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The week in re(ar)view

Bangladesh and India signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 16 September. Under this we can push eight million pieces of Bangladeshi apparels into India annually duty-free. Too bad we can't push 8 million of our people as well.

Ozone, gone
The International Ozone Day was observed on 16 September with plans on phasing out of ozone depleting substance (ODS) gases by December 2010, a universal timeframe under the Montreal Protocol.

Bangladesh has been observing the day since 1995 with other member-countries of the United Nations in the light of the Montreal Protocol, a global treaty to phase out the production and consumption of ODS across the world.

According to the scientists, the ozone layer protects the planet from ultraviolet radiation, which at high levels poses a number of dangers, including increased risk of skin cancer and cataracts.

The scientists first marked the decline in stratospheric ozone over Antarctica in 1986.

EC is mean
The Election Commission (EC) has made a move to regain the authority to punish any person for contempt of the EC. That could very well mean us as well for making fun of their funny antics. Such as this current desire to punish people for finding EC activities to be a little on the absurd side.

The EC was given the power in 2001, but the then president Justice Shahabuddin Ahmad scrapped the provision by promulgating another ordinance in the face of severe criticism.

The EC now seeks revival of the power.

Laptop tendering to be cancelled
The EC needed lots of laptops and other tech stuff to deal with the voter listing. They needed 8000 laptops among other things. The contract was awarded to Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL). This was despite the fact that Thakral Brothers Pte Ltd and Thakral Information Systems Pte Ltd offered a better deal. If anyone asks you how you smelled something fishy here, don't point to us.

Now the project is scrapped and is open for re-tender.
CSB staffs' appeal to chief adviser

The price of exposure
Some 400 employees of CSB News, a satellite TV channel of Focus Multimedia Company, are on shaky grounds as their popular channel was shut down by the government on September 6. They aired an excellent show where reporters would go around exposing all the anomalies of our bureaucratic wheelings and dealings. Truth has a high price.

Cheap iftar
Former top bosses Khaleda and Hasina will have a lot on their iftaar menu if they stick to eating only moori (dry boiled rice). The government has fixed Tk 15 for their iftaar purchases. So no delicacies from 5 star hotels for them.

If they (Hasina and Khaleda) want additional iftar items, they will have to pay for that. It used to be Tk 7 last Ramadan. And that's for the regular criuminals who may not even be able to pay. Oh well, if you do the crime then this must nbe how you do the time.

Ramadan means price hike of food which is interesting because at this time people are supped to consume LESS food. So there should be plenty around. Such rise in prices are leading to rise in blood pressures. Unfortunately if your pressure shoots through the roof don't go looking for intravenous fluids and antibiotics. These are not only facing price hikes but also in low supply.

Drug traders claimed the supply of different types of IV fluid has fallen 50 percent as the two main IV fluid producing companies Beximco and Orion have reduced their production in the last three months. But the companies rejected the claims, blaming it mainly on unscrupulous hoarders.

By Gokhra and Mood Dude

Picture perfect: a painting exhibition

On September 15th, StreetWise, an NGO for street children, and Art Club Bangladesh jointly organised an exhibition of artworks by the children of the streets. Aparna Muyeed, Director, Streetwise was kind enough to show us around the gallery, and give us a viewing of a PowerPoint presentation of the kids working together on their projects, with wonderful joyous smiles.

Bright lights and white walls gave the a nice friendly effect, especially so with the walls being covered with hanging paintings all around. The paintings were a sight to the eyes: bright, colourful and full of inspiration. Along with these paintings were Eid Greetings and bead jewellery made by the children. Also on display were t-shirts embellished with drawings and designs done by the kids.

The paintings were mostly done on improvised canvases using gift wrappers and Aarong hard-paper bags. The young artists made mosaics of bits and pieces of recycled paper, coloured with pastel colours and pasted it onto the canvas, the final result being delightful pieces of work. Their subjects included mango and lemon trees, evening skies, aeroplanes, 'the little man', and, probably everyone's favourite, an umbrella. All the paintings were up for sale at an asking price of Tk. 2000. Four items had already been sold at double that price.

From the money raised from this event, about half of it goes into a personal savings account, some to kids' parents, and the rest back into StreetWise as investment into the project required for clothing, food, etc.

The little artists, who weren't there, unfortunately, are part of the school called Ashar Pothey, run by StreetWise. This started off early 2006, with around about 10 students or so. They now have more than double that many and most of them, if not all, have made wonderful progress. The children are educated in the fields of English, Bangla, Maths and Religion. Right now, they're a small school, but StreetWise has stated that one day they hope to become a boarding school, providing the badly needed shelter along with other provisions.

