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I watch Nickelodeon. And Cartoon Network. Disney. I don’t have time for serious gritty stuff like Batman and Dexter. No, the Dexter I watch is a little boy genius, not a murderous murderer. It’s not like I have a choice, my kid hogs the cartoon channels. And I found out why cartoons were so much fun as a kid. They let you relax. It’s good to get back to my roots. This week we celebrated Pluto’s birthday yesterday. And now we look forward to World Literacy Day. Except there’s a few things amiss, we haven’t done what we should have. It’s all in the article below.

-- Ehsanur Raza Ronny, RS Editor

Literacy conundrum

By Munawar Mobin

For about 40 years now, on the 8th of September, UNESCO has been celebrating International Literacy Day by reminding all of us that literacy is a human right and one of the most important unmet goals of the world today is literacy for all - children, youth and the adults.

UNESCO has also started giving out prizes for individual, government, or organisations which have excelled in the field of educating the masses.

All that up there, that's great news for everybody: there is a single minded-goal, there are ambitious attempts, there are accomplishments to win and earn, there are incentives, there are goals attained and accolades earned, and there is a constant struggle, a constant shifting. People are doing all that they can, they're trying and it's phenomenal what we can achieve.

What bums RS out is that according to UNESCO's "Global Monitoring Report on Education for All (2006)" South and West Asia has the lowest regional adult literacy rate (58.6%).

That doesn't sound right does it? 58.6% isn't a great rate. Why? Because we're Bangalis and this is Bangladesh. We, the only country who shed blood for their mother tongue, are not made of this. Thus, today RS would like to thank you for making a difference, and we also want to tell you how you can make a greater difference:

The fastest way to up this insulting statistical mark would be to grab a bunch of kids from the roads, bring along their parents and force them into school; and then follow the same technique with every district of Bangladesh. However, the idea is insanely expensive, terribly hard, not feasible at all, and in the end, a little unlawful.

What we suggest is, start slow: instead of grabbing kids off the street, start from within. Start with the people you employ as your help. The people who do your dishes, wash your clothes, make your bed, get your morning tea. Those people should be the easiest to access and the most convenient to educate. We're sure you could take an hour out of your busy schedule everyday to sit aside and teach your maid the alphabets, or the number system. Get them a few books, inform them of the many advantages of education, and tell them to send their children/siblings to school.

Keep in mind that telling them to do these things isn't going to convince them. They will remind you of the fees, the chores the boys will miss out on, the houses which will be dirty because of the girls, the money that will be missed if the girl isn't married off. That is when it's your turn to remind them that all over Bangladesh, primary education is absolutely free.

After that, you should tell them to do the same with the rest of the villagers in their respective villages. This is where the ripple effect becomes extremely helpful.

Another way to increase and enrich literacy is spreading books among yourselves. It's not your ability to read that defines how literate you are, it's what you know about the world, yourself, other cultures, history, important events, etc. This can be done easily among a few close friends, in school or at a house, or you could use the internet's awesome abilities. We're definite that there are people out there who would rather look for an easy way to get a few books to read than watch YouTube videos all day.

We're Bangalis. We were meant to rule this planet, but we can't do that with less than half of the population uneducated. We sincerely hope it isn't too much to ask, but, do however amount of enlightening you can to help get our people to understand the world better. With education, it's a completely different world. Only with a literate mind can we ever hope to achieve our personal goals and be happy as a collective society. Thus, what we ask of you today is to help others be happy.

Share, spread and value knowledge.

Happy birthday Pluto

Cartoon dogs are always awesome. Boo the RS dog has made his mark and then probably peed on it. A more global cartoon dog is Pluto, the yellow dog from Disney. From 1930's to date this droopy eared dog, has been entertaining, first as a character in Mickey Mouse until he received his own series in 1937. One of his films, Lend a Paw even won an Academy Award in 1942.

Now some may argue, he has been discriminated against, unlike Goofy, he can't talk and move about on his legs and be human-like in general. But the fact that a dog who can't talk can still make you love just by his physical humour deserves applause. So here's to the birthday (5th Sept) of this awesome character putting a smile on children for almost eight decades.

Science - Pfft
Destroying science one atom at a time - By RS Sceptic

Science can be weird. Heck I think they might even make it up as they go along. They tell you there are particles which you can't see exist, and they claim that a small deviation in some weird underground facility for a millionth of a second proves it. Pftft. Balderdash.

Humans are actually bacteria
Ok the subhead is sort of an exaggeration. But still, new research shows that human beings are super-organisms. Before you take off your shirt and jump off the roof read on. There are about 100 trillion bacteria living inside the human body. Traditionally they have been thought of as harmless midgets using the body as a host. But now they say the bacteria is part of the body itself making human beings not a separate entity but a co-dependant part of a total organism. Why promote bacteria all of a sudden? Research shows that the 3 million non-human genes in them are actually closely related to how the body works and anomalies in them leads to diseases like diabetes and heart disease and other such urban myths. Also when those bad viruses come attacking this body, these bacteria goes all Osmosis Jones and Starts fighting. And now, because scientists have nothing better to do (at least not since that apple fell on Newton's head), they are trying to come up with ways to treat asthma, obesity and other diseases by looking more closely at this micro-biomes. And I though Global Warming was stretching it.

Reference: The Economist August 18th-24th Issue.

Crazy attracts crazy, they say. We happen to have some crazy people in our fanpage. What does that make us? Anyway, these are some of the things the (relatively) sane people said this week.

Yaseer Taher
I read the clean your messy room article yesterday. Ironically when my mom came home from work she screamed at me for not cleaning mine. So I actually foolowed the steps.

The Rising Stars Perhaps a person who follows a fool is someone who has Foolowed. Yes, our writer is a bit of a fool. That's why we hire them.

Monalisa Munia
I am so lazy that I forgot to post a letter of outrage to you guys because of not publishing an issue on 23rd of August. Now that I think of it, ALL of the writers of RS should watch out, I'm coming to get you... btw, AM I A GRAMMAR NAZI?

Ahmad Ibrahim Let's see. Your a Grammar Nazi.
Monalisa Munia Whaaat? Oh. I understand.
Ahmad Ibrahim Fail.

Prionti Dipita
I'm in love with Jawad...'s articles!

He's in love with you…r comment. - RS

Mustabeen Qazi
Doraemon, the bane of our existence, will be born a hundred years from now on 3rd September 2112. God help our grandchildren...

Ignorance is bliss. Now we are no longer blissful. Curse you! - RS

Ashiqur Rahman
(About the Cover) There are more details and facts unspoken here (you know, sometimes beauty is not necessary). But a beautiful way to draw attention, hats off to Jawad.

Sitab Arjai
I want more articles by Nutboltu!

Buy us a toolbox and we'll see what we can do. - RS



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