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World History 101:
Rise of the Romans

Around this time in Italy a new world power was forming- The Romans! They rose to power because of the Third Punic War with the Carthaginians. The Carthaginians, led by Hannibal, a sophisticated cannibal, attacked Rome on giant elephants, and this would have been disadvantageous to the Romans since their uniform resembled giant peanuts. However, when Hannibal arrived in Rome, he found that the Romans had left to invade Carthage. The Romans arrived in Carthage only to find no one there. So they moved back to Rome to fight the Carthaginians, but found the Carthaginians had went back to Carthage to fight the Romans. This led to so much confusion that Carthage just gave up.

Then Julius Caesar came along and turned Rome into a dictatorship. He is best known for conquering Gaul and for his stirring last words after being assassinated on the Ides of March: “Ouch”.

He was succeeded by his grandnephew Augustus Caesar who founded the Roman Empire, and everyone enjoyed peace and prosperity. Much of this peace and prosperity came from watching slaves hack each other to death in the Coliseum. Then Christianity came along and led directly to the fall of the Roman Empire. Many argue about what led to it's fall, while some argue that it never fell, using the old adage as a citation, “If an empire falls in a forest, and no one's there to hear it, did it make a noise?” I personally think it fell because the Romans admired funny naked sculptures, but that is still just another theory.

The next period of history became known as the Scary Ages, as I am afraid to make jokes about it. Moving right along. Charles Martel was protecting Spain from Muslim invaders; Charlemagne became ruler of the Frankish Empire; the Vikings were burning women and raping villages; the Chinese were building thick walls and watching fireworks.

In 1095, the Pope announced at the top of his holy lungs, “Let's kill some Muslims!” “Why?” everyone asked. “Shut up! “ God wills it!” said everyone, and thus came the two-century-long Crusades, during which time many Muslims were killed. This led to the discovery of commerce for the West. Men began arguing about the existence of God around this time.

Genghis Khan then wanted to CONQUER THE WORLD! He was a big Asian person, which was startling as Asians aren't big, as a rule. Around the same time Robin Hood rounded up a group of thugs and named his gang The Merry Men. They stole from the rich to fund for their fancy attire, and to give to the poor.

To celebrate the invention of Gun Powder, the Europeans decided to have the Hundred Years War. In France a peasant girl, Joan Of Arc, heard voices in her head.

“Joan,” the voices called, “this is the Almighty God speaking!” “What is it?” she asked. “Kill all the cripples!” “Really?” “Just kidding, it's simpler than that, just fight the English.” “Right on.”

Eventually she won a huge turning point and France won. Or did they? I don't know for sure.

Next week comes Christopher Columbus, The Renaissance, William Shakespeare, Galileo and plenty more! Do not miss it.

By Ahsan Sajid

A Friendship Day Maple Leaf will remember forever!

The huge auditorium of Maple Leaf International School was decorated with flamboyant colors on 3rd of August, the stage was brilliantly festooned, and there on the head big flashy golden words said 'Happy Friendship Day'. The MLIS A levels kids were gathering in the Nawab Ali auditorium and some unfortunate souls were stuck downstairs due to the absence of their ID card. The volunteers practically panicked when they had to gather the huge crowd and make them sit.

The auditorium was swooped away by the first performance of the band of Tonmoy, and the claps started flying as they sang 'Shei Tumi' of Ayub Bachu which was followed by 'Cholo Shobai' that made the audience more involved in the whole song! After their last song, a performance by Aqib actually made me say, 'whoa! All this time I did not know this that guy is THIS good!'

After his departure came the Aces, who made the crowd start tapping their feet on the song 'Durey Durey'. Although the singer was quite good, I thought that he was far too discreet of himself to blend well with the others in his section. But then I realized I was totally wrong when he started singing Nitol Paaye, which totally made the audience start dancing on their seats.

After they went, a stunning and touching slide made by Lamia Hafiz made us yell loud at all of our pictures in our school. All the pictures brought back memories, memories of how times made us grow our friendship, all the 'faizlamis' and the 'shotanis', how times made us toughen the bond of friendship, and how every little thing in the school made us be better friends. The slide was really touchy and just the most amazing idea! The best part of the party! After the whole slideshow came the oldest band of MLIS students, 'Chayapoth' whose intro was interesting and innovative! They had a flute instrumental which sent the crowd jump to a different zenith of ecstasy. Their first song was 'Joto Durey' of Vibe, and I swear the singer made me fall in love with his voice.

