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"Our greatest good, and what we least can spare, is hope" --Abraham Cowley

Hello everyone!
It was the perfect ending to a truly terrible year. At least 175 people were killed and 619 were injured in a fire at a Buenos Aires discotheque packed with 2,000 teenagers that had its emergency exits padlocked.

Not too long before that, we had the horrifying news of an earthquake-triggered tsunami which claimed thousands of lives in over ten countries and rendered many more homeless.

In the face of such bleakness, it is hard to have a positive outlook about the year that lies before us, and yet Abraham Cowley tells us to have hope. He does make sense…
if we are to make good of the coming year, we have to move on with hope. We are standing at the doorway, with one year behind us, and one year before us, and looking back and looking forward is just what this week's RS is about.

Sayeed bids goodbye to the old and welcomes the new in a truly adventurous way, while on page 3, we have a special tribute by Rizwan for a special person he remembers. Tashmia talks about nostalgia and optimism, and on our backpack, we take a few moments to remember some people who left us forever last year.

On that note, I'd like to thank the readers for their sweet e-cards and wishes. Happy 2005, everyone, and let's make this year an unforgettable one!

Send your polls, opinions, and queries to thegirlnextdoor1@hotmail.com or teteatete_tgnd@yahoo.com

By The Girl Next Door

What kind of a person are you?

Ever wondered what type of a person you are? Good bad or just plain dumb? Complete the questionnaire below, check your points and find out.

1)You wake up one morning and look out your window. It is pouring. Going to school in this weather, no way. What do you do?

School, what is a school you have never heard of such a thing. a) You go back to sleep. (0)

b) You get up any way. You know you have to go to school, and you don't want to miss your Chem class. (1)

c) You get up, go to school, feint sickness and come back home in an hour. (2)

d) You moan and groan realistically in bed, convince your mom you have multiple sclerosis and don't go to school at all. (3)

2)Your watching HBO and a horror movie comes up. What do you do?

a)Horror, what is horror? You have never heard of such a thing. You switch the channel to Discovery and watch hippos mating. (0)

b)A horror movie, who wants to watch a horror? You switch off the TV and go do your homework. (1)

c)A horror movie huh? You wait till the gory scenes come on and go tell your older sister it's a romantic movie and make her watch them. You go do you your homework in the meantime. (2)

d)You watch horror movie and record all the horrible things that happen. Then you go and do them to your neighbor's dog, finally decapitating it. (3)

3)You come out of your house one day and find a fat envelope on the footpath with an address on it. You pick it up, open it and find a wad of $500 bills. What do you do?

a)You don't do anything. You back on the ground go back home and watch your plants grow. (0)

b)There is an address. You go to the place give the envelope back and be a goody goody two shoes. (1)

c)You pick out a thousand bucks, post the envelope to the place and pretend your good. (2)

d)You put the envelope in your pocket, to an electronics store and buy a home theatre system. (3)

4)You are walking down the road when you spot a live grenade on the ground. What do you do?

a)"Cool a gray egg" you think. You try to make an omelette out of it and blow yourself up. (0)

b)You scream your head off, cause panic, inform the authorities and become a good citizen. (1)

c)You check around you if there is anyone you hate, roll the thing towards him/her, go home and forget all about it. (2)

d)You fill a bucket with sand (like you saw on TV), put the grenade in it. Then you go blow your school up. (3)

0 to 2 Why are you even reading this? You are supposed to be dead.

3 to5 You are one boring kid. Go get a life.

6 to 8 You have a mean streak alongside your good streak. That means that you're almost normal.

9 to 12 Evil you are. Have you ever considered going to the nuthouse, cause you should.

By Tareq Adnan

RS Mailbox

I have been reading the Rising Star for many years now and this is the first time that I am filing in a complaint. I had hoped that it would not be with the year end issue of the Rising Stars but I have never come across an article with such little background research behind it as the article titles The Greatest Supercars Ever.

