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Images from the 90's

It seems like H.G. Wells finally conceded and let RS use his quaint little time capsule to travel back in time and bring to you: Dhaka in the 90's - a blast from the not-so-distant past. Why? Because Dhaka in the 90's is what made our generation. We are products of an era that witnessed the dawn of a new culture that worshiped TV, cartoons and comics. Though I'd love to write on about all of them, the latter is my topic of choice. So prepare yourselves to be enthralled, enticed and practically incited (towards me that is) as we venture into world of comic books from the 90's.

If you're old enough to recall the glorious days from the last decade you'll notice that comic books were a significant part of any privileged preteen/teenager's life. Most parents back then didn't certify, considering them as implements form an “evil” culture. You'd still sneak and buy a few issues or borrow them from friends and when you got caught it was lecture session kids and parents 101. Sometimes they even resorted to confiscating your secret collection, the most heartbreaking thing that could happen to a kid after getting denied his first kiss from his first crush. Parents just didn't understand that it was sheer curiosity and bemusement at first sight when kids discovered comic books. They were filled with colourful characters captured in sequential frames that unfolded an amazing story to the kids. They found the humour and weird expressions in the word-bubbles amusing and the jokes would make them roll on to ground in a fit of laughter.

Back then Indian comics like Chacha Chowdhury and translations of foreign classics like He-Man and the Phantom were high on sales and they didn't even cost you any more than 10 to 15 taka. Then came along the tier of English comics. Can you name someone from back then who hasn't sifted through the pages of Archie's? I guessed not. Though they only had back issues then it was still a teen vogue in the mid and late 90's. Another comic book series that became popular around that time was Tintin. Though generally made for kids, Tintin's wild adventures didn't fail to attract the teen readers as well. By the late 90's there also came the line of super-hero comics mostly from DC (Superman, Batman, Justice League), which were pawned at a cheap price in the streets and stores of New Market and Nilkhet. Most of them were back issues from the 80's.

And that, my friends, was just the scene in Dhaka. What we missed out on was a spectacular comic book revolution. In 1992 seven of Marvel Comic's (Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers) best artists founded Image Comics. These guys greatly relied on software to finalise and colour their artworks and Marvel or DC didn't surpass the quality these guys provided in '92 until 98-99.

The scene has changed a lot since the 90's. If you look around now you'll see that comics are becoming obsolete to the new age of kids and teens. Sales are down and availability has become low because no one bothers to buy them anymore except the few truly fervent fans that still try to hike the stores and sweep out the vestiges. Right now I could only wish upon those golden years from the 90's and hope that comic books will regain its rightful place amongst the hearts of kids again someday. Till then I'll keep my fingers crossed.

By Knafice-Man

Weird gadgets

Everyday there are gadgets being invented and marketed and surprisingly even being bought that would make a normal person think twice. Here's a bunch I found that just might interest you though for what purpose it is hard to tell.

Be a wallflower
First off there is the Powerquick Personal Climber. Now if you wanted to climb up and down walls like Spidey, well, you still can't do it. At least not exactly like Spidey. What you can do is the next best thing and that is to go up and down like Tom Cruise in MI1.

The PowerQuick is a battery-powered ascender that basically hoists you up a length of rope much faster than your hands would. Now why you would want to climb up the walls instead of using the elevator is of secondary importance. Whatever happens it will at least guarantee that you will wow all your colleagues or fellow students.

Save the goats
Next in line is what Philips has developed and calls the "photonic textiles". These are fabrics with built-in lighting systems. For example you can have a pillow that displays text messages on its surface. Hmmm, at most you will be able to read nightmarish messages while you are having an actual nightmare. At best it will spell out to you to 'Wake Up.' What it could serve is as a garb for policemen patrolling in the dark. That way they will have glowing vest allowing drivers to aim properly and run them down. Better yet, such vests should be put on goats that wander into the Dhaka-Sylhet-Chittagong highways.

Respect the kid
Ever been targeted by a kid with a slingshot? No? Well, slingshots aren't in very popular demand in the cities thanks to rubbish plastic Beyblades. Back in school we had slingshots or at least makeshift ones with rubber bands and paper pellets. The aiming wasn't perfect but that is about to change with the introduction of these Laser-Sighted Slingshots. Yep, you'll treat kids who own these with a little bit of respect at least when we're within 50 feet of them. If you want t be that kid it will cost you around $70 to have someone bring it to you form the US.

Can't get enough of that high
You've heard of soap with vitamins and whatnot. A friend of mine has even tried chewing on a lemon scented soap as a kid. Well, now there's the soap with caffeine. It is supposed to perk you up when you're tired and you stink. Called Shower Shock it has caffeine, which is absorbed through your skin when you soap up. Now how do you add the milk and sugar to it?

What the heck is that?
The Japs are weird and maintaining that weirdness they also build some of the weirdest cars ever to pollute the surface of the earth.

Back in the early '90s, Japanese car manufacturers went on a government-endorsed K-car kick. What the heck is that you wonder? A K-car is a sub 1000cc car that looks like it can seat four tiny children very comfortably. You might even see some of these vehicles on Dhaka streets. Now they've cleared Canadian importation laws and are available north of the border for ridiculously cheap (between $5,000 and $7,000 CDN). You probably won't impress any ladies with the '91 Nissan Figaro in the picture but you will save enough money to pester them with phone calls, cards, gifts, roses, dinners etc to eventually win their hearts.

Racing chairs
This is something Mood Dude would love. Racing Furniture is a company that builds luxury chairs based on the seats found in classic cars, like the one pictured, which is from the 1953 Corvette. Now cheesy as it may sound it's a great toy for car freaks. These things are handcrafted from high-quality leather, and super-comfortable. What Mood Dude won't like is the retail price of around $1,000 (US) available at RacingFurniture.com. At best he can get a Toyota seat from Dholaikhaal and stitch a Corvette logo on it.

By Ziad


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