Art Club Bangladesh, founded by Nahid Osma (director of the Design Council of Bangladesh), is devoted to the promotion of Arts & Crafts of Bangladesh to the South Asian countries, around the globe, and vice versa. ACB is committed to showcase renowned artists as well as the less privileged artists and artisans of Bangladesh.

By SS Emil

Unknown facts about F.R.I.E.N.D.S

1. The reality show Joey worked in 'Days of our lives’ is actually the one daytime drama that Jennifer Aniston (Rachel) starred for several years in real.

2. As the official language of F.R.I.E.N.D.S was English the directors brought speakers from other countries that mingled the languages on Korean, Chinese, French, and Spanish and took roles of Phoebe, Joey, Rachel, Monica, Ross and Chandler.

3. Judy, Jill, Janice, Estelle, Mona, Carol are infact the Friends' of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

4. A team of over 12 writers day and night write the script of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S series and discuss how they can make it funnier by time.

5. At the middle of the 'one in Las Vegas' scene the writers were stuck and they didn't know how to write the next script.

By Fariha Shafi

Word Trivia

§ "Almost" is the longest commonly used word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order.

§ Canada is an Indian Word Meaning “Big Village”
§ "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

§ "Forty" is the only number which has its letters in alphabetical order. "One" is the only number with its letters in reverse alphabetical order.
§ "Four" is the only number whose number of letters in the name equals the number.

§ "Happy Birthday" was the first song to be performed in outer space, sung by the Apollo IX astronauts on March 8, 1969.
§ Rhythms" is the longest English word without the normal vowels, a, e, i, o, or u.

§ "Taxi" is spelled exactly the same in English, French, German, Swedish, Portuguese, and Dutch.
§ "The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick" is said to be the toughest tongue twister in English.

§ " 1 and 2 are the only numbers where they are values of the numbers of the factors they have.

Compiled by Mashiat Rabbani


From the RS desk

Dear readers
This summer has been a roller-coaster ride for us, hasn't it? What with rain and shine playing badminton over us, floods and mudslides, threats of tsunamis, and on the streets, riots and curfews and what not.

These are the games we play with the world around us, and sometimes it hits back. During our weekly meeting, last Thursday, the RS team got together for a fun-filled workshop where they discussed these themes and came up with role-play presentations to prove their points. We're printing the results of those presentations this week, under the theme of “Man vs. World”. So check them out, and please feel free to send in your views on the related subjects.


Girl truths!

"O…oSaMA...O…o…saMA …oSA Ama…I..hoPe…yOU…HeAr …Me… La..la..la…la!” Oh! That's just a song I was humming.

Anyway, I think we should give the wandering boys some clues to find their destinations. So, boys it's your day! Here are some heavy secrets (girl truths) of most girls for you to brighten your lost, dark alleys. So read and swallow them. On the top of my head are the followings:

1) We seriously do not buy mystery. So please do have guts (we know most of you don't but at least try to acquire some bravery) and ask us out in person. Don't send in thousand of messages claiming to be our secret admirers. It pisses us off. What worse could happen? You would get a slap or be insulted. You get that all the time!

2) The secret behind us (most girls) going for guys with money is because it gives competition to you (boys) to be rich and establish yourselves. It is a way in which we try to deduce poverty.

3) We always go for handsome guys because that gives competition to you (boys) to work out and be healthy. It is just a way to reduce diseases and have a healthy generation. These are ways in which we are contributing ourselves with social problems.

4) We don't really fall when you show off and try to be extra smart (which all of you do all the time) because we like people for who they really are. So don't try to be smart. There's no shame to be yourself. We believe in honesty.

5) Now a days we are changing boyfriends rapidly is because we know how vulnerable, clueless, helpless, guideless and lost you guys are without us. We tend to give guidance and wit to every possible guy in every possible way. Another way we contribute to our country is this. We spread knowledge. We give tracks to clueless guys.

6) We nag about all your habits all the time is only because we want you to be better. Criticisms inspire a person to be more successful. And you do have good qualities too like……amm……yeah! I got one. You guys are undoubtedly good actors. You lie and cheat with awesome confidence. That's what we girls can't do. We just can't help being honest.

7) We tend to forgive you even though you don't listen to us when we speak is because we know it is very difficult for your undeveloped and small brain to take in our intellectual and brilliant thoughts all at once.

So boys, that's all for today! Try to gulp in these preliminary secrets until then do take care and accept it.

By Naima Nuren Khan

Funny Valentine


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