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Oddly enough

Indian province looks to control gangs by releasing lions. What could possibly go wrong?
The government of Uttar Pradesh has come up with a wild idea to control the menace of bandits who are becoming active again in the country's heartland. They plan to unleash dozens of lions in the forested ravines to flush out the bandits from their hide-outs.

The 14,400 square-mile Chambal Valley region -- with its maze of undulating ravines and dense forests, spread across the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh -- has been controlled by ruthless forest brigands, locally known as "dacoits," for decades. The gangs these days mostly abduct people for ransom and have been charged in more than 4,000 kidnappings and 180 killings in the two states in the last five years.

The government of Uttar Pradesh plans to let loose 25 lions in the valley, to entertain wildlife lovers as well as to scare away the dacoits. The lions are from a national park in Gujarat. "Apparently, the animals are meant for a lion safari park in the forest. But the presence of such large carnivores in the vicinity will be frightening for the dacoits," a forest ranger said. "They were never afraid of hyenas and wolves of the Chambal ravines. But lions will scare them away this time, we are sure." [washtimes.com]

Doctor tells overweight patient to lose weight. Patient files complaint against doctor. She wants to be lied to.
A doctor in New Hampshire is being investigated because a patient complained that he bluntly told her she needed to lose weight. Dr. Terry Bennett said that he's outraged by what he calls a baseless complaint. A patient was apparently insulted when Bennett told her that she was obese and could only get healthier by losing weight. "It's an epidemic in the United States, and it's croaking us," he said.

Bennett said he tells obese patients that their weight is bad for their health and their love lives. But the lecture drove one patient to write a letter to the Board of Medicine, which has initiated the investigation. "Did I sleep with somebody? Did I give somebody drugs? Was I careless? No. End of story," He said. "That should have been the end of it."

He said that the Attorney General's Office tried to get him to settle the matter by agreeing to attend a medical education course, which he refused. Bennett said he apologized and that should be enough. [newsnet5.com]

Thief steals laptop from store that specializes in closed circuit TV - They have his image on eight different cameras.
A hooded man has been dubbed Britain's thickest thief after stealing from a CCTV shop. The man was caught on eight separate surveillance cameras as he targeted the shop in Manchester and stole a laptop computer worth £700.

He chose to raid the store despite numerous signs around the store warning that closed circuit television cameras were in operation. CCTV images show the man from every single angle - one frame shows him handling a door, which will provide a perfect set of fingerprints. There are even pictures of him looking through the shop window half an hour earlier, jumping up to get a better look.

Owner of the shop has said the thief's actions are proving "the biggest boost to business imaginable. I didn't know whether to laugh or be annoyed, and in the end I did both. Frame by frame, cameras filmed him around the shop. The stupidity to think stealing from a CCTV shop is a good idea is astonishing." [sky.com]

All these and more at Fark.com
Compiled by Ahmed Ashiful Haque

Gaming clichés that refuse to die

Games have been around for ages. Well, okay 20 years-ish to be exact. Though games are known for the creativity they bolster, some things just never change. And thus was born… the "gaming cliché"! *cue thunder and lightning*

Ever since The Matrix, Max Payne used it. Prince of Persia used it. Enter the Matrix obviously used it. It made sense. But when you start using bullet-time in games like NHL 2004 or Tony Hawk's Underground or racing games, I think someone's overdoing it! I mean, bullet-time is fine and dandy, but does it really have to be in every darn game? I don't believe that WWII soldiers could slow down time itself whenever their "adrenaline" was peaked.

Female characters
It's not that female characters are themselves clichéd; it's just how developers portray them. It seems that developers think that the average gamer's idea of the opposite sex is a ridiculously-proportioned, dollar-figured bombshell who has to wear hot-pants and an incredibly tight top or any other super-skimpy clothes for that matter. That is so ridiculously insane.

Stars, eggs, coins, monkeys - so many items, so little time! Platforming games are the prime offenders here. It's not enough that you have to jump and grab ledges with Zen-like precision but you also have to collect what-not just to proceed. Nothing ruins immersion like finally defeating the main boss and finding out that you can't watch the "real" ending unless you go back and pick up the slimy blue blobs you gave up collecting after the 1094325th one.

