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Yanni's Tribal Venture

Piano...Orchestra...and everything melodious... These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little album. But intelligently Professor Yanni added an extra ingredient to the concussion... Tribal Chants... BOOOOMM! Thus 'Ethnicity' Was Born!!

Yanni, the ever-popular composer and one of the most succesful one in the modern centuries, has released another collection of brilliance. And this new album, titled 'Ethnicity', positively revolutionizes the musical creation of Yanni. He had released twelve albums previously, in most of which he combines the melody of piano with orchestra and light beats, giving an altogether serene sound. With number thirteen though, Yanni adds some more ingredients. Ethnicity is the name given to this new album, and just as the title goes, Yanni has poured down some tribal chants and drumbeats along with a lot more of the vocal choirs ( which he preciously used in songs like Aria). It might be bizarre to think such music mixing with the Yanni we knew before Ethnicity. But Yanni absolutely wiped away such thoughts, as with Ethnicity, he brings out a fascinating new mixture which at times suggests triumph, melancholy, and sometimes are simply soothing. He manipulates the listener's mood with absolute dexterity, and makes Ethnicity an overall pleasure.

Now, ethnic chants does not only mean a wild guy with fireworked hairstyle and paint on his face yelling meaninglessly. Just as each of the ethnic tribal festivals have a particular motivation and fun, so does the musical mixture of the tribal chants with Yanni. The ethnic journey begins with Rites of Passage, the first track, and a very good starter to let you know about the kind of tribal chants that has been used time and time again in this album. It is a running track, with a chanting chorus flanked by soft piano tunes in between, and is a great combination altogether.

For All Seasons brings in the choir, and as the song progresses, it is mingled with pan flute, the regular beats and violin, whereas the tribal chants are also present here, in the chorus. The Promise is a slow track, with a vocal (english) and has more strings in it, giving a different texture after the two ethnic starters.

Rainmaker, the fourth track is probably the most different one in the collection. It has the typical chants and with an arabian pinch along with flute, but this flute is unlike the one used in For All Seasons. Moreover, the male chants are deeper and with a techno effect on them, which turns out to be a brilliant effect when flanked by the female choirs.

Written on the Wind, is full of choir whereas with Playing By Heart Yanni returns to his full instrumental mix. In the latter, Yanni starts off with a bagpipe sound, but it evolves into violin along with strings, and produces a very good combinaiton.

At First Sight, is more composed of piano along with some background chants, and violin along with the usual orchestral music. This song highly resembles a previous hit of Yanni called Flight of Fantasy in terms of indtrumental usage. Tribal Dream is, needless to say, a beautiful mixture of choir and some ethnic sounds, but also has a pan flute which is constantly flanked by a natural yet uncommon vocal effect.

Almost A Whisper is originally an instrumental work from a previous album of Yanni. Here in Ethnicity, Yanni adds a female vocal to the track, to give a new effect to the golden track. Never Too Late and Play Time has instrumental structure mostly, and though there are some little background choirs, the piano and violin takes the lead in these two tracks.

The album comes to a close with the slow vocal track Jivaeri(Jiva-Eri). It is basically sung as a sad track which, with its slow tempo, seems to bid farewell itself and is ideal for the closing track.

Yanni has shown an immense change in his compositions with Ethnicity, and most of the old Yanni fans have given thumbs up to this new revolutionizing collection of music. Those who havent been lucky enough to be under this man's magical-musical spell, must get this album, not only for its one of a kind sound but also for the brilliantly arranged tracks by Yanni. Thanks to Yanni, for giving us an exellent exotic treat with Ethnicity.

E l i x i r


An interview of the band By Tania Ahmed

Hello readers, I am an ex-student of Green Herald International School, and I managed to catch up with the enigmatic band "Elixir", well known as the legendary "Green Herald School Band" or as a renowned "Charity Band".

"Elixir" the 5-member band who is known as the band that plays clean and smooth alternation and rock songs. Their songs include medley tunes of romance mixed with a sweet sense of perception. Some songs consist of a flavor of heavy metal with lyrics that give a hint of patriotic urgency in our society.

Looking forward to the release of their first album in mid September, the band is full of hope and anticipation. As we settle down in the vibrant atmosphere of boomers, I am introduced to the band: Arsalan (Drummer), Bobby (Keyboard), Naved (Lead Guitar), Moin (Vocals and rhythm guitar) and Farshid (Lead vocals and bass guitar).