The show ended with the last two bands playing, one was shadow of smoke, and the other sinister shadow. Their dark attire did prove they had a thing with 'shadows'. The last song of Sinister Shadow filled the audience with energy, and ended the party. Just hoping they can be as good in their upcoming concert at RCC on 8th August! It was sad to leave, but was the best party ever! Three cheers to the organizers for organizing this awesurific party! Now I am just hoping that the next event is as good as this…

By Raida Kifait Reza

Brilliance behind the lens

Many people in Bangladesh have a tendency to underestimate the power of Internet. In an era of WiMax and Wi-Fi, this fact can shock many. However, Internet is truly revolutionary and a standstill example of it was recently set by a group of young photographers who place themselves under the banner of Shudhui Bangla Photographic Association (SBPA).

Flickr (www.flickr.com) is an online community of photographers (professional and amateur), bringing together talents from across the globe and giving them an opportunity to upload their work for free (limitations apply). SBPA is one such Flickr-based group that formed identity in February 2008. Tipu Kibria, revered founder of the group made it a rule amongst members to post their messages in Bangla (regardless of how difficult it may get at times to read Bangla using English alphabets), and thus the name “Shudhui Bangla”. What may have begun as an attempt to bring Bangladeshi photo enthusiasts under the same banner evolved into an active group of amateur photographers. It currently hosts over 250 members online (and growing everyday).

One may wonder why this particular group has caught the attention of this particular reporter. SBPA has recently organized a photography exhibition comprising of its select active members at DRIK Gallery. What's surprising and praiseworthy on the same page is how they have managed to put together such a bold display over a short time. Passion, extreme hard work, plentiful enthusiasm and constant online communication; would you have guessed those as secrets behind an exposition? Clearly a brave attempt, and a successful one too; the first exhibition of SBPA has been 'the talk' amongst the Flickr-based Bangladeshi photographers league for the past couple of weeks.

The show hosted 32 young amateurs and their selected 'masterpieces'. If you've ever wondered how it would feel to have breathtaking landscapes, bitter poverty, childhood innocence, age old indulgence and the extraordinary ordinary summed in one room, this is where you should have gone. The versatility of the framed moments and eye-catching colours pouring in from every direction were truly an experience to remember. This also, was one of the most fun filled exhibitions to walk around, breaking away from the general idea that such displays are only meant for critics and age old enthusiasts. What's more exciting is the fact most of these youngsters have no formal training and do not take snapping shots as money-earning, live-saving means. To think they were only clicking away to satisfy their hobbies was a truth difficult to digest for many of the visitors!

This exhibition has not only proven society's preconceived notions regarding amateurs wrong, but has been inspiring for anyone who has ever wanted to be behind the lens. One does not need an expensive SLR or month long training to be a photographer. All it requires is a bit of dedication, some patience and the zeal to learn and develop. It may start with your Dad's unused compact and end up somewhere in the walls of the biggest gallery in town. All you need to do is to avoid being discouraged easily and continue shooting!

SBPA, besides continuing its monthly photography expeditions, plans to arrange competitions, launch magazines and website, and organize festivals in the future. Encouraging many into exploring the field of photography, SBPA has set an example for others to follow. Having stolen a piece of her heart, this reporter eagerly awaits to see more of their brilliance and endeavours in days to come.

By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

Global warming news

Adding lime to seawater to reverse CO2 in the atmosphere!

Scientists say they have found a workable way of reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere by adding lime to seawater. And they think it has the potential to dramatically reverse CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere, reports Cath O'Driscoll in SCI's Chemistry & Industry magazine.

Adding lime to seawater increases alkalinity, boosting seawater's ability to absorb CO2 from air and reducing the tendency to release it back again. However, the idea, which has been bandied about for years, was thought unworkable because of the expense of obtaining lime from limestone and the amount of CO2 released in the process. The process of making lime generates CO2, but adding the lime to seawater absorbs almost twice as much CO2. The overall process is therefore 'carbon negative' as Tim Kruger, a management consultant at London firm Corven says.

The oceans are already the world's largest carbon sink, absorbing 2 billion tonnes of carbon every year. Increasing absorption ability by just a few percent could dramatically increase CO2 uptake from the atmosphere. I guess there are still hope for us, a hope for all the ice caps to staying frozen, and we being alive when Bangladesh would not really go in water as it is thought…


By bloo somebody





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