Sneaking Around
Fine: Metal Gear Solid, Splinter Cell and Thief were games that are centered on the concept of playing stealthily. But what do you say to a game that hands you a huge arsenal of weapons, gives you a playing (read: slaying) ground full of gloriously stupid goons and even lets you call in carpet bombing attacks… but… it asks you to go around undetected or else it's game over? Mercenaries I'm looking at you…

The GTA-clone
The Japanese believe that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but there's a limit to copying. Ever since GTA 3 came out, every bloody game has to have "open-ended gameplay". I mean from Jak II to Tony Hawk's to the blatant-but-still-not-quite rip-offs like True Crime… every game has seems to have jack-able vehicles and wide open areas. Why can't games just do their own thing?

Button mashing mini-games
Ever get to those parts in a game where you're taken out of the normal gameplay just to play some obscure mini-game? So you're going along, minding your own business, when a cutscene suddenly plays: it must be time for some big boss fight! Ominous music plays and you get yourself prepared and arm all your weapons - this is it! You're about to face the boss head-on when all of a sudden: "Rapidly Tap [button] to proceed"… no wonder so many people have broken controllers.

The Anti-hero…hero
Why does every single main character have to have the following attributes: (1) an overdone gruff, gravely voice (2) an angst-y, I-hate-the-world attitude (3) and a five-o'-clock shadow? Oh and they also have to have complete body-builder muscles. They always have to be out for some random, non-specific revenge and the use of cheesy one-liners is a must. I mean, is it too much to ask for a good guy who actually is a, you know, good friendly person?

It all started with a game named Doom. When players couldn't take the horror of facing three small bunnies even when armed with a tactical nuke, they turned to their one solace: god-mode. Yes, in god-mode you can become completely invulnerable: insusceptible to anything and everything they throw at you… like a god. One thing however, even gods die whenever they fall into the small hidden holes in the ground…

Game developers are often too lazy to think of ways to fill their levels so they fall upon the oldest gaming cliché of all time: boxes. Small boxes, pink boxes, weird boxes, wooden boxes, steel boxes, heck boxed boxes… there is no dearth of them. Some games add them just to show off their "physics engine" while others just make smashing boxes an integral part of gameplay. As you all know, breakable boxes
coins/valuables/bombs/everything-you-need-to-get-past-something. Seriously, just let this one die!

Final Fantasy XI, Tekken 5, FIFA 200-god-knows-which-year-we're-on… no movie or book could ever beat games for the barrage of sequels they can churn out. While movies can go into the 2s and 3s, for games, prepare to see numbers that head into the double digits. Worst of all, most of the time, it's more or less the same game with marginally improved graphics and sound. I mean should I really buy NBA Live 2005 because it boasts a "dynamic new animation system" but it actually looks more or less like the 2001 version, except shinier? It's high time we saw some new names! Heck, give us the same game if you have to devs, but just stop numbering them!

Comments, suggestions, flames and hate mail can all be directed to: baka.ero.sennin@gmail.com

By Le Chupacabra


Cool Adda

Place: Anywhere housing a wedding or wedding-related party.
Activity: Bird watching i.e. gazing at gorgeous members of the opposite sex (or whatever works for you). This is purely a superficial activity that is degrading to the 'pakhi-s' but loads of fun if you spot someone really good-looking. While pakhi admiring can be done anywhere consisting of a mostly single population, weddings are especially good because everyone (even guys) tends to pretty up for such occasions. If you're lucky you'll be able to while away a good fifteen minutes rooted beside the snacks table staring at 'pakhi-s', and tearing your eyes away from him/her when the 'pakhi' (or his/her parent or older sibling) looks straight at you. You might even want to give your 'pakhi' what you may think is an intensely seductive look, but unless you were being eyed by your own 'pakhi', you'll be thought of as a perverted freak. So try to get a group of friends together and you'll seem less stalker-ish. If you're interrupted by murabbi-s just smile, nod and be as polite to them as you can and they'll go away soon enough for you to resume stalking feasting your eyes on some eye candy. Whatever you do, don't take a photo with your mobile 'cus that's just crossing the line, not to mention totally sick (it's happened, believe me).

