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The week in re(ar)view

Rehab a business
You may be shocked to hear that sometimes drugs can be the solution. Or more likely the business of drug rehabilitation can be the solution to your impoverished bank account.

Although by law all drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation centres need to have licenses to operate, apparently, none of the 115 such centres in the capital has any.

They also do not have any trained doctors or nurses. Considering the fact that so many people are becoming addicted these days and you don't have to pay any licensing fees, this is a hot business. Hopefully not for long.

No one has any statistics on how many addicts relapse into the deadly habit even after receiving treatment. Usually 'reputed' drug addiction treatment clinics and rehabilitation centres charge Tk 15,000 to Tk 30,000 from a patient while the substandard ones charge Tk 5,000 to Tk 8,000, to lure in clients.

Have gun, will shoot
The last date for the renewal of license of firearms, issued by the Dhaka Magistracy, has been extended up to January 31. The time extension has been made as per an official notification under Article 82 of the Arms Act Manual 1924, an official handout said on Thursday. But they did not explain what the official notification means. We figure it goes something like this, “The people who own guns and use them don't want to be known, and those who are known are too afraid to use them. So let's give the former a little more time and pray for a miracle which we know will not happen.”

Bangladesh not so free
According to an American think tank called Heritage Foundation, Bangladesh's economy is one of the least free in the world. We came 27th out of 30 countries of Asia and 143rd out of 157 total countries in the survey.

Apparent reasons for this are extreme barriers to trade, excessive corruption, bureaucratic procedures, underdeveloped financial system and weak property rights.

It also said Bangladesh's economy was relatively free in terms of freedom from the government. Yep, refer to our “Drug rehab business” news. You can sometimes start a business and run it with impunity. Sometimes you can run it with nothing at all.

Electricity for hire
The Advisers' Committee on Public Purchase recently approved installation of seven rental power plants expected to add around 270MW of electricity for three years.

It just goes to show that anything can be rented. Considering the gradual lack of clean air, soon enough we will have to rent oxygen.

Selected bidders will install the power plants within 120 days of signing contracts, he added.

Rice in our bellies
Rice is our staple. For many of us, it serves as breakfast, lunch dinner and snacks in between. But the current rice price hike has made it difficult for many to maintain their rice-y lifestyle. They were effaced with only two choices. Either they could go into an all extra-topping diet balanced with a diet cola like Papa Bush wants, or they could starve.

Which basically boils down to just one option and its not a pretty one.

The last week saw prices stabilising and people are seen gleefully munching away.

Economists say the rice crisis result form government failure to ensure timely import to offset the floods and cyclone.

Horses and autorickshaws
You can drag a horse to the water, you can shove it in, you can even drown it but you cannot make it gargle.

Hundreds of CNG-run autorickshaws thronged the meter installation companies in the port city recently. They did it out of fear as the Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) seized about 70 autorickshaws from different points.

Of course, you make them put on the meters but how do you make them use it. Maybe we should refer to the unlicensed weapons in the previous section.

Hot stuff
As if fuel prices are not high enough, someone set up a committee (like we always do) that thinks the government needs to raise prices of petroleum products. This time around only diesel and kerosene prices are proposed to increase.

Definitely the committee members own high-end petrol driven BMWs, Volvos, Lexus and the like.

We are building a nation full of people who can face great challenges. Kerosene is largely used by the poor people who can hardly afford anything and raising the price raises the challenge. At this rate we may end up building a nation full of people dead from facing too many challenges.

By Mood Dude and Gokhra

Those old days

A newspaper had a contest wherein participants were asked to tell the younger generation how much harder they had it "in the old days." Winners, runners-up, and honourable mentions are listed below.

Second Runner-Up:
In my day, we couldn't afford shoes, so we went barefoot. In winter, we had to wrap our feet with barbed wire for traction.

First Runner-Up:
In my day, we didn't have MTV or in-line skates, or any of that stuff. No, it was 45s and regular old metal-wheeled roller skates, and the 45s always skipped, so to get them to play right you'd weigh the needle down with something like quarters, which we never had because our allowances were way too small, so we'd use our skate keys instead and end up forgetting they were taped to the record player arm so that we couldn't adjust our skates, which didn't really matter because those crummy metal wheels would kill you if you hit a pebble anyway, and in those days roads had real pebbles on them, not like today.

And the winner:
In my day, we didn't have rocks. We had to go down to the creek and wash our clothes by beating them with our heads.

Honorable Mentions:
In my day, we didn't have fancy health-food restaurants. Every day we ate lots of easily recognizable animal parts, along with potatoes.

In my day, we didn't have hand-held calculators. We had to do addition on our fingers. To subtract, we had to have some fingers amputated.

In my day, we didn't get that disembodied, slightly ticked-off voice saying 'Doors closing.' We got on the train, the doors closed, and if your hand was sticking out, it scraped along the tunnel all the way to the next station and it was a bloody stump at the end. But the base fare was only a dollar. In my day, we didn't have water.

We had to smash together our own hydrogen and oxygen atoms.
Kids today think the world revolves around them.

In my day, the sun revolved around the world, and the world was perched on the back of a giant tortoise.

Back in my day, they hadn't invented electricity. We had to watch television by candlelight.


Tears shone in her eyes And rolled down her cheeks Since all
she felt was Deep sorrow and grief. Death had
passed by Another great life gone. Her
grandmother, truthful and sincere, Her only
loving relation alive, Had left this world for eternal sleep.
This death meant nothing to many
Only she felt the pure agony. Her heart ached in emptiness And pain
eclipsed her joy. Now she is only left With
Great pain , angst and
By Numaya Shahriar






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