Tania: So how did this band come into existence?

Moin: Well, at first, Naved, Mahin (ex-member) and I used to learn guitar from the same teacher. So one fine day, while jamming, we decided to form a band.

Naved: We didn't have much of a vision at the time. Moin and Mahin were both pretty good at rhythm and bass, so they changed and played alternatively. While I, luckily or unluckily, got pretty stuck with lead.

Bobby: I think it was based more on who was around at the time. My teacher Timir Nandi told me about the band and how they needed a keyboardist and that is how I ended up joining the band.

Moin: Coincidentally, the four of us were in the same school and in the same class!

Naved: Finding a drummer was a problem for some time, but news spreads pretty fast in a community and that is how we found Arsalan, who was a year older than us, and offered to join us. Farshid joined us a few years later and we were ready to roll.

Tania: Where was your first performance and what impact did it have on your band?

Arsalan: Our first show was in our school auditorium during a talent competition. We got a little nervous at first, but I guess things turned out pretty good ultimately.

Moin: Impact .. Well yes, it did have an astonishing impact on our future plan as a band. The crowd loved what we played and they were highly impressed by our agility.

Naved: There are definitely two things to keep in mind though. Firstly, this was way back in 1999, so the number of bands in Bangladesh or should I say the number of upcoming new bands of Bangladesh were a lot less than what we have today. So competition was limited. Secondly, during 1999, our age ranged from fourteen to fifteen, so definitely playing good music for a 14 year old kid is not that easy.

Tania: Any memorable concerts?

Arsalan: In particular we remember performing in Alliance Francaise. It was a concert for Amit, a little boy who was suffering from wild polio and was in dire need of a pacemaker.

Moin: We also performed for Shuchi who had blood cancer and Jhinuk, suffering from limb paralysis.

Tania: So, do you have a bandleader?

Arsalan: There are five people in this band with five different influences. There's no one leader of the band.

Bobby: We contribute different things; different flavours, that way it's more improvisational.

Naved: That's when it's exciting, when you're more creative and come up with new ideas.

Tania: Has there ever been a performance that you thought was unsatisfactory?

Naved: Unsatisfactory? I guess not, but yes there were times when we thought that a particular song or two might not have gone exactly the way we planned. We try to figure out the problems and improve on them.

Tania: Is there anything in particular that you do before you start the show? Like praying excessively, or taking deep breaths to relieve your tensions or anything?

Farshid: We believe that only praying is not enough, we double check and tune our instruments and practice really hard. Honestly that's something a lot of bands don't do, and that's when they sound bad.

Moin: Even though the band may be playing the right notes and the exact tones due to lack of coordination of the instruments, the output becomes poor.

Tania: So could you tell the readers something about a few songs on the album…a little about the composition and the inner thoughts behind them?

Naved: We put a lot of effort into all the songs in the album and we have tried to give the best to our listeners. To pin point a few is rather difficult…

Bobby: To start from the very beginning, oppecha was written in 2001 and was our very first and is still one of our very best tunes.
Naved: The title of the song can be felt in the music and in the lyrics and instantly gives the listener a feeling of agony.

Moin: Jagore Bangali is one of our very best tunes. It's a heavy metal song with lots of variations and outstanding music quality. And most importantly it speaks out to the society in which we live: we have tried to give the listener a feeling that the end of our beloved country was coming- but there's also a kernel of hope in there too.

Arsalan: There is a duet song called Shomoy, sang by Naved and Fadia. This song is sure to strike a romantic chord in the listener.

Naved: There is also Ghum ghum, a song that has a jazz flavor, something we don't really hear from most bands nowadays. A song, which will definitely make you think about life and after.

Tania: It was great to have heard from you guys. Take care and good luck with your album.

Well readers, that was Elixir, exclusively for you. Don't forget to buy the album, cause one things for sure, you will not regret it!!

Any questions regarding Elixir, you can mail to, elixir@hotmail.com


Secret Weapons of WWII

Gamespot score: 8.2. Publisher: Electronic Arts. Developer: Digital Illusions. Genre: Action. Release Date: 09/04/2003. Difficulty: Medium. Requirements: 128 MB RAM, 500 MB HDD.

