn't matter. You stay true to the Code of The Fun Bro.

Now tear up this paper and eat it. Just cause.

By Shaer Reaz


I Am the Messenger

Author: Markus Zusak

Heroism. Even as kid, the idea is drilled into us by comic books, cartoons, movies and, yes, books. Being brave, saving lives, brining comfort to people and helping them in need. It is the foundation of the morals and ideals of human society, though we often cannot live up to it.

But what if you did?

Ed Kennedy is a young and humble taxi driver whose life dramatically changes when accidentally stops a bank robbery. Overnight he finds himself enjoying hero-status and everyone looks up to him. But for Ed, as with every hero, great power brings great responsibility. Soon Ed receives an anonymous card in the mail - an ace. On the ace are written three different times and addresses and Ed pays a visit to each of the places at the times mentioned, saving lives and providing comfort and confidence to the three respective residents in need. As the novel progresses Ed receives the other aces in the mail and finds himself as the messenger, the hero, the saviour.

The final card happens to be a joker and the discovery of the sender brings in a tragic blast from Ed's past along with the all important message the sender has been trying to teach him all along: anyone can be a hero.

Markus Zusak is known for his exceptional ideas and unique style of writing since his debut novel, The Book Thief. In this book we get a better glimpse of his brilliance. This novel takes the theme of the transformation of an ordinary boy to a hero to a whole new level.

Zusak covers all the bases for this kind of fiction: have a beginning, middle and end; have a good, fast paced plot with twists and turns; good characters; and above all, make it a fun read. But the best thing is, he does them all with style. Ed is a likeable protagonist whom you constantly find yourself rooting for. His friends - especially the charming Audrey - are wonderful supporting characters. The plot is very well done and you'll be unable to put the book down. And the ending has a fantastic twist.

This is trademark Zusak and undoubtedly a book worth checking out.

By Padya Paramita

82% of you are probably ripping this paper to shreds just reading the title

As a potential future rock-star, you hardly have time to be sitting here in class learning things you'll never need. I mean, come on, when will math ever be useful to you, other than when you're counting your endless pile of money (but I hear you can just hire people to do that nowadays) or think of your losses if you decide to set a guitar on fire.

If you are one of the less ambitious (read boring people), who plan on being a lawyer or an architect or even a doctor you know you will need to use some math skills in your job. Maybe. You might just need to know how to add, subtract and at most maybe multiply fractions. You might even struggle through as your teacher goes on and on (and on) about integrals and derivatives. However even you draw the line at Statistics.

Now, I won't quote that infamous line 'x% of all statistics are made up on the spot'. I say x because, obviously, the number varies from person to person. Instead, I'll quote Mark Twain, “There are three types of lies in the world: lies, damn lies and statistics.” So basically, all quotable references tell us most statistics are simply untrue.

I was doing some research (read: browsing the internet for facts to back me up), so that my article isn't a completely baseless rant. Other than the hilarious Russian election jokes about the infamous 140%, I came across this man's blog entry. He worked as a consultant for Sony in 1999, and was doing a strategy project (No, I'm not quite sure what that is either). Part of his job was market analysis. However, when he looked at the reports, each firm had completely different data predictions. So, he called some of them up and found out that in order to appear more successful than their competition, they all admitted to making necessary alterations. One of them, after being interrogated, admitted that she did not have a degree in either Economics or Statistics, and essentially produced the entire report on guesswork.

This isn't where it ends. Often bigger firms take these miscalculated numbers and exaggerate them a bit further to make their own reports appear more impressive. This is later supplied to newspapers, who round the numbers off a bit more, because, well, the numbers on print need to look pretty (Not us though, we'd never do such a thing!). So, eventually, you're left with a magnified version of statistics that was probably wrong to begin with - or so says our consultant blogger.

With the way things are looking, I can't see for the slightest reason why we might need to study statistics. You can get a perfectly good job writing reports for big-shot investment firms without knowing the first thing about Statistics. So, I hereby make a motion that we should abolish all classes on statistics until they find a proper use for it. Except probability, as it's the base for games 57% of the time.

By Selima Sara Kabir



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