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Dark Glimpses: Bermuda Triangle

A legendary triangle of Ocean lies between 3 countries upon the Atlantic Ocean. The Cities are Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Fort Lauderdale. Ships, people and airplanes have been reported mysteriously disappearing off the
face of the earth whilst travelling inside this triangle. It soon acquired the name "Devils Triangle", owing to peoples' superstitions that the devil was at play on this stretch of ocean and gobbling up weary and lost travellers, with great delight! But what actually was at play inside this triangle of rough water? Is it really the devil? Or are aliens using this spot as their home base on earth?

The myth of the mysterious triangle first began in an Associated Press dispatch of September 16, 1950. Reporter E.V. W. Jones wrote of "mysterious disappearances" of ships and planes between the Florida coast and Bermuda.
Two years after this article appeared, Fate magazine ran an article by George X. Sand about a "series of strange marine disappearances, each leaving no trace whatever" in a "watery triangle bounded roughly by Florida,
Bermuda and Puerto Rico".
It was not long before ideas and suggestions started forming about this piece of ocean. M.K. Jessup wrote about the disappearances and gave ideas about alien intelligences being behind them in the book "The Case for the UFO. Finally a man by the name of Vincent H. Gaddis came up with the phrase "Bermuda Triangle". One of the most famous stories to ever surround the Bermuda Triangle is the mysterious disappearance of the Naval Air Flight 19.
On December 5th, 1945, five Avenger torpedo bombers left the Naval Air Station at Fort Lauderdale. They never returned home.
The Avengers total disappearance would be owing to the rough seas at the time and they were well known to be incredibly heavy. Known through the Navy as "Iron birds" they weighed 14,000 pounds empty. After impact they would have immediately sunk to the bottom; any debris being swallowed up by the violent ocean, leaving no trace. The mistakes and misguided information about the Mariner and Flight 19's disappearance soon began in the early
50's. Stories about "a mysterious place where ships and planes disappeared into" and a "limbo of the lost" caught the public's interest immediately, the legend of the Bermuda Triangle began and is still carried on to this day.

Taylor is often misquoted as saying in his radio transmissions that "everything is wrong...strange ...the ocean doesn't look as it should" and "They look like they're from outer space - don't come after me." He in fact never uttered those words.

This leads to some seriously silly stories about alien abduction. It is also often reported that on the day of Flight 19's disappearance the seas were calm and smooth. They were indeed the very opposite!The fact is that accidents happen. Planes crash, boats sink. The research of Larry Kusche, has dispelled a lot of the untruths about the place. He has a book out called "The Bermuda Triangle Mystery - Solved. You can read more about the stories and how they were twisted and changed to suit the myth and mystery more.

Compiled By Jennifer Ashraf

From pages to panorama...

At 16 years old, he visited Trinity College, the V&A Museum, walked through the historic streets of Cambridge, and met academics from Cambridge University. He is not a millionaire's son, nor is he some influential hotshot. What earned him this honour is simply his innate passion for writing.

Bangladeshi student, Azhar Chowdhury has enjoyed writing since his early childhood. At the tender age of 14, he published his first book of poems named 'Rippling Mirror.' His love for the written word continued, and all he needed was a podium - an opportunity to demonstrate his impregnable talent.

It was only when University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) introduced an opportunity for exceptional young writers to express their talents through the 'Cambridge Essay Competition 2004', that the spotlight fell on Azhar. Had he not been encouraged by his school (Bangladesh International Tutorial) to enter the competition, he would not have been able to reap the rewards for his efforts winning first prize of the CIE 'Cambridge Essay Competition 2004.'

Azhar Chowdhury is now back from his five-day, all-expenses paid trip to Cambridge and London. So how was the experience of being a VIP in the UK for five whole days? "

"It was undoubtedly a splendid trip and the very atmosphere of Cambridge is inspiring for all students. Who wouldn't be inspired to stay in the same dormitory as the likes of Sir Isaac Newton? It has been around for centuries and is still generally known to be one of the best educational institutions in the world," explained Azhar, who is elated at the prospect of being part of such academia.

The essay competition that changed this young man's life was organised with the support of the British Council to coincide with the launch of Bangladesh Studies as an O Level qualification.

Out of 178 entrants from Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi and Khulna, it was Azhar's essay that stood out. His essay was acclaimed by the judges at the British Council and CIE in Cambridge, for his insight and creative flair for writing, under timed exam conditions at the British Council Auditorium.

According to Helen Imam, CIE's manager for Bangladesh Studies, Azhar's essay was beautifully written. "What impressed us most about Azhar's essay was the evocative opening paragraph and how effortlessly the words appeared to read on the page. He made a tremendous impression on the first reading of his essay."

It seems Azhar truly made an impression on the CIE and BC judges, in the essay titled "How can studying for international qualifications (like GCE 'O' and 'A' levels) improve your understanding of the world and Bangladesh's place in it?" The opening of this prize-winning essay reads:

"The dim fluorescent light fell upon the pages of an old book. Before it sat a sixteen-year-old boy, memorizing the words from it audibly. He had to get the words in his mind, as it was his SSC examination the next day. That was his ticket to getting a good job and living a happy life with his family. What happened elsewhere in the world was neither his interest nor a necessity. The boy sat there pronouncing incantations that took away his chances of discovering the world discovering life."

