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To decide, or not to?

Story: Orin .
Cover illustration: E R Ronny

When you really think about it, everything in life boils down do making simple decisions. Yes or no. Left or right? Shakib Khan number one or Ananta Jalil pom gana? Pom gana or not pom gana? Then for those of us who are a bit indecisive, there's the bane of our existence - Multiple Choice Questions.

Then there are some things that need a little pondering. Should I just squat down for a leak in the middle of the footpath? Should I practice my haggling supremacy in a fixed price shop? Do I just tell the bus to stop in the middle of traffic with a wave or do I cross with an over-bridge? Naturally if you're a Bangladeshi all of them are no-brainers, but for others the decisions might not come as effortlessly. But there are decisions even we have difficulty making: 'Which friend should I mooch off today?' or 'How can I friend-zone the hot girl before she friend-zones me?' or for the curious minds 'What will happen if I have a litre of ice-cream when my tonsils are the size of tennis balls?'

Life throws questions at us and we decide to answer and somehow prove ourselves the smartest species on the planet (at least we assume some of us are). And when people decide something, it kinda brings out who they are inside. Some people would jot down a pros and cons list, for example, the pros and cons of jumping off a building is simple. Pro is you'll feel great for about 3.2 seconds. Con is that you might die. So that's pretty straight forward. Then there's simple prioritization. What is more important to you - Stayin' alive or 3.2 seconds of fun?

If you are still unsure, there is the granddaddy of decision making: Flipism. It might sound like a new religion, but it's not. Flipism is flipping a coin to decide. Deciding what excuses you bring up for coming to work late - a crow mistaking your white shirt as a poop-a-thon venue or you got lost in the magical world of Narnia. Flipism is best for the hardcore irresolute, the ones who spend minutes with the remote control before actually deciding to turn the TV on. Coins give you right or wrong, yes or no. All you have to do is flip it, if you can decide to choose one.

For those who plan to use none of their brains for any decisive purpose, there are the tarot cards and the amazing science of astrology. They are truly remarkable. If you need help to pick between BTV 8 o' clock news and Sherlock, they'll tell you who you'll marry. The relevance of astrology in real life is uncanny - almost as much as the lyrics of Nicki Minaj's 'Itty Bitty Piggy' – you might even find a solution Dhaka's traffic situation.

Here's how our bureaucratic government makes a decision: Suppose a light bulb needs fixing (Why do light bulbs break so much?), a minion will report it to his boss, him to his boss, him to his boss and so on for about ten more tiers. When the message of a broken bulb reaches the big guns, they ask about the cost needed and send it down the hierarchy and by the time the cost approximation has reached them, they believe that outsourcing the buying job to India rather than buying one from the local store is a far better idea. So they do that. By the time the bulb reaches the minion 35 years have gone by and everyone died of old age.


Third World Musings: World Hunger

By The Kopite

As you drag your corpulent self out of your feathery abode and make your way twinkle-toed towards the refrigerator during the dead of the night, your depraved mind slowly meanders off into the depths of gluttony as soft and sinful images of delicious food present themselves inside your head, begging to be sacrificed to appease the growing hole inside you, jostling in line with one another to be the first one stuffed in. Yes, your palms sweat with excitement, this will be good. You imagine the snack to be never ending and you, the Oroboros, working your way infinitely through the circle. And just as your anticipation reaches fever pitch and the refrigerator blinks to life to reveal its barren innards, you cry out. Oh, where has humanity gone? Why has it forsaken us and left us to fend for ourselves? And who can be so sadistic, so vile, as to leave an empty jar of Nutella in the fridge?

Your infinite rage knows no bounds and the keyboard and your online friends face the full brunt of it. Your hands ache with the satisfaction of having written a tirade against world hunger, against the nefarious bourgeoisie that left the hungry behind and against the very political corruption that feeds this pestilence. And having gotten several likes in the process, even from the brain-dead pretty girls who had to google out the meaning of your thesaurus-filled rant, you have successfully cemented your place as the pseudo-intellectual that you are. You share a few pictures of starving African kids with bottles for shoes and Cambodian babies scavenging for morsels from mountains of trash for good measure. You slowly recline in your soft chair as the air-conditioner pumps out dehumidified air into your room. Yes, you have cured world hunger.

And as you slowly drift away into an uneasy sleep, packed with dreams of concupiscence and an abundance of Nutella, you look back on another successful night in front of the PC. Maybe tomorrow, you will save the dying Lemurs of Madagascar.


Car Corner

Camber Explained

without the boring math

By Minimum 8

Camber. If you own an old Hot Wheels or a Matchbox toy car that has been sitting in a corner for a while, you'll get what camber is. Camber on a toy car makes it useless, because it can't move in a straight line smoothly.

On a full size car with neutral camber, each tire at each corner sits level on the road, with the top and bottom edges of the wheel staying perpendicular to the road surface. If a car has negative camber, the top edge leans inward while the bottom edge of the wheel extends outward. Positive camber isn't very common, but it's exactly the opposite of negative camber.

It all sounds really boring right now, but 12 year olds intent on making their daddy's Corollaz or Premiozz or Allionzz drift on the Mohakhali flyover and slide off in a spectacular fashion should take note: negative camber improves grip immensely when your car is going around a corner. So when you start sliding off, it's actually possible to hold the slide and drift till you die in a fiery crash due to a lack of any driving skill whatsoever. It's used by professional drifters and tuners around the world, from Le Mans race cars to NASCAR to illegal street drifters in Japan.

Camber tweaking has given birth to a whole new niche of car enthusiasts: the flush movement. Commodes and swirlies come to mind if you aren't interested. Flush refers to the stance of the car, how the wheels sit “flush” with the fenders, with negative camber and stretched tires used to tuck the wheel into each corner. It's not very functional, downright absurd on streets like Dhaka's, but it looks pretty cool. With close ties to the VIP car movement and drift culture, “stanced” cars are taking the world by storm, with Japan and Germany leading the charge.

It's not easy, getting negative camber. It requires intricate knowledge of car suspension and, big surprise, quite a bit of complicated math. But the ricerz of Dhaka don't need to know that. Please, you're welcome to hack away at your car suspension as much as you want. Maybe it'll get you off the streets for a couple of days at the least.

Class dismissed.

Disclaimer: Please don't try that last bit. Camber is like a pony, it's cool to look at, not fun to use in Dhaka.


Don't Swear At Other Drivers!

Eddie was driving down the road and a met a car coming the other way. Although there was room to pass easily, Eddie forced the oncoming car to slow down and wound down his window and shouted 'Pig'. The other driver looked in his rear view mirror and swore at Eddie. Then his car hit the pig.


   

 

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