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Our beloved Reporter, angry at the world and quite pissed that he still hadn't got a promotion decided to end it all. First he decided that slitting his wrists would be enough but when it came to actually doing it he realized that the knife wasn't sharp enough and anyway the sight of blood made him vomit. So he decided to hang himself but the heavy rope gave him rashes. After a lot of thinking he decided to jump from a good height. Unfortunately this fine country is currently devoid of tall buildings which can ensure death. He then decided that jumping from a plane is the only way. So there he was on a Biman where he quietly opened a door and jumped (he was thankful that the service was so crappy, no other airline would have given him that kind of freedom, especially near the doors).

The Reporter felt the air whipping past and after much trepidation decided that he could at least open his eyes (he decided that if he was going to die, he should at least act brave about it). It would not do to die without looking at the world one last time. Mesmerized by the beauty of the world he never noticed that it was raining. And it wasn't until one of the raindrops told him to shove off did he notice that he was encroaching upon the personal space of one (namely the one who was swearing prolific about the big oaf whose ear the drop was stuck in, and whose name quite ironically was Snowy…).

S: Hey! Would you mind falling someplace else. This is my trajectory to the earth see?

R: Eh? Who are you? And how did you get in my ear?
S: Sigh…Are you always this stupid?

R: I can't say. Do you mind telling me what you are? And what are you doing in my ear?
S: I'm not doing anything here, I'm stuck! Your earwax is quite sticky and resilient. I can't get out. And I'm Snowy, a raindrop minding my own business until you came along.
R: A raindrop? I didn't know you guys had the power of speech.

S: Yeah well we do.
R: Wow. I never thought that water was a sentient being, and to think that I gulp down liters everyday.
S: Are you plain idiotic? Water in itself isn't sentient. It's the individual drops that are sentient.
R: Oh right. I see. So, why are you here, in the middle of the sky?

S: Umm…I don't know? Let me see? Well maybe because I'm a raindrop and it's my job to fall down from the sky? What you think?
R: You don't have to be all stingy about it. I was just asking. It's not everyday I come across a raindrop. Would mind answering a few questions?
S: Will you get me out if I do so?

R: Yeah sure.
S: Sure. Fire away.
R: Well, first off, how is it that you came to be a raindrop instead of being the average drop of water?
S: I once lived in the Indian Ocean. See as a drop of water you start of at the bottom, at the sea floor. You have to work your up to the surface to evaporate along with the others to come and attend the universities here.

R: Universities?
S: The clouds. They are the universities where they teach the drops of water basic transformation skills. First they teach you the aerodynamics of being a raindrop. Then you proceed into the sleet and then hail. Last you become a Snow Flake. That is like the highest honor. It's a dream to become one and then move to the North or South Poles. Sigh…if only I could manage that.
R: Ah…so why aren't you a snowflake and on your merry way to the Poles?

S: It's doesn't work like that. You have to pass through all the states before you can retire as a snowflake.
R: Ah… Now tell me, falling from this great height, doesn't it hurt or kill you?
S: Water is impervious to pain. For that matter, why are you falling from such a great height?

R: I'm bored and frustrated with my life, ennui man. My life's going nowhere. I've decided to end this.
S: Really? It's that bad?
R: Yeah. All I do everyday is sit behind a desk and dream about cars I'll be able to buy.

S: What!?! You have it made man! People would kill for the life you lead. You have your own desk, a steady job, what more could you want? I mean in several years time you can retire and really enjoy life. You can't just give up man. Look at me. I have the hardest job, but I still stick to it because I know I'll be rewarded in the end.
R: Hmm… you know your right! You could be a great psychiatrist although I don't think people would much appreciate taking advice from a drop of water. But thanks man! I really feel better now. I can't wait to get back to work!

S: Don't mention it. Can you get me out of your ear now? And uh…the grounds coming up fast, now that you feel better how do you propose to survive this drop?
R: Yikes! You're right! Wait…I see a one of those dump trucks! I think the garbage will cushion my fall. There's a moldy mattress on top see?
S: Yeah. Better aim for it and can you now get me out.
After groping around in his ear in midair, the Reporter finally got out the stuck raindrop. After releasing his watery shrink the Reporter aimed for the mattress. It would have been cool the aero stunts he pulled if the mattress hadn't been wet and soaking and stinking. When he hit he made a resounding plunk that was very disheartening.

After surprising the driver when he got out of the truck he decided that he had better get to his office and tell his boss about his newest discovery. But he decided to take a shower first. The stink wouldn't really emphasis his point really.

By Tareq Adnan

I woke up at four in the morning unable to breathe. It felt like someone had set jalapenos on fire inside my throat. I finally managed to stagger out of bed, manoeuvre myself over the scores of roaches that come out to play after dark and made it to the kitchen to warm up a glass of water. As I lay back in bed feebly sipping away at the scalding water, my body all ablaze aching, it hit me. This was the first time I was sick in over five years! I would have done the hoopla but what with my raw throat and lead-like bones I decided not to.

