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Wear your heart on your T-shirt

By Anarchist Kitten

I couldn't count the number of times I see a nice graphic and thought how beautiful it would look adorning a t-shirt. This is a dilemma that many go through. Sometimes you may see a t-shirt that is nice, but could be made amazing with a minor adjustment. If you happen to be particularly creatively inclined, you may even have artwork of your own that you want to see on t-shirts.

There's a whole bunch of techniques but the one I will describe requires a simple standard inkjet printer. And these are relatively cheap and we usually have one lying around beside the exercise machine we never use.

Printing on a t-shirt involves transferring an image from one source (i.e. your computer) to another (t-shirt). We're going to go with the easiest heat-transfer process. Read on for a step-by-step DIY guide.

Things Required: iron, blank t-shirt, fabric transfer paper, sticker paper, inkjet printer, flat surface, printable image, scissors and creativity

The only thing that may be challenging to procure on that list is the fabric transfer paper, which you can get with a trip down to IDB Bhaban. A few stores sell it; ask for dark transfer paper (in some cases you may need to explain to the shopkeeper what it's used for). You can get the sticker paper at most stationery stores.

Step 1 - Find the image you want to print, and print it on the transfer paper (one side will be white, which is the printable side; the other side has a pattern to indicate where the iron goes).

Step 2 - Lay your blank t-shirt down on a flat surface and iron it flat.

Step 3 - cut out all the unnecessary white surfaces around your image, if you don't want a white border on your t-shirt. From either edge, pick out the back (it'll come off smoothly like taking off a sticker). Lay it down, image side-up, on the area of the t-shirt you want it on.

Step 4 - pick off the white side of the sticker paper, and use the yellow part that you throw away to cover the image you just put on the t-shirt. The side that must be hugging the image is the smooth side. The rougher side is on top.

Step 5 - on medium heat, use the iron and press down on the image on top of the t-shirt area you want it on, covered by the sticker paper. You may increase the heat to high but don't leave it be in one place longer than 20 seconds or you'll start ruining the ink.

Step 6 - let the whole thing cool and then peel off the sticker paper, and you have your new t-shirt ready to be worn. It can withstand gentle washing but try to avoid machine-washing for longer posterity.

A transfer paper costs 100 Taka, but if you buy in bulk you can get the number down. I bought 20 and got them at 70 Taka a piece. A sticker paper costs 5 Taka. T-shirts vary depending on quality; it's really your prerogative to decide what kind of t-shirt you'll feel comfortable wearing. Aziz Super Market has t-shirts for as low as 50 a piece. This can climb up to 100-200 at places like Banani Super Market.

Viewed objectively, we're not very important

By Safieh Kabir

One planet of a solar system in a galaxy of billions of solar systems, in a universe of billions of galaxies - that's our whole entire world. So what does that make us? Ants? Atoms? Lord, we're barely even Boson particles (exist for the fraction of a fraction of a moment, and even then, nobody notices if it's not at a sub-possible temperature in a giant tube beneath the earth). And it doesn't matter to the universes [yes, there may even be universes] if smart-aleck Bosons poison their oxygen and melt down their world, invent things that kill slowly and others that change existence to dust, land on the moon, and then eventually get engulfed by the sun. According to the universes, we're a random little zit on Time's endless clock-face. Physics created us in a little game with gravity and water, and they, being vast structures of burning gas, empty vacuum and floating rock, don't give a damn.

Futile existence is a bit of sad thought, though. So, as a defence mechanism against depression, the human has invented the telescope, and proceeded to look at his life through it. In that convex light, we matter very much. Our personal happiness and sorrows, break-ups, shake-ups, successes and failures acquire a colossal significance that makes it possible to say things like, “Bro, if she leaves, the world is going to end.” We aren't criticising this. It's totally natural, and, in fact, necessary. If we thought of ourselves as Boson particles all the time, we'd never do anything at all, because what'd be the point anyway?

But this writer would like to offer a philosophy. If we're magnifying life, adding weight to weightlessness, shouldn't we add the same weight to everything? If, on the other side of the telescope, a landing on the moon has the same importance as drinking a glass of coke, (i.e. none) then shouldn't it be equal on this side as well? I'd say yes. I'd say that if nothing we do will leave any record, and our every footprint will be erased, then all we can do with this tiny slice of existence is cram it with happiness.

However, this writer doesn't claim to know the formula to happiness. Happiness isn't Mathematics, it's poetry; different in sight and taste and texture for every person, and there's nobody who can tell you exactly how it's meant to be. Therefore, there's no reason why success shouldn't make you happy, whether it comes as admission to Harvard, discoveries in thermo-nuclear Physics or earning truckloads of money. But there's also no reason why only “success”, of the conventional sort can bring you joy. If you want to spend your life busking by the road with your old saxophone, writing for a low-paying newspaper, or taking care of your kids, get your ass on that path, and remember to collect our blessings when you pass Go.

This writer would like to name this philosophy, so that you might pass it on to other worry-lines and downturned mouths. Let's call it Telescopism, and let's never stress about anything again. Life's incredible, and we haven't got much of it.

(credit to my best friend for watering this particular seedling into bloom)

Anti-screwup Tips

* Make sure you don't ignore the sticker paper, many do to their detriment. Without the smooth surface of the sticker paper, the iron will melt all the ink together and ruin your t-shirt. If it's difficult to locate, you can replace the sticker paper with baking paper (found in any stores selling baking goods) or Teflon paper (this is an industrial standard and more difficult to find).

* Do NOT use the steam setting on your iron. The process needs to be dry from start to finish or water will ruin your image before it is done transferring properly.

* There are two kinds of transfer papers: light iron and dark iron transfer paper. With light iron, you have to mirror the image, print it, put it on your t-shirt upside down and wait for the ink to seep through the fabric. This process requires a lot of trial and error to get it right, and it can only be done on lighter coloured fabrics. We are dealing with dark-iron transfers which can print on any colour because instead of transferring the ink, it just puts a lightweight plastic holding your printed image on the t-shirt.

* Any kind of t-shirt is fine, but for best results go with a higher percentage cotton t-shirt, or a 50-50 blend.

Nano tales

A brief return

By Mad Monkey

Foreword: The knife came down. Tears rolling, she just stared, her legs bound. She fell.
Twist 1: The koshai, with a smile, looked down at the sacrificed cow. This one was fat, lots of meat to be had.
Twist 2: The teenage cow, woke up drenched in sweat. Worst nightmare ever. They called her fat!

To what point and purpose?
By Dr Who

Pace! Life was speed! They were hurtling forward. No more darkness. NO FEAR! They sang, they danced, they made love. They got ready for the end that was sure to come.

SPLAT! Bacteria filled goo hit a man's head. He looked up and cursed at the crows and went to find some water to wash off the filth.


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