Menu: Eating artery-clogging biriyani hinders with the bird-watching process. The best foods are soft drinks, coffee, shashlik, phuchka and chotpoti. Stay away from the paan…red spit and the smell of choon isn't very attractive.

Hazards: a) Being proposed to…by someone other than your pakhi…by a middle-aged woman who works part-time as a matchmaker and who asks you if you're married. You'll obviously answer in the negative but that opens up a whole new can of worms: personal questions about your age, your family, your education…your height.

b) Failing to notice the dead cockroach embedded in your phuchka.

By Verity

When Happiness comes
Happiness comes to all,
No matter whether it's big or small.
From London when Papa calls,
Happiness leaps like ping-pong balls.
When a baby is born,
Happiness will be your topmost crown.
When we go to a new theme park,
Happiness will give you the full mark.
When the beggar gets some bread
In his life happiness will spread.
If we get flowers in bundles,
Happiness lights up like candles.
And we have the biggest gladness,
When our family has the greatest happiness!
By Naila Ahmed Ananna

Ah, this World!
Never is there freedom,
Struggling and forcing,
Fighting and killing,
Proud and selfish people.
Joy lies ahead.
Strive and search it,
But nobody cares,
What has the world become?
Is there no peace?
No trace of tolerance?
No drop of mercy?
I will seek these answers.
I wait impatiently for the time,
When there will be no evil, no violence,
No self-seeking and cruel people,
When the world will be a better place to live in.
By Pavana Khan

The sun refuses to shine on me, when I call for her,
Her warm bright rays I miss.
The raging rivers refuse to be tamed,
Even at my patient pleading.
Sheets of rain harass me everywhere,
Lightning zigzags throughout the gray sky,
Clasps of thunder pierce my ears,
Making them sting.
I never could stand days of gloom,
But hoped for glorious days of happiness and joy.
When the sun beamed bright,
The gentle breeze rustled the leaves of trees
With branches lined with chirping birds.
I am helpless at fixing the rain, taming the rivers.
I long impatiently for the sun to come out,
To beam on me, bringing days of glory.
I am learning, however, to accept my weakness.
Accept these dull and problem-filled days.
Get used to their misery.
Endure those gloating over my problems.
Coming to terms with the new situation.
This is life! Life is but change.
Some changes craved, others unwanted.
All have to be accommodated.
Now I know misery, now I know gloom.
They are my ever-present neighbours.
The gray skies, fuming mountains,
All have a beauty we choose to ignore.
Everything has some good in it.
It is up to us to recognize.
So, when a spot in the gray sky will turn yellow,
And the sun will appear,
And the rain will cease, the rivers calm,
My feelings would not be complete joy and happiness.
For she, the sun, will then banish my new friends,
Darkness and misery.
By Jayeed Naseeree


1. What is the capital city of Switzerland?
2. Which is the heaviest organ in the human body?
3. What was the name of the Nazi propaganda minister?
4. Which famous poet was married to the author of Frankenstein?
5. What are the names of the two moons of Mars?
6. What were the names of the men who opened Tutankhamen's tomb?
7. Which famous book did Lewis Carroll write?
8. What is the capital city of Venezuela?
9. Who invented dynamite?
10. What country was Van Gogh born in?
1. Ben
2. The skin
3. Josef Goebles
4. Percy. B. Shelley
5. Phobos and Deimos
6. Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon
7. Alice in Wonderland
8. Caracas
9. Alfred Nobel
10. Belgium
If you answered:
0-2 questions: plenty of improvement required
3-5 questions: not bad, quite a lot of potential
6-8 questions: pretty good, a vast array of knowledge
9-10 questions: excellent, undoubtedly unbeatable in trivia

By Bushra Sameeha Anwar


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