Hartal, or general strike, has long been a green light for some people to engage in street violence and kill people by setting vehicles including public transports on fire — regardless of whether there are passengers inside or not. No political parties in Bangladesh would take credit for the lives lost in the Hartals, which would make these incidents random acts of terrorism. However, if you take a closer look at when these terrorist acts take place, you will find out a pattern. A pattern that shows that these kinds of incidents occur on Hartals. And when a political party enforces Hartalknowing that this will provoke violence in the streets, nobody really needs to claim credit for anything anymore.
Lately, probably because the term Hartal started to become a cliche, the politicians have changed the term from Hartal to Oborodh, which would be ‘Blockade’ in English. When it was announced, the people in my known circle acted confused. They didn’t know what ‘Blockade’ actually meant. Will the school-colleges remain open? Will it be safe to go to the office?
Thanks to the continued violence through the days of so-called Blockade, we now know that it’s no difference. With the rising number of deaths due to political violence, ‘Blockade’ has just become yet another word that is synonymous to violence and killing.
Reddit AMA is a popular internet culture. A dream-come-true for a lot of people who have endless curiosity about a celebrity. Reddit AMA, or Ask Me Anything in its full form, allows people to ask their favorite celebrity anything for a given period of time, usually one hour, with the celebrity actually participating to answer the fans’ questions.
Of course, not all questions are answered, neither does the celebrity get enough time to even look at all of the questions, but it’s still highly popular among fans and Reddit users to engage in a lively conversation about the celebrity in the virtual podium, ask them anything, and talk about things in general.
A few weeks ago, I caught Bear Grylls on Reddit AMA. In case you were wondering, Bear Grylls is the man in Man vs Wild show on Discovery Channel. He is, despite his adventurous acts and braveries that we see on TV, well-known on the web for drinking his own urine, which is kind of ironic. Still, he managed some time to answer some questions of his fans over at Reddit. Continue reading →
I don’t exactly remember the first computer that arrived at our home. But I can certainly remember doing a lot of stuff in it. Around 1999 to early 2000, I remember coming to home from school and begging to my mother and brother to let me play on the computer. Most of the time, I played classic games like DOOM, The House of the Dead, etc. Occasionally I played GTA II, too, which reminds me a lot of the good old days.
But here’s the thing, I wasn’t always allowed to touch the computer and get down to the games. And most of the time when the computer was turned on, there used to be music playing on the computer. I would look at the monitor, so envious, wanting to close that dark-skinned-little-window-with-green-text and just turn the games on. But I couldn’t. All I could do was sit back, listen to the music, and stare at the dark skin from a distance.
Over a decade later, I now own two computers, multiple smartphones and other gadgets that are much more advanced that they were back in those days. But one thing hasn’t changed over the years, the dark-skinned media player that managed to become my favorite ever since I didn’t need a permission to use a computer.
I’m no expert in technology field. But I have been writing tech news and analysis/opinion piece for newspaper long enough to have an opinion on Microsoft’s ongoing screwed-up anti-Google campaign. And I’m saying that from a fairly neutral point of view.
We all know since the recent NSA revelations that tech giants have been complying with secret agencies by giving out personal information. But that’s another story. Talk about giving personal information to advertisers, that’s something that really doesn’t happen. You can sign up as an advertiser and you will notice that Google, and any other online advertising agency for that matter, will give you a demographic of its audience and you can choose to target your audience using that information. Continue reading →
Last month, I was in a two-week trip to the United States. Invited to attend the Mozilla Summit 2013, I went to Santa Clara, California and took a one-week stop in New York on my way back home. It’s because I wanted to see New York. I wanted to see for myself what I’ve been seeing for years on movies and TV shows.
Imagine what would have happened if a city violence in the New York City marked the end of my life.
This might be an awkward way to open up a post, but I can’t really be creative at this point. I live in Dhaka. And Dhaka is slowly becoming synonymous with political violence, destruction of public property (mostly in the streets, like shops and vehicles), and death of innocent people.
Take Monir for example. He had never been in Dhaka before. As a teenager, he must have been pretty excited when his father accepted his cries to bring him to Dhaka for a visit. For many people living in rural areas, Dhaka sounds like a dream city (which it actually isn’t, I’d be shameless to admit).
Do you want to know what he got back from Dhaka in return of his interest in seeing the city? Dhaka welcomed him with death. Continue reading →
Entrance to what is known as Mirpur Shaheed Minar where in every morning, hundreds of joggers come by from nearby houses.
I actually did spend the night in my bed — watching movies like The Internship and documentary on journalism, Page One — but not for a moment did I feel sleep in my eyes. They say when you’re too busy thinking about something, you cannot sleep unless you haven’t been sleeping for a really long time. I’ve had a great sleep the previous night so I didn’t have any problem keeping myself busy about what I’m going to do with my future.
With the real challenge in journalism, and my passion for journalism in English language to reach a broader audience as opposed to the reality in my head, I can say that I had yet another day full of confusion and tension about how I should play the future. Of course, Steve Jobs said that one cannot connect the dots with the future. Only when things happen, you can look back at the things that happened in your life and connect the dots. Continue reading →
When I was a kid, I used to love playing with pistols. They were my favorite toy out of all the battery-powered electronic cars and planes that I had. I don’t know what motivated me, but those tiny pistols used to make me feel smarter and braver than anyone else around. And no, that was before I met James Bond.
As I grew, I realized that guns were not a good thing. Even in the right hands, guns can do a lot of damage. Unless you want to be in defense, there is absolutely no reason to toy around with a gun. And even if you want to be a member of the Army or other armed forces, you don’t need to show off your gun tricks at home or in public.
So, I ditched my most favorite toy. I was probably 16 or 17 at that time.
I wonder if Andy Lopez was alive, would he have thought the same way when he would turn 17? Continue reading →