The Bugatti Veyron should have been an obvious choice on the list. The most expensive road car in the world currently with a monster 9000cc engine, 8 litre W16 engine with 1001hp. So would the Mercedes SL 300, the father of all supercars, this car could reach speeds of 160 mph back in the 1950's. The Lamborghini Muira - this 1960's supercar is heralded as the car that put the style into the supercar. The Lamborghini Diablo SV, Mercedes CLK - GTR and the Porsche GT4 were all left out of the list as was the Ford Mustang, the American muscle, Chevrolet Corvette and the Dodge Viper(you put its picture in with the article but did not mention it). The Mclaren F1, the 1 million dollar supercar with a top speed of 241 mph would blow away the Enzo on any day with its looks as well as its performance. Well how many cars do you find with radiators made out of pure 24 carat gold and a center driving position?

The Rising Stars must recognize the fact that today's generation is very well read in topics such as supercars and only thoroughly researched and well thought off rankings would appease such an audience.

Mohammad Arbaaz Nayeem
Supercars by definition are outrageous and there are too many to mention but too little space. The Mustang and Corvette need a category of their own as affordable supercars. The list printed was solely of the writers own choice. The McLarena and Bug`atti probably ace the list so we will punish the writer for the omission by running him down with a local supercar (Toyota Publica). By the way, the pics contained Ferrari Enzo, Audi RSQ, Zonda and Ford GT40 in clockwise order from top left (no Viper though). Hope you like the Mustang on the right.

RS desk

The benefits of Smoking

Thinking of quitting smoking from the New Year? Think again! Here's a short list of all the wonderful things in a cigarette:

You would need a gas mask to protect yourself from Argolein, a chemical used in tear gas. It's the same chemical you'll find in a cigarette. Funny, you don't get a gas mask when you buy a pack of smokes.

This bad boy isn't just an ant killer. It's a deliciously poisonous ingredient found in your favourite brand of cigarettes.

Used as a solvent in fuel and in chemical manufacturing and to make cigarettes. And as an added bonus, it gives you cancer.

You gotta wonder how stuff that's used in lacquer - a black resinous substance obtained from certain trees and used as a natural varnish ended up in a cigarette. Did some cigarette manufacturer say, "Hey, that's toxic. Let's smoke it."?

In tobacco smoke, tar is dry particulate matter containing hundreds of chemicals, many of which are classified as hazardous waste. And you thought it was only for roads and potholes.

An central nervous system depressant. It reduces intelligence, causes hearing and colour-vision loss, headaches, dizziness, memory loss and impaired reaction time.

You're familiar with urine, right? Urea is in urine and in some places around the world it's added to cigarettes to make them taste better. Ewww!

That's right. The same stuff they use to keep dead bodies to rotting too quickly is in every drag you smoke. Yummy!

There are something like 4,000 different chemicals in cigarettes and at least 50 of them can give you cancer. It might seem scary but it's true: Tobacco is the only consumer product known to kill half of its users. There is a 50% chance of you being in the other half… so don't bother.

Tobacco stains your teeth, gives you bad breath, and can lead to cancer of the mouth, gums, lips, etc… oh well… 3,105,407 deaths caused by smoking this year (6,210,822 caused by cancer)… so what? Six billion are still living.

Don't stop smoking; you'll probably be hit by a bus anyway.

By Lord Niloy

You are a dork when...

1. Your spec weighs more than you do.
2. You use Mortein Aerosole as a deodorant.
3. You have to carry a bucket around to hold da oil dripping from your hair.
4. You listen to the Backstreet Boys and think that you are listening to rap. (Sheeesh!!)
5. You think RC Mobile is the name of the new cell company in town.
6. You're so smart, people faint every time you open your mouth. (Refer to the flashiest mouth-freshener ad.)
7. You think Tishma is hot!! (Go soak your head in the commode.)

By Tawsif


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