Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home





Oddly enough

Boy fools India into believing he won fictional NASA search. Certificate reads: "You are the member of NASA"

An Indian teenager from one of the country's most backward states appears to have fooled governments, the media and even the president into believing he had topped the world in a NASA science exam. In a country hungry for international recognition, 17-year-old Saurabh Singh was feted as a national hero after announcing he had won NASA's "International Scientist Discovery" examination, which he said he took at Oxford University.

The Uttar Pradesh state government rewarded him with a 500,000 rupee ($11,500) prize and more than 100 members of the state's upper house each donated a day's salary to him. But as he was at the president's official residence awaiting an audience during the week, his story unraveled. An Indian news portal, rediff.com, contacted NASA, which denied any knowledge of the exam.

His certificate declared "You are the member of NASA" (sic) and is signed by Singh and "Chief of NASA, Cin K. Kif" -- NASA's former administrator was Sean O'Keefe. It also lists the name of Singh's father. Singh says he flew to London on Indian Airlines -- which does not fly to the city -- and took a taxi to Oxford University and back every day for the exam from January 4-8, a round trip of about 230 km. Singh told Reuters he stayed in a hotel, but told a Hindi language newspaper he stayed at Buckingham Palace.

"It was really inspiring," Singh told Reuters by phone. "And let me tell you, he [the Indian president] saw my certificate and praised me for the achievement, while you all are asking all kinds of questions and trying to dub me as a fraud." Yahoo! News

British Air 747 loses engine on takeoff at LAX, continues 11hour flight to UK to save £100,000 in new delay penalties
A BRITISH AIRWAYS jumbo jet carrying 351 passengers was forced to make an emergency landing after an 11-hour transatlantic flight with a failed engine. The fault occurred on take-off from Los Angeles but the pilot declined all opportunities to land in the US and instead continued on three engines for 5,000 miles to Britain.

The incident happened three days after a European regulation came into force requiring airlines to compensate passengers for long delays or cancellations.

Under the new rules, if the pilot had returned to Los Angeles, BA would have been facing a compensation bill of more than £100,000. -timesonline.co.uk

In an effort to ward off evil, village marries children to puppies
Two small boys and two girls were married off to four puppies by tribal villagers in the small northern Indian state of Jharkhand to ward off evil. One of the tribals, 54-year-old Sonamuni, who blessed the marriage of her three-year-old grand-daughter Priya, said the wedding was no less important than other such ceremonies and all customs normally associated with marriage were followed.

The mother of "groom" Durga, aged one, said that if the first tooth of a baby came out in the upper jaw it was considered "inauspicious" for the child as well as the family and dog marriages had to be performed. -iol.co.za

Any plan that starts with "rob store at knife point" and ends with "wait for bus to make getaway" probably needs to be reconsidered
A man has been charged after a convenience store was robbed at knifepoint by a customer who said he wasn't happy with a recent purchase.

"He approached the clerk asking for a refund on products he had purchased previously," Police said. "When the clerk refused to provide a refund, the male produced a knife and demanded his cash back." The employee turned over an undisclosed amount of money and the bandit bolted.

The uninjured clerk called police who responded and found the suspect waiting for a bus at a nearby bus stop. azcentral.com

Compiled by Niloy

Guide to freaking people out

Freaked out people are fun to watch as long as you are the one watching. These tricks are more than effective if you have an annoying roommate, sibling or colleague.

Collect potatoes. Paint faces on them and give them names. Name one after your victim. Separate your victim's potato from the others. Wait a few days, and then bake your victim's potato and eat it. Explain to the person, ''He just didn't belong.'' Move everything to one side of the room. Ask your roommate if he knows how much an elephant weighs, and look at the floor on the empty side of the room with concern. Draw a tiny black line on your nose. Make it bigger every day. Look at it and say, ''The hair, it's growing. Growing!'' Buy some knives. Sharpen them whenever possible. Don't try this at the office or else RAB will pounce upon you. While you're doing so, look at your victim and mutter, ''Soon, soon....''

Collect hundreds of pens and pile them on one side of the room. Keep one pencil on the other side of the room. Laugh at the pencil.
Tell your roommate, ''I've got an important message for you.'' Then pretend to faint. When you recover, say you can't remember what the message was. Later on, say, ''Oh, yeah, I remember!'' Pretend to faint again. Keep this up for several weeks. Preferable for siblings and even parents. While they are out, glue your shoes to the ceiling. When they walk in, sit on the floor, hold your head, and moan.

Make a sandwich. Don't eat it, leave it on the floor. Ignore the sandwich. Wait until your roommate gets rid of it, and then say, ''Hey, where the heck is my sandwich!?'' Complain loudly that you are hungry.

Every time your victim walks in yell, ''Hooray! You're back!'' as loud as you can and dance around the room for five minutes. Afterwards, keep looking at your watch and saying, ''Shouldn't you be going somewhere?'' Whisper into your cell phone and continually mention your victims name with occasional references to RAB.