Today Azhar Chowdhury looks forward to the bright future that CIE has opened up for him. He is an inspiration to other CIE students, as his talent for writing leads him from the pages to a panorama of opportunity.

By Tahmina Shafique

As doomsday approaches…

I opened my eyelids and peered at my clock from inside my mosquito net. 8:30 a.m. Outside my barred windows, I saw the sky, gloomy and overcast, the rolling clouds a dreary shade of grey. Once again, the weather seemed to be forecasting my mood. "And why shouldn't I be feeling grumpy", I thought as I pulled myself up from bed and made for the washroom, "This is the last weekend of my vacation. And boy, has it been a boring one."

I tried to awaken my optimistic self and look at a brighter side. But that self seemed to be snoring. I knew that almost all schools were due to open after summer break soon. That didn't help my mood. As I lazily finished my morning duties and started breakfast, I realised with a jolt that this was the last time I would get to act like a sloth for a long, long time.

I could see exactly what my upcoming days were going to be like. I'd have to get up at 6:00 a.m., put on my heavy school uniform, and carry an enormous schoolbag every single day. Over a breakfast I didn't want to eat (usually a glass of milk), I'd argue with my mom over the tiffin she had decided to give me. Then she'd tug at my uniform one last time and send me off. And this was just the beginning.

At school, the fact that I'd have to spend most of the day sitting on hard wooden chairs, listening to the droning of teachers, and staring at gibberish-like symbols on the whiteboard, put a frown on my forehead. I had spent the last forty-six days of my life as a complete waste, I realised. The first and last week of the vacation had seemed like bliss. How could I have felt bored in the midst? There was SO much I could have done but didn't. And to think that to rid myself of boredom I took a part-time job! And now, it was simply too early to get back to school. Why couldn't they give us two months' worth vacation? On top of that, our school days have been extended by an HOUR.

Still in a pensive mood as I cuddled up on the sofa to read the newspaper, I speculated how else I was entering my doom. Every afternoon I would have to trudge back home in sweaty clothes and fall flat on the bed. At some point I'd have revived enough to take a shower. And then I would be forced to eat a lunch I didn't want. I mean, who wants to be picking out fish bones after such an exhausting day! Then, after a bit of rest in the evening, I'd probably have to sit down and finish my homework. God bless the teachers who don't believe in homework! And if my parents scolded me about listening to too much music or watching TV when I should be studying, I'd just get into another tantrum.

Of course, at school, I'd be meeting all my friends after such a long while. We'll be exchanging the latest pieces of gossip, and the newest fashion statements, and of course, any new teachers and students. I can start playing basketball again after school, and we still have to publish our yearbook! Then we'd be having the graduation ceremony. I'll be standing up for becoming a prefect this time. Hey, my optimism seems to be stirring up!

Okay, so maybe my vacation had not exactly been an exciting one. And I certainly wasn't really looking forward to going back to school. But, the sooner I got through with it, the sooner my winter vacation would approach! I'd just have to try and keep my head above water till then. For now, I'd spend these last days of my vacation as best as I could.

By Ferzeen Anis

Let the
children speak

Children have the right to speak up their mind. More importantly, they have the right to be heard. Keeping that in mind, Mass-Line Media Centre, in association with UNICEF, has come up with Children's Express, a news agency of the children, for the children, by the children (no pun intended)!

Children's Express started its journey on 30th May 2005 with 640 budding journalists all over the country. Earlier, written tests and interviews were held in sixty-four districts to select the most talented, the most perspicacious youngster available. Eventually ten were selected from each district to operate (and to be trained) under a team leader, usually a renowned journalist from the respective district.

These budding journalists are to be trained numerous aspects of journalism by the respective team leaders. They're also preparing in-depth reports on Children's Right every two months, which are to be published in the national dailies. For the records, these young journalists consummate the entire report all by themselves, starting from selecting the issues to collecting the necessary information! So far the Children's Express has prepared forty reports on Children's Right, some which has been published in national dailies with a swashbuckling amount of adulation!

Taking the issue to the next level, the Children's Express arranged for a discussion ceremony in National Press Club, last Saturday 30th July 2005. The luminaries in the ceremony included renowned journalists from some of the most respected dailies of our country, not to mention some of the shimmering stars from the Children's Express itself. There the budding journalists got to raise their questions, their thoughts to their senior counterparts. Numerous queries were answered, discussed and analyzed starting from the eligibility of introducing a regular children's page in the national dailies instead of the customary weekly one, to the extent to which the young journalists may adopt professionalism. The seniors analyzed all the issues with wisdom, and mentioned repeatedly how impressed they were to observe such brilliance among the youngsters. The budding journalists had inspiration written all over their face. As the ceremony ended after two hours, the smile that spread from face to face had little to do with the scrumptious lunch provide by the Children's Express!

In a world riddled with child abuse an effort such as that of the Children's Express is more than gallant. We at the Rising Stars wish them all the best.

By Tawsif Saleheen


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