EA Games and Digital Illusions' team-based World War II action game Battlefield 1942 took first-person shooter fans by storm last year. Despite its initial technical problems, the game had a combination of fast-paced action, powerful and easy-to-use vehicles, and surprising depth that made it an incredibly popular multiplayer game. The game was followed by the Road to Rome expansion pack earlier this year, which added larger maps and more-balanced vehicles. Now Battlefield 1942 has been supplemented, yet again, by another expansion pack, Secret Weapons of WWII. The latest expansion adds a lot of interesting new features and an additional eight maps. What it offers should be enough to keep Battlefield 1942 fans playing, though it could have offered more.

As its title suggests, the expansion pack focuses on experimental secret weapons that saw little or no use in the actual war. Some of these additions--especially the new personal rocket pack that lets you take high-flying leaps--might seem pretty far-fetched, but they work out well in the game and seem surprisingly balanced. The personal rocket pack can't be used to fly indefinitely, and it saddles you with an unimpressive MP40 assault rifle. In addition, its volatile fuel reserves explode instantly if you take a solid hit, thus killing you. Likewise, the game's new heavy-duty tanks, such as the German Sturmtiger and the US T-95 Supertank are exceedingly powerful, but they are limited by such factors as a lack of ammo, speed, and turret-turning radius. The same can be said for the expansion's new aircraft, such as the incredibly speedy F-85 Goblin and the Natter rocket jet. Both have so much forward speed that they can be difficult to shoot down, but both are also relatively fragile and not heavily armed. Just controlling these jets is a challenging task and should prove to be entertaining for ace Battlefield 1942 pilots.

While the expansion does introduce plenty of new aircraft, it also introduces plenty of new countermeasures, such as the antiair Flakpanzer tank and the Wasserfall guided missile--the latter of which is controlled from a first-person perspective (similarly to the redeemer weapon from Unreal Tournament 2003). Several of these vehicles actually give you brand-new options on the battlefield. For instance, the C-47 cargo plane acts as a mobile spawn point that lets you parachute behind enemy lines, while the LVT-2 Water Buffalo and Schwimmwagen are amphibious vehicles that can be used to cross bodies of water you might otherwise have not bothered swimming across--since swimming remains exceedingly slow. The expansion also adds a few modified weapons for infantry soldiers on its eight maps, such as the new shotgun weapon for Allied engineers and the grenade launcher for Axis engineers. Though some may take getting used to (especially the shotgun), these weapons represent a good change of pace for on-foot battle, and none is horribly overpowered or underpowered. So, if you were concerned that the game's outlandish weapons and vehicles might somehow destroy its balance, you needn't worry.

Secret Weapons of WWII also introduces eight new maps that, interestingly enough, seem to be designed around the vehicles they feature. The Essen weapon factory level, for instance, puts the Allies and Axis on opposite ends of the map and equips the Allies with plenty of powerful aircraft, including the C-47 transport plane (which can carry a whole host of Allied infantry across enemy lines). The Axis control a weapon factory on the opposite side of the map, complete with antiaircraft Flakpanzer tanks and a Wasserfall missile silo. The maps seem extremely well designed, for the most part. Maps that do feature lots of aircraft also feature numerous stationary antiair turrets so that airstrikes aren't as overwhelming as they could sometimes be in the original game's maps. The expansion also introduces a new objective-based gameplay mode that generally tasks one team with completing a specific goal--such as destroying fuel silos or key documents--while the opposing team must prevent it. The objective mode can, in the best cases, make matches considerably shorter. In the best possible cases, objective mode is a focused and enjoyable gameplay mode--if you have skilled and coordinated teammates. However, it can often become frustrating and tedious if you end up with a team full of goof-offs who don't bother trying to complete the goal.

While Secret Weapons' new maps all seem well designed and enjoyable, there are only eight of them. It's true that the development and production teams were essentially forced to balance the new maps twice--once for conquest and general gameplay and once for objective mode. But all the new vehicles and weapons are so interesting that they really should have been featured in more new maps.

-By Andrew Park, GameSpot


Waltzing The Web

By Synergie

I remember, once upon a time, promising my readers that I would give them the essence of 3D animating on the web. Well, obviously it turned out to be a promise not rightfully kept and, yes, I am guilty as charged. But before full prosecution- I would like to have the chance of changing it from a pending promise to one performed. What? … No objections? So, I proceed-

ALICE v2.0b
Learn to Program Interactive 3D Graphics: Alice v2.0b is the next major version of the Alice 3D Authoring system, from the Stage3 Research Group at Carnegie Mellon University. It has been completely rewritten from scratch over the last two years. The focus of the Alice project is now to provide the best possible first exposure to programming for students ranging from middle schoolers to college students. From this website you can get the free version of Alice and its documentation, a free tutorial plus publications.