Compiled by Gokhra


Very hostile farmer
A farmer and his brand new bride were riding home from the chapel in a wagon pulled by a team of horses, when the older horse stumbled.
The farmer said, "That's once."
A little further along, the poor old horse stumbled again.
The farmer said, "That's twice."
After a little, while the poor old horse stumbled again.
The farmer didn't say anything, but reached under the seat, pulled out a shotgun and shot the horse.
His brand new bride yelled, telling him, "That was an awful thing to do."
The farmer said, "That's once."

Two fools
Two morons stand on a cliff with their arms outstretched. One has some budgies lined up on each arm, the other has parrots lined up on his arms.
After a couple of minutes, they both leap off the cliff and fall to the ground.
Laying next to each other in intensive care at the hospital, one moron says to the other, "I don't think much of this budgie jumping."

Brag about parents
An Army brat was boasting about his father to a Navy brat.
"My dad is an engineer. He can do everything. Do you know the Alps?"
"Yes," said the Navy brat.
"My dad has built them."
Then the naval kid spoke: "And do you know the Dead Sea?"
"It's my dad who's killed it!"
The devil's offer

The devil visited a lawyer's office and made him an offer. "I can arrange some things for you, " the devil said. "I'll increase your income five-fold. Your partners will love you; your clients will respect

you; you'll have four months of vacation each year and live to be a hundred. All I require in return is that your wife's soul, your children's souls, and their children's souls rot in hell for eternity."
The lawyer thought for a moment. "What's the catch?" he asked.

TheWindy Day
George set out on a very windy day to see his friend Sam who was sick in bed. Hours later, he pulled his weary body into Sam's house. Sam asked him how it was. ''I'll tell ya, it was just brutal. For every step I took forewards, I fell back two steps.''
''Then how ever did you make it over here?'' Sam asked.
''Well, finally I gave up, so I turned around and headed for home.

RS Mailbox

Well, this is going to be pretty long but I would appreciate it if you read it through:

I have been following the Rising Star since I was just a kid during the mid 90's and I have always regarded it as something close to my heart. It was the pioneer of all magazines to feature written material by the public and the writers who ply their trade there.

I have followed the fortunes of the RS through thick and thin- during its golden years, in times of meteoric rise in quality as well as through the dark days of increasing mediocrity.

The latter was unfortunately prevalent during the whole of the last year- (no offence to anyone working there or having their material published)- there were the occasional good issues, but on a whole it was to be honest-bland, devoid of real quality or surprise. It was in short the same thing over and over again and that gets boring.

I remember fondly all those times when I used to wait anxiously for the RS on Thursdays. Even when I moved to my current residence in Australia, I made a point to visit the web-site to check out issues. However sadly, my interest diminished during all of last year. The RS held no appeal and for me, it had lost most of its charm. Articles were monotonous, the setup more so.

And it was not just me. Most of my friends who live here with me said the same thing. They too were RS buffs but their interest as with mine had waned considerably. All of us still logged on on Thursdays to check our favorite magazine but we did more out of rote than anything else.Ok, thats about enough of outlining all the negative sides. If you have already deleted this mail than you missed the best part because from here on it only gets better.

Recently though, most of us have noticed a change. The biggest and most noticeable is in the back page. As good as Redeye and Beetly Bailey were, we think that cutting them was the best thing RS did in a long time. Because come on- it WAS getting pretty boring.

One of the most commendable things that people here feel that RS did was integrate sports into it. I bet its improved readership considerably. Most of my guy friends here were absolutely delighted to have the chance to indulge in what they have dubbed "Rising Sports." They were specially complimentary of the player profiles which they think
are a breath of fresh air for RS. And i have to agree with them for once!!

The fiction section has also taken an upturn, as has the spice page, which has really spiced up. All those snippets that you are now featuring are very interesting reading material indeed.

We still feel that the centerfold could improve further and I am sure that all of you are working day and night on it.

The covers are getting better and Maliha's (Don't remember last name) articles on the Boi Mela and the high school thing was very, very entertaining as was the one about Bangladesh winning the Test Series(by some guy whose name I do not recall). If I guess correctly that was the first time that RS ever featured sports in its front page and even though myself, being a female am not a great advocate of cricket, I thought it was a great idea.

The people at RS it seems, have finally stood up and took notice. Their efforts I have no doubt will continue to steadfastly improve quality even further. All of us here agree that if you continue in the same vein as now there is only one way to go- up!

Again my congratulations to all those who break their backs every week to make sure the RS comes out in good shape.

Well, that's about it for now!From all of us here...Best of luck!

Aariana, Tasneem, Firoza, Fazle, Nayeem, Shoaib & Minhaz (plus all the others here who love RS like we do)

Haikus on Spring

Daring and caring,
Loving, sharing and smiling,
Heart-warming splendour.
Replete with beauty,
A magnificent season,
After a pitiful winter.

By Pavana Khan
Note: A haiku is a Japanese poem, which has three lines and has usually 17 syllables.


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2005 The Daily Star