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The rains are here. As scorching heat alternates with cool breezes, we sit at our Daily Star canteen, sipping tea and taking in the view. Exams are over, the work is done. No pressure. So we ask pointless questions, like what came first, the chicken or the egg, the vampire or the bat? We talk about outrageous things we did and got away with. We talk about popsicles. The conversation dies down and the late afternoon sun glints off our tea cups and in the silence we realise, “Life is worth living”. That's when the puri arrives.

-- Kazim Ibn Sadique, RS Sub-editor

Stages of Group Development

People studying together? Doesn't really work.

By Confused Vegetable

According to the Rising Stars' “Research and Development” department, students who have been assigned in a group of 4/5 members (or maybe more) by their teachers to finish a certain project (Term papers, reports, presentations, etc.) are bound to go through the five stages of group development. Although the time period and the experiences might vary from one group to another quite significantly, the similarities still lie evident. Following are the summarised conclusions of our findings.

Stage 1: Forming
The group has been “formed” by the teacher. For some, this stage means ineffable joy because the teacher has assigned them with their long-drooled-upon crush. Some bang their heads on the wall at the sheer thought of how they are going to get the work done; being assigned with people who are obviously free-riders who will not be contributing to any of the group work. And yet others don't really care who they are told to work with; usually, these are the free-riders.

Stage 2: Storming
Symbolic bloodshed could potentially occur in this stage for some groups. Suddenly all your friends and classmates might stop making any sense with their ideas whatsoever. And like they say: great synergy takes a great leader - for many groups the leader is chosen unanimously and all the members feel satisfied with their camaraderie. Others struggle the most at this stage and it takes up 92.7685% of their time before the deadline.

Stage 3: Norming
Also known as the “what-the-heck stage”, norming usually happens in the very last part of the very last part of the time limit. At this stage, group members realise they don't have any other choice but to work with their team mates and get the best possible grades because, in the end, they all want good marks.

Stage 4: Performing
Shit gets serious - the group members actually start working. This stage comes by right after the Norming stage, during the extension period gained from the teacher through much knee-scraping and pleading. Members are often told to stay up all night. For some groups this stage takes place the night before the deadline. Yet for others, it ranges a long way back - to the day the group work was assigned. You know who they are.

Stage 5: Adjourning
The group breaks off, disperses. The members of some groups start bitching about how they would have turned in a better work if everyone had followed their ideas. As for the more sensible ones, they feel proud of whatever little product the synergy of the group has been able to bring forth with just a little hard work, which is awfully more painstaking than one might think.

Reference: Management by Stephen P. Robbins & Mary Coulter; 10th edition; pages 250-251.

Ice cream lollies were invented by a 11-year old
What do you plan to do?

It all started with one particularly brilliant 11-year-old boy...

One evening in 1905, Frank Epperson was hanging out on his porch in San Francisco, playing with his food. He was using a little stick to stir around water and powdered soda in a cup and left it all outside. The night was a particularly cold one for SF, and the drop in temperature ended up working a little magic on the abandoned liquid. When Epperson returned to the porch in the morning, his sugary water had turned into a sweet icicle on a stick. He named his invention after himself. Voila, the Epsicle.

First he turned his friends into Epsicle fans, and then later he converted his own kids. And what did Epperson's children ask for when they wanted one of their father's frozen treats? A Pop's 'sicle, of course. The name stuck.

Starting in 1923, Epperson senior applied for a series of patents to secure the design for his "frozen confectionery." The Popsicle was officially born.

Popsicles from the store (™) taste better because modern manufacturing techniques bully the ice into integrating better with the sugar and flavour. It's done by chilling the pops in a brine bath set to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. The setup forces the water to freeze en masse instead of in stages, so it has less time to congregate and the crystals stay smaller. The flavour elements are better integrated, suspended evenly in a matrix of tiny ice crystals.

On a really hot day, the sun does everything in its power to knock your frozen treat off its stick, one drip at a time. But stabilisers things like xanthan gum and locust bean slow down the melt by preventing the ice from flowing. They're basically there to tell the popsicle to cool it.

Source: Gizmodo

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Tahseen Nur
Damn! I should have gone with the Finding Bangladesh group! Jealous of them.

Peter Regal Whittam
I can fully relate to Munawar's piece about his father and movie nights. Only difference is, my dad and I had a box of "shon papri" instead of popcorn and we tuned in to odd combinations of movies like watching Shanghai Nights and The Matrix Revolutions at once.

So your idea of Matrix is Jackie Chan fighting Keanu Reeves the Robot, while Owen Wilson tries to teach Hugo Weaving how to lighten up? We'd totally watch that! - RS

Junu Huq
It's been weeks since Max Payne 3 was released and most people have even finished playing it twice.

You are not the friend of our game reviewer this week, are you? - RS

Saraf Nawar
Speaking of Dad Flicks, the 2001 movie "I am Sam" is a really good one.
Shabab Ahmed “I am Sam” is an amazing movie. Can't believe the writer missed it!

Our bad. It's an awesome movie. - RS

Tashish Zaman (via E-mail)
I enjoy reading RS and the variety it brings. But I would like to see a few more comics. Babu isn't really funny anymore.
We're working on it. - RS



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