This is absolutely any 3D geek's gobbling ground. Name it and you'll find it on this site. Starting from basics on 3D Studio Max, to how to make bubbles, modeling a human body, creating an explosion effect, Lip Sync (making characters talk) to tones of free e-books and tutorials, a free aircraft model set that you can use on your own programs to… anything. It's a 3D nirvana. Don't miss this one.

S3Graphics (http://www.s3graphics.com)
S3 Graphics' new world of Hi-Def™ features claims to be redefining the boundaries of computer graphics capabilities. In an industry that has always been about the best resolution, the best performance and the latest gaming innovations S3 Graphics Hi-Def™ technologies make movie viewing, gaming and corporate presentations clearer, faster and more effective. It's 8-pixel pipeline, each 128-bit, 3D engine boasts an amazing 2.4 Giga-pixels per second fill rate for a truly immersive 3D experience in 3D applications. The drivers are easily available, as you will find on the site.

(http://www.nvidia.com/ content
On this site you will find drivers for all NVIDIA multimedia processors and additional software applications, tools and games designed to demonstrate the exciting features of NVIDIA processors.

(http://www.3dlabs.com/ support/drivers/)
On this site you will find Oxygen and Wildcat drivers for Windows NT / 2000 / XP, Windows 98 / ME, and Linux and additional software applications designed by 3dlabs.

3D graphics and animation is a field that requires a lot of aspiration, creativity, patience and relatively less brainwork. So, anyone interested should try it out. I received a few e-mails from my readers (during my sudden extraction from civilization), all of which were on my pending queue. I have tried to process them one by one. But you do all deserve an apology. If you have any further problems regarding your PC hard/software you can always mail me at: bonhomie_nasa@yahoo.com. This time I will be at your side.


Think Mensa members are all super-nerdy bookworms? Guess again. These famous folks are members of the high-IQ society. They sure are an interesting bunch. To qualify for Mensa membership, your IQ must be in the top 2 percent of the population!)

1. Geena Davis-1988 Academy Award winner (for The Accidental Tourist) and an expert archer!

2. Scott Adams- Creator of the internationally syndicated comic strip "Dilbert.”

3. Joyce Carol Oates- Author of dozens of books, including one that won the US National Book Award, and a professor at Princeton University.

4. Richard Lederer- Word expert and punster who is a frequent guest on National Public Radio.

5. Norman Schwarzkopf- Planned Operation Desert Storm, the campaign that liberated Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War.

6. Patricia Jennings- Keyboardist for the Pittsburgh Symphony.

7. Buckminster Fuller- Engineer, designer, architect, and writer who once said, "I just invent. Then I wait until man comes around to needing what I've invented.”

8. Marilyn vos Savant- Reputed to have the world's highest recorded IQ. Answers brainteasers each week in her Parade magazine column "Ask Marilyn.”

9. Isaac Asimov- Best known for his science-fiction writing. Wrote more than 400 books, including mystery stories, humor, history, and several volumes on the Bible and William Shakespeare.

10. Alan Rachins- Played a lawyer on television program L.A. Law and currently plays Dharma's hippy father on Dharma and Greg.


Archaeologists are investigating whether a burned shipwreck off the North Carolina coast is the remains of the last ship captured by the pirate Blackbeard.

A nonprofit marine archaeology and exploration team announced in July that it had found the shipwreck in Ocracoke Inlet, along the state's barrier islands.
The location of the wreckage makes the Blackbeard theory plausible.

Historical documents show that Blackbeard captured two ships in August 1718 off Bermuda one carrying sugar and the other nearly empty.

Blackbeard allowed the ships' crews to take the empty vessel, but he kept the full one, archaeologist Moore said.
He brought the vessel back to Ocracoke Island where he stripped it of its valuables, Moore said. Then he received permission from North Carolina Gov. Charles Eden to burn the ship under the pretense that it was leaky, he said.
Virginia Gov. Alexander Spottswood sent British troops after Blackbeard a short time later and the pirate died in a battle off the island on Nov. 22, 1718.

The diving company has sent wood samples from the wreck for analysis and is continuing to investigate the site.






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