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Who says there's nothing to do? Go get a pet. A dog, a bird, a sub-editor. They will keep you busy because it's not all fun and fetch the stick/tea games. Or go play a guitar in tribute to the greatest ever, Chuck Berry. Not enough? Print your t-shirt, show us your creativity. We'll even highlight the best designs. Or if you're a guy, try a hindi serial or hindi horror movie - they're good for a lot of laughs. Get busy while I go train a sub editor to jump over a cubicle.

-- Ehsanur Raza Ronny, RS Editor

RS Street-smart guide: Basics of vision

Story: Orin
Art: Fahim Anzoom

You are jaywalking on the streets of Dhaka, which basically means you are hosting family reunions the middle of a busy intersections with roughly a hundred other people. Either you are one of the poor people who have to walk in the footpaths of Dhaka city or, you don't have one of those car things (the little boxes on the streets that never move) to give you the safari tour of wild Dhaka. Whatever your situation is, the fact is now you are exposed in the streets of the all consuming capital; where people can heal you from cancer and kill you with bad breath all at the same time.

While trying to stay alive out in the streets, we know where to put our hands ears and legs. Interestingly enough, eyes are not something we always have full control over. Eyes just randomly start looking at things. We don't see things we should be seeing, but more often than not we see things we shouldn't have. So we're here to help.

First off, this is a caution to every single reader out there. Whenever you see a guy awkwardly crouching on the footpath with a drain nearby, DO NOT look at the guy, or what he is doing or try to create eye-contact. This is the basic rule of life by the way, not just streets. If you are lucky enough to have managed a rickshaw or CNG-auto rickshaw and beside your vehicle stands a bus with a small-ish kid in the window seat who looks to have spent better times, you have three options: a) Jump and run to the nearest shade, b) keep praying to a deity that the kid's digestive system is stronger than everyone else in the city, or c) you bring out an umbrella to save yourself from all the evil that's about to break loose. See how none of these options include looking at the kid?

There goes the golden rule of surviving the street (and something to live your life by): NEVER look at a person who has any type of bodily fluid coming out of them.

Say none of these things happen. You are in a ride of your choice no matter how unlikely that is. You see beggars and street vendors asking for cures and selling solutions to every possible problem under the sky. Unless you have the intention of ending up with packets of poppon or a dozen day-old roses, the snake charming ladies 'charming' you or the hagoo fakir doing his job, you should not look at any of them.

That is Rule #2: Emulate eye movements of a dead fish to avoid having poop on you.

If you see a hole in the ground or an open drain, walk. Do not attempt to look down and more importantly don't fall down. There could be just the regular Dhaka gunk, or there could be unmentionables. You will see things that will make you regret being alive.

This brings us to rule #3: Look down on any holes to be scarred for life.

Seems like we have been going on and on about the don'ts. Here are some dos:

If there's a street fight and you find yourself at a safe distance, do watch. It's free entertainment. In that case you are advised to get some poppon. If you happen to see a teenage guy with a Bieber haircut, we request you to stare till he notices. Making people feel awkward is a national pastime. And the kid deserves it.

If everything fails, while roaming the streets just stare blankly at nothing in particular, you'll survive. At least you are supposed to.

"Helljumper, Helljumper, where you been?"

By Dr Who
Photo: AFP

In the gaming universe of Halo, there is a certain special corps of soldiers that are called Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODSTs). Their name is pretty self-explanatory - they deploy from space… by jumping to the surface. It says a lot about Halo that these guys are only the second craziest bunch of military grunts.

Anyway, recently, the gaming wiki of Halo has made a change to the ODST entry: “On October 12, 2012, Felix Baumgartner became the first human to freefall from space and return to earth via parachute… it proved that humans could be deployed from space.”

So, yeah. History has been made. Maybe it's not the first moon-landing, but it is almost up there. Baumgartner jumped from a distance of 39km above Earth's surface, making him the guy who skydived from the highest point. For perspective, large aircrafts, even the Concord, stuck to about 12km above the Earth surface.

Speaking of Concord, Baumgartner also managed to break the sound barrier, reaching speeds of 1,342.8km/h, becoming the first man to achieve it without vehicular aid, except Flash and Superman, of course. Chuck Yeager must be proud.

The hat-trick of records was completed by him reaching the highest altitude by a manned hot air balloon. No, he didn't fart his way up there. It was Helium. Before the jump, Baumgartner came out of the pod, looked down and said, “Sometimes you have to be up really high to understand how small you are... I'm coming home now.”

His jump was sponsored by Red Bull to the extent that the event was called Red Bull Stratos. They practically gave him wings. Isaac Asimov's sci-fis often feature corporations who contribute to space flight or galactic politics. So did Mass Effect for that matter. Seems we are already on our way to the future.

And if Baumgartner's name sounds a little weird for an American, well, that's because he isn't one. He's Austrian. You guys of course know the other famous Austrian. Terminator.

People like to talk. Apparently without issues. Not really a surprise considering our politicians.

Bangali Harry Potter Books and Movies freaks
Hogwarts! Harry Potter <3! Now Muggles shall have butterbear, too.

Muggles want teddybears, not butterbears. Butterbears melt when you hug 'em too tight. - RS

Phiba Mondal
I didn't do it. Spittle just flew out on the screen and keyboard toward the end of "It's all paper thin!"

Spittle flies? Of its own accord? Didn't we get past Ramadan already? - RS

Peter Regal Whittam
I praise Hesh one day, and there's no Hesh on the next issue. That's depressing.

Sarah Nafisa Shahid If we all got published regularly, wouldn't it be such a joy? This calls for the annual increase-RS-pages-and-RS-writers'-wages demand.

Ionik Tanzim
Reviews are just awesome!

Reviews are easy. You are analysing something that is already there. Writing something original, now that's hard. - RS

Masrur Khan Annan
Thanks to Rannia and RS for giving brilliant tips on photography. I love photography, it's my hobby now. And I'm glad to see RS sorting out the photographic world, especially how amateurs can become better photographers.

No problemo. Epically creative pictures of horizons and food dishes await! - RS



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