As the heat and rain rally for dominance, many like me get caught in the crossfire and catch the seasonal bug. Just a few days ago, my friend Sabrina gave into her urges of dancing in the rain and ended up with a fever and cough. While I would have much preferred that we came down at the same time so as to drive our boss nuts, I'm gladder that we are both on the path of recovery. Because after a while, the mommies fussing, hourly paracetamol reminders and chicken soup, all get a little old.

Summer is the season for comparably small but highly irritating illnesses. And often times one leads to another. You stay out all day in the heat and end up getting dehydrated. That makes you crave for water, which you obviously drink, but chilled to arctic perfection. And lo and behold! You end up with a sore throat. And while you're drinking this brain-freeze potion you opt to do it in a sub-zero temperature room to beat the heat. And in doing so, what with the constant volleying between hot and cold, your body gives in to a fever. So if we were to tally up that count, so far you're at a risk of being dehydrated, getting a sore throat or catching a fever.

And if you've managed to avoid all three, don't go ruining our lucky streak with a splash in the rain. Nothing will help a cold catch up to you faster than the rain. And we know what a cold means- that disgusting runny nose, a throat full of mucus and a highly temperamental fever.

If on the down side you do manage to one or all of the above illnesses, enjoy your family fussing over you while it lasts. Drink lots of water and orange juice (vitamin C helps battle most of these pesky problems). Indulge in a variety of soups and spoons of honey. And wash it all down with some warm ginger tea.

Summer is also the season for prickly heat and fungal infections. What with your sweat glands working overtime chances are that you'll contract one or both of these to annoyingly gross skin irritations. So try to stay out of the heat as much as you can and bathe once if not twice daily so as to stay fresh and sweat free. After all, the last thing you want is have a patch of disfigured skin on some body part that you have the constant urge to scratch!

Serious illnesses like jaundice also prevail in summer especially in Bangladesh. With the constant urge to drink water, people often get careless and drink things from questionable places. And since viral hepatitis is water borne, many people end up contracting jaundice in summer.

Be it just a cold or jaundice, the current weather is an illness-prone transition. And I'm sure people would much rather make good on their summer breaks than lie around in bed in the throes of pain and agony. So take care of what you do and what you consume and chances are you'll end up doing what summer is all about- having fun.

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob

Enclosed is a counterpoint to the article you recently published, 'Relentless Socialising'. I think it needs another point of you, and I think you'll find I have given just that.

Remember when you were a scared little kid who used to get picked on? No? Then just take a minute to put yourself back in your old school shoes and try to imagine what mum might have said.
Ignore them.

As much as I enjoyed 'Relentless Socializing', I would like to give the writer the same advice. The whole point of hi5 and other social networks is to meet new people and make friends, but yes if most of these people are like Mokles (as unfortunately many are) it does not mean that you stop logging in, you simply change the privacy settings. After all just because the totally desperate guy gave you the eye in tuition the other day does not mean that you are not going to go there anymore.

Let's be honest, the reason majority of members post photos of themselves in a variety of poses is because they want the attention. It's perfectly fine if you don't- either delete the comments or, I repeat, modify the settings. The image size on a hi5 profile is tinier compared to that of Facebook's anyway, so even if you chose your profile to be viewable by everyone, depending on your picture, you will probably resemble a blob.

Now I'll be honest, I am not actually a devoted hi5ee, and so out of pure curiosity I decided to test the writer's unabashed appraisal of Facebook. The registration process was extremely simple, except it turns out that it is not 'THE way to socialize' if you are, like myself, under 18. After faking my age, I realized that I had quite a lot of friend requests from others I had networked with on hi5 and Myspace (I'll come to this later), and so after quickly uploading a picture I eagerly got ready to set up a decent profile.

Unlike hi5, Facebook does indeed have a lot of features- pokes, popularity tokens and fun walls- but frankly in the end, my profile still looked a bit bleak. There is a limit to what you can do with a plain, white background. And of course the ridiculous question Facebook asks you when you accept a friend- 'how do you know him/her?'- is utterly irritating. That is not user friendly, that is hostile.

So my conclusion? It's Myspace all the way for me. The registration may be a bit lengthy, but it is accessible by people of all ages (and neither are you pestered for a high school/college/university name). You can have fun with your profile by manipulating the backgrounds, table widths, texts to reflect your taste and personality, and believe me when I say the possibilities are seemingly endless. The privacy settings are in fact superior. You don't want anyone to look at your picture? That is perfectly possibly.

However in the end it is up to the individual to decide which social network he or she ultimately prefers, and people such as Ms Moinuddin and myself can only advise. Possibilities are with so many other cyber societies around, you may not even like the conventional ones mentioned in this article, but please do make sure to try each out till you are finally comfortable with one. It is a new trend and a great way to socialize.

By N Rahman

On August 27, Help Our People Empathize (HOPE), at the Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) community-service put up a food sale/raffle draw to contribute to IUB's relief effort. Around Tk 10,000 was raised, to be sent to the Chief Advisor